RWU wants students vaccinated for COVID-19 before returning in fall

Updated April 2 at 10 a.m.

ROGER WILLIAMS UNIVERSITY is requiring all students and staff to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 before returning to campus in the fall. / COURTESY ROGER WILLIAMS UNIVERSITY
ROGER WILLIAMS UNIVERSITY is requiring all students and staff to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 before returning to campus in the fall. / COURTESY ROGER WILLIAMS UNIVERSITY

BRISTOL – In a letter Thursday to the campus community, Roger Williams University President Ioannis N. Miaoulis said the school will require all students to be vaccinated for COVID-19 before returning to campus for the start of the fall semester.

The reason, Miaoulis said, is to “ensure the health and safety” of the campus community. Additionally, he said “some medical and religious exemptions” will be made regarding the vaccination requirement. RWU staff are being encouraged to get vaccinated, he said.

Miaoulis added that RWU expects COVID-19 will still be a health issue come the fall and the university is expected to maintain “some modified level” of mask-wearing and physical distancing, a surveillance testing program and other health measures.

“We have proven that we can rise to any challenge we will face. Whatever it will look like, I am energized by a fall semester with more options and fewer restrictions,” Miaoulis said. “RWU has the foundation in place to maintain or reinstate any necessary safety protocols for the year ahead.”

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Like most colleges, RWU’s has included hybrid learning and a myriad of options for students to gain credit for courses during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Miaoulis said that if students who have been learning remotely all year long and are concerned about returning to campus, they can by May 1 fill out an online form to allow academic student advisers to help out with any unique circumstances. RWU, over the next few weeks, will hold virtual sessions to further outline its 2021 fall plans for the campus community, Miaoulis said.

None of the RWU leadership was immediately available for additional comment.

(CORRECTION: Roger Williams University staff are being encouraged, not required, to be vaccinated.)

James Bessette is the PBN special projects editor, and also covers the nonprofit and education sectors. You may reach him at Bessette@PBN.com. You may also follow him on Twitter at @James_Bessette.

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