Category Archives: International

FAQ for international students and families

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When am I expected to arrive on campus? 

Sunday, August 2 – Wednesday, August 5: New international students who are subject to quarantine and are attending 4MILE@bryant move in starting August 2 and begin self-quarantine on campus.

August 9: Returning students who are subject to quarantine according to the RI Department of Health start moving in.  If needed, returning students can arrive as early as August 5. As of June 10, the State of RI requires a 14-day quarantine for:

  • Students who arrive from a location outside of the 50 U.S. states or the District of Columbia
  • Students entering Rhode Island from an area still under stay-at-home order or another similar type of restriction.

August 19: New students who are not subject to quarantine move in.

August 23: Returning students who fall into one of these following categories move in. I

  • Students who are not subject to quarantine, and students who have completed 14-day self-isolation (specific guidelines below).

What is campus quarantine going to look like?

Students will be assigned a temporary quarantine room for 14 days prior to moving to their fall housing assignment. The specific details regarding food delivery, and health and safety measures will be announced once Bryant’s reopening plan has been reviewed and approved by the RI Department of Health.  

I am subject to 14-day quarantine.  Can I self-isolate myself at my family/relative’s/friend’s place off-campus before moving in?

Prior to returning to campus, students may complete the 14-day quarantine period at the home of a family member in any state that does not have a stay-at-home order in place.

Will I be able to get an F-1 visa and enter the U.S.?

As you are aware there are currently many travel restrictions in place limiting travel to the U.S. Although visa appointments are not immediately available in many areas around the world, students can complete their visa application and make a future appointment.  You may be able to obtain a visa through expedited processing with an updated I-20 with new program start date. This option is usually available for new or continuing students if there are no regular appointments available and you need to travel to the U.S. within 60 days.

As the travel situation improves, we hope that more appointments will open and that travel restrictions will be lifted in time for students to arrive in the fall. Please continue to check with your local embassy/consulate (https://www.usembassy.gov) for updates.

I’m a new international student. What if I cannot arrive in time for the start of my program?

We understand that these are challenging circumstances, and there is not a deadline for incoming first-year students to arrive on campus. Any student who arrives late will be subject to the 14-day quarantine per RI Department of Health guidelines, and will be able to self-quarantine in the campus residential area designated for this purpose.

I’m a returning international student. What is the latest date I can arrive to resume my study if I am delayed by visa issues and/or continued travel restrictions?

We understand that these are challenging circumstances. Returning international students can return to campus until midterm. If students cannot return, students will need to take classes online for the entire semester in order to receive grades and credits. If late-arriving students are subject to the 14-day quarantine per RI Department of Health guidelines, because of limited quarantine space on campus during the semester, quarantine arrangements will be made case by case. Students may need to be quarantined in the same building with other students who may have been exposed to COVID-19 or may need to make arrangements to quarantine off campus in a state that is not on the quarantine state list of Rhode Island.

Can I take classes online from abroad?

Yes.  All class sessions will be available online via live streaming, and/or recorded for later viewing by lecture capture.

Will I need a new visa to take classes online from abroad or if I decide to take a semester off?

You do not need a student visa if you are studying remotely or not studying at all; however, you will need a valid F-1 visa when you return to the U.S.  Students who decide to take a semester off by not taking courses should be aware how a leave of absence may impact the student’s eligibility for a practical training. Contact OISS if you have questions about your F-1 visa.

As an international student, how will the remote status impact my visa status?

The interim guidance from the Department of Homeland Security allowed students to study online virtually from their home country for the last semester. It is not clear yet if this policy will be extended for the fall semester. If new guidance does not allow for virtual study on your current I-20, you may have to return on new “initial” I-20 under different SEVIS number. This will impact students who are wishing to apply for a practical training within a year because students returning on new initial I-20 must enroll one academic year (fall and spring semesters) before the student becomes eligible to apply for work authorization.  Any update concerning the remote status for international students will be announced as soon as the final guidance from the DHS is available.

Can I stay on campus through winter sessions once in-person classes end in November?

International students will be able to stay on campus through the winter sessions.

Will the tuition be the same if I take online classes from abroad?

Yes. Bryant faculty and staff have worked very hard to ensure the safe continuance of our in-person classroom experience. Access to online classes is offered not as an option, but only as a short-term accommodation for students who are ill or who cannot travel to campus due to the pandemic.

