Campus Quality

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Campus Quality


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3 College Freshman

Campus Quality: Theres usually something going on.

4 College Freshman

Campus Quality: Some really pretty parts of campus and buildings but some are not very impressive since its an old school

3 College Freshman

Campus Quality: I love love LOOOVVVEEE the EMPAC center but I have no excuse to go.

3 College Freshman

Campus Quality: I don't know, there's not too much to do here in Troy

4 College Freshman

Campus Quality: The campus is beautiful and the libraries are gorgeous. Though some buildings look worn down, it somehow achieves a rustic look rather than a tired look and all the facilities on campus are clean.

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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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The students of RPI are satisfied with the facilities on campus. The Union renovation and the Mueller Center give the students good places to study and relax, as well as work out and burn off some of the stress that can build up from classes. The computer labs and their availability have also scored big with the student body, despite the fact that everyone has a laptop anyway.

RPI combines an older-style campus with the most modern technology, making it a perfect marriage of grace and practicality. The athletic facilities are top-notch and provide great equipment to help students stay in shape. The Rensselaer Union provides places for studying and for relaxing, and the dorms are steadily improving with each year. It's not the nicest college campus by a long shot, but for what it is, it's not a bad place to spend four years.

Facts & Statistics

Service & Maintenance Staff
Campus Size
275 acres
Student Centers
Rensselaer Union
Campus Library?
Main Libraries
Folsom Library
Popular Places to Chill
  • Commons Dining Hall
  • Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center
  • The Quad
  • Rensselaer Union
Bar on Campus
Clubhouse Pub in the Union
Coffeehouse on Campus
  • Freshëns Café in the Union
  • Java ++ on the north edge of campus
  • Jazzman's in the DCC
  • Starbucks
Movie Theater on Campus
UPAC Cinema
School Slang
  • Alby: The albino squirrel that resides on campus.
  • The Approach: The 187 stairs that lead from the bottom of campus on Eighth Street to the downtown area; great view from the top.
  • Archies: Architecture majors; live in the Greene Building, rarely seen.
  • Armory: The gym behind the Mueller Center.
  • BARH: Burdett Avenue Residence Hall, a dorm located on Burdette Avenue.
  • Boot: Vomit; can be used as a verb or a noun.
  • The Castle: Pi Kappa Phi fraternity, located downtown on Second Street.
  • CDC: Career Development Center; office that helps students find jobs, located on the second floor of the DCC.
  • DCC: Darrin Communication Center; lecture halls and home of the CDC.
  • DOSO: Dean of Students Office; it's like the principal's office-where you go if you get in trouble.
  • EMAC: Electronic Media and Communications; a popular major in graphic design also known as "EasyMAC" and "Electronic Media, Arts, and Crafts."
  • EPOW: Electrical Power Engineering; a very obscure major.
  • The Footbridge: Bridge over Fifteenth Street that connects main campus to Freshman Hill.
  • Freshman Hill: The part of campus where most of the dorms and the main dining hall are located.
  • Ghetto Chopper: The Midland Foods located at Troy Plaza, formerly a very sketchy Price Chopper.
  • Gym: The Mueller Center.
  • Homework Helpers: Beers that are consumed while doing homework.
  • IPAC: Information number students can call with any question they have. Call (518) 276-6636.
  • JEC: Jonsson Engineering Center.
  • J-ROWL: Jonsson-Rowling Science Center.
  • LA: Learning Assistant; every dorm has one to aid students in studying.
  • The Lighthouse: The Greene Building, home of the Architecture school. It is called the lighthouse because the lights are on at all hours as the Archies burn the midnight oil.
  • Low Building/CII: The Low Center for Industrial Innovation (ironically, the tallest building on campus).
  • The Lyrics and The Pipes: The Rensselyrics and The Rusty Pipes, two a cappella groups of students who put on shows for the RPI community.
  • Marriott Trot: The run to the bathroom many students are forced to make after eating at campus dining halls.
  • MRC: Materials Research Center.
  • Parking Nazi: The guy who gives out parking tickets on campus; if you park illegally, he will find your car.
  • The Poly: The Polytechnic, a weekly, student-run RPI newspaper; notorious for bad "Top 10" lists.
  • RA: Resident Assistant; every dorm has one per floor/wing. These are the people who will write you up if you get in trouble. Most are pretty cool, but get to know your RA before finding out the hard way how lenient he or she is.
  • RD: Resident Director; same as RA, but with authority over everyone in the dorm.
  • Ski Lodge: Phi Kappa Theta Fraternity, located on Sunset Terrence.
  • Troylet: A term used to describe the natives (don't say it too loud when you're off campus); also can be used as a synonym for Troy itself.
  • Union: Rensselaer Union.
  • VCC: Voorhees Computing Center; 24-hour computer lab, also houses the Help Desk, the Campus Computer Store, and the Repair and Maintenance Service.
  • Zoo: Theta Xi Fraternity, located on campus across from the freshman dorms.
  • The Big Red Freakout : Each year in February, there is a tradition known as the Big Red Freakout, which is a campus-wide hockey frenzy. More students wear RPI clothing on this day than any other, and the hockey game that night is always sold out, regardless of the weather.
  • GM Week : Grand Marshal Week - Student government elections are held during GM week, and many activities are going on throughout campus.
  • Hockey Line : Each year before season tickets for the hockey team go on sale, the hockey line begins. Students set up couches and armchairs outside the Union and wait in line for the tickets to go on sale. This tradition has started to die in recent years, and now only a handful of students take part in what was once the biggest tradition on campus. At its height in the `80s, the line would start in April-six months before the tickets go on sale!
  • Senior Week : A week at the end of the spring semester in which seniors can take part in various events, such as Senior Banquet and the Booze Cruise.
  • Tray Sledding : Upon the first snowstorm of the year, students have a custom of stealing trays from the Commons and sledding down the hill.
Urban Legends
  • The Albino Squirrel ("Alby") - Technically not an urban legend-there is a squirrel on campus that is white. It does in fact exist, and can most frequently be seen frolicking in courtyard of the main campus. Seeing it is rare and considered a sign of good fortune.
  • The Ghost in West Hall - West Hall is one of the oldest buildings on campus. Originally a Civil War hospital, it is alleged that a nurse named Betsy went crazy here and that she can still be seen and heard in the building's hallowed halls.
  • The Library - Built on top of a hill, the library is allegedly sliding slowly into downtown Troy.
  • The Tunnel - According to legend, there is a tunnel underneath campus that connects the DCC and the JEC to Ricketts under the football field.
Favorite Things To Do
EMPAC always provides interesting shows, and the movies playing at UPAC are usually pretty good. There are always cultural events going on, including the various groups on campus that often offer free food and fun. There's not a huge variety available on campus. UPAC Cinema shows one or two movies each weekend on campus, and EMPAC has really interesting shows going on every weekend. There is a pub in the Union, which is a great meeting spot for friends, but it is relatively small. The games room of the Union offers pool and table tennis. It depends on what you're looking to do. For more variety, it is better to wander off campus.
Student Organizations Web Site
Student Activities Offered
  • Campus ministries
  • Choral groups
  • Concert band
  • Dance
  • Drama/theater
  • International student organization
  • Jazz band
  • Literary magazine
  • Music ensembles
  • Musical theater
  • Pep band
  • Radio station
  • Student government
  • Student newspaper
  • Student-run film society
  • Symphony orchestra
  • Television station
  • Yearbook
Air Force ROTC: Yes
Navy ROTC: Yes
Army ROTC: Yes
Did You Know?
There are rooms on the third floor of the Union, as well as in the library, that you can reserve for group projects or group study sessions.

