Freshmen candidates violate election bylaws

In nearly a week, freshman elections will take place and the first year class will elect their senators and class president. With a large number of candidates showing strong interest in the five open positions, the race this year will prove to be incredibly interesting. However, Grand Marshal Kyle Keraga ’15 believes that the freshmen “don’t really know the scope of what Student Government can do yet” and hopes that with this surge in interest, more of the class will understand the importance of the organization and one of the last student-run unions in the country. Keraga and President of the Union Erin Amarello ’15 have both focused on an open approach this year and freshman elections this year are showing that their efforts have begun to work. The number of freshmen running for Student Senate is nearing a record and committees in Student Government are seeing a huge jump in student participation from both members and non-members.

However, this year’s election has already led to some violations by candidates. Despite information sessions for the candidates, where physical copies of the election rules were handed out, some of the freshmen have been found to be in violation of several rules. According to Rules and Elections chairman Melanie Todis ’17, class presidential candidate Kenneth Vetter ’18 and Senatorial candidate Justin Etzine ’18 were handed two violations each at a recent meeting for failures to be in accordance with election poster rules. Each violation carried a penalty of half an hour of community service to be served by poll-sitting. Vetter had two 11×17” posters on a message board by the Jonsson Engineering Center when only one 8.5×11” poster per message board is allowed. Vetter also received a violation for overlapping tape from his posters onto another, however, he appealed the decision and had his total service time reduced to only 1.5 hours of poll-sitting. When asked about the violations, Vetter expressed his appreciation that the rules were critically enforced and emphasized that “the rules are there for a reason and they’re there to make the races as fair as possible.” Etzine was also given poster-related violations such as tape overlap and improper locale of a poster, but chose not to appeal the community service and felt worried that many would see the covering of another’s poster as disrespectful. “I would never do something so blatantly disrespectful to one of my competitors,” said Etzine. Even Keraga has taken these violations in stride and remarked that they “enforce the spirit of fair play” in the elections and are there so that everyone is on the same level.

With 13 freshmen officially interested in running for Senate and three candidates for class president, freshman elections are a promising sign of involvement. In addition to Etzine, other senators running are Molly Dugan ’18, Xuan Liu ’18, Connor Hadley ’18, Tianyi Qiao ’18, Harlan Grossman ’18, Jennifer Freedberg ’18, Steven Sperazza ’18, Patrick Aselin ’18, Yike Wang ’18, Michael Hoherchak ’18, Ja-Lamar Lyons ’18, and Keegan Caraway ’18. The people running for Class of 2018 president include Wang, Brenna Buckley ’18, Mathew Heimlich ’18, Grossman, and Aselim. Some of this year’s candidates are looking to make a difference in some of the specific parts of the school, such as making the counseling center more accessible and encouraging mental health, as well as increasing the accessibility of students to specialists in medical fields such as physical therapists and psychologists. Others are looking to make an impact by being dedicated and putting in maximum effort.

This year’s elections promise to be interesting, with the large number of candidates gearing for each position. With nominations not due until 3 pm on September 20, even more candidates are encouraged to sign up and run in the election. The primaries for the elections will take place on Monday, September 22 and the final elections on Thursday, September 25; both in Commons from 9 am–7 pm and in the Darrin Communications Center from 9 am–5 pm.

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Staff Editorial: Intentions for Greek article

Last week, The Poly released an article on rush policy violations. The piece has received both positive and negative feedback, and we want to make our intentions clear in publishing the article.

Within the first week of rush, we received more reports about offenses this year than in previous years. Not all students that attend RPI know that “wet” rushing occurs, and by shedding light on the matter, The Poly raises awareness. Our staff wants to make sure that in the future, those certain Greek organizations uphold the Interfraternity Council Recruitment Policy so that rush can remain safe for everyone. Additionally, nearly half of the editorial board is Greek; therefore, we understand how essential rush is to fraternities and sororities and how vital it is for events are to remain dry.

The inclusion of alcohol in rush events and at rush parties harms the integrity of Greek rush and the Greek community in general. Alcohol distorts potential recruits’ perceptions of the organizations they are considering, and of their concept of what it means to be Greek. Since alcohol has great potential to destroy organizations, the Greek community is harmed by the inclusion of those who are irresponsible with alcohol consumption.

There also exist safety regulations, such as rush monitors. Rush monitors can appear unannounced at the chapter house of any fraternity at any time during the recruitment period. However, rush monitors cannot appear at the apartments of Greeks, which are the locations of some of the alleged wet rush events.

The Poly was aware of the severity of the situation and the potential consequences of our article. We understood that the entire Greek community could have been endangered by our article. We recognized that we were in a position of great power, and as a result, we aimed to act with the greatest deliberation. We purposefully did not mention any fraternity or person in specific, in order to protect those involved from undue harm, and to leave the enforcement of the rules up to the judicial system of RPI. Rather than damage, we aimed to indirectly improve the Greek community. By raising awareness of the situation, we hope that infractions of the IFC Recruitment Policy will become less frequent for future recruitment periods.

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Melee: McNeil Room hosts competition

New Super Smash Bros.

THE TOURNAMENT FEATURED Nintendo 3DSes with the newest Smash game, allowing people to play 1v1 battles of the complete game, if they don’t mind it all being in Japanese.

On Saturday, September 13, the RPI Smash Club hosted the Pastimes Legends Final Battle tournament in the McNeil Room of the Rensselaer Union. From as early as 9 am until 10 pm, the common area was transformed into a battle hall with almost 100 TVs lining the tables around the room. With registration opening at 10 am, the tournament offered singles and doubles competitions in Melee, Brawl and the competitive Brawl mod Project M. Games played at station one were live streamed throughout the day on Twitch, reaching 2,500 views with an average of 120 people watching at any given time. The player pool of over 160 individual people was incredibly diverse and consisted of players from all over the Northeast, with players from Connecticut, Vermont, New York, and more. Professional players, including Mew2King, DJ Nintendo, PB&J and The Moon, among others, showed up to fight against other Smash enthusiasts for the top spots in the competition, as well as the cash prizes paid to the top five in singles and the top three in doubles.

The three different Smash games at the tournament were Melee, Brawl and Project M. Super Smash Bros. Melee was first released in 2001 by Nintendo and rose to game fame with its dedicated fan base and huge level of support. The game is a classic and a favorite among Smash aficionados and regularly claimed to be the best one made. One of the best smashers in the world who participated in the tournament, Mew2King, prefers Melee and says that, “the best thing about Melee is that there are multiple possibilities.” The second game, offered only in 1v1 play, was Super Smash Bros. Brawl. As the third Smash game released, it was the first to be offered on the Nintendo Wii. Popular for its smoother graphics and varied gameplay, Brawl has recently lost much of its popularity with the rise of the third game offered at the tournament, Project M. Project M is a modified version of Super Smash Bros. Brawl that, although does not have official backing with Nintendo, is popular among the Smash community for being an improved version of Brawl as it returned the game to a fast gameplay paired with clean graphics. Project M was offered as both a 1v1 and 2v2 option at the tournament.

