Queens College establishes emergency relief fund to aid students in need amid COVID-19 pandemic

Spring 2018 Photoshoot
Photo courtesy of Queens College

Queens College has established an emergency relief fund to meet the most pressing needs of the college and its students in response to the unprecedented circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Queens College Interim President William Tramontano announced the establishment of the fund on Tuesday, April 14. The fund will provide adequate technology supplies and basic needs, including shelter and food for the school’s most vulnerable students. 

The transition to remote learning that occurred in March brought the economic disparities of Queens College students to the forefront. Many have lost internship opportunities and jobs they relied on to support their families. 

“This has long been a community that steps forward in a time of public need as it did during Hurricane Sandy when staff and students lent their support to the shelter established on our campus by the New York City Office of Emergency Management,” Tramontano said. “At its peak, the shelter housed nearly 600 adults and children and was managed, coincidentally, by QC Alums Harry Sigmone III and Diane Gilroy. This is a community that truly embodies the school’s motto, ‘We learn so that we may serve.” 

The college has played an important role in the community’s COVID-19 relief effort, providing hospitals with donations of masks, gloves, gowns and supplies from its labs, according to Tramontano. At the request of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, its residence hall is being used for displaced CUNY students.

Nearly 3,500 spring 2020 semester courses have transitioned to distance learning for its more than 20,000 students. This year’s summer session will also be offered completely online, making nearly 600 distance-learning courses from across a wide range of disciplines available to students.

“The Queens College Foundation has always played a critical role in providing the funds to ensure our students get a quality education,” said Queens College Foundation Board of Trustees Chairman Lee Fensterstock. “The need for funding has never been as great as it is today as Queens College and our students navigate these difficult times. The Queens College Emergency Relief Fund will play a crucial role in ensuring that the difficulties that this pandemic has created for our students will be overcome.”

To make an online donation to the Queens College Emergency Relief Fund, please click here

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