RWU students will be taking classes online until at least April 20, according to a campus-wide email sent out on March 18 by the Emergency Response Team. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak across the world, students are not allowed to come back to campus until at least April 18. A decision will be made by April 13 as to whether this will happen or not.
According to the email, faculty have been instructed to design the remainder of their courses this semester to be online. The university does hope that students will be back on campus before the semester is out. However, the Emergency Response Team said “regardless of whether Rhode Island and campus conditions allow students to return to campus, our online and alternate instruction will continue.”
There is no decision on refunds or credit for room and board, according to the email. The university is still “continuing to review the level of refunds or credits for room and board that will arise.” According to the Emergency Response Team, the decision is a complicated one and requires the approval of the Board of Trustees.
According to the email, commencement ceremonies are still on for May 15 and 16. The university will also make a decision on this by April 13. If students are not able to move back, the university is “already exploring other opportunities and ways to bring our graduating Hawks back to campus for a truly memorable event."
"We are preparing for the worst but hoping for the best," said university President Ioannis Miaoulis in a video message released to the community. "I have seen amazing work being done by faculty [and] staff here at Roger Williams to prepare us for this hard time."
Miaoulis said that he feels for the seniors who are missing out on their final semester.
"My heart goes out to the senior class," Miaoulis said. "I still hope we can have commencement because I know how important this is for you and the faculty who have been mentoring you over the last four years."
"As you know the situation at the state, regional and national level is changing daily, but we're on top of it," Miaoulis said. "We're committed to providing you with answers as things evolve."