Bearcats have mixed feelings as campus presence increases

Rachel Dalloo

Baruch College is starting to look like pre-pandemic times, with 70% of spring classes in-person and club life beginning to bloom again this semester.

In December 2021, Vice President for Administration and Finance Katharine Cobb stated in a campus announcement that the college would deliver its classes through a “combination of fully in-person and hybrid courses.”

On-campus staffing levels also increased to 70%. Therefore, staff members work seven out of 10 days in each two-week period.

Baruch students also noticed a more significant presence of students on campus compared to last semester.

The Ticker asked Baruch students via a Google Form what their thoughts were. Of the 10 students who responded, 100% said they have recognized a larger student body presence on campus.

Although there is an increase in campus presence, not all people are happy about it. Finance major Jane Vasserman is far from thrilled about this change.

“I hate it,” Vasserman said in the Google Form. “I liked how it was fall 2021 it was more or less fine; at this point it’s like might as well let everyone come back. I just mentally prepare myself more, I guess. I hate seeing more people on campus. I think quarantine just made me more of a hypochondriac.”

Economics major Raisa Afiz shared that she thought it is nice to return to campus and see her peers face-to-face, it doesn’t feel like things are as it was pre-pandemic.

“It feels like we’re slowly returning to normalcy,” Afiz said. “Baruch made the best of their urban setting by encouraging interactive events on campus like Club Hours and social activities that helped people socialize. Now, it’s impossible to make friends.”

Another Baruch student, finance major Matthew Dela Cruz stated that he feels worried about being on campus due to students not following COVID-19 protocols.

“There are students who walk around campus without a mask on even though all students and faculty are required to properly wear one,” he said. “Most students are not social distancing either. I am very concerned about the likelihood that I can bring COVID from someone on campus to my family at home.”

Dela Cruz also said that the college has failed to provide students with the proper safety measures. He also believes that the transition from at-home learning to in-person classes needed further preparation.

“I don’t believe that Baruch was prepared for this transition since they are not providing the proper accommodations for this many students,” Dela Cruz said. “There is not much I can do to make sure I am safe from getting COVID on campus when there is barely any space available and not everyone is following safety guidelines.”

However, some students are excited about returning to campus and seeing more students present.

One student, journalism major Cristine Trimarco, noted that though there is an increase in the student body, her transition from remote to in-person learning has been going well for her so far.

“I feel that it’s a good thing to see more students on campus,” Trimarco said. “I think that more people feel safe being back on campus compared to last semester.”