Co-curricular Opportunities

Listed are co-curricular opportunities linked to civic engagement and social responsibility. They are listed by the Student Life department advising the organization, and contain links to their websites.

Dean of Students Office | Student Experience | Student Union | ROTC | Greeks | Academic Honor Societies
Dean of Students Office
Community Advocates
Community Advocates have the shared goal to prepare students for global citizenship by promoting an understanding and appreciation for diversity and inclusivity by: providing information and promoting healthy discussion about issues of understanding and accepting diversity; exploring myths and misperceptions that may have shaped thoughts and attitudes about persons different that ourselves; opening personal /professional doorways to learning more about our diverse culture; and creating a safe environment that encourages openness, honesty and values the individual.
Dean of Students Office
Mighty Waters
Mighty Waters is an active, boot-on-the-ground, student campaign to address the ongoing flood relief and community restoration following the devastation from Hurricane Irene in August 2011. Since, students have actively worked cleaning, restoring and fundraising to help rebuild communities damaged by flood waters in the capital region as well as areas damaged by Hurricane Sandy.
Dean of Students Office
RPI Relief
RPI Relief is an initiative mobilized when major natural disasters occur around the world. Students work together to raise awareness about the disaster and the people in impacted areas, and they raise money to directly support communities in need. RPI Relief efforts have supported communities impacted by Hurricane Katrina, the Indonesian Tsunami, the Pakistani Earthquake, The Japanese Tsunami, the Haitian Earthquake, Hurricanes Irene and Sandy, the Philippine Cyclone and most recently the Nepalese Earthquake, with funds raised for the Red Cross, All Hands Volunteers and the Save the Children.
Dean of Students Office
RPI STEM Pre-College Pipeline Initiatives
Rensselaer’s Pre-College Pipeline Initiatives provide a variety of opportunities for historically underserved students to pursue afterschool, Saturday, school break and summer opportunities in the STEM fields. The intent of these programs is to excite and prepare young students to pursue advanced studies in the STEM fields in college and ultimately careers in STEM fields. Programs include the RPI STEP Program, Harlem Academy, the PREFACE Program, and the ExxonMobil Summer Science Camp, among others. Rensselaer students are hired and trained as mentors, and work with these students throughout the academic year and during the summer.
Dean of Students Office
RPI Tutor Time
RPI Tutor Time is a pre-college program in which Rensselaer students participate as volunteers or as work-study students each Saturday. The tutor children in grades k-12 in reading, math and a variety of STEM subjects to increase the child’s knowledge and self-esteem, and develop their confidence and increased desire to learn in a safe, encouraging environment.
Dean of Students Office | Student Experience | Student Union | ROTC | Greeks | Academic Honor Societies
Student Union
Alpha Phi Omega
Alpha Phi Omega is a national service fraternity dedicated to developing leaders through service. Our fraternity was founded on the principles of leadership, friendship, and service as well as principles derived from the Boy Scouts of America. Our chapter Epsilon Zeta puts on many service projects for the Rensselaer and Troy community each semester. For example, our chapter runs the Meanest Man on Campus Charity Campaign during GM week and donates several thousand dollars to charity each year. Our chapter also manages the campus Lost and Found, and provides other services to RPI students such as back tests, book exchange, and campus info cards.
Student Union
Big Brothers Big Sisters
Big Brothers Big Sisters is a volunteer organization that makes meaningful, monitored matches between RPI students (“Bigs”) and children (“Littles”), ages 6 through 18 in the Troy, NY community. Twice a month, the “Bigs” and “Littles” get together and participate in various activities together including bowling, hanging out in the games room, getting ice cream etc. The goal of the program is to “provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever.”
Student Union
Circle K International
Circle K International Community Services is an organization dedicated to working as a whole to serve our individual communities. Members come from backgrounds which motivate them to become influential individuals within our society by spending time raising money for charity, volunteering, and always lending a helping hand. We participate in many events such as walks for awareness causes, tutoring children, volunteering at the local geriatric center, homeless shelter, animal shelter, Albany medical center, etc. Circle K International promotes service, fellowship, and leadership.
Student Union
Colleges Against Cancer
“Colleges Against Cancer (CAC) is a nationwide collaboration of college students, faculty, and staff dedicated to eliminating cancer by working to implement the programs and mission of the American Cancer Society.” CAC coordinates the annual Relay for Life at Rensselaer.
