Category Archives: Editorial/Opinion

Editorial notebook

Mental health versus the bureaucracy of Rensselaer

I’d like to begin by saying that this notebook was the catalyst for my joining The Poly, and that this entry has been roughly a year in the making. I joined this staff because I wanted this campus to understand my experiences in the raw, visceral way that made them meaningful to me. Read more...

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Cabinet

Plans to improve student to Student Life communication

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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Editorial notebook

Thanking the Executive Board for a great year

For the past semester and a half I have had the privilege of sitting in on the Rensselaer Union Executive Board meetings, Thursdays at 8 pm. To be totally honest with everyone, it wasn’t always a privilege. I started the semester off starry-eyed and willing to take on any task for the Editorial Board of The Poly. I thought, “Dang, these people are official. They’re like … a real newspaper.” Having dealt with nothing so professional, I was easily roped into the task of covering what was so elusively referred to as “E-Board.” Read more...

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top hat

A fond farewell to a year of making a difference

Hello everyone,

This will be my final Top Hat article, and with everything going on, I’ll admit it really snuck up on me. I have a lot I wish I could tell everyone, so forgive me for being wordy. Read more...

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STAFF EDITORIAL

Making dignity a priority in personal disagreements

With the semester about two thirds of the way to completion, classes are ramping up in difficulty in preparation for finals, and the workload for all RPI students is increasing from an already extraordinarily high level. Combine the academic rigors of RPI with social and club commitments, and it is easy to see how people can get stressed. Mix in the fact that Grand Marshal Week 2016 elections are tomorrow and an emotional powder keg has been created, ready to explode. It is easy to see how—with your personal time and energy being spread thin—sometimes basic human decency can be thrown out the window. Read more...

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STAFF EDITORIAL

Making dignity a priority in personal disagreements

With the semester about two thirds of the way to completion, classes are ramping up in difficulty in preparation for finals, and the workload for all RPI students is increasing from an already extraordinarily high level. Combine the academic rigors of RPI with social and club commitments, and it is easy to see how people can get stressed. Mix in the fact that Grand Marshal Week 2016 elections are tomorrow and an emotional powder keg has been created, ready to explode. It is easy to see how—with your personal time and energy being spread thin—sometimes basic human decency can be thrown out the window. Read more...

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DERBY

Sending a sincere thank you for a great term

Dear Rensselaer Community,

Tomorrow, you’ll be voting in one of the oldest traditions at RPI: Grand Marshal Week. That will bring an end to my term and bring a new President of the Union. I have spent a lot of time over the past few days thinking over what to write in my last Derby, and it has come down to a simple “Thank You.” Thank you for granting me the privilege to serve as your 126th President of the Union. Thank you for helping me bleed cherry red and ivory white. Thank you for changing my life. Read more...

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Letter to the Editor

With respect to the Grand Marshal nominations…

I have seen some comments about the lack of a Grand Marshal endorsement by The Polytechnic. I have seen comments calling the staff pretentious and petty, and I have to agree. As a voting member of The Poly, I was completely in favor of endorsing Paul Ilori '17 for Grand Marshal. I didn't care that he was slightly unprofessional in his interview. I looked at his submissions and his extensive track record with student government, and I thought he was the best person for the job. I have heard first-hand accounts that when it comes down to meetings with administrators, Ilori is professional and gets the job done.
I don't think his minor misstep during the interview should have cost him the nomination. Simply stating that he needs to work on his professionalism in the endorsement would have sufficed. Being only one member of the editorial board of The Polytechnic, I couldn't decide this for the newspaper as a whole. As a member of The Poly, I stand by the decision of the staff; but, as an individual, I am in full support of Ilori for Grand Marshal. Read more...

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ENDORSEMENT

Grand Marshal: no endorsement

After interviewing both candidates and holding many hours of discussion, The Polytechnic has chosen to not endorse a candidate for Grand Marshal. Instead, we will highlight the positives of each candidate, and discuss the negatives that prevented the Editorial Board from coming to a definitive conclusion. Read more...

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ENDORSEMENT

President of the Union: Chip Kirchner

The Polytechnic endorses Chip Kirchner ’17 for President of the Union. We feel that he presented himself and his platform well in our interview; his plans for office were clearly stated in his submissions, and his leadership experience and success as a leader make him the best candidate for PU. Read more...