Does the health insurance offered by Bryant University cover the coronavirus?

This information is evolving as we navigate this unprecedented situation. The most up-to-date information can be found at www.wellfleetstudent.com.  For specific information for COVID-19, you can follow these steps:

  • Enter “Bryant” in the “Search For Your School” box and select “Bryant University.”  
  • Scroll down to “Forms and Resources” and click the arrow.
  • Find “coronavirus update” at the bottom.

Contact Information:

Kaoru Paganelli, Assistant Director, OISS, kpaganel@bryant.edu

Executive Summary Reopening Plan

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At the request of the RI Department of Health (RIDOH) we have submitted Bryant University’s plans for fall semester reopening.  The executive summary we prepared for RIDOH is now posted here.  Our comprehensive plan is still evolving and will be modified to reflect new information and to adapt to changing circumstances.  The plan’s ultimate objective is to balance the University’s primary concern for the safety of all members of the campus community with Bryant’s mission of providing a vibrant and innovative on-campus learning and living environment for students.   We look forward to working with the Bryant community and representatives of the State of Rhode Island towards these objectives

FAQ: Graduate Programs Fall 2020 Return to Campus

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  • Will Graduate Programs return to face-to-face meetings in the Fall 2020 semester?

Yes, the plan is for graduate programs to resume face-to-face meetings beginning in the Fall of 2020. Please note that graduate programs will adhere to University, CDC and WHO guidelines for social distancing and sanitation.

  • When will classes begin?

Graduate programs will begin alongside undergraduate classes as of August 25. Classes will start on Aug 25, with an end date of Nov. 13, and include a Final examination period of Nov. 14-24.

  • Will classes be the same?

You will still have the same world-class faculty and outstanding peers. In terms of class format, we will have you in person as frequently as possible. Again, we are committed to adhering to relevant guidelines, including cleaning and social distancing. Based on current guidance, this means that classrooms will be disinfected regularly, and students will be spaced six feet apart. While classrooms have not yet been assigned, this may mean that some students will participate remotely on some days, while others participate in person, on a rotating basis.

  • What technology will be available?

We are committed to providing the highest quality educational experience for our graduate students. Each classroom will include remote lecture capacity including cameras and microphones in order for classes to be broadcast remotely. Slides will be shared and instructors will use document cameras as needed. Classes will be recorded as well.

  • What if I get sick?

Each day before coming to campus, you will be required to complete a short survey on banner. If you are not feeling well, we ask that you stay at home. If you are still able to participate in class, you are encouraged to do so remotely until you are well again. We will be prepared to accommodate you using technology listed above.

Extended illnesses (COVID-19 or otherwise) will be handled on a case-by-case basis per normal university guidelines. Accommodations may include an incomplete grade for the course.

  • What if other students are sick?

Every student will be required to complete a short survey on banner before coming to class. If students are ill, we ask that they stay home. If a student who is ill comes to class, faculty will request that the student leave campus and participate remotely until they are well again. If you notice a student who is obviously unwell, you are encouraged to notify your instructor.

  • I am an international student. What if I cannot get clearance to come to campus in time for classes?

We want you to know how much we need your participation in our programs. Your unique experiences and perspectives add significantly to discussions and the tenor of the class. If you are unable to get clearance to come to campus, you will be allowed to participate remotely until you receive clearance, using the technology outlined above. For specific concerns, please contact Kaoru Paganelli at (401) 232-6955 or by email at: kpaganel@bryant.edu.

  • Will the Global Immersion Experience be a part of the MBA program this year?

It is our strong hope that we will be able to travel as we have in the past. We have had several discussions with partners throughout the world who are ready to help facilitate the experience. However, we may need to modify or alter the format of the experience based on health concerns as we get closer to the date of the trip. We will continue to provide updates as we have them. As we make decisions, the safety of our students, faculty and staff remains our highest priority.

  • What is the grading policy?

While a P/F policy was in place for the Spring 2020 semester during our unexpected transition to remote learning, this policy has been discontinued. Graduate Programs will return to a traditional letter grade system for the fall semester.

  • Besides social distancing, are there other safety requirements?