Student Union
Design Collective
The RPI Design Collective (*DECO) is a design community for students to connect with each other and with professionals in order to learn about design & innovation and share their own knowledge. DECO is devoted to creating local and social impact through interdisciplinary teams working on projects and using the human centered design method through their efforts as a Design for America studio.
Design for America (DFA) is an award-winning nationwide network of interdisciplinary student teams and community members using design to create local and social impact. DFA students learn how to apply human-centered design to local and social challenges as innovators through extra-curricular, university-based, student-led design studios.
Design for America’s vision is a world where people believe in their ability to innovate and tackle the most ill-structured challenges of our time. Our mission is to develop a pipeline of leaders of innovation and create impact through the implementation of DFA projects.DFA student teams work on self-selected design projects throughout the academic year applying the skills and expertise gained through their for-credit academic courses. They look to their local community to assess pressing challenges and work in teams with organizational partners to understand user’s needs, ideate, prototype and test potential solutions. Projects that receive validation from their partners, users and mentors are encouraged to continue into implementation. DFAers represent diverse academic fields such as engineering, design, psychology, theater, economics, and beyond.
Student Union
Destination Imagination
“The club’s purpose is to promote and engage in creative problem-solving by participating in Destination Imagination (DI). DI is a global program designed to “inspire and equip students to become the next generation of innovators and leaders” () through a variety of challenges (scientific, technical, improvisational, theatrical, and structural).
Student Union
Ecologic
Ecologic is Rensselaer’s oldest student environmental club. Our goals are to educate the campus community on issues of environmental sustainability, improve campus sustainability, and make being sustainable fun and enjoyable..
Student Union
Engineers Without Borders
EWB-RPI was founded in 2010 by Rensselaer students and has since grown to over 40 active members. Over the past four years, our student chapter of Engineers Without Borders-USA has been engaging in collaborative work with the community members of Isla Popa II in Panama. Our members focus their efforts in system design for water supply and filtration for the 300 community members of Isla Popa II who are currently without a reliable source of potable water. Our members contribute to technical design, fundraising, community relations, and chapter administration. All majors are welcome to engage in our transformative work.
Student Union
Global Medical Brigades
RPI GMB works to provide relief to an underserved community in Panama, Honduras, Nicaragua, or Ghana. Depending on the interest, we can choose to focus on medical, dental, public health, environmental, or water brigades. Previously we have traveled on medical and dental brigades during which volunteers have the opportunity to take patient vitals, shadow doctors and dentists, and work in the pharmacy of the mobile clinic we set up. Each brigade also includes a cultural day during which members gain a unique immersion into the community with which we work. All members of our club are invited to travel abroad and participate in meaningful global service experiences as well as learn more about sustainable models of infrastructure and healthcare.
Student Union
Habitat for Humanity
RPI Habitat for Humanity became the 700th official Campus Chapter in April 2002. Since that time we have worked on multiple sites in Rensselaer and Albany Counties. We have also fully sponsored and built multiple homes in Troy. While building a home is the main goal of our organization, we are also working on making our presence well known on campus and in the community. As a club we raise money through fundraising events and donations for our affiliate chapter Habitat for Humanity Capital District. RPI HFH also works with the Community Service groups on campus and every December we make gingerbread houses with children during Troy’s annual Victoria Stroll.
Student Union
International Anti-Slavery Campaign
International Anti-Slavery Campaign is about educating the student body at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute on the issues of modern slavery and human trafficking. We also introduce alternative ways in providing information on products processed by slavery at some point in time and the alternative fair trade products that could be utilized instead.
Student Union
Pride Alliance
The Rensselaer Pride Alliance (RPA) exists to encourage the participation of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute community in the promotion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, other gender and sexual minority (henceforth referred to as LGBT*), and ally intellectual and social interests, and to foster the development of understanding, appreciation, and pride in LGBT* history and culture.
Student Union
Red & White
Rensselaer’s Red & White Student Organization is a group of students who serve as ambassadors of Rensselaer, representing the institute to its constituency–the alumni, the campus, and the community.
