The Poly will be holding elections on Sunday, November 23 at 10 am in Mother’s Wine Emporium.
This week’s meeting began with a presentation by Michael Han ’16, head of the Facilities and Services Committee. He briefly explained Slack, the new communications technology that FSC is using. In it, members are able to comment and post on certain channels with their ideas about how certain projects should be moving forward and other discussion points. Han pointed out that within Slack, members are able to stay updated on the projects they are interested in and won’t be bothered by the others. Han invited the rest of the Senate to join the discussion and believes it is a valid tool in his committee’s development of projects.
Elizabeth Anderson ’14, chairman of the Student Sustainability Task Force, spoke on behalf of the Green Revolving Fund project. Anderson explained the project has extended to something much larger than a typical club and was, at one point, an initiative on the president’s cabinet. The idea is that money would be put into the GRF and go toward a project that would both improve RPI’s green initiative and save money in some sense. After the project was chosen, designed, and implemented, the money saved would return to the GRF and the process would repeat. Anderson had come to Senate in order to gain perspective on the project and gather advice on behalf of Daniel Sze ’18. The project is currently in need of members as the goal of 20 active members has not been reached with the current population of 13.
After confirming that this sort of project had not been implemented at RPI before, Shoshana Rubinstein ’16 questioned if the green roof above the bookstore would qualify as a part of the GRF. Anderson responded that because the green roof does not save money in any significant way, there is no way it can be incorporated into the GRF as there are no funds that would “revolve.” Lexi Rindone ’15 brought up the idea to work with professors to make the work on the GRF count as a one-credit course while Grand Marshal Kyle Keraga ’15 asked what barriers stood in the way of success. Anderson reported that the process of deciding which projects were picked, ensuring that the money revolved within the fund, and the actual procuring of the starting funds were largest complications that the group was dealing with now.
The floor was then taken by Pranav Sathyanarayanan ’16 and Anthony Barbieri ’15 who discussed the electronic voting process that was taken on by the Rules and Elections Committee. Sathyanarayanan started by explaining how the voting process would be done which began with an R&E member setting up the poll at the proper time in the usual voting stations. Then, students would be able to come to these poll sites, swipe their cards, and vote accordingly. Upon reaching the end of the process, students would then be able to get their mug, as per RPI tradition. Sathyanarayanan made sure to note that there is no way to tie one person’s RIN to their vote as these two sets on information are kept on entirely separate tables with RINs being recorded on one and the vote count for a particular candidate or referendum on another.
Rubinstein questioned how it could be ensured that voters would be able to vote only for their particular class and for either their Greek or independent representative, depending on their status. Barbieri explained that the information would be tracked to the school’s Banner which tracks class year, credits, and Greek affiliation, all of which are pertinent details to the election. Current R&E member and class of 2017 Senator Paul Ilori mentioned that in the past, R&E members have had to either hand-count or use a Scantron to determine the winner of the election, a process which was both tedious and uncertain. Graduate Senator Jen Wilcox wondered what would happen should the system crash, to which Barbieri assured the crowd that backups did exist and the coding staff of students would be on site should any fixes need to occur. Ilori mentioned that testing of the system by the public would occur once the proper has been procured.
The meeting ended with committee reports, in which the Student Policy Subcommittee reported that they would be switching their efforts from the revision of the Rensselaer Handbook and Student Rights and Responsibilities to the universal access policy due to the lack of available work on the former. The Grand Marshal’s report mentioned that the most recent Student Senate survey was viewed by over 800 RPI affiliates which surpassed the Senate’s goal. Survey results will be available next week on RPI’s Flagship.
Most RPI students have problems with the campus. The weather can be terrible, classes are difficult, food leaves much to be desired, and the list goes on. Though there is a sizeable amount of problems, The Poly staff would like to remind everyone that RPI still does offer a great range of opportunities for students.
RPI has many organizations and events to help further your career goals. The Center for Career and Professional Development offers services from résumé critiquing to mock interviews. Career fairs are held twice a year to give students the opportunity to talk to companies in their respective fields. Workshops are held on graduate school, too. Additionally, many majors and departments have professional societies. Look at your major’s department pages for more information.
Additionally, RPI also has a large selection of special interest groups. There are options for many different people. The Women’s Mentor Program is quite large and provides first-year women with upperclassman female mentors with the same major or interests. Whether your interests lie in flying, sports, sustainability, the outdoors, writing, science fiction, robotics, music, or anything else under the sky or above it, you can find a club with like-minded people at RPI. If none exists, you can create your own by going through a process spelled out by the Executive Board of the Union.
Lastly, being at RPI means being at an educational institution focused on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math and research. Even if your major is not in the STEM fields, you may still find that you learn STEM-centered knowledge, for example computer programming, that will be valuable to any career in a world with increasing reliance on STEM. If your field falls under the category of STEM, RPI is the perfect place to expand your skills. In your residence halls, after classes, or anywhere at RPI, you will find many people interested in the similar subjects as you are with whom you can have vibrant discussions.
