Should Rhode Island colleges be allowed to make their own decisions about whether students can return to campus in the fall?

ROGER WILLIAMS UNIVERSITY is working on protocols in order to return to campus life next fall. / COURTESY ROGER WILLIAMS UNIVERSITY
ROGER WILLIAMS UNIVERSITY is working on plans to allow the school to return to campus life next fall. / COURTESY ROGER WILLIAMS UNIVERSITY

A handful of local colleges recently announced evolving plans to reopen their campuses to students in the fall, with online learning still among the options for some.

All of those schools are working on protocols to account for the ongoing threat of COVID-19 infections and ensure student and staff safety.

Other schools, however, have remained silent while watching state efforts to control the spread of the virus.

The California State University system, meanwhile, has already announced that nearly all instruction in the fall will be online.

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Should the decision to reopen local campuses rest solely with the schools, whose decisions will also be guided by the willingness of staff, students and their families to return to campus?

And will it be fair to students and families for some schools to reopen campuses but others not to?

Or should the state decide when the health risks are low enough for all local colleges to bring students and staff back?

Should Rhode Island colleges be allowed to make their own decisions about whether students can return to campus in the fall?

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