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Student Life – COVID-19 FAQs

Student life on the Providence College campus in Fall 2020 is different from any other semester. We are asking students to do things that are inconvenient, uncomfortable, and even difficult. Nobody wants it to be this way, especially our students, and we get it – it is a lousy deal. 

But we ask that you think about a few things as you make decisions, day to day and minute to minute.  

  • All of these rules and requirements are based upon the best expert advice that’s available. And we are doing the same things at PC that people are doing at just about every other residential college in the country. 
  • The primary goal is to keep everyone in our community healthy. College-age students can get COVID-19 and it can be extremely serious. Even a mild case will mean tremendous inconvenience to you and those around you. On top of that, you could feel fine or just mildly sick, but give it to someone who is more vulnerable, with potentially catastrophic results. 
  • This represents our best chance of getting back to normal as soon as possible. Setbacks will cause delays, not just here at PC but in communities everywhere. Working together, we can help keep us on track so that we will have a better chance of having a spring semester that is closer to what we all want it to be. 

Let’s look out for ourselves, for each other, and for everyone around us. It will be tough, but we really have no choice. We are all in this together. 

Drop In Q&A Sessions

The College hosted three drop-in Q&A sessions during the month of August with the Continuity Task Force co-chairs – Dr. Steve Sears (Dean of Students/Interim VP for Student Affairs), Dr. Lynette Boos (Assoc. Prof of Math & President of Faculty Senate), Dr. Brian Bartolini (Associate VP for Academic Affairs/Chief Institutional Effectiveness Officer) and Mike Botelho (Associate VP for Financial & Strategic Planning).

The FAQs below outline answers to many of the questions answered during these sessions. Additionally, if interested, you can access a recording of the session from 8/12 here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some answers to the most common questions we’ve been receiving. Check back often for updates and visit the Reopening Providence College website for more information.  

Please click here for Academic FAQs.

Page Updates: 7/28/20 (Screening/Testing, Personal Counseling, Career Education); 7/29/20 (Dining Services); 7/31/20 (Study Remote Form); 8/9/20 (new deadline for remote study form, Screening, Testing & Quarantine updates, added Int’l & Hot Spot FAQs and Res Life “What to Bring”, updated Res Life “Fall Move-In”); 8/13/20 (added Compliance – Community Standards); 8/14/20 (Move-In Updates); 8/16/20 Testing (to clarify that PCR tests are required at point of origin, and that PC will notify parents/guardians of a student who tests positive) and Isolation (with more detail relative to off-campus/hybrid housing residents who test positive); 8/18/20 Testing (further clarification about PC’s requirement for PCR diagnostic tests); 8/28/20 & 9/9/20 Surveillance Testing Updates

Masks on Campus & Screening Protocol

Q. Where on campus do I have to wear a mask?

A. Face masks are required in all areas of campus, indoors or outdoors, with the only exception being when a student is in their assigned residence hall room.

Q. What kind of mask should I wear?

A. In accordance with CDC guidance raising questions about the efficacy of gaiters and face shields, the College asks those on campus to use cloth or surgical masks.

Q. What is the symptom screening protocol?

A. Before their first interaction with the campus community each day, faculty, staff, and students will be required to complete a self-screening for COVID-19 symptoms or recent exposure to someone who has tested positive. Employees and students who live off campus complete self-screening before coming to campus. Students who live on campus complete screening before leaving their rooms. PC is using the same mobile/desktop messaging system that provides Friar Alerts emergency notifications for symptom screening, and it displays a green check mark for those who report no symptoms, and a red “x” for those who do report symptoms. Students should stay in their rooms and contact Student Health Services if they have symptoms. Those who do not should be prepared to show their green check mark, upon request, to residence life or other staff members.

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Move-In Information for International and “Hot Spot” State Residents

Q. Which students are subject to the state’s rules regarding quarantine for college students traveling from other states or countries?

