Students reflect on returning to in-person classes


Salman Ahmed | The Ticker

After three and a half semesters of online classes due to the coronavirus pandemic, Baruch College students can return to campus for in-person and hybrid classes.

“Approximately 45 percent of the nearly 50,000 course sections across CUNY’s 25 colleges and campuses will be conveyed in a hybrid or in-person format, while some 55% will be delivered online,” according to CUNY. The Ticker compiled Baruch College students’ reflections on their personal experiences thus far.


Returning to campus fosters excitement and gratitude
By Emanuela Gallo

When I received an email notification from the CUNY administration on Jan. 5, I rushed to open it.

I was greeted by the words I had been waiting to read for so long: “I am pleased to announce that CUNY will plan for a safe and gradual return to mostly in-person instruction and support services in time for the start of classes in Fall 2021,” CUNY Chancellor Félix Matos Rodríguez wrote.

I was elated.

At the time, Baruch students had just finished their second semester online and were already registered for yet another one. While students from other colleges and universities were returning to their campuses and attending hybrid classes, we remained at home.

It was disheartening to scroll by other students’ social media posts and then log in to yet another Zoom call.

These feelings, however, were replaced by excited anticipation for the fall. It was good news and a source of hope for the future.

Fast forward seven months, the words on that email have now been actualized. I hadn’t been that excited for the first day of school since before middle school.

On Aug. 25, students could be found enjoying the new plaza, with seating outside to study and a space to each lunch. They gathered in Baruch’s once-abandoned hallways and classrooms. Friends who hadn’t seen each other in over a year reconnected.

If the past year and a half have taught us anything, it’s that there is no guaranteed future. Regaining the routines, friends and experiences I had lost taught me never to take them for granted again.

Being on campus is a reminder to live each moment to the fullest and to take advantage of every opportunity at our disposal and to cherish the people we spend time with.


Adhering to COVID-19 safety procedures is most important for fall 2021
By Barbara Chang

When I first heard that classes for the fall semester would go back to the in-person format, I was excited since I haven’t been in a classroom for over a year due to the pandemic. Yet, I was concerned over the possibility of  returning to fully remote classes since everything could shut down again at a moment’s notice.

Regardless, going back to in-person classes has been great. It’s nice to see my professors give lectures and interact with classmates in a classroom. Sitting next to other students made me feel less isolated since we’ve all been trapped at home for over a year.

It’s also the first week in which I’ve been able to explore what Baruch College has to offer, like the spacious Newman Library and the newly remodeled Lawrence & Eris Field Building with its lovely study areas.

Going back to campus in-person amid the pandemic is a good thing, as long as we all follow COVID-19 safety protocols to protect ourselves, like wearing  masks, washing hands often, staying six feet apart from each other and applying hand sanitizer as much as possible.

As long as everyone follows safety procedures, we can all continue to further our education in person and get the college experience we want without worrying too much about infection rates.

There are changes that Baruch can implement to ensure that the in-person experience is safe and functional for all.

Baruch should add more hand sanitizer dispensers on every floor of each school building, especially by the lounge and study areas, along with more signs around campus to remind students to stay six feet apart.

A couple more reference desks on the outdoor plaza on campus would be helpful if students need information or are lost. Also, students should be permitted to dine in the cafeteria as long as they distance themselves from each other because it would be nice to have food in the building so we can eat before, between or after classes.

While some changes would be larger than others, what’s most important is that Baruch stays proactive in making the return to in-person classes as successful as possible.


It’s only ‘back-to-school’ for some students
By Amanda Salazar

As students gear up to return to campus at Baruch College, buying school supplies and renting laptops and planning commutes, I sit at home and pull out the same notebooks I’ve been using since school went remote, each with plenty of blank pages in them.

I don’t have to get new books and pens or plan a commute because I’m not going anywhere. I’m going to school from home again for the fourth semester in a row.

While it’s exciting for students whose classes are in-person to think about going back to the Newman Vertical Campus and reuniting with old friends, there are plenty of Bearcats who aren’t as lucky.

Some classes that were meant to be in-person were switched to online at the last minute. Some classes are in-person for only the first two weeks and are going to be remote for the rest of the semester. Some classes have to be temporarily online because too many of the students enrolled are still unvaccinated. Some classes were just cut, period.

Other students were unable to take in-person classes because all of the classes they needed or wanted were remote.

For those of us who are not going back to campus, watching everyone else go in and pick up from where they left off over a year ago is painful and jealousy-invoking.

I miss Baruch. I miss the commute. I miss the campus. I miss the Media Suite, which houses The Ticker’s office.

I miss it all. It makes me sad to see my friends and classmates go back when I’m not.

Hopefully, however, the students who are on-campus this semester have a safe, happy and educational experience back.


Heading back to campus is a new yet familiar normal
By Arianne Gonzalez

Walking up to the Baruch College doors didn’t necessarily feel like a fever dream. I was too caught up in the day’s humidity and trying to be on time for the first in-person class I’ve had since March 2020 to be struck with the weirdness of being back in-person.

Still, it had happened. And frankly, it feels as if nothing has changed even if so much has.

The preparation for the first day of classes was only slightly altered with the addition of ensuring that COVID-19 vaccination records were uploaded and that passes to enter the building were on hand.

Somehow the pre-pandemic routine of arriving at the Newman Vertical Campus persisted, and despite the lack of crowds that usually adorned the cafeteria and elevators, everything felt as if nothing had changed.

Even with new elements like the masks on our faces, everyone sitting further apart than usual and being considerate of other students taking a class via Zoom — it felt oddly normal. Or as normal as it can be during a pandemic.

Being back in a classroom is still quite odd. There is still palpable concern with ensuring that everyone is following the proper mandates and whether everyone feels comfortable enough to be in a classroom.

It seems we are all aware of the uncertainty of being back in-person, felt not just by students but by faculty as well. Some had even protested before the return on Aug. 25.

Still, from what I’ve seen, everyone has been patient with one another, which is something I hope will continue as we navigate learning amid a pandemic.