Student Polls

Rate the campus facilities in the following areas    Based on 56 responses

Very poor
  • Athletics/recreation
  • Classrooms
  • Computer labs
  • Dining
  • General aesthetics/architecture of campus
  • "Green" buildings/initiatives
  • Housing
  • Lawns/green space
  • Library
  • Modernity of facilities
  • Performing arts
  • Science/research labs
  • Student center
  • Study spots
  • Visual arts (work spaces, galleries)

What are your favorite campus events or traditions?    Based on 28 responses

  • 25% GM Week
  • 12% Union After Dark
  • 11% Therapy Dogs
  • 11% Hockey games
  • 9% Hockey Line
  • 8% The Big Red Freakout
  • 8% Tray Sledding
  • 8% Movies at the DCC
  • 5% The Rensselaer Games Showcase
  • 3% Exploring Engineering Day
  • 2% Senior Week

What are your favorite things to do around campus?    Based on 27 responses

  • 15% Have look at the down town troy
  • 14% Hang out with friends
  • 11% Walk around
  • 10% Sports
  • 9% Eat food
  • 9% Explore the campus with friends
  • 9% Take in the view from EMPAC hill
  • 8% Go to clubs
  • 7% Go to events
  • 5% Look at the sunset while having dinner
  • 3% Pool

How accommodating is this school to students with physical disabilities?    Based on 29 responses

  • 31% Very accommodating. The school does everything in their power to make sure the needs of every student are met.
  • 59% Pretty accommodating. The school has taken a lot of steps to accommodate the needs of students, but they've missed a few things.
  • 10% Slightly accommodating. The school has taken a few steps to accommodate students, but not nearly enough.
  • 0% Not accommodating. Students with physical disabilities are practically ignored here.

What is your overall opinion of your school and the campus community?    Based on 57 responses

  • 26% I love everything about my school and have a lot of campus pride.
  • 56% I like mostly everything about my school, but there are some things I wish were different.
  • 14% The school community is okay-we're all just here for an education, nothing more.
  • 4% I hate my school and have no school spirit.


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