A. Any student from a country other than the U.S., any student from Puerto Rico, and any student on the list of states the state characterizes as “hot spots” (not including RI) must quarantine upon arrival at PC. If a student lives in any of those places, they are required by the state to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

While regular travelers to Rhode Island are able to “test out” of quarantine by providing proof of a recent negative test result, the state has stated that this is NOT an option for college students.  College students cannot “test out” of the quarantine by providing proof of a recent negative test result. According to the State of RI’s Re-Opening Guidance for Institutions of Higher Education: “Quarantining is especially important for institutes of higher education due to the potential for rapid viral spread on college and university campuses with shared living, dining, educational, and recreational spaces.”

Q. Can I satisfy the international/hot spot quarantine requirement by staying with family or friends in Rhode Island or another non-hot spot state for 14 days before moving to campus or starting classes?

A. Yes, but any student who does this will be required to sign an affidavit stating that they have been in Rhode Island or another non-hot spot state for 14 days and that they have followed strict quarantine guidelines. Note: A student’s 14-day countdown will start over if the state in which they are staying becomes a hot spot during their 14-day quarantine period.

Those who choose to quarantine anywhere besides the PC campus are asked to please email residence life with their quarantine plans.

If quarantining in a non-hot spot state is not an option, students traveling from these locations will quarantine upon arrival on campus.

Q. Can I move to campus early, to complete my quarantine before classes begin?

A. Yes. The College is asking international students to move to campus Aug. 10 or Aug. 14 (most of this schedule had been arranged previously). Students from hot spot states are asked to arrive on Aug. 14 or 17, unless they are quarantining for 14 days in Rhode Island or another non-hot spot state. Students from those states are asked to please contact Residence Life if they cannot move in on the 14th or 17th.

Q. Will I be tested when I get to campus?

A. Yes. This is the first thing that students will do upon arrival at PC. They will wait in quarantine until confirmation of a negative test result. Students who test negative will remain in quarantine for the balance of the 14-day period. Any who test positive will go into the College’s isolation protocol.

Q. Where will I stay during quarantine?

A. Those students who arrive on Aug. 14 and who are already assigned to an apartment or suite for the fall will be able to quarantine in their fall housing assignment location for the quarantine period. 

Students who arrive on Aug. 17 will be required to quarantine in Davis Hall or Bedford Hall. 

Students who are assigned to a traditional hall will quarantine in Davis or Bedford Hall regardless of what day they arrive.

Q. What will day-to-day life be like in quarantine?

A. Meals will be delivered to students in quarantine (with dietary restrictions taken into account), and each student will have an assigned residence life staff member who will serve as a point of contact and check in regularly. Students in quarantine will have scheduled opportunities to go outside to walk/stretch/read and, in some cases, eat meals. Campus ministers and chaplains will also be available to students, and student-athletes in quarantine will receive daily check-ins from their coaches.

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Point-of-Origin & Arrival Testing

Q. Do I need to be tested for COVID-19 before I come to campus? Will I be tested once I am on campus?

A. Students are required to have a PCR test, with documentation of a negative result, before arriving at PC. In accordance with current federal and state guidance, that test must occur within five days of arrival, and students should then take steps to limit contact with others until coming to campus. Students will have another test upon arrival at PC. In fact, they will be directed to Peterson Recreation Center to be tested as a first step before moving into residence halls. DO NOT COME TO CAMPUS IF YOU DON’T FEEL WELL, IF YOU TEST POSITIVE , OR IF YOU HAVE AN INCONCLUSIVE TEST RESULT.

Q. Do my parents need to provide evidence of having been tested, if they are on campus to help me move in?

A. They do not, but they will be required to wear masks at all times on campus and to try to stay six feet away from others.

Q. Where do I go for my point-of-origin (pre-move-in) test?

A. The College has arranged for students to be tested at certain CVS locations, with the fee to be charged directly to the College. Please note that this is not allowed by law in New York or New Jersey, but students from those states may go to another state to be tested.

Students who cannot access a CVS test and live within driving distance of PC may come to campus prior to their move-in date to be tested, also at no direct cost, according to this schedule.

