Online classes for fall 2021 changed to be either hybrid or in-person

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Samson Li | The Ticker

Emanuela Gallo, News Editor

Baruch College shifted a portion of fall 2021 classes from online to hybrid or in-person, according to an email blast sent on June 17.

The course modality changes were made for approximately 15% of classes.

“These changes follow guidance from CUNY and reflect significant improvement in pandemic conditions, allowing for a greater on-campus presence and giving us the ability to leverage the benefits of a reopening NYC,” Interim Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Myung-Soo Lee wrote.

Students affected by the changes received an email on June 15, according to Lee. The message encouraged students to check their course schedule on CUNYFirst and provided a video with instructions.

Professors were directly notified by their department chair or dean. Lee asked that they “contact the students on [their] roster with details regarding in-person dates and accommodations.”

However, several students reported that they did not receive the notification to The Ticker in a Google survey.

“I was not notified about this change, I actually noticed it myself when I was casually checking my CUNYFirst account,” rising junior Andreea Pirvulesca wrote. “I received the course modality changes [email] a week and a half after I noticed the change.”

Pirvulesca’s music class became a hybrid class, while her marketing one became an in-person class.

“I was displeased because this all happened after the registration period, and students were not notified in time,” she wrote. “I had to change around my schedule in order to better accommodate my needs and that was a pain because most class sections are full at this point.”

Like many students, Pirvulesca chose classes at certain times only because they were listed as online. As a commuter, she would not have registered for these classes if she knew they weren’t.

“I now have to take an in-person 8pm class, which makes me concerned about my safety during my commute home at night,” she wrote. “I have no other choice but to take this class, otherwise it messes up my graduation time frame.”

Unfavorable timing also poses a challenge for rising sophomore Miguel Morales, who has to attend an early-morning environmental course.

“Now I have to leave my house at 7am to make it on time at 8:30 at Baruch,” he wrote.

Leslie Aucapina, a data analytics major, has also been inconvenienced by a statistics class change.

“I was a little annoyed because that changed my entire schedule for one day,” she wrote. “I have to wake up earlier just to be on campus for STA and stay on campus for two online classes.”

The changes uniquely affect out-of-state, international and non-commuter students who have planned to live elsewhere in the fall.

“I do live in Queens but I’m not in the city right now because I was expecting that my classes will be fully online, which I registered for in the first place,” rising junior Aaliyah Manalo wrote. “If they change that without enough time, it’ll cost me a lot to fly back all of a sudden.” Economics major Josephina Gjonaj also believes that it is unfair to change students’ schedules without warning.

“It doesn’t make much sense at all because it doesn’t seem to be departmental decisions,” she wrote. “I think Baruch should add new sections of in-person classes rather than change old ones, so they don’t affect the students negatively.”

Lee briefly addressed students’ struggle to find suitable alternatives to the now in-person classes.

“While we understand that these course-modality changes may introduce scheduling challenges for some students, we are confident there is sufficient time to find viable options before the start of the semester,” he wrote in the email blast.

Students also expressed concerns about the coronavirus.

“Despite NYC becoming fully open and being 70% vaccinated, it’s still scary to think that I am going to return back to campus especially because Baruch is not being very direct with their vaccine policies,” rising junior Saima Hossain wrote.

Another group affected by modality changes are students who are unvaccinated or in vulnerable and high-risk groups.

“Students who chose to take online classes for Fall 2021 did it for personal and safety reasons, and they should not be forced to attend in person classes if they don’t feel comfortable doing so yet,” Pirvulesca wrote. “Baruch should make an effort to offer as many accommodations as possible, as everyone’s situation is unique and should be respected.” Some students, however, are pleased with the shift to in-person instruction.

“Yes [Baruch is making the correct decision] because online learning has been very difficult and I feel like I’m not learning the material enough,” Cirill Dalangin, a computer information systems major, wrote.

It is not expected that additional significant changes will be made to students’ schedules. Future updates will be available on the Baruch Forward website.