Members of this popular and professional organization have the opportunity to network with alumni, develop leadership and communication skills, build career contacts, and participate in university, presidential, and alumni events. Members also help to promote the traditions of Rensselaer, guide seniors through the transition from students to alumni, and instill a sense of pride in the institute.
Red & White promotes the pride and preserves the traditions of Rensselaer through the embodiment of service and leadership while building student-alumni relations. In realizing this mission, the Red & White Student Organization provides communication between the students and alumni of Rensselaer and serves to benefit its members and the Rensselaer community.
Student Union
RPI Ambulance
The purpose of RPI Ambulance is twofold. The first is to provide emergency medical services to the RPI community. The second is to provide educational programs in the field of emergency medicine for members of the organization and the RPI community.
Student Union
RPI American Red Cross Club
The American Red Cross, a humanitarian organization led by volunteers and guided by its Congressional Charter and the Fundamental Principles of the International Red Cross Movement, will provide relief to victims of disasters and help people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. This club helps with fundraising for the American Red Cross as well as hosting various events such as blood drives and Citizen Preparedness courses.
Student Union
RPI Engineering Ambassadors
The RPI Engineering Ambassadors are a group of RPI engineers devoted to inspiring younger students with what they are doing in their chosen major, the newest technological breakthroughs in their field, and the obstacles yet to be overcome. We do this by visiting middle schools and high schools and giving presentations to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) related classes.
Our presentations implement a new award winning style that pushes the boundaries of traditional powerpoint use. We connect what we teach to the lives of the students with hands-on activities that pull everything together. And we can even hold panels to have all your students’ questions answered about engineering, college, jobs and internships, anything.
Student Union
RPI TV
RPI TV is the campus television club. We are a service organization providing video production services to RPI clubs and organizations. For over ten years, RPI TV has been preserving campus history and culture through video. Join us at one of our meetings or check us out at any of the hundreds of events we cover each year.
Student Union
Student Sustainability Task Force
The Student Sustainability Task Force (SSTF) is a student-led organization promoting and advocating for campus sustainability by providing a platform for collaboration and communication among the various clubs, faculty and staff. The SSTF seeks to integrate sustainability into all aspects of campus life, including education, research, operations and culture.
Student Union
Student Veterans Association
To facilitate Veteran transitions from active duty into civilian life and to advocate Veteran issues to the administration..
Student Union
Terra Cafe
The aim of the Terra Café is to support local culture. We do this by consistently serving meals made entirely of local or organic ingredients. By working with Hospitality services and local food vendors we can expose students to foods that are healthy, and that are also beneficial to the environment and local economies. We have people help out with tasks such as setting up, helping out in the kitchen, cleaning areas, and helping people out when they have a question.
Student Union
The Autistic Self-Advocacy Club
The Autistic Self Advocacy Network seeks to advance the principles of the disability rights movement with regard to autism. Drawing on the principles of the cross-disability community, ASAN seeks to organize the community of Autistic adults and youth to have our voices heard in the national conversation about us. ASAN believes that the goal of autism advocacy should be a world in which Autistic people enjoy the same access, rights, and opportunities as all other citizens. We hope to empower Autistic people across the world to take control of our own lives and the future of our common community. Nothing About Us, Without Us!.
Student Union
The Polytechnic
The purpose of The Polytechnic shall be to keep the members of the Rensselaer community informed of all pertinent events, to lead student opinion, and to provide other material for reader enjoyment.
Student Union
W2SZ
Since 1911, W2SZ has been a place where students enjoy the challenges and satisfaction of Amateur Radio. Whether you would like to build radios, climb towers, send data over the air, bounce signals off the moon, send Morse code overseas, participate in contests, hike up mountains and look for radio signals, or just ‘hang out’ on the repeater in the evenings, this is the club for you. New FCC restructuring makes it easier than ever to become an amateur radio operator (ham), and new technology makes it increasingly fun and exciting. The club offers training for those with no radio experience, as well as leadership and learning opportunities for those already licensed.
Student Union
WRPI
WRPI is RPI’s premier one and only FM radio station (91.5 on the dial), transmitting in a 75 mile radius. At WRPI, we offer students opportunities to get experience in the broadcast, live production, and radio technology field. Those opportunities alongside our extensive music library and collaboration with the community of the Capital District create an incredibly unique and diverse environment right on RPI Campus.