  • Saturday, Aug. 22: 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • Sunday, Aug. 23: 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Monday, Aug. 24: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Aug. 25: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Aug. 26: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Thursday, Aug. 27: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Friday, Aug. 28: 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Saturday, Aug. 29 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Sunday, Aug. 30 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Sept. 2 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Appointments are not required. Public Safety personnel will direct you to the facility upon arrival.

In the event that neither of these options is workable, students may get tested on their own (3-5 days prior to arrival) and bring a receipt so that the College may provide reimbursement for the cost.

Q. What if I have been tested on my own, somewhere other than at PC, but the results are delayed and I am scheduled to move in or start classes?

A. In accordance with new guidance announced on Friday, Aug. 21, students are required to have documentation of a negative result before moving in or starting classes. This supersedes previous guidance.

Q. What kind of test should I get, if I am going to be tested on my own?

A. The College requires a polymerise chain reaction (PCR) diagnostic test.

Q. Where is the on-campus testing facility?

A. It is in Peterson Recreation Center. Security personnel at the Huxley Ave. entrance gate will direct students to parking. Hours are 9 a.m.-3 p.m. M-Th, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.F. Remember that face masks are required at all times on campus.

Q. What are the hours?

  • Sunday, Aug. 23: 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Monday, Aug. 24: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Aug. 25: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Aug. 26: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Thursday, Aug. 27: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Friday, Aug. 28: 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Saturday, Aug. 29 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Sunday, Aug. 30 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Sept. 2 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Appointments are not required. Public Safety personnel will direct you to the testing center upon arrival.

Q. What is the test like?

A. It involves a self-administered, minimally invasive nasal swab. Students will sign in at Peterson, and a trained professional will guide them through the process. It takes only a few minutes, and results are generally expected within 24 hours.

Q. How do off-campus students access testing in Peterson?

A. Unless directed otherwise, off-campus students will need to schedule a test before accessing campus.

Q. Will I be tested again during the semester, even if I don’t develop COVID-19 symptoms?

A. Yes. PC is testing approximately 400 people per day, throughout the fall semester, as part of its effort to contain positive cases that may arise within our community. This is known as surveillance testing.

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Surveillance Testing

Q. What is surveillance testing?

A. It is a protocol designed to catch cases of COVID-19 early, in an effort to reduce the likelihood of outbreaks. It involves testing approximately 400 members of the PC community each weekday. Surveillance testing is a key component of PC’s plan to manage the virus. 

Q. Are students required to participate?

A. Participation is not optional. It is required as part of the College’s COVID-19 Conduct Code provisions, which were provided to all students in June to read and agree to.

Q. How are students notified?

A. The Office of College Events, which is managing this process, emails students three days before they are due to be tested. That email includes a link to the scheduling app. Students can pick the time that works in their schedules, and testing only takes a few minutes. Reminders are provided by email and text a day before the appointment and an hour before the appointment.

Q. Is there flexibility in scheduling?

A. To a certain extent. Students should email College Events to schedule testing for a different day under these circumstances:

  • Untenable scheduling conflicts, because of academic or other commitments
  • If they are in quarantine/isolation, if they are studying remotely for the semester, or if they are commuters who do not have reason to be on campus on the day they are scheduled
  • If circumstances necessitate a change in the time of an appointment after it is scheduled

Q. What should students do if they miss an appointment because they forgot or something suddenly came up?

A. It is imperative that they report to the testing center the next weekday between 8 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. to be tested. Students should do all they can to avoid this scenario, because it makes the overall testing program less effective and it will be significantly less convenient (students who walk in are fit in between scheduled appointments, increasing wait times substantially).

Q. What are the ramifications for failing to schedule an appointment or missing an appointment?

A. The College will email students (with a copy to his or her parents/guardians) the evening after a missed appointment. That message will provide instructions for students to follow to avoid the last resort – being reported to the Office of Community Standards, because failure to participate represents a violation of the Student Conduct Code.

