Campus Health

Remote classes to last through semester’s end

Classes will resume March 23

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.”

Instructions regarding moving out of residences are to be provided from the Institute shortly.

To allow students to move out of on-campus residences, Spring Break has been extended until March 20. Classes will resume remotely starting March 23.

According to the email, this campus evacuation is a method of “caution and care for [Rensselaer] community members, some of whom may be in high-risk groups.” The coronavirus is transmitted easily through close human contact, and “the residential university environment…[promotes] such contact and the likelihood of transmitting infections.”

This morning, the World Health Organization declared the spread of the disease COVID-19 to be a pandemic. Additionally, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo declared that both the State University of New York and the City University of New York will be implementing “distance-learning” methods to prevent the spread of the infection. RPI is following suit, advising “social distancing”—reducing the probability of contact between people carrying a certain disease—to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.

No official statement has yet been made regarding students who cannot leave campus during the semester. It was stated in Jackson’s email that “such exemptions [to stay on campus] will be very limited.”

As of the time of publishing, New York State has 216 cases of COVID-19, according to CNN.