Community Health and Safety Policies and Protocols

To offer a campus-based student learning experience during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have developed and implemented the following policies and requirements to decrease the risk of the spread of the COVID-19 virus amongst our community. As prominent members of our community, all students who have access to campus must comply with Institute health and safety policies and protocols.

It is each student’s responsibility to know and comply with all Institute policies.

Accordion

Community Health Emergencies Statement

The health and safety of students and other persons on the Rensselaer campus are of paramount importance. During periods of community health emergencies, Rensselaer may implement requirements and restrictions designed to enhance the safety of the Rensselaer community during crises. Requirements may include, but are not limited to, mandatory testing and immunization, social distancing and use of personal protective equipment (PPE), reporting for tracking and tracing purposes, reduction of on-campus activities and visitors, restrictions on events and gatherings, self-quarantine or isolation directives, and de-densification standards, including but not limited to, limitations on the number of people who may gather at any given time.

Responsibility for compliance with these requirements rests with all students attending the Rensselaer campus or living on or near the campus, as well as to any gathering, events or locations where members of the Rensselaer community attend. Because compliance with health and safety requirements are a critical condition for on-campus attendance and participation in academic and other Rensselaer activities during a community health emergency, students who fail to comply may be required, as a non-disciplinary action, to immediately leave campus and resume coursework online, following consultation with a student’s relevant administrator or advisor; and activities of student organizations may be immediately suspended. Repeated, intentional, or egregious non-compliance shall be considered Grounds for Disciplinary Action (GDA) violation of which may result in discipline including, but not limited to, suspension or expulsion of the individual students and/or the student organization. The requirements are subject to immediate change based on the circumstances and nature of the emergency (including but not limited to, the full or partial closure of the Institute, implementation of a mandatory quarantine, required testing, etc.). Details will be communicated to the Rensselaer community in a timely way, and in advance whenever possible.

Please Note: Disciplinary Actions and Appeals of a violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy are determined in accordance with said Sexual Misconduct Policy, not through the Student Judicial System.

Rensselaer Community Health Requirements and Agreement

It is required that all graduate and undergraduate students sign this agreement as a condition of being granted campus access.

Revised January 4, 2021

Agreement to Comply with Health & 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. In light of the global COVID-19 pandemic, Rensselaer is implementing requirements and restrictions designed to enhance the safety of our Rensselaer community during this crisis as well as future pandemics, should they occur. The requirements are focused on health and safety-related matters (including but not limited to personal protective equipment use, social distancing, behaviors that create high-risk exposure, sanitization, restrictions on events and gatherings, and self-quarantine or isolation directives) decreasing the density of our campus community, and implementing Rensselaer’s T3SQ protocols: Testing, Tracing, Tracking, Surveillance and Quarantine/Isolation.

Responsibility for compliance with these requirements rests with all Rensselaer students attending the Rensselaer campus or living on or near the campus. The requirements extend to gatherings or events hosted by students, events or locations where members of the Rensselaer community attend, Rensselaer events, or any Rensselaer-sponsored activities.

These requirements supplement the Rensselaer Handbook of Student Rights and Responsibilities. Because compliance with these health and safety requirements is a critical condition for access to campus, participation in Rensselaer academic instruction and  Institute activities during the pandemic, students who fail to comply may be required, as an administrative non-disciplinary action, to immediately leave campus and resume coursework fully online.  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.

All Rensselaer students living in Rensselaer owned or affiliated 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 Testing and Immunizations – which may include tests for the virus that causes COVID-19 and/or antibody testing. Mandatory immunizations will be consistent with state law, but Rensselaer may require immunizations beyond those required by law (e.g., seasonal flu shot, COVID-19 vaccine) if and when available.
  2. Social Distancing Requirements – including but not limited to restrictions or bans on events and gatherings, and/or staggered in-person attendance at classes, dining or other activities and restrictions on the number of individuals that may gather together or congregate. This may also include acceptance of “de-densified” living arrangements in accordance with Rensselaer-imposed health and safety standards.
  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. 
  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. Use of Technology Such as a Mobile App for Tracing/Tracking – as implemented by the Institute and made available to students.
  7. 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.
  8.  Required Training – on T3SQ protocols and other requirements expected of students to reduce risk and mitigate consequences from the pandemic.
  9. Compliance with all applicable government orders, directives, regulations and laws. 

A Word About Privacy: Rensselaer takes the 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, Agreement, and Release
I have read this document and I agree that I will follow the requirements as outlined above, as consideration for and as a condition of my enrollment at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. I acknowledge the highly contagious nature of COVID-19 and related diseases, and I understand and assume the risk that my presence on campus, in areas surrounding campus, or at Rensselaer activities may increase my risk of infection, which could result in serious illness, and even death. I understand that these risks can significantly increase if I have certain underlying medical conditions, which are discussed by the U.S. Center for Disease control here.