Q. Where is the testing center?

A. As of now, Peterson Recreation Center.

Q. What are the hours?

A. The hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday

Q. Do I have to quarantine after taking my surveillance test?

A. No, unlike the move-in test, there is no quarantine required after taking a surveillance test.

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Symptoms & Quarantine

Q. What should a student do if he/she has symptoms of COVID-19?

A. If a student has symptoms of COVID-19, they should call the Student Health Center at 401.865​.2422 to arrange to be seen by a provider in the Student Health Center Respiratory Clinic. Any person experiencing symptoms of illness must avoid in-person interactions with the campus community until they receive results of their test. For more information, please visit the Student Health Center COVID-19 website.

Q. How will we be notified if we have been in contact with someone who has tested positive on campus?

A. Any students who live with or are a close contact of a student who tests positive will be contacted by the College’s contact tracing team and required to complete a minimum 14-day quarantine, in space provided by the College. Please visit the Re-Opening: Healthy & Safety site for detailed information about quarantine and isolation.

Q. What would cause me to have to go into quarantine during the semester?

A. If you are identified as a “close contact” with someone who tests positive for COVID-19, you will be placed in quarantine for a period of 14 days after your last contact with the person who tested positive.

Q. Are there consequences for students who violate quarantine?

A. All students must comply with strict protocols related to isolation and quarantine. Isolating or quarantining students who are found or reported to be outside of their rooms, at an undesignated time or without permission, may be sent home to work remotely for the remainder of the semester – without a room and board refund.

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Residence Life: Rooms and Roommates

Q. I am attending Providence College in the fall, but wasn’t able to see a residence hall room during my campus tour. Can I come to campus to see what the rooms look like?

A. No, we cannot accommodate tours of residence halls at this time. We encourage you to use our residence hall virtual tours to check out rooms in each hall.

Q. How many students are going to be living in a room?

A. This will vary depending on your housing assignment.

Q. When will first-year student housing assignments come out?

A. Housing and roommate assignments will be distributed via email to Providence College e-mail addresses in early August. We are unable to provide assignments over the phone or by any means other than email and we cannot provide this information prior to distribution of the emails.

Q. Will housing assignments for returning students change?

A. In order to de-densify the residence halls, the College will limit occupancy and some students will be relocated. We are working to minimize these changes, and the Office of Residence Life & Housing has already been in touch with those who will be affected to work on alternative arrangements.

Q. If I decide to take all my classes remotely, can I still live in the residence halls?

A. No, students who chose to work fully remotely cannot reside on campus.

Q. If I study remotely in the fall, will I still be able to live on campus in the spring?

A. Yes. More details about spring housing will come at a later date.

Q. Will room change requests during the semester still be accommodated?

A. Yes, after the second week in October.

Q. How do I talk with my roommates about boundaries in our room related to COVID guidelines?

A. It’s better to put those things out in the open in the beginning. Communication is key to any successful relationship–even roommates. If you are a first-year student, reach out to your roommates via FaceTime or Skype to get to know your new roommate(s). When you all get together on campus, bring up any concerns, voice your opinions, and ultimately come to a compromise about what goes on in your space. Our community is filled with people who have backgrounds, cultures, and even languages that may be different from yours. Think of it as a lesson in tolerance.

Q. What happens if my roommate tests positive for COVID-19? Do I have to quarantine?

A. When a student’s roommate tests positive for COVID-19, the person who tests positive is immediately placed into isolation on-campus or at home.  Any students who live with or are a close contact of a student who tests positive will be contacted by the contact tracing team and required to complete a 14 day quarantine on-campus or at home. For more information, please visit the Contact Tracing section of our Reopening website.

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Residence Life: Fall Move-In

Q. I have been able to move-in as an Early Arrival Student in previous semesters. Will I be able to move in early this Fall?

A. To protect our community, move in will be staggered over the course of a few days; as a result of this we are NOT able to entertain early arrival requests at this time. Please do not contact us asking for an exception.

