Sarah Shiang

Sarah is a junior studying Economics in the Accelerated Science & Technology Law program from Los Angeles, CA.

Previous positions
  • News Coordinator January 2022 to May 2022
  • Senior Managing Editor July 2021 to October 2021
  • Editor in Chief December 2020 to June 2021
  • Associate News Editor May 2020 to December 2020
  • Associate Features Editor March 2020 to May 2020
  • Associate Editorial/Opinion Editor September 2019 to December 2019
  • Features Coordinator December 2019 to March 2020
Student Life

Commencement guest policy updated

May 18, 2022

Commencement guests must now show proof of a negative PCR test taken up to 72 hours before arrival on campus or a rapid antigen home test taken 24 hours in advance of campus arrival. This update comes after a COVID-19 requirement update sent yesterday sparked discussion on Reddit and the RPI parent Facebook group. Previously, only PCR tests taken up to 48 hours before Commencement were permitted.

Greek Life

Stickers around campus claim "Ski drugs women"

April 19, 2022

Stickers that stated “SKI DRUGS WOMEN” were found around campus yesterday, featuring a picture of a hand holding a pill over an open drink. The Polytechnic has attempted to investigate the stickers’ accusation but has not verified it.

Student Life

Graduates now allowed four Commencement guests

April 18, 2022

Graduating students can now bring four guests to the Commencement ceremony, scheduled for Saturday, May 21 at the East Campus Athletic Village at 8:15 am, according to an email sent out on Friday. Registration information is set to come out sometime this week.

Campus Security

Sorority members warned of alleged drugging by fraternity brother

March 31, 2022

Editor’s Note: This story contains information about an alleged drugging that readers may find triggering.


RPI hires second Title IX coordinator

March 29, 2022

Melissa Walega has been hired as a Title IX Coordinator and Senior Human Resources Specialist according to an announcement sent through Morning Mail this morning. Walega is now one of two Title IX coordinators at Rensselaer.

Rensselaer Union

Thunder Mountain Curry and Collar City Grill menus altered due to Rathskeller repairs

March 19, 2022

Repairs are being made to the Rathskeller’s exhaust system. Thunder Mountain Curry will be experimenting with new menu items. Collar City Grill is now selling cold and pressed sandwiches.

Editorial Notebook

Burnout: How to avoid and live past it

March 16, 2022

“I stepped down as editor in chief of The Polytechnic over the summer. The decision nearly broke me, though it was necessary to prioritize my health and regain a sense of self,” writes former Editor in Chief Sarah Shiang ’22, upon returning to the newsroom.


Navigating return-to-campus testing

January 17, 2022

After pushing back campus move-in by a week, most residential students began moving in today. Here’s what you should expect.


Monday, Tuesday finals canceled due to cyberattack

May 18, 2021

An announcement was posted this afternoon to all of Rensselaer’s social media stating that “all final exams and submissions (e.g., term papers, project reports) scheduled or due for Monday (May 10) and Tuesday (May 11) are cancelled” as a result of the cyberattack on RPI servers that occurred on Friday.


RPI takes down servers in response to cyberattack

May 18, 2021

Earlier this morning, Rensselaer servers were shut down in response to a cyberattack leaving many students unable to access LMS course materials, contact professors through email, take their final examinations, or submit final projects.


Bennett, Mahmoud, elected as GM, PU

March 28, 2021

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.


Fifteenth Street Housing disregards RPI quarantine policies, continues room tours

March 6, 2021

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.

Breaking News

RPI hits Trigger Level 1, Institute to quarantine

March 3, 2021

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

Editor's Corner

Big shoes to fill

February 21, 2021

“The summer before I started at Rensselaer, I read as many Poly articles as I could. I was eager to start college, and knew that I wanted to continue my passion for journalism. Even though I wasn’t sure what the next three years would entail, The Poly would be part of them,” writes Editor-in-Chief Sarah Shiang ’23, reflecting on her experience writing for The Poly.


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

January 5, 2021

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.

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.

Student Senate

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

December 1, 2020

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.

Student Rights

Rensselaer updates Title IX policies to align with Trump administration guidelines

November 2, 2020

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.

