Class Sizes Will Remain the Same When In-Person Returns Per Faculty Council

Written By: Maya Schubert and Sydney Rodriguez

The Faculty Council announced at a Zoom meeting on Mar. 11 that, due to the college’s space, class sizes would not be reduced or split into sections when in-person learning resumes. The council noted that though classes would likely be conducted in-person in the fall semester, many details were still forthcoming.

   “We don’t have the physical space on campus to cut section sizes in half, per say, and accommodate a whole other second round of sections,” said Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration Alan Gilbert.

    Gilbert explained that the re-entry task force was assessing which rooms in the college were big enough to fit large classes with social distancing guidelines implemented, although President Michelle Anderson noted earlier in the meeting that, “We have no information on what the social distancing mandate will be when the fall comes around.”

   Planning for class sizes and room assignments also relies on the courses available in the fall, which are still being determined. The delay in course planning has caused registration to slip from Mar. 17 to Apr. 5.

   “Once the schedules are in place with the new revisions, we’re gonna be doing the first deep dive of many to try to identify which rooms are actually usable at this point given the current situation, to actually house students at whatever capacity social distancing will allow,” Gilbert said. 

   The college is currently in contact with CUNY, submitting re-entry plan revisions that include facilities planning. In addition to selecting large rooms to accommodate social distancing, the re-entry task force and the college’s engineering team are prioritizing rooms with good ventilation.

   “We did an assessment of every building, and all the air handlers and ventilations in every building,” Gilbert said.

   At the request of the faculty council, Gilbert agreed to provide the engineering team’s analysis of the campus’s ventilation system to the council in the forthcoming days. Though the fall semester may be partially in person, Gilbert suggested that the college will also try to provide rooms on campus for students to attend remote classes. 

   It is unclear how the campus will accommodate all the measures, but the administration noted that they will submit a revised re-entry plan to the University in May.