By Erica Rachel Sultan, News Editor
Starting the week of October 26, YU students were allowed to return to YU campuses for in-person learning, while those who remain at home are to continue their virtual learning. Faculty who have chosen to conduct in-person learning are given new technologically fitted classrooms. Currently, there are two technologically fitted classrooms on the Beren Campus in the 215 Lexington Avenue building, as well as two classrooms on the Wilf Campus in Stanton Hall. These tech rooms include a camera, directed toward the professor and is to Zoom for those students who are at home, and a new projector which is a touch screen. These rooms are also made to adhere to social distancing guidelines set in place by the New York State.
As these changes were put into place, students and faculty experienced technical challenges.
Professors could not hear their virtual students, virtual students could not see the board, and when more than one person spoke, loud screeches would come from all screens, as shared with the YU Observer. One virtual student, who wishes to remain anonymous (SCW ‘21), shared their first-day experience with the new setup, “It was just a mess. None of the virtual students could see the board and therefore we couldn’t see the slides to the lecture. Our professor couldn’t hear us so we would need to put our questions in the chatroom – but it’s hard for a professor to teach and simultaneously look at the chatroom. The audio fluctuated from too loud to too low. I wish it could go back to just regular [Z]oom or that YU had better prepared this new system in advance so I didn’t miss a class due to technical difficulties.”
Faculty member, Dr. Jill Katz, head of the Sociology department and the Academic Advising Center, had a more positive take when fronted against the technical difficulties; “While there have been a few bumps in the road, I am excited to return to the classroom. Adding vibrancy to the teaching experience, the in-person students serve as partners in bringing the class to the rest of the students who are virtual.”