Q. When will students move into their rooms?

A. Move-in will be staggered to manage the number of people in the residence halls at one time. Students will be provided a window of time for their move in. The general time frames are:

  • International students (Aug. 10 and Aug 14)
  • Hot spot state residents (Aug. 14 or Aug. 17)
  • Resident assistants and orientation leaders (Aug. 21), if they are not international or hot spot state residents
  • Incoming first-year students (Aug. 24-27), if they are not international or hot spot state residents
  • Returning, non-hot spot state residents, and non-international students (Aug. 28-30)
  • Bedford and Davis residents (Sept. 5-7), who are not international or hot spot state residents*

Students who are not international or hot spot state residents were sent an email on Monday, August 1oth with their specific move in time. You must arrive on the date and times you have been assigned. Students are allowed no more than two additional people to accompany them to campus and assist them with their move in process.

*To make room for quarantining students from international locations and hot spot states, and to meet state guidelines, we will ask residents of Davis and Bedford Halls to delay moving in until Sept. 5-7. These students will begin classes remotely and their room and board charges will be reduced and adjusted to reflect the one-week delay. This will allow time for these halls to be fully cleaned, disinfected, and prepared for your move in. Residence Life will provide additional details to Davis and Bedford residents. We are truly sorry for this inconvenience. 

Q. Can I change my move-in date?

A. No. In order for the College to comply with testing and quarantine protocols, students have been assigned the same move in time as their roommates. In order to keep everyone as safe as possible, and to adhere to the protocols, we cannot make exceptions to move in dates. Please do not contact Residence Life to request a change in date.

Q.  How many people can I bring with me to move in?

A. NO MORE THAN TWO PEOPLE can accompany you to move-in.  Please do not bring more than two people and tell us that somebody is just going to stay in the car. No more than two in the car either. 

Q. Do my parents have to get a test at home (point-of-origin test) or on-campus when we arrive?

A.  No, just students need a point-of-origin and an on-campus arrival test.

Q. Are my parents allowed to get out of the car to help me move my belongings into my room?

A.  Yes, after you have finished at the testing center (during which time your parents must stay in the car), you will proceed to your residence hall and your parents may help you move your belongings into your room.

Q. How long do I have to move in?

A. Ninety minutes (this includes the time spent at the testing center).  First year students will have 2 hours. Yes, this is enough time. This schedule is essential for allowing physical distancing between move-in groups.

Q. Is it true that all students will have to quarantine after moving in?

A. Yes. Limiting contact among students who have not yet tested negative is critical to containing the virus at the outset of the semester. Students will quarantine in their rooms until they get notification of a negative test result (most likely a period of less than 24 hours).

The College will make arrangements to have meals delivered to rooms or will make meal pick-up accessible in spaces where students will go in small groups appropriate for physical distancing. Dietary restrictions will be taken into account for meal preparation. 

Q. Can I go out to dinner and/or stay with my parents at their hotel after I move in?

A.  No, because you will have just taken the pre-arrival COVID-19 test, you must begin your quarantine immediately following the end of your move-in time slot.

Q. Given the delay in providing move-in dates, what happens if I am not able to get a reasonably-priced flight in time to arrive before the start of classes?

A. You may begin classes online and adjust to your in-class schedule upon your arrival and completion of the requirements for testing and quarantine.

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Residence Life: What to Bring

Q. What should I keep in mind when packing to come to campus for the fall semester under these unusual circumstances?

A. To facilitate a seamless move-in, which will be challenging because of the need to practice physical distancing, PC is asking students to minimize the belongings they bring to campus this fall. Please consider limiting yourselves to one large suitcase and one carry-on-type bag, plus bedding. Refrigerators, etc., are allowable, but please coordinate with your roommates to maximize efficiency.

Q. Are there any particular things I should bring?

A. Yes. Please bring these items:

  • A 14-day quarantine bag with essential items in the event that you must quarantine on campus or at the Marriott Hotel (Orms Street, Providence)
  • A personal thermometer
  • A 14-day supply of prescription medications and any over-the-counter medications you routinely take
  • Cleaning supplies, including disinfectant wipes
  • Multiple face masks

A comprehensive list of items to bring/not bring is available on the Residence Life website. Please keep in mind that we are asking students to pack lightly this fall, given the shorter move-in time slots and the fact that students will only be on-campus until Thanksgiving.

