With class registration a mere couple weeks away, students are left with questions about next semester concerning more than just which classes they’ll take.
Although Baruch College has stated some fall classes are planned to be in-person, the status of other hallmarks of the college experience, like club activities and events, are still unclear.
In an email sent in early March, the Interim Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Myung-Soo Lee stated that Baruch will remain adaptable and may change some in-person classes to virtual, but that the administration is planning to have as many students back on campus as possible, with more accommodations like study rooms and lab spaces for virtual classes.
Being back on campus is a major step to returning to a pre-pandemic student experience, which is greatly supplemented by joining clubs and attending events.
Clubs have been forced to function fully remote since the COVID-19 pandemic began but being in-person could welcome back full club rooms, events and the lively student life Baruch had.
Despite this hopeful possibility, Baruch has yet to comment on how clubs will function next semester. Clubs would greatly benefit from knowing how they should plan and students, especially incoming freshmen, would be interested to know if such a huge part of student life at Baruch will physically return.
If clubs are expected to operate fully in-person next semester, Baruch also holds the responsibility of ensuring students’ safety but has yet to specify what protocols will be in place to do so. With virtually no windows and rooms often packed full of people, the club suites pose a challenge for abiding to typical social distancing measures.
The same can be said for classes in general, where some have over 50 students in one room. Preparing for a return to campus is complicated, but Baruch needs to allow students themselves to adequately prepare.
More transparency about the future protocols for students’ safety, how campus life will look and possible requirements students may need to complete to return such as proof of health or even vaccination status are needed to ensure all students can have the most fulfilling campus experience in the fall.