Student SENATE

Activity Fee and UAR approved

Senators vote to pass the Student Activity Fee with a 21-3-3 . This is after the Student Activity Fee wasn’t approved last week.

The Senate meeting last Thursday was a direct follow up of the previous week’s two meetings. First off, there was a temporary motion to have a formal queue for that night’s meeting, meaning one can speak for an unlimited time, rather than just two opportunities of a maximum of 10 minutes each. The motion passed with a vote of 19-3-0, ensuring all senators had a chance to voice their opinion during the feisty meeting.

The second motion of the evening as proposed by graduate council member Jenn Church and seconded by Paul Illori ’17 was to reconsider the Student Activity Fee and the individual club fees, which passed 17-4-1. The majority of the discussion following that motion consisted of inquiries into why individual Senators had chosen to vote “no” on the previous week’s motion. Michael Han ’16 asked why people were still denying the raise in the Student Activity Fee. Jessica Krajewski ’16 mentioned that she had abstained during the first vote around because of the lack of numbers in front of her to base her decision on. President of the Union Erin Amarello ’15 stated there are funds for travel contingences and emergencies, and it is very possible to transfer funds whenever necessary. Shortly thereafter, Justin Etzine ’18 proposed a motion to end discussion, which did not pass with a vote of 9-13-1.

Keegan Caraway ’18 brought up how many senators in the room have already made up their minds, and those that still vote “no” to the raise in the Student Activity Fee either do not want to pay more or lost their budget to a club. Graduate council member Spencer Scott stated “[a graduate student] can’t get a fair share” of the Student Activity Fee, implying his strong decision of continuing to deny the motion. Edward Qiao ’18 voted “no” to represent his friends that aren’t in clubs and don’t participate in many events, since the activity fee raise must represent all students. Some of the funds from the fee are distributed to buildings, such as the Mueller Center and the Union itself, which “rounds the college experience,” according to Andrew Sudano ’17. Amarello included that it is difficult to fulfill every single student’s desires and that “the senators and the Union are trying their best” to accommodate everyone; the graduate students currently have the pub, since they are 21 and older, and she encourages graduates to come to her and discuss what new programs they will like to see while she is still in office as President of the Union for the next month and a half. Graduate student James Gambino stated that his biggest concern dealing with his rejection vote is that he would like to see the Activity Fee balance with teaching assistants’ and research assistants’ salaries. Shoshana Rubinstein ’15 mentioned that it is difficult to distribute money due to the large number of places it goes.

The final vote of the Student Activity Fee occurred, which consisted of graduates voting first and going down class years until all freshmen have voted. The motion to raise the Student Activity Fee passed with a vote of 21-3-3. Additionally, the Union Annual Report for the fiscal year of 2016 passed and was made public upon the closure of that senate meeting. The meeting then shifted to Rindone’s presentation on Residence Hall Recommendations, according to the Student Senate survey that was released last semester to Rensselaer students. “Low cost but impactful changes” will go into effect as soon as possible from Residence Life and improvements will “prioritize core amenities over entertainment luxuries,” according to Rindone. The meeting came to a close after a few additional senator comments on the residence hall changes and the weekly committee updates.

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Staff Editorial:

A smile a day

Every day is filled with monotony. Get up, go to class, eat, do homework, and go to sleep. Maybe you don’t have classes or, let’s be honest, maybe you don’t study. But you do something like this every day. It’s like clockwork. Maybe some days you smile or laugh, but mostly, you’re just bored and tired. Tired of Data Structures labs. Tired of Sodexo food. Tired of the freezing winds.

But those are the days when you catch a sliver of light. Do you know what one of the greatest feelings in the world is? When you pass by someone on your way to class and they make eye contact and smile. You don’t know what kind of a day they’ve had. It could have been a day full of classes and labs. Or maybe they just found out their little niece said her first word. Or it could be something as simple as having “drink hot chocolate” on their to-do list. Every smile, no matter how small it may be, makes someone else a bit happier. So smile. Smile when you’re headed to your 8 am. Smile when you’re just chillin’ with friends. Smile when you might not want to. If someone else is happy, then you should be, too.

Life is rough sometimes. But why go through it hating every second or wanting things to go faster than need be? Enjoy what you have, no matter how terrible it may seem. So next time you’re braving that bitterly cold air outdoors or circling the top floor of the Union, smile. Smile at someone you don’t know. Smile at someone you do. When you smile, it’ll make someone else’s day, and if they smile back, it might just make yours.

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Fashion Show

BSA Fashion Show wows with unique designs

Student models walk the runway; designs impress with multiple styles, highlight identity

A MODEL WALKS the runway at the BSA Fashion Show on Saturday, February 21. The show featured four designer lines and a line of clothing chosen by the models themselves.

RPI may have had some rather nasty weather on Saturday, February 21, but those who braved it to get to the McNeil Room at around 7:30 pm were rewarded with a very enjoyable evening. The Black Student Alliance hosted its annual fashion show this weekend, which is the main event in their celebration of Black History Month.

The director of the show and co-director, Sabrina Duongtran ’16 and Ricardo Johnson ’17 respectively, opened the show and Johnson highlighted the show’s part in the BSA’s mission to promote a positive presence of African Americans on campus. The show kicked off with a video of one of the models smiling, dancing, and generally being goofy, while looking directly into the camera. It was a quirky and rather charming way to begin. This was followed by the first of five lines to be showcased that evening. The first collection consisted of sleek black pieces with a lot of sky high heels and bold red lips. There were dresses, black pants paired with tank tops and tops with flirty cut-aways. Though the cuts varied, the outfits shared the characteristics of being simple, but with a sexy sophistication. Overall, the mood of the section was like a slightly edgier version of the classic little black dress. The models added their own little flairs at the end of the catwalk, and they should be commended for making these subtly provocative but not too much.

There was a slight wait between this section and the next. This was a downside of the show for me, and there was a significant wait between all sections that could have been filled with some short performances or something other than the music that had been playing for the last section. After the wait, a collection by Mario and Lee was displayed. It had a very sporty feel. Almost all the clothes were black and white and there was a lot of play with texture and prints. There were hoodies and puffed out velvet sleeves, and leather pants in the ensemble. There was one pop of color in this section; a pink velvet top with blue paisley print tights that made its appearance right as the music changed with quite a nice effect. The highlight of this collection was a lovely paisley print black and white dress with cut outs in the side and back. This was modeled beautifully by the director, Duongtran, who—in my opinion—stole the show with her professional looking strut. In a short chat after the show, designer Lionel Nichols (Lee) explained that he had been trying to express “art without color,” which is why all the clothes were black and white. He also shared that that some of the clothes meant to be displayed had been forgotten in the packing between this show and another that he had showed at last week. As a result, they had ended up styling some clothes they had designed for guys for the female models. As far as I was concerned, they certainly pulled this off well.

The next section, in stark contrast with what preceded it, featured bold, fun colors. It began with an outfit consisting of a colorful top and red leather pants and continued in that vein with lots of reds and pinks. Designer B. Chris also included neons, such as neon yellow and orange dresses. Overall, there was a fun, playful feel to this collection. Following this was perhaps the most memorable section of the night: opening with a tribal song, Laura’s collection had a very earthy, hippy feel to it, and got more eccentric as it progressed. A wrap around traditional African skirt, a knitted poncho-like garment in mustard and orange with one sleeve, and a pair of pink boxers with a teddy bear shaped pocket purse applied onto them were only some of the pieces to leave an impression. There were eccentric accessories including a necklace with a toadstool pendant and one with what seemed to be a dart. There was about an equal amount of high heels and bare feet sported by the models in this section. It should be said that the models did a very good job in this section. Apart from carrying off some very eccentric looks with grace, they added their own little touches and flair to this section, including a little shake at the end of the catwalk that was a crowd favorite. A particular model should be appreciated for a very smooth recovery from a little stumble at the end of the catwalk. This designer was certainly a favorite among the models, Ariel Effotte ’15 said that she really liked Laura’s collection and “felt very comfortable in those clothes.” Brianna Blessitt ’17, said this was her favorite section, and that she enjoyed the “very tribal, ethnic feel.” She also shared that the collection “is from a very fun, impromptu designer. She could see something lying around and just make clothes out of it if she likes it.”

Next up was a very urban, provocative collection that played with all kinds of cuts and silhouettes. This section also featured some interesting accessories, most remarkable of which was what seemed to be a paddle carried by one of the male models. Some of the more provocative pieces included a lovely sheer, black, and gold dress, a dress with a trailing black chiffon train, and a basically see through black chiffon top. Unless I am mistaken, I believe I heard a jaw or two drop in the audience behind me. It had quite the effect, which, I believe, was well carried off.

The final collection, by Christina Walthall had a very dreamlike, fantasy character. The music was slow and dreamy and the clothes were very flowy. It was a rather eclectic section with chiffon, silks, velvet, and many white flowing dresses with accessories like parasols and long, elegant gloves which lent to the dreamy feel.

For the finale, the models walked down the catwalk in pairs. They did a great job throughout the show and especially at the end, adding their own touches and flair to the entire event and delivering a great show. It concluded with a candid video compilation of the models practicing and messing around, having fun during rehearsals. A lot certainly went into the event. In a short chat after the show, Duongtran, the director, said that work on the show and practicing by the models had been going on since last November. She also revealed the inspiration for the show’s theme “Identify.” One of the models last year was uncomfortable with the outfit assigned to her. This year, Duongtran tried to make sure that the models got their choice in what they wore. She believes that fashion should really be a way to express and own who you are. Effotte certainly appreciated this, saying “I really liked that section where they just let the models do their thing.” It was also clearly a fulfilling experience for the models. Effotte, who has participated in the show in all of her four years at RPI, and was the director last year, said that she has “seen girls grow doing this show.” Blessitt also commented on how wonderful a feeling it was to feel like she was part of “creating something with the models and designers.” While I liked the idea behind the show’s theme, I wish they had emphasized and talked about it more.

Overall, I enjoyed the show, and I, for one, believe fashion events are definitely refreshing and welcome at RPI. I’m looking forward to next year’s show.

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Women’s hockey victorious on Senior Night

JUNIOR FORWARD ALEXA GRUSCHOW TAKES the puck toward the Colgate net in a 5-3 victory over the Raiders on Senior Night at Houston Field House.

This past weekend, the women’s hockey team broke even at the Houston Field House in Troy, NY, losing Friday night to Cornell University 4-1 and winning Saturday night 5-3 against Colgate University, making it a successful senior night.

On Friday night, the Engineers won the first faceoff of the game and held strong defense for the first period. After several shots from the Cornell Big Red Bears, the Engineers stepped up at last on a power play late in the first period off of a tripping penalty; junior forward Alexa Gruschow took the powerful shot to pick up her 12th goal of the season.

The second period started off with offense from the Big Red Bears, who took four shots wide on net; however, the fourth was rebounded, passed, then redirected into the net by Jillian Saulnier past RPI senior goaltender Brianna Piper at 3:28. Five minutes later, the Big Red Bears scored again, making it a one point lead going into the third.

The Big Red Bears picked up two power play opportunities in the third period, and were able to take advantage of both scoring three and half minutes apart, leaving the Engineers disappointed by a 4-1 loss, despite having 24 shots on goal, one more than Cornell had.

The next night, the Engineers did not mess around, scoring four times in a row, which led them to a 5-3 victory against Colgate. Solid passing around the Colgate net from senior captains and forwards Ali Svoboda and Taylor Mahoney were able to set sophomore defenseman Hannah Behounek up, allowing her to lift the puck top shelf past Colgate goaltender Brittney Brooks, raising the spirit of the crowd. The Engineers did not stop there; two minutes after a penalty kill, the Engineers picked up their own power play, having freshman forward Shayna Tomlinson tip the puck in, scoring her fifth of season, after nearly a month and a half since her last goal on January 6 against Princeton University. Tomlinson had six shots on goal and an assist for the totality of the night.

Five minutes into the second period, the goals kept coming for the Engineers, as freshman forward Whitney Renn had a take away in the Colgate zone, passing to Mahoney to give her her fifth of the season, too. The Engineers were leading 3-0 when they scored yet again 2:26 later as Svoboda had the one-timer goal from the circle opposite stick side of Brooks. At 11:04, the Raiders gained a power play from a five-minute major on cross-checking from Gruschow, as Taylor Craig shot through the pads of RPI senior goaltender Kelly O’Brien. The Raiders scored twice more a minute apart on this power play opportunity.

Gruschow redeemed herself 3:34 into the third period, scoring on a 5-on-3 power play off of a deflection with assists from Tomlinson and senior defenseman Kathryn Schilter, her third of the night. The Engineers celebrated senior night with a final 5-3 win. The Engineers ended their season 7-23-4 overall, and 5-16-1 in ECAC league play.

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Annual Winter Carnival helps promote campus unity

On Saturday, February 21, the Office of the President, Divisions of Student Life and Administration, and the Rensselaer Union held their sixth annual Winter Carnival from 12–9 pm at the East Campus Athletic Village. This year’s theme was AVALANCHE and featured a number of winter related activities.

Inside ECAV, inflatable games such as an obstacle course, maze, and wrecking ball “duel” were offered. In addition, from 11–3 pm, the “Tundra Spirits” sled dog team sled around Harkness Field, and carnival goers were allowed to pet the dogs in between runs. In tents in front of the stadium, free food and music were offered.

Additionally, clubs and Greek organizations ran carnival games. Carnival guests were able to play games, such as ring toss, Nerf sharpshooter, and plinko, to win tickets. Tickets could be traded in on the first floor of ECAV for avalanche themed t-shirts and blankets. They could also be used to enter raffles to win a TV and Keurig, among other prizes. The winners were announced during intermission at the women’s hockey game against Colgate University, which began at 4 pm; attendance was required to receive the raffle prizes. Following the match, the Houston Field House held an open skate to end the Winter Carnival from 7–9 pm. Many students came out to skate with friends with music from WRPI and special colorful lighting overhead.

“I think the carnival was very successful, even with all the wind. A lot of people showed up and seemed to have a great time. Even though I couldn’t participate because I had a ‘very important puck’ responsibility to fulfill, I still had a great time and look forward to planning next year’s winter carnival,” stated Jonathan Yax ’17.

“Despite the biting cold and snow,” said Amy Kong ’17, “the Winter Carnival was very enjoyable.”

Held annually, the Winter Carnival promotes tradition and campus culture from its involvement of most of the student body clubs and organizations. For more information on the Winter Carnival or future Union events, visit

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Editorial Notebook

Eat, pray, love

Now, what I’m about to say here might be a bit controversial, but I’m not a fan of dining hall food. Yes, it’s true, I’m not a fan. However, as someone who has lived off campus for a little while now, I can tell you that there is a whole world—well, a whole city—full of food just waiting to be explored.

Prefacing my soon to be restaurant and other food related money sinkholes spiel, if you can cook, even to a basic extent, it is worth doing that. The food that I’ve made just with what I get at Sam’s Club or Walmart is tastier, cheaper, and more rewarding meal than anything I’ve gotten at a dining hall. But for those who can’t cook or buy food to cook, my restaurant rant will be nice for at the very least a weekend meal.

First, when I talk about food to eat in the city, I’m not talking about the Mickey-D’s, or Dunkins, or anything that makes you say, “Wow, that was adequate.” No, the restaurants I’m discussing hit the gastronomic g-spot. My breakfast places of choice are Nibble Inc., Brueggers Bagels, and Manory’s, depending on whether I want a good donut (Sorry Dunkin), a great bagel, or an awesome diner experience. Lunch is where things get a little tougher. Illium is my go to sandwich place, but when I’m feeling like I need some Mexican inspired junk food, I’ll hit up Muddaddy Flats for a specialty quesadilla. And while on -campus the pizza place was Bella’s (I’m not calling you “Big Apple Pizzeria”, sorry), everything has flipped, I Love NY Pizza is now the spot for my cheap and tasty pizza. Finally, and here comes the toughest part, dinner. There’s almost too many options, Lo Porto’s, The Flying Chicken, Bombers, Brown Bag … the list goes on and on. There’s a ton of great and diverse food choices for anyone’s tastes.

But even if you can’t get to downtown, the online or takeout choices are pretty top notch. Currently, I use Lee Lin for my Chinese food needs, and now that Dinosaur BBQ delivers, I may not have to ever leave my home. The truth is, there are great places to eat out downtown, and when the weather warms up, it’s more than worth walking around and discovering them for yourself.

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Game Review

Grow Home impresses with fun, easy gameplay

UBISOFT’S NEW PROJECT GAME WAS released this month for the PC. The game follows B.U.D. and his adventures.

A few weeks ago, I was a little under the weather. More than that, I had the flu and wasn’t really capable of doing many things, like homework, reading, or even just eating. Yeah, it was not fun. And while I wasn’t able to do any thought provoking activities, I did find a game that was simple, cheap, and definitely what I needed to get through my illness.

Grow Home was released by Ubisoft on the fourth of this month, and it was certainly a strange release for the company. It was originally developed as an experimental project by eight people, and after being released internally, the company decided to give it a full release. Grow Home wasn’t released with a huge amount of publicity or hype, it was first mentioned less than two weeks before release, then appeared on Steam—without Uplay support I might add, and for only eight dollars. It’s certainly a left field release for such a huge publisher, and while it may not be the same experience as an Assassin’s Creed or Far Cry game, maybe that’s a good thing.

Now, you start the game as a cute red robot called B.U.D. as he’s being launched from the mother ship, which occasionally messages him and is called M.O.M.. The goal is simple; there is a plant, and it is your job to grow the plant to 2,000 meters. However, as you are falling down those 2,000 meters, through an asteroid field and a floating oasis, you’re unsure how you’re even supposed to get back home. When you finally land on a small beach, you finally get to control B.U.D., who I soon realized is the goofiest looking character I’ve ever seen. His animations are procedural, meaning his body reacts with his world in non scripted ways, creating the funniest movements. Every time I press an arrow key, B.U.D.’s torso starts to fling in a direction as his legs catch up to follow, all while his arms stick out in this forward position like a young child begging for something and screaming “gimme, gimme, gimme.” Of course, it wouldn’t be a Ubisoft game if you couldn’t climb, which B.U.D. does with ease. His controls allow for both hands to be controlled separately, and it’s strange, but you get an odd sense of control and maneuverability even though he’s floaty and goofy looking.

The game really starts, however, when you learn how to grow the plant by controlling the growth of stems coming out of the main plant and creating branches to skewer “Energy Rocks,” which are floating glowing islands. The plant is the center of your trip through this world in terms of story and movement. Leaves on the plant allow you to jump high up in the air, and stems can grow off of the branches you create, allowing for even more stems and leaves. The resulting plant is massive, with a web of branching paths that you created. I think this game’s best design feature is its use of vertical space and how you can traverse this world. In the game, there are small crystals you can collect; even just getting a quarter of them unlocks the jetpack, an invaluable tool that allows for controlled descent or higher jumps. Additionally, a flower or small leaf can be picked up and used, the first working much like a parachute while the other working like a glider. Traversing the world skillfully however isn’t a requirement, as the game is pretty free form and forgiving. There are only a few ways to die, being crushed by the handful of optional hazards in the game or falling from a large height, the both of which are pretty difficult—but if it does occur, you respawn at the last activated teleportation pad scattered throughout the world. In fact, you could spend the entire game hugging the tree and spearing Energy Rocks to completion, but where’s the fun in that? The world is beautiful, with its minimalist cel-shaded graphics and interesting terrain, native plants, and animal life.

This game is short; I put in 11 hours so far and all I have left is to collect the upgrade crystals, but I definitely think it was more than worth the eight dollars I put into it, and it made my unbearable sickness much more comfortable. If anything I mentioned even remotely interests you, I suggest looking at some gameplay and seeing for yourself just how adorable and pretty the game is. It’s by no means a must-own or groundbreaking, but it’s a cheap, quick-and-easy distraction that could make you ignore even the worst of circumstances.

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Basketball defeats Vassar, Bard to end season

SENIOR GUARD JOSH DUGAS DRIVES to the basket against Clarkson. This past weekend, the Engineers defeated Vassar College and Bard College.

On Friday, men’s basketball traveled to Vassar College for a Liberty League road game. Early, it appeared as though RPI would win in a rout. Baskets by junior forwards Chase Almond and Brian Hatcher and a 3-pointer by senior guard Josh Dugas gave the Engineers a commanding 9-2 lead. But, Vassar went on a run of its own, scoring six unanswered points.

Later, junior forward Craig Fitzgerald nabbed an offensive rebound and dished out to an open Dugas for another 3-pointer. Then, sophomore guard Jonathan Luster scored a transition two off a steal by junior forward Tyler Gendron to put RPI back up by six.

The first half was characterized by strong defense and minimal offensive opportunities for both sides. Both teams made just eight field goals in the half, and combined to make a paltry three 3-pointers on 23 attempts.

Early in the second half, Brewer guard Tony Calleti drilled two consecutive jump shots to cut the RPI lead to 31-28 with 14:37 remaining. This time, it was sophomore guard Nate Kane who stepped up. On the next RPI possession, Kane drained a big triple to put the Engineers back up by six points.

Later, Hatcher found Luster open at the top of the key for another Rensselaer 3-pointer to expand the lead to nine. Once again, Vassar came back. Junior guard Erikson Wasyl nailed two straight 3-point attempts to cut the RPI lead to 43-40. At the three-minute mark, forward Spencer Einhorn stole the ball and Wasyl scored an easy layup to put the Brewers to within one.

Dugas took over, driving inside and making a tough two-point jumper to give RPI a 2-point lead. Two failed possessions for Vassar resulted in three additional Dugas free throws to give the Engineers a 50-45 advantage.

The game ended with the Engineers on top, 52-47. Dugas finished with 17 points and shot four of six from beyond the arc. Gendron and Hatcher each recorded nine rebounds while Almond finished with 10 points and five boards.

On Sunday, RPI returned to East Campus Arena for its final game of the season versus Bard College. Midway through the opening half, the Engineers held a slim 13-12 edge. But this lead swelled to double digits thanks to a late 18-8 run to close the first half.

A 9-0 Engineer run spurred by Dugas midway through the second half put the game out of reach for the visiting Raptors.

Down the stretch, Gendron scored eight of RPI’s final 11 points to help the Engineers coast to a 60-41 win. Gendron finished with 23 points to lead all scorers and added six rebounds. Almond tallied nine rebounds, eight points, and three blocks while his frontcourt mate Hatcher finished with 10 boards, nine points, and six rejections.

With the wins, the Engineers finished an otherwise disappointing season on a high note, wrapping up the season with an overall record of 8-17.

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UMass lifts ban on Iranian graduate students

After protests from students and faculty, the University of Massachusetts-Amherst has lifted its ban on Iranian students from the school’s graduate engineering programs. The decision for the ban arose in early February of this year from the university’s desire to comply with the “Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012.” The aforementioned sanction prevented Iranian nationals from conducting research on nuclear energy at American universities. The majority of Iranian students in the U.S. are in graduate engineering or science programs. UMass Amherst’s policy would have banned Iranian students from being admitted to fields such as mechanical, computer, and chemical engineering. UMass hosts around 60 Iranian students on its Amherst campus. Other universities with admission policies concerning Iranian students include Virginia Commonwealth University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

The spark that started the initial policy’s implementation concerned an Iranian student doing research at UMass Amherst who was prohibited from returning to Iran. The intent of the policy was not to ban students of a specific nationality, but to prevent students from choosing studies that would later prevent them from returning home, just like the student mentioned earlier. Consequently, student and faculty opposition galvanized the university’s administration into revising its policy. Social media also played an integral role in the reversal; a petition was even formed to urge the State Department and university to reconsider the policy. Additional legal counsel and advice from the State Department was sought by the university in an effort to remedy the policy.

UMass Amherst now allows Iranian students to matriculate into graduate engineering programs, including mechanical, computer, and chemical engineering. To comply with the law and lessen restrictiveness, UMass will develop individualized study plans based on research and projected coursework. What remains, however, is a restriction that prevents Iranian students from enrolling in strictly nuclear energy related programs. Although current popular opinion among relevant students and faculty is that the administration took a step in the right direction, many still sense a level of discrimination and restrictiveness in the adjusted policy. UMass Amherst will continue consulting with the State Department on the issue.

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Editorial Notebook

Fulfill your obligations

Unreliable people make my life much harder than it needs to be. Here are four cases where unreliable people have impacted me in negative ways.

Currently I am taking Engineering Processes. In this class, we are divided into groups of two. We picked our groups the second week of class, and I joined with a guy who was not there the first week. That was my mistake, I admit it, but I figured it was just a one-time thing. The third week of class rolled around and he is nowhere to be found. I texted him asking where he was and got no response. The day of the fourth week’s class started and I texted him asking if he was going to show up. He, at this point, tells me that he dropped the class. I, not being the argumentative type, said “alright.” On the inside though, I was really upset that he didn’t have the decency to take the 30 seconds to text me that he dropped it.

With our technology these days where I can contact anybody from anywhere, there is no reason not to send a courtesy text or email explaining the situation. This goes for meetings, too. Case and point, The Polytechnic’s business meetings every Sunday. The majority of the time we have to call people who are late to remind them to show up. If you can’t show up, let us know! The last meeting started 14 minutes late due to having to call people to reach quorum.

Another issue is if you say you are going to do something, do it. In many cases I have had people in group projects just not do what they were assigned to do. This mainly happened during high school when I wasn’t going to get a bad grade. People knew this and would be really happy when they were put in my group. They knew that they could take advantage of me and wouldn’t have to do anything to receive an ‘A’. Of course my teachers wouldn’t do much about this, but that is another rant for another time.

It is not just in real life that I witness unreliability, I experience it online also. I play a game called Grepolis which relies on teamwork and communication. For the past year my alliance has been growing and preparing to win the world. We would have won it easily if everybody did their part, but there were people who didn’t. A person with the username Apt Pupil decided to ditch us without letting anybody know. The enemy took a major city in our heartland due to Apt’s inconsiderate hiatus. Now, what should have been a decisive victory will be a couple months of bloodshed to determine the winner. I woke up many times in the middle of the night to attack enemies or support my fellow alliance members, and it is infuriating that after all I have done for them, they just don’t care enough to let us know. I do my best, but I can’t carry the weight of three or four people not doing their part.

It pretty much all boils down to this: If you say you are going to do something, do it. If reasons come up as to why you can’t, let people know as soon as possible so they can work on fixing it, and try your hardest to not be late to regularly scheduled meetings that you know are going to happen every week.

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Campus Events

RPI a cappella groups take on regional competition

Partial Credit, Rusty Pipes represent school against rivals; P.C. earns special arrangement award

PARTIAL CREDIT PERFORMS at the ICCA Northeast quaterfinal in EMPAC on February 21. The group received a special award for Outstanding Arrangement for their song, “God Only Knows”.

On Saturday, February 21, the Rensselyrics hosted the fourth International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella Northeast quarterfinal in the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center Concert Hall. A total of ten a cappella groups competed, including RPI’s Partial Credit and The Rusty Pipes.

The Potsdam Pointercounts of SUNY Potsdam came in first, with Choral Pleasure from SUNY Purchase coming in as the runner-up and the Potsdam Pitches of SUNY Potsdam receiving third place.

Three special awards were given to reward exemplary effort in specific categories. Maggie Borkowski ’15 of Partial Credit received an award for Outstanding Arrangement for her arrangement of “God Only Knows.” Awards for Outstanding Soloist and Outstanding Choreography went to Andrew Pocer and Alec Sisco of the Potsdam Pointercounts, respectively.

All groups performed a set consisting of three songs in a variety of musical styles before the judges deliberated on awards. The Rensselyrics then performed, before inviting the rest of the teams onto the stage for a final song, after which the results were given.

The ICCA tournament is made up of seven regions —each consisting of at least four quarterfinals per region —with the top two highest-scoring groups from each quarterfinal advancing to the semifinals. The winner of each regional semifinal will have the chance to compete in the ICCA Finals at The Beacon Theatre in New York City in April.

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Seniors take spotlight in season finale win

SENIOR GUARD AMANDA LYNCH DRIBBLES on the left wing against Clarkson. RPI defeated Bard 50-36 on senior day.

After the Engineers stumbled in the second half and lost against Vassar on Friday, they returned home on Sunday for their final game of the season against last-place Bard College.

RPI started the game with a 13-2 run, which included two 3-pointers from senior guard Courtney Reynolds and another from senior guard Bailei Tetrault. Later, a pull-up jumper by senior guard Amanda Lynch gave Rensselaer a 17-5 lead. Another Tetrault triple put the Engineers on top 24-7.

In the first half, the Rensselaer defense stifled the Raptors, holding them to just nine points on three of 26 shooting. In addition, RPI forced 13 Bard turnovers with two steals each by senior guard Michelle Reid and junior guard Ashley Clough.

In the second half, Bard fought back, trimming the lead to eight with 5:22 remaining. Then, four free throws by Tetrault expanded this lead to 12. Later, Lynch went on one of her patented drives to the rim and scored to give the Engineers a 44-34 lead with 3:38 to play. Then, she drilled two free throws with 1:21 left to put the game away.

With 21 seconds left, Reynolds scored the last points of her RPI career by knocking down her third 3-pointer of the day and the Engineers went on to win by a final margin of 50-36.

RPI outrebounded their conference foes by a final tally of 47-42, including 11 for Lynch to go along with her game-high 15 points. Meanwhile, Reynolds and Tetrault also scored in double figures, combining for 21 points. Reid, for her part, led the team in assists and steals with three each.

The Engineers ended the season with an overall record of 14-11 and a Liberty League record of 10-6. By winning 14 games, RPI doubled its total from last season and improved from seventh to fifth in the Liberty League final standings.

Yesterday, Lynch was named to the National Academic All-American Division III first team. She is the first women’s basketball player in school history to earn the honor. This season, she led the team in scoring and rebounding, averaging 16 points and eight rebounds

per game.

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Top Hat

Constitution amendments proposed

Happy Wednesday RPI. This week marks the beginning of a three-week period of constitutional discussion in the Student Senate. If you recall, the Constitution Committee was re-established earlier this year with the explicit purpose of resolving ambiguities in the document, making fixes to inconsistent or inaccurate sections, and performing edits at the explicit request of various organizations.

At this time, that process is nearly complete. For the next three weeks, all amendments discussed and determined by the Constitution Committee will be reviewed, opened for public discussion, and then voted upon during the Student Senate’s General Body Meetings. Every constitutional amendment that is passed by the Student Senate will appear on the GM Week 2015 ballot.

The Committee has currently allocated a total of eight amendments, to be spread across the next three weeks. Amendments are, in order:

1. General Changes and Disambiguation: a general amendment detailing stylistic fixes and the resolution of legislative inconsistencies in the document.

2. Officers of the Union: changes detailing the primary individuals in charge of the Union.

3. Executive Board: requested by the Union Executive Board, this details a membership change and language changes involving the E-Board.

4. Judicial Board: changes requested by the J-Board detailing Judicial Board membership and terms.

5. Judicial Procedures: changes requested by the J-Board on Judicial Procedure.

6. Greek Changes: changes requested by the Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Association.

7. Council System: requested by the Class Councils and E-Board Class Council Task Force, these changes involve the Class Councils, Undergraduate Council, Graduate Council, and the handling of class dues.

8. Referendum: changes requested by the Senate, detailing petitions, referendum, and initiative proceedings.

This Thursday, amendments one through three will be voted on by the Student Senate. Already, discussion threads have been posted on various social media platform—as each Amendment will be finalized by the committee, threads detailing both a description of each amendment and an overview of all tracked changes considered by the amendment will be posted for public review. If you are interested in previewing these amendments or want to reach out to give us direct feedback, you may view the thread on Reddit, or contact Constitution Committee Chairman Nate James ’16 at

Your input does not end with the Senate’s vote, of course: There will be at least one public forum leading up to the elections, during which students may openly and directly discuss any thoughts, issues, or concerns with student government officials. All amendments are also published in The Poly two weeks ahead of elections, and will be publicized further in their final form on social media. Finally, as the Union belongs to the students themselves, and not just Student Government, the failure or passage of amendments is only decided upon the student body’s final vote during Grand Marshal Week elections.

There are a few other serious events I would like to announce: February 25 at 6 pm in Rensselaer Union Room 3602 is the Senate’s annual Public Safety Forum. This forum will be attended by administrators ranging from the head of Public Safety to the dean of students. As campus safety and corresponding security changes remain a large topic for the student body, this would be an excellent time to share your thoughts.

Additionally, on Wednesday, March 4 and Wednesday, March 11 at 7 pm, the Senate will be hosting open forums on proposed changes to the Handbook of Student Rights in the area of sexual misconduct policy. Dean Smith, dean of students, and Paul Ilori, Senate student rights subcommittee chairman, will be available at this meeting to answer any questions and field discussion. The Student Senate plans to hold its vote of endorsement in its March 19 General Body Meeting.

Finally, to my fellow seniors, we have one more celebration ahead of us: If you’ve bought a ticket, you can find me this Friday at 100 Days, hosted by Class President Adam Koehr and the Class of 2015’s Class Council. For everyone else, have a nice week!

College students are probably the most popular demographic target for accusations of media “piracy,” e-book sharing, and other purported forms of copyright infringement. Firstly, we consume far more digital media than the general population, a trend which steadily increases annually. The majority of college students also live on miserly budgets, with parents being a common primary source of financial support. Combine this with far superior technical literacy than that of the average adult, and higher education students become prime violators of existing laws that forbid the decrypting, viewing, or distribution of copyrighted media. Students at RPI are no exception; we download and share movies, books, television shows, and other content without discretion because it is faster, easier, and cheaper than navigating the minefield that is purchasing copyright-protected media. While some may ask whether or not the accusations of theft against our demographic are justified, I believe the important question is, are the current laws surrounding copyrighted works fair themselves?

In the world of brick and mortar that we physically inhabit, it’s simple for a person to judge where the boundaries of fair use begin and end. If a reader purchases a hardcover novel, he or she can read it, lend it, sell it, or douse it in gasoline and torch it if they are so inclined. The book has effectively become the reader’s property, a circumstance with which few people would take issue. However, the entire dynamic changes when the words of the novel are arranged into a sequence of zeroes and ones. Suddenly, the book can be duplicated and infinite amount of times with no direct loss to either the readers or the publishers. The situation is wholly similar with other types of copyrighted media, except that the pages are episodes and the publishers are production studios.

Industry lobbying cartels, like the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), and the Association of American Publishers (AAP) would have college students believe that sharing purchased content is an assault to creative professionals driven by frugality. The truth lies in the much-cited words of Gabe Newell, the renowned veteran of video game development, who quipped in a 2011 interview that, “piracy is almost always a service problem and not a pricing problem.” Maybe the answer for harmony between distributors and consumers indeed lies in better service, not lawsuits. When barriers like region locking, release delays, service outages, and device restrictions are removed from media, perhaps purchasers will be too satisfied to share illicitly. Maybe the removal of middleman distributors, like book publishers and production studios, is the answer to copyright disputes; when technology allows artists to disseminate content inexpensively to any student with a laptop and an internet connection, are third party brokers really necessary? In any case, the digital tides are changing inexorably in a direction that favors freedom of duplication over the power to control. Copyright aristocrats would do well to recall that the customer, not the seller, is always right.

—Graham Ramsey ’15

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Severino Center looks forward to new semester

Introduces CULTURE-SHIFT team to provide researchers with tools to efficiently develop drugs

SEVERINO CENTER TEAM CONSISTS of graduate student JP Trasatti, Paige Trasatti ’15, Greg Merrill ’17, and Chris Lamplough ’16 (L-R).

We all know the experience of heading to your local pharmacy to pick up medication for an ailment, but what we often don’t even consider is the extensive process by which that drug was created. When a drug company wants to test their product on the human body, they must start in the lab using man-made environments replicating the human body. Currently, these conditions do not contain “fluid flow,” arguably the most important element in the environment. Ultimately, this static condition does not allow the cells to accurately mature into a tissue model that mimics the tissues of the body. These undeveloped models can have direct negative impacts in research areas such as the drug discovery field. Meet CULTURE-SHIFT (Cell cULTure Under REpresentative SHear Induced Flow in Transwells), a team of four students working to develop a device that allows researchers to grow cells under the conditions of the human body. Their vision is to provide researchers with the tools they need to more accurately and effectively develop drugs.

The four students are led by Chemistry PhD candidate JP Trasatti, who studies the rational design of peptides for a variety of applications. The team also consists of Greg Merrill ’17, a chemical engineering major, Paige Trasatti ’15, a business major and Chris Lamplough ’16, a mechanical engineering major.

A self-described “interdisciplinary team,” they pride themselves in complementing each other’s strengths and applying their own individual expertise from prototype creation and testing to handling the business creation. Each team member brings their own unique background to the table. JP has studied tissue engineering and growth, specifically surrounding the blood-brain barrier, for the past five years. Greg has interned with JP for the past 10 months and has developed a diverse research skills set in tissue engineering. Paige lends business knowledge through her experience in and outside of the Lally School classroom, in addition to identifying new opportunities for the team. Chris is knowledgeable about general manufacturing and has experience in the full design-to-build process, doing a great job with turning JP and Greg’s scientific ideas into reality.

Though none of the work on this project is related to JP’s doctoral research, the idea was based on his broad doctoral experiences and a desire to solve a disease burdening biomedical issue. The team officially came together last September, just in time to enter the Change the World Challenge in October. One month later, they finished as one of the top ten teams, earning a $1,000 prize. When asked what the prize money was going to, the response was simple: putting it back into the business for prototype testing, customer development, and other manufacturing ideas.

With a successful past, the team looks to a successful future. Within the next six months, they hope to continue prototyping and testing, developing a proof-of-concept, and eventually file for a patent. Beyond that, they have beta testers lined up, ready to try out the product and demonstrate that it works as designed. Based on this feedback, more device iterations will be produced. According to the team, there are numerous applications and avenues of this device that have not been thought of, explored or developed yet.

CULTURE-SHIFT has worked extensively with RPI’s own Severino Center for Technological Entrepreneurship for mentoring in business development and to get in touch with local connections who they can obtain feedback from. Going into this project, the team admittedly did not know much about creating a viable business until partnering with the Center. Speaking highly of the Center, they said that it is “a great resource for anyone with an idea, even if it is just an idea.”

To all of the aspiring entrepreneurs out there, JP and Chris offer a few words of advice. “Don’t underestimate the amount of effort and time that goes into the business development process,” says JP. In agreement, Chris adds, “You have to work on it all of the time…get very involved in it.”

For more information on the Severino Center, visit:

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Athlete of the Week:

Josh Dugas and Tyler Gendron

This week’s athletes of the week are senior guard Josh Dugas and junior forward Tyler Gendron of men’s basketball. These two combined to lead RPI to two consecutive wins to finish their regular season.

In Friday’s game at Vassar College, Dugas hit four of six 3-pointers he attempted and finished with a team-high 17 points to lead the Engineers past the Vassar Brewers. This season, Dugas averaged 12.6 points per game and shot an impressive 38 percent from behind the arc.

In Sunday’s game against Bard College, Gendron scored a team-high 23 points in Rensselaer’s 60-41 win over the Bard Raptors. Gendron recorded more than 20 points three times this season and averaged 11.1 points and four rebounds per game.

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Season of success for RPI’s club sports teams

Hey RPI!