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Residence Life: Visitation, Guests, & Travel Off Campus

Q. Will my parents/siblings/boyfriend/girlfriend be able to visit me in my room?

A. No, for the safety of the community, no outside visitors are permitted in your residence hall after move-in day. Your family however, may visit campus public spaces while maintaining social distancing.

Q. Can I have my friends over in my residence hall room/suite/apartment if they live in a different building?

A. No, for the safety of the community, students will not be able to visit other residence halls.

 Q. What about if my friends live in the same building, but on a different floor?

A. Yes, students who live within a building can visit other students within the same residence hall.

Q. Will we be able to host parties in my suite/room/apartment?

A. No parties or large gatherings will be permitted.

In Rhode Island, the limit on gatherings is 15 people. If the College is able to establish the identity of any student at a gathering or party of more than 15 people through reports (from RAs, other students, etc), or digital images or video obtained through social media or other means, the student or students identified will face immediate disciplinary action. This applies to residence hall rooms, on-campus apartment/suites, and off-campus housing.

Q. Am I allowed to leave campus?

A. We strongly encourage students to stay on campus for the entirety of the fall semester for safety reasons, but students are not required to stay on campus. If you choose to leave campus, you are required to follow the state’s safety guidelines.

Q. Am I allowed to go home on the weekend? Is there a process to request to go home for a weekend?

A. We strongly encourage students to stay on campus for the entirety of the fall semester for safety reasons.  You do not need to request to go home for a weekend, but we request that you let your RA or CD/HD know that you are going home.  If you do choose to go home, please continue to wear your mask and social distance.

Q. How will I access my Resident Assistant (RA)/Graduate Assistant Hall Director (GAHD)/Complex Director(CD)?

A. Reach out via text, GroupMe, email, zoom, or visit the RA hall office during duty hours (see duty schedule.) You can also directly contact the Office of Residence Life & Housing.

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Residence Life: Hall Common Areas

Q. Will there still be common areas in the residence halls?

A. Yes, however, usage of common area spaces (including kitchen common areas) will be limited based on social distancing protocol.

Q. Will there be limits on how many people in the bathrooms?

A. Occupancy limits in restrooms will be reduced as needed based on distancing guidelines. Instructions will be posted on restroom entrances.

Q. Can I leave my shower caddy in the bathroom?

A. No, students are not permitted to leave personal items in common spaces for health reasons.

Q. Will there be limits on how many people in the laundry rooms?

A. Laundry usage will be coordinated based on floor assignment – times will be staggered. The laundry machine app will be expanded to provide for more accurate and timely information. Full cleaning of laundry rooms will be performed once per day.  Students will be expected to maintain social distancing guidelines.

Q. How many people can ride in an elevator?

A. Occupancy limits in elevators will be reduced as needed based on distancing guidelines. We encourage individuals to use the stairs when possible.  Pay attention to signage as some stairwells and hallways may be designated as one way.

 Q. Can I still store my hockey and ROTC equipment in the stairwells?

A. No. There is no designated space in the residence halls for athletic equipment. Students will need to store this equipment in their residence hall room.

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Residence Life: Cleaning Protocols

Q. How often are the bathrooms, hallways, elevators, lobbies, and common areas being cleaned?

A. Shared bathrooms in traditional halls and all hall common areas will be fully cleaned once per day. There will be additional touch point cleaning throughout the day. Staff will post a log of bathroom cleanings.

Q. Will my room be cleaned by staff?  Will my bathroom in my suite/apartment be cleaned by staff?

A. No, students are responsible for cleaning their rooms as well as the common areas of their suites and apartments. We suggest you bring general cleaning supplies with you for the semester.

Q. Can I hire someone to clean my room/suite/apartment?

A. No, no one is allowed to enter the residence halls other than students who live there and approved college staff.  

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Compliance – Community Standards

Q. What happens if students break a policy?

A. We all recognize that these are difficult circumstances, and we want to encourage everyone to work together to stay safe (and keep others safe). As with any rules, we need to have sanctions to help ensure compliance, and that is the case with the College’s COVID-19 requirements, described on page 78 of the Student Handbook.

