New restrictions limit students but most understand the necessity

Isabella Gentile, Editor-in-Chief

As universities across the country have moved to remote learning with case spikes of COVID-19, Roger Williams University is taking strict precautions to prevent the spread of the disease. Between temperature scanning at certain building entrances, class cleaning stations and required mask-wearing, new protocols exist in multiple areas.

Some of the biggest changes revolve around campus housing. Residence Life and Housing implemented a “no outside guest” policy for the 2020-21 academic year. Outside guests including off-campus and commuter students will not be allowed to visit or stay on campus this semester.

“That definitely was the most difficult decision, restricting off-campus students and commuters from residence halls, but it’s extremely consistent with what colleges across the country are doing,” King said. “We wish we didn’t have to.”

Campus residents can visit their friends in other residence halls, but room capacities have been adjusted. On Aug. 25, policy updates sent to residents by Assistant Dean of Student Life and Director of Residence Life and Housing Abbas Hill included max occupancy numbers for each type of residence hall room. In traditional style singles, doubles or triples, there can only be twice as many guests as the number of people living in the room.

Though the new restrictions will alter normal life on campus, some students were satisfied with the rules, there was an understanding as to why this is necessary to keep students safe.

“I think it’s a good idea since it kind of limits the number of outsiders coming to campus,” said junior Amy Martin.

“I don’t know if everyone will follow the rules like they should but limiting the amount of people in a single dorm at any one time is a good way to stop the virus from clustering,” said junior Cato Davidson.

Dining on campus brings other big changes. Outside guests will not be allowed in Upper Commons, which has now placed emphasis on take-out service. An outdoor dining tent was installed on the SAAHP Quad, with 200 seats underneath and 48 seats outside the tent for students only.

Residential students can now use a mobile app to pre-order and pick-up items for lunch and dinner in Lower Commons until 8:30 p.m. After that time, the facility will convert back to normal retail purchases.

Junior Owen Law said his dining experience on campus has been amazing despite the restrictions.

“I usually bring my food to the shell path or my dorm,” Law said. “It’s nice having the option to eat outside of Commons on meal swipes.”