Baruch offices are more useful open in-person than remotely operating

The Editorial Board

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Baruch College offices physically closed and started operating remotely, but as students return in-person, so should the offices that serve them.

While these offices have slowly been reopening, they have not all been operating at full capacity for the entire year, which at times has made things hard for students.

The Academic Advisement Office, the Registrar Office, the Bursar Office and the Financial Aid Office are all a lot more useful to students when they’re open in-person in the building, rather than operating remotely as they have been at the height of the pandemic.

At the start of the pandemic, it was only logical for these offices to go remote since students were not permitted on campus and were prevented from physically walking into the offices.

Additionally, because the pandemic was at its highest, transitioning to remote was the best course of action for the offices’ staff members. It would have been dangerous and unfair to force them to arrive in-person and work near others who did not live in their COVID-19 bubble.

However, the height of the pandemic wasn’t just months ago — it was more than a year ago. The omicron variant brought New York City’s caseload up again in the past few months, but those numbers have dropped significantly once again.

It’s no longer necessary to keep these offices remote when students, professors, custodians, Office of Student life staff and many others are required to come back in-person. Their reopening, however, was not as publicized as it could have been, leading many students, including The Ticker’s masthead, to be unaware their doors were open.

Students can barely reach these offices when they’re remote — an issue that The Ticker has addressed before in previous articles.

If the whole purpose of these offices’ is to help students with various issues, the offices should be fulfilling this purpose. Students aren’t truly able to get help when the offices aren’t in-person.

Thus, having these offices operate in-person instead of remotely is the only way to make things fair for students. There are no COVID-19 reasons for these offices to be remote, but there are reasons why they need to be in-person.

Baruch did the right thing by opening these offices, but it didn’t do itself justice in its promotion of the offices reopening.

If students don’t realize that the offices are open, they’re as good as closed. The school attempted to do the right thing but could have done so in a more efficient way, such as emailing students and posting from the official Baruch and Undergraduate Student Government social media accounts.

In the experience of Ticker members, the Bursar Office doesn’t pick up its phone and doesn’t allow students to send more than one email to its account. If a student sends a follow-up email, they get pushed to the back of the queue and must wait even longer to hear back.

In the experience of Ticker members, the Financial Aid Office doesn’t pick up its phone, but it does respond to emails. The Registrar’s Office doesn’t pick up phone calls.

To make an academic advisement appointment, students must get on the appointment portal at just the right time on just the right day or else they miss any available slots.

Ticker members have also found that the Academic Advisement Office also does not pick up its phone and individual advisors do not respond to emails.

The only way to make these offices work for students is to promote that they’re back in-person and encourage students to seek help at their doors.

Wasn’t sure how to hyperlink it but those are three editorials that address how hard it is to reach or work with the offices. They were all written during the pandemic. You can change the way I did it, I just did the three last words of the sentence, giving each word its own hyperlink.