Colleges across LI gear up for start of semester with strict protocols in place
With some colleges switching to online learning - what does that mean for colleges on Long Island?
College students across the Island are starting to return to campuses and classes. Masks, social distancing and online classes are just a few of the changes students will experience due to the coronavirus pandemic.
News 12 spoke with the president of Farmingdale State College to find out how the campus is gearing up for the return of students.
"In any particular class, no more than 10% of our student body will be on campus at any given time. Our residence halls will operate at about a quarter of capacity. Every student will have a single (room). Every student will have her or his own restroom. We're only going to be using about 40 classroom spaces and 40 laboratory spaces, and we have prioritized on campus classes for students in our applied and experiential programs," says John Nader, Farmingdale State College president.
Incoming freshmen descended on campus Wednesday to pick up identification badges and Farmingdale State College face masks.
"I'm excited. I'm a little nervous because I've never done classes online but I'm excited to have the college experience hopefully next semester," says Farmingdale freshman Lily Fusco.
At Stony Brook University, freshman Mohamed Cisse began to settle into his new home Wednesday.
"I'm excited, but it's definitely not going to be the same -- not going to be what I was expecting," he says.
Stony Brook will see half the number of students on-campus this year, who are also being welcomed with a safety kit -- a mask, sanitizer gel and a thermometer.
"All of our students through an app called Campus Clear will be doing a daily temperature and symptom check," says Rick Gatteau, vice president for student affairs at Stony Brook. " That's really important for students to do before leaving their residence hall to go eat or go to class or even for our commuter students, and it's also required for all employees as well."
Despite such a different feel to the college experience, school officials are still trying to provide as much as they can.
"These students are still going to need to be connected to resources, they're going to look for friends and they want to have a community. So we're looking at really creative ways to build that," says Stony Brook University Residential Education Director Catherine-Mary Rivera.