I would like to start this article off with some congratulations. As the winter sports seasons come to an end, we have many club sports teams to highlight as they continue to compete at the highest level. We have three teams that have qualified for nationals. A huge congratulations and good luck to the curling team, the ski team, and the racquetball team; they will be continuing their seasons in the upcoming weeks representing RPI while competing against the best in the nation. We also have two teams; which are competing in their regional tournaments this weekend: ACHA ice hockey and wrestling will be competing for a chance to continue their seasons and play in nationals. Good luck to all teams competing and congratulations on your success so far.

This past week was very eventful. There was no Executive Board meeting last week due to lack of new club business, however a good number of the board members attended Thursday’s Senate meeting where the vote on the Student Activity Fee Recommendation was reconsidered. The Senators held a lengthy discussion in which they asked the Executive Board for any remaining points of clarification on the budget and the Activity Fee. The motion to approve the recommendation passed 21-3-3 and the recommendation has been passed on to the Board of Trustees for the final approval. Upon approval the Activity Fee for the 2015–2016 school year will be $658 for underclassmen and $353 for upperclassmen.

The motion on the Union Annual Report was next on the Senate agenda. The UAR committee worked tirelessly over the long weekend to make the suggested changes and add more information to increase the clarity of the document and transparency in the budgeting process and decisions. Some of the highlighted additions to this version were a section on the Rensselaer Union Executive Board and the budgeting process, a section with expanded budget notes, information on class dues, history, and purpose. There was also an addition of a full table showing the calculation of the Activity Fee recommendation. To help show club subsidy trends another year was added to the tables in back. An appendix was also added with information on club specific historical spending and returns. Finally a clarification was added on the difference between “administrative budgets” and the “administration office” as well as the funds transfer between the Mueller Center, facilities, and administration budgets that accounted for the apparent $200 thousand increase in the administration budget. The motion to approve the UAR passed 22-0-0. A big thanks to the UAR committee, and especially its chairman, Shoshana Rubinstein ’15 for all of their hard work.

This weekend there was also the annual Winter Carnival, this year’s theme was AVALANCHE! Each year this awesome campus event is planned by the students on the Winter Carnival Committee, and I want to thank them for all of their hard work in putting together this awesome event. Although it was uncharacteristically cold, there was great participation in the games and plenty of prizes to be earned. My congratulations go out to the team which built the tank sled, the first place honor was earned through your engineering and creativity using only cardboard and duct tape. I hope that everyone completed their activity checklist and earned the opportunity to make their stuffed animal. Personally, I made a moose, and he is adorable. Then we got to finish out the night at the Houston Field House supporting our women’s ice hockey team as they defeated Colgate University and celebrated their seniors in their last home game, with a wonderful free skate after.

In this week’s meeting, the Executive Board will be short and sweet with no club business; we will just be receiving updates from our committees. As always if you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me or stop by my office hours which are 8:30–10:30 am on Wednesdays!

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Terra Café debuts options for new semester

On Wednesday, February 18, Terra Café served their first lunch of the spring semester. The club partners with Sodexo to provide the RPI community with local and organic food that is affordable. For seven dollars (FLEX, RAD, cash, or credit), you can get a main dish (meat, vegetarian, or vegan), side of salad, and a delicious dessert. Beverages that are served include water, local apple cider, coffee, and tea. Located at the Experimental Media and Peforming Arts Center, Terra Café will be open every Wednesday, serving their local lunches from 11am to 2 pm.

For their first lunch on February 18, Terra Café served a beef lasagna for meat-eaters and a vegetable lasagna for vegetarians. The beef was from Excelsior Farms, the marinara was from Sauce Excelsior Farms, the mozzarella was from Cheese Great Lakes, and the eggplant and salad tomatoes were from Finger Lakes. All these ingredients are either locally grown, organic, or even both. The day was a huge success, with students, professors, and even prospective students—because of tours going on—purchasing their food.

On the February 25, RPI Sage Hillel is going to co-host the meal with the normal Terra Café volunteers. This will be the first time an outside club will get to choose the menu because it needs to be traditional ethnic Jewish food. The meat option will be Tzimmes and Brisket Stew with Challah, the vegetarian option will swap out brisket with tofu, and the vegan option will swap out the challah for lavash. Later on in the semester, the National Society of Black Engineers and RPIgnite will be co-hosting the lunch event with Terra Café.

The goal of Terra Café is to be a service provided by RPI students for RPI students. They intend to educate their peers of the benefits of supporting the local and organic movement with the help of serving some local and organic food. Each week the servers, who are volunteers, inform their customers by telling them the weekly Terra-fact. Like the name suggests, the Terra-fact is a fact about the Earth. It can be about food, recycling, climate change, or population. It is something for the customers to think about when enjoying their lunch. Obviously, they are doing something right with an average turn out of more than 100 customers.

Students are encouraged to join the club. Volunteers are needed from 10 am to 2 pm to help with set up, serving tables, clearing tables, or clean up. New help is always welcome. Another perk to volunteering includes a free meal from Terra Café after at least giving an hour of time. Contact Natalie Yap ’17, the public relations chair, at if interested.

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Letter to the Editor:

College students are probably the most popular demographic target for accusations of media “piracy,” e-book sharing, and other purported forms of copyright infringement. Firstly, we consume far more digital media than the general population, a trend which steadily increases annually. The majority of college students also live on miserly budgets, with parents being a common primary source of financial support. Combine this with far superior technical literacy than that of the average adult, and higher education students become prime violators of existing laws that forbid the decrypting, viewing, or distribution of copyrighted media. Students at RPI are no exception; we download and share movies, books, television shows, and other content without discretion because it is faster, easier, and cheaper than navigating the minefield that is purchasing copyright-protected media. While some may ask whether or not the accusations of theft against our demographic are justified, I believe the important question is, are the current laws surrounding copyrighted works fair themselves?

In the world of brick and mortar that we physically inhabit, it’s simple for a person to judge where the boundaries of fair use begin and end. If a reader purchases a hardcover novel, he or she can read it, lend it, sell it, or douse it in gasoline and torch it if they are so inclined. The book has effectively become the reader’s property, a circumstance with which few people would take issue. However, the entire dynamic changes when the words of the novel are arranged into a sequence of zeroes and ones. Suddenly, the book can be duplicated and infinite amount of times with no direct loss to either the readers or the publishers. The situation is wholly similar with other types of copyrighted media, except that the pages are episodes and the publishers are production studios.

Industry lobbying cartels, like the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), and the Association of American Publishers (AAP) would have college students believe that sharing purchased content is an assault to creative professionals driven by frugality. The truth lies in the much-cited words of Gabe Newell, the renowned veteran of video game development, who quipped in a 2011 interview that, “piracy is almost always a service problem and not a pricing problem.” Maybe the answer for harmony between distributors and consumers indeed lies in better service, not lawsuits. When barriers like region locking, release delays, service outages, and device restrictions are removed from media, perhaps purchasers will be too satisfied to share illicitly. Maybe the removal of middleman distributors, like book publishers and production studios, is the answer to copyright disputes; when technology allows artists to disseminate content inexpensively to any student with a laptop and an internet connection, are third party brokers really necessary? In any case, the digital tides are changing inexorably in a direction that favors freedom of duplication over the power to control. Copyright aristocrats would do well to recall that the customer, not the seller, is always right.

