CUNY Students for COVID Safe Schooling

CUNY Students for COVID Safe Schooling

693 have signed. Let’s get to 1,000!
Petition to
Chancellor Matos Rodriguez and

Why this petition matters

Started by Alex Honor

This petition is intended to demonstrate that many CUNY students desire a delayed in-person reopening or a fully remote Spring 2022 semester. The Chancellor’s office recently notified CUNY students that the transition to majority in person classes will be continuing in spite of the recent surge in COVID cases and hospitalization numbers, both in New York and nationwide. While there has likely been a large amount of time, energy, and money invested into the reopening of schools, it seems premature for so many students to return to in person schooling. With a +118% change in hospitalizations, a +191% change in cases, and a +55% change in deaths in New York alone within the last 14 days (as of 1/7/22) it does not seem safe or reasonable for classes to resume in-person. The CDC is forecasting 24,700-53,700 more hospitalizations nationwide by January 28th of this year with many more likely on the horizon. Given the prevalence of the virus and the current surge we’re experiencing, which is the same (or greater than) as during times of fully remote schooling, it is imperative that the CUNY system communicates with students and faculty with increased transparency and delays, or cancels, in-person classes for the coming month/s.

             The number of cases we’re currently seeing is startling especially when given the fact that 74% of individuals in NYC are fully vaccinated (not accounting for booster shots). It seems foolhardy to reopen schools when we are unaware of the long-term effects COVID has on the body and mind, particularly when it appears that even the fully vaccinated are susceptible to infection by the newer COVID variants.

             While the information communicated by Chancellor Matos Rodriguez declares that students are to receive the booster prior to returning to campus and that those who test positive are to isolate for a minimum of 5 days, the communication is still vague and the start of the semester is rapidly approaching. The guidelines outlined by the Chancellor state that students must quarantine for a minimum of 5 days after exposure, but there is no mention of how those students will be supported in their absence. Thus, it doesn’t seem farfetched that some students will rush back to class so they don’t fall behind and miss classwork, potentially putting others at risk. A delayed reopening would allow for more students to receive their booster shots, lessen the burden on the healthcare system, and allow students to continue to work at essential businesses. Alternatively, the CUNY system could offer the option for students to attend remotely or in-person if they so choose. This would also mitigate the problem wherein students rush to return to campus to stay on top of classwork. Finally, given the fact that many online classes filled much faster than their in-person counterparts/alternatives, it is clear that many students wish to remain remote in these uncertain times.

Thank you for taking the time to read this petition and make your voice heard! I encourage students who feel particularly strongly about this issue to share this petition and email school officials with your personal experiences.


Source of NY COVID Numbers –

Source for CDC Hospitalization Prediction -

693 have signed. Let’s get to 1,000!