Some courses to be held at St. John’s campus due to classroom shortage

The university has attributed the classroom shortage to increased enrollment, higher retention and COVID-19 travel restrictions.

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Manasa Gudavalli

Classes at SPS and Liberal Studies cannot be accommodated on campus due to overflow. Nearby St. John’s University will house classes for the fall semester. (Staff Photo by Manasa Gudavalli)

By Gianna Jirak , Staff Writer

For the fall 2021 semester, many Liberal Studies and School of Professional Studies students are not taking their main courses in NYU buildings. Instead, they are learning at the St. John’s University Manhattan campus at ​​101 Astor Place due to classroom shortages. 

The lack of classroom space is a result of both higher enrollment numbers and students being unable to travel to the university’s global sites due to visa policies involving COVID-19, according to an email sent by NYU’s registrar.

Renting classrooms from other higher education institutions is a practice we have engaged in numerous times in the past, since they tend to implicitly understand educational space needs and standards,” university spokesperson John Beckman wrote in a statement to WSN. “We are currently determining whether we need to continue this rental again in spring 2022.”

Beckman said the spillover to St. John’s building this semester is due to an increase in enrollment for the 2021-2022 academic year, since more students are attending NYU and staying for their entire undergraduate careers. He added that NYU Shanghai students enrolled in the Go Local program would normally travel internationally, but had to remain in New York due to COVID-19 restrictions.

NYU has rented seven classrooms from St. John’s, including two rooms seating 15 students and five rooms seating 25 students. Students will have access to the building Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., with LS courses being held during the day and SPS courses taking place in the evening. 

Many students, including LS first-year Madisen Gray, said it seems like the university scrambled to accommodate all students before the semester began.

“I thought it was quite odd that they stuck us on the St. John’s campus and didn’t give us any warning,” Gray said. “I do think that NYU was not prepared this year and that they were overwhelmed with the amount of students.” 

Sarah Brock, an LS first-year, said she had mixed feelings about the change.

“I don’t really mind taking classes at St. John’s, but mostly for the selfish reason that it’s the closest class I have to my dorm,” Brock said. “It does feel a little like NYU was unprepared, as my classes seem scattered across campus and in random buildings.”

LS first-year Ramonique Small-Lewis, however, hopes the campus shortage will provide opportunities that the Washington Square campus cannot. 

“I’m not upset about taking classes at St. John’s — I’m actually hopeful,” Small-Lewis said. “Hopeful in a way that maybe I’ll be able to use it as an opportunity to meet people outside of NYU.”

Contact Gianna Jirak at [email protected]