Brown, RISD move classes online, direct students to vacate residence halls

Coronavirus

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) are the latest schools to make the switch to remote learning due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Both schools stressed they have no confirmed or presumptive cases on campus and the changes are being made out of an abundance of caution.

Brown officials issued an advisory Thursday morning saying all classes have been canceled for the week of March 16, then the university will switch to online classes for the rest of the semester beginning March 30.

All undergraduate students who live on campus or in university-owned properties were directed to vacate by March 22 and complete their semester from their homes or an alternate location.

Admissions events and all spring athletics competitions and practices were also canceled, and non-essential visitors are discouraged from coming to campus.

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Three students who took part in an out-of-state event were tested for the virus but the results came back negative. All three remain in isolation.

It is unclear at this time whether Commencement and Reunion Weekend will proceed as planned in May.

Also on Thursday, RISD President Rosanne Somerson announced that March 20 will be the last day classes meet in person. Spring break will be held as usual from March 23-27 and as of Monday, March 30, through the rest of the semester, classes will be taught remotely.

Starting on March 16, the school is canceling all in-person gatherings involving more than 100 people for the remainder of the semester. Anyone who is in charge of an event this size must cancel, reschedule, or move it online, officials said.

All residence halls will close for the remainder of the semester on March 22. If anyone is unable to return to their permanent residence, the school has established a process where students can request accommodations.

The school also confirmed that the three Brown students who were tested for the virus are not enrolled in any RISD classes.

More: How universities, colleges are responding to the coronavirus »

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