Yes. Everyone entering the campus will be required to complete a “Health Tracker Questionnaire” that is available for download from Bryant website. In addition, students will be required to wear face masks while on campus (including while in class). Faculty may be required to stand behind plexiglass while lecturing.  Frequent handwashing will be encouraged, and hand sanitizer stations will be provided at several areas on campus.

FAQs: Bryant University Fall 2020 Reopening Plans

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Bryant is in the final stages of developing reopening plans that will be submitted to the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) for its review, feedback, and comments. The top priority of our collective efforts in this planning is to ensure a safe and healthy environment for every member of our community.  In an announcement shared with the Bryant community, incoming University President Ross Gittell, Ph.D., who takes office July 1, outlined plans for students to return to Bryant’s Smithfield campus in August.

When will students return to campus?

August 4:    Some varsity athletes return to campus

August 5:    International students return to campus and begin mandatory quarantine

August 19:  First-year students arrive on campus

Aug 23-24:  Sophomores, juniors and seniors arrive on campus

When will fall classes begin and end?

August 25:  Classes start for all students

Nov 13:       Classes end

Nov 14-24:  Final examinations

Nov 24:       All finals complete, semester concludes, students depart campus

Dec 10:       Grades submission deadline

Why has Bryant modified its fall academic calendar?

The early arrival will allow students to finish their fall academic work and complete final examinations by November 24, before Thanksgiving break, a modification of the academic calendar designed to mitigate any potential spread due to a fall COVID-19 resurgence. Bryant’s revised academic calendar ensures that all fall semester requirements related to instructional hours are met, and personalized interaction with faculty and staff maintained, while addressing health and safety concerns.

Are face coverings required on campus?

Throughout Bryant’s summer reopening and fall semester, all faculty, staff, students, and visitors will be required to wear a facemask while on campus, in accordance with campus guidelines, and to adhere to strict physical distancing practices.

What is planned to ensure safety in Bryant classrooms?

All faculty and staff will be required to wear a facemask while on campus, including in the classrooms. To ensure appropriate physical distancing within Bryant classrooms, some class attendance will be split between alternating sessions. All classrooms, residence halls, and community spaces will be cleaned with appropriate disinfectant on a frequent basis. Our plans for heightened cleaning include using electrostatic sprayers to clean classrooms multiple times each day, cleaning and disinfecting high touch surfaces on a four-six hour rotation.

Bryant has also made a significant investment in additional classroom technology, to ensure remote connectivity and further advance the University’s progressive teaching practices. All class sessions will be available on campus, via live streaming, and/or recorded for later viewing by lecture capture. 

How will Bryant coordinate testing for COVID-19?

Effective testing is essential to the safety of our community, and we are taking steps to ensure that timely, high quality, on-campus testing for COVID-19 can be conducted and overseen by our health services staff. This includes the acquisition of PCR testing equipment and expansion of our health services staffing. This will enable expeditious turn-around and accurate test results while avoiding potentially long waits as demand for testing in the community increases during any potential surge in COVID-19. The PCR testing equipment Bryant will deploy has been used successfully by major hospital systems (including Lifespan in RI) and other organizations domestically and internationally.

Bryant expects to begin testing when the equipment arrives in July. Detailed information on testing will be provided to the community and updated on a regular basis.   

What will Wintersession look like?

The period from Thanksgiving through January 25, 2021, between the fall and spring semesters, will allow students to take one or two courses specifically designed for effective, condensed, and remote delivery.  We plan to offer two sessions during this break: December 3-22 and January 3-22.  This will give students the opportunity to accelerate degree completion and even take an extra course or two to expand their learning and interests. 

Will the academic calendar for the spring 2021 semester be modified?

There are significant uncertainties associated with the coronavirus outbreak. We know that more information about the virus, its contagion and containment practices, and testing capabilities and protocols will be available over time. This makes contingency planning and organizational agility especially important. Bryant will continue to adhere to CDC guidelines and follow the guidance of government officials and health experts. Our reopening plans will be incremental.

Who created the plans for Bryant’s fall reopening?

Six Bryant committees, composed of more than 50 faculty and staff members, worked on the interdependent aspects of the University’s fall reopening. These committees include Health & Safety; Academic Programs & Technological Support; Student Life & Support; Athletics & Recreation; Facilities, Staff & Budgets; and Communications.

