March 2020

Student Senate

Student government elections delayed

By John Stotz March 29, 2020

The Student Senate held a special meeting on March 21 through Webex to approve changes to the Student Government Election Handbook made to accommodate the transition to online classes. The changes included moving Student Government elections to Thursday, April 2, as well as updating the nomination procedure to allow for online gathering and submission. The Senate also discussed the third-party voting systems that are being considered for online elections.

GM Week 2020

Online elections to use third-party system

By John Stotz March 27, 2020

Elections Commission Chairperson Keenan Adams ’21 announced during the Senate meeting on March 21 that the Elections Commission plans to use a third-party to host elections online due to the move to online-only classes. The two systems being considered are Helios Voting and ElectionBuddy.


Commencement to be an online event

By Harrison Todd and John Stotz March 25, 2020

In an email to the Rensselaer community on Wednesday afternoon, President Shirley Ann Jackson announced that this spring’s Commencement, planned for May 23, will take place in an online ceremony, adding that there will be an in-person celebration “when the public health situation allows us to do so.”

Editorial Notebook

An abrupt end to senior year

By Pragati Pant March 16, 2020

I did not realize that my classes on March 6 were the last I would ever experience on campus. In a matter of a few days, I lost the remainder of my last semester at Rensselaer to the novel coronavirus.

Campus Health

Remote classes to last through semester’s end

By Medhini Mankale March 12, 2020

Students were informed that classes will be held online for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester in an email sent from University President Shirley Ann Jackson at about 6:30 pm on Wednesday. In addition, “all undergraduate students in Rensselaer Residential and Greek Commons [are required] to move out of these residences by 4:00 p.m. on Friday, March 20, 2020.”

Campus Health

Rensselaer shifts to remote classes

By Medhini Mankale March 11, 2020

An email sent at about 1:30 pm on Tuesday from University President Shirley Ann Jackson informed students that in-person instruction will be suspended until at least March 30 due to concerns regarding the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Campus Health

Institute activates trigger level one

By Harrison Todd March 7, 2020

Rensselaer activated trigger level one of the University Pandemic Planning Protocols, as relayed in an RPI Alert received Saturday, after the confirmation of two cases of COVID-19 in Saratoga County.

Campus Health

PU: “prepare for the possibility” of canceled events

By Harrison Todd March 7, 2020

President of the Union Caitlin Kennedy said in an email to club officers that the Union is reviewing all "Institute sponsored campus/public events" scheduled for March and April due to the coronavirus, adding that events may be rescheduled or canceled due to the "health risks of public gatherings."

Student Senate

Senate hears presentations regarding peace officer bill

By Shardul Joshi March 6, 2020

The Senate met to hear two presentations regarding the New York State Senate Bill S7645 on February 24. One was given by Vice President for Student Life Peter Konwerski, who was accompanied by other members of Rensselaer’s administration, while the other presentation was given by members of Rensselaer for Ethics in Science, Engineering, and Technology.

Campus Health

Institute increases travel restrictions, advises overpacking

By Harrison Todd and John Stotz March 6, 2020

Two emails, sent Thursday, described precautions students and faculty should take as the global outbreak of coronavirus spreads, and the protocols Rensselaer has in place should the outbreak reach the Capital Region.

Staff Editorial

Wi-Fi updates: upgrades on campus, how to file a ticket

By The Polytechnic Editorial Board March 6, 2020

We published a staff editorial regarding the technical problems we have faced on campus last month. Within that article, we talked about how we noticed Wi-Fi issues on campus. After the article was published, Associate Director of IT Infrastructure Colleen Morrissey reached out to share how the Division of the Chief Information Officer has been committed to ensuring a strong Wi-Fi network across campus.

Executive Board

Recording studio approved for RMA

By Sapna Raghavan March 4, 2020

Rensselaer Music Association moves forward with creating a recording studio in the J Building.

Executive Board

RPI Autism Self-Advocacy Network becomes Union-recognized

By Sapna Raghavan March 4, 2020

RPI Autism Self-Advocacy Network becomes Union-recognized, RPI Chinese Students and Scholars Association approved to compete at the Northeastern Chinese Basketball League tournament on March 14-15, and Rensselaer Running Club starter budget approved.

Men's basketball

Engineers blitzed by Bombers in overtime

By Andrew Days March 4, 2020

The Bombers scored 14 points in overtime to defeat the Engineers, granting them the Liberty League title. The Engineers still advance to the NCAA tournament, facing off against New England College on March 6.

On-Campus Event

Rensselaer Music Association’s concert pops

By Sarah Shiang March 4, 2020

From jazz favorites to soundtrack classics, the annual Pops Concert hosted by the Rensselaer Music Association was a blast!

On-Campus Event

Frozen 'fits at the BSA Fashion Show

By Rachel Wang and Medhini Mankale March 4, 2020

Enjoy this brief gallery of a breathtaking walk, titled “Ice Me Out,” from this year’s BSA Fashion Show in anticipation of our upcoming in-depth article. The walk expressed two sides of luxe: opulent, glittery fabrics mixed with edgy streetwear looks and silhouettes.

Executive Board

RESET and RPI Chess Club proposals approved

By Sapna Raghavan March 4, 2020

Rensselaer for Ethics in Science, Engineering, and Technology was approved for Union affiliation and RPI Chess Club was approved as a Union-recognized club on February 13.

Student Senate

Increase in Judicial Board alternate members pending

By Shardul Joshi March 4, 2020

The Senate heard a proposal to increase the number of alternate members of the Judicial Board due to complications that arose because of the Arch. The amendment will need to be approved by the student body during Grand Marshal Week elections.

Editorial Notebook

Why I love national parks

By Anushka Potdar March 4, 2020

I would like to share with you why you should plan a visit to a national park during your upcoming summer break.


Enforcement of policy due to coronavirus frustrating

By Caitlin Kennedy March 4, 2020

As I am sure you have noticed, in the last few weeks, the school has been updating us about the flu and coronavirus and the measures they are taking to ensure students are safe on campus. However, there were some issues with how many of these policies were implemented.

Editorial Notebook

Seize the potential of RPI

By Joseph Lyon March 4, 2020

I was once told that college is the last time in your life that you will be able to focus on learning things solely for your own benefit and gain. In the future, it is likely you will primarily be learning to advance your career. Everything you do now should be purely motivated by self-improvement. I didn’t realize the significance of this statement at the time, but reflecting, I find it has defined my time here at Rensselaer.

Behind the URL

Behind the scenes of The Poly's social media

By Rachel Wang March 4, 2020

Keeping in line with our change to online-first journalism, The Polytechnic now has a regularly updated social media presence and a department dedicated to promoting our content.

Men's basketball

Engineers progress to the Liberty League Tournament Championship Game

By Andrew Days March 1, 2020

With a victory against the Union Dutchmen in the Liberty League Semifinals, the Engineers advance to the championship game against Ithaca. They will host the Bombers in the Liberty League Tournament Championship Game on Sunday, March 1, at 2 pm at the East Campus Athletic Village Arena.