CCNY Students Call for Campus Closure

Many colleges in the city opted for remote classes this week. Students in The City College of New York’s student government demanded their administration make the switch as well.

With+the+number+of+cases+of+COVID-19+in+the+US+quickly+increasing%2C+universities+are+taking+steps+to+protect+their+students.+CCNY%2C+located+in+New+York+-+a+state+with+one+of+the+highest+infected+patients%2C+is+no+exception.+%28Photo+by+Nina+Schifano%29+

Nina Schifano

With the number of cases of COVID-19 in the US quickly increasing, universities are taking steps to protect their students. CCNY, located in New York – a state with one of the highest infected patients, is no exception. (Photo by Nina Schifano)

By Matthew Fischetti, Deputy News Editor

As colleges — including NYU — cancel classes in New York City and across the country, the undergraduate Student Government for the City College of New York called on their school to move to online classes due to the spread of the coronavirus. 

CCNY is a branch of the City University of New York — a public university system with facilities spread out across the city. A recent petition on change.org called upon CUNY Chancellor V. Matos Rodriguez to cancel classes for the 26 campuses and 274,906 students in the CUNY system. 

The petition received over 36,000 signatures at the time of publication.

Student Government president Frantzy Luzincourt and Executive Vice President Hannah Towfiek drafted a statement outlining their frustrations. 

“The Undergraduate Student Government appreciates the students who have voiced their concerns to us in regards to their health, safety, and frustration with the response from the administration,” the statement reads. “Over the last week, accounts of students no longer feeling comfortable enough to attend class, professors canceling class, and unofficial reports of students potentially exhibiting symptoms, have all been brought to our attention.” 

Luzincourt told WSN that recent closures of colleges in the city was the main reason among several for why the Student Government felt a statement was necessary.

“Columbia closed and they are the closest academic institution to us geographically, period,” Luzincourt said. “So if Columbia is taking the steps to close their university, because they have a student with a confirmed case and some professors who may have had contact with them, a lot of professors who teach at Columbia also teach at City College and there’s a huge intermingling between both campuses.” 

Additionally, Luzincourt said the student government did not believe CCNY was taking a proactive approach to the coronavirus and that recent memos from the CCNY president left the SGA with the impression that the college’s administration was waiting for a confirmed case to take action.

The statement also emphasizes the particular problems coronavirus can inflict on CCNY as a majority commuter school.

Luzincourt admitted that while moving to online classes would bring logistical problems, particularly for lower-income students who may not have access to electronics or the internet to complete their coursework, the health of the student body is the most pressing concern.

“It feels like our lives don’t matter as much as Ivy League and private institutions because those institutions have been quick to close their campuses and for us, it’s like, you know we’re more exposed because we use the MTA,” Luzincourt said.

Email Matthew Fischetti at [email protected]