What you need to know at RWU Fall 2022


Courtesy of Autumn Mott Rodeheaver on Unsplash

Vice President for Student Life Dr. John King has updated students on the status of student life for the 2022 fall semester.


Upper Commons will have completely in-person dining with no take-out. King said this is due to “many reasons including building community and sustainability. It’s also more expensive for the university and hurts the food budget.” Online ordering will continue through the GET app, but meal swipes can only be used from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday to Friday. “We were hurting the food budget by doing all that meal equivalency,” said King. “Lower Commons is really designed for retail and at the same time it’s a drain on labor and cost.”


Masking will be optional in indoor and outdoor settings with the exception of Health Services and the Counseling Center, shared university transportation, and when required to participate in activities, training, or employment with prior approval from designated university officials. At faculty members’ discretion, they can still require masking in their classrooms as well. Additionally, King said COVID Operating Levels will be used like last Spring but are currently in the process of being revised.

Staff Changes

Amanda Downey who previously worked at the University of Rhode Island is now the Director of Residence Life and Housing. “She is a highly experienced professional who has a lot of energy and a great perspective,” said King. “I think students will enjoy getting to know her.”

Vaccination Requirements

All students with the exception of those with a medical or religious exemption are required to get a primary series of the COVID vaccine. First and second boosters are recommended for those eligible to help with immunity to different COVID variants.

Testing and Isolation

Weekly testing and a testing center will not be in place to begin the school year but could change if necessary due to conditions on campus and in the greater community. Health Services Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. will provide testing to those who have COVID symptoms. Students are required to self-report a positive test through an online Etrive form or with the QR code posted on all residence hall room doors. Close contacts also have to be notified by the student.

RWU has reduced its rooms and beds for isolation. Students testing positive who live within 200 miles of the university are required to isolate at home for five days and mask in all indoor settings for five more days upon return to campus. Those who live greater than 200 miles away get priority for university isolation housing. Close contacts at RWU who have a vaccine exemption or aren’t up to date with their vaccinations (primary series and booster) will need to quarantine five days from last contact and wear a mask in indoor settings for five more days. Contacts up to date will not have to quarantine, but will have to monitor symptoms, wear a mask for 10 days and test on day five.


King said he and Director of Health Services Anne Mitchell have been attending monkeypox briefings from the Rhode Island Department of Health and are using information from those briefings to inform the communications they sent out.