Will Bryant charge added fees for safety measures implemented to address the pandemic?

To achieve a successful and effective response to the global pandemic; by securing testing capacity, enhancing academic technology, and implementing facilities and operations redesign; will require Bryant to incur additional unplanned expenditures.  It is important to note that these unplanned but necessary expenditures will not be passed on as additional costs or fees for our students and their families.

Fall Reopening Plans from incoming President Gittell

I am excited to be on campus this week, another step in my transition toward assuming the presidency on July 1st.  My initial focus, during these first three weeks, will be on a healthy and safe fall re-opening of the campus, and continuance of Bryant’s strong educational programs and mission as we respond to the global pandemic.  These early days will also allow me the opportunity to get better acquainted with all of you, to listen and learn about Bryant, and to consider how we can make our community even stronger going forward.  

In response to the global pandemic, the health and safety of students, faculty, and staff is our top priority as we prepare for the start of the 2020-21 academic year.  I am writing to update you on:

  • Our fall reopening plans
  • A modified academic calendar for the fall semester
  • Campus protocols and testing for COVID-19
  • New Winter Session opportunities for our students 

Bryant has worked hard to earn a growing reputation for academic excellence, and I am eager to build on that excellence in the face of unprecedented circumstances.  As many of you know, President Machtley and I have worked together closely to ensure a strong transition of Bryant University leadership on July 1.  I would like to thank President Machtley once again for his assistance in this regard.

I know that my first year as president will present challenges and learning opportunities for all of us.  Bryant’s pristine campus, secured entrance, location and moderate size, and culture of concern for the community are key assets that will serve us well.  Yet, there are significant uncertainties associated with the coronavirus outbreak and its impact on higher education.  We know that more information about the virus, its contagion and containment practices, and testing capabilities and protocols will be available over time.  This makes contingency planning and organizational agility especially important.  Through the hard work and commitment of so many in our community, Bryant has demonstrated a strong ability to innovate and adapt to student, society, and market needs.  I am optimistic that, with all of us working together, we can address these challenges and ensure the continuing success of this outstanding institution.  

Teams Preparing Reopening Plans

We have spent considerable time over the past months consulting with healthcare experts and with six Bryant committees (comprised of over 50 Bryant faculty and staff) working on interdependent aspects of our fall reopening.  These committees include Health & Safety; Academic Programs & Technological Support; Student Life & Support; Athletics & Recreation; Facilities, Staff & Budgets; and Communications.  Each team member remains ever mindful of the importance of maintaining the most essential elements of the unique educational experience Bryant provides in terms of instruction, residential life, student success programs, inclusive excellence, and extra-curricular activities.  All these elements are critical to fulfilling our mission of educating, preparing, developing, and supporting students for personal and professional success.  In addition, committee work has given priority to sustaining the collegial employment experience for which the University has been recognized as a great place to work.  

We are in the final stages of developing plans that will be submitted to the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) for its review, feedback, and comments.  The top priority of our collective efforts in this planning is to ensure a safe and healthy environment for every member of our community.  Reopening the campus and bringing students back early, allowing for completion of the fall semester before Thanksgiving, will substantially advance this objective. 

In alignment with plans Governor Raimondo announced yesterday for the reopening of all schools in Rhode Island in August, and with the planning of our peer colleges and universities in the state, Bryant’s campus-based student residential experience and instruction will commence in August. This will allow all students to finish their fall academic work and complete final examinations before the Thanksgiving break.  Returning to campus after the break would pose a significant risk due to the associated travel and extensive personal contacts.  This plan will mitigate any potential spread due to a fall COVID-19 resurgence. 

