Baruch’s reopening phases provide some clarity

Metropolitan+Transportation+Authority+of+the+State+of+New+York%27s+photostream+%7C+Flickr

Metropolitan Transportation Authority of the State of New York’s photostream | Flickr

As Baruch College approaches the end of the spring 2021 semester, confusion still surrounds CUNY’s plan for reopening for the fall 2021 semester.

Baruch is in the process of revising its current plans for a safe fall campus reopening, as noted by an update email sent out on April 5.

The update also noted that the school is currently planning for a best-case scenario, in which vaccinations and proper safety measures will allow for a combination of in-person, hybrid and online classes for the fall semester. While this seems to be part of Baruch’s plan as of now, leadership has made it clear that nothing is set in stone, as the administration is still looking for an ideal capacity percentage for reopening.

There is some guidance, however, in the original plan laid out by Baruch in the fall of last year. It detailed a multi-phase reopening, which would see the school go through four phases of access to the campus.

The first phase was the Initial Site Access phase. This phase would have limited face-to-face instruction, with only a few classes having the privilege. It would also open the student health center, mailroom, quiet study spaces and campus access to staff and faculty for limited hours. This phase began in fall 2020 and has not been ended since then.

The second phase, which may end up lining up with what is expected for the fall of 2021, is the Low Site Access phase. This phase will allow for up to 25% capacity of the campus with increased student and faculty access, expanded face-to-face and hybrid instruction and access to more facilities, although the library, event spaces, dining facilities, athletic facilities and computer labs would still be closed.

The third phase is the Medium Site Access phase. This phase is meant to be implemented following an established record of health and safety in phase two. This phase would allow for up to 50% capacity of the campus, with further increased student and faculty access and access to the library, computer lab and dining facilities, although event spaces and athletic facilities would still be closed to the general student body.

The fourth and final phase, High and Normal Site Access, is expected to be entered once the vaccine is highly circulated and the spread of COVID-19 has been contained. This phase will open the campus at 75% to full capacity, with all facilities besides event spaces being open to all students.

While The Ticker has not received updates as to how long we will remain in each phase, it seems that 25% capacity is going to be the norm for the fall reopening. This is subjected to change since The Ticker nor the administration knows how the reopening will turn out.