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Monday, January 25, 2021
The independent student publication of The Unversity at Buffalo, since 1950


Incoming students say they’re concerned about potential remote instruction in the fall because they think it may impact their college experience.

Incoming students worried about college experience

Tasfiah Khan always expected her freshman year of college would mean she could “become more independent.” She envisioned meeting new friends, creating her own schedule and settling into a new environment.  But Khan, a senior at Manhattan/Hunter Science High School who plans to enroll at UB in the fall, thinks her vision may be “crushed” by the coronavirus. She’s worried UB will extend its “distance-learning” model into the fall semester. UB already decided the summer term will operate entirely remotely.

A survey conducted by UB in March shows 56% of students are "very uncomfortable" or "somewhat uncomfortable" with completing their schoolwork online. Many UB students are struggling with distance learning due to financial burdens, lack of on-campus resources or having sick family members. 

Students share distance-learning challenges, UB hopes survey can address concerns

Jannat Inqiyad said that in order to complete the online work for her classes, she needs to leave her home since she doesn’t have internet access.  Inqiyad, a sophomore health and human services major, said her family had to “sacrifice” internet connection to afford essentials after the family lost its main source of income due to COVID-19.  Now, she needs to go to public libraries to complete her remote coursework and said she doesn’t feel safe leaving her house because she has family members and friends who are hospitalized with COVID-19. 

Compass pointing to Mecca before prayer.

What Ramadan is like during a pandemic

Fakaradin Floyd rarely wakes up before dawn. Today, however, the junior computer science major woke up at 4 a.m.  Like most students his age, Floyd starts his day by washing up at home. But while many students’ morning routines might consist of washing their hands or splashing cold water on their faces, Floyd’s involves more thorough standards of cleansing: swishing water in his mouth, cleaning the inner and outer parts of his ears and washing his hands, arms, head and feet. 


North Campus maintains zero COVID-19 cases amid Erie County outbreaks

North Campus, with its roughly 1,500 residents, still does not have any confirmed COVID-19 cases.  Susan Snyder, director of Health Services, cites the campus’ social distancing and cleaning measures as the reason. Still, the lack of cases is atypical of the pandemic, as Erie County currently has 2,996 confirmed cases, 364 of which are in the Amherst/Williamsville municipality encompassing North Campus. 

Moe’s, Putnam’s, Jamba Juice and Champa Sushi in the Student Union remain closed until further notice. Tim Horton’s remains open with limited hours during the weekdays making it difficult for students to spend their remaining meal credits and dining dollars.

Prorated refunds for student fees will be applied to student accounts ‘prior to the end of the semester’

UB has not yet provided a specific date that fee refunds will be applied to student accounts, but a university spokesperson said students will see prorated refunds “prior to the end of the semester.” The prorated fee refunds –– the percentage of money that will be refunded from the total fee –– will be “calculated on an individual basis” and “based on actual services provided,” according to UB spokesperson Kate McKenna.

Chairs rest on top of tables in the Student Union.

Student workers struggle to remain financially independent following coronavirus lay-offs

Rutuja Sawant knows the value of hard work. This spring, the senior media studies major juggled three campus jobs in addition to a full-time course load.  But when UB announced its transition to distance learning, Sawant’s bosses at the Integrated Medical Center and Intercultural Diversity Center couldn’t give her hours. Then the Office of Admissions laid Sawant off. 


Financial analyst denies ‘preconceived agenda’ in UB analysis

Howard Bunsis –– the Eastern Michigan University accounting professor who reported UB spends more on administration than any of its “peers” –– denies UB’s statement that his independent financial analysis had a “preconceived agenda.”  Bunsis’ report, which he released in February, called UB financial reporting “less transparent” than any of the over 100 universities he examined over the last 15 years. UB’s response urged readers to be “very skeptical of its findings” and said Bunsis had a “preconceived agenda” because he was hired. UB said the “report contains several flaws, inaccuracies and inconsistencies that misrepresent and misinterpret UB’s budget and budgeting process.” But Bunsis, in an April 3 email, said his report was based on “facts.”

UB is planning to host virtual commencement according to President Satish Tripathi's Monday email.

UB to host virtual graduation ceremonies for class of 2020

UB will host a virtual commencement ceremony for its class of 2020, according to a Monday email from President Satish Tripathi.  Planning for the online ceremony is underway, according to Tripathi, with schools expected to email students graduation details in the coming weeks. The email did not name which online platforms UB would make available for the ceremony’s streaming. 

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