Our hope is that students will comply with the College’s COVID-19 requirements as part of our shared commitment to the common good. Wearing masks, staying physically distant, paying attention to symptoms, letting medical personnel know if we are feeling sick, and following all the other guidelines designed by the College are our best shot at getting PC back to something close to normal as soon as possible.

However, please be advised that the full range of sanctions outlined in the Student Handbook will be considered if a student has been found responsible for violating section 22 of the Student Code of Conduct, up to and including removal from campus. 

Of particular note, students must be aware that they cannot host any non-College-sponsored gatherings or parties on- or off-campus. In Rhode Island, the limit on gatherings is 15 people. The state has established a hotline that people can use to report gatherings over 15 people. The police will respond and may issue fines. Additionally, if the College is able to establish the identity of any student at a gathering or party of more than 15 people through reports (from RAs, police, neighbors, other students), or digital images or video obtained through social media or other means, the student or students identified will face immediate disciplinary action. This applies to residence hall rooms, on-campus apartment/suites, and off-campus housing.

Additionally, all students must comply with strict protocols related to isolation and quarantine. Those who are required to isolate or quarantine must stay in their rooms and follow the schedule that will be provided. Those rooms will have WiFi and cable television, and we are arranging for meals. We will do our best to make time for supervised outdoor exercise and relaxation. That being said, students who are found or reported to be outside of their rooms, at an undesignated time or without permission, may be sent home to work remotely for the remainder of the semester – without a room and board refund.

We recognize that PC, like all colleges, is asking a lot and we sympathize – this is tough on everyone, and it will not be a typical semester. But, we only can be successful with your cooperation and your support. Diligently following the rules and keeping each other’s well-being first and foremost for 12 weeks — those are the keys to having a safe semester and giving ourselves the best chance possible of having a PC experience that is more like normal in 2021.

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Dining Services

Q. Will I have to wear a mask in the dining halls?

A. Yes, face coverings are required for all guests and employees entering any establishment. Face coverings must be worn when moving about the dining hall but can be removed when seated at a table and eating.

Q. Will all meals be to-go, or will we be able to sit down to eat?

A. There will be both full-serve and grab and go options.  You will be able to sit down to eat, but we have reduced capacity to 75% inside dining locations with reduced dine-in seating based on current regulatory, social distance guidelines by the Rhode Island Department of Health. In order to provide more sit-down space, an outdoor seating area with a large tent is planned for the circle area in front of Raymond.

There will be full transferability for those on meal plans so students can eat at all our on-campus eating venues —Raymond, Alumni, Eaton Street Cafe, Ruane Cafe plus new grab and go locations.  

Q. Is PC adding any dining locations on campus?

A. In order to meet anticipated increased demand for to-go options, we have added Grab & Go kiosks in McPhails and on the first floor of the Ryan Center, near the elevators.

Q. Can I order ahead?

A. Yes, we have a robust mobile ordering platform in place for Alumni Hall, Eaton Street Café, and Ruane Café to minimize traffic and to accommodate reduced dine-in capacity.

Q. Will take-out options be available everywhere?

A. Yes, we will now be offering to-go containers at every dining location including Raymond Hall.

Q. Will there still be self-serve options?

A. No, replacement of self-serve, unattended buffets, topping bars, U-Cook and other communal serving areas as defined by the Rhode Island Department of Health regulatory guidelines, will be suspended and served by a member of our staff. Beverage stations will be operational with the use of single use wipes and single serve cups. 

Q. How will dining services promote social distancing?

A. Signage delineates traffic patterns and queuing distances throughout each location. Guests should maintain social distancing requirements of six feet while entering locations, waiting in lines and exiting.

Q. How will payment/meal plans work?

A. Touchless entry and contactless payment are available at all our locations to limit the contact between dining staff and students. Cash will be accepted but it is not encouraged.

Q. I have special dietary needs, will dining services be able to accommodate?

A. Yes, we are still able to meet most dietary needs, if you have specific questions, please contact our registered dietitian, Michelle Switach at MSwitach@providence.edu

Q. What is the cleaning/sanitizing schedule like?

A. We will have enhanced cleaning protocols in place for all service and seating areas. High touchpoint areas are sanitized every 15-30 minutes. In Raymond Hall Dining and Alumni Hall tables and chairs will be sanitized regularly with Stop/Go signs in place to notify guests and staff when a table is safe to eat at.

