Rensselaer Athletics Facilities Petition

Rensselaer Athletics Facilities Petition

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RPI Students started this petition to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Administration

To The RPI Administration,


We would first like to thank all of you for everything that you are doing to keep the Rensselaer community safe and on campus this semester. We have recently heard from our Resident Deans that Rensselaer will be closing all athletic facilities for the remainder of the semester, including the Mueller Center, the ‘87 Gymnasium, the swimming pool, and all club and intramural sport teams. We would like to respectfully ask that you reconsider this decision for three reasons. 

First, physical activity and exercise is important for the physical, mental, and emotional health of the Rensselaer community. We feel this is especially important now as depression is becoming much more common due to the pandemic and the measures to keep cases down. 

Second, we believe that the opening of at least some athletic facilities on campus will be safest for everyone, both those who would use the facilities and the rest of the residents on campus. The YMCA that is less than one mile from the Houston Field House has opened its swimming pool as well as all outdoor activities. The Planet Fitness that is 1.6 miles from the Houston Field House is open. If all the athletic facilities on campus are closed, this will encourage residents on campus to exercise using off campus facilities. We believe that this is a greater risk for the entire community because not everyone using off campus facilities is tested negative twice a week. Additionally, Rensselaer has the opportunity to put in time-slot and advanced cleaning policies to limit capacities and ensure safety in the pool, court, gym, or fitness room that may not be in place elsewhere. 

Third, we would respectfully ask that the duration of the ban on athletic facilities be reconsidered. With the consistent and accurate testing Rensselaer is giving, a continued decrease in cases in New York and Rensselaer county, and recent reports that a FDA approved vaccine may be available and distributed before the end of the semester, we believe there is a chance for things to change before Thanksgiving. 

Thank you so much for your time and consideration.

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