This past Wednesday, Governor Cuomo exclaimed, “We’ve done the impossible,” and said that Long Island is set to enter Phase 3 on June 24. Gatherings of up to 25 people will then be permitted, indoor dining will resume (with restrictions), and businesses that provide personal care may reopen.
So where does Hunter Business School fit into all this?
Under a special waiver granted to Hunter by New York State, we were given permission to begin bringing students back to both the Levittown and Medford campuses, and this started the week of June 8. Because the decision was made based upon the need for health care workers on Long Island, only students in the medically related programs may return at the present time.
We are being extremely cautious about how this is all happening. It was never our intent to choose a day and bring everybody back all at once, so this will be a slow process.
While the buildings were closed, students who were at a point in their studies when it was time to learn and practice hands-on clinical skills had to wait, though the academic classroom lessons continued through distance learning. Though we purchased simulation software that has done wonders to prepare students for these skills, it is not a substitute for working on real people.
The priority, then, was to bring these students back to campus first and move them along in their programs. Classes have been split in half, so some students in a particular class come to campus one day, and the rest of the class the next.
Just as New York State has been reopening in phases, Hunter will be getting back to normal, but slowly and safely. The safety and health of our students and staff are uppermost in our minds. We will keep you updated as plans unfold and things develop.
In the meantime, students and staff coming to campus must be scheduled to be there, must have their temperature taken before entering the building, are required to wear personal protective equipment provided by the school, and practice social distancing. Hallways run in only one direction, just like you’ve seen in stores and supermarkets.
Check our website and social media in future for updates.
Hunter had applied for funds available under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, to help students who were enrolled when the pandemic hit and were affected financially by the disruption in the economy. These funds have now been disbursed to all students who met the eligibility requirements.
“We are all in this together” is not just a nice thing to say for us at Hunter. We do care and want the best for our students, graduates, and alumni, for their life’s plan and for their health and safety.
As Jay Fund said when this all began, “We’ll get through this.”