New and returning students filled hallways and classrooms across campus on the first day of the Fall 2016 semester at Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNY). Throughout BMCC’s campus, the floors are freshly waxed and everything has been cleaned for the onslaught of learning activity.
“From a physical facility point of view, we’re ready. We’ve also got brand new media labs on campus,” said G. Scott Anderson, Vice President, Administration and Planning.
Standing in the lobby of Fiterman Hall, Austin Cabrera, a Welcome Ambassador and Creative Writing major was greeting students and answering questions.
“The main things people ask me are where certain rooms are located and how to get an I.D.,” he said.
Determined not to be late on their first day, Business Administration major Chang Hui Liang waited in a hallway with several other students for class to begin. Liang, who moved to New York from China three years ago, plans to get his associate degree then transfer to Baruch, where he will continue on the path to a business career.
“BMCC is a really great place for international students like me,” he said. “English is not our first language, and BMCC familiarizes us to college life in the United States.”
Computer Network Technology major Serigne Ndiaye and a friend arrived early and were catching up before a class in computer science.
Ndiaye, who lives in Manhattan but is originally from Senegal in West Africa, said he is happy to be starting classes again.
“After BMCC, I plan to transfer to City College and earn a degree in Computer Networking,” said Ndiaye.
Meanwhile, the BMCC entrance at 199 Chambers Street was a hive of activity and conversation. Droves of new and returning students swiped ID cards then sped off to class or take care of unfinished business at one of the college’s administrative or student service offices.
Criminal Justice majors Sayif Musaphir and Stephanie Quinones sat in a hallway on the fourth floor talking about their goals for the new semester. They had not seen each other since last spring.
Musaphir, who lives in Manhattan, but whose family moved here from Guyana, said his goal is to find work with the New York City police department after he graduates.
Brooklyn native Quinones, is in her second semester and hopes to become a lawyer. She said she understands how new students might be overwhelmed at first.
“It’s difficult in the beginning, but do the hard work, keep up with your classwork, it will definitely pay off,” said Quinones.
BMCC Health Education Professor Gloria McNamara had this advice for new students.
“Attend every class, take notes, go to workshops that teach you how to take notes and manage your time,” said McNamara.
McNamara adds that the first day of class is always special for her.
“I celebrate the first day of the fall semester more than New Year's Eve. It’s the beginning of the new academic year, the weather is great and there’s so much promise.”