John Stotz

Previous positions
  • Editorial/Opinion Editor December 2021 to May 2022
  • Business Manager December 2020 to December 2021
  • Editor in Chief December 2019 to December 2020
  • Editorial/Opinion Editor April 2019 to December 2019
  • Associate Editorial/Opinion Editor September 2018 to April 2019

Martin A. Schmidt named next president of the Institute

November 23, 2021

Martin A. Schmidt ’81 has been named the 19th president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Schmidt will assume his position as president from July 1, 2022, succeeding President Shirley Ann Jackson after her 23-year tenure at RPI. Schmidt currently serves as the provost at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Editorial Notebook

Getting back to writing

September 29, 2021

Business Manager John Stotz ’22 reflects on his inactivity in The Poly and explores his inability to finish an article.


Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson announces retirement

June 27, 2021

On Friday afternoon, President Shirley Ann Jackson announced that she will be retiring from her position as President of Rensselaer in July 2022. Jackson has served as president since 1999.


Institute delays start of Spring semester by a week

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

December 22, 2020

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

Student Life

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

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.


Jackson announces plan for Spring semester

November 18, 2020

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.


Students who miss two COVID tests will have campus access revoked

October 6, 2020

In an email to the student body, Assistant Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students Travis Apgar announced that if a student misses two COVID tests at any point during the semester they will be required to go remote for the remainder of the Fall semester. Students who are living on-campus “will be immediately removed” with no refund on room and board.

Executive Board

E-Board allows clubs to not collect fall dues

September 29, 2020

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.

Breaking News

Student tests positive for COVID-19

September 23, 2020

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.


The Arch academic calendar needs to be re-worked

September 19, 2020

Editor in Chief John Stotz ’22 discusses the issues with the nonstop summer Arch semester and proposes a solution to provide students with periodic opportunities for recovery.


COVID testing: a 4-star experience

September 7, 2020

Over 4,200 members of the Rensselaer community were tested for COVID-19 prior to the return to campus this fall in an impressive feat of organization. While the process has gone remarkably smoothly, we hope that improvement in communication can make it even better.


Housing standards determine eligibility for on-campus learning

July 21, 2020

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.


RPI to not participate in Fall intercollegiate sports

July 17, 2020

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.


Pre-pandemic P/NC policy returns for Arch

June 6, 2020

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

Institute braces for $60 million in revenue loss

May 25, 2020

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.


On teaching at home

May 24, 2020

After transitioning to distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, Rensselaer professors provide their perspectives on online teaching and the lessons they will bring back with them when on-campus learning resumes.


Patel wins president by 1% margin

May 17, 2020

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


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

May 17, 2020

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.


Financial aid policies revised

May 15, 2020

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.


Narayan and Choiniere win GM, PU races

May 4, 2020

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.


Election missteps may lead to invalid results

May 3, 2020

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.

The Arch

All RPI financial aid adjusted for the summer semester

April 16, 2020

A recent question on RPI’s COVID-19 Arch 2020 FAQ page clarified that the reduction of financial aid for this year’s Arch semester will impact both merit and need-based aid, as both are included in students’ total gift aid. According to the FAQ, “the adjustments will reflect the proportionate amount of room and board costs” that rising juniors would normally be charged for living in residence halls over the summer.

Student Senate

Student government elections delayed

March 29, 2020

The Student Senate held a special meeting on March 21 through Webex to approve changes to the Student Government Election Handbook made to accommodate the transition to online classes. The changes included moving Student Government elections to Thursday, April 2, as well as updating the nomination procedure to allow for online gathering and submission. The Senate also discussed the third-party voting systems that are being considered for online elections.

GM Week 2020

Online elections to use third-party system

March 27, 2020

Elections Commission Chairperson Keenan Adams ’21 announced during the Senate meeting on March 21 that the Elections Commission plans to use a third-party to host elections online due to the move to online-only classes. The two systems being considered are Helios Voting and ElectionBuddy.


Commencement to be an online event

March 25, 2020

In an email to the Rensselaer community on Wednesday afternoon, President Shirley Ann Jackson announced that this spring’s Commencement, planned for May 23, will take place in an online ceremony, adding that there will be an in-person celebration “when the public health situation allows us to do so.”

Campus Health

Institute increases travel restrictions, advises overpacking

March 6, 2020

Two emails, sent Thursday, described precautions students and faculty should take as the global outbreak of coronavirus spreads, and the protocols Rensselaer has in place should the outbreak reach the Capital Region.

Editor's Corner

My road to editor in chief

February 5, 2020

Hello, I became the editor in chief of The Polytechnic at the end of last semester. This is how I got there.


What makes Thunder Mountain Curry special

January 22, 2020

The Polytechnic sat down with the co-founder of Thunder Mountain Curry to discuss how it came to be and why it is loved on campus.

Behind the URL

Why we don't publish anonymous letters to the editors

January 15, 2020

Our feelings about anonymous articles have evolved over recent years, so we want to take this time to explain the thought process behind the decision not to publish the submission. This is a new type of article in our Opinion section—dubbed “behind the URL”—that will be used by members of the Editorial Board to give a behind-the-scenes look at our organization and decisions.

Town Meeting

PubSafe director addresses recent RPI Alerts

October 28, 2019
“Given the recent uptick in campus shootings, why did PubSafe not issue any warning to shelter in place as soon as they were aware of something happening on campus?” asked a student during the Fall Town Meeting in reference to the recent incident in which a SWAT team apprehended someone near the Darrin Communications Center on October 16.
Men'S Hockey

Engineers fall to Huskies in Family Weekend game

October 25, 2019

In the first home game of the season, the Rensselaer Engineers lost to the University of Connecticut Huskies with a final score of 2‒5.

