The Collegian
Wednesday, May 18, 2022

8

Current active cases

634

Total cumulative cases

97.9%

Reporting students vaccinated

94.3%

Reporting faculty/staff vaccinated

Ring Dance postponed amid rise in COVID cases

<p>Westhampton College class of 2021 students pose for a group picture at this past year's Ring Dance ceremony. <em>Photo courtesy of the University of Richmond Facebook page</em></p>

Westhampton College class of 2021 students pose for a group picture at this past year's Ring Dance ceremony. Photo courtesy of the University of Richmond Facebook page

Ring Dance, which was scheduled to take place at the Omni Richmond Hotel on Feb. 5, has been postponed to an undetermined date after spring break, according to an email sent to all members of Westhampton College Class of 2022 and their families. 

The dance was postponed because of concerns surrounding the rise of COVID-19 cases nationally as the omicron variant has spread, Westhampton College Dean Mia Reinoso Genoni, wrote in the Jan. 12 email to the students and their families. As of the date of publication, there are 29 active COVID-19 cases on campus, according to UR's website.

Ring Dance is a Westhampton College tradition where juniors are introduced one by one in celebration of their academic and co-curricular pursuits, according to the Westhampton College website.

A new date for Ring Dance has not been identified, but as soon as a new date has been decided, it will be communicated with the UR community, Genoni wrote. She wanted to inform the students and families immediately after the decision to postpone the event was made, as many guests had travel arrangements that would need to be rescheduled, Genoni wrote. 

Those who booked a Ring Dance Block room at the Omni Richmond Hotel will receive notice of cancellation and a refund from the hotel, Genoni wrote.

Purchased tickets will be honored at the new date if students decide to keep them, Genoni wrote. If a student wants a refund for the ticket, they should email  WCDean@richmond.edu to request a refund, Genoni wrote. In addition, students can wait to make a decision about a refund until after the new date has been announced, Genoni wrote in an email to the Collegian. 

The class of 2022’s Ring Dance has been postponed twice. It was first canceled on Oct. 1, 2021, because of COVID concerns. In the email informing students of the cancellation, Genoni wrote that there were no specific plans for a future Ring Dance but that it was not off the table. 

Genoni informed the Westhampton College Classes of 2022 and 2023 and their families that Ring Dance for the Class of 2022 would be held on Feb. 5 in an email sent on Aug. 12, 2021. The class of 2023 will have its Ring Dance on Sept. 10, Genoni wrote. In the past, the event was held at the Jefferson Hotel, but the venue was changed to the Omni Richmond Hotel because the Jefferson Hotel reduced its maximum capacity. 

Annika Kuruvilla, a senior, said that she wished they had been notified about the postponement of Ring Dance earlier on. The email was sent less than a month before Ring Dance was supposed to occur. 

“I really didn’t think that they were going to cancel such a huge event with such late notice,” Kuruvilla said. 

Kelly Saverino, a senior, also said that she was upset with the communication since the date for Ring Dance was so close. 

She thought it would be possible for Ring Dance to still be held since other events, like basketball games, are currently being held on campus, Saverino said. She thought if people could get tested beforehand or if there was a vaccination requirement, the event could still occur, she said. 

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Since Saverino’s family was going to drive to Richmond, their travel plans were not as impacted, she said. But Kuruvilla, who is from Bermuda, was in a different situation.

“My entire family was planning on coming,” Kuruvilla said. “And now my family has non-refundable tickets, so they have to come regardless, even though there is no event.”  

Both Saverino and Kuruvilla said they were excited about the event, but did not think that Ring Dance would be rescheduled to a later date. 

No communication about a later date has been sent since the email on Jan. 12. Genoni also wrote that if there were any questions or concerns, she could be reached at 804-289-8468 or mgenoni@richmond.edu.

Contact managing co-editor Westen Doran at westen.doran@richmond.edu.  

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