The Rensselaer Union has been the center of campus life at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) since 1890. In its current home since 1967, and as one of the few student-managed unions in the United States, the Rensselaer Union is both a building and a student development program that includes over 175 recognized student organizations. Within this comprehensive collections of interests are:
- An improvisational comedy troupe, Sheer Idiocy, and sketch comedy with Experimental Error
- A capella groups, including the Rensselyrics, Partial Credit, the Rusty Pipes and Duly Noted
- An arts, opinion and humor magazine for students, Statler & Waldorf
- Student Activities Programming boards (UPAC), covering cinema, comedy, concerts, lights and sound concert services
- Nationally acclaimed club sport teams, ranging from Ballroom Dance and Table Tennis to Wrestling
- A certified ambulance service staffed by students
- An electronics club focused on tinkering, engineering projects, and electronics help
- A 10,000 watt, student-run radio station (WRPI) and a television production club (RPI TV)
In addition, intramural and intercollegiate athletics, the Mueller Fitness Center, Clubhouse Pub, leadership development programs, a free legal service, and many other activities are all funded and maintained by the students and staff of the Union. Each year, undergraduate and graduate activity fees fund the entire organization. The Union releases an Annual Report each year detailing its financial operations.
The chief legislative, financial, and judicial bodies of the Union are student-based. Each week, student government manages the business of an active, energetic community. They are supported by the Union Administration Office, which includes a collection of staff members ready to assist students in their activities.
Finally, and perhaps most overtly, the Union is a building that most students and other members of the Institute community call home. It is a space to meet people, make new friends, and breathe in the RPI lifestyle. Students can be found in the Union at all hours of the day working on class and extracurricular projects. The intent of the Union is to make significant contributions to the daily quality of life at RPI.