Fall 2022 Rensselaer Community Health Requirements in Student Handbook

August 24, 2022

Dear Students, 
I write to share the Rensselaer Handbook of Student Rights and Responsibilities, last updated January 25, 2021, which conveys the policies, values, beliefs, standards, and expectations we share as a community of scholars. In consideration of the continuing global concerns with the COVID-19 virus, the policies, protocols, and requirements related to health emergencies can be found on the Dean of Students Office website.
Please take action to familiarize yourself with Institute policies, as it is the responsibility of every Rensselaer student to understand and comply with the policies, protocols, and requirements set forth by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

For your attention and review, I have included the Fall 2022 Rensselaer Community Health Requirements. The document below details the types of protocols the Institute has implemented or may implement should the need arise. All current COVID-19 Policies and required practices can be found at  https://covid19.rpi.edu/.

Rensselaer Community Health Requirements, Fall 2022
Revised August 15, 2022
Requirements to comply with health and safety requirements for students attending the Rensselaer campus and activities.

The health and safety of students and other persons on the Rensselaer campus are of paramount importance. Considering the continuing global concerns with the COVID-19 virus, Rensselaer maintains requirements and restrictions designed to enhance the safety of our Rensselaer community. The requirements are focused on preventing an outbreak in our campus community. Key requirements include mandatory vaccinations (including boosters) for enrolled students and compliance with Rensselaer’s T3SQ protocols: Testing, Tracing, Tracking, Surveillance, and Quarantine/Isolation.

Responsibility for knowing and complying with current health and safety requirements rests with all Rensselaer students. These requirements supplement the Community Health Emergencies Statement included in the Rensselaer Handbook of Student Rights and Responsibilities, and apply when attending the Rensselaer campus or living on or near the campus, as well as to gatherings or events hosted by students, events or locations where members of the Rensselaer community attend, and Rensselaer events or any Rensselaer-sponsored activities.

As COVID-19 vaccination, and available boosters to those who are eligible, is a condition for enrollment, students who fail to show proof of vaccination and boosters (or have been granted an exemption in special cases) will have their enrollment revoked. Students who fail to comply with any of the policies or protocols may be required, as an administrative non-disciplinary action, to refrain from coming to campus, or immediately leave campus. Such action would be based on the decision of, and communicated by, the Dean of Students after review of the facts. Repeated, egregious, or intentional non-compliance shall be considered Grounds for Disciplinary Action (GDA), a violation of which may result in discipline, including but not limited to suspension or expulsion, and may give rise to an emergency suspension (suspended access to all instruction and activities) pending disciplinary action. The requirements are subject to change without advance notice, and details will be posted on Rensselaer’s website or otherwise communicated.

All Rensselaer students living in Rensselaer owned or affiliated housing (including Greek chapter housing), or in private housing in areas surrounding campus (within 25 miles of the Troy campus, or any other Rensselaer facility), present on the Rensselaer campus, interacting with members of the Rensselaer community in areas surrounding campus, or participating in any Rensselaer-sponsored activities, shall comply with communicated directives of the Institute designed to help protect the Rensselaer community from disease and contagion, including but not limited to the following:

1.    Mandatory Immunization and Testing – which will include receiving vaccinations and boosters as authorized for use by the U.S. FDA or listed for use by the World Health Organization (WHO), and on-campus COVID-19 testing in accordance with prescribed schedules.

2.    Social Distancing Requirements – including but not limited to applied restrictions or bans on events and gatherings, de-densified living arrangements, staggered in-person attendance at classes, dining or other activities, and restrictions on the number of individuals that may gather together or congregate.

3.    Logging and Reporting – including any required reporting of potential exposure or symptoms to the Student Health Center, as well as logging or reporting, as required, regarding travel, contacts, and/or activities that may pose an exposure risk.  Use of a web-based app or other technology for tracking, tracing, and reporting may be required.

4.    Provide and Maintain Accurate Contact Information to the Institute – to include mobile telephone number(s), emergency contact information and telephone number(s), and local address.

5.    Use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Safe Practices – if and as required for certain activities, which could include use of PPE in classrooms, labs, dining halls, and other areas.  Required safe practices may include practices such as regular disinfection of personal spaces and hand washing or sanitizing.

6.    Compliance with Self-Quarantine or Isolation Directives - for persons who indicate actual or probable infection, have been in close contact with such person, or as otherwise required by Rensselaer to help ensure compliance with law and reduce risk.

7.    Required Training – if and as required on T3SQ protocols and other requirements expected of students to reduce risk and mitigate consequences from the pandemic.

8.    Compliance with all applicable government orders, directives, regulations, and laws.

Current COVID-19 Related Policies, Requirements, and Information 
Current applicable policies, requirements and guidance related to COVID-19 can be found by visiting https://covid19.rpi.edu/

A Word About Privacy
Rensselaer takes privacy of students and other members of our community seriously, and is required to comply with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. § 1232g.  Rensselaer’s FERPA Policies and Procedures can be found here. Rensselaer’s use of test results and other personally-identifiable data obtained as a result of these requirements will be used strictly to execute its communicable disease health and safety protocols. Use of personally-identifiable electronic data collected from students will be limited to use in tracing and tracking of contacts when a positive case appears. Such data will be retained only for the period reasonably necessary. Privacy-related concerns regarding the measures outlined in this document should be addressed to the Dean of Students Office.

Risk Acknowledgement 
Responsibility for knowing and complying with the current health and safety requirements rests with all Rensselaer students, as consideration for and as a condition of enrollment at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. COVID-19 and related diseases are highly contagious. Participation in Rensselaer activities may increase one’s risk of infection, which could result in serious illness, and even death. Continued enrollment acknowledges that the student understands and assumes the risk, and that the risks can significantly increase if one has certain underlying medical conditions, which are discussed by the U.S. Center for Disease control.

Students who continue enrollment and participate in Rensselaer activities understand that Rensselaer does not offer any assurances that any or all the practices outlined above will be in place or will be consistently monitored or enforced. The student’s decision to be present on/near campus or in Rensselaer-owned or affiliated facilities is at their own risk. They also understand that action may be taken against them for failing to comply with Institute obligations hereunder

Travis Apgar
Associate Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students