As the semester gets underway and Queens College starts to reopen, many students have been trying to figure out how access to campus is going to operate this semester. To get a sense of this, The Knight News reached out to Queens College President, Frank Wu, to discuss the process.
Planning for this fall semester began back in November of 2020 by the Ad Hoc Working Group on Reopening who holds the responsibility of formulating safe and effective plans for reopening the campus in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. This committee is chaired by QC Chief of Staff, Meghan Moore-Wilk and is comprised of representatives from various stakeholders in QC including Zaire Couloute, President of the Queens College Student Association (QCSA) representing the student body. According to President Wu, “We surveyed faculty offering courses and students to create a balance of offerings that represented the feedback we received. Queens College is offering 50% of our courses in-person or hybrid. Over 11,000 students have enrolled in these courses.”
According to Queens College’s Semester Guidance Campus Access webpage, student access to campus depends upon the individual’s vaccination status. If a student is enrolled in a hybrid or in-person class for the fall semester, they must upload proof of vaccination to CUNYFIRST by September 27th or 10 days before a planned visit to campus if enrolled only in remote classes. In addition to uploading proof of vaccination, students are required to present either their QCard or Everbridge Vax-Pass app at the campus gate. If an unvaccinated student wishes to access campus, however, they must provide proof of a COVID-19 PCR test taken at a CUNY testing site within the past 7 days via a Cleared4 QR code sent to a smartphone and linked to the student’s CUNYFIRST account. Although, this process is only applicable until October 7th, 2021 at which time no unvaccinated students will be permitted on campus.
Once a student is on campus, campus protocol as of August 16th, 2021 mandates masking inside buildings and, if unable to social distance, outside as well. The campus requires social distancing of at least 3’ x 3’ in shared spaces. The only exceptions to the masking rules are for fully vaccinated individuals alone in an enclosed space (such as a conference or dorm room), fully vaccinated professors who wish to teach maskless while socially distant, and for briefly eating and drinking while social distancing. Unvaccinated individuals are required to wear a mask at all times (including while alone in enclosed spaces) and socially distance themselves from all others in classrooms.
As for student club meetings on campus, President Wu says, “Student meetings on campus require pre-approval from the Office of Student Development and Leadership; students should email StudentLife@qc.cuny.edu for paperwork and guidance. We are monitoring to ensure that all protocols are followed.” In addition, off-campus events conducted by clubs and organizations, he states, are “suspended at this time.”
The future, however, looks bright. “As more students, staff, and faculty take advantage of free vaccines, we will be able to move towards more in-person activities” Wu says. “We anticipate the Winter intersession and Spring 2022 to more closely resemble pre-pandemic life on campus.”
For further information on campus reopening protocols, visit https://www.qc.cuny.edu/community/Coronavirus and check your Qmail frequently for updates from the Ad Hoc Working Group on Reopening as conditions change over the coming weeks and months.