December 2020

Editorial Notebook

Rendering your imagination

By August Gehrman December 31, 2020

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.


Institute delays start of Spring semester by a week

By John Stotz December 31, 2020

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.

Editor's Corner

Why The Polytechnic is needed more than ever

By John Stotz December 22, 2020

Former Editor in Chief John Stotz explains why The Polytechnic is necessary in today’s modern age of technology.

Joint Top Hat & Derby

Striving for the revival of student life during the Spring Semester

By Advaith Narayan and Anissa Choiniere December 12, 2020

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.


You don't need "underlying conditions" to suffer from COVID-19

By Cait Bennett December 11, 2020

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.


Math should be taught differently

By Dylan Sheils December 9, 2020

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.


An open letter to Dean Apgar: Safeguard our hopes and dreams

By Yaseen M. Mahmoud December 8, 2020

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.


In response to revoked approval for remote learning

By Advaith Narayan, Anissa Choiniere, Chris Vanderloo, and Bryn Clarkson December 3, 2020

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."

Student Life

Institute retracts remote learning request approval, calling initial approval an “error”

By John Stotz, Sarah Shiang, and Medhini Mankale December 3, 2020

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.


Undergraduate Council President appointment

By Evan Lazaro December 2, 2020

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.

Editorial Notebook

COVID-19 increases the weight of social interactions

By Maya Johnson December 1, 2020

Associate Editorial/Opinion Editor Maya Johnson reflects on how social interactions have changed for her during this socially-distanced semester.

Student Senate

Senate motions for tuition freeze and Institute COVID-19 budget transparency

By Sarah Shiang December 1, 2020

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.


How to cast doubt on an election you lost

By Dylan Le December 1, 2020

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.

Top Hat

Post-Thanksgiving reflection and final push

By Advaith Narayan December 1, 2020

Grand Marshal Advaith Narayan ’21 reflects on the successes of the Fall semester as it comes to a close.


Test post

By Advaith Narayan, Anissa Choiniere, Evan Lazaro, Person A, and Person B December 1, 2020

This is a test article.