One of the unique aspects of the tournament was the availability of the newest Super Smash Bros game, Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. This new game, known among the Smash community as “Smash Four”, was released on September 13 in Japan and will officially be released in North America on October 3rd. However, the tournament offered several 3DSes that had the Japanese version of the game loaded onto them for anyone to test out and play. This new Smash game has garnered much praise for its stunning graphics, fun gameplay, variety in characters, and the ease of playing with others. Many of the top players who attended the Nintendo Invitational that were used to test the 3DS and Wii U gameplay have already found the game extremely promising. Professional Smash player and founder of Smash Studios PB&J believes that the game is going to sweep the Smash world and cites its ability to be played quickly and easily both at tournaments and with friends as a definite advantage. He predicts that eventually people could play the 3DS game between rounds of the classic platform games such as Melee and Brawl at other tournaments. DJ Nintendo added that Smash Four
will be a great addition to the Smash family and that the game is a genuinely fun game to play. Other fans of Smash Four were excited that the tournament offered the chance for players to test out the new game and to experience it.

The tournament kicked off with a 2v2 Project M match, with many of the players simply warming up on the many TVs around the room or playing through their own matches. The winners of PM doubles were M2K and PB&J. As the day progressed, the matches for Melee 2v2 ended up in a rematch of the Project M Grand Finals, however, this time The Moon and DJ Nintendo beat M2K and PB&J. As the smallest pool of players in the tournament, the 1v1 Brawl competition ran shorter than rest and M2K emerged victorious. As the day wore on, the main 1v1 competitions started up with pool play in both Project M and Melee. M2K once again took first place in the Project M round. The 1v1 Melee tournament was the largest of the day and was the most intense, with large crowds of players observing the final matches of the day. Ultimately, M2K wrapped up his spectacular night with a win in the main event after a hard fought match against The Moon.

After the Smash tournament wrapped up, the first event of this year’s Melee Games were between Binghamton University and RPI. The event consisted of junior varsity and varsity crews with five players each. With a total of 50 colleges in the tournament, the Melee Games have grown from 20 New England teams to include the tristate area. The showdown between RPI and Binghamton marked the start of the season this fall. After a tough few rounds, RPI eventually pulled ahead and held on to win the match. RPI will be playing in the future against more opponents and can be viewed live through the video game streaming website Twitch.

This year’s Smash tournament was the first time for many of the professional players to visit RPI and allowed the casual players to have a chance to practice against stronger players. It also gave them the opportunity for some to meet the players that they may follow in the competitive tournament scene. With such a smashing success, hopefully the tournament returns for years to come, especially with such a strong turnout by the RPI community. As the Smash community here at RPI continues to improve and attracts high profile players, DJ Nintendo, professional player since 2002, encourages players to “just go to tournaments.” The self-proclaimed Smash sensei urges players to play at tournaments as much as possible, even if they may feel overwhelmed by going to larger tournaments to begin with. He maintains that the Smash community is incredibly friendly and going to tournaments would be a great way to meet other new players and to build friendships all while improving as a player.

The Final Battle tournament was a huge success and has many hoping that it will return to RPI. Organizers of the tournament are optimistic with the success of this first tournament and hope they will be able to turn it into a more frequent and higher profile tournament. Many of the tournament participants are excited for the tournament to continue after its strong start. The live stream announcers complimented the site of the tournament and the openness of the venue. One of the livestream commentators, TM37, expressed his hope that the tournament returns to RPI and gave advice that everyone should take, “Don’t miss it next time it happens.”

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Football loses in high-scoring game to Alfred

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute football lost its home opener on a rainy Saturday afternoon, in an out-of-league matchup against the Alfred University Saxons. RPI played in front of an enthusiastic home crowd for their home debut. The Engineers, having won the week before, were hoping to bring momentum into Saturday’s contest. Sadly, Alfred thwarted this notion beating RPI 34-31 at the East Campus Stadium.

The Engineers won the week before with an impressive 29 to 9 victory against Norwich University. Norwich, the year before, had won their their league and advanced to the ECAC North Atlantic Bowl. The Institute came out of the game showing potential and the high-powered offense that the team possesses.

In their game against Alfred, the Engineers produced an impressive 375 total offensive yards. Of that total, 190 were on the ground while 185 were through the air. Sadly, RPI’s defense failed to hold off the strong offensive attack from Alfred University, which produced 493 offensive yards, 219 of those yards were on the ground, while 274 yards were through the air.

Engineer junior running back Nick Schlatz had an impressive day on the ground, rushing 15 times for 69 yards, averaging 4.6 yards per carry. Junior quarterback Jeff Avery went 11 for 24 in the air, throwing one interception. Avery also contributed to the ground game, compiling 61 yards on 20 carries. Avery’s primary target was graduate student running back Reggie Colas, who brought in five receptions and scored two touchdowns. Junior wide receiver Logan Gaddar had the most receiving yards, being targeted three times for 85 yards and also scoring two touchdowns.

Defensively, senior defensive back Nick Borkowski led the Engineers defense with nine tackles, while senior linebacker Colby Tragni produced six. Junior linebacker Anthony Pilla had the Institute’s only sack for a 6-yard loss.

The Saxons, which produced 493 yards of offense, were lead by sophomore quarterback Tyler Johnson, who connected on 13 of 25 attempts, producing 203 yards of offense. Johnson also produced 166 yards on the ground, averaging six yards per carry. Freshman standout Willie McFadden produced 48 yards on the ground on only five carries, averaging 9.6 yards per carry. Senior tight end Young Isiah was Johnson’s favorite target, receiving four receptions, averaging 10 yards per reception. Sophmore wide receiver Brandon Buisch caught three passes for 113 yards with two touchdowns.

Defensively, Alfred was led by sophomore defensive lineman Andy Miller, who had 12 stops, six of which were solo. Junior defensive back Michael Berardi also had an impressive defensive day, tallying nine tackles, six of which were single. Senior defensive back Michael Perkins had the only interception of the game.

RPI won the coin toss, but in a strategic move to gain possession in the second half, decided to defer their decision to the second half. Alfred came out firing, putting together an impressive eight-play drive. The drive cumulated with the Saxons finding themselves first on the scoreboard when Johnson scurried out of the pocket and connected with sophomore wide receiver Brendan Buisch for a 17-yard touchdown. The Engineers came right back, putting together a scoring drive capped off by a 39-yard field goal from the foot of senior kicker Andrew Franks. Alfred started their next drive with some trickery, Rodney Etiennerm, who usually plays quarterback but was lined up at running back. Etiennerm then made a downfield throw to senior wide receiver Bobby Broddus for a 71-yard touchdown. Alfred pulled out another trick, converting an onside kick; however, RPI’s relentless defense was able to hold Alfred and forced them to punt. Thanks to a negative 1-yard punt, the Engineers found themselves in a good field position. Two plays later, Avery found Colas on a deep out for a 36-yard touchdown. RPI regained possession and drove down the field for another touchdown when Avery was able to find Gadder in the end zone with 3:42 left in the quarter. The Engineers ended the quarter with a 17-14 lead.

