News


Student Senate

Residential students speak out against unsatisfactory quarantine living conditions

The 51st Senate concluded its term with the passing of the ‘Quarantine Communications' motion prompted by the extension of the Trigger Level One quarantine on March 17. In a meeting attended by over 180 people, students discussed a potential refund for the quarantine food, the quality and nutritional value of meals, and outdoor time.

Student Life

Mueller Center reopens for students

For the first time this year, the Mueller Center will be open to students. Here’s what you need to know.

Elections

Bennett, Mahmoud, elected as GM, PU

Cait Bennett ’22 and Yaseen Mahmoud ’22 have been elected to the positions of Grand Marshal and president of the Union, respectively, and Rhea Banerjee ’22 was elected as the next Undergraduate President.

Campus Health

Trigger Level 1 Quarantine extended through March 21

In an email to the Rensselaer community on Wednesday afternoon, President Shirley Ann Jackson announced that the two-week mandatory quarantine-in-place will end at midnight on March 21 instead of March 17 as previously scheduled.

Executive Board

RPI Fire Emblem Approved as new Union Club

The Union Executive Board passed a motion to approve RPI Fire Emblem as a Union-recognized club.

Rensselaer Union

Baba’s Pizza replaces Cusato’s Pizzeria

After six years of operation, Cusato’s Pizzeria closed in December 2020. Baba’s Pizza made its Rensselaer Union debut in February 2021 with the start of the Spring semester.

Student Senate

Senate passes motion to reinstate RPI Ambulance services

RPI’s ambulance service was shut down last semester due to COVID-19 restrictions. In response to a joint letter by a group of resident assistants and RPI ambulance members, the Senate motioned “to urge the Institute Administration to allow RPI Ambulance to go back in service.”

News

Fifteenth Street Housing disregards RPI quarantine policies, continues room tours

Though the Institute enacted a campus quarantine on Wednesday, Fifteenth Street Housing proceeded to give housing tours yesterday, after acknowledging RPI’s quarantine policies in an email to residents prior to house tours.

Campus Health

RPI Ambulance awarded EMS Ready Campus

Rensselaer has been officially recognized as an EMS Ready Campus by the National Collegiate Medical Services Foundation. This award recognizes excellence in emergency management among collegiate medical organizations and was awarded for the preparedness of RPI’s student-run EMT service, RPI Ambulance.

Breaking News

RPI hits Trigger Level 1, Institute to quarantine

Rensselaer begins quarantine on Thursday, March 4, having reached the over 30 case threshold outlined in the University Pandemic Protocols.

Executive Board

RPI Pep Band reallocates travel funds for new music

The Union Executive Board passed motions on February 23 to allow the RPI Pep Band to purchase new sheet music and to keep the outer Union doors open during shuttle hours. They also approved the appointment of Joe Mampilil ’22 to Club Operations Chairperson.

GM Week 2021

Simply Voting update allows students to vote in preferred cohort this year

The Union Executive Board approved a proposal February 23 that will allow students qualifying for multiple cohorts to choose which cohort to vote in. This fixes an issue that prevented students from voting in their preferred cohort last year.

Student Senate

Senate recognizes Arch away students as Union members

The Student Senate passed a motion to recognize students participating in their Arch semester away as Union members on February 17. This recognition allows students who are away on Arch to vote during the GM Week elections and hold club leadership positions, which only Rensselaer Union members are permitted to partake in.

COVID-19

RPI cases explode as national rates decline

In an email to the Rensselaer community today, Executive Director of the Health Center Dr. Leslie Lawrence reported that “We have had 15 cases in the past seven days. At this pace, we will soon reach Trigger Level 1, unless something changes dramatically.” Trigger Level 1 requires a two week lockdown and will be instituted when there are over 30 confirmed COVID-19 cases within a rolling two-week period, according to the University Pandemic Protocols.

Executive Board

Executive Board votes to reduce Union operating hours

The Rensselaer Union Executive Board voted to reduce Union building hours to ease the burden on staff until student building managers are approved by the Institute.

Executive Board

New appointments to the E-Board, Mueller Center

During the Executive Board meeting on January 26, Siddhi Balamurali ’23 stepped down as Executive Board Secretary, and Mia Lin ’23 was unanimously appointed as Club Operations Committee Chair to replace Cassidy Schultz ’21. Dr. Potts stated that the Mueller Center will not be opening along with the Union.

Student Senate

Senate confirms Rhea Banerjee as Undergraduate Council President

The Student Senate confirmed the appointment of Rhea Banerjee ’22 as the new Undergraduate Council President on January 27. Banerjee is succeeding Evan Lazaro, who graduated last semester. This follows from Scott Schwartz ’23 stepping down from his position as the Undergraduate Council Vice President.

Academics

Academic Calendar updates: Less than two weeks break before Summer semester

After an announcement moving the start of the semester to January 25, the new Academic Calendar has updated Spring finals dates, with no change to the start of the Summer semester or Commencement.

COVID-19

Institute delays start of Spring semester by a week

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.

Student Life

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

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.

Student Senate

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

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.

COVID-19

Jackson announces plan for Spring semester

In an email to the Rensselaer community, President Shirley Ann Jackson announced plans for the Spring semester. Freshmen, sophomores, and seniors will return to campus, with freshmen and sophomores living in on-campus housing. According to Jackson, this will cause “some increase in on-campus housing density.” All seniors will live off-campus and still follow the Fall semester density standards which include having two people per bathroom. Students will also not be allowed to live in Greek houses. Additionally, all winter sports, including hockey, are cancelled.

Student Life

On-campus students to move out of residence halls before Thanksgiving

The Office of Student Living and Learning shared instructions about moving out for the remainder of the semester before Thanksgiving break and information for students remaining on-campus.

Student Rights

Rensselaer updates Title IX policies to align with Trump administration guidelines

In May, the U.S. Department of Education enacted new Title IX regulations, changing the obligations for campuses across the United States. Rensselaer’s implementation of the new federal and NYS guidelines was emailed to RPI students on August 14. RPI’s Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures details cross-examination procedures, expands on the possibility of the removal of sexual misconduct from a student’s transcript, and extends the investigation time frame guideline from 60 to 90 days.