Office of the Dean

August 12th, 2021


Dear CWE Community,


I hope that you and your family are doing well.  Here we are again, 18 months from the time that this pandemic nightmare started, but what a ride this has been.  We are all still cautious knowing that we're not yet fully out of danger but can begin to see light at the end of the long tunnel.  


As you know the Chancellor has had to postpone the University re-opening date and it is now scheduled for August 16.  In general, the Chancellor’s plan for the Fall is to have the College almost fully open, with a limited number of in-person classes and the rest online. Here at 25 Broadway, the situation is different due to our space limitations, and logistics must be coordinated with Brooklyn College, Quest and the Building. During the last few weeks, we have been working on equipping three classrooms with state-of-the-art technology:  the Auditorium as well as two big classrooms.  If necessary, these three venues will allow us to have a considerable number of students together while respecting social distancing guidelines.  (See full CWE guidelines below)


All instructors who wish to teach your online class from the Center are welcome.  Also, if you wish to invite your class to the Center we can work with you to do so.  The events of teaching your class or inviting your students to CWE are to be coordinated in advance with the Chair, Prof. Aguasaco, as well as the Office Manager, Nina Woods.  This is a very necessary step as it requires logistics coordination with the front desk, security and cleaning services. 


Let me reaffirm that for the fall I do not see any major change from how we have been conducting classes this past year. My idea is to reopen slowly and in a safe manner for everybody. We have been working with staff to move in that direction. Staff will begin to work partially at CWE and partially from home; however, advisor services will continue remotely.  We plan to open our facility for students, only those who are fully vaccinated, and who for various reasons need space to study or to use the computer lab.


Now some news on our Division activities:  

At the end of the Spring semester we had our Prizes and Awards Ceremony and the Virtual Salute to our 2021 Graduates; both events were extremely successful. To the members of these Committees my recognition and appreciation. 

Our Early Childhood Education Program continues to receive national recognition and has been ranked #7 for the Best Affordable Early Childhood Education Degree; for the ECE team -- my appreciation. 

In June, we had a very successful Film Festival (TAFFNY) with record-setting attendance. 

Our Human Rights Podcast, created by Prof. Danielle Zach, has been considered one of the best in the country on this subject matter.  

Looking ahead, in October we'll have the International Poetry Festival of New York, organized by Prof. Aguasaco. In addition, we are planning two international conferences for Spring 2022: the Second International Conference on Human Rights (April, at the Center), and the Historical Links Conference between Spain and the Americas, (April, Alcala, Spain). Stay tuned for more details.


As I've said in previous communications, during this difficult time, you all have been doing exceptional work in the classrooms, in the different committees at the Divisional level as well as the College and University levels.  The last 18 months have been an extraordinary time and one that we’ve had to confront on many levels.  It’s been very difficult for most of us and devastating for many who have lost friend(s) or loved one(s).  And we all know someone who has lost their job.  All of this has stretched us to the limits, but we have been able to bring out the best of us to deal with these trying situations. I have said this numerous times but it merits repeating:  to see what you, the faculty, staff and students, all working together, have been able to accomplish during this year is simply amazing.


I would like to take this opportunity to thank Prof. Kathy McDonald for her extraordinary service as Chair for three terms, and to welcome the new Chair, Prof. Carlos Aguasaco as he keeps the Department moving with positive momentum.
Thank you again for all that you continue to do.


Following the University and College guidelines, these are ours:



Protocols and Guidance for Fall 2021 (effective August 16, 2021)

(Subject to change based on the pandemic)



***All classes are online. 

Any exception will be determined by the Instructor with advance approval from the Chairperson and Office Manager at least 2 weeks in advance***


Entry Requirements

  • As usual at 25 Broadway everyone to present college ID to the Building Lobby attendants on the ground floor.
  • Everyone to use CWE entrance only on the 7th floor and present credentials to CWE Security.


Only fully vaccinated students are allowed to visit CWE for the purpose of using the computer lab, the library or study rooms.  Proof of vaccination is required to present to Security (Excelsior Pass, original CDC Vaccination Card, or CCNY ID with vaccination sticker)



Vaccinated faculty and staff are to present proof of vaccination to CWE Security on the 7th Floor (Excelsior Pass, original CDC vaccination card, or CCNY ID with vaccination sticker). 

*The college requests that Faculty and Staff participate in the Vaccine Verification Program. Please go to CUNYFirst and click on the Vaccine Verification Link to register and submit documents. 

*The Everbridge App is no longer accepted.  See college guidelines to obtain a VaxPass through Everbridge.




Unvaccinated faculty and staff and those who choose not to disclose their vaccination status are required to present proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within the past 7 days, and will need to retest weekly only at CUNY testing sites.

*The college requests that Faculty and Staff participate in the Vaccine Verification Program.  Please go to CUNYFirst and click on the Vaccine Verification Link to register.


New Temporary Mask Mandate/Social Distancing

Until further notice masks are a mandate and social distancing is to be practiced.   Masks are to be worn inside the building, in all common areas and in the presence of others whether vaccinated or not.  Masks can be removed for eating only. The only exception to wearing a mask is if a fully vaccinated person is alone in a classroom, office, or other enclosed space, or is at a workspace/desk and is socially distanced from any other occupied workspace/desk. Anyone who is not yet fully vaccinated must wear a mask at all times except when eating (in which case they must maintain strict social distancing from other individuals). 


Student Services

*Students are to continue to contact the Virtual Front Desk (email, phone call or video) to make adviser appointments and continue to communicate with advisers and faculty by email.


Computer lab, library and designated study rooms will be available to students from 2pm to 6pm Monday through Friday, and 11am to 4pm on Saturday.  Roomcapacity will be limited to accommodate social distancing.


The Writing Center will continue to function remotely.


Front Desk Waiting Area is to be kept clear.  This area is reserved for Security to perform entry screenings.


Protocols for Those who Get Sick

Please do not come to CWE if you are sick. 


If someone gets sick while on the premises they are to inform the Front Desk right away.  Assistance will be provided to get you home or to a medical facility.


If someone gets sick at home after visiting 25 Broadway they are to isolate, contact their doctor and inform CWE right away.  This is important for the college to initiate contact tracing and reduce risk to others. 



Juan Carlos Mercado
Division of Interdisciplinary Studies at CWE
The City College of New York/The City University of New York
25 Broadway, 7th  Floor
New York, NY 10004
Ph. 212-925-6625, ext. 246
Fax: 212-925-6656





Last Updated: 08/19/2021 17:31