After an impressive drive, RPI found themselves with their back against their own end zone to start the second quarter. After a strong goal line stand, the Saxons found the end zone as McFadden rushed it in from three yards out. After a few exchanges of possessions, the Engineers were finally able to reach the end zone again as Avery found Gaddar streaking across the middle of the field for a 26-yard touchdown. The half ended with Rensselaer leading 24-21.

The Engineers started the second half with possession of the ball. RPI’s offense put together a very impressive 14-play drive, which concluded with an impressive touchdown as Colas caught Avery’s pass one-handed behind the Alfred defender. Alfred responded quickly, scoring in only three plays as McFadden ran the ball in from 17 yards out, producing another Saxon touchdown. The quarter ended with the Engineers holding on to the lead 31 to 27.

RPI found themselves behind when the Saxons showed off their high-powered offense, scoring just 1:50 into the fourth quarter as Johnson connected with Buisch for a 82-yard touchdown to regain the lead. After multiple failed drives, the Engineers finally put something together with 8:08 left in the game. The Engineers produced a powerful drive, consistently converting third downs. RPI brought the ball to the one yard line and it seemed as if a score was immanent, but a personal foul moved the Engineers back to the 16-yard line. The Institute failed to convert the field goal, giving the ball back to Alfred. The Engineers got the ball back one last time with 10 seconds left in the game. In a last-second effort to score, Avery connected with Gaddar for a 51 yard reception to the Alfred 20 yard line. Sadly, RPI was unable to get another play off as the clock ran out. The Saxons pulled out the victory, finding themselves on top 34-31.

The Engineers travel to Castleton College next week for their last non-Liberty League game before they start Liberty League play. Castleton enters Sunday’s contest, having won their previous game against Plymouth State University 20 to 3. Last year, RPI topped the Castleton Spartans 23 to 8. Although the Institute found themselves on the wrong side of the score board this week, with their senior leadership and high-powered offense, a win seems almost immanent in next week’s match.

The following week, the Engineers return home for their first Liberty League game against rival Worcester Polytechnic Institute for their annual Transit trophy game. This game will be held under the lights at East Campus Stadium. This will be the first home night game since 2011 when the Rensselaer Polytechnic football team hosted Castelton college. This will be the third night game in the history of East Campus Stadium, the first night game having taken place in 2010 when RPI hosted Union College for their annual Dutchmnan Shoes game.

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Gerhardt, Smith communicate policy changes

Student Handbook changes to protect victims of hazing; six new Senate projects underway

LESTER GERHARDT ADDRESSES ways to improve communication between the Student and the Faculty Senate.

On Monday, September 15, the Senate had discussions with both Lester Gerhardt and Mark Smith to discuss the changes that they would each like to bring to campus. Even though they had different end goals, the Senate was able to set aside time to speak to each of the gentlemen thoroughly. Gerhardt is the President of the Faculty Senate and spent his time talking to the Student Senate about how the two governing bodies may work together and increase their communications. This change was suggested by last year’s vice president, and is something that Gerhardt fully intends to work on. To show his intention, Gerhardt proposed the use of a time slot in which representatives from the two bodies may meet. In these smaller discussions, Gerhardt hopes to hear word of what is going right, and what is going wrong in each other’s governing bodies, and in the case of the latter, Gerhardt hopes to discuss possible improvements. The Faculty Senate president hopes to be aware of issues and challenges that the students face and hopes the Student Senate will reciprocate.

Dean of Students Mark Smith was then able to speak to the Senate about the Rensselaer Handbook of Student Rights and Responsibilities and the possible changes for the upcoming edition. He stated that although the changes were not going to be voted on today, he wanted the Student Senate’s feedback on the possible changes that were to come and how they would impact the student body as a whole. Smith first went through changes which were done in this past July and were concrete in the Handbook. This mainly dealt with the inclusion of hazing under the good samaritan policy which details how the Institute’s should respond to community members in distress. Now, in addition to alcohol use, drug use, and sexual assault, a student of RPI will not face judicial action if he or she receives emergency assistance or medical treatment in response to hazing.

According to Dean Smith, all around the country schools are receiving increased scrutiny from the federal government in terms of sexual assault. Smith reports that 77 colleges have pending investigations for sexual assault and rape and RPI is not on that list, and Smith intends to keep it that way. He states that the rewriting of the sexual assault and conduct section of the Handbook is currently in progress and he hopes to see that it is done by November 1. At this point, Smith brought up the idea of changing the Judicial Board’s role in cases of sexual assault. As it stands now, cases go directly to the Dean of Students office who decides a punishment such as suspension, expulsion, or other such detriments. The Judicial Board would then come into play should the student wish to appeal the decision on a number of grounds. While Smith acknowledges the board’s professionalism and candor with these cases so far, he does think that such a trial would be a huge burden, both emotionally and mentally, on young adults. Instead, Smith may implement a separate board with officials who are trained to handle situations of this type. These judges may be retired law enforcement officials who have training under Title IX, and would then be brought up to speed by RPI. Also, Smith is considering changing how the outcomes of these trials are published. The dean is considering publicly posting the results of these trials around campus to display the severity of these situations and how they are dealt with. President of the Union Erin Amarello ’15 brought up the effective measures used in RPI athletics. Athletics teams are able to meet with a staff of trained officials who deal with sexual assault and harassment. According to Amarello, this makes the statistics of RPI’s sports related sexual assault lower than the national average and supports the widespread use of these forces around campus. Shoshana Rubinstein ’16 requested to see a specifically stated list of rights for the advocates who are involved in Judicial Board cases.

The meeting ended with committee reports, starting with Grand Marshal Kyle Keraga ’15 thank to the council for their help in Hockey Line, to which he attributes the sale of more than 450 season tickets. The Academic Affairs Committee chair Marcus Flowers ’16, stated that his committee currently has six projects underway, including research opportunity listing, drop deadline investigation, and a syllabus catalog. Michael Han ’16, chairman of the Facilities and Services Committee stated that current projects included changes in the Mueller Center, an improved room reservation system, and general repair of crosswalks on campus. Morgan Schweitzer ’16, as both the head of the Community Relations Committee and representative from the Panhellenic Association, reported that RPI is invited to attend Sage Fest on September 27 and 85 women were given bids to sororities during this last weekend.

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Editorial Notebook

Business expectations

For most of my notebooks, I tend to choose a light hearted theme, but this week, I’m so heated about this issue that I need to have it printed in the paper for everyone to read. Let me frame the problem. Last week, during a late night of studying in the Rensselaer Union, at 11:50 pm, I decided to get some ice cream at Ben & Jerry’s, 10 minutes before the posted closing time. However, when I approached the vendor to claim some delicious ice cream, I was horrified to see the shop dark, locked up, and not in fact open ten minutes before the closing time. To say I was flustered is an understatement. I felt cheated, abused, and neglected by this action. The Union food services, a set of organizations I held in high esteem for getting rid of greasy Chester’s, gross 99 cent Arizona sugar water, and disgusting calzones, has broken my heart.

Of course, I’ve been heavily exaggerating, but honestly, this is something I’ve encountered a fair amount and it bothers me. If a place of business posts hours of operation, they should be fully operable for service during those times. 10 minutes before closing a business may be cleaning up, but to be dark and locked up at that time, maybe the business hours should be revised. But I’ve faced worse before, at a certain Rite Aid near campus I was turned away half an hour before closing. This problem is a bit trivial and spoiled, being from the northeast, I’m used to a certain level of convenience where most things are open during basically all hours. But if a store puts out their hours of operation, as most do, they are advertising those times as fact, but when in reality, employees can close down the store as early as they want, without losing a large amount of business of course. However, as a customer who trusts a business in what it posts, I expect service up until the minute the shop closes.

I don’t want this article to seem like I’m angry at Ben & Jerry’s or Rite Aid, the business or employees, because I’ve had great service at both and still use them frequently, but businesses should take their hours of business more seriously. Customers trust what is posted, so it is only fair for shops to reciprocate that trust by following the hours they make. Then, just maybe, I could love the Union food services again.

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New iPhone leaves much to be desired

APPLE CEO TIM COOK INTRODUCES the iPhone 6 and the Apple Smartwatch at the Flint Center in Cupertino, Calif. Apple hopes to enter into the market of large phones and tech-wear.

The newest iPhone has been a long awaited release. Every year, many people wait on upgrading their phone until they get a chance to see the new iPhone that Apple releases. This September, Apple announced and released their newest iPhone, called the iPhone 6, and they also showed us the iPhone 6 Plus, which has some upgraded features and specifications compared to the iPhone 6. In this article, we will go over the new specifications and features of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus and compare them to the previous iPhone and some of the top competitors’ smartphones that are on the market today.

The new camera on the iPhone 6 is not new; the camera is the same camera that is on the iPhone 5s except for one or two differences. One of the differences that Apple claims is that the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have “improved face detection” compared to just regular face detection on the iPhone 5s. Another difference is that the iPhone 6 Plus has optical stabilization, but this is only offered for the iPhone 6 Plus. Excluding the noted changes, the camera on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus compared to previous iPhones will not have other noticeable differences.

Regarding camera quality, both the iPhone 6, 6 Plus and the iPhone 5s have 8 megapixel cameras that only support 720p video capture. This is average for smartphones on the market, but when compared to a top competitor like Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 and S5, the new iPhone camera falls short. The Galaxy Note 4 sports a 13 megapixel camera while the S5 sports a camera
with 16 megapixels and has full 1080p video capture. The Windows Nokia Lumia Icon smartphone has an even better camera at 20 megapixel with full 1080p video capture.

That said, Apple has made very few changes to the new iPhone 6’s and the iPhone 6 Plus’ camera. Apple did not seem to put a big effort in competing with their top competitors. Hopefully Apple makes more of an effort in some of their other features that we will go over later on.

The displays on the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have minor upgrades compared to the previous iPhones 5s’ displays. The iPhone 6 has a slightly better resolution while the iPhone 6 Plus has a full 1080p display. However, when compared to Samsung’s Note 3 and S5, the displays are basically identical with maybe a slightly better display on the Samsung phones, especially considering that Samsung manufactures Apple’s displays.

The new A8 chip for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus is a 1.4 GHz processor. This is an upgrade from the iPhone 5s’ 1.3 GHz processor. The difference in the processor speeds is very minimal and compared to the Galaxy Note and S5 with a 1.9 GHz processor, the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus has a weaker processor. Also, Apple did not make any changes to the memory capacity for the phone. There is still only 1 GB of RAM and no SD card slot to expand memory storage. As a result you are stuck with the base 16 GB of phone storage.

Wi-Fi calling will be a new capability for iPhones much like the iMessage where you can transition from Wi-Fi to cellular. However, it is only supported by T-Mobile at the moment. We did see, however with iMessage, that it only works iPhone to iPhone, monopolizing the smartphone market by limiting the compatibility between cellphone makers.

The new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus “payments” will allow you to keep everything you would keep in your wallet on your iPhone 6.

With every new iPhone, we can expect a new version of iOS to follow at some point that will undoubtedly cause a fraction of old iPhones to turn into a brick. However, iOS 8 does offer a few updates. One of these updates is their new smart keyboard that suggests words to you as you type to finish your sentence, but this has already been seen in smartphones on the market such as on Windows and Android smartphones. The new iOS 8 also offers a real-time connection to the cloud to update your documents and pictures. This can be best explained by saying how Google Docs and Microsoft
Office 365 have real-time editing and updates.

The new Apple Watch will allow you to connect their iPhone to a screen strapped to your wrist. This watch is another “competitively priced” device that a user can wear on their wrist as an extension of their iPhone. This may end up just being another hassle to recharge, and having your watch and phone alert you to new messages and calls may become annoying.

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PSS: women’s soccer kicks it

LAST THURSDAY EVENING, RPI WOMEN’S SOCCER TEAM FACED Plattsburgh State at East Campus Stadium. The game started as a defensive struggle, in which each team managed only a single shot in the first 20 minutes of action. Then, in the 23rd minute, the Cardinals crossed the ball into the Engineers’ box where Cardinal midfielder Cammey Keyser attempted a header. But just like Plattsburgh’s first attempt, this shot also went wide. Two shots by senior midfielder Sandy Kirk and freshman forward Dali Alarian in the 32nd and 33rd minutes, respectively, forced Cardinal goalie Danielle Schmitt to make two incredible saves. Three more tries by RPI were likewise turned away in the final minutes of the first half, the best coming on a header from junior midfielder Coley Mowder that looked as if it would go in but bounced harmlessly off of the Plattsburgh post.
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Post office considered; RPIgnite receives startup funding

E-Board looks into potential post office replacements, RPI Antislavery does not receive Union funding

President of the Union, Erin Amarello ’15, began this week’s Executive Board meeting by welcoming graduate student Courtney Lang, the new graduate student representative and appointing Andrew Sudano ’17 as the representative for the Juggling Club. Afterwards, the board discussed solutions to the post office that used to be in the games room, funding for two clubs, and ended with the director’s report.

In the summer of 2013, there was a post office in the games room that was removed due to lack of funding. The post office was unable to support itself, causing the Rensselaer Union to lose money. As a result, there is currently no post office in the Union and students need to go into Troy to mail out packages or pay for their package online, print a label, and go to Commons Dining Hall to send out packages. It was proposed to the E-Board that a postal kiosk could be put in place instead. This on campus self-service kiosk would be more convenient and easier than the current solution of either printing out a label and going to Commons, or travelling to Troy to send packages and letters. The kiosk would have stamps and packages available and students could drop off packages at the kiosk. According to Shoshana Rubinstein ’16, students expressed interest in wanting the post office back. While a postal kiosk would be convenient, the E-Board felt that it was too expensive to justify the convenience, and instead, the money should go to other things. However, no motion on the matter was passed.

Next on the agenda was RPIgnite looking for funding. This new club was started last year. The club consists of drummers, but they play with buckets and cans instead of drums. RPIgnite was looking for funding in order to buy more sticks and practice pads for all the new members. A 12-0-0 motion was approved to allow RPIgnite to be a funded Rensselaer Union club with a starting budget of $125.

After RPIgnite, RPI Antislavery, a club focused on charity and bringing awareness to slavery in the world, was also looking for funding in order to raise awareness of the club by purchasing better supplies to make signs and posters. They have done tabling at Earth Fest and during Grand Marshal week last year, they stood for 24 hours in a stand for freedom. The E-Board made no motion on this matter.

The meeting concluded with the director’s report reminding the E-Board to sign up for the Student Officer Summit.

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The Facebook generation

Instant gratification and digital everything

The book is dying, radio listenership and participation is down, and stacks of newspapers go untouched. Computer usage has skyrocketed, social networks dominate our time, and we gripe on Reddit. Our computers and our smartphones serve as music stores, jukeboxes, news outlets, cameras, human interaction, as well as for professional business, meetings, and scheduling. Nude pictures of celebrities leak, ISIS releases a beheading video, and the president is heard nation-wide via a YouTube livestream. It’s a place where people blog, overanalyze, and where people waste hours replying to miles-long YouTube comment threads.

This is the age of instantaneous gratification. Last week in an interview with Ladar Levison, my generation was described as the “Facebook” generation. I think that it could more appropriately be called the “smart” generation. We have smartphones, smart watches, smart shoes, and even smart glasses. But what do we lose from a generation of people who expect and desire information on a second’s whim? What does the age of content on demand do to old-school outlets of information that take longer than five seconds to find, access, and critique?

We lose a lot—the internet creates a place where things happen instantly—we can see video at the click of a button, and then reply at the tap of another—but what are really saying? Are we being constructive? It also creates a drug. The internet serves incredibly dynamic content that addicts, and leads us to chase the high that massive amounts of information allow us to feel. There’s a replacement for everything, and often a subpar one at best. We trust our lives to something that we feel gives us anonymity and privacy, when in reality it provides neither. In fact, our addiction to instant access often backfires and we find ourselves victims of total exposure. We turn to the internet to make us more social and yet we often lose the most valuable thing—face to face communication. We sit on our computers chatting away, communicating with people far and wide, and lose that much time learning about the people around us, making new friendships, and enjoying existing ones. We talk online, we date online, we live online in a sense—and it’s becoming an acceptable practice.

We lose what we’ve built—down go classical institutions in favor of online replacements. Books are deferring to Kindles, radio is becoming Spotify or Pandora, humor is now YouTube, and the news is the online sites of many multi-faceted news outlets. Everything is on-demand, and on-demand is everything.

So, what can we do, as people enrolled in a tech school and a part of this generation? We can take time to reflect on the wondrous benefits we gain from the internet, by taking some downtime that is essential to maintaining perspective. We can come forward, and make new things, but not before we make sure that it adds without taking away. We can step away from the clichés of our generation—and create a world that we’re happy to live in now, and proud to pass on to the future.

Why not change the world?

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PSS: let’s dance

NEW DANCERS TWIRL across the dance floor during RPI Ballroom’s Intro Dance. The event, took place on Friday, September 12, 2014, at 7 pm in the Rensselaer Union’s McNeil Room, and invited new dancers to partake in Ballroom’s lessons. The dances that were taught included the basic waltz and the East Coast Swing. For each dance, a brief demonstration period was provided, followed by instruction, and finally, a practice session with other members of the attendees. The prospective dancers seemed to enjoy themselves, with a mood of cheeriness apparent in the air. The RPI Ballroom club consists of the Ballroom/Latin, Lindy Hop Swing, Argentine Tango, and Ballroom Team groups, and offers lessons and competition options to dancers and prospective dancers of all skill levels. The first week of lessons began on September 15, and continue all semester. A full schedule of lessons can be found on the RPI Ballroom website at http://ballroom.union.rpi.edu.
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Athlete of the Week: Jeff Avery

This week’s Athlete of the Week is RPI junior quarterback Jeff Avery. Despite this past week’s loss to Alfred University, Avery exhibited dynamic playmaking ability, throwing for 185 yards and four touchdowns. Two touchdowns of eight and 36 yards went to junior wide receiver Logan Gaddar, who totaled 85 yards on three catches. The other two went to graduate student Reggie Colas, who snagged five throws for 71 yards, including a beautiful touchdown throw and catch to put the Engineers up by 10 in the third quarter. In addition, Avery rushed twenty times for 45 yards, including a long of 11.

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Obama announces military action against ISIS

SHIITE MILITIAMEN LOYAL TO RADICAL CLERIC MUQTADA SADR ENTER Amirli, Iraq, on Monday, Sept. 1, 2014, after helping to liberate the town from a nearly three-month siege by Islamic State militants.

On September 10, 2014, a day before the 9/11 anniversary, President Obama announced that the United States will expand current military operations in Iraq to degrade and destroy Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. ISIS “is not Islamic,” the president explained while citing the massacre of innocents, the majority of whom are Muslim, in the troubled region. ISIS has taken advantage of the sectarian conflict in Syria to establish itself within Syrian and Iraqi territory. The terrorist organization’s entrance is particularly alarming because of its crimes against humanity (e.g., execution of prisoners of war, enslavement, rape, and forced marriage).

One would expect that ISIS, with the vast lands it now holds, commands forces vastly outnumbering those of the American-trained Iraqi defenders. The Iraqi army currently fields 250,000 troops. The CIA estimates that ISIS’ ranks have now surged to 30,000 from an earlier estimate of around 7,000. In the takeover of Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, the Iraqi army outnumbered ISIS by 40:1. ISIS gains have mostly been located in Sunni-friendly areas. Further expansion into Shia populated regions will likely encounter stiffer resistance. The Iraqi army, however, is equipped with American and Russian equipment such as tanks and helicopters, a few of which have been seized by ISIS. One reason ISIS is gaining momentum is that they have more fighting experience. In the Syrian war, ISIS has transformed itself into a capable fighting force by acquiring weapons, money, and experience. Additionally, a flood of capable ex-Saddam era military officers, bringing formal military expertise and discipline, have joined ISIS’ ranks. In short, ISIS is unlike any terrorist organization previously encountered. Its fighters are ruthless. Its tactics are effective. And until recently, its advances have been unchecked.

Now, the coalition against ISIS on the battlefield and in cyberspace is becoming rigid. ISIS’ advances towards Erbil, the capital of Kurdistan, have triggered the U.S. airstrikes against the organization. There have been more than 150 airstrikes against ISIS so far. The Peshmerga, whose name means “those who face death” in Kurdish, are Kurdish guerrilla fighters who have been fighting against ISIS. Numbering at around 190,000, the Peshmerga work in tandem with American forces by selecting ground targets for American warplanes. The Kurds have even requested more sophisticated military equipment such as mine-resistant ambush protected vehicles, or MRAPS. Just last week, France, which notably denounced previous involvements in Iraq, announced that it would begin conducting airstrikes against ISIS. In cyberspace, the “Burn ISIS Flag challenge” has gone viral. Finally, in countries such as Russia, prominent Muslim scholars have condemned ISIS and discouraged others from joining the terrorist movement.

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Top Hat

The Importance of The Student Handbook

Possible future revisions to good samaritan policy and sexual harassment policy reviewed

This Monday, Dean of Students Mark Smith came to the Student Senate general body meeting to discuss upcoming changes to the Handbook of Student Rights and Responsibilities, regarding the good samaritan policy as well as sexual assault and sexual harassment policy. With this week’s Top Hat article, I would like to explain the importance of this Student Handbook and the role we, as students, have been asked to play in the discussion process.

The Handbook of Student Rights and Responsibilities details the Student Bill of Rights, as well as numerous policies related to academics, student life, safety, privacy, and other items. The chief purpose of the Handbook is to establish guidelines that protect the rights of students as members of the Rensselaer community, and to outline responsibilities, obligations, and expectations for students necessary to ensure the success and stability of these policies. In short, the Student Handbook is the principal document that details and safeguards our rights as RPI students.

The Handbook is compiled and published bi-annually, pending the approval of the Board of Trustees. All policies contained in the Handbook, are set and revised as necessary by the RPI Administration — specifically the Dean of Students Office. In the process of writing updates to the Handbook, the Student Senate is often consulted to gain student perspective and input into proposed changes, usually culminating in a student vote of endorsement.

The revisions currently being considered for the good samaritan policy are fairly clear cut. The good samaritan policy is of critical importance, incentivizing students to seek aid in situations involving assault, medical emergencies, or drug/alcohol related incidents that may become serious or life threatening by protecting them from judicial action provided certain procedures are followed. The good samaritan policy, outlined on page 21–22 of the 2012–2014 Student Handbook, reads: “The good samaritan policy is the Institute’s commitment to increase the likelihood that community members will call for assistance after having been sexually assaulted (independent of the involvement of alcohol or other drugs) and/or when faced with an alcohol or drug-related emergency.”

This has been expanded to include students who have been “a victim or witness to hazing”. Hazing is further defined on page 25 of the Handbook as: “any conduct that subjects another person, whether physically, mentally, emotionally, or psychologically, to anything that may endanger, abuse, degrades or intimidates the person as a condition of association with a group or organization.” Simply put, this change extends the protections offered by Good Samaritan to hazing incidents.

Changes to the sexual assault and sexual misconduct are more robust, and to be established in accordance with state or national legislation. There are many changes being pursued to update the response process—including granting professional investigators (one of each gender, speculated to be current or former Public Safety officer) responsibility for all investigative procedures, and further empowerment of the Sexual Assault Response Team.

The most distinct change under consideration is a revised judicial process. As outlined on page 30, students are encouraged to pursue charges under the Rensselaer judicial process as well as the criminal justice system. Currently, within the Institute, if the accused is a Rensselaer student, they will be subject to the student judicial process as defined elsewhere. A potential new process under heavy consideration and discussion would require sexual assault cases to be dealt with by a special board assembled purely of professional staff rather than the student Judicial Board.

As mentioned above, changes are ultimately decided by the dean of students, so the opportunity to lend input is a privilege and should not be taken lightly. With proposed revisions on topics of this magnitude, I would like to invite and encourage anyone passionate about these issues to become a part of this conversation. The Senate’s Student Life Committee will work closely with Dean Smith as it lends a student perspective to these changes—if you’d like to be a part of this discussion, please contact Student Life Committee Chairman Lexi Rindone ’15 at rindoa@rpi.edu, or myself at gm@rpi.edu.

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English-based artist Kode9 drops the beat

EMPAC concert provides exotic adventure into alternative and experimental electronic music

FAMED DUBSTEP ARTIST KODE9 PERFORMED at the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center September 9.

When described by the Experimental Media Performing Arts Center as “experimental,” the media showcased at events definitely fits the description. Steve Goodman, better known as Kode9, gave a dubstep performance on Tuesday, September 9 that was no exception.

The set, which lasted a little over an hour and a half, consisted of random, but also rhythmic, beats that focused more on resonance and vibrations, rather than merely mimicking the structure of currently-popular electronic songs. Samples included nature sounds, such as rain, foreign vocals, and 8-bit “retro” tunes. In the drops, which are intense build-ups of bass placed within dubstep songs, heavy bass caused the floors of the Goodman Studio 1 to vibrate intensely.

Initially, songs consisted of slower beat patterns; however, as the night progressed, the tempo sped up, and the audience responded accordingly. What started off as subtle head-nodding, swaying, and foot-tapping transformed into jumping, whistling, elaborate dance routines, flailing arms, and spinning in circles. One student, Kevin Jones ’15, repeatedly rested his head against the speakers during the bass drops. When asked why, Jones said, “I do that because it sounds awesome; it amplifies the high pitched sounds, just like a guitar, you know? I’ll be doing that all night.”

The response from attendees seemed to be generally positive. “If you’re a fan of Skream and Benga, their music is along the lines of Kode9’s as well,” said Dylan Smock ’18. “This is not what you’d expect from mainstream dubstep.” A group of upperclassmen referred to the set as “unique,” “multidimensional,” and “shaky.”

Expectedly, the event brought together long-time fans of Kode9 and his record label, Hyperdub, music enthusiasts who were interested in exploring the Electronic Dance Music (EDM) genre, and everyone in between. Alyssa Schadler ’15, a frequent at EMPAC performances, considers herself a fan of experimental media. She described the set as “unsettling, but in a good way.” Kaitlyn Ameres ’18, although a fan of the dubstep sub-genre, had not previously listened to Kode9’s music; however, she found the set to be very interesting.

Prior to producing music, Kode9 gained a popular reputation in the 90s as a disc jockey in London. In 2004, his work appeared on a compilation released through Rephlex records, and, later that year, he began releasing music under his newly-established Hyperdub label.

With tunes that have shaped the UK Funky genre of EDM music, Kode9 fit in perfectly with the diverse lineup of artists that perform at EMPAC throughout the year. Even now, his beats and rhythms continue to impress the greater dubstep community.

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RPI researchers seek answers in muscle physiology

Dr. Swank works to uncover the important fundamental details of muscle and the heart

RESEARCHERS ANALYZE a Drosphila to test the fiber’s ability to generate force.

In the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Sciences, Dr. Douglas Swank is working on uncovering important fundamental details about muscle and the heart. As a part of the Biology Department for nine years, Dr. Swank has been an integral part of research at RPI. His interest in muscle physiology and disease began in high school and was solidified by a summer undergraduate internship at State University of New York at Buffalo which eventually led to his graduate school study. Dr. Swank has undertaken research projects that may help scientists understand the fundamental importance of several characteristics of muscles and the heart. With the award of two new grants from the National Institutes of Health, new research opportunities have opened up for the Swank laboratory.

A main research project in the lab focuses on heart muscle and point mutations that can be fatal in humans. Over 200 point mutations exist that cause enlargement and extra muscle mass in the heart, which can lead to cardiac arrest. According to Dr. Swank, these point mutations can be difficult to diagnose and are often inherited, as the heart can typically compensate for the reduced area in the ventricles when younger and sometimes allows people with the mutation to live into their 30s and 40s. However, more severe forms of the disease often strike athletes in their teens or 20s, resulting in sudden cardiac arrest. Dr. Swank has partnered with researchers at San Diego State University and Johns Hopkins University to research the mutations that change important muscle proteins which lead to this disease. After modifying the protein genes in flies, Dr. Swank and his team removed a mutated muscle fiber from drosophila, or fruit fly, muscle and test it to determine the fiber’s ability to generate force, and power, as well as the shortening velocity of the fiber. After many trials, they then use this data to establish what specific point mutations do to the muscle fiber and why it causes enlargement of the heart.

Another area of research includes the study of stretch activation in the heart that Dr. Swank has headed for four years. Stretch activation is the process by which the heart muscles are stretched by incoming blood and causes the contraction of the heart to have a much larger force than if the muscle was not stretched. This increases heart muscle power, generation, and efficiency. The stretch activation phenomenon is not understood by the scientific community and the Swank lab’s research could be incredibly important in helping scientists understand more about how this heart mechanism operates.

In the lab, graduate students work on studying many different facets of muscle fiber and heart physiology. Research into the role of different muscle fiber types will increase our understanding of how myosin, the molecular motor that powers muscle contraction, converts chemical energy into force and motion. Using custom-built muscle mechanics apparatuses, the Swank lab measures the tension, force, and shortening velocity that individual muscle fibers produce when expressing different myosin isoforms. This data is used to understand how myosin is forms contribute to setting the mechanical properties of different muscle types, including heart muscle.

In Dr. Swank’s lab, new information is found fairly frequently as the researchers make many small, incremental gains. Dr. Swank believes that the projects done in his lab are small, but important steps in making a whole picture that would allow understanding of the process in question. He hopes that his research can be used to gain insight into diseases and to be applicable to patients with the specific mutations he is researching. However, with such a large number of mutations that he has yet to investigate, one of Dr. Swank’s goals of his current research is to understand generally how the diseases work and why exactly these point mutations cause the disease so that, someday, they can be treated. Still, Dr. Swank is optimistic and notes, “The real breakthroughs in science most often come from basic research. You learn something no one knew before. We are always very much interested in increasing our fundamental understanding of muscle and heart physiology. That’s where you’re most likely to get the real breakthroughs that will lead to big jumps instead of the typical incremental ones.”

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Derby

Executive Board adds two new members

Hey RPI!

I can’t believe that it is already week four; this year is flying by and it will be winter break before we know it! As the bombardment of projects and the first round of exams begin, I wish you the best of luck and as much sleep as you can get.

To highlight one of the big upcoming events, the 36th annual National Society of Black Engineers/Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers Career Fair is right around the corner. In two weeks, almost 200 companies will be coming to RPI in search of students to fill entry-level full-time positions as well as countless internship and co-op opportunities. Make sure to register online, dry clean your suit, and print your résumés. The Rensselaer Union Bookstore will have everything you need to prepare for the Fair from résumé paper choices to padfolios, so stop in when you get the chance! The Center for Career and Professional Development is hosting many different sessions to help prepare students for the Fair, with topics varying from interviewing skills to résumé preparation, as well as tips to navigating the floor and speaking with recruiters. For more information on the Fair and other career opportunities, stop by the CCPD on the second floor of the Darrin Communications Center.

In Executive Board news, the Class of 2018 and Graduate Council seats have been filled, so the E-Board is now complete. Congratulations to Donna Moleta ’18 and Courtney Lang! Moleta is your Class of 2018 Representative; she was approved by the Senate on Monday and will join the rest of the Executive Board this Thursday for her first meeting. Lang is your Graduate Council Representative; she was chosen by the Graduate Council last week and attended last week’s meeting. I am confident they will both do an amazing job and I am very excited to work with them this year!

In our first two meetings this semester, the E-Board has approved two new clubs for funding, Women’s Golf and RPIgnite. Both of these clubs were created last year and have grown incredibly since their creation. Women’s Golf will be playing regularly at a nearby course and going to the driving range every other week. RPIgnite is an amazing drum line that has already performed at Hockey Line this year. You will definitely be seeing them around campus performing at other major events soon! Check them out on Facebook if you want to see some videos of their performances. If you want to get involved in either of these clubs, please contact their presidents. Contact Trent DeVerter ’16 (devert@rpi.edu) to get involved in RPIgnite and contact Victoria Ruplin ’17 (rupliv@rpi.edu) to get involved in Women’s Golf.

As always, if you have any questions, concerns, or comments, contact me at pu@rpi.edu. I have my official office hours every week on Wednesdays 8:30–11:30 am, and if the door is ever open, please feel free to come in and chat. Have a wonderful week!

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PSS: sheer candid

ON SEPTEMBER 12, SHEER IDIOCY HELD a show in Mother’s wine emporium from 8–10 pm. Sheer Idiocy is the only improvisational troupe at RPI. One act the group put on was “Royal Expert Rumble.” Two experts on a subject are interviewed by a master of ceremonies. Afterwards, the floor is opened to questions and the two sides take turns answering them. However, one expert is actually played by two members, facing each other, that speak in unison. The other expert is played by three members sitting next to each other that say one word after each other. The topic for this first show of the semester was “eggs.” Another game the group played was “Director’s Cut.” In this game, at least four idiots, along with a director, play out a skit based on a topic. The idiots then play out this topic multiple times, up to the discretion of the director, in different movie genres. This show, the topic was “Quesadilla Torpedoes.” The scene took place in a submarine, with its crew members detecting quesadilla torpedoes on radar. The first theme was regular and the second was romantic comedy. The final and best theme was opera, with the crew singing in deep opera tone and an audience member playing operatic chords on the upright piano in the room. The members in the picture from left to right are Spencer Wiener ’17, David Silverman ’14, Kienan Knight-Boehm ’17, Isabel Johnson ’16, Fiona Kine ’16, Brandon McLear ’15. Sheer Idiocy performs multiple shows over the semester in both Mother’s and EMPAC. For more information, visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/sheeridiocy.
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Campus impacted by rush policy violations

Greek commons reaffirm zero-tolerance policy for non-dry, unfair recruitment techniques

Greek life has been an integral part of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute community since 1853. Their continued academic, philanthropic, and social contributions make the Greek community a vital component of campus. Many famous RPI alumni are Greek, including the 14th President of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute George Low ’48, John Erik Jonsson ’22, Samuel Heffner ’56, and Palmer C. Ricketts, Class of 1875.

