The Lack of Zoom and Common Sense

By: Amalya Teitelbaum  |  June 20, 2021

By Amalya Teitelbaum, Business Editor & Business Manager

Lots of things in life do not make sense.

Like people who pour milk in before cereal.

Or people who actually enjoy discussing politics.

Like how iPhones completely stop working conveniently when the newest updated iPhone comes out.

Or ya know, just taxes in general.

But you know what really does not make sense? Yeshiva University stating that it will not be possible to have a zoom option for the first 8 days at the start of the school year. Not a month, not even 2 weeks. They claim that it will not be possible for 8 days. And yet it was possible to do it for a year and a half. 

I understand the good behind the university’s intentions. There are strong benefits to students attending in-person classes, programs, and extracurricular activities. As well as there are benefits of students just being together on campus generally amongst fellow students, rabbis, and professors. However, to out-right refuse to give students a zoom option is completely nonsensical. 

There are students who live bus rides, train rides, and airplane rides away. Airplane tickets are certainly not cheap. Why make students fly in for just 8 days when it would be so easy to avoid this unnecessary convenience? While an argument can be made for a better transition into a new school year in person, it would actually not be the case. How can a smooth transition be made when students had to pack up and transport all of their belongings to a dorm room, and just a few days later be told they need to leave and go back home. Jake Sheckter (SSSB ‘21) weighed in saying, “The starting schedule for the fall semester, and its lack of flexibility might help in regards to getting students somewhat acclimated to in-person classes. But 6 days of in-person classes before a month of holiday break also presents some major difficulty and inconvenience for international students and those who don’t live on the eastern seaboard. If all students (or just those with a reasonable exemption, such as not living within the USA) were offered 6 days of optional, online learning before the holiday break, it may provide for an easier transition to the new semester for many.”

It has come to a point where I, as a student as well as many of my peers, are angry on behalf of our friends and fellow classmates for which it is not only an extreme inconvenience but a massive difficulty. Rikki Kolodny (SCW ’24) stated, “As a local student, I don’t think it’s a big deal. However, it must be a major inconvenience for people who live out of state, or even out of the country. I feel bad for them, especially international students who must fly into a new county, settle in while starting a new school year, and then return home less than a week later.” You have students who are either in their first year at this university or their first year in person and as opposed to focusing on getting adjusted to new courses and studying they are busy trying to figure out how to get on a plane ticket so they can make it home on time. An out-of-town student who wishes to remain anonymous stated, “As I am not a local and live relatively far (3 hours away) it is a big hassle to drag my stuff across a state and then right away come back home. It’s a lot physically and mentally but also financially. It would be so much better to come and stay rather than leave the second I come.” Frankly, it is absurd to create this type of mental and emotional strain right at the beginning of the school year. To state it is not possible to do zoom while Yeshiva University has instituted “dedicated zoom days” into the new year’s schedule is absolutely illogical. I do hope that the Yeshiva University administration recognizes what is important and comes to the best decision not only for their own finances, but for the students, financial, emotional, and mental situations.