Virtual panel covers spring move-in, important details for upcoming semester

Students+will+begin+testing+for+COVID-19+on+campus+again+this+spring%2C+with+twice+weekly+testing+in+the+Field+House+for+students+living+on+campus+or+taking+any+in-person+classes.

Isabella Gentile

Students will begin testing for COVID-19 on campus again this spring, with twice weekly testing in the Field House for students living on campus or taking any in-person classes.

Rachel Dvareckas, Managing Editor

The spring semester is set to start in less than two weeks with move-in beginning this weekend. As the pandemic still rages on, students should expect to experience yet another strange semester. Vice President of Student Life Dr. John King was joined by other faculty members in a Zoom webinar on Jan. 20 to update students on how move-in and the week that follows will play out. 

Student Senator and member of the How to Live Reopening Roger Committee Jordan St. Onge was also on the panel, sharing her thoughts on how the fall semester went and the planning she and others did. Compared to other universities, she felt that RWU was successful and did very well juggling COVID-19 and delivering education. 

“I can say my experience was amazing. It all planned out how we expected,” St. Onge said. “I am very thankful Roger Williams came together to make it all work.” 

King strongly recommends students schedule a COVID-19 test before they come back to school and then quarantine before move-in to ensure they remain negative. 

“It’s really important that all our students and staff and faculty take extra care in the next few weeks and months,” King said. 

If students tested positive during the break at any time, they must contact Health Services to let them know and provide documentation of the positive test result before coming to school. 

The first place students will need to go when moving in is the Field House. There they will go through the clearance tables to make sure they have all required documents and then they will be given a COVID-19 test. 

Students will need to print out, sign and bring a revised Roger’s Compact with them when checking in as well as documentation of receiving a flu shot if they did so outside of the clinics hosted by the university. 

Classes will begin Feb. 1 with the first two days of classes being remote. All courses, including in-person classes, will begin Feb. 3. 

This semester will not include a few holidays students typically have off or a spring break, but there will be no classes on April 2 or April 21. 

Students are able to schedule the days and times for their twice weekly testing with wider time frames than were available in the fall semester. 

“Make sure to find good testing days for you,” said Chief of Staff Brian Williams.

He also suggests that on-campus students try to stagger their testing times with their roommates. 

Changes to the screening questionnaire community members fill out daily will take place by asking about each individual symptom. 

There will also be changes to the quarantine process. Students will only need to stay in quarantine for ten days instead of the 14 day period that was in place last semester. 

“If you have the misfortune of testing positive, you will be receiving a phone call from a contact tracer. We will have a confidential and comprehensive conversation to find out who you’ve been in contact with,” said Renee Danho, director of student and family assistance. “We truly appreciate you picking up the phone and having a candid conversation with us to keep the community safe.”

Director of Health Services Anne Mitchell advises students to also take care of their well-being by getting enough sleep, exercising regularly and minimizing stress. 

“At the soonest onset of symptoms, please call Health Services. We want to see you as soon as possible,” Mitchell said. 

Students who choose fully remote learning this semester will need to be registered with the Advising and Peer Mentorship office before classes begin. 

The Tutoring Center will be fully online again and can be accessed through Bridges. 

The Reopening Roger website has updated information on the beginning of the semester and will be updated throughout the semester. A recording of the panel will be sent out to students today

“Stay safe, get pre-tested and we look forward to welcoming you back on campus,” King said.