The Student News Site of Roger Williams University

The Hawks' Herald

The Student News Site of Roger Williams University

The Hawks' Herald

The Student News Site of Roger Williams University

The Hawks' Herald

On Campus Dog Park Set for Fall of 2024

Nolan Abitabilo
The finalizing of the process of building a dog park on campus that will be open to both students and faculty in the Fall of 2024.

Roger Williams University is finalizing the process of building a dog park on campus that will be open to both students and faculty in the Fall of 2024 with the help of Facilities and Capital Projects and also RWU President, Ioannis Miaoulis. 

President Miaoulis began at Roger Williams University in August of 2019, and he has been constantly committed to making the campus more welcoming and pet friendly. 

A form from October 2019 titled “Pets On Campus Policy” showed the first attempt to offer guidance for employees to bring their pet dogs to work in accordance with the requirements of the Dogs in the Workplace Pilot Program. The applicability of this program was meant to apply to all university employees, students and visitors. Although this Pilot Program was only in effect for the 2019-2020 academic year, this was not the last effort from President Miaoulis to make the campus more pet friendly. 

One major problem that the program exposed was that there was no space on campus for dogs to run freely off of their leash. This sparked an idea; create a space on campus for RWU’s first dog park. Even though this seems like an expensive and difficult task to endure, the outcomes so far have been quite positive. 

Story continues below advertisement

What better way to get an inside look of these efforts than to ask both students and faculty what the dog park will look like for the future and also what it means for the Roger Williams community. 

John Amitrano, Assistant Vice President for Facilities and Capital Projects, stated that 

“The process has involved designing the space and reviewing it with our facilities team, environmental health and safety staff and others to create a dog park similar to those you find in other public spaces but one that is primarily designed for the RWU community.  Rules and usage policies are being finalized and will be in place before the park opens and will be consistent with other dog parks.”

Senior Zack Wieners, who has acquired some knowledge on the park, reached out to The Hawks’ Herald and explained, “It will be located on the North side of campus, by the end of shell path, on the field east of the rugby field. There will be two spaces; one for larger dogs and one for smaller dogs, enclosed by a six foot black chain link fence.” 

Zack then went on to say that “…in its current state, the fence and fence posts will cost at most around $17,000, but the budget is close to $30,000.” This will leave room for future improvements that may arise as we see how the dog park affects the campus. 

In addition, the leftover money may be used to incorporate mulch, a path and a patio, lots of important and necessary signage, and other decorative features like plaques that will coincide with how Roger is already depicted from its wonderful landscaping. 

It is important to state that President Miaoulis and his family came up with the idea for the park and personally raised and dedicated a majority of the funding necessary to create the space and the park itself. 

Together as a campus, we have a good amount of events each year, whether it be parents weekend or sports games, that invite family members and friends to our university, so having a space where you can let your dog roam free may be vital to who can attend such events. Furthermore, it may offer higher attendance rates for these events because there will be no need to find someone to take care of your dog while you are away. 

Amitrano wanted to express that members of the RWU community will be the first users of the dog park when it opens for use in late August with the start of the new academic year. This includes faculty, staff and students as well as parents of RWU students that bring their family dogs for a visit. 

We will learn from the campus usage first before we consider opening to the wider public which we will consider, but it depends on the volume of campus use as well as parking/access for the wider public.” 

The majority of students are thrilled for this development on campus and excited to see what it brings for us in the future.


Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Nolan Abitabilo
Nolan Abitabilo, Features Editor
Nolan is the Features Editor for the Hawks' Herald since the Fall of 2023. He is a Creative Writing Major with a Minor in Psychology and loves to keep the campus updated on current events and changes. Aside from the newspaper he also loves to be outside, listen to music, and explore everything that Rhode Island has to offer.

Comments (0)

All The Hawks' Herald Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *