Campus Health

Rensselaer shifts to remote classes

Students “strongly urged not to return to campus” by Institute

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. The email instructs that “to enhance social distancing, students are strongly urged not to return to campus,” during the time period that classes will be suspended.

All university-related travel is currently suspended—both international and domestic. Clubs such as RPITV and The Polytechnic were prevented from traveling due to these instructions.

The Office of Student Living and Learning is currently in the process of communicating with the student population regarding housing and dining services. The Polytechnic was told by the Office of Student Living and Learning that “very limited resources are available” after inquiring about the availability of housing and dining services.

Information regarding specific courses will be conveyed from students’ respective faculty, as per directives from the Office of the Provost.

On March 9, before Jackson’s email to the student body was sent, multiple professors reached out to students before Jackson’s official announcement, to inform students that classes will be held remotely for the two weeks after the end of Spring Break.

Also, before public communication from the institute was issued, a screenshot of an email from Dean of the School of Science Curtis Breneman circulated social media, causing speculation over the state of classes for the weeks after Spring Break.

Other universities in New York have also taken actions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Skidmore College is suspending classes and students’s return to campus until March 22, while Columbia University and New York University are conducting remote classes.

As of the time of publishing, New York State has 173 cases of COVID-19.