Part 1: Introduction
The Reopening Committee of Stella and Charles Guttman Community College is pleased to present the College’s Fall 2021 Reopening Plan. As detailed below, all constituencies of the College have representation on the Reopening Committee and, during the course of the 2020-2021 academic year, membership has been expanded to include additional faculty and staff.
Guttman’s Reopening Committee remains dedicated to honoring two overarching principles: (1) our deep responsibility to protect the health and safety of all members of the Guttman community and (2) our hope to enable as much of an in-person reopening of classes, services, and supports so that our students can thrive. As we gear up, we are cognizant of the fact that this plan will most likely change over the course of the summer. We pledge that we will communicate our plans as they exist and change to Guttman faculty and staff, and we will undertake a robust communications campaign to keep our students, both continuing and prospective incoming students, informed.
We are influenced by this fact: none of us have ever lived through a pandemic before. The return to in-person work and the commute that that entails stokes feelings of insecurity and anxiety in members of our community. Many Guttman students and faculty have lengthy commutes on city and regional public transportation, which can expose them to COVID-19. For those who have not been vaccinated, they are undoubtedly at greater risk of infection. We have and will continue to conduct workshops and discussions to address vaccine hesitancy, but we must acknowledge here the hesitancy and nervousness that members of the Guttman community have to taking the vaccine as well as to returning to work in a building that has significant space and ventilation limitations.
Our students and their families have been hit hard by the pandemic, and so have many faculty and staff. As a community we have endeavored to support each other and to show grace and compassion. Fifteen months of remote work and instruction has taught us the importance of being able to pivot and modify work habits and practices. It is fair to say that the COVID pandemic has changed all of us in ways we might not yet even recognize. Surely, it has challenged us to be better people and to rethink priorities and processes so that we serve our students more effectively. Above all, we have become even more aware of the necessity of having sincere and good communication strategies and practices in place.
We look forward to greeting each other and our students in-person within the boundaries of the College’s work and academic schedules. There were three spaces in the building in need of remediation: the Library, the Mezzanine, and the Student Game Room. This work has now been completed, and the CFM (stands for the cubic feet of air moved per minute) readings surpass CDC guidelines in these areas. All other spaces in the 50 W. 40th St. location also meet and/or exceed all CUNY and CDC guidelines. Arrangements are now being made for a second union walk-through of these spaces.
Members of the Reopening Committee:
Linda Merians, Chief of Staff, convener
Rufus Massiah, Director of Public Safety
Nila Bhaumik, Executive Director for HR
Elie Yoesoep, Associate Director for HR, Coronavirus Campus Coordinator and Campus Liaison
Joanna Wisniewski, Communication and College Relations Manager
Administration and Finance:
Mary Coleman, Vice President, Administration and Finance
Sophea Sainsurin, Director of College Admission
Office of Academic Affairs:
Nicola Blake, Dean of Faculty
Niesha Ziehmke, Associate Dean for Academic Programs
Office of Student Engagement:
Danny Ambrose, Assistant Dean for Student Support
Nestor Melendez, Director of Campus Life
Office of AccessABILITY:
Crystal M. Vazquez, Associate Director
John D. Stroud, AVP Technology and Information Services / CIO
Shirley Law, Facilities Planning Director
Eke Williams, Assistant Director, Library Operations
Meagan Lacy, Chief Librarian
Marcia Edwards, Clinical Professor, Human Services
Karla Fuller, Associate Professor, Biology
Maggie Dickinson, Assistant Professor, Interdisciplinary Studies, and PSC Chapter Chair
PSC Health and Safety Committee Representative:
Angie Sadhu, Executive Assistant for VP of Finance and Administration
Student Government Association:
Bashir Juwara, Student Government Association President for 2021-22.
The plan is subject to change as per future CUNY policy and/or guidance.