While 2020 has not unfolded as any of us imagined, I remain incredibly proud of our Hunter community for the way we have transitioned to remote instruction and rallied together in these difficult times. As we wait for the 2020 election votes to be counted, I also want to thank the many students who supported the “get out the vote” efforts and served as poll watchers and, earlier this year, those who worked to ensure everyone was counted in the 2020 Census.
The Hunter community remains strong, and we are committed to helping each of you achieve your goal of a Hunter degree. I write today to share some important updates and resources for the Spring 2021 semester.
Looking Ahead: Spring 2021
The health and safety of our community will continue to drive our planning discussions as we finalize our planning for the Spring 2021 semester. CUNY has confirmed that the majority of classes will be offered remotely for the Spring 2021 semester, and you will see this reflected in the course offerings next week when registration begins. In CUNYFirst, you will see courses offered as:
- Fully online;
- Fully in-person; or
- Hybrid: select sessions will be held online while others will be in-person.
You will also be able to check whether your courses are offered:
- Synchronously: At the time designated on your schedule
- Asynchronously: Your instructors will assign coursework and lectures that students can complete at their own pace. You will not see a time indicated in CUNYFirst.
If you have any questions about these offerings, please schedule an appointment with an advisor as soon as possible.
Registration will begin on November 10, and we encourage you to reach out to your academic advisor to discuss your plans. The Advising Office offers an array of remote programs and services, including group workshops, individual advising appointments, and drop-in Virtual Front Desk hours. If you haven’t already, you can download the Hunter Navigate Student mobile app to schedule an advising appointment, find remote study buddies, explore majors, access college resources, and more.
We are working continuously to improve the distance-learning experience for students, and I welcome the opportunity to hear directly from you. We have established a Distance Learning Student Advisory Committee and would welcome your participation. If you would like to provide feedback or join the Committee, please complete this form.
Student Services & Support
During this time when most of us are not on campus together, we hope you will utilize the multitude of available resources to help you learn as effectively as possible. We recommend CUNY’s “Are You Ready?” course that will be available on Blackboard shortly for more tools to improve your remote experience. As always, if you find yourself struggling or have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to your academic advisors and our learning centers for guidance and assistance.
We remain focused on assisting students who are facing financial difficulties, as well as students who are looking for mental health resources. This summer we began delivering resources to our students’ neighborhoods, including hundreds of laptops and mobile hotspots through our Technology Loan Program, and our Mobile Food Pantry has expanded to deliver technology, feminine hygiene products, and other supplies in addition to food. On campus, our Purple Apron Pantry locations at 68th Street and Brookdale are open.
Please remember that the Office of Financial Aid also offers a wide range of group and individual services remotely, including Virtual Front Desk and virtual workshops.
Updates to Academic Policies
We want to draw your attention to a few important updates to academic policies.
Hunter has returned to our standard Credit/No Credit Policy; you can learn more about this policy or request a credit or no-credit grade here.
In spring 2020, CUNY piloted a new policy that made it possible for students to withdraw from a course up until the last day of classes, and after an assessment of the policy’s impact, it is now permanent. For fall 2020, the deadline to withdraw from classes and receive a grade of “W” is December 13, 2020.
Faculty may require students to turn on cameras during synchronous class sessions, and we recommend that you check the syllabus or with the faculty member to find out if this is a requirement for the courses you are taking. When a professor is recording the class session, you have the option of turning off your camera and audio.
While many of you are learning and working remotely, students may also visit both the 68th Street and Brookdale campuses to study and access resources such as printing. To visit campus, please follow these instructions.
Our dorms at Brookdale Residence Hall are also now safely open and are operating under all New York State and CUNY health and safety guidelines. There are rooms available in Brookdale for immediate move-in, and financial support is available. Please consider if this is a good option for you this spring, and if you are interested in a room, complete the housing application form.
If you do visit campus, please remember that it is mandatory to wear a mask and to maintain a physical distance of at least six feet. We will provide hand-sanitizer stations throughout the campus, and we encourage you to follow CDC-recommended hygiene practices. Before you come to campus, you must complete a one-time COVID-19 Training; it can be found on Blackboard here. In addition, everyone who comes to campus for any reason or length of time is required to complete a Wellness Check Survey in advance of each visit through the Everbridge Safety Connection Pro/Contact Tracing mobile app; instructions for how to download the app can be found here. To log in to the app, you will need your CUNY Login credentials (Username: Firstname.Lastnameemail@example.com). Upon arrival to campus, you’ll be asked to show the Public Safety officer your Everbridge clearance to be on campus, as well as your Hunter ID; for those in need of a Hunter ID, please make an appointment here.
Presidential Task Force on Advancing Racial Equity
Hunter’s Presidential Task Force on Advancing Racial Equity, announced this summer, has begun its work across several committees. With over 100 members, the Task Force is charged with reviewing and making recommendations on Hunter’s efforts to provide a racially equitable community. These efforts include the “Speaking of Justice” program, led by the Public Programs and Conversations subcommittee. Please check your email for upcoming panels, and visit our “Speaking of Justice” website to view past panels. We also invite you to join in our Hunter Community Read initiative, designed to complement our efforts to confront racism, and read Sister Outsider, by Hunter alumna Audre Lorde ’59. Our hope is that this project will provide a framework for understanding structural racism and encourage a culture of understanding and civil discourse by bringing people together around inspiring works of literature. You can download a free copy of the e-book here. The Task Force will provide an update on its work in January.
Please be sure to regularly check your MyHunter email account for updates and new developments, and visit our Information for Students page where we will be sharing details about access to campus, dedicated and safe physical study spaces, and other important information throughout the semester. We know the last few months have required a lot of flexibility, patience, and hard work. We are inspired by your commitment to your education and your determination despite these difficult times.
Jennifer J. Raab