Updates on the Fall Semester

On Tuesday, 9th of June, 2020, The New School Community received another lengthy but somewhat reassuring email from newly appointed President and University Professor Dwight McBride and Provost Tim Marshall. Unlike most others, this was regarding something the students have been really looking forward to for months. The email seemed rather optimistic about New York City's reopening phases to work out. With more than 200,000 cases and 21, 000 deaths New York City has definitely been the hotspot for the coronavirus pandemic in America. New York City is still in the first phase of its reopening and universities are supposed to reopen under the fourth phase, as decision-makers see university education as an activity that can continue to operate remotely for the time being. 

For all of us planning to go back on campus this Fall, the news was rather reassuring as the President and Provost made it clear that they prefer a physical, interactive campus setup. Any international students like yours truly might not have access to on-campus resources or teaching anytime soon given the circumstances we have found ourselves in with many countries closing borders. The start date of the fall semester is August 31. Since so much of it is still up in the air, the university has decided that depending on the decision of the state government, they will provide options for both online and in-person classes this fall, even if reopening works out and reaches the 4th phase safely. Online classes will be provided for any student facing a problem in coming back to campus due to any reason but the university is also prepared to provide all its students with classes that will stick to the 3 principles:

1. Protecting everybody's health and safety

2. Maintaining the highest quality of teaching despite the circumstances 

3. Ensuring equitable access 


As Governor Cuomo goes ahead with his reopening plans in full swing, the senior leadership of the New School crosses fingers anticipating a return on campus this fall. They plan to share the "use of campus spaces and plans for the new academic year" around July 1st. The onset of a financial crisis has opened the university's eyes to tons of shortcomings as well, as they have decided to increase investment in financial aid for existing students who might suffer the effects of the pandemic in more ways than one. 

Deposits for Newly admitted students are due June 15 but any students who choose to "take another path" (due to the obvious high cost of the school and the several benefits they won't be able to take advantage of remotely) will get their deposits refunded. 

Towards the end of the email, they emphasized how the values of The New School were meant to be "lived" during situations like these. Almost as though they were trying to imply how this "extraordinary" "community of innovators" will be torchbearers of a post-pandemic world leaving many students anxious for more answers. This comes as a reminder of the challenges ahead to many Parsons, CoPA as well as a significant portion of Lang students who cannot afford to continue online as their courses are designed to be held in person. Many students have voiced concerns about doing classes like sculpture making and fashion designing online and this seems to be a subtle “You can do it!” from the Administration. 

As the situation continues to develop in new directions every day, let’s brace ourselves for the ride ahead, Gnarwhals!