'I Got to Have the College Experience’: Students Reflect on Fall Semester

Students share their thoughts on what being at Roger this fall has meant to them.

By Anna Cohen
image of a group of RWU students encircle the Hawk logo on a playing field on the Bristol Campus

BRISTOL, R.I. – This semester, building upon months of careful planning, and hard work and determination from students, faculty and staff, RWU met its goal of remaining open for in-person education, from the start of classes in August to Thanksgiving break. 

“Many universities had to shut down or go to remote learning in the middle of the semester,” University President Yannis Miaoulis said recently. “We are one of the very few that made it.”

While this is an achievement accomplished by the entire RWU community working together, President Miaoulis credits students first and foremost: "We made it because of you.”

We recently spoke with students about their experiences with in-person, hybrid, and remote learning this semester. They shared their gratitude and their reflections on what life and learning this fall at Roger has meant to them.

Katie LePage

Katie LaPageSenior Marketing major, Commuter

"I was very nervous that this semester wouldn’t happen and I wouldn’t experience a relatively normal senior year. It has been great that we were able to be on campus, see our friends, and be in class. A lot of the clubs and orgs this semester really stepped it up and did a lot of events that were accommodating to social distancing so that people could do things other than just going to classes and going back to their dorms. It was pretty fun."

Justine Monsell

Justine MonsellJunior International Business and Finance double major, Campus Resident

"I’m a part of event operations and I liked being able to go back to Roger, talk to my bosses, and do everything we could. We helped with the flu clinics and were able to help the community continue to work even though we were in a pandemic. We actually put on a lot of concerts. The musicians would be on Zoom, and we would set up a giant screen either on the Global Heritage Hall (GHH) lawn or in the Commons tent. People could come in on their own computers, and when we were in the Commons tent the tables were already socially distanced. When we were on the GHH lawn, people would spread out and listen."

Zachary Lafontaine Zachary Lafontaine

Sophomore Legal Studies ad Political Science major, Commuter

"It was a privilege to have the ability to work remotely as well as in person through the hybrid model. Even as a commuter student, I felt connected. I felt I was part of President Miaoulis’s mission that we are all a family at RWU. This semester, we sufficiently met that goal."

Alli Schoenfeldt

Alli SchoenfeldtFreshman Psychology major, Campus Resident

"COVID suppressed my senior spring of high school. Being able to go to college and live on campus when a lot of my peers had to stay remote or go home was a good way to come out of that experience with some positivity, with the the experience of having a roommate, making new friends, and getting involved. I got to have the college experience when a lot of my friends are still stuck at home."

Monaye HindsMonaye Hinds

Sophomore Biology major, Campus Resident

"My genetics and organic chemistry classes both have labs, and we were able to have the labs in person. I’m a hands-on learner, so even though the labs had to be split up for social distancing, I was grateful to be able to have them."

Noelle Craveiro

NoelleJunior Cultural Studies major, Fully Remote

"I really appreciated having the option to be virtual. My professors did an awesome job accommodating my needs. Being able to have different modes of learning, not just sitting on Zoom but being able to have Voicethread and live meetings was a great way to keep me engaged. It didn’t feel monotonous even though I was in my house all the time. I didn’t expect to have so many options."

Adam Cavanaugh

image of RWU sophomore Adam CavanaughSophomore Management and International Business double major, Campus Resident

"My favorite moment was arriving to campus and moving in. We crave a sense of normalcy, and for so long we didn’t have it. After being on one of the Reopening Roger committees and seeing all the planning stages, working from the strategic to the tactical to the operational, seeing the result of it as we moved on campus was really fulfilling."

In Their Own Words:
Why RWU Students #MakeSmartChoices