Manhattanville College Introduces COVID-19 Course For Freshmen

Manhattanville College
Photo credit Photo by Gary Gershoff/Getty Images for Joan Dangerfield

PURCHASE, N.Y. (WCBS 880) — Incoming freshmen at a college in Westchester will be able to put their pandemic experience to good use. 

Manhattanville College is introducing a new summer course on COVID-19. It's called "Manhattanville Together…at a Distance: Coming together as a community in the age of COVID-19." 

Four topics will be discussed: humanity and natural disasters, media, inequality and the environment, and coping and caring.

"Looking at how things like the plague have been processed and understood by artists and musicians; how do we get the news; how do we process knowledge; the global issues of the environment, of politics, of the economy, wealth, politics, market forces; thinking about empathy, thinking about creativity and also some of the activist work of some of our faculty members," Manhattanville sports studies professor Amy Bass said. 

"Thinking about how to come together as a community in a moment when we can't physically be together this summer and also about how we're going to tell our story, what people should know and how we are going to document that," she added.

The class is only for incoming freshmen — those who have had so many rituals upended.

With traditions like prom and graduation canceled, Bass begs the question, "How might we do better to come together and welcome them?"

"It kind of seems like a really nice way to create a new ritual kind of like a welcoming event that was special for them," said Professor Lisa Rafanelli.

The students will get to create artifacts to help document the moment and make sense of their own stories.

More than 90 students have already registered.

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