Living at RWU

Last Updated: 3/25/2021

Visits Home: Important Reminder

The University continues to request that students refrain from traveling home, except for critical appointments or family emergencies. 

During the upcoming three-day weekend, April 2-4, we urge students to remain on campus or in off-campus housing in order to reduce exposure to individuals not in a testing protocol. Students who choose to travel home, please do all you can to reduce close contacts and practice the same prevention measures in place on campus (masking, distancing, staying out of crowded venues and crowds) and return to campus COVID negative. 

If students do return home between April 2-4, make sure to test twice next week before departing, and to test twice during the first four testing days upon returning, beginning on Monday, April 5, and through Thursday, April 8.

At any point that students must go home, it is critical that they mask and physically distance around all family members and friends outside of RWU, beginning with the ride home and continuing with the return to campus. Please do not have any close contact with anyone who is not part of the RWU community. Family members and friends from home are not participating in regular testing for Covid, nor in a structured environment with high mask and distancing compliance – these interactions are considered to remain risky at this time. 

Weekend visits home were one of the key variables that resulted in an increase of cases and community spread near the middle to end of last semester.

In-Person Club and Organization Meetings

Student Programs, Leadership & Orientation continues to expand in-person meetings for student clubs and organizations. Masking, distancing and 100% testing compliance is required.

Residence Hall Visitation

  • Students living in University housing now may enjoy full inter residence hall visitation access (that is, between residence areas), consistent with last semester’s approach. Resident students may visit friends in other residence areas. Room capacities remain the same as last semester as determined and communicated by Residence Life. 
  • Off-Campus apartments and houses: On Thursday, Feb. 11, the State of Rhode Island expanded indoor social gathering sizes to two households from one household, and outside social gathering sizes to three households. Fines of $500 for exceeding these social gathering guidelines are still applicable. The increase in indoor gathering sizes ONLY impacts students living in off-campus housing, as residential students must continue to follow room occupancy guidelines established by residence life.
  • Commuters and Off-Campus Students: Unfortunately, commuters and off-campus students may not visit residence halls and resident students who violate that expectation will forfeit their guest privileges for the remainder of the semester.

Notably, classes are not considered social gatherings, and the Rhode Island social-gathering restriction – to keep within one's household – does not apply in classrooms.

For more information, visit the Social Gatherings page

No Guest Policy 

Residence Life and Housing has implemented a “no outside guest” policy for the 2020-21 academic year, and will investigate, in collaboration with the Vice President of Student Life, Inter-Residence Hall Association, and Student Senate, additional limitations on inter-visitation of residents between different residence areas. 

More about Spring Opening Process

Residence hall room density across campus has been reduced wherever possible with a firm commitment to not use double rooms as triples or single rooms as doubles. Standard capacity triples and quads in traditional corridor style buildings may have reduced capacity and when possible will be converted to study rooms. 

To support isolation and quarantine space needs, Residence Life and Housing has committed 34 double-occupancy isolation units and more than 39 single-occupancy quarantine units with private bathrooms and will be delivered as needed. 

Frequent community walkthroughs of floors by Resident Assistants and Community Directors will ensure that capacity and social distancing guidelines in common area spaces are being maintained.  

The University has designated existing staff for enhanced training and responsibility for sanitizing standards for all residential communities, and requires documentation of completion of daily cleaning assignments. Evaluation and continual feedback to custodial staff is provided by managers in Residence Life and Housing, and Facilities Management. 

Residence Life and Housing has created additional training, guidelines, and expectations for Resident Assistants on how to perform their responsibilities safely, effectively and appropriately during the pandemic and staff will continue to document all cleaning activities daily. Some of these expectations include, but are not limited to: 

  • Community Meetings will be facilitated via Zoom and recorded for students to view on their own. 
  • Residence Life and Housing is researching alternate methods of providing community-wide educational/ developmental opportunities. Initial plans include virtual engagement and requiring residents to sign up for in-person programs in advance by limiting the reservations based on community/event spacing capacity. 
  • RAs will facilitate intentional conversations on How to Live During a Pandemic virtually via Zoom, Google Chat, or similar platform. 

Health and Safety Inspections will be conducted in a manner that reduces exposure for staff and students. The department has developed alternative processes to help remind and engage students regarding health and safety policies. 

Residence Life and Housing has collaborated with Facilities Management to incorporate CDC and RI Department of Health guidelines in some of the following ways: 

  • Developed/enhanced rubrics and expectations for custodial staff cleaning procedures accompanied by training modules. 
  • Identified ways to increase social distancing within community bathrooms, i.e. if there are three sinks in a bathroom, turning off the water to the middle sink so that there is distance between two students. 
  • Established common area and bathroom capacities in support of social distancing practices. 
  • Residence Life and Housing has fully developed a building breakdown of common areas for internal use for staffing needs, and posted cleaning expectations and occupancy capacities for these spaces within every residential community. 

The Mailroom has implemented a zero-contact mail delivery system for all University departments, and implemented one-directional travel through the area, with 6-foot space markers on floors. Additionally, the mailroom uses a schedule or text system, whenever possible, for mail and package pick-up for both students and departments, to avoid long waiting lines. 

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