Adapting to a new normal

Students share thoughts on changes to the move-in process this year

Gabriella Boretti, Herald Reporter

Despite the ongoing pandemic, Roger Williams University’s campus opened for the fall 2020 semester, giving students the option to learn remotely while also allowing a hybrid approach.

As students returned to campus, they were met with many new safety protocols. In an all-student email on Aug. 28, Vice President for Student Life John King told students who cannot follow the mask-wearing procedures and limit social gatherings to less than 15 people that they should head home this weekend and stay there for the rest of the semester.

Multiple residential students said the move-in process entailed mask-wearing, sanitizing, COVID-19 testing and social distancing. Freshman Joe Shea of East Bridgewater, Massachusetts said his move-in process went well.

“The university did a great job keeping everyone spaced out and away from each other,” Shea said. “I am surprised at the number of people actually following the rules. I think the rules are as fair as they can be yet still keeping us safe.”

Sophomore Hannah Connell of East Bridgewater, Massachusetts said her move-in process went smoothly, despite her nerves for the COVID-19 testing, which she said “wasn’t bad.”

“I understand every protocol going on within the university and why they are strictly enforced,” Connell said. “It’s for our own safety.”

Sophomore James Wright of Ridgewood, New Jersey also said his move-in process was smooth sailing. He thought the new protocols were fair and said they create the most efficient way to control spread of the virus on campus.

“If I had arrived at school earlier, I think the testing process would have been a lot quicker than it actually was. The new procedures are definitely unique and something we all have to adapt to,” Wright said.

As the semester goes on, students will continue required testing, move forward with hybrid or remote learning and hopefully finish the semester still on-campus. Students are hoping for the best but the new normal is here, at least for now. It seems most students have so far been accepting of that.