RWU Opens Lounge for Commuting Students

The space provides commuters a place to meet, socialize and unwind

Students sitting in new commuter lounge at RWU
Students and staff recently celebrated the grand opening of the university's new Commuter Lounge on the lower level of the Stonewall IV residence hall.
Edward Fitzpatrick

BRISTOL, R.I. – Roger Williams University President Donald J. Farish and RWU student Amelia DeMelo, president of the Commuters in Action club, cut the ribbon at today’s grand opening for the new Commuter Lounge on the lower level of the Stonewall IV residence hall.

“The message to commuter students is that you are welcome, you are part of the campus, we want you to be here,” Farish said. He said he commuted when he was an undergraduate student, and he wishes he’d had access to a space such as RWU’s commuter lounge.

“You shouldn’t be made to feel that you are second-class students on our campus,” Farish said. “You are a major part of this university, and we want you to feel involved.”

John J. King, RWU’s Vice President for Student Life, said the idea for the Commuter Lounge arose from students. He noted the lounge is located near one of the university’s main commuter parking lots, off Lower Old Ferry Road. “Now we have a shared space that our commuters can be proud of and use throughout the day,” he said.

DeMelo, a sophomore from Westport, Mass., said the University Library provides academic space and The Commons dining hall provides a place to eat, but commuters also need a space to meet and socialize and just hang out between classes. “This is a place we can call home even when we are not at home,” she said.

DeMelo emphasized that the Commuter Lounge is not limited to commuting students. “One of the goals is to bridge the gap between commuters and residents,” she said.