Category Archives: Editorial/Opinion

STAFF EDITORIAL

A strong student-run Union

Hello, freshmen. While the rest of the campus barrages you all with their own opinions about the first year of college, the editorial staff of The Polytechnic want to take a moment to explain to you Rensselaer’s pride: our beloved Rensselaer Union. Read more...

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Editorial notebooks

Providing tips, advice for your eight month vacation

Make a point to attack issues with a fresh mindset

Welcome, freshmen! You’re about to go on an eight month vacation! Here’s some packing tips for embarking on your first year. Read more...

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Balancing collegiate life: friends, academics, sleep

Rensselaer has given me countless opportunities to grow and become a more mature person since I started last year. College is a time where you have the chance to refine who you are and grow in ways that you never could have imagined. First semester of your freshman year can be overwhelming, because it is the first time, for a lot of us, that we are living away from the rest of our families. There is nobody telling you when your curfew or bedtime is; in fact, it seems like parts of campus are more active at night than they are during the day. Many establishments in Troy are open past midnight, not to mention the fact that the RPI workload often requires efforts at all hours of the day. Talking to many upperclassmen, I’ve found that freshman year was the year that people had the most free time and the least amount of responsibilities. Read more...

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Administration

Ross welcomes RPI Class of 2020

On behalf of the Division of Student Life, it is with great excitement that I welcome you to Rensselaer and the Class of 2020. You are joining the Rensselaer family as part of the largest freshman class in our history! We are very proud of you and the accomplishments that have brought you to RPI, and we expect you will achieve great things during your time here. Read more...

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DERBY

Calming your nerves; support within the Union

In this first Derby of the year, I want to address our soon-to-be students who are likely, at this moment, experiencing the old familiar mixture of excitement, nervousness, and maybe even dread. The first thing I want to say is this: as tumultuous as this upheaval in your life may seem, you’re not alone. For nearly 200 years, tens of thousands of students have been in the exact same spot in which you currently stand, with the same hesitations. I want to take this opportunity to dispel a few rumors, and provide you with some reassurance and advice, for what it’s worth. Read more...

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Top Hat

Loads of opportunity for involvement

I’ll begin with the same phrase you’ll probably hear 200 times over the next few weeks, Welcome to Rensselaer! I am Paul Ilori ’17, the 151st Grand Marshal and wearer of headwear that was more fashionable when the Class of 1917 were seniors. The position was created in 1866 to honor Albert Harper, a student from Pittsburgh, PA who returned to graduate after fighting in the Civil War. Over the past century and a half, the role has transformed and has undertaken different roles and symbols. Currently, as GM, I serve as the presiding officer of the Student Senate and an officer of the Rensselaer Union, one of few truly student run student unions in the United States. Our Union gives us the opportunity to explore ourselves outside the classroom and allows students to explore a wide range of interests, along with providing us with a direct voice in decisions made at RPI as a whole. Our school holds a unique place in history as the oldest technical university in the English speaking world. But with all the information you’re having thrown at you right now, that’s enough history. Read more...

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Editorial Notebook

Saying goodbye for the sake of improving yourself

Oftentimes, on this long road of life, we forget where we’re going. The trees that you pass don’t look welcoming anymore. Your feet may be dragging as you will yourself to keep going—there has to be something at the end of it all. We, as a people, have entrenched ourselves in a “light at the end of the tunnel” philosophy. We feel obligated to finish things we never had to begin in the first place. And when we do realize that it’s not the path we thought we started down—the street signs were just a little jumbled up—those around us rush in and reassure us that it will all get better, we just have to keep going. Read more...

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Editorial Notebook

Pushing for transparency for student government

Throughout my time on the Student Senate, I have heard students make the valid complaint of a lack of transparency within student government at RPI. The issue of transparency has served as a hallmark issue of campaign platforms and debate questions, and it continues to be one of the first issues students raise with our current student government. Read more...

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Derby

Ending the year with a fresh set of E-Board members

Hey RPI!

I hope everyone is surviving the project and exam rush of these last few weeks. Only one more week of classes separates us from a long overdue summer break. I for one cannot wait to take a few weeks off. I also want to congratulate all who will graduate in three and a half weeks, and I wish you good luck in your future careers. Read more...

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STAFF EDITORIAL

In memory of Mark Smith

The Poly Editorial Board was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of former Dean of Students Mark Smith. Dean Smith served the Rensselaer community for 30 years in a number of roles, where he always ensured that students were his highest priority in every situation. We are grateful to Dean Smith for his contributions to RPI and, in particular, the students of RPI. Read more...

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MY VIEW

Listening in on the sounds of Rensselaer

I’m Bryce Miller, and if you are a regular reader of The Poly, you might have some idea of my long-running exploits as a performer, between my eight Players acting roles, my two years in Partial Credit, and more recently, my twice-weekly podcast. (I am told I even have some kind of “fan club” within this paper). By the time this article has reached your eyeholes, I will be partway through my final production with the RPI Players: The Mystery of Edwin Drood. As far as lasts go, this is an intriguing one: Drood is a musical with an incomplete story, and by making assumptions about the plot threads provided, the audience is charged with making their own conclusions. While I will undoubtedly miss Players, and the talented people who make up its ranks, you didn’t come here for a sappy editorial about the things I can’t replace, and frankly, I don’t want to write such an article. Instead, I want to talk about assumptions and a logical fallacy: the fallacy of composition. As Drood tells us, “Quick conclusions often lead the best of us astray,” and the fallacy of composition is all about quick conclusions. It’s something that any RPI student has probably encountered, and it might have gone something like this: Read more...

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TOP HAT

GM honors losses in RPI community

Over the past few weeks we’ve had a lot of losses in the Rensselaer community. Michele Edwards was one of the most welcoming people at the school and always willing to help out with things. I remember last year when I was R&E chair she spent most of a day trying to help me track down whether it was actually possible to find a few thousand mason jar lids in a few days for the runoff elections (turns out it wasn’t). Read more...

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Editor's Corner

Changing perspective to change your approach

Make a point to attack issues with a fresh mindset

Last week, I wrote this in my flying review: “It’s funny now to walk around and look at the towering buildings and tiring hills and think about how flat and small everything was from above. No matter how many times I fly, I always have those thoughts. Life is all about perspective, I guess.” I didn’t think about that last line much when I wrote it, but thoughts of perspective crept back to me this past week. Read more...

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Editorial notebook

Embracing the differences that make up a friendship

These days, I cannot help feeling sentimental about how fast time flies. I still clearly remember how I befriended my best friend in life the first day I went to middle school. Now, in less than one month, my freshman year of college will end. It is so hard to believe that we’ve been friends for almost eight years. As an international student, I can, at most, fly back home twice a year, staying here for all the short breaks, including Thanksgiving and Spring Break. We haven’t seen each other for the past four months. Read more...

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top hat

Realising the leadership of the Rensselaer Union

This week, I’ve spent a lot of time preparing for and running Student Senate committee chair interviews, which, by the way, are still open; you should totally apply online at http://poly.rpi.edu/s/16senateofficer/. One of the first questions I ask in each interview is “What does the Senate mean to you?” Talking to people about this and the time spent working on our Middle States reaccreditation meetings led to me thinking about it myself, and the Rensselaer Union in general. Read more...

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STAFF EDITORIAL

Pride in making changes

The Editorial Board would like to thank President Shirley Ann Jackson for the email she sent the community this past Tuesday. We appreciate that our feedback has been heard and has made a meaningful impact on the course of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute—here’s to hoping that this represents a positive future for student-administration relations. Read more...

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DERBY

Taking advantage of the E-Board experience

Hi again!

Today is the last day to apply to be a member of the 2016–2017 Executive Board. That being said, I’m going to continue pushing Executive Board applications as long as possible. So, in my Derby this week, I will give you some background on the Board and what an E-Board representative does. Read more...

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EDITORIAL

A follow up on mental health at Rensselaer

In light of my most recent editorial, I was able to meet with Medical Director of the Student Health Center Leslie Stephen Lawrence, MD. I would like to encourage students who didn’t read my previous piece to do so at http://poly.rpi.edu/s/MentalHealth/. I was able to receive some answers for what happened during my struggle with mental health at RPI, and I couldn’t be more thankful to Dr. Lawrence for that. Read more...

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EDITORIAL NOTEBOOK

Protecting the liberties of a true democracy

An open and protected discourse is vital to a healthy democracy. Documents released over the past few years have revealed that the surveillance and monitoring capabilities of the United States government are far more advanced than previously known. Read more...

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CABINET

Communicating in light of the recent campus events

Since becoming Vice President for Student Life, I have had the opportunity to meet so many students, staff, faculty, alumni, and community members who have proudly displayed their affection for Rensselaer. Read more...

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