Bristol, RI: Situated in this small seaside community, Roger Williams University rests on Mt. Hope Bay, about an hour's drive from Boston and 3 1/2 hours from New York City. Previously, Roger Williams was a "college," but now it is home to the state's first School of Law, so the "college" can justly be termed a "university."
My family and I visited the RWU for its Fall Open House Day. Due to the large numbers of invitations sent to prospective students, there was an overwhelming number of kids and parents visiting the campus. We took a tour with other families, and we saw much of the "homey" campus.
Roger Williams is a small school with approximately 2,500 students hailing from 26 states and 45 foreign countries. There are nearly 60 campus clubs and five honor societies. Many students work for the radio station, and may also write for the student newspaper, The Messenger, the literary magazine or the yearbook. The student senate is also very active in the school.
Three residential halls are located on campus, where students can opt for single-sex or co-ed floors. A staff of hall directors and resident assistants work with the students to help the college living experience be as comfortable as possible. One of the rooms we saw was for two people. I couldn't believe how limited the space is for clothes and other paraphernalia from home. But I guess that that is one of the "attractions" of college life , the introduction of a new way of life.
There is one cafeteria on campus, and the college provides a meal plan. There is also a snack bar and many vending machines throughout the campus.
The Main Library has a capacity for 180,000 volumes, though only about 100,000 volumes are presently stored. The library subscribes to almost 1,000 different periodicals. The computer center, located in a parallel building, is open from 8 a.m. until midnight every day. The computer center has IBMs, Macs, and other computers. There is also a smaller library in the School of Architecture, with books on this field of study.
After we (and the forty or so different groups) were finished with the tour, we entered the recreational center and its gym where representatives from every course of study and campus organization were on hand to offer more detailed information. As a political science major, I went to that table and chatted briefly with a senior studying this major. I saw the Political Studies Association's table and I went to the Cross-Country table.
Roger Williams University, a member of the NCAA Division III, offers 16 intercollegiate teams: baseball, basketball, equestrian, golf, ice hockey, lacrosse, sailing, soccer, softball, volleyball, tennis, and wrestling. Varsity coeducational crew, cross-country, and rugby teams have also been formed within the past year. There is also a cheerleading activity.
I didn't tour the athletic fields, but I saw the softball and baseball diamonds and soccer field. There are also two outdoor running tracks and a volleyball court.
Overall, I was impressed with Roger Williams University. Most of the students accepted have a 900-combined SAT score, placing the school in the "moderately difficult" entrance range. n
Reviewed in 1993
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.