For those who love the science fiction genre and glimpses at the future, then it should be no surprise for any fan to have been excited for the reading of William Gibson last Sunday, an author who is certainly one of the premier modern science fiction authors, and who has cemented himself as one of the greatest in history.
Prior to this past summer, I had no experience with Gibson’s work. Then I picked up a copy of Gibson’s debut and most lasting work, Neuromancer. I was blown away with not only the cyberpunk world, but how clearly different it was from other science fiction. Orwell’s 1984 and other novels coming after display either a future where there is an ominous overseer or a seemingly free utopia of equality that is actually broken, clear metaphors for how a fascist and communist future are both poor outlooks. However, the uber capitalist and disgusting corporate universe Gibson created was both beautiful and sickening. Corporations become Monarchies, but ascend to an almost God-like level of omnipresence. Gibson injects a level of ingenuity and originality in his works that I’ve not seen paralleled in the science fiction world by any other author.
For the reading, Gibson chose two passages from his newest book, The Peripheral. The Peripheral takes place in two distinct futures, one not so distant and another quite so. The closer of the two is an earth where a Wal-Mart type corporation is one of the only industries with power, while the farther is set in the only stronghold for humanity after a series of disasters leave only an anarchic London standing. The chapters from both perspectives gave the audience a good taste of the book before asking questions, most of which related to Gibson’s process for writing.
Gibson is quite peculiar as a science fiction author; he wrote Neuromancer on a typewriter, and while he writes about cyberspace (a term he coined), video games, and emergent technologies, he doesn’t really use them. During the question section, he stated explicitly that as someone who watches others play video games and the new uses for computers, it makes it easier for him to write characters who use them as an observer. He stated that the last video game he had played was pong, and once Tetris had come out, it was all too complicated for him. He also discussed musical influences and how he always disappoints people. While artists like Lou Reed and David Bowie have had an influence, Steely Dan and Bruce Springsteen are a greater sources of inspiration. Gibson stated that he likes to imagine the music in a future setting, and tries to write around what kind of world that would be.
After the crowd questions, Gibson tabled outside the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center Concert Hall to sign books and talk with fans. If you haven’t read any of Gibson’s works, I would highly recommend it, and if you missed this reading, I would also recommend not missing the next.
In the first of two games against St. Cloud State last weekend, senior right wing Ali Svoboda scored to tie the score at two late in the high-scoring opening period. But, a shorthanded goal by St. Cloud State early in the second period gave the Huskies the third and final goal they needed to beat the Engineers. The following afternoon, the Huskies scored a power play goal in the first period and never looked back, winning the second game 3-0.
Nine minutes into Friday’s matchup, the Engineers mishandled the puck and St. Cloud center Molly Illikainen broke away from the pack and flipped the puck past senior goalie Brianna Piper to put the visitors up 1-0. Then, immediately following the goal, St. Cloud went on the power play. 23 seconds later, Husky forward Lauren Hespenheide scored from the left wing to put St. Cloud up by two.
The Engineers didn’t go away quietly though. After St. Cloud goalie Julie Friend saved the first seven shots she faced, a rebound and shot by junior forward Lauren Wash found the back of the net to put Rensselaer back within one. Then, two and a half minutes later, freshman center Shayna Tomlinson weaved toward the St. Cloud goal and dished the puck to Svoboda. Svoboda gathered the puck and blasted it past Friend to tie the score at two.
With 5:52 gone by in the second period, St. Cloud defender Alexandra Makaric was penalized for body checking and RPI went on the power play. One minute later, a poorly timed pass by the Engineers was stolen by Illikainen who found forward Abby Ness open up ahead to score the go-ahead goal for the Huskies.
The final 30 minutes of the game were highlighted by several missed scoring opportunities for both sides. Piper made thirteen saves down the stretch to keep RPI within one. However, Friend managed to close out the victory by making 20 stops in the final two periods. She finished with 28, while Piper stopped 23 of 26 shots she faced.
A power play goal for St. Cloud State at the 11:27 mark in the first period was the only score the Huskies needed to beat the Engineers on Saturday. But, Husky forward Spataro and Illikainen each added goals of their own midway through the second period.
Meanwhile, the Engineers’ offense failed to ignite. Husky goalie Katie Fitzgerald made eight saves and earned a 3-0 shutout victory to give St. Cloud the sweep. For RPI, senior goalie Kelly O’Brien was great between the pipes, saving 33 of 36 shots she faced.
With the pair of victories, St. Cloud State improves to 5-4-1 while the Engineers fall to 1-7-3. Next up for Rensselaer is a weekend road trip to Quinnipiac University on Friday, November 14, and Princeton University on Saturday, November 15.
The Republican Party has gained control over the United States Senate in the 2014 midterm elections. Victories in North Carolina, Colorado, Iowa, West Virginia, Arkansas, Montana, and South Dakota have secured control of both the Senate and the House for Republicans. A significant event of this round of elections was Republican Senator Mitch McConnell’s re-election in Kentucky. McConnell, now Senate majority leader, bested his democratic challenger, Alison Grimes, in a tight race. Addressing the change in the political landscape, McConnell stated that he “doesn’t expect the President to wake up tomorrow and view the world any differently … We have an obligation to work together on issues where we can agree.” Additionally, Democrats held onto New Hampshire, where Democrat Jeanne Shaheen bested former Massachusetts Republican Senator Scott Brown. Finally, Republican Tim Scott became the first black senator elected from the south since Reconstruction.
The Grand Old Party has also strengthened its hold in the House of Representatives, expanding its 234-seat majority. Mia Love replaced Democratic Representative Jim Matheson and became the first black female Republican elected to Congress. Republican Elise Stefanik became the youngest woman ever to serve in Congress. Congress will have 100 female members for the first time. Republicans also won 24 out of the 26 gubernatorial elections, a net gain of two seats. The GOP won in some deep blue states such as Maryland, Massachusetts, and Illinois. In Pennsylvania, Democrat Tom Wolf defeated the incumbent governor Republican Tom Corbett—the first instance in which a sitting governor has been defeated in the state.
Many progressive measures fared well in ballot initiatives. Voters approved legislation legalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use in Washington, D.C. and Oregon. Minimum wage was raised in Arkansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota.
Find out where you are liked; don't overwhelm yourself
After having spent a year at this school, I think I’ve come to understand a bit about college culture, specifically, how it can change a person’s identity or values. While it may be a good thing to be pushed into some discomfort in order to grow as a person, but sometimes this is not always the case. Personally, I’ve gone through a lot of growth as a person in my year as a student, most of it being good, and I think I have a few tips to give to anyone who’s not sure about their college experience.
First, try to make friends who share similar interests and wish to further their passions. This may seem like a difficult thing to do, but it’s much simpler than it appears. In fact, I didn’t know I had an interest in newsprint in any form before someone brought me to The Poly office. I’d never worked for a newspaper in high school or written an article prior to going to that work night, but I made great friends there who have made me a better person by extension of our work. While I would say advice as blunt as “join a club” is bad, don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try something new.
Along the lines of trying something new, don’t be afraid to be challenged on your beliefs. Before coming to college, I was completely against fraternities, and never saw myself joining one. However, on my first day at college, I met someone who is now a great friend of mine, who introduced me to his fraternity where I made more good friends. Eventually, I could see myself as a brother of the house and decided to pledge. Again, this is a case where a phrase like “go Greek” is not good advice, not everyone can find a fraternity they want to rush, or even can rush, but it is a valid option for a group of like-minded people.
If you haven’t noticed already, there’s a trend in my advice. Don’t jump head first into groups whose responsibilities could be overwhelming for a new student, but don’t be afraid to try something different and see where you belong. Most important, however, is that you should try to align yourself with people who can make you a better person, the college experience is a pressing point for maturity. Now is the time to make yourself the person you want to be for the rest of your life, so you should at least attempt to become a more well rounded person.
On the evening of November 5, the ’86 Field was the site of a spectacle of lights, sound, and comradery in the form of weR BRIGHT, presented by weR–The Spirit of Rensselaer Society. Over 200 students, faculty, and staff gathered together to celebrate Founder’s Day. Attendees enjoyed a great program that featured a speech by President Shirley Ann Jackson, performances by the a cappella groups Duly Noted and Partial Credit, a hot chocolate station, and the premier of a video created by Rensselaer’s Office of Strategic Communications and External Relations called “How Has Rensselaer Changed Your World.” The evening continued as Jackson flipped the switch to light up the walkway of the ’86 Field so spectators could view the light and music show. It was a busy and exciting night! I had the honor of being Lead Agent of Lights, and it has been one of the greatest experiences of my college career.
The weR BRIGHT/Founders celebration was a combined effort by SCER and weR. weR is a student organization sponsored by the Rensselaer Alumni Association, with the mission to embrace RPI’s unique tradition to build stronger students, a stronger community, and stronger alumni.
Soraya Fouladi ’16, chief visionary of weR, said this about BRIGHT: “To me, weR BRIGHT is one of the most beautiful events at Rensselaer. Campus truly comes alive in the night. It took a community to create this event, and it takes a community to enjoy it! These lights represent the eternal glow of the many hearts and minds of the Rensselaer community.” I couldn’t agree more. The effect they create is very striking.
Since I first encountered weR BRIGHT, nearly by accident, I was fascinated with the event. I was determined to join weR and be a part of helping to make this event something special for others. I envisioned making it bigger and better. I joined weR as soon as I could and ran for lead agent on the weR BRIGHT event. Lead agents are assigned to each event to create and oversee them as they progress. I soon found myself with control of an event and next to no technical knowledge of how to make string lights dance. It was a blessing to find Frank Appio ’15 and Stephen Jiang ’17, who became my technical advisors on the adventure and bowled through the programming in a way that, even as a game design and computer science dual major, I can’t explain. It was incredible. Between the two of them, they gave days upon days to bringing us the dancing lights we saw on November 5. Applo even donated some of the integral technology that made the whole thing run. I cannot thank either of them enough.
The Wednesday before BRIGHT had to be the nastiest, rainiest day I’ve ever seen on this campus. Naturally, that was the day we scheduled to put string lights in more than twenty trees. And you know what? It was actually a ton of fun! I had an amazing crew to work with and we made light (pun intended) of the work we had to do. weR is one of those clubs where, when someone needs something done, there will always be someone who jumps in to help, no matter how far away they live, how much everyone has to do, or how lousy the weather is. You can always count on your fellow agents. Throughout the process, people jumped in to assist in making the dream come true, be it by baking for BRIGHT’s sister event that day, weR 190, moving muddy objects in their clean cars, or making a run across campus to poster West Hall. I also want to thank our contacts in the staff, the wonderful group from Red & White who also got involved, and our weR Agents are champions.
As the lead agent on the party side of BRIGHT, Gregory Pepe ’17 noted, “The evening went off without a hitch.” Greg was a fantastic agent to work alongside. The night was warm and clear and the moon shown full and bright, despite worries that it was going to rain. For the rest of the evening, like some sort of magic was at work (because it was—we call it Python script), the trees blinked on and off in a wave. They still do on occasion. Be sure to go check them out.
After the light show, I had a chance to talk to several people, including Jackson herself. We were able to enjoy the event together. The weR BRIGHT/Founder’s Day celebration was a step forward in the “Bridge to the Bicentennial,” as Jackson and Rensselaer prepare to celebrate RPI’s 200th Birthday. I can only imagine the celebration that’s going to be.
weR BRIGHT was a wonderful chance to reflect on our school, what it has been and what it is; even what it will be. RPI, as I’m sure no one has ever said before, really does stand today without a peer. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to learn from (and I mean both the friends I’ve made and the faculty I’ve met) or a better school to grow with. When I look at the lights on ’86 Field, I’m reminded of the impressive past, beautiful present, as well as the glimmering future. RPI, keep being amazing.
Engineers struggle against Harvard, come back to defeat Dartmouth
Saturday night at the Houston Field House was tough for the Engineers and the RPI fans in attendance, as the Harvard Crimson came ready to play.
After a strong first shift from the Engineers, the red and white drew a penalty that led to two minutes of passing, which would be about the only time the Rensselaer players could find each other’s sticks all night. The power play yielded no opportunities, and Rensselaer’s long night began from there. Harvard began to start dominating every aspect of the game as the Engineers looked flat on their feet and sloppy with their passing. A combination of poor choices with the puck and bad playmaking led to turnovers in the RPI zone, including a turnover right into the slot from which the Engineers were bailed out by a great save from junior RPI net minder Jason Kasdorf. The Engineers found themselves with a one man advantage again shortly after, but again, the power play was a fruitless effort, with much of it spent retrieving the puck from the corners behind Kasdorf. Sensing the lack of energy from the team, the crowd at the Field House tried to energize the building by starting a “Go Red! Go White!” chant. This would be a short lived chant as RPI took their first of six penalties for the night. The Engineers were able to fend off Harvard’s attack, but late in the period, sloppy play led to a turnover and a two on one for Harvard forcing the Engineers to take an interference penalty on the back check with 2:07 left to play in the period. This opportunity was seized by the Crimson as a tic-tac-toe passing play beat the Kasdorf and the entire penalty kill unit to put Harvard’s first goal on the board. Down 10-5 in shots on goal, down 1-0 in the game, and coming off an unsuccessful penalty kill, the Engineer’s went back into the locker room without any momentum.
The second period began similarly to the first, with the game looking pretty balanced. The Engineers earned a good chance against the Harvard goalie about two minutes into the period. At 3:07 into the period, Harvard took a too many men penalty giving RPI a power play, but again the Engineers were unable to generate offense. Play continued without much happening from either team until Harvard netted its second tally at about the halfway point in the period. Harvard beat a man one on one into the zone and found himself alone behind Kasdorf. The Harvard forward and Rensselaer played a game of cat and mouse, Harvard behind the net, RPI at the top of the crease, which would be won by Harvard as the puck was tucked between Kasdorf’s skate and the left goal post after the defensemen picked the wrong direction to chase, making the game 2-0 for the Crimson. The Engineer’s only other real scoring chance came just after as senior forward Jacob Laliberte beat the Harvard goalie but hit the crossbar off of a Harvard turn over that left him all alone in the slot. With just over six minutes to play, Rensselaer took another interference penalty leading to a defensive zone face off. A face-off win for the Engineers led to a clear and a subsequent breakout from Harvard. They streaked up the ice and scored on the first rush making the game 3-0, in favor of the visitors. The Engineers would take one more penalty before the period came to a close with the game clearly in Harvard’s hands.
Harvard opened the period with a good scoring chance that they followed up with a goal just 1:07 into the period leaving RPI with a four-goal deficit. A bad pinch by the Engineers in the offensive zone shortly after led to a Harvard 3-0 lead. This forced Rensselaer to take its fifth penalty of the night for tripping. RPI would take its sixth penalty just past the half-way point in the period for holding. At this point, the seats began to empty as fans had seen enough and began to try to beat the traffic out of the Houston Field House. Those that did leave didn’t miss any action as the remainder of the game yielded no real source of excitement from either team. In a game in which 12 minutes were spent shorthanded and the offense only generated 14 shots, the Engineers weren’t able to find a winning effort and fell to Harvard 4-0.
After a disappointing return to the Houston Field House from previously sweeping formerly number two ranked Union last weekend, the Engineers were able to right the ship on Saturday against Dartmouth University coming up with a 2-1 win. After dropping a goal in the first period, Rensselaer stymied the Dartmouth attack in the second and third period, coming up with two goals in the final period from junior forward Milos Bubela and senior forward Zach Schroeder. Freshman forward Viktor Liljegren and junior defensemen Craig Bokenfohr were credited with assists on the Bubela goal and freshman forward Lou Nanne and junior forward Mark Miller for the goal by Schroeder. This past weekend brings RPI’s record this season to 4-6-0 and 3-1-0 in Eastern College Athletic Conference play. The Engineers remain at home next weekend, facing Princeton University on Friday November 14, and face off against 20th ranked Quinnipiac on Saturday November 15.
After not meeting last week, the Executive Board met to discuss the budgets of the Rensselaer Pride Alliance and Women’s Club Soccer.
First on the agenda was a proposal by James Van Bebber from the RPA. Van Bebber was presenting to the Board regarding a change in the projected profit of Drag Show, a charity event held once a semester to raise money for the Damien Center in Albany. The board had raised the suggested income from $500 to $1,100 dollars. Van Bebber said that the aim of the event was to donate to charity, and that an increase of more than double would not leave them enough to donate. Erica Hutchins ’15 made the problem clear, stating the Rensselaer Union would not provide money from the Student Activity fee to a charity event. The purpose of the fee is to support events for Rensselaer students. President of the Union Erin Amarello ’15 said that if it were an event for students with the option of donating to charity, the Rensselaer Union would support the event, but because it was specifically charity event, the Union could not fund it. However, because Van Bebber made it clear that the event was only spending $500 and not the $1,100 in the budget, the board agreed to lower the amount. In their first motion of the evening, the board voted 14-0-0 to lower RPA’s Drag Show costs from $1,100 to $500.
Second on the agenda was Abby Lindberg ’16 presenting for Women’s Club Soccer. Women’s Club Soccer requested Union funding to cover league fees and equipment costs. Lindberg stated that currently each team member is paying $32 to cover league fees and referee costs, and that most of the team’s equipment, including soccer balls and cones, is owned by members who will be graduating within the next year. Lindberg hoped that the budget would put Women’s Club Soccer on par with the budget given to Men’s Club Soccer. Andrew Sudano ’17 then reminded the board that the membership fees for Men’s Soccer are higher, so the Union did not have to provide them with as much money. After some more discussion, Amarello said that getting equipment for the team was a priority, and that the team should be responsible for paying its own league and referee fees. In motion two of the evening, the board approved 14-0-0 to give $300 to the Women’s Club Soccer team for equipment, and also pay $0.25 per mile for traveling to away games and tournaments.
The meeting then moved to the Directors Report, Senate Report, and President’s Report. In the President’s Report, Amarello reminded board members to speak to their clubs about preliminary budgets for the next year. The meeting then closed.
Electronic voting system will be open source; Senate tabling in DCC this Thursday
This Monday in the Student Senate, Elizabeth Anderson ’14, chairperson of the Student Sustainability Task Force, presented progress on an ongoing proposal for the establishment of a Green Revolving Fund on campus. The Student Sustainability Task Force was established as a President’s Cabinet project, became a Senate subcommittee, and then a Union-recognized club. It has worked closely with the Senate, students, administration, and the surrounding community throughout its lifespan. SSTF coordinates other environmental clubs and works on major campus sustainability projects.
A Green Revolving Fund is a rolling budget used to fund sustainability projects on campus. GRFs center on the principle that an initial investment into energy-saving technology will pay itself back over time. Additional money saved will contribute to the Green Revolving Fund, to again be allocated to sustainable efforts. Over time, the fund averages out to negative cost—as the initial investment will not only pay for itself but contribute to the fund’s growth.
These programs have been successful on several campuses nationwide—such as Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Stanford University. SSTF would like to start a similar fund here at Rensselaer. Of course, a successful fund requires a promising, convincing, and successful proposal for its starting investment. SSTF is currently working on three such proposals—one for solar panels, two for other sustainable efforts. Sustainability is a critical issue facing our campus and our generation: if you’re interested in contributing to the greening of the RPI campus, email Elizabeth at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We also heard from the Rules and Elections Committee about their ongoing progress towards an electronic voting system. Currently, all student elections are done by Scantron—however, continued maintenance, cost, and sleepless nights by the Rules and Elections committee have increased the demand for a quicker, easier, and less expensive system.
The system will ensure a rapid, secure process: students will swipe their RPI ID card to check their RIN against a database. If their RIN has been previously recorded, they will be kicked out of the voting process—otherwise they will be able to proceed. Students who are eligible to vote for one of two class years will be allowed to choose their cohort. After selecting cohort, students may vote for the best candidates in each applicable category. Of course, students may also write in candidates, as per usual.
When a student hits submit, two asynchronous calls will be made to the Union server. First, the student’s RIN will be added to a database table meant to track who has voted, avoiding duplicates and preventing students from voting twice. Second, their actual vote will be recorded with no association with the RIN. This will prevent duplicate votes, and make it impossible to break the integrity of the election process, by determining who voted for which candidates.
This software is being developed largely open-source: as such, in addition to internal testing, we’ll be inviting members of the RPI student body to stress-test the software. Mock elections and public sessions will be held early next semester. If you’re interested in being a part of the testing process, contact Anthony Barbieri at email@example.com, or Rules and Elections Chairman Melanie Todis (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Additionally, this Thursday, the Student Senate will be tabling in the DCC Great Hall from 9 am–3 pm. Senators, E-Board members, and committee members will be available to talk about major student issues—from residence hall access, to Sodexo and dining services, to helping students connect with campus research opportunities. If you’re interested in any of these issues, or have other concerns to express, this is the perfect opportunity to connect with us and make your voice heard. As the year continues, we’ll be tabling every other Thursday, and postering bi-weekly so keep your eye out and don’t be afraid to get in touch—we’re happy to help. If you have any questions, come by this Thursday, visit me in my office hours each Wednesday from noon–3 pm, or email me at email@example.com.
When you think of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the first thing that comes to mind is usually not entrepreneurship. Even though this is the case, there is a flourishing support system for anyone at RPI with an invention and a willingness to bring it to the world as recognized by President Shirley Ann Jackson in her State of the Institute address on October 11, citing a commitment to “fostering technological entrepreneurship.” Additionally, according to a July 2014 Forbes article, RPI ranks 11th on the list of “America’s Most Entrepreneurial Universities.”
There are four main resources to provide assistance to aspiring entrepreneurs:
The Severino Center for Technological Entrepreneurship supports budding and early stage entrepreneurs in the Rensselaer community through programs, coaching, and networks. Centered in Rensselaer’s Lally School of Management, the mission of the Center is to expose every Rensselaer student to the practices and principles of entrepreneurship, to help Rensselaer students start businesses, and to extend Rensselaer’s leadership and national prominence in technological entrepreneurship. For more information about the Severino Center, visit http://scte.rpi.edu/.
The Office of Technology Commercialization supports researchers and student entrepreneurs in protecting intellectual property, developing patent strategies and bringing discoveries into the commercial marketplace through licensing. The OTC is dedicated to building relationships with commercial partners to benefit Rensselaer, innovators, and the broader community. For more information about the OTC, visit http://www.rpitechnology.com/.
The Emerging Ventures Ecosystem at Rensselaer accelerates the growth of new businesses and boosts the transfer of scientific and technological breakthroughs from the laboratory and classroom to the marketplace, for social and economic impact. EVE links Rensselaer institutional resources and alumni expertise symbiotically with community strengths, in a multi-faceted partnership for mutual benefit. For more information about the EVE, visit http://rpihub.org/.
The Technology Park is a division of the Institute offering a unique environment for technology ventures focused on the interface between industry and education. There are over 70 companies in the Park representing diverse technologies ranging from electronics to physics research, from bio-technology to software. For more information about the Technology Park, visit http://rpitechpark.com/.
Let’s say that you had an idea. Where would you go? The best course of action is to start with the OTC and Severino Center. These two resources will guide you through the disclosure, imagination, and invention phases at which point you work with the Severino Center to do some customer discovery work and develop a viable business model. They will then help you through the proof of concept and feasibility stages. At this point, you begin to work more closely with EVE on strategy, entity creation and demonstration. Finally, when it comes to the launch, the Tech Park is a terrific location for growing businesses interested in staying in the Capital District. Why wouldn’t you stay? With strong connections and access to extremely intelligent students at Rensselaer, your business will have outstanding odds in the risky game of entrepreneurship.
The Mohawk Battalion Ranger Challenge Team, led by Siena College senior Zachary Larson, placed third out of 14 in the small school category and ninth out of 42 overall at the United States Army Cadet Command Ranger Challenge Competition in Fort Dix, NJ. The Ranger Challenge is a mentally and physically grueling competition between the top cadets of 42 Army ROTC programs in the northeastern United States. The cadets were required to complete a 10-mile ruck march, obstacle course, one rope bridge, log carry, and other demanding tasks throughout the day. The annual competition took place this year on the weekend of October 11–12. The Army ROTC Mohawk Battalion, based at Siena College, consists of the Army ROTC programs of Siena (Alpha Company); RPI (Bravo Company); and the University at Albany, State University of New York (Charlie Company).
I hope everyone had a pleasant weekend. First, I would like to thank all of the contestants on the R-Factor, the annual talent show hosted by the Class of 2015. I had so much fun being a judge, and I am always impressed by the talents of my fellow classmates. We had six very talented acts ranging from whistling to freestyle rap, and it turned out to be a very entertaining night. It was difficult for the judges to come to an agreement on the winners of the talent show, but I hope the victors enjoy their gift cards and that those who did not win know that they performed well and that the crowd definitely enjoyed the show.
The Executive Board meetings have been a little quiet lately so if your club has a proposal or would like to get something done before Winter Break, now is the time! Last week, we were visited by the Women’s Soccer Club who was approved to become Union-funded and the Rensselaer Pride Alliance who came in to discuss the funding of their Drag Show, which I heard was a major success this past weekend. As budgeting approaches, we have been discussing the budgeting guidelines, food policies, and creating a new club funding proposal sheet. As a reminder, all preliminary budgets are due on November 30. Please make sure to work with your E-Board Representative and Student Activities Resource Person to put together a budget that accurately represents the activities and events that your club holds. The official budgeting guidelines will be out sometime next week, and I will be informing club officers of any major changes. On that note, update your club membership lists! Having an updated officer list and first point of contact allows for us to communicate effectively with your club. When you have updated membership lists, it allows us to accurately assess the participation in your club for budgeting purposes. The club officer list is also something we pull from when there are any leadership events being hosted. Phalanx uses these membership lists to check the participation of a nominee for their leadership honor societies. These are only a few of the many good reasons to update your officer list, so please help us out!
In the world of athletics, I wish the men’s and women’s basketball teams the best of luck as they begin their seasons this weekend. The women’s basketball team begins its season with a tournament in Maine. On Saturday, the men will play away against Worcester Polytechnic Institute, then compete in their first home game the following afternoon at 3 pm against Berkeley. While the basketball teams begin their season the football team, and cross country teams will be concluding their seasons this weekend. Cross country will be competing in the NCAA Atlantic Regional, and football has a home game against Union College to fight for the Dutchman Shoes trophy. I can’t wait to see everyone there cheering them on!
Finally, I would like to congratulate our men’s and women’s soccer teams, especially their seniors, on amazing seasons. The women lost in the semi-finals of the Liberty League Tournament to Saint Lawrence on penalties after a 0-0 draw. The men fell in the league title game 1-0, also to Saint Lawrence. I know it is never easy to say goodbye to a season, or to an NCAA career, but remember to be proud of how far you have come as programs and as individuals during your time here in RPI athletics.
Have a great week! Today, I will not be in my office hours due to budgeting meetings but as always feel free to email me with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This week’s athlete of the week is junior forward Nathaniel Gunderson of men’s soccer. Last Wednesday, RPI hosted Vassar College for a pivotal Liberty League semifinal confrontation. After a half of scoreless soccer, Gunderson broke out in the second frame, scoring two goals in a span of 25 minutes to give the Engineers an insurmountable lead.
The second goal, which came in the 77th minute, was assisted by senior forward Tim Terrezza. Rensselaer went on to win the game 3-1, before losing a closely contested affair to St. Lawrence University in the Liberty League finals.
Gunderson finished his junior campaign with five goals and two assists for a total of 12 points.
A new precedent has been set this fall by the members of Emerging Leaders 2, a select group of students involved in the second step of the Emerging Leaders series. Matthew Pack, a sophomore chemical engineer, said that he joined the Emerging Leaders program “to better understand what it takes to become a good leader. In EL2, I am applying the lessons I learned from Emerging Leaders 1 to get more involved with the RPI community.” A prime example of this is their responsibility to organize the Sophomore Symposium, a leadership conference that guides sophomores to reflect and improve upon their own personal and professional experiences. Since this event is slated to take place in the spring semester, a precursor event has been born to further prepare the sophomore class: The Sophomore Toast.
Why is it called the Sophomore Toast? Quite simply, it is meant to be a toast for sophomores, celebrating the transition into their academic career at RPI. Historically, the event existed as a soirée, but it has been reinvented as a toast to allow for the dual purpose of focusing on networking skills. The more important question, however, is “What is the Sophomore Toast?”
The Sophomore Toast is meant to build a foundation for the Sophomore Symposium in a low-key setting. This event serves as a fun simulation of how to network properly in a casual setting with professional faculty and other students. During the toast, students attending will listen to brief, interactive presentations that address important networking conduct and questions that most students have had at one point or another. These points of interest include how to demonstrate confidence, relieve nervous habits, construct an elevator pitch, and how to effectively and politely close a conversation. Simply knowing how to respond in each situation isn’t enough however; this event offers the unique opportunity to put these skills to use on the spot in conversations with attendants including, but not limited to the class deans, school deans, administrators and other special guests.
The Sophomore Toast, open exclusively to sophomores, will take place on November 18, from 4–6 pm in Studio Beta in the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center. Students are expected to adhere to a business casual dress code, and should sign up at no cost prior to the event at http://se.ticketleap.com/sophomore-toast/. A number of students have already registered. Sophomore Conrad Mossl was asked why he signed up for the event and claimed that “I [saw] the success the sophomore programs had last year and I’ve been excited to participate in the programs ever since. I also enjoy talking to the administration, faculty, and staff of the school, and I know the Sophomore Toast will be including them in the event.” The Sophomore Toast only has a limited number of slots, and considering the event is free and offers free food, free gifts, and lots of surprises, don’t wait and miss this incredible opportunity!
Coming off of an impressive 7-0 victory over Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences to finish their regular season, women’s soccer hosted St. Lawrence University in the semifinals of the Liberty League Conference tournament. During the first 90 minutes of play, the Engineers held the advantage, putting four shots on goal compared to just one for the Saints. However, neither team scored and the game went into overtime.
After making a save six minutes in, RPI freshman goalie Tori Riopelle wasn’t tested until the 96th minute when a St. Lawrence forward Samantha Rock shot hit the post and she deftly made a save on the rebound. In the 104th minute, freshman forward Dali Alarian had an opportunity in the box to score, but her header was knocked away by St. Lawrence goalie Kelsey West. Then, West made another save a minute and a half later when sophomore forward Cori Winslow hit a good ball towards the Saints net. After two 10 minute periods of overtime, the game remained scoreless and the two teams went into a shootout with their playoff hopes on the line. Senior midfielder Sandy Kirk and senior forward Dana Sailor each converted their penalty kick attempts. However, St. Lawrence made all four of theirs and won the shootout 4-2, ending RPI’s brilliant season one game short of the conference finals.
In the Liberty League semifinals on Wednesday, November 5, junior forward Nathaniel Gunderson scored twice in the second half to give the Engineers a 2-0 lead over visiting Vassar College. The second goal was assisted by senior forward Tim Terrezza.
Later, in the 84th minute, senior midfielder Matt Koziol scored to cushion RPI’s lead to three. One goal in the 90th minute for Vassar was too little, too late as the Engineers posted a 3-1 victory and advanced to the conference finals against St. Lawrence University.
The conference finals took place on Saturday, November 8 at St. Lawrence. Under the gun from the start, senior goalie Rob Dewald stood up to the test in the first half, making four saves in the opening half to help Rensselaer stay level with the Saints.
Early in the second half, RPI put the pressure on opposing goalie Sean Houston, taking two shots in the 49th minute, one of which Houston had to knock away. But, it was the Saints that controlled possession and created several opportunities to score. The RPI defense fought valiantly to keep St. Lawrence at bay. In the 66th minute, St. Lawrence senior back Austin Roney dribbled up the sideline and found senior midfielder Mark Provost on the left wing, who drilled a high shot over Dewald’s head and into the Engineer net to give the home team the lead.
In the final 25 minutes, the Engineers kept the Saints from expanding their lead, but managed just two scoring opportunities, both of which failed to find their mark. It was just the Engineers’ second loss in Liberty League play all season, both of which came at the hands of top-ranked St. Lawrence. The Engineers finished their season with a superb record of 12-4-3.
Rensselaer recently named Graig Eastin as vice president of Institute Advancement. Formerly, Eastin was the vice president of the Children’s Hospital Foundation and hopes to use the knowledge and skills he developed previously to improve RPI through his post. The authors of this article were given the opportunity to sit down with Eastin to discuss plans for the future of RPI and where he sees the Institute heading.
The interview began with questions asking Eastin what he would like to accomplish as the new vice president of institute advancement. He responded by explaining that he wishes to “make sure that [RPI is] positioned well for the next campaign. One of the things [he is] doing right now is assessing where our abilities are and what we need to do to truly fill out the 2024 plan.” He went on to state that he is working hard to fund the 2024 initiatives, especially regarding ones that are student-led.
When asked what drew him to RPI, Eastin responded that he was inspired by the Institute’s strong leadership under the supervision of Jackson. He continued by saying that he had been watching the change at RPI since 2007. He expressed that he wanted to “serve under someone who has a vision to change and transform an institute,” and that being a part of that process was very exciting to him.
Eastin remarked that Rensselaer wasn’t necessarily different from his prior work experience and that every academic institution has similar ways to get things done. He acknowledged that he has to learn the culture of RPI, but he was very enthusiastic about how much he has enjoyed the school’s culture so far. He went on to say that he has enjoyed working at a private institute because he can control his outlook whereas at a public university, there are a lot of state regulations and frames in place that are limiting and are difficult to work outside of the box and innovate like one can at a private institute.
Another important advantage that Eastin has is that he believes that his prior experience has prepared him well to face the challenges that he will be tasked with at Rensselaer. He claimed he has “great experience with capital campaigns and great experience with some startup work. [His] past experience at University of California San Diego was very applicable because [Eastin] started a brand new school of management.” He went on to cite his resourcefulness, which will help him achieve the largest output with the resources that are available to him.
Regarding the future of the Institute, Eastin claimed that “the future is very bright for RPI and the students present an incredible energy, and this is a very bright student population. Therefore, we will see many more leaders in our economy come out of this institution.” He continued by explaining how Rensselaer does a fantastic job preparing their students for the challenges they will face in the near future. Eastin hopes that he can help set up policies that will have a direct impact on the next 100 years.
The interview finished with the topic of what he has accomplished in his time thus far at RPI. He explained that he has been in an assessment period and is now coming up with new strategies to use in order to enable him to run a successful campaign. He went on to say that he has been opening dialogues with many of the Institute’s leaders and students to discuss the future of Rensselaer.
Eastin brings strong leadership and drive to Rensselaer as the Institute moves forward. Under his leadership, Rensselaer will be well equipped to face the challenges of the future.