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ENDORSEMENT

Undergraduate President: Eryka Greaves

The Polytechnic endorses Eryka Greaves ’17 for the position of Undergraduate President. This endorsement marks a first for The Poly, as the Editorial Board traditionally only endorsed candidates for Grand Marshal and President of the Union, as well as any referenda passed by the Student Senate. However, as a result of the 2015 changes to the Union Constitution, the position became directly elected during GM Week, and we felt the position’s importance warranted an endorsement. Read more...

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ENDORSEMENT

Referenda endorsements

The Student Senate has posed five questions to the student body as referenda on the GM Week 2016 ballot. Read more...

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ENDORSEMENT

Graduate Council endorses Ilori, Kirchner

Graduate Council met with the candidates running for Grand Marshal and President of the Union. We asked several questions to each candidate regarding how they would involve and support graduate students in their goals for the Student Senate and Rensselaer Union. Based on their responses and platforms, we have decided to endorse a candidate for GM and PU. Read more...

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STAFF EDITORIAL

Looking for answers from the Spring Town Protest

Rensselaer found its voice between gritted teeth and posterboard signs, and there’s something to be said for an act of solidarity that gives a group of people the ability to be heard. Read more...

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Top Hat

Making an active effort to end the culture of fear

Dear Rensselaer Community,

I only wish I had discussed this sooner, that I had put more time into addressing this topic and not leaving it untouched as many others have. The topic I refer to is what has been titled the “culture of fear.” This past weekend, some student leaders (myself included) had the opportunity to meet with members of the Board of Trustees, and they asked us about this “culture of fear” they were now hearing about. Like any good STEM student, I believe that we can learn more about this by breaking it down into smaller elements. Read more...

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Derby

Making this movement better for our students

Hello RPI,

I want to start this column by talking about what everyone seems to be talking about lately: the culture of fear. It exists, and it has permeated into many facets of life at RPI. Whether or not it is warranted, it is hard to deny as I know that I and many others have felt it since my freshman year. The fear that voicing dissent or discontent too openly will result in retaliation from the school’s administration. The fear that staff will lose their jobs if they resist the direction of their higher ups. It is true that repetitive assertions do not change facts, but they do change perceptions, and perception rules in culture. I charge those of you reading this to follow the words of former President Franklin D. Roosevelt and realize that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. You have a voice; use it and do not fear. You are smart, tenacious problem solvers. Do not let fear stifle your efforts, but step boldly, for now is a time when this campus needs it most. The only way to fight a culture of fear is to eliminate fear from the realm of possibility and be brave. Read more...

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Cabinet

Students and admins make waves in leadership

Congratulations!

The Archer Center for Student Leadership Development has completed its selection process for Leadership Educators Advising Peers. The LEAP program is comprised of a group of committed Rensselaer students who are trained in leadership education and hold workshops each semester for students and organizations. In addition to the returning members, congratulations to Olivia Demkowicz ’19, Donna Grace Moleta ’18, Harrison Solis Eichler ’17, Christine Simon ’18, Andy Lao ’16, Justin Balvanz ’18, Daniel Lapidus ’17, Rachele Anne Putnick ’18, Joe Venusto ’17, Rasika Ekhal ’18, and Denver Overend ’18 on their selection for the LEAP program. Read more...

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Editorial notebook

How one high school senior ended up at RPI

“Why did you choose RPI?” I’ve never been asked this question directly in person, but I have shared it several times in conversation and notice the answer seems to always change. So, I ask myself, “ Why did I choose RPI?” Read more...

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EDITORIAL NOTEBOOK

Why not change the world—starting here

I try to see the good in everyone. However, Dr. Ross and all the other members of the administration who were involved in the decision of introducing the position of executive director of student activities acted completely without respect for the students at RPI. These people who have been chosen to lead the Institute forward have completely forgotten the people they are trying to move forward for. Read more...

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EDITORIAL NOTEBOOK

Self-serving in a world that loves to be served

This past week Commons Dining Hall has started to serve people at the Entrée and Pacifica food stations instead of the previous self-serve style. This has resulted in a slowdown of the process of acquiring your food and complaints from students, myself included. Read more...

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