Freshman Elections

Freshman elections held across campus

October 16, 2019

The Class of 2023 chose their representatives through a two-day election on October 9 and October 11.


The freshman curriculum is outstanding

September 18, 2019

I didn’t appreciate how well the freshman engineering curriculum is structured until I went home for the summer after freshman year. It's designed so that every student knows by the end of their freshman year if they love engineering and are sure about the major they chose.

Greek Life

Greek housing for students during Arch no longer under consideration

July 14, 2019
The creation of an Arch Greek Life Commons—which would allow students to live in their respective Greek houses during their required summer semesters—was the sole rejected recommendation from the ten outlined in the Draft Report of the Greek Life Task Force, said Vice President for Student Life Peter Konwerski in an email to The Polytechnic.
Club Spotlight

Sitting down with the Idiots of Sheer Idiocy

April 24, 2019
After being introduced the hilarious improv of Sheer Idiocy during the Evening of Performance, I had the pleasure of going to three more amazing shows. During these, they play a variety of improv games ranging from creating rhymes using a word from the audience, to telling a brand new fairy tale from different perspectives.I sat down with Molly Kerwick, Max Carey, Dante Mancinelli, Leith Reardon, Billy Pedoto, Lucas Sheldon, Ciaran Young and Hannah LaTourette, and Connor Griffin to learn more about how they function as a club and how they manage to be so so funny.
Executive Board

Holocaust Remembrance Committee approved

April 18, 2019
During the penultimate meeting of the current Executive Board, the creation of two new clubs was overseen—including a Holocaust Remembrance Committee—and four people were approved for positions.
Editorial Notebook

Being green in a blue world

April 17, 2019
I’ve only owned Android phones; and, ever since I got my first phone, my texts have appeared green on iPhones.

RPI’s Rocket League team wins Eastern Championship, heading to Minneapolis for final

April 3, 2019
One night when I was procrastinating going to bed and browsing the RPI subreddit, I came across a post about how RPI’s Rocket League team won the Eastern Championship and will be going to a LAN tournament in Minneapolis to face off against the winners from the other sections.

The alcohol and drug policy is changing. What does this mean for students?

April 3, 2019
In an email sent to the Rensselaer community, Vice President for Human Resources Curtis Powell and Vice President for Student Life Peter Konwerski outlined the updates to the Alcohol and Other Drugs Policies, which will go into effect this Summer 2019 semester.
Student Senate

Senate briefed on Blue Apron-like program hosted by Sodexo

March 13, 2019
Hospitality Services Advisory Committee Chairperson Advaith Narayan ’21 came before the Student Senate on February 25 to give an update on a plan to implement a new food program called “Fresh Pantry.” This program is based on Blue Apron and similar food services, but will not be subscription based.
Gm Week 2019

Campaigning for GM Week 2019 elections has begun. What does this mean for students?

March 3, 2019
Election season is now underway, and students may campaign for elected Student Government positions until March 27.
On-Campus Event

The dangers of algorithms

February 27, 2019
“Algorithms are not facts. They are opinions,” said Cathy O’Neil during a talk on the dangers of algorithms titled “Weapons of Math Destruction.” O’Neil has a doctorate in mathematics and worked as a data scientist creating algorithms until she started to see the problem with them.
Campus Event

An Evening of Performance excites, delights on Valentine’s Day

February 20, 2019
One of the struggles of Valentine’s Day is figuring out what to do with your girlfriend or boyfriend.
Greek Life

Takeaways from the Draft Report of the Greek Life Task Force

January 30, 2019
The Draft Report of the Greek Life Task Force, a document outlining the state of Greek life and recommendations for improvement, was released on Friday.
Campus Security

Anti-president graffiti found, removed

January 23, 2019
Graffiti was found at two locations on campus on Thursday morning, both bearing the same message: “FUCK SHIRLEY ANN.” One was located at the top of the stairs to Freshman Hill and the other at the stairs that connect the Quadrangle Complex to the 15th Street Footbridge.
Town Meeting

Takeaways from the Fall Town Meeting

November 14, 2018
Students and faculty filled the Concert Hall of the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center for President Shirley Ann Jackson’s Fall Town Meeting on October 31.
Editorial Notebook

The Polytechnic has taught me to face my fears

October 31, 2018
If you asked any of my high school friends what clubs I would have joined in college, I am 99 percent sure they would have never guessed the school newspaper.
Freshman Elections

7.8% turnout for freshman elections, down from 22.1% last year

October 17, 2018
On October 3, freshman elections were held across campus with the lowest turnout in at least six years.
Empac Event

Panel hosted at EMPAC answers, “Are we going to Mars?”

October 3, 2018
As a huge space nerd, I was ecstatic to hear that Rensselaer would be hosting a panel to discuss the question, “Are we going to Mars?” I was also intrigued by the panelists: President Shirley Ann Jackson, Theoretical Physicists at Brown University James Gates,  former Director of Johnson Space Center Ellen Ochoa, and Space Foundation CEO Thomas Zelibor.

Safe Ride vehicle involved in collision

September 29, 2018
Around 9 pm on Friday, there was an incident at Peoples Avenue and 15th Street involving a Safe Ride vehicle and another vehicle.

Freshman registration is flawed; we need reform

September 26, 2018
This year, the Office of the Registrar tried a new procedure for registering the incoming freshmen. For all students attending the first three student orientation sessions, the Registrar provided premade class schedules and allowed them to choose any Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences course.