Housing and Dining

Fall 2020 Semester

The residential requirement that all first- and second-year students live on campus has not changed. Rensselaer will continue to assess the state of the virus locally, regionally, and globally and make information available about the spring semester as early as possible.


Visit the Rensselaer Dining Services website for information on how to use the TRANSACT app to make reservations.

Return-to-Campus 2020

Q. What are the protocols for returning to campus?


  • Online Health and Safety Protocol Training Module  
    • You must complete the online training module immediately  
    • Every student scheduled to access the physical campus this fall semester must complete the online training module. This module details the health and safety protocols that will be followed by all members of the Rensselaer community to help create a safe environment in which to live, learn, and work.  


  • Personal Contact Information 
    • You must provide updated contact information via SIS by August 7
    • This must include a residential address and a functioning cell phone number. This information will help to ensure that you receive the resources and support needed.  


  • COVID-19 Testing Consent Form and Health and Safety Agreement
    • In the coming days, you will be directed to the COVID-19 Testing Consent Form and the Institute’s Health and Safety Agreement. We are requiring that all members of the Rensselaer community follow the guidelines put forth in these documents in an effort to help protect the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff. They must be completed prior to your arrival on campus. 

Additionally, in order to attend courses on campus or access campus facilities, students must: 

  1. Maintain Rensselaer health and safety standards
  2. Comply with Rensselaer return-to-campus protocols
  3. Adhere to the policies in the Rensselaer Handbook of Student Rights and Responsibilities

Q. What is the Housing Density Standard? 

A. The Institute plan to return to campus-based operations is based on New York state guidance, and our assessment of what we can and must do to enhance the safety of all members of the Rensselaer community. We will still be in a pandemic come fall, and our ability to maintain an open campus, should it open, is predicated on the actions, behaviors, and alignment with health and safety practices and social distancing.

It is our expectation that all members of our community, including those who live off campus, will adopt a strict adherence to the health and safety protocols while on and off campus, including the following elements:

  • Residential density such that no more than two students share an individual living space, which means no more than two students share a bathroom.  
  • Social distancing should be practiced at all times. Observe social distancing when outside of individual living or workspaces. Maintain a minimum six-foot distance between each individual and the next closest person at all times, and in all settings.  
  • Cloth and/or disposable masks will be provided by the Institute and are to be worn by all individuals in public spaces. Cloth masks are to be hand-washed at the end of each day. Additionally, students and faculty will be provided with disposable masks that must be worn when they are in any and all instructional spaces.    
  • Cleaning and disinfecting of personal and common spaces will be a continuous process. Each individual should implement protocols similar to those implemented on campus, which require the cleaning and disinfecting of workspaces and living spaces, including wiping down chairs and high-use surfaces, such as desks, counters, door handles, remotes, computers, and personal communication devices.
  • This is a standard we are setting for de-densifying any residential housing and applies to students who will be physically on campus, as opposed to taking courses remotely. The standard allows us to help maintain safety and health on the campus and in living environments around campus amid a pandemic that is, unfortunately, broadening across the country.


Q. What if I cannot comply with this standard?

A. If students cannot comply with the health, safety, and housing standards, and are in cohorts scheduled to be on campus, they must submit the Remote Learning Request Form. Students taking courses remotely will not be granted access to the campus. Students may request to take courses remotely, by submitting the Remote Learning request form, which will be distributed to students via their RPI email. 


Q. What are the cleaning protocols for dorm bathrooms?

A. In order to keep up with the work volume and consistently maintain healthy environments, the Environmental Service Department is deploying all cleaning staff to the entire residential side of campus. The cleaning protocols for residential restrooms will be that every residence hall private restroom will be cleaned once a day, seven days a week. All cleaning and disinfection processes will follow CDC guidelines, including protocols and product use. 

Q. What resources are available for juniors, seniors, graduate students, and Greek members who need assistance in identifying an off-campus apartment?

A. For a comprehensive list of services, visit: https://sll.rpi.edu/living-off-campus.


Q. Are juniors and seniors able to live on campus if they would like to?

A. In response to interest expressed by a number of students, we have identified an opportunity for junior and seniors to reside in the College Suites student housing facility, located on Route 4 near Hudson Valley Community College. Leases would be through Rensselaer, with an option for a one-semester lease at $4,865, with no penalty. Students interested in this option can apply here.  


Q. I have not received confirmation of my housing waiver yet. Who can I reach out to?

A. Contact reslife@rpi.edu.

Q. Will there be a reduction in the housing or meal cost for the fall semester?

A. No. There is no reduction in the cost of housing or meal plans for the fall semester. Rensselaer is focused on the maintenance of campus facilities and the enhancement of systems that provide for social distancing in an effort to provide the safest student experience possible while on campus. Significant steps have been taken and measures added in the housing and dining programs including additional cleaning and disinfecting protocols, new ordering and reservation technology, and the elimination of self-service stations in order to promote the health and safety of our community at the highest levels.


Q. How will students be fed during the fall 2020 semester?

A. Nearly all retail dining options and all four resident dining halls will be open during the fall semester. This year, the dining program includes additional cleaning and disinfecting protocols, new ordering and reservation technology, and the elimination of self-service stations in order to promote the health and safety of our community. Details on the dining app will be provided to students during the quarantine period.


Q. When will meal delivery begin for students living on campus?

A. Meal delivery will begin the day a student moves in.


Q. What are the options for my meals being delivered during the self-quarantine period?

A. Students are emailed a menu of choices each day for the following day. Should you not choose an option, you will automatically receive the meal of the day. If you don’t receive a menu by 12 p.m. for the following day, call (518) 276-3713 or email rensselaeronlineordering@gmail.com to obtain one. If you have special dietary requirements, contact Kimberley Mayer, campus dietitian, for assistance at Kimberly.Mayer@sodexo.com. Any questions related to meal plans can be addressed by visiting the Rensselaer Dining Services website or by emailing dining@rpi.edu.

Spring and Summer 2020 

  • Staff will respond to requests for maintenance. Submit your maintenance request

  • In case of an emergency: 

    • Contact Public Safety at (518) 276-6611 and request to speak to the Dean-on-Duty or Counselor-on-Call.

    • For all other emergencies, contact:

      • Medical or Fire Emergency: 911

      • 24-Hour Nurse: (866) 315-8756

      • Sexual Assault (24-hour): (518) 271-3257

      • Suicide Prevention: 1 (800) 273-8255

All students permitted to stay on campus will need to continue to abide by all Institute policies, including but not limited to, the Rensselaer Handbook for Student Rights and ResponsibilitiesStudent Living and Learning Policy, and Rensselaer Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy

Students must also comply with all Institute directives regarding social distancing and COVID-19 prevention. The Institute will remain vigilant in responding to violations of Institute policies and student misconduct. 

Students with any concerns may contact the Dean of Students Office at DOSO@rpi.edu or (518) 276-6266.

  • Food will be delivered to the residence halls, Monday-Friday, three times per day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) and Saturday-Sunday, two times per day (brunch and dinner). Dining details will be sent directly to students approved to remain on campus.

For assistance with off-campus lease agreements, contact the Off-Campus Commons at (518) 276-6284 or email reslife@rpi.edu.

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