SUNY, CUNY to move to "distance-learning" for remainder of semester

Posted at 2:28 PM, Mar 11, 2020

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that SUNY and CUNY schools will transition to a "distance-learning model" for the remainder of the semester, due to COVID-19, beginning March 19.

Buffalo State College says they will begin spring break a week earlier than scheduled and move all classes to remote instruction starting Monday, March 30, and continue through the end of the spring semester. The extra week will allow faculty and instructors time to prepare.

"Campus just kind of exploded. The news just spread very quickly," UB student Anna Lawrence said. Another student added, "I just didn't think it would happen so abruptly. Just the way it happened is kind of real, kind of surreal."

University at Buffalo provide this statement on distance-learning:
"For the past month, the University at Buffalo has been preparing to move to a distance learning model for student instruction in response to the evolving COVID-19 situation.
With the governor’s guidance announced today, and in collaboration with SUNY leadership, UB will now move forward to implement its plans for distance learning beginning March 23.
In consultation with SUNY, UB’s leadership will provide more information to our students, faculty and staff this week regarding implementation of distance learning at UB and the availability of on-campus services such as residence halls and dining."

The State University of New York Student Assembly issued this statement in response:
“Guaranteeing the health and safety of the State University of New York’s students, faculty and staff is rightfully Governor Cuomo’s priority. We appreciate the Governor’s announcement that SUNY campuses will move to a distance learning model for the remainder of the spring semester. Continuing SUNY’s tradition of inclusive and accessible academic excellence is as important as ever. The SUNY Student Assembly looks forward to working with Chancellor Johnson and her team to ensure that students have all the resources and support that they need as we make this transition.”

While some Buffalo State students were shocked about the announcement, others were surprised it didn't come sooner.

"I don't really know how to take it. It was a lot. It happened out of no where. I was just sitting in my room reading my email," Buffalo State student Jaevon Hernandez said. Fellow student and Buffalo State senior Antoine Griffin added: "Well it was a lot to take in, not gonna lie, and it was a lot of confusion going on as far as graduation and classes for the rest of the semester."

On Tuesday, D'Youville College in Western New York announced that it will be going digital.

Alfred State released this statement about distance-learning on their website:
"This afternoon Governor Cuomo announced that SUNY and CUNY will be making operational changes in order to reduce population density concentrations to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Alfred State will follow the directives of both Governor Cuomo and SUNY Administration to maintain the health and safety of our campus community.

Alfred State has determined that the current spring break will be extended for another week for students on the Alfred, Wellsville, and Northland campuses. Students will have another week at home. This will not alter work schedules for faculty and staff who are still scheduled to return on March 16.

In keeping with the Governor’s message, the college plans to move as many courses as possible to a distance format. The academic planning will be completed next week and we intend for it to take effect on Monday, March 23.

As an institution that has a significant number of applied learning programs, the college will work as quickly as possible to determine how and when students can complete these course requirements and we will continue to communicate our plans."

SUNY Erie released this statement Wednesday evening:
"In response to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s announcement earlier today that SUNY colleges and universities need to implement plans to maximize distance learning and reduce in-person classes, beginning March 19th, SUNY Erie’s administration, faculty and staff are working to prepare plans for a modified delivery of instruction for the remainder of the Spring semester. The College is not closing, and our campuses will remain open and operational for the remainder of the semester, but there may be changes to the delivery method of some of our classes.

In order to reduce the density of public interactions and to reduce the potential spread of the coronavirus, all large-scale events at SUNY Erie will be cancelled until further notice. This includes, but is not limited to the Open Houses, Career Fairs and Transfer Fairs scheduled for the week of March 30.

We know our students, faculty, staff and community partners, as well as the general public, will have many questions related to these decisions. Our primary concern is to fulfill the educational needs of our students, while keeping in mind the health and well-being of our entire campus community.

We will send an update tomorrow outlining changes to our class schedules. Current information and updates may also be found on our website at https://www.ecc.edu/Coronavirus-Information/ [ecc.edu]"