On Friday, August 29, Greek rush for the Fall 2014 semester officially began. Rush is a period of more than two weeks in which Greek organizations host events for students who are interested in joining a fraternity or sorority. Typical events include playing sports, barbecues, and gaming nights. During these events, both non-affiliated students and Greek organizations have the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the other and decide whether they are compatible.

As organized societies of people associated together upon friendship and common beliefs, Greek organizations require new members every year to ensure their continued existence. Many rules and regulations are in place by the Institute and each of RPI’s Greek associations in order to keep rush both safe and fair for everyone involved. Violations of these rules and regulations may lead to some Greek organizations receiving an unfair advantage in the rush process and may create an unsafe environment for anyone who attends those organizations’ events.

This past week, The Polytechnic received information that during this semester’s rush season, there have been a number of fraternities who violated the rush guidelines, specifically Article IV, Section 1, Part 3 of the Interfraternity Council Recruitment Policy. The document clearly states, “Formal Recruitment is, at all times, dry. No alcohol, alcohol containers or controlled substances should be in use or be visible on the premises of any fraternity or in the living area of any fraternity during any time potential members are present.” The slang for the violation of this rule is known as “dirty rushing” or “wet rushing”.

A member of the sophomore class, who wishes to stay anonymous, told The Poly that he or she knowingly attended a fraternity party where alcohol was present. This information is in line with other reports to The Poly that some fraternities are hosting events in apartments where alcohol is present. Although some of the events in question did not take place at the fraternity house, those who hold them are in direct violation of the previously mentioned IFC Recruitment Policies, which state that at no time during the rush process may any Greek member make alcohol accessible to a potential member.

The Poly reached out to the organizations implicated by RPI students for statements. Some organizations denied these allegations, and some did not respond. A representative of one contacted house stated, “Any allegations [against this house] using ‘rush parties’ for recruitment are false.” The house in question is among those for which we received contradicting reports.

Additionally, The Poly contacted several non-implicated fraternities for their statements. A statement from a non-implicated fraternity provided the following perspective:

“A prospective recruit for a Greek organization should not be drawn to the organization due to the involvement of alcohol. No organization should be interested in initiating any person whose motive for joining is alcohol use. These people will bring harm to not only their own organizations, but also damage the Greek community as a whole. Recruits should instead be attracted to an organization for its brotherhood, philanthropy, network, or other socially redeeming qualities. This is conceptually why the IFC recruitment policy regarding alcohol during rush is in place.”

The Polytechnic contacted Associate Dean of the Greek Life Commons Matthew Hunt about the topic of Greek rush in order to receive more information regarding the allegations and about “wet rushing” in general. In response, the Interfraternity Council, the Panhellenic Council, the Alumni Inter-Greek Council, and Hunt, held an emergency meeting on Monday, September 8. As a result of this meeting, the heads of these organizations, Hunt, President of the Panhellenic Council Erica Hutchins ’15, Interfraternity Council President Tyler Gumina ’15, and President of the Alumni Inter-Greek Council Roger Grice released a joint statement to the Greek community, which can be found on The Poly’s website at http://poly.rpi.edu/91063. Within their statement, the group took a firm standpoint that rush regulations must be equally upheld by all Greek organizations.

“Recruitment is the lifeblood of our brotherhoods and sisterhoods, and the decision to join our families is one of the most important decisions a new member can make. Therefore, it is vitally important that we restore our recruitment culture to one where men and women interested in Greek life can attend our events, both formal and informal, without the presence of alcohol. The integrity of our community depends on this.”

Furthermore, in response to the allegations, Hunt has informed Dean of Students Mark Smith that the violations of the IFC Recruitment Policy have occurred. A student from within IFC stated that certain Greek organizations have been put on high alert as a result of the recent allegations made against them, and that administrative action has the potential to be taken against those same fraternities. When The Poly reached out to Gumina about the current situation, he met with the IFC Executive Board and together, they released the following statement: “The IFC does not condone any violations of the IFC Recruitment Bylaws and takes all suspected allegations seriously. All action by the IFC will be in accordance with Article VI of the IFC Recruitment Bylaws.” Article VI of the IFC Recruitment Bylaws addresses penalties for recruitment infractions, defining that “violation of any dry recruitment policy will carry a minimum of a minor infraction.”

The Poly also contacted Student Government officials, including Grand Marshal Kyle Keraga ’15 and President of the Union Erin Amarello ’15. Keraga stated, “Any such allegations are definitely concerning. I support the Interfraternity Council and Greek judicial process and decisions they make.” Additionally, Amarello noted, “I have full faith that the Interfraternity Council will handle matters appropriately; I will support any decision they make.”

The latest version of the IFC Recruitment Policy can be found here: http://poly.rpi.edu/19012. Additionally, The Poly will release further information on the current state if and when it becomes available.

Contributors to this article are: Chris Leong, Joseph Shen, Nathan Greene, Ethan Spitz, Andrew Sudano, Geoffrey Rosenthal, Joseph Saulsbery, Evan Barr, Kelsey McNeely, Elizabeth Anderson

Editors’ Note:

A reporter must have permission for anonymity, from the supervising editor. Confidentiality is only given when there is danger of physical, emotional or financial harm to the source, if named.
Anonymous sources should not be used unless another named source with a degree of credibility can verify the information. If two independent, unnamed sources verify the information, the supervising editor will consider the need and value of the information before publishing it.
In case of anonymous and confidential sources, the reporter should make every attempt to verify the information by a willingly named source.

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Staff Editorial: Note on editorial notebooks

A treasured tradition within The Rensselaer Polytechnic is the editorial notebook. Each week, two editors compose a piece of approximately 500 words which conveys their thoughts and feelings toward a topic of their choice. Editors are free to discuss any topic. Many choose to write about topics they feel passionate about, especially those which have relevance to current events. For example, over the last few issues, three of our female staff members have written about feminism and gender, a topic which affects them especially. This week, one of our Greek editors wrote about rush and fraternities, a topic which he feels strongly passionate about. There are some perennial notebook topics, such as farewells from graduating seniors who have been long-time editors.

Since these articles often contain controversial opinions, they frequently generate commentary, criticism, and even written responses from our readership. If these written responses are submitted to The Poly, they will be published as Letters to the Editor or My View’s. Notebooks are an editor’s primary expression of printed free speech, which may turn out to be unpopular. As such, last week, a reader responded to one of the previous notebooks about feminism, which we then published. The Poly welcomes and encourages the open discussion of the topics which we write about. It is our hope that these discussions remain in good character, and enrich those who participate. Anyone who wishes to do so may compose and submit a response to an article or even initiate a new conversation.

The purpose of notebooks is not to insult or defame. The content of notebooks solely expresses the opinions of those who write them. During the copy-reading process, the original meaning intended by the author is not allowed to be skewed or modified.

While notebooks express the opinions of individual editors, staff editorials express the opinions of the entire Polytechnic staff. Each and every editor of The Poly must read and approve of every staff editorial. The staff editorial typically contains the consensus opinion about a topic to which the entire staff believes the student body as a whole should be exposed to.

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