On March 1, 2020, the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in New York State. This pandemic has been going on over a month. CUNY students began isolation Thursday, March 12, 2020, allowing the professors to prepare the rest of the course and brought forth distance-learning online till the end of the spring semester.
“Please know that this decision is guided by a commitment to the health and safety of the university community. These are challenging times. We are grateful for your flexibility and resiliency and are here to support you through this process,” the statement read.
Students were emailed from CUNY schools that they will have an instructional recess from March 12-18. There would be no physical classes on campus. During this instructional recess, faculty and staff prepared for classes to be delivered via distance-learning. CUNY’s 25 campuses, libraries, research facilities, administrative offices, and essential on-campus services remained open. Starting March 19, classes resumed via distance-learning for the remainder of the Spring semester stated from Timothy G. Lynch, Ph.D., CUNY Interim President.
Students started their first week of online learning-distance and had a hard time adjusting. Now since they don’t have a choice, they have to adjust and manage their time and schedule to make sure they complete their assignments. Queensborough is offering video calls for tutoring at this time for students if they need.
“I feel that the online class is not really helping us, if anything, it’s making things more complicated,” Freshman Jalen Hylton Edward said. “It’s really hard to get a grasp on the lessons.”
Students were having a hard time adjusting to virtual classroom through Zoom, Blackboard Collaborate, and Cisco Webex on the subjects that are harder for everyone like English, Math, History or Science. The challenging part of adjusting to a virtual classroom is trying to ask all your questions before the class ends, of course your professor will answer through email but it’s not as fast or frequent as you want them to answer.
“I feel like the transition to online classes is different for me, because it’s something new I have to get used to going online for classes,” Freshman Precious Richardson said. “Then I have to video chat with apps which are zoom, Cisco Webex, and Blackboard to communicate with my teachers and email my teachers when I have questions.”
Although, some students are having a hard time in getting technology or can’t afford to get technology. Earlier this week, CUNY announced a plan to pause for a Recalibration Period for Educational Equity this started on Friday, March 27th, through Wednesday, April 1. Distance learning will resumed on Thursday, April 2.
“Though I recognize that it may be disruptive to our instructional momentum, it is essential to make sure thousands of our students don’t feel left out of their education,” Chancellor Matos Rodríguez of CUNY said. “This, to me, is not a small consideration but pivotal to our commitment to equity, and to our mission of supporting all our students and making sure that we continue being an engine of upward mobility, even during these most trying of times for everyone.”
Students’ mental health is being affected during this time of the distance-learning.
“It’s hard for me because I have depression and school forced me outside and forced me to have a schedule and to abruptly change it has affected my mental health and I can’t make an appointment with my therapist to talk about it. So, I’m just trying not to die.”
Students are voicing their concerns to their professors and they are trying to fix the deadlines and be very flexible with things, so the students don’t feel stressed and are able to succeed.
“I should’ve dropped out this semester it’s stressful,” Freshman Brenda Jean stated.
Another student also felt very stressed and wanted to drop out.
During this time students are also feeling that an answer to all of this is dropping out of the classes they are taking because they can’t keep up with all the assignments,” stated from an anonymous student.
Even though all these factors are affecting students, students are having a hard time not seeing their school friends.
“This virus has a huge impact on my social life, all the friends I have I can no longer see. It makes me feel as if I’m not with reality anymore and it makes me feel like it’s a more virtual reality,” Freshman Emily Hamilton.
Students are talking about the sudden shift to online classes.
“Transitioning to online classes is hard,” stated by an anonymous student.