Fall 2020 Schedule

Based on the current available understanding of COVID-19 and the associated government recommendations, the fall semester schedule is planned as follows:

August 4:       Some varsity athletes, staff and coaches return to campus

August 5:       International students return to campus and begin mandatory quarantine 

August 19:     First-year students arrive on campus

Aug 23-24:     Sophomores, juniors and seniors arrive on campus

August 25:     Classes start for all students (simultaneous in-person and interactive lecture capture, see more detail below)

Nov 13:          Classes end 

Nov 14-24:     Final examinations 

Nov 24:          All finals complete, semester concludes, students depart campus 

Dec 10:           Grades submission deadline

The advantages of a phased reopening for the fall semester include:

  1. Allowing students to arrive in a staggered manner, rather than during one weekend, will allow time for the students to adjust to changes on campus.
  2. Enabling first-year students to have an on-campus orientation and receive the special attention they deserve as incoming students.  It also will make socialization into a residential academic environment more manageable for our first-year students, especially since residential life will be more complex with the implementation of public health-related practices. 
  3. Ensuring all fall semester requirements related to instructional hours are met, and personalized interaction with faculty and staff maintained, while addressing health and safety concerns. 

COVID-19 Testing

Appropriate and effective testing is essential to the safety of our community and the effectiveness of our efforts as an institution of higher learning.  We are taking steps to ensure that timely, high quality, on-campus testing for COVID-19 can be conducted and overseen by our health services staff; this includes the acquisition of PCR testing equipment and expansion of our health services staffing.  This will enable expeditious turn-around and accurate test results while avoiding potentially long waits as demand for testing in the community increases during any potential surge in COVID-19.  The PCR testing equipment Bryant will deploy has been used successfully by major hospital systems (including Lifespan in RI) and other organizations domestically and internationally.  In Singapore and Hong Kong, this testing, along with social distancing and other health protection strategies, helped achieve comparatively low infection rates.  Bryant expects to begin testing when the equipment arrives in July.  We also are pursuing a partnership with a nearby testing facility to further enhance adequate and timely testing capacity.  Detailed information on testing will be provided to the community and updated on a regular basis.   

Our current plan is to test all symptomatic Bryant community members and conduct random testing of representative samples of the campus population.  In addition, beginning on June 15, to help ensure that infected individuals do not come onto campus, all faculty, staff, students, and visitors will use the Bryant Health Checker App, or its equivalent, to complete daily attestations regarding any COVID-19 related symptoms and body temperature.

Campus Protocols

Throughout our summer reopening and fall semester, all faculty, staff, students, and visitors will be required to adhere to strict physical distancing practices and to wear a facemask while on campus in accordance with campus guidelines.  All classrooms, residence halls, and community spaces will be cleaned with appropriate disinfectant on a frequent basis.  Our plans for heightened cleaning include using electrostatic sprayers to clean classrooms multiple times each day, cleaning and disinfecting high touch surfaces on a four to six hour rotation, and equipping  custodial services staff with machines that provide higher level disinfection of all bathroom surfaces.  Wherever possible, Plexiglass shields will be installed in high-traffic locations (e.g., at the post office, library, bursar’s office, etc.) to help prevent direct contact between individuals.  Out-of-class activities will be strictly regulated to ensure compliance with all health and safety requirements, including physical distancing.  These include varsity athletics, intramural sports, concerts, stage performances, and student engagement activities.  In the event of a positive case on campus, we will complete a case investigation, contact tracing, and provide appropriately staffed isolation and quarantine facilities.

Faculty, staff, and students with immune deficiencies are encouraged to remain off campus.  Faculty and staff, depending on their individual situation and role on campus, will be presented, when possible, with options for continuation of their work. 

All class sessions will be available on campus, via live streaming, and/or recorded for later viewing by lecture capture.  To ensure appropriate physical distancing within the classrooms, some class attendance will be split between alternating sessions.  The Deans and the faculty are working on the development of appropriate pedagogical practices to meet health and safety guidelines.  A significant investment in additional classroom technology will ensure remote connectivity and build on Bryant’s well-known progressive teaching practices.  The Provost and I will share additional information by early July, including information about support for faculty and students as they prepare for different modalities of course delivery and access in the fall semester.   

Winter Session Opportunities

The period from Thanksgiving through January 25, between the fall and spring semesters, will allow students to take one or two courses specifically designed for effective, condensed, and remote delivery.  We plan to offer two sessions during this break: December 3-22 and January 3-22.  This will give students the opportunity to accelerate degree completion and even take an extra course or two to expand their learning and interests.  

In Closing

The top priorities in our planning for the fall semester are to ensure the health and safety of students, faculty and staff; to continue the high quality Bryant education and student life experience; to listen and learn on important issues including those related to inclusion and social justice; and to sustain our positive employment experience.  

