Editor in Chief
- 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
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The 51st Student Senate confirmed 27 appointments to student government positions during a four-hour meeting last Thursday.
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.
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.
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.
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.
After a few weeks of online courses and the absence of campus activities, here are suggestions on how to socialize while practicing social distancing.
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.
From jazz favorites to soundtrack classics, the annual Pops Concert hosted by the Rensselaer Music Association was a blast!
Freshmen staff writers Medhini Mankale and Sarah Shiang reflect on their first Big Red Freakout game.
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.
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.
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.
A few weeks ago, my friends and I took a trip to Walmart and I ended up walking through the aisles of toys.
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.
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.”
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.