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Courtesy of CUNY
People walk by a CUNY campus in the city.

State Senator Toby Stavisky is supporting Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s decision to move all State University of New York (SUNY) and City University of New York (CUNY) schools to online classes or a learning-distance model in response to the coronavirus outbreak in New York City. 

Beginning March 19, SUNY and CUNY schools will implement plans to maximize distance learning and reduce in-person classes for the remainder of the spring semester, Cuomo said Wednesday. 

“While the risk to New Yorkers remains low, we are taking a number of steps out of an abundance of caution to protect public health including asking SUNY and CUNY to implement strategies to reduce density on campuses for the remainder of the semester,” Cuomo said. 

According to Stavisky, chair of the Higher Education Committee, while this will undoubtedly present challenges to the student body, it is important for everyone to listen to the advice of top health officials until the coronavirus crisis is under control. 

“It is now important that we focus on making this transition as seamless as possible, and ensuring all SUNY and CUNY students have the necessary resources to continue their education,” Stavisky said.  

Meanwhile, CUNY Chancellor Félix Matos Rodríguez, said CUNY’s 25 campuses, including dorms, libraries, and research facilities, will remain open. 

“The health and safety of the University community remains our top priority and I am glad that this measure allows CUNY to continue serving its students while alleviating pressure on our area during this public health threat,” Rodriguez said.

SUNY Chancellor Kristina Johnson said, “With more than 100,000 SUNY students currently taking one or more of their courses online with us, we believe we are prepared and well-positioned to take advantage of remote instruction to further our student’s education during this crisis.”

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