Spring Break Shortened as Online Transition Falters

   Less than a week into distance learning, CUNY is already adding more changes to the spring semester schedule, taking four days off of next week and shortening spring break. 

    The changes were outlined in a routine coronavirus update from CUNY Chancellor Felix V. Matos Rodriguez on Tuesday, Mar. 24, in which Matos outlined the changes, motivated by shortcomings in the transition to online classes so far.

   “The nationwide move to distance education necessitated by the coronavirus crisis has served to spotlight disparities that stratify the higher education landscape,” he wrote.  

   The first step is to cancel classes between Friday, Mar. 27 through next Wednesday, Apr. 1, turning it into a period of “recalibration.” Called “CUNY’s Recalibration Period for Educational Equity,the four-day span will allow more time for campuses to hand out technology to students who need it for electronic learning, and to help professors get on the same page with how they are carrying out online learning.

   “We are making this move before we get deeper into the semester, to ensure that we are upholding the University’s mission and giving each and every CUNY student an opportunity to thrive,” wrote the Chancellor. 

   In order to make up for the school days lost by this change, and the initial transition to online learning two weeks ago, CUNY has decided to cut short spring break. The break, which would normally run from Wednesday, Apr. 8 through Friday, Apr. 17, will now go from Apr. 8 to Apr. 10. The update also states that you can ask for an extension into the week of Apr. 13 if you celebrate Passover during that time. 

   It is unknown at this time what the recalibration period will mean for how online classes will be carried out.  Some students took to Brooklyn College: In the Know 2 on Facebook to voice their feelings about the further schedule changes.

   “I feel bad for the professors because they literally just fixed their schedules to accommodate online teaching and changed dates for midterms,” said Djavaa Winter.

   Although the frustration was apparent, many of the students who commented admitted that, all in all, the changes won’t have much of an impact.

   “I don’t think it really matters. We’re mostly quarantined so it is what it is. The situation is tough all around. We have to do the best we can,” wrote Suri Wolf.