Reinstating the old culture at Baruch should be a priority

Amanda Salazar, Editor-in-Chief

With the spring 2022 semester ending, it seems that what will hopefully be the last semester of remote courses and COVID-19 regulations at Baruch College is ending and wrapping up the distance learning era.

When the pandemic began halfway through the spring 2020 semester, all classes went remote, and it was followed by a full year of entirely online classes for the 2020-2021 school year.

For the fall 2021 semester, classes were nearly all online with a handful of in-person classes, followed by a semester of 70% in-person or hybrid classes for spring 2022. Now is finally the time for Baruch to return to what it once was.

Transitioning into remote courses and online student life was necessary when the pandemic started, and New York City had the highest case rates in the country.

It was necessary last year, when random new variants caused high spikes in cases and hospitalization loads.

It was even necessary for fall 2021, when students were still scrambling to get their COVID-19 vaccines and boostershots, while staff wasn’t mandated to get vaccinated. There were still variants rising infection numbers.

But now, it’s time for Baruch to move on and try to restore its pre-pandemic days.

Freshmen who started at Baruch anytime from fall 2020 to now have not had normal college experiences that weren’t affected by COVID-19. They never got to experience the William and Anita Newman Vertical Campus when it was full of students who were attending their fully in-person course loads.

They never got the experience of a lively Club Suite, with on-campus events being promoted, posters being designed and students just hanging out.

They were never able to network in-person, whether it be at programs hosted by the STARR Career Development Centeror events put on by the various professional clubs on campus. Most of their internships have been remote.

They never got the opportunity to attend the daily club events that would happen every week, with food and drinks and games. The Women in Business “Style Your Success” fashion show, the history and heritage month kickoff events on the second-floor lobby, the Gender Love And Sexuality Spectrum’s “Fright Night” Halloween event and all the other small events that would happen in between.

There is so much that younger Baruch students missed out on because of the pandemic. They missed so much that they won’t ever get the chance to experience it if Baruch doesn’t commit to coming back 100% in person next semester.

All of this will be lost if the school doesn’t work hard to make sure that clubs can have the full freedoms they had pre-pandemic, that the seat spaces are opened again on campus and that students are pushed toward in-person classes.

Baruch is a commuter school, but it had a beautiful, fun and lively culture that included all majors, schools and people.

Students deserve to get that Baruch experience once again, but it’s on Baruch to bring it back.