How Syracuse University turned the Dome into one of the largest college lecture halls around

Local News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — As the spring semester gets underway at Syracuse University, the school is using one of its most famous buildings on campus as a large lecture hall.

The Dome has not hosted fans since the pandemic began, but this week the school started using it for an Introduction to Information Technology in the iSchool.

“I tried to make it no different than any other stage and I wanted the students to feel like this is no different than any other classroom. It’s just a really big classroom. But at the same time, it’s not lost on me that, wow, I’m projecting on this new multi-million dollar video board that most fans haven’t seen in person,” says iSchool Associate Professor Jeff Rubin.

This is the only class right now being held in the Dome, but Rubin says it could be used for others, even this spring.

“At Syracuse University there aren’t many large classrooms, so in my mind, we just found another,” he tells NewsChannel 9.

Rubin says, based on his first class, he could see the Dome hosting conferences and symposiums when the pandemic is over.

Technically holding the class is not his biggest challenge, it is teaching it hybrid style.

There are about 120 students taking the class in-person at the Dome. At least another 12 are attending the class remotely, whether because they’re in quarantine in Syracuse, at home because they’ve chosen not to return to campus, or they are international students.

Rubin points out that there’s another advantage for students who are taking the class in the Dome.

“I opened the lecture yesterday by saying I just got my COVID-19 test because I was here. I encourage all of you to arrive five minutes early or stay five minutes late. I mean, they all have to get tested every week and how convenient is it that Monday and Wednesday mornings? They’re right there,” he says.

Syracuse University is not only increasing testing, but it also plans to have results faster than it was able to in the fall semester.

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