Freshman Elections

Nicolas wins Class of 2024 President

October 25, 2020

Kamilia Nicolas has been elected Class of 2024 President, and Ria Massoni has been elected to the role of Class of 2024 Vice President. 349 out of 1464 freshmen voted, an increase of 97 votes compared to last year.

Town Meeting

Institute to announce plan for Spring semester after Thanksgiving break

October 13, 2020

Spring semester plans—including housing for sophomores and spring sports—will be announced after the Institute transitions to remote operations over the Thanksgiving break. President Shirley Ann Jackson explained that Rensselaer plans to assess what needs to be done for the Spring semester in context of the Fall semester and “the overall public health situation.”


Annual NSBE/SHPE career fair to be hosted virtually

September 18, 2020

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

September 7, 2020

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.


Rensselaer reveals details for Fall reopening

July 17, 2020

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.


No Greek housing this Fall

July 17, 2020

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.


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.


Health center to expand services for Fall semester

July 16, 2020

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.


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

July 16, 2020

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

June 28, 2020

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

June 20, 2020

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

Town Meeting

Fall semester to involve online learning

May 25, 2020

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.

Executive Board

Executive Board thanks Kennedy for her service

May 25, 2020

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.


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.


Temporary exceptions made to pass/no credit policy

April 24, 2020

Rensselaer is making an exception to the normal pass/no credit rules this semester as students adapt to online classes. Students may P/NC any and all of their classes taken this semester, and have until May 15 to fill out the relevant form in order to designate a class as such.


How to socialize while practicing social distancing

April 14, 2020

After a few weeks of online courses and the absence of campus activities, here are suggestions on how to socialize while practicing social distancing.

Editorial Notebook

Challenging times call for connectivity

April 10, 2020

I know that I’m not the only one tapping through “until tomorrow” posts, 30-day song challenges, variations of “draw a carrot” stories, and endless customized bingo grids during quarantine. Nevertheless, watching my peers challenge each other to post videos of pushups, dances, and practicing music have reminded me of the power of social media and how it can be used positively in a trying time.

On-Campus Event

Rensselaer Music Association’s concert pops

March 4, 2020

From jazz favorites to soundtrack classics, the annual Pops Concert hosted by the Rensselaer Music Association was a blast!

On-Campus Event

Beginner's guide to an RPI hockey game

February 5, 2020

Freshmen staff writers Medhini Mankale and Sarah Shiang reflect on their first Big Red Freakout game.

Empac Event

Dehumanization in work, war explained

February 5, 2020

Associate Professor of English at Virginia Commonwealth University, Jennifer Rhee, discussed concepts from her book, The Robotic Imaginary: The Human and the Price of Dehumanized Labor, during the first Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center talk of the Spring semester.

On-Campus Event

Winter Carnival warms students’ spirits with fun, activities

January 29, 2020

The Winter Carnival was held just in time as the snow melted away in Troy. The theme was “There’s Snow Place Like Home.” After students checked in, they were free to play games outdoors, free skate, or explore the activities.

On-Campus Event

A not-so silent night: Rensselaer Music Association’s Winter Concert

January 13, 2020

From Christmas classics to musical arrangements written by Rensselaer students, the annual Winter Concert hosted by the Rensselaer Music Association was a treat for all who attended.

Editorial Notebook

It’s not all fun and games: programming gender roles within toys

November 20, 2019

A few weeks ago, my friends and I took a trip to Walmart and I ended up walking through the aisles of toys.


RPI introduces four new majors

November 20, 2019

Bachelor of Science degrees in Business Analytics; Communication, Media and Design; and music have been added to Rensselaer’s offerings. In January of 2020, biological neuroscience will be added to the School of Science.

On-Campus Event

Family weekend closes with GM–PU brunch

October 28, 2019

The Grand Marshal–President of the Union brunch was held in the McNeil Room as part of an activity-packed Family Weekend. During her address to the students and parents, President Shirley Ann Jackson stated how proud she was to have “a Union run by the students.”

Club Event

Delving into diversity at I-Fest

October 23, 2019

From the vast assortment of food around the McNeil Room to seeing the smiles of family and friends, Rensselaer’s annual International Fest is a celebration of RPI’s diverse student body.

Student Rights

Rensselaer Student Handbook updated

September 12, 2019
Every year, the Rensselaer Handbook of Student Rights and Responsibilities is updated before the start of the Fall semester.