U of R, SUNY and CUNY to shift to online classes next week due to coronavirus

Updated: March 11, 2020 09:59 PM
Created: March 11, 2020 02:04 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — With 216 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in New York state, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Wednesday that SUNY and CUNY students will take part in distance learning. 

Cuomo says students will move to distance learning on March 19 for the remainder of the semester.


The University of Rochester also announced they will shift to online classes on March 18 for undergraduate and graduate students in arts, sciences and engineering and most schools for the rest of the semester.

MORE | Coronavirus information and resources 

School officials say the U of R will continue to provide housing and food service for undergraduates who remain on campus, although students on campus will also take their courses online.

News 10 NBC spoke to several students who shared a mix of concerns. Sophomore Abdulmoid Munawar, a native of Pakistan, says he while understands the U of R’s decision, he’s worried about a possible learning curve to the online courses.  

“We're not used to online exams, and to everything being online and we don't know if they make it harder, like there's a lot of uncertainties so it's going to be difficult," Munawar said.

Freshman, and Las Vegas, Nevada native Abby Weeks said she thought the decision was made too early, and she says she’s frustrated over a potential move back home.

"It doesn't feel validated almost, there's so much time,” Week said. “There's so much that's being restricted in such a short amount of time it just kind of happened."

Other students, like sophomore Esther Lee, were concerned about how their financial aid.

Earlier Wednesday, the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a pandemic

There are no confirmed cases in Western New York or the Finger Lakes Region.

MCC released the following statement on Wednesday:

“As a unit of the State University of New York, Monroe Community College plans to fully comply with Governor Cuomo’s directive today to reduce the density of people on campus and increase our distance-learning options (video conference, online, computer-based, etc.) as early as next week. By doing so, we are helping reduce the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and preserve public health.  

“As of March 11, there are no cases of COVID-19 at MCC. MCC remains open and services will continue to be provided until further notice. Students, visitors and others are welcomed on MCC’s campuses. Large gatherings on campus will be addressed on a case-by-case basis and may be canceled or postponed.  

“We know our students, faculty and community partners have many questions related to this statewide directive. MCC is updating its response plan based on today’s developments and is moving forward in order to clearly and accurately respond to questions and ensure our students’ educational needs and service expectations are fulfilled. College updates are available on” – Katherine P. Douglas, Ed.D., Interim President, Monroe Community College

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