To achieve a successful and effective response to the global pandemic; by securing testing capacity, enhancing academic technology, and implementing facilities and operations redesign; will require Bryant to incur additional unplanned expenditures.  It is important to note that these unplanned but necessary expenditures will not be passed on as additional costs or fees for our students and their families. 

As the summer progresses, we will give priority to communications.  By July 1st there will be a COVID-19 microsite serving as a centralized repository and information hub, an email hotline and eNewsletter established, and there will be interactive communication platforms and other vehicles for inclusion and social justice listening learning and engagement.  These platforms will enable timely communication and the sharing of important information and perspectives.

The contributions of our dedicated faculty and staff, and their commitment to students and to Bryant, remains extraordinary and will help all of us through this challenging time in American higher education and for our nation and for Bryant University.

Thank you all for your strong commitment and contributions to Bryant.  Please remain safe and healthy.  We are in this together and all stronger and better for that.  

Sincerely,

Ross Gittell, Ph.D.

Incoming President

Information for study abroad students and parents

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On Wednesday, President Trump signed a proclamation that suspends entry to the United States of most foreign nationals who have been in certain European countries at any point during the 14 days prior to their scheduled arrival to the U.S.

It is important to note that this ban does not apply to legal permanent residents of the United States (generally), and/or to immediate family members of U.S. citizens.

In light of API closing its operations in Spain and Arcadia’s shutting down its program in Greece, please be assured that Bryant has a team in place should students need assistance completing the coursework started abroad.  Dr. Laurie Hazard, Assistant Dean for Student Success, is the point person for this team (lhazard@bryant.edu; 401-232-6746).

For students studying abroad in other locations this semester, we understand that the situation is uncertain and that you may be thinking about returning home earlier than originally planned.  The decision of whether to return to the U.S. from various study abroad locations is a difficult one for families. Should you decide to come back to the states, we have in place a team who will work with you to develop individualized plans so that you can complete through Bryant the coursework you started abroad.  As above, Dr. Laurie Hazard, Assistant Dean for Student Success, is the point person for these plans (lhazard@bryant.edu; 401-232-6746).

Please keep Cindi Lewis, Director of Global Education, informed of student travel plans (clewis4@bryant.edu; 401-232-6209).  Should you encounter difficulty finding a return flight to the U.S., please contact the in-country U.S. Embassy for assistance https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/COVID-19-Country-Specific-Information.html.  We will supply updates as more information becomes available. 

Bryant staff are here to assist in any way we can. 

Information for international students

Last Updated on

With the exception of students who have traveled to a CDC level 2 or level 3 country, who should follow our protocol in contacting Health Services, Bryant University international students can return to their residence hall rooms on Sunday, March 15.

To assist Residence Life staff in keeping track of students who choose to return to campus while on-site classes are temporarily suspended, as well as any special circumstances our international students may be facing that need to be addressed, students have been asked to notify Residence Life of when they plan to return (date and time period) and their purpose for returning.

Information on campus dining is elsewhere on this page.

International students who do not plan to stay on campus for the next two weeks but need access to their room for the purpose of retrieving personal belongings should alert the Office of Residence Life. They will be provided access to their residence hall and should depart from campus once they have collected necessary items.

Visa and I-20 info for International Students Returning to Their Home Countries:

If you decide to go home while online courses are offered, please check your I-20 for travel signature on page 2. Travel endorsement is valid for one year. If you already had your I-20 signed for travel last semester, you do not have to get a new one.

If you are currently on-campus and you need a new signature, visit the OISS during office hours (M-F, 9am-4pm.). If you are off-campus or already home and need a new signature, you can request the OISS to ship your new I-20 using Eship Global. Required documents for re-entry can be found at: https://www.ice.gov/sevis/travel#_Toc81222004.

CONTACTS:

  • Emily Collins Garcia, Bryant’s international student advisor, may be reached at ecollinsgarcia@bryant.edu
  • Kaoru Paganelli, assistant director of International Student & Scholar Service, may be reached at kpaganel@bryant.edu.

*COVID-19 has presented colleges and universities across the country with unprecedented and rapidly evolving circumstances. To protect the safety and well-being of the Bryant community, Bryant University’s policies and procedures are subject to change as the situation progresses. Please check this site regularly for the most updated information.”