News


Executive Board

E-Board allows clubs to not collect fall dues

The Union Executive Board unanimously passed a motion on September 16 allowing clubs to decide if they will collect dues this fall. If a club does not collect fall dues, the motion prevents the club from asking the E-Board during the Spring semester for any additional funding on programs in the club’s initial budget.

Executive Board

E-Board approves virtual events, outlines reallocation procedures

The Executive Board has passed a blanket approval on a list of virtual activities for clubs this fall. Activities included under the blanket approval are virtual events, including trivia nights, escape rooms, lectures, training, cooking events, crafting, and movie nights.

Breaking News

Student tests positive for COVID-19

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s COVID-19 testing dashboard has been recently updated to reflect a new positive test. This has been confirmed by a Rensselaer County Facebook post.

Academics

Annual NSBE/SHPE career fair to be hosted virtually

NSBE and SHPE will be hosting its first virtual career fair on September 25 and 26 from 11 am to 5 pm on the platform Brazen. According to the fair's co-director Galiea Overa, Brazen was chosen as it has extensive resources available to recruiters and students and its overall user experience.

Student Rights

Rensselaer Student Handbook adds discrimination and pandemic policies

This year, the changes made to Rensselaer’s Handbook of Student Rights and Responsibilities reflect challenges and conversations raised by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and RPI's Title IX policies were changed to follow federal guidelines set by United States Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.

Academics

RPI replaces Joblink with Handshake

Rensselaer switched career management systems from Joblink to Handshake on July 1. Handshake could provide more variety in professional opportunities for students, says the Rensselaer Center for Career and Professional Development.

COVID-19

Housing standards determine eligibility for on-campus learning

An update to Rensselaer’s COVID-19 FAQ page clarified the housing requirements that RPI announced will apply to students living in off-campus housing. The requirements include a restriction of no more than two students per bathroom.

COVID-19

Rensselaer reveals details for Fall reopening

As the Capital Region moves towards Phase Four of reopening, Jackson and several administrative staff gathered together for this summer’s second Town Meeting to further address and elaborate on Rensselaer’s plan for the Fall semester.

COVID-19

No Greek housing this Fall

President Shirley Ann Jackson announced that students planning to live in a sorority or fraternity house during the Fall semester will need to seek alternative housing during a town meeting on July 1, “given our protocols and standards and how we think we have to operate Rensselaer in the fall…we could not accommodate having the Greek houses open.” Greek students were advised to speak with both off-campus and Greek commons staff to find appropriate housing.

COVID-19

RPI to not participate in Fall intercollegiate sports

Rensselaer announced they will not participate in intercollegiate sports during the Fall semester. Athletes who are on campus will be allowed to train as long as they follow all social distancing guidelines.

COVID-19

Health center to expand services for Fall semester

Services from the Health Center and the Counseling Center will be expanding, as confirmed by Executive Director for Health and Wellness Dr. Leslie Lawrence during the Town Meeting on July 1. Students arriving to campus from certain states will be required to quarantine for two weeks, and all students on campus will have to undergo continuous testing.

COVID-19

Campus de-densification, dining reservation part of new COVID-19 policies

Residential life, including housing, dining, and shuttle services, will be undergoing changes to accommodate social distancing measures, as outlined by President Shirley Ann Jackson and other administrators during the Town Meeting hosted on July 1. Campus density is expected to decrease by 55%, students will have to distance themselves and wear masks at all times, and dining services will operate through a reservation system.

Town Meeting

Jackson outlines plan for return to campus

In a Webex livestream, President Shirley Ann Jackson announced that the Class of 2023 will not be returning to campus for the Fall 2020 semester. Rensselaer’s plan for a phased return to campus is contingent on the Capital Region moving to Phase Four reopening.

Student Senate

51st Student Senate confirms student government appointments

The 51st Student Senate confirmed 27 appointments to student government positions during a four-hour meeting last Thursday.

Academics

Pre-pandemic P/NC policy returns for Arch

A system-wide announcement posted to Rensselaer’s LMS site on Friday by Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education Michael Hanna said the Institute is going back to “the normal rules” of the pass/no credit policy for the Summer semester.

Town Meeting

Fall semester to involve online learning

Furloughs, a decline in enrollment, and a $60 million revenue loss were discussed during this spring's Town Meeting. Tuition will not be reduced, and Rensselaer will continue to pursue the Peace Officer bill. Dr. Lawrence put forth a plan to ensure the community's safety if on-campus activities are to resume this fall.

Town Meeting

Institute braces for $60 million in revenue loss

President Shirley Ann Jackson announced that Rensselaer is expecting a revenue loss of $60 million due to the coronavirus pandemic between Fiscal Year 2020 and 2021 during the Spring Town Meeting.

Executive Board

Executive Board thanks Kennedy for her service

Newly elected President of the Union Anissa Choiniere led the Executive Board’s first meeting of the 51st E-Board via Webex, thanking Caitlin Kennedy for her service as the 130th president of the Union, and approving Yaseen Mahmoud to the office of vice president of the Union for board operations and Nate Sullivan to the vice president of the Union for club relations.

Town Meeting

Dr. Lawrence announces plan to prevent coronavirus spread

Executive Director for Health and Wellness Dr. Leslie Lawrence outlined a plan during the Spring Town Meeting to prevent the spread of COVID-19 when students return to campus.

Elections

Patel wins president by 1% margin

Harshil Patel has been elected Class of 2023 President, narrowly beating Scott Schwartz 99 to 97.

Elections

Over 1/3 of freshman class unnotified of election re-run

The redo elections for Class of 2023 president, vice-president, and representatives took place online through Simply Voting from May 13 to 15, but more than 650 freshmen were not notified that the election was happening.

Administration

Financial aid policies revised

Rensselaer’s Student Guide to Financial Aid webpage was updated in April, adding the stipulation that financial aid “may also be revised due to unexpected business disruptions caused by … emergency situations.” The page was updated after the decision to reduce aid for the Arch semester was announced.

Elections

Narayan and Choiniere win GM, PU races

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.

Elections

Election missteps may lead to invalid results

Major errors that could invalidate this week’s elections were at the forefront of discussion in the Student Senate meeting on Thursday. These errors included votes cast by those who should not have been able to vote, as well as the use of Google Forms to fix the incorrect categorization of students by class cohort.