—Graham Ramsey ’15

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Rensselaer Union

Activity Fee: approved, then denied

GRAND MARSHAL KYLE KERAGA ’15 INSTRUCTS senators on the rules of how the vote regarding the Student Activity Fee will be enforced.

The Student Senate met last Thursday to discuss two important topics: changes to the Student Activity Fee and the Union Annual Report. Shoshana Rubinstein ’15 presented to the Senate to highlight important changes to the UAR and answer any questions that the senators had. Some of the changes included a $500 food cap for the fund that clubs are allowed to use to buy food for their members once per semester. The Union also agreed to subsidize food for club events lasting longer than five hours. When questioned, President of the Union Erin Amarello ’15 stated that the Executive Board felt that being unable to leave an event for more than five hours would require missing a meal, and thus require food for the event. Club travel was reduced back to its previous rate of 60/40, where the Union would cover 40 percent of travel costs. It was previously an even 50/50 split, but only because the Union had extra funds that they wanted to return to the students.

The first motion of the evening was to approve a raise in the Student Activity Fee. If passed, the undergraduate Activity Fee would rise from $625.50 to $644.50 and the graduate Activity Fee from $331 to $341 for a total of $658 for undergraduates and $353 for graduates. The motion was declared passed 13-5-6.

Next for discussion was the Union Annual Report itself. Senators felt the document was incomplete. There was much concern over where $200,000 from the Mueller Center budget was moved. Rubinstein clarified, saying that the money was moved into the administration budget as a consolidation of salaries from the Mueller Center budget. Justin Etzine ’18 was concerned that including only the previous year’s data in the budget might create potentially misleading percentages in budget changes. Other senators brought up small inconsistencies in the UAR, including as far as grammatical errors. Both Michael Han ’16 and Keegan Caraway ’18 suggested that information from questions during the presentation discussion should be added to the document. After the discussion, the UAR went up for a vote and failed 2-21-1.

Problems with the Student Activity Fee vote were raised after the meeting. Grand Marshal Kyle Keraga ’15 explained that, in 2013, the Union Constitution was changed to remove the word “total” from the requirement to pass the Student Activity Fee. “This was done with the explicit intent of only requiring two-thirds of members present and participating in the vote. The Senate has followed this interpretation for the Activity Fee vote for the past two years.” Thursday’s motion of 13-5-6 was passed with that interpretation. However, it would be a failing motion under the total membership requirement. Since this was an extremely important issue dealing with millions of dollars of student’s money, Keraga felt it was best to send the issue to the Judicial Board to determine the correct outcome and correct interpretation of the 2013 Constitution.

After meeting this past Sunday, the J-Board ruled that the Student Activity Fee vote had failed. The chair of the Judicial Board Anthony Barbieri ’15 said, “the Constitution specified a two-thirds vote of the Senate’s membership was required to pass. The Board concluded this to mean all members of the Senate as defined in the Constitution.” This also means that the GM is eligible to vote in similar decisions, as the GM is defined as a member in the Union Constitution.

Now that the Student Activity Fee vote has failed, Keraga plans to encourage the Senate to determine if they would like to vote to reconsider. If a motion to reconsider passes, the Student Activity Fee will again be up for discussion and a definitive vote. A motion to reconsider must be moved by a Senator who originally voted against the decision. If a motion to reconsider fails or the motion after discussion fails, the Student Activity Fee will stand as failed. If the vote passes after discussion, the proposal will be sent to the Board of Trustees for final approval. If the vote stands as failed, the E-Board will need to reconsider its proposed budget and present it again to the Senate.

Keraga says that the J-Board’s decision alters the way voting will be handled. “Allowing the Grand Marshal, President of the Union, or Judicial Board Chairman to vote in select decisions alters the landscape of how many decisions have been handled for the past several years,” stated Keraga. He hopes that any remaining ambiguity will be resolved through Constitution amendments proposed at GM Week 2015.

The vote tally for the Student Activity Fee motion is as follows:

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Editorial Notebook

Underrated sweet drink

Editor seeks readers' support

Someone recently told me that the Opinions section of a newspaper is simply unnecessary. I was advised that no one wanted to hear my opinion and would customarily skip over or disregard this part of the newspaper in order to get to the more exciting and superior content of, say, the Features section of The Poly.

Now those of you reading this, well of those left who weren’t deterred by my first sentences, may not really care about what I want to say, but if this is one of my few chances to get my voice heard, then, so be it. However, I should warn you that the subject matter of these next few paragraphs may be extremely controversial, but I believe that it is necessary to spread the word.

First, the most underrated drink in the world is the slushie. These magical drinks were first pioneered by the fearsome Dai Suitong, a Chinese pirate who lived in the 13th century. Since then, the drink has evolved from its humble origins as a means to purify seawater to allow longer sea voyages to the flavored deliciousness of today. As a minority in the Drink Kingdom, slushies are often underrepresented and treated inferiorly by other drinks such as apple juice or lemonade. It shouldn’t matter what container a drink comes in, or what color has been added to them, Red 40 or Yellow 5. All drinks deserve to be appreciated and supported, no matter what life choices they make. It’s time to stop stereotyping slushies as the “summer” or “hot day” drinks and start seeing them for who they really are. I believe that it’s high time for slushies to break from today’s predetermined drink roles.

Second, I don’t believe in a certain mammal that scientists claim lives on this planet with me. I am a firm believer that there is no such thing as a red panda. Those videos you’ve seen online of cute, tiny, furry bundles of adorable with titles such as “Red Panda Gets Scared” or “Cute Baby Red Pandas” are only trying to mislead and misinform. The actual scientific name of this creature is Ailurus vulpes or the panda fox. Too long have the poor red panda-like foxes been called the wrong name. It’s time to stand up and do something. Well, not me of course. But I would be glad to support any campaigns to re-educate the unfortunately under-informed majority. Please don’t hesitate to send me an email at to let me know of any marches or protests.

I’m glad I’ve been given this opportunity to let the world know what wrongs need to be righted. But, before I leave you with these words of wisdom, a quick disclaimer: anything that is portrayed as fact in the entirety of this purely opinionated piece should not be taken as actually factual. Please don’t believe everything said. I’m mostly kidding and won’t be responsible for anyone gullible enough to believe this. Although I wouldn’t mind red pandas actually being called panda foxes or a free slushie now and then because they’re historically and culturally important, like a National Slushie Day but none of that 7-Eleven nonsense.

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