RIC unveils reopening plans, URI updates students on upcoming semester

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) ─ While the plan for elementary, middle and high school students in Rhode Island remains unclear, colleges and universities say they’re full steam ahead for the upcoming academic year.

Rhode Island College announced Friday that the entire school year, which begins on Aug. 31, will be held remotely.

RIC President Frank Sanchez said while most classes will be online only, select lab courses, along with some first-year courses, may be offered in person.

But students and faculty returning to campus will have to undergo health screenings and must wear face coverings.

RIC said it will continue to offer on-campus housing and dining services, but it will be limited. The college also said there will be limited opportunities for student athletes to practice and compete throughout the fall season.

At the University of Rhode Island, President David Dooley provided a video update Friday that went into detail on how the university is preparing for the fall semester, which begins Sept. 9.

Dooley acknowledged that he wants students to continue their education, whether that be in person or online. He also noted that some students may be uncomfortable returning to campus, and virtual alternatives will be made available.

Eyewitness News previously reported that URI is reducing on-campus housing by 30% for this upcoming school year.

Dooley also said he knows students are disappointed that they had to reduce their on-campu housing, but it was done with their safety in mind.

Both schools said the decisions were not made lightly and they based them off of guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Rhode Island Department of Health.

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