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3/12 Video Transcript

Hello everyone here at Rockland Community College, I’m Michael Baston, our President. I want you to know that we are very serious about all the challenges folks are dealing with as they try to wrap their arms around dealing with the Coronavirus concerns. I want you to know that there are some things the college is specifically engaged in to try to keep us safe. Most specifically we are working with our state, and our local county, department of health, to make sure we’re making good choices about the future of the plans of the college and how we make sure we take care of our students, faculty, and staff.

At this moment we have determined that the college will remain open and we will continue to take action to reduce COVID-19 exposure. Classes, however, will be canceled on all campuses from March 19th through March 29th, extending Spring Break for students, to continue cleaning and to prepare alternative learning options for our students. On March 19th and 20th, while classes are not being held, the college will remain open. Training and planning sessions will be held for faculty and staff on these dates and further will be sent out prior to March 19th. By March 27th, you will be updated with more information about our Academic Operations Plan, and whether we will resume face-to-face instruction after Spring Break.

Like you, I want to make sure every faculty member, every staff member, and every student is taken care of. And we want to make sure that we have all our systems, our plans, and our approaches in place to help students, not only remain healthy and safe, but also for them to be able to complete their studies at the college. We have a number of students that will be graduating this semester, and we want to do everything we can to help them meet that goal. I have been so impressed by the faculty members who have written to each other online, talking about ways they can augment the student programs and how they can use Google Classroom and other modalities to help students finish the semester. It is so important that we try as best as we can to protect people, to address concerns, and to wrap our arms around our campus colleagues as we move forward. And that is why I want to thank all of the members of our staff, particularly our cleaning staff, that is doing a tremendous job in trying to make sure the facilities are constantly clean. I want to thank those faculty and staff members who are already starting the process of planning for our students should we not be able to re-engage in face-to-face instruction. And at this point we have canceled all of the major activities and events on campus that will have more than fifty people. On our website you have all of this detailed information that is available to you at all times.

And so there are a couple of things I want you to remember: check yourself. If you are not feeling well, or your family, please make sure you take care of your health first. Second, check text. If there are emergency information we need to get to you we will send it to you by text, so be sure to sign up for our text messages. And lastly, check the website because we’re doing a lot of our updates on the website. I am still meeting with the State University of New York on a daily basis to discuss the way in which campuses are managing the changes. These are our plans right now, these are the plans we intend to move forward. If things change we will let you know, but know that this college is standing with you and by you and we want to support you. Thank you so much.

3/11 Video Transcript

Good afternoon RCC, This is Doctor Baston, the President. I want you to know that I just watched, as many of you have, the recent announcement by the Governor that many SUNY and CUNY campuses will be suspending the face-to-face learning on March 19th and going to a more virtual approach.

We at this College take your health and your safety and your security very very seriously and we are in the process of developing the appropriate plans and protocols to be sure that you are going to be able to continue to complete your studies and to be safe and effective. As we get more information available we will actually make sure you have it on our website and we will be able to also send you text messages.

Please rest assured we will communicate with you all the critical information that you will need to make good decisions so that we can make sure that you get the experience that you deserve.

We’re all concerned about the Coronavirus and we want you to be safe and sound. We also want you to be able to accomplish the educational goals that you have for yourself. So there will be more information, I am meeting with members of the State University of New York this evening in a telephone conference to actually discuss the next phases of our plans and I will be in touch with you as soon as we can to give you more information. Thank you so much.