I understand that Rensselaer does not offer any assurances that any or all of the practices outlined above will be in place, or will be consistently monitored or enforced. My decision to be present on/near campus or in Rensselaer-owned or affiliated facilities is at my own risk. I also understand that action may be taken against me for failing to comply with my obligations hereunder. I  release, discharge, and hold harmless Rensselaer, its employees, agents, and representatives, of and from all liabilities, claims, actions, damages, costs or expenses of any kind (“Claims”) arising out of or relating to any of the matters addressed herein. I understand and agree that this release includes any Claims based on the actions, omissions, or negligence of Rensselaer, its employees, agents, and representatives.

Archives: Rensselaer Community Health Requirements and Agreement, Fall 2020

COVID-19 Testing Consent Form

It is required that all graduate and undergraduate students sign this consent form and participate in COVID-19 testing as directed as a condition of being granted campus access.

The SARS-CoV-2 Testing Acknowledgment and Consent form is your acknowledgment and consent for Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Rensselaer) and external licensed labs working with Rensselaer to test you for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the disease known as COVID-19.

COVID-19 Return-to-Campus Educational Module (Percipio)

It is required that all graduate and undergraduate students complete this educational module as a condition of being granted campus access.

Return-to-campus based training is intended to train students of on campus safety protocol related to maintaining the safety and health of the Rensselaer community. Click to learn how to access the training online through Percipeo. If you are not able to locate the module under “your requirements,” please search under the “optional trainings.

Mandatory Safety Measures

For your safety, and the safety of others in our community, we are all required to adhere to the following health and safety protocols and practices. You are required to:

  • Wear a face mask at all times in public spaces (indoors and outside) and avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes to stop the spread of germs.
  • Be sure to maintain at least a six-foot distance between you and others at all times.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. If not available, use hand sanitizer.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently used surfaces.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and then dispose of the tissue and wash your hands.
  • Stay home, if you feel sick. Contact your doctor or the Student Health Center if you think you have COVID-19.
  • Avoid gathering in groups of more than 10 people. When it is safe to gather in groups, keep them small, less than 10 people, and follow all other requirements and policies.
Daily Interactions and Activities Log (DIAL) and Wellness Check

It is required that all graduate and undergraduate students log their interactions, activities, and symptoms in DIAL daily as a condition of being granted campus access.

DIAL is an important part of how Rensselaer can help to stop the spread of COVID-19 through a process called contact tracing which is designed to locate people who may have been exposed to the illness and to provide guidance that should prevent them from spreading it. Additionally, through DIAL, you are required to keep a daily log of any new health symptoms you have experienced in the past 24-hours that are not attributable to another non-COVID condition. Please be assured that the information you provide will ONLY be used for contact tracing. To help guide you through this process, please review the DIAL User Guide or watch the video tutorial.

Testing

It is required that all graduate and undergraduate students participate in COVID-19 testing as directed:

1. Undergraduate students who live on campus with campus access will be tested twice weekly.

2. Undergraduate students who live off campus with campus access will be tested twice weekly.

3. Undergraduate students who live off campus with no campus access will not be tested.

4. Ph.D. students who live off campus with campus access, and who have received approval to be tested by the Provost, VP for Research, or Academic Dean, will be tested twice weekly.

5. Ph.D. students who live off campus with no campus access will not be tested.

6. Master's students with campus access, and who have received approval to be tested by the Provost, VP for Research, or Academic Dean, will be tested twice weekly.

7. Master's students with no campus access will not be tested.

Testing is mandatory for anyone with access to campus.

If you have a conflict with your scheduled test time, you can change your time on the DIAL Web Page. If an extenuating circumstance prevents you from making your scheduled appointment, email covidstudentcompliance@rpi.edu and a staff member from the Student Health Center will contact you to reschedule. Failure to complete a test throughout the spring 2021 semester is a violation of the Rensselaer health and safety protocols and will result in your access to on-campus academic buildings and facilities being revoked until you complete the next available test.

Students are required to complete testing two times per week. Failure to complete testing throughout the spring 2021 semester is a violation of the Rensselaer health and safety protocols. As a result of a second non-compliance with testing, your access to on-campus academic buildings and facilities will be revoked and you will be required to take classes remotely for the remainder of the spring 2021 semester. If you live in Rensselaer housing, you will be immediately removed and you will still be responsible for all room and board charges for the remainder of the semester.

Visitor Policy

One important precaution we are taking is to strictly limit physical contact between members of the Rensselaer community who have campus access, with those members who do not have campus access, as well as people outside of our community. At this time, no visitors, including families, are allowed on campus. Additionally, non-residential students are prohibited from entering any residence hall. Residential students are not permitted to enter other residence halls. Finally, residents of the same building are not permitted to enter another’s room or apartment.

Questions

For questions about Rensselaer's community health and safety policies and protocols: