Chowderfest brings flavor downtown

Annual chowder festival surprises with delicious samples, proves to be a big success

DOWNTOWN TROY HOSTS the 8th Annual Chowderfest at the Waterfront Park and featured 17 local organizations in the chowder celebration. The festival was a huge success and saw a large community turnout to support the event.

More than 20,000 people attended the eighth annual Chowderfest on Sunday, October 12, from 12–4 pm. A total of 17 local organizations attended the event, offering a wide variety of original thick soups to chowder-goers. Additionally, each submission required at least one ingredient from a local farm. These groups competed against each other for more than eight awards, which were given at the end of the event. Tickets were sold at a booth for $1 each, which could then be traded for a four ounce cup of chowder at any of the venue’s booths.

The judges for the event were Executive Chef of Sodexo Campus Services at RPI Jackie Baldwin, Times Union writer Steve Barnes, and Bill Dowd, a veteran newspaper editor and writer in the field of spirits, wine, and food.

Many tents were meticulously decorated with each group’s logo, paraphernalia, and chowder ingredients. Other attending vendors were also selling food and drinks ranging from churros and popcorn to alcoholic beverages.

I walked over to the event from my house and was surprised by the event’s attendance. The lines for the tickets extended from the waterfront all the way to Psychedelicatessen, totaling more than three blocks. However, the wait was no longer than 15 minutes, much quicker than expected. As I walked to the first booth, I was greeted by live music, a crowd of people, and the smell of rich, thick chowda.

Ethan Sclarsky ’16 stated, “Chowderfest was a really fun and surprisingly large event. It was a good way to get a taste of local food in Troy.”

The first chowder I sampled was Sweet Sue’s Southeast Asian inspired Thai Tom Kha chowder. More of a soup than a chowder, it contained potatoes, cilantro, and beans spouts, in what I tasted was a coconut milk and lemongrass-based stock. This entry was original, vegan, and gluten free, setting it apart from the other milk-based concoctions. I am partial to spicy foods, so this lands a solid second place in the chowders I tasted during Chowderfest.

Next, I tried the Nantucket Boat Chowder and Fall Harvest Pilgrim Chowder of Jack’s Oyster House. The boat chowder featured a wonderful blend of lobster, shrimp, crab, oysters, monk fish, potatoes, and leeks in a savory lobster stock. I loved this one. It was rich, creamy, and packed a salty seafood punch. When asked about the chowder, Nick Seguljic ’17 said, “The boat chowder was one of my favorite chowders, packing a lot of flavor into a small package.” It’s no wonder that this chowder won best seafood chowder and third best overall. The Fall Harvest Pilgrim Chowder contained sweet corn, potatoes, leeks, fennel, sweet sausage, and a pancetta crouton, with a potato-based stock. This fall-stylized soup reminded me of an upscale cream of potato soup, comforting me with its rich, salty texture. Though not as high on my list, the judges rated this chowder first place overall.

Speaking of fall traditions, Broadway Cafe offered its Oktoberfest chowder, containing a pretzel drizzled with mustard, and a stock of cheese, bratwurst, and beer. Andy Kakkaramadam ’16 commented, “You wouldn’t think that a pretzel would be a good choice in a chowder, but the flavoring complemented the strong mustard taste, along with the cheesy soup.”

The Mallozzi’s came back this year with their four-time winning chowder, Autumn Pear Chowder. Consisting of a bacon-butter base, it also includes potatoes and pears alongside a variety of spices and vegetables. I have to say, this blend of spices packs a powerful punch, making it my favorite chowder out of the ones I sampled that day.

The waterfront was a wonderful venue for the event, allowing tasters to enjoy their chowders by the river. I’m looking forward to next year’s Chowderfest, and if you didn’t make it to this year’s, put it in your schedule! The event was a fantastic way to chow down some chowder, while getting a taste of what the area has to offer.

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Women’s rugby takes Siena for 37-14 victory

SENIOR FORWARD JANE BRAUN PASSES the ball to teammate junior forward Sarah Bogdan in the Engineers’ match against Siena at Anderson Field on Thursday, October 10. RPI won the game 37-14 to improve their regular season record to 3-1.

The RPI women’s rugby team demolished Siena 37-14 last Thursday, October 10, improving their record to 3-1 with two games left in the season.

The Engineers started strong and stayed dominant. Minutes into the game, freshman wing Jackie Walton scored RPI’s first try, giving the team a 5-0 lead. Junior captain Tierney Morton scored shortly after, using her strong running skills to break through the Siena defensive line. Siena answered with a try of their own, which they successfully converted, bringing the score to 10-7 RPI. This was the closest the score would be for the rest of the game, as the Engineers proceeded to score two unanswered tries by senior captain Jane Braun and junior lock Isabelle Johnson. The Engineers ended the half with a comfortable 20-7 lead.

RPI continued to flourish, with 8-man Morton scoring Rensselaer’s first try of the second half. Siena responded with a strong offensive drive that led them to be within the RPI 20-meter line for 10 minutes. The Engineer defense held strong, however, and stopped Siena ball carriers no fewer than three times, denying them an opportunity to score.

Shortly after the Engineers drove Siena back into their own territory, sophomore Barbara Padilla scored for RPI. The try was successfully converted by Morton. Siena recovered quickly, bringing the ball back into RPI’s end and scoring their second and final try of the night, which was also successfully converted. Rensselaer wasn’t done though. Morton scored the Engineers’ last try, bringing the final score to 37-14 and securing herself a hat-trick.

RPI’s powerful open field play was the key to their success in this game, with the forwards dominating possession of the ball through strong rucking skills. Most of the time that Siena got the ball, RPI was able to successfully turn it over. Rucking this strong has traditionally been one of the strengths of RPI women’s rugby and the current team is certainly not an exception!

The strength of the forwards worked beautifully in tandem with the agility and speed of the backs, which was a huge factor in the success of the team. Coach Andy McDonnell said after the game: “I believe that it [was] the most complete match I have ever seen RPI Women’s Rugby play… As a team I believe we really came together as a unit.”

This was the last home game of the season for RPI women’s rugby, and as such they paid tribute to the seniors that will be graduating this year. Kate McGuire, Arielle Etoffe, Braun, Lynnette Lacek, Caitlyn “Texas” Buck, and Jodi Han are all invaluable members of the team that will be missed.

Rensselaer still has two more games left in the regular season, both away. This Saturday, Octobor 18, they play the State University of New York Oneonta, and play SUNY Cortland on Saturday, October 25. In order to place second in the Excelsior conference and thus qualify for the American Collegiate Rugby Association playoffs, the Engineers need to win both games.

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President Jackson speaks on State of the Institute

October 9–12 was Reunion & Homecoming. Among other events, President Shirley Ann Jackson gave her twice-yearly State of the Institute Address on Saturday, October 11. Most of those in attendance were alumni and their families. Jackson discussed the many programs and initiatives Rensselaer has in place to shape the Institute over the coming decade. Also among the events on Saturday were the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering Centennial Celebration and the induction of the Class of 1964 into the 50 Year club.

RPI Alumni Association President Roger Mike ’70 welcomed the alumni. He gave special congratulations to the Classes of 1954 and 1964, which were celebrating their 60th and 50th anniversaries, respectively. Mike noted that several other milestones are occurring this year, including the 150th anniversaries of Delta Phi and Theta Xi. Mike also discussed the Rensselaer Alumni Association Board, saying that it supports alumni and their reengagement with RPI. Additionally, he noted that there are nearly 100,000 alumni of Rensselaer.

After Mike finished his speech, a video demonstrating the Rensselaer Plan 2024 was shown. It was concluded by introducing Jackson, who spokabout the “Bridge to the Bicentennial.” Important milestones of various departments and achievements of graduates and Rensselaer affiliates are being celebrated. The Lally School of Management turned 50 in 2013, while the Chemical Engineering Department is 100 years old this year. The Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies is a decade old this year, and according to Jackson, 2,000 peer-reviewed articles have come out of Biotech.

Jackson then led a moment of silence for Rensselaer members who have passed away in the past year, including Major-General Harold Greene ’80, who was killed in Afghanistan earlier this year; Robert Resnick ’92, a physics professor who taught at Rensselaer and whose textbook with David Halliday is still widely used today; and Harvey Zeve ’52, who was chairman of H. L. Zeve Associates, Inc. and a member of RPI’s Board of Trustees.

After the moment of silence, Jackson recognized several of the alumni in attendance, including Samuel F. Heffner, Jr. ’56. She then introduced her cabinet, RPI’s academic deans, and other directors and vice presidents in attendance. She proclaimed that RPI was ranked 11th for entrepreneurship by the Forbes 2014 “Most Entrepreneurial Universities” list. Jackson noted that applications have tripled during the last decade. The Class of 2018 is very strong academically, Jackson also said. Next, Jackson moved to the use of data and technology to solve global issues, such as a changing environment. She explained the concept of New Polytechnic as a way of “understanding and impacting the world.” Programs such as the Rensselaer Institution for Data Exploration and Applications, Advanced Multiprocessing Optimized System, Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center, Watson, the Jefferson Project, and Mount Sinai are part of the New Polytechnic. Jackson explained that the Jefferson

Project will give Lake George the most sensors of any lake in the world. A new data lab is being built for the Darrin Fresh Water Institute as part of the project. Mount Sinai Hospital is a medical facility that RPI is partnering with. This past summer, three students earned Summer Undergraduate Research Program awards at Mount Sinai, making them the first three to do so. The first RPI student has been admitted to Mount Sinai’s FlexMed program; students in the program are chosen as sophomores and are not on the typical pre-med track most students aspiring to be medical doctors would be on.

Also important to the New Polytechnic, Jackson said, was students gaining more multidisciplinary knowledge. A program called “Art Across the Curriculum” helps teach creative thinking regardless of their discipline. The School of Humanities and Social Sciences Inquiry Curriculum gives first-year students a chance to critically think about the world and their field of study. A video game called Geoexplorer allows civil engineering students to observe and find solutions to civil engineering problems, such as levees in a hurricane.

Jackson also said that Clustered Learning, Advocacy, and Support for Students has been expanding. Not only are there residential and faculty deans at RPI, but there is also an off-campus dean. Class deans stay with the students from each class year starting their sophomore year. Programs such as Emerging Leaders for first-year students and Sophomore Career Experience also provide students with valuable skills. Jackson noted that CLASS is being extended to graduate students. She then went on to talk about RPI’s 200 clubs and many sports teams. Seven student-athletes received national All-American recognition last year. Jackson mentioned John “Doc” Hudson ’56, who was an assistant track and field coach as well as professor emeritus in the Materials Engineering Department.

Jackson then called for questions. James Wernicke ’74 asked whether RPI could run completely on green energy by 2024, noting that RPI is a technological institute and ought to be at the forefront of renewable energy. Jackson gave the question to Vice President of Administration Claude Rounds, who explained that new buildings are being designed to be more energy efficient and that old buildings are being renovated to be more efficient. New technologies to lower costs and improve green energy technologies are being researched at Rensselaer. Jackson also noted that RPI’s physical plant is over 100 years old.

An alumnus from the Class of 1984 asked about the rising cost of colleges, including RPI. He noted that he had a son in the Class of 2016. Jackson explained that the cost of a technological education such as what Rensselaer offers is quite high. She also noted that many students receive financial aid and that RPI operates more efficiently than many other colleges. A 1964 alumnus asked about virtual education. Jackson explained that RPI believes the residential model is best for students. An alumnus from the Class of 1953 asked about athletes’ safety, particularly in relation to concussions. Director of Athletics Jim Knowlton explained that RPI has very conservative concussion-related rules, such as how long an athlete must sit out.

One of the Patroon Society Chairs stated that RPI alumni give back less than alumni of other institutions. Jackson said that it is important to reach out to current students and make sure they understand that they must “protect the bridge that helped [them] get across.” Another alumnus explained that he had gone to a Chemistry I lecture and noticed that many students were on their laptops or cell phones. Jackson said that RPI is “not a prison so we don’t control what our students do” and noted that college students need to learn time management and maturity, as well as academics. Jackson further emphasized that this was why RPI believes in the residential model.

Additionally, an alumnus from the Class of 1954 asked about the current graduation rate. Jackson claimed it being 85 percent, while stating the freshman-to-sophomore year retention rate as 98 percent. Lastly, former Grand Marshal Kara Chesal ’09 asked about the ratio of women, noting that it was 22 percent when she was at RPI. Jackson said that the current ratio is around one-third women, with the goal of 35 percent women. She noted that the graduation rate of women across all cultural groups is 90 percent. A transcript of the speech will soon be available at http://rpi.edu/president/speeches.

The centennial celebration for the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering featured accomplishments of Rensselaer faculty and alumni. Attendees could go on lab tours. At halftime during the football game against St. Lawrence, held at East Campus Athletic Village, members of the Class of 1964 were inducted into the 50 Year Club. Jackson, Knowlton, and 50 Year Club President Ken Mortenson ’47 took turns congratulating the members of the Class of 1964.

These three events were just some of the many celebrations held over the weekend. The President’s State of the Institute Address showed alumni what RPI has been and will be working on over the next few years. Rensselaer’s bicentennial is in ten years.

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Editor’s Corner

Remember the Poly purge

Around this time last year, The Poly was under both editorial and monetary stress. At the beginning of the Fall 2013 semester, we owed the Union a significant amount of money, and as a result, staff morale was at an all time low. Consisting mostly of upperclassmen members, the Poly staff was burned out from years of late Tuesday composing nights. As a result, in mid-October, most Poly members reasonably resigned from the newspaper to focus on schoolwork. I like to call this the Poly purge. Frankly, it was more of a bad thing than good.

The abrupt leave of more than half of our editorial staff left Ethan Spitz ’15, Joseph Shen ’16, Justin Jones ’13, Ryan Baltazar ’14, and former Editors in Chief Dan Bruce, and Spencer Posson ’14, and myself as the only senior members on the newspaper. Our staff totaled about seven people. Some of us had to juggle laying out multiple sections, writing articles, and copy reading all in one night, instead of focusing on one task. It was common to see our fair share of Poly sunrises. But, I think that we pulled through overall, providing commendable campus coverage, exciting hockey articles, and beautiful spreads for the RPI community. All the while, we were making a profit in advertisements on each issue to pay back our debt to the Union. We gave it our all every night and demonstrated persistence to the very end.

It’s truly amazing what life can throw at you. In high school, I would never have imagined joining the paper, or even becoming Editor in Chief at that. I’d have laughed in your face. I thought my English education ended with my Advanced Placement Language and Composition course in high school; ha, I’m going to RPI. But since involving myself with the paper during the first semester of my freshman year, I’ve gained experience in not only proofreading and news-style article writing, but also reviewing media, using Adobe InDesign, taking photographs, and even soliciting advertisements from local businesses. I didn’t even mention the work needed to maintain our server and website, level photos, or create logos. I’d never thought about how many parts there are to a newspaper, but now it blows my mind how many functions are called in The Poly. The total man hours probably exceed 150 a week.

Me? I put in an average of 20 hours a week, just for the paper. And, it’s not like I sit around twiddling my thumbs either; it’s stressful work managing a section, or for me, managing the whole paper. And those 20 hours don’t include texting or calling other Poly members to make sure they’re on track or accomplishing what needs to be done.

Let me remind you if you didn’t know before; we don’t get paid. We do this for the community, and we do this to make sure that anyone who wants a voice on campus has the opportunity. We do this to see people pick up the paper every week and see their faces light up at the mention of their name or organization. We do this for glory.

So I think that in the past year, we’ve made great strides in recruiting additional members, making a profit through advertisements, and disseminating Poly-technical information within the editorial staff. It was difficult, but that’s life. The truth is, no one knows what one’s doing until one’s been put in the hot seat. And even then, we can only try our best and press on.

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Alumni return for jam-packed weekend

RPI welcomes returning alumni; current and past students attend alumni activities

G. REID WISEMAN SPEAKS via the International Space Station to alumni and students about the ISS and RPI.

October 9–12 was Rensselaer Reunion and Homecoming. Many events were held to celebrate alumni coming back to campus. Class years ending in 4 or 9 were celebrated with various dinners and receptions. Special events included the 50 Year Club Captain J.P. Dinner Cruise on the Hudson, Rensselaer in Space: Live from the International Space Station with G. Reid Wiseman ’97, The Auto Show Presented by Rensselaer Motorsport, President’s State of the Institute Address, the 5K Alumni Challenge, FanFest, “Oh, What a Night” Band Party, An Evening of A Capella with Voice Play, and more.

Other events were held to encourage networking between alumni. Many clubs, Greek life organizations, and other groups held receptions, dinners, and other events so alumni could see what their former organizations were up to as well as a chance to network between alumni and current students. Lacrosse and baseball had alumni games, while the RPI Players had a work party. Class photos for classes ending in 4 or 9 were taken in the East Campus Athletic Village Main Gymnasium throughout Saturday. The Hirsch Observatory had an open house, too.

I am in the position of being a quasi-alumnus; my class year is 2014 but I elected to stay on for an extra semester to recieve a co-terminal degree. I attended several events as an alumnus and enjoyed seeing friends who I hadn’t seen since Commencement. Several of my friends spent Friday night with me; on Saturday, I went to FanFest with several others. We caught up with each other’s lives and had fun reminiscing about all the silly things we’d done a couple years ago. FanFest itself had lots of food, games, and music.

Besides FanFest, I went to the football game, the Class of 2014 Gathering, and the “Oh, What a Night” Band Party on Saturday. The football game was disappointing. It was the first football game I had attended at RPI. RPI had a few good plays, but lost. The Class of 2014 Gathering, which was at Bomber’s Burrito Bar, on the other hand, was good; I ran into several friends whom I hadn’t seen in a while. The cost to attend was $10, but there was free food and one free drink per person, so it was definitely worth it. The band party was free. Most of the attendees were older, and the music definitely catered to an age group older than the typical college student, but I still had fun. There was a raffle and another game where you picked up a piece of chocolate, and depending on what was on the bottom of the wrapper, you got a prize. I got a free t-shirt, though the only size available seemed to be extra-large.

All in all, Reunion and Homecoming was a fun weekend of catching up with friends and attending great events. I can’t wait until my five-year reunion in 2019, and I especially can’t wait until I get to see my friends who have graduated again!

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Football suffers tough loss for Reunion & Homecoming

RPI DEFENSIVEBACKS SENIOR NICK BORKOWSKI, JUNIOR PHILIP LANIERI III, AND SOPHOMORE LINEBACKER ALEXANDER GREENIDGE TAKE the field.

On Saturday, October 11, RPI football hosted St. Lawrence for their homecoming matchup. The Institute found themselves on the wrong end of the scoreboard as they suffered their second loss of the season, 24-10.

RPI had a weak day offensively producing only 245 yards of total offense. The Engineer rushing attack created an impressive 145 yards on the ground while the passing attack fell short with only 100 yards. The Saints topped RPI in both offensive categories by rushing for 154 yards and throwing for 223 yards.

The Engineers had two separate quarterbacks play as they suffered a devastating loss when junior starting quarterback Jeff Avery suffered an injury. Before getting hurt, Avery had zero completions on two attempts. Coming in for the injured Avery was sophomore quarterback Tommy Morgan. Morgan had three completions on 13 attempts for 100 yards with two picks. Freshman running back Mike Tivinis lead the way on the ground rushing nine times for 40 yards.

After deferring possession to the second half, RPI regained possession with 11:02 left in the first quarter. The Engineers produced one of their strongest offensive attacks driving down the field. Sadly, the drive culminated with a 43-yard field goal to give RPI their only lead for the night. St. Lawrence responded by putting together a long, sustained drive ending on the RPI 3-yard line where they converted a 20-yard field goal to tie the score. On the kickoff, the Engineers fumbled the ball giving it back to St. Lawrence on their 19-yard line. The Saints scored only four plays later on a successful passing attempt into the corner of the end zone, taking the lead 10-3.

Two minutes into the second quarter, The Institute took a huge loss as Avery sustained an injury after he took a big hit from a Saints defender. The rest of the half was a defensive battle as both teams were able to thwart all offensive movement.

The Engineers started the second half with possession, but after a four-and-out had to give the ball back to St. Lawrence. The Saints took advantage of their strong defensive play as they found the end zone with 10:57 left in the third quarter. The final St. Lawrence scoring came after a Morgan interception, the Saints regained possession on their 28-yard line. Riding on the momentum from the interception, St. Lawrence drove down the field and scored again to make the score 24-3.

RPI, rushing to make a comeback, failed to produce much of an offensive attack for the rest of the game. The Institute’s senior defensive leadership motivated their team to hold the Saints off the scoreboard for the rest of the game. With 1:25 left in the game, Morgan found sophomore Joey Giacone streaking down the middle for the Engineers first and only touchdown of the afternoon. The game ended with St. Lawrence coming out on top 24-10.

RPI travels to Rochester next week to play University of Rochester in another Liberty League matchup. The Engineers return home on October 25 to play powerhouse Hobart College for Parent and Family Weekend.

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In the Nation and the World

Net neutrality heavily supported by public

The FCC is the agency responsible for telecommunications technologies and protect free access to the internet.

Net neutrality is the principle that websites, web-services, and applications are treated equally by large telecommunications companies. Net neutrality essentially allows small startups to compete with mammoth corporations, such as Facebook. Without net neutrality, Internet service providers would be allowed to select certain high-traffic websites to load much faster. Consequently, the small startups that are unable to pay for preferential treatment would be left in the dust. Recently, many high-profile companies have paid premiums to Internet service providers to ensure an enhanced ability to reach customers. Netflix, for example, has made a deal with Comcast so that its users can stream movies and TV shows faster.

The Federal Communications Commission, the agency responsible for regulating telecommunications technologies, among other things, describes the Internet as a place where “consumers are free to access, create, or share content.” Such freedom encourages innovation, entrepreneurship, and competition. The FCC’s previous attempts to enforce net neutrality, however, have all been rejected by courts that argue the FCC does not have the authority to mandate equal access. As such, the FCC has made some concessions in its proposals, one granting ISPs the ability to make “commercially reasonable” deals with companies.

The Internet Association, which is the lobbying-group that represents many large internet corporations, criticized a net neutrality proposal in May from the FCC, claiming that it would make the Internet a “pay for priority platform more closely resembling cable television.” Cable companies are located on the opposite side of the spectrum from telecommunications services. A Bloomberg report states that Comcast spent 18 million dollars in lobbying last year. Cable companies have a large degree of control over their customers. A federal study concluded that “approximately 96 percent of the population had at most two wire line providers.”

Tim Wu, the Columbia University Law Professor who coined the term net neutrality, believes that the FCC would have to reclassify Internet service as a telecommunications service, as opposed to its current information service status, to ensure an open Internet. The FCC would have more authority to regulate the Internet as a telecommunications service. President Obama rejoined the debate when he reiterated that he is “unequivocally committed to net neutrality.” The President also expressed his opposition for a system that allows tiered service, which the current FCC proposal would allow. The subject matter is so controversial that the FCC has received about 3.7 million comments on its proposed net neutrality rules, which would effectively end net neutrality. The deluge of concern was so large that the FCC’s systems have been overwhelmed at times.

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Editorial Notebook

New phone fails to impress

I’m new to the world of so-called smart phones. Over the summer I “upgraded” from the original Samsung Gravity (released in 2008) to the Samsung Gravity Smart (released in 2011), if you can truly call that an upgrade. I had the original Gravity for five years. My friends teased me relentlessly over my “dumb” phone but I knew how to use it and it did everything I needed. Only at the end of its long, full life did I have any problems with it. But since upgrading, my phone has caused me quite a few problems.

I can’t entirely blame my phones for their problems; they suffer quite a bit of abuse at my hands. I dropped my poor, old phone countless times and I wouldn’t just drop it once. No, I would drop my phone on worst possible surface—gravel, tile, cement, etc., and immediately after picking it up, drop it again. It was as if my hands had been greased before picking up my phone. In addition to being dropped countless times, my phone also went through the washer once or twice and was even dyed in chemistry lab. While using it as a timer for an experiment, I noticed my once-white phone had turned dandelion yellow. After determining we weren’t using anything too dangerous, I cleaned off my phone, but the color stayed.

After five long years and many dropped calls, my Gravity eventually became too unreliable to use and I decided to buy a new phone. I liked how sturdy my first Samsung phone had been so I looked at Samsung phones online and stumbled upon the Gravity Smart, a newer model of my old, “dumb” phone. Knowing very little about smart phones, I decided, “eh, this one looks good enough” and ordered it on Amazon.

The first thing I did when I opened the package—drop it. I hadn’t even put in the battery yet! I was off to a great start. The phone had been in my possession for less than 20 minutes and I had already chipped the paint. After putting in the battery and charging the phone for a whopping two hours, I was ready to turn it on and see what all the fuss over smart phones was about. I couldn’t turn it on. I had to, for possibly the first time ever, read an instruction manual to figure out how to turn the darn thing on. Now, one would think it’d be as easy as pushing a power button, but no, that would be too simple. I have now forgotten what I had to do to turn it on for the first time but I remember it involved praying and an unhealthy dose of profanity.

When I eventually got the thing turned on, I had to spend the next few hours trying to figure out how to use basic functions. While scrolling through the four-page long menu, I was annoyed by the number of apps that came pre-installed on the phone. Why do I need all of these apps? Two months later, I still don’t know what a good number of the apps do. And, to add to my irritation, I can’t remove many of the apps I don’t want.

The next item on my laundry list of complaints is the touchscreen. The smallest amount of moisture renders the touchscreen useless. After washing my hands or showering, I have to dry my hands and then dry them again or the screen will malfunction. This leads to me furiously swiping on my phone, which results in the screen getting stuck between two pages then crashing. Also, the touchscreen does not work when my hands are covered, which means I’ll have to choose between my fingers freezing or using my phone in the colder months.

Additionally, I have been completely unimpressed with Swype. For a phone that’s supposedly smart, it does a remarkably poor job completing my sentences. No, I’m not ‘going rio the store.’ While my phone does have a slide-out keyboard, the buttons are so flat and poorly spaced that typing on it results in a garbled mess.

I understand part of the appeal of these phones is being able to easily use the Internet on your phone but for someone as impatient as me, using a computer is still the better option. Not only do the pages load sluggishly on my phone, but they can also be difficult to use, especially if they are not mobile-compatible. To top this all off, using the Internet on my phone drains the battery at an alarming rate.

I know not everyone suffers from these problems—my tech savvy friends can navigate my phone with ease. However, I just find it to be a headache. I can honestly say I miss my “dumb” phone and I would happily be the butt of my friends’ jokes if I could use my old phone again.

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Bungie’s new franchise fulfills its Destiny

Destiny

PLAYERS CHOOSE from three classes and three races to create their own unique character to join up in up to six player raids.

Destiny: a first-person, action-packed thriller video game that doesn’t allow you to stop playing. Having won over 180 awards, the game’s amazing user interface and visual representation keeps the user glued to the screen for hours on end.

Destiny is a combination of many other famous games. The first-person shooter aspect and story have a large resemblance to Halo, while the graphics and designs are similar to Star Wars and Mass Effect. Bungie’s latest creation, in my opinion, may be the best game that they have released. By borrowing from many of these other games, players have found some niche of the game that they love.

At some points, the story line can be extremely confusing and, at some points, make very little sense; however, the game never ceases to be a fun experience. You begin the game by choosing one of the three Guardian classes—Hunter, Titan, and Warlock—then getting dropped into a futuristic world where you travel from planet to planet fighting off different enemies.

For the first 20 levels, you increase your level in the standard fashion. By completing a mission and/or killing an enemy, you receive experience points that help level up your character. The higher your level becomes, the better your options for gear and weaponry become. Personally, I thought this was something that was lacking in the past Halo games. There was no sense of accomplishment or drive to complete the missions because you didn’t gain anything from doing so. Also, in Destiny, with many of the power ups, gear, and weaponry, you are able to mold your character to fit your personal playing style.

Once you reach level 20, you have most likely beaten the game, and from then on, the game transforms entirely. Now, to level up, players are forced to find better gear that hold an ability called “light.” While leveling, you begin to participate in strikes. Strikes are where you and a team enter into a story-like scenario where you have to fight your way through an environment. The finale involves destroying a boss-like character, just like the dungeons of World of Warcraft.

These extra game parts allow for the game not to end once you have completed the story mode—like many comparable games—but instead, there is much more to accomplish and do within the game.

Bungie incorporated a very open multiplayer platform that truly adds to the user experience. As you move farther into the game, the levels begin to increase in difficulty. Here, you are allowed to call upon a friend to help you complete these missions without limiting any of the rewards or experiences that you obtain. This, combined with the strikes and the classic online multiplayer, allow for very diverse gameplay, which isn’t usually seen in many console video games.

Bungie creates a beautiful open-ended experience that allows for many different types of gamers to come together under one game. Although the story is weak, the gameplay makes up for what the story lacked.

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Field hockey falls short twice

FRESHMAN MIDFIELDER KATE BAZINGER SKIRTS past a William Smith College player in RPI’s loss at home against the Herons Saturday, October 11 at home on Harkness Field.

This past weekend, RPI field hockey hosted the University of Rochester Yellowjackets and William Smith College Herons on Friday, October 10 and Saturday, October 11, respectively. In the opener, the Engineers battled valiantly against a Rochester squad, which had only one loss the entire season. In the opening three minutes, junior forwards Hana Murphy and Angela Cascio combined for three shots on Rochester goalie Tara Lamberti. But each was saved. Then, in the following six minutes, Rochester fired three shots of their own, one of which was blocked by a defender, while the other two were saved by senior goalie Hannah Clough.

The two teams continued to trade momentum throughout the first half, though Rensselaer maintained a sizeable edge in shots on goal. But in the 32nd minute, it was the Yellowjackets that struck the decisive blow in the match when forward Michelle Relin found an opening and launched a shot past Clough to give Rochester the lead.

In the second half, Rochester clamped down on its own net and held the Engineers scoreless for the duration of the match despite eight shots, four of which were hauled in by Lamberti. The game ended 1-0 Rochester.

In Saturday’s contest, RPI fell behind early when Heron forward Hannah Wood scored, assisted by forward Erin Miller in the 22nd minute to give William Smith a 1-0 lead. Later, in the second half, the Herons padded their lead when a defensive penalty on the Engineers resulted in a 38th minute penalty stroke goal for midfielder Madison Finn.

But the Engineers answered in the 41st minute when freshman midfielder Kate Batzinger collected the rebound from her own miss and slipped the ball past goalie Catherine Hare to bring RPI within one goal. Despite impassioned attempts from Rensselaer to score an equalizer, Hare collected eight saves down the stretch to allow the Herons to hold on to a 2-1 victory.

This week, field hockey will travel to Keene State on Wednesday, October 15, and Kean University on Saturday, October 18 for two non-league matchups.

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Clubs submit proposals for reallocation of funds

CANstruction granted starting budget,

RPI’S canSTRUCTION PRESENTS a proposal to the E-Board for a starter budget of $250 plus 100 color copies. Their proposal was accepted by the Executive Board.

In last week’s Executive Board meeting, President of the Union Erin Amarello ’15 was not present. Presiding over the meeting in her place was Erica Hutchins ’15. On the agenda were meetings with Ski and Snowboard Club, The Poly, and CANstruction.

President of the Ski and Snowboard Club Alec Creteau ’15 and treasurer Joshua Rosenfeld ’16, came to the E-Board with a proposal to take 55 people for an overnight ski and snowboard trip. In addition, they were looking to reallocate funds so they could pay for the trip. According to Rosenfeld, there was definite interest, and they need at least sixteen people to make the trip work. In a 12-0-0 motion, the Union E-Board approved the reallocation of funds for the purpose of an overnight trip.

After the Ski and Snowboard Club, The Poly came to the E-Board to ask for reallocation of funds from their Holiday Reception and Reception for Advertisers to their regular reception fund. Every Tuesday, The Poly works for 12 hours in order to make the paper ready for the printers. Since The Poly works through dinner, they usually buy pizza so members can continue to work. The money for the pizza would come from advertising money made by The Poly; The Poly was requesting for a reallocation of funds so they can access the money. In a motion passed by the E-Board, the E-Board gave The Poly $35 to their reception fund and allowed The Poly to withdraw from it; they did not allow for reallocating of funds.

Last to meet with the E-Board was CANstruction. CANstruction is a fundraising event where architecture and engineering teams compete against each other to build structures using only cans. The cans and funds are then donated to food pantries. CANstruction was looking for funding in order to pay for gas money, the competition, fundraising, and the building process. With 15 active members, CANstruction has been highly successful in past years, winning Best Use of Labels Award in 2012 and Structural Ingenuity Award in 2013. In a 12-0-0 motion, CANstruction was approved as a Union funded club with a starting budget of $250. This concluded the E-Board meeting.

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Top Hat

Reconnecting with RPI’s impressive alumni

Independent Council Senator and Graduate Senator positions vacant, seeking applicants

Happy Wednesday, RPI, and welcome back from your long weekend! I hope everyone has thoroughly enjoyed their time off, and that all are well rested in preparation for the rest of the semester. This weekend was also Reunion & Homecoming weekend, and an exciting time for all. For the RPI alumni new and old, Reunion & Homecoming is the perfect opportunity to connect and catch up with old friends and favorite organizations as they return to this campus, this place of so many dreams and memories.

Reunion & Homecoming started Thursday evening with the Rensselaer Alumni Association’s Annual Awards Dinner, held to commemorate those who, among the annals of our distinguished alumni, have gone above and beyond in their dedication to RPI and their fellow RPI alumni. Dining in the presence of alumni as distinguished and renowned as Neil Barton was an honor—the achievements and accolades accumulated by these individuals across their lifetimes was nothing short of staggering, and their love for RPI is truly inspiring.

For our students, Homecoming Weekend is a time full of events and opportunities and a glimpse into the future. Participants were able to meet many great student leaders, athletes, inventors, and other brilliant minds. Friday afternoon in the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center, we were able to experience Rensselaer in Space—where, in a direct video call to the International Space Station, a panel of alumni was able to communicate directly with Reid Weisman ’97. Wiseman spoke about the various idiosyncrasies of spaceflight but also the importance of working for our dreams. The entire event was a visionary statement about the value of reaching beyond our comfort zones and living life to the fullest.

On Saturday, President of the Union Erin Amarello ’15 and I attended FanFest and had the distinct honor of meeting several members of the Class of 1964 as we joined in celebrating their entry into the 50 Year Club at halftime of the RPI football game. Additionally, I had the distinct pleasure of meeting and exchanging experiences with Michael Zwack ’11, Kara Chesal ’09, and Julia Leusner ’08, three previous Grand Marshals, and with Rick Hartt, former Director of the Union. The stories they had to tell and the experiences they were able to share were a wonderful glimpse into the past and made this a weekend worth remembering. As a graduating senior looking forward, it is exciting to think about the ways RPI will change throughout our lives and to know that there will always be a home here.

While Reunion & Homecoming has reached its conclusion, there remains plenty to do around the RPI campus! There are a number of great events to look forward to this week. On Friday at 6:30 pm, Sigma Delta Sorority Inc. will be hosting Nuestra Belleza, a multicultural beauty pagent and fundraiser for KIDS International. There will be performances by groups ranging from Sheer Idiocy, to the Capoeira team, to a student band. And if you need something to do on a Friday night, UPAC Cinema is always open! This weekend, movies range from the action-packed Expendables 3 to the poignant and powerful Pursuit of Happiness. If you’re looking for something to do, come on down!

Finally, there are still some vacancies left on the Student Senate—one Independent Council senator position and one graduate senator position are open for appointment. Our five current graduate senators are extremely active, having become very involved in the various Senate committees and projects. The Independent Council senator, once appointed by the Independent Council, is now directly elected during Grand Marshal Week by school-wide vote due to the dissolution of the IC. Once the Independent senator position is vacant, it is then open for direct appointment.

We will be conducting interviews for each of these spots across the next two weeks, with the goal of having all vacancies filled by November. If you’re interested in these positions, want to get involved in the work of the Student Senate, or have any questions about Reunion & Homecoming Weekend, you may as always email me at gm@rpi.edu.

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Athlete of the Week:

Matt Carberry

This week’s athlete of the week is men’s soccer player junior midfielder Matt Carberry. In two games last week, Carberry scored both game-winning goals for the Engineers, who went 2-0. Last Wednesday against Union College, Carberry scored on a free kick in the third minute to give the Engineers a 1-0 lead. The goal proved to be the lone score of the evening as sophomore goalie Alex Kessler hauled in nine saves to preserve a 1-0 win.

Then, on Saturday’s senior night matchup against Liberty League competitor Bard College, Carberry scored in the 54th minute, assisted by junior forward Esmir Hadzic, to put Rensselaer up 1-0. The goal ignited a second half rally as the Engineers scored three more times, including two goals from senior midfielder Matt Koziol and another from senior forward Tim Terrezza, to complete a 4-0 rout of Bard.

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Phi Gamma Delta moves into new housing

GRADUATE BROTHERS OF THE TAU NU PHI GAMMA DELTA CHAPTER POSE for a photo. Each are celebrating more than 25 years as RPI FIJI alumni

At 6:30 pm on Saturday, October 11, a smiling Keith Downes ’91 completed the second of two cuts splitting a thick purple ribbon looped around two columns in front of the First Baptist Church on 3rd Street. The cut was accompanied by the applause of a crowd of around 100 Phi Gamma Delta fraternity brothers, graduate brothers, and friends celebrating a joint event commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Tau Nu Fiji chapter at RPI and the official opening of the renovated chapter house. For the first time in three decades, the Tau Nu Fijis will be living outside of the Rensselaer Apartment Housing Projects student housing.

The formal ribbon cutting and subsequent ceremony were the culmination of two years of effort by the chapter and Fiji’s governing House Corporation, though efforts to obtain a house for the chapter had been ongoing since the chapter was recognized in 1984. The church itself is approximately 24,000 square feet. A converted schoolhouse is attached, now 20 residential rooms, averaged at 100 square feet per occupant. Rooms such as the library, chapel, kitchens, and study lounges are ongoing projects for renovation, as is the outside of the church— particularly, the outside steeple and columns, which will require repainting to fix the noticeably patchy paint. Garrett Szafman ’15, the current undergraduate chapter president, stated,

“We’re very excited. We plan on trying to get involved as much as possible with the Troy community and hopefully be great neighbors. Our move to downtown Troy should help with bringing the RPI and Troy communities together. Right now, they exist as almost completely separate communities, but we’d like to get more involved with some of the businesses and events in the area.”

The ongoing renovations have benefited local businesses on 3rd Street, in particular Pfeil Hardware, which celebrated its fifth anniversary last month with a celebration partially attended by Fijis. The chapter has a history of community fundraising. Last year, it raised over $2,400 to the United Service Organizations. Last spring, Barker Park, the public park next to the church, was renovated by FIJI and troy citizen volunteers.

Initial meetings in 2013 drew largely positive feedback from the Troy community with a 5-0 vote of approval on February 2, 2013 by the Troy Zoning Board of Appeals. Construction started in spring of 2014, using designs by Troy Architectural Program and is still ongoing in some areas of the building. Recent purchases have been successful as well, with the RPI chapter of Phi Sigma Kappa living in the former St. Francis de Sales church on Congress Street since 2011.

Phi Gamma Delta was originally founded on April 22, 1848 at Jefferson College in Pennsylvania. The Tau Nu chapter was colonized on August 3, 1982 and was accepted by RPI and their national organization on November 4, 1984. The RPI colony was organized largely on the third floor of Cary Hall, where eight of the 12 founding members lived.

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Derby

Union clubs perform for returning alumni

CANstruction becomes Union funded club; Ski and Snowboard overnight trip approved

Hey RPI!

I hope that all of you enjoyed your long weekend. Whether you went home or stuck around for the Reunion & Homecoming festivities, it’s always good to get a little break! If you did stay around campus, I hope that you were able to attend some of the events that occurred all across campus throughout the weekend. Many of our Union clubs took advantage of the weekend to showcase their talent and hard work to students and alumni. All of our a cappella groups performed Saturday night alongside VoicePlay to put on an amazing show for all who attended. Formula SAE showed off their hard work during their Auto Show on Saturday with a demonstration of their own car. During FanFest, the main stage hosted a variety of student performances including Duly Noted, Partial Credit, the Rusty Pipes, Rensselyrics, RPIgnite, and the Jazz Band. Reunion & Homecoming weekend is an incredible and unique opportunity for students to connect with alumni and show them how great their Alma Matter is doing. It is always exciting to be able to speak with alumni and hear about their experiences, both at RPI and in their careers after graduation. One amazing RPI alumni success story was shared with the campus this weekend when we were able to speak live with Gregory Reid Wiseman ’97, who is currently on the International Space Station. RPI alumni make up a very prestigious and inspirational group of professionals that are out there changing the world and getting to spend the weekend with them is always a pleasure.

This week we have some fun events to look forward to. Tomorrow, Thursday, October 16, 6:30–8 pm in Ricketts 203, there will be a speaker sponsored by RPI’s Graduate Christian Fellowship, Mathew Clark. He will be speaking about “An Engineered Approach to Love.” For more information, you can look at their website at http://rpigcf.blogpot.com. Also, tomorrow is another Paint at the Pub Night! From 7–9 pm, a step-by-step instructional art class will feature a painting called “Harvest Moon.” Artistic ability is not required and beginners are welcome, so join us for some good company and the opportunity to create a painting you can take home at the end of the night. To register online, see http://poly.rpi.edu/83842. National Health Education Week starts Saturday and the Mueller Center will have free fitness classes from Turbo Kickboxing and Professional Boxing to Happy Hour Yoga and High Energy Zumba. There will also be tutorials for weight training and cardio work by a certified professional trainer, free smoothies, and chair massages. For more information, check out the Mueller Center website at http://www.muellercenter.rpi.edu.

In Executive Board news, last meeting, we had three clubs come to see us with proposals. The Ski and Snowboard club came to rearrange a few small things to support the planning of a two night, two day ski trip to Jay Peak Resort in Jay, Vt. It is open to all RPI Ski and Snowboard members and sounds like it will be an amazing trip. If you are interested in attending the trip or becoming a member, contact Joshua Rosenfeld ’16 at rosenj5@rpi.edu. The Poly came in with a food proposal, which sparked a lot of discussion and was partially approved by the E-Board. We also received a funding proposal from CANstruction. I would like to congratulate CANstruction on becoming a Union funded club. CANstruction competed in an annual design competition at the New York State Museum in which the team creates colossal structures built completely out of canned food items which are then donated to Food Pantries. If you would like more information about the club, please contact Dillon Webster ’15 at webstd4@rpi.edu.

Have a wonderful week and as always, if you have any questions, feel free to email me at pu@rpi.edu or stop by my office hours, which are every Wednesday from 8:30–11:30 am!

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Alumnus astronaut chats with Institute

Gregory Reid Wiseman discusses his life at RPI and career paths while orbiting the earth

Last Friday, a special guest video chatted with students and alumni at the Experimental Music and Performing Arts Center. That guest was not only an RPI alumni but also more than 200 miles above the earth. Gregory Reid Wiseman ’97 is an astronaut currently on the International Space Station and graciously donated his time in order to answer questions from the RPI community.

Prior to Wiseman’s call, President Shirley Ann Jackson gave a speech to the audience about the wide influence of alumni on the world, from astronauts to early email developments, RPI graduates have had a huge handprint on the world. Jackson stressed Wiseman’s role, shaping the world through beautiful photography that Wiseman shares online through Twitter, giving us earthlings a fresh perspective on our planet.

After Jackson delivered her opening, RPI faculty member Cynthia Collins gave a talk regarding her groundbreaking research that was conducted on the ISS. Collins, a professor of biochemical engineering, showed the assembly her new research in bacterial biofilms outside of Earth’s gravity, and how this could have an effect on space flights and our understanding of space travel.

Following Collins was the video call with Wiseman, which was a great main attraction. For the talk, Wiseman donned an RPI T-shirt and hung up some RPI banners inside the makeshift venue, tying one of the flags off to a very expensive–looking microscope. Chosen alumni were given the opportunity to field questions to Wiseman, asking him a variety of questions from life on the ISS to his experience at RPI. Wiseman also provided some information regarding his recent spacewalk, reflecting how nervous he was and how his nerves melted away when he was actually outside the ship and floating in a spacesuit staring at the earth. He even snagged a selfie, showing himself with our planet in his visor’s reflection.

Although he’s talked about recently adjusting to life without gravity, Wiseman will be returning to our world in November and plans to take a Disney cruise with family. The talk was a cool, once–in–a–lifetime experience, and now with two ISS astronauts having graduated from RPI, we have a lot to be proud of here at home.

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Women’s ice hockey defeated 4-2 by Vermont

SOPHOMORE FORWARD LAURA HORWOOD FIGHTS for possession of the puck with an opposing University of Vermont skater in RPI’s 4-2 loss October 11.

On Saturday, October 11, RPI women’s hockey held its regular season home opener against the University of Vermont Catamounts at the Houston Fieldhouse. After scoring twice in the second period to take a 2-1 lead into the second intermission, the Engineers allowed three Catamount goals in the first 10 minutes of the third period, and lost 4-2.

In the first period, Vermont took control, winning six out of the first seven faceoffs. Vermont also rattled off nine shots in the first 10 minutes, resulting in five saves for Engineer senior goalie Kelly O’Brien. But Rensselaer was unable to hold off the Catamount attack any longer. With 11 minutes gone by in the opening period, Catamount left wing Brittany Zuback scored, assisted by center Dayna Colang, to put the visitors up 1-0.

Almost immediately following the goal, Vermont raced back down the ice and fired three more shots on the Engineer goal, but each was saved by O’Brien. Rensselaer, then took the momentum and fired off four shots, but none found the Catamount net. With 5:18 remaining in the first period, Vermont right wing Victoria Andreakos was penalized for holding and RPI was awarded a power play. The Engineers failed to take advantage of the power play, as Vermont sealed the gaps in its defense and held RPI at bay. Three more saves by O’Brien and one by Catamount goalie Madison Litchfield, bringing her total to six, rounded out the first period, with the score remaining Vermont 1, RPI 0.

RPI increased its intensity in the second period and took control of the momentum. With less than a minute gone by, a shot by Rensselaer junior forward Mari Mankey threatened to tie the score but ricocheted off the post harmlessly. Later, after two shots were blocked by Vermont defenders and two more were saved by Litchfield, senior forward Ali Svoboda ripped a shot past Litchfield to give RPI its first goal of the afternoon. The goal was assisted by senior forward Taylor Mahoney and junior forward Alexa Gruschow.

Immediately following the goal, RPI went on the power play and commenced an offensive barrage on the Vermont goal. But the Catamounts managed to kill the power play on the merit of three saves by Litchfield. Later in the period, the Engineers launched several more shots at the Catamount goal, and after five saves by Litchfield, the sixth one found its mark off the stick of senior forward Mariana Walsh to put RPI on top 2-1. The second Rensselaer score was assisted by Mankey and sophomore forward Katie Rooney.

In the third period, Engineer spirits deflated when a Vermont power play resulted in a quick equalizer for the Catamounts 1:35 into the third period. Then, at the 2:47 mark, Gruschow was penalized for tripping and Vermont was awarded a second power play. With only 41 seconds gone by in the two-minute power play, Catamount senior forward Amanda Pelkey scored the go-ahead goal, assisted by Colang and defender Amanda Drobot.

With the game slipping away, the Engineers desperately held back a Vermont charge which included seven shots on goal, all corralled by O’Brien. Then, RPI looked for a tying goal of its own, firing three shots at Litchfield to no avail. After Vermont gathered a loose puck with 11 minutes remaining in the contest, Catamount forward Bridget Baker found Pelkey open near the Engineer net with a crossing pass and Pelkey slipped the puck past O’Brien to give Vermont a 4-2 lead.

In the waning minutes of the contest, RPI received two more power plays, but was unable to capitalize on either. Down 4-2 with a minute and a half left, Rooney was penalized for roughing, and the Catamounts used their advantage to run out the clock. The final score was Vermont 4, RPI 2. The Engineers fell to 0-3-0 on the young season while the Catamounts improved to 2-1-0. The following afternoon, the Engineers traveled to Burlington and tied the Catamounts 2-2 in the second game of the Vermont-RPI home-and-home series. RPI will travel to Durham, New Hampshire on Friday, October 17 to face the University of New Hampshire in hopes of picking up its first victory.

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Batman origins on TV

IN THE CITY OF GOTHAM, VILLAINS APPEAR to be abundant, even in the police force.

Although this may be the first time addressing it through writing, people should know I’m an unabashed fan of superhero films. From early Christopher Reeve’s Superman to Tim Burton’s Batman, to the Saturday morning Static Shock cartoons, I’ve basically seen it all. However, one place I’ve always noticed superhero shows to be especially weak when it comes to television, something DC Comics and Warner Brothers hope to fix with Gotham.

Just so the reader is aware, I know that this is not DC Comics’ first or currently only foray into television. If anyone watches the old Adam West Batman television series, they’ll see how ridiculous superheroes were in mainstream entertainment. While Batman, could be the somber caped crusader in the comics, he could be nothing but a joke on TV, solving crimes through zany antics. However, modern superhero shows try to rectify that. Smallville, the story of Superman’s beginnings started a new trend for DC, super-dramas. Soon after Smallville, DC hit a sweet spot for me with my guilty pleasure show Arrow. Arrow has grown in popularity so much that not only does the Green Arrow have his own show, but now The Flash will in his own namesake spin-off. But strangely enough, Warner Brothers and DC have decided not to stick with the CW and a single universe with their newest television series on Fox, Gotham, leading to what may be some good and bad results.

Perhaps to not compete with the canon put in place by the CW shows, the creators of Gotham have decided not to make the focus of the show Bruce Wayne’s transformation into Batman, but on how the city of Gotham affects the people within it, more specifically, the future villains and current Detective James Gordon. First, I’ll talk about the casting. The main focus of the show is mostly future police commissioner Gordon, however, as a current detective, he has to rub shoulders and sometimes butt heads with his corrupt partner Harvey Bullock. Ben McKenzie and Donal Logue play Gordon and Bullock respectively, and honestly, they aren’t very good. Gordon, who is someone who talks and acts like someone hell bent on reforming the town and bringing justice to injustices is rather emotionless, while on the other hand, Logue seems to exaggerate every action to a near comical extent. On the plus side, the villain cast is great from what little we tend to see. The future Riddler, the Gotham City Police Department coroner Edward Nygma, is just as neurotic and quirky as you’d expect, Carmine Falcone is the perfect Mafia Don you’ve always wanted, but best of all is the Penguin. Robin Lord Taylor, who plays Oswald “Penguin” Cobblepot, is an interesting character whose story, even through just a few episodes, shows a nebbish young man turning into a ruthless villain. We also see small snippets of other characters like Selina Kyle, Poison Ivy, and even Bruce Wayne. Seeing small amounts of young Batman coming to terms with his parents’ deaths and how a younger Alfred Pennyworth, who hasn’t yet become the patient and understanding man we know him for, deals with the growing restlessness of a boy who wants to conquer fear.

I think it’s hard to make a decision on how good the show is currently, without seeing exactly where it’s going, especially in terms of connection to other DC shows. Marvel has made it a special point to link all their properties together, minus Spiderman and X-Men which are not under the Disney-Marvel banner. And that’s been great, having multiple movies with heroes like Captain America, Iron Man, and Thor come together to fight bad guys is awesome, and then having it all tie in through Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and now the four new Netflix programs show a level of organization in IPs that no other entertainment company has successfully done. These new shows, with The Flash and Arrow taking place in the same universe proves that DC is trying, and with the Superman versus Batman movie coming up, we’ll soon be seeing a much needed Justice League movie, however, where does this place Gotham? Gotham isn’t under just Warner Brothers like Arrow or it’s spin off on WB’s own channel, the CW, so does it fit into this universe? I’m scared going forward that Gotham might further muddle the already confusing goings on in terms of DC’s intellectual properties. After the failure of the Green Lantern movie, and the fact that Batman is being revived and revised pretty soon after Nolan’s trilogy, we’re seeing a lot of uncertainty from DC in terms of tone and connection between superhero stories. Only time will tell if this will change, so while I can’t say that Gotham is good or bad as a show or for the Batman franchise, I can certainly say it’s something to look out for.

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Entrepeneurship

Lally celebrates half century anniversary

On Tuesday, October 21, the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center will be abuzz with excitement as startup business founders and partners learn more about investing and entrepreneurship. The event, titled “Investing in Entrepreneurship,” begins at 9:30 am with a panel of angel investors and entrepreneurs discussing how to make or break your first investment as a new startup. At 12 pm, the Startup Showcase begins. During this segment, 20 investment-ready startups will each receive five minutes to pitch their young businesses to angel investors and investment group representatives with the intention of getting an investment to further their vision. 10 mentor-ready startups will receive one minute each for their pitch in the hopes of obtaining guidance on the road to growing a successful business. At 3 pm, President Shirley Ann Jackson will lead a conversation with entrepreneur, philanthropist, and Internet pioneer Steve Case. Since Case’s time as Chief Executive Officer of AOL, he focuses on helping startups in the United States as part of the Startup America Partnership. The discussion with Jackson will focus on cultivating entrepreneurs and growing an innovation ecosystem that uses data to unlock potential solutions to the grand global challenges.

“Investing in Entrepreneurship” will feature some of the best and brightest talents of the Capital Region, many of whom are part of the Rensselaer community. 13 of the 30 startups in the Startup Showcase involve alumni, 10 involve current students, and three involve faculty. Eight of the startups are from outside of the Institute. The list of startups is widely varied, from next-generation lithium ion batteries (EnerMat Technologies), to a mobile security solution for college and university campuses (POMCO group), to unique sunglasses frames made of exotic hardwoods (Coast Designwear). The morning panel also includes RPI alumni Christine Tate ’95 and Jeff Stewart ’91, among other experts.

When asked about the importance of this event to the student body, Jason Kuruzovich, director of the Severino Center for Technological Entrepreneurship had the following to say:

“One of the remaining challenges for a startup that is emerging is obtaining access to early-stage angel capital. The Investing in Entrepreneurship showcase serves as an ideal way to connect our early-stage entrepreneurs with prospective investors in order to build on the potential we have seen emerging in our startup community.”

The event, sponsored by the Lally School of Management, is the culminating event recognizing the school’s 50th anniversary. The event is also part of the Bridge to the Bicentennial, a decade of celebrations and observances that pay tribute to the historical and transformative events leading up to the 200th anniversary of the founding of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

To find out more about the event and RSVP, visit https://lally50.splashthat.com.

To find out more about the Severino Center, visit https://scte.rpi.edu.

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Senate reestablishes Union Constitution Committee

Monday’s meeting of the Student Senate began with a presentation by Marcus Flowers ’16, head of the Academic Affairs Committee on the committee’s projects. While there was no motion put forward for this committee, there were a number of points which needed to be communicated to the members of the Student Senate. The presentation included highlights and details on some of the committee’s more high-profile projects. Projects included public directory or job listing for research projects, and work with the Faculty Senate’s curriculum committee. Elaboration for these projects was given by Flowers after being questioned by members at the meeting.

Graduate senator Spencer Scott mentioned expanding ALAC mentoring by including professional clubs that dwelled within a particular subject. Scott stated that because these clubs involve such a wide range of class years, it may be a good base when starting this project.

This meeting was the second in a series of monthly interactive meetings between the Student and Faculty Senates. During these discussions, Flowers was able to give more information on his work with the Faculty Senate and their related projects. The Faculty Senate’s Curriculum Committee is looking into the current circulating curricula and judging their effectiveness, need, and overall relevance to its course. Flowers stated that there was an opening for a student representative in the committee. This position would allow one to convey thoughts of the student body directly to the faculty. Those interested should contact Flowers at flowem@rpi.edu. Lester Gerhardt, president of the Faculty Senate, was in attendance. Gerhardt suggested that the Senate concentrate on its most critical projects this semester and do further surveying to map student need. In regards to the research directory project, Gerhardt suggested keeping in mind that many such projects were interdisciplinary and this may bring up problems in the future.

The Senate proceeded to process the motions at hand for that week, the first of which dealt with the reestablishment of the Constitution Committee. The motion would create a group which would review the current governing rules for RPI’s Student Government and see if any changes needed to be made. If so, the committee would send the changes as motions to be voted on by the Senate. After this approval, their fate would lie in the hands of the student body who would vote directly on the amendments during GM week. Paul Ilori ’17, stated his disapproval of this addition due to its appearance to the student body. According to Ilori, the creation of the Constitution Committee would seem like the Senate was not making progress in regards to constitutional issues. Senator Michael Han ’16 disagreed by stating that the document needs updating and it is the responsibility of the Senate to review, but after the issues of last year, the committee has a clear need for transparency. In the end, the committee was formed by a vote of 19-1-2.

Next, the Senate approved the appointment of Nathan James ’16 as the chairman of the Constitution Committee. As an alternate member of the J-board last year, Nathan attested to his knowledge of the Constitution and prior leadership roles as experience necessary to lead the committee. James was not a member of the committee last year and felt he brought a fresh perspective. James was approved as chair with a vote of 16-1-5.

Soon after, appointment of graduate senator Jennifer Wilcox to the chair of the Communications Committee was moved. Wilcox stated she planned to improve transparency within the Senate and Executive Board with the expanded use of social media and tabling. She says that her studies as a graduate student will not interfere with her work and she is excited about the thought of working closely with this committee and other Student Government groups. Wilcox’s approval as chair passed with a vote of 18-0-2.

The meeting came to an end with committee reports, Melanie Todis ’17, chair of the Rules and Elections Committee, reported that work was progressing on projects including electronic voting and referendum sign policy. The Hospitality Services Advisory Committee sent their comments and thoughts to Sodexo’s regional manager at RPI, Matthew Mueller, some of which addressed the lack of Arizona brand drinks in Father’s. Hospitality Services Committee will hold a public meeting with Sodexo Thursday, October 9th. Community Relations Committee head, Morgan Schweitzer ’16, reported that the group was using social media to bridge the gap between the Troy and RPI students while E-Board-Senate liason Shoshana Rubinstein ’16 reported that a touchscreen Pepsi machine should be expected in Rathskellar by the end of winter break, at the latest.

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