After an announcement moving the start of the semester to January 25, the new Academic Calendar has updated Spring finals dates, with no change to the start of the Summer semester or Commencement.
Class of 2023 President Harshil Patel, Class of 2023 Vice President Kailey Swanson, Class of 2024 President Kamilia Nicolas, and Class of 2024 Vice President Ria Massoni provide details on the upcoming student-led town halls on January 17 and January 18.
Former Photography Editor August Gehrman ’22 shares his silver lining in the midst of the pandemic: 3D modeling, an extension of his passion for photography.
An email from Strategic Communications and External Relations announced that the start of the Spring semester will be delayed by a week to January 25, with no specification on the end date of the semester. The email explains that students will return to campus between January 22 and January 24, and that students who will be living on-campus will be contacted with specific arrival dates and times during the week of January 4.
A joint email from Grand Marshal Advaith Narayan ’21, President of the Union Anissa Choiniere ’21, President of the Interfraternity Council Chris Vanderloo ’21, and President of the Panhellenic Council Bryn Clarkson ’21 explains why they "condemn the actions of the Rensselaer administration to revoke previously granted remote learning approvals."
On Tuesday night, students were notified that previous emails approving their remote learning requests for the upcoming Spring semester were sent “in error,” and that the actual decision regarding remote learning requests would be communicated by December 18, one week after the on-campus housing application deadline. This announcement sparked outrage in the student body and a joint email by student leaders condemning the action.
Independent Senator Cait Bennett ’22 demonstrates the severe impact of COVID-19 by sharing the experiences of several people that got the virus, including herself, in an appeal to the Institute to revise their remote learning policy.
The Student Senate approved a motion to recommend the Institute to consider a tuition freeze for the fiscal year 2021-2022 and for the Rensselaer to make budget information regarding COVID-19 to become public during the Student Senate meeting held on October 27.
Executive Board Vice President for Board Operations and New York State EMT Yaseen M. Mahmoud ’22 shares an open letter to Assistant Vice President and Dean of Students Travis Apgar, imploring the Institute to approve all remote learning requests, regardless of the requested reason.
Grand Marshal Advaith Narayan ’21 and President of the Union ’21 Anissa Choiniere update the Rensselaer community with their goals and efforts to encourage some in-person activities during the Spring semester.
Math performance in the United States is not up to par with many other countries. Associate Copy Editor Dylan Sheils ’24 argues and makes suggestions for change to the presentation of mathematics in America.
The 7th annual HackRPI hackathon was held virtually this year due to COVID-19. The free event ran as usual, with themes, events, and workshops. The most interesting aspect of the hackathon, though, was the diverse set of projects, ranging from a ride-sharing app called Carpool Coordinator to a modernized health care portal called Mediscope. The themes for this year were the following: artificial intelligence, climate change and environmental sustainability, and Public Health and Pandemic Response.
Associate Editorial/Opinion Editor Maya Johnson reflects on how social interactions have changed for her during this socially-distanced semester.
Current Undergraduate President Evan Lazaro ’20 explains the procedure to appoint a new Undergraduate President. The position will be vacant after he graduates this December, so a joint meeting of the four class councils will be held to elect a new Undergraduate President.
During this year’s election, Alabama, Colorado, and Florida passed legislation to change the language in their respective constitutions from “every” citizen can vote to “only” citizens can vote. Although the bills have effectively changed nothing about who can vote in these states, the deceptive language these bills use is a tool for casting doubt on this election and future elections.
In an email to the Rensselaer community, President Shirley Ann Jackson announced plans for the Spring semester. Freshmen, sophomores, and seniors will return to campus, with freshmen and sophomores living in on-campus housing. According to Jackson, this will cause “some increase in on-campus housing density.” All seniors will live off-campus and still follow the Fall semester density standards which include having two people per bathroom. Students will also not be allowed to live in Greek houses. Additionally, all winter sports, including hockey, are cancelled.
The Office of Student Living and Learning shared instructions about moving out for the remainder of the semester before Thanksgiving break and information for students remaining on-campus.
The Union Programs and Activities Committee and Election Commission have outlined a plan for students to receive their mugs for voting in the Grand Marshal Week 2020 elections. On-campus students can pick up their mugs in the Union Admin Office whenever the Rensselaer Union is open. Students who can not physically pick up the mugs are planned to have their mugs shipped to them.
The student-administrator relationship at Rensselaer has been interesting, to say the least. When thinking of ways to build a mutually beneficial relationship between these two parties, trust is the first idea that jumped out at us. Trust is a two-way street and as such, there are actions that both sides need to take to fully develop that trust. This week, we’re coming together to discuss how we plan to develop trust in the current student-administrator climate.
Spring semester plans—including housing for sophomores and spring sports—will be announced after the Institute transitions to remote operations over the Thanksgiving break. President Shirley Ann Jackson explained that Rensselaer plans to assess what needs to be done for the Spring semester in context of the Fall semester and “the overall public health situation.”
President Shirley Ann Jackson revealed updates to the University Pandemic Protocol trigger levels during the Fall Town Meeting. Now, trigger level one will be enacted after there are more than 30 confirmed COVID cases in two weeks, resulting in an immediate switch to remote instruction. When the amount of confirmed cases exceed Rensselaer’s ability to isolate and quarantine students, the updated trigger level two will be implemented. With the activation of trigger level two, the semester will be extended by a week, and students must vacate campus within 72 hours and continue the semester online.
Advaith Narayan ’21 and Anissa Choiniere ’21 have been elected Grand Marshal and President of the Union, respectively. The announcement was made on a live stream through the Union’s Instagram account, and a rundown of the election results was sent out in an email shortly thereafter.
Grand Marshal Meagan Lettko '20 and Vice Grand Marshal Advaith Narayan '21 voice their concerns with how the Arch program is being handled this summer and outline the Student Senate’s recent efforts in advocating for rising juniors.