Spitzer’s Plans for Fall 2020
Dear Spitzer Students,
I hope this finds you all safe, well and, of course, relieved at the good news that our international students are safe from the threat of deportation. We couldn’t possibly be happier at the outcome!
I’m writing to bring you up-to-date with plans for Fall 2020, as I know many of you are anxious to hear whether we will be back on campus, and what to expect this year. The first thing to say is that your health and safety are our absolute number one priority. With infection rates soaring in places, we are only too conscious that NYC’s hard-won success in the fight against COVID-19 is primarily due to the general public’s strict adherence to lockdown and social distancing. The bottom line is this: until the virus has been eradicated completely, or there’s an effective vaccine in place, CUNY will not renege on its commitment to keeping faculty, staff and students safe. As much as we are all keen to resume in-person teaching and interaction, we will not do so until it is 100% safe to bring you back to campus.
Fall 2020 will therefore be online at Spitzer.
You all managed an overnight pivot in March with remarkable ease and enthusiasm, and although this may not be the outcome we all wished for, I’m absolutely certain you will continue as you started — with energy, conviction and determination to make this new normal as creative and fulfilling as you possibly can. Faculty have been hard at work refining their course material for an online environment and staff have been working equally hard to deliver the best possible service they can. We have a new SCIAME Zoom Lecture Series (poster attached), curated by Prof Fabian Llonch and we’re busy planning Town Halls, Crossover Reviews and as many online events as possible to keep us all connected and in touch during this unprecedented year. As difficult as it has been, I would urge you all to remember that nothing is worth more than your health and safety.
For those who wish to retrieve precious materials and supplies from the building, you will be able to do so in the coming weeks. Nikki Paporello, whom many of you did not have the pleasure of meeting before we closed in March, is our new Events & Facilities Manager. Please look out for a follow-up e-mail from her with details of how, when and where to meet in order to retrieve your possessions. This information pertains to AES, ARCH, LAAR, UD, and URB courses, as well as cross-listed SUS courses. This does not cover courses at CCNY and CUNY outside of Spitzer, for which decisions may still be pending. Tuition will not be affected.
Your Advisors will hold a student Town Hall/Q&A on Wednesday 7/22 at 7:00pm. Again, look out for an invitation from the advisors. While we still may not have all the answers, we would like to take this time to connect in real time and make a note of any questions. Please hold any questions you have until the Town Hall. If there’s anything that cannot be answered at that time, your advisors will make a note and your queries will be addressed shortly thereafter.
On behalf of everyone at Spitzer, thank you for your patience, commitment and compassion during this time. The lessons you’ve all learned — and practiced — will last a lifetime.
Stay well and safe,
Professor Lesley Lokko, Dean