Q. How will the employees be screened?

A. Employees will be screened daily per Rhode Island Department of Health guidelines. These measures include a daily questionnaire focused on exposure and health upon arrival. All employees are required to attend new COVID safety training before the start of work for the academic year.

Q. What will the hours be?

A. Raymond Dining Hall (Mon-Fri 7:30am-9:00pm, Sat-Sun 9:00am-9:00pm); Eaton Street Cafe (Mon-Wed 8:00am-11:00pm, Thurs 8:00am-12:00am, Fri 8:00am-4:00pm, Sat 4:00pm-12:00am, Sun 10:00am-10:00pm); Eaton Street Late Night Window (mobile ordering only – Thurs-Sun 12:00am-2:30am); Alumni Food Court (Mon-Wed 10:30am-11:00pm, Thurs-Fri 10:30am-1:00am, Sat-Sun 12:00pm-1:00am), Ruane Cafe (Mon-Thurs 7:30am-8:00pm, Fri 7:30am-3:00pm, Sat-Sun closed), McPhail’s Grab & Go Kiosk (Mon-Fri 11:00am-5:00pm), Ryan Center Grab & Go Kiosk – 1st floor near elevator (Mon-Fri 11:00am-5:00pm)

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Rec Sports: Fitness Center

Q. Will the fitness center be open?

A. We do expect that the fitness center will be open and are working on policies and procedures to support appropriate social distancing while creating a safe overall environment. Masks will be required while exercising in the fitness center.

Q. Will you still offer group fitness classes?

A. Yes. Classes will likely be smaller due to social distancing and group gathering guideline, but we also hope to use some larger spaces and even move certain classes outdoors in order to offer a variety of classes. Masks will be required while attending group fitness classes.

Q. Is the outdoor track open?

A. Yes, the track is open, but the field inside the track is closed. Masks are required while on the track if you will be within 6 feet of another person on the track at any time.

Rec Sports: Intramurals and Club Sports

Q. Will there still be intramurals?

A. Yes, we plan to offer low-risk intramural programs. Students will participate in intramurals within stable groups (ie – groups of students from the same residence hall will be able to play against each other, but students from different halls would not). More information to come at the beginning of the semester.

Q. Will fall club sports be allowed to play?

A. Fall club sport programs will not be traveling or competing this fall.

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Student Clubs and Events

Q. Will we be able to have club meetings?

A. Student groups will be encouraged to hold their meetings via zoom.  Space will be extremely limited on campus and we want to ensure the safety of all members. Club executives will be receiving more information directly from the Office of Student Activities & Cultural Programming in the coming weeks.

Q. Can clubs still host events?

A. Clubs will be able to host events this fall primarily in a virtual setting.  We will be following state and college guidelines as it pertains to private gatherings.  We anticipate fewer events taking place this fall then have occurred in the past but are working hard to offer a well-rounded student experience.  Club officers will be provided with detailed information regarding fall event planning in the coming weeks.

Please see Re-Opening Providence College: Activities & Events for more information

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Campus Common Areas

Q. What will shared study spaces look likes? (i.e. Slavin, the library, the Great Room in Ruane, etc.)

A. Social distancing capacity limits have been determined for all classrooms, labs, studios, and other learning spaces, including group and individual study spaces. Furniture will be removed where appropriate to create more space. Multi-person furniture will be marked for proper social distancing or will be removed. Users are asked not to move furniture as has been common in some areas in the past.

Q. What extra cleaning measures will be taken in common spaces?

A. Full cleaning will be performed once per day (24-hr period) in common areas and student lounges, with up to four additional touchpoint cleanings performed during the hours of operation. Additionally, disinfecting stations, with hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes, will be available for occupants to clean seating areas before/after use.

Q. How many people can use the restrooms?

A. Occupancy limits in restrooms will be reduced as needed based on distancing guidelines. Instructions will be posted on restroom entrances.

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