Academic institutions respond to COVID-19


In the midst of a world-wide pandemic, COVID-19, major Bronx institutions are closing their doors and finding ways to continue operations remotely.

As of March 16, all universities including Lehman, Mercy, Metropolitan, Manhattan College, Mt. St. Vincent, Fordham, and Maritime have all cancelled their normal classes and have or are moving towards online classes.

According to Maritime College’s website, students are to even move out of their dorms and wait further instruction.

Part of the President Michael Alfultis’s announcement read:

“All students will move out of the dorms, commencing Tuesday, March 17th according to the below schedule.  ALL STUDENTS MUST PROPERLY CHECK OUT OF THE DORMS WITH HOUSING IN ORDER TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR ANY FUTURE CREDIT OR REFUND.  Further details on a refund/credit policy will be forthcoming.”

President of Fordham University Joseph M. McShane suspended in-person classes and also released this statement:

“Effective immediately, all on-campus University events are canceled at least through March 29.
This includes outside organizers renting space at Fordham, and Fordham events at off-campus venues in New York City. Some of these events may be rescheduled; organizers will reach out to the University Community when they have more information about their specific event. The only exceptions to the above are a limited number of intercollegiate athletic events at which only the athletes and coaches may be present.”

Fordham’s president added in the same announcement, Fordham students studying aboard in Europe are to return home despite quarantine measures of other countries.

Mercy College has also cancelled classes, events, and activities through March 29. According to Mercy’s website, a second individual on campus has tested positive for the virus. President Tim Hall released this statement:

“I am writing to let you know that Mercy College was notified late yesterday of a second individual in the Mercy community, a student, who has tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19). The student, whom we have been in touch with and is receiving appropriate care, last attended class on the Bronx Campus on Monday, March 9. Please join me in wishing this member of our community well.”

The College of Mt. St. Vincent is taking a similar approach with President Charles L. Flynn Jr. saying,

“All lecture/recitation sections of classes will be meeting online until further notice. Beginning March 23 (immediately following Spring break), all lecture/recitation sections of all classes will meet exclusively on Canvas. Courses will meet in synchronous (real time) format, at their regularly scheduled meeting times.”

However, Flynn Jr., like other college presidents, are concerned with how faculty and students will continue in settings like clinical labs where the hands-on experience can not be duplicated or simulated properly through an online course.

According to Flynn Jr’s. statement, students participating in those classes may experience an extended semester.

Metropolitan College of New York has taken a similar initiative taking switching over to online classes this past week and will continue to do so until further notice. President Joanne Passaro announced the school will assess the situation the week of March 23rd to decide whether online classes will continue through the semester.

Lehman College is no different, classes were cancelled for the past week with online teaching commencing this past Thursday. President Daniel Lemons also announced in the March 16 update, a student has tested positive for COVID-19.

“We learned late today that a Lehman student tested positive for COVID-19. The student’s professors and classmates are now being informed, and we are requesting that they self-isolate for one day while we confer with public health officials tomorrow. All the areas this student entered have already been deep-cleaned.”

Lemons added the campus will remain open with modified hours for services and resources such as the cafeteria and library.


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