Full issue: December 7, 2016

The Rensselaer Polytechnic December 7, 2016

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STAFF EDITORIAL

GM and PU not told of job posting

Search for new Director of the Union starts behind the backs of students

It is clear that student-administration relations have been strained this year, and it is clear why. It should be clear that administrators have a moral obligation to inform students of changes that are being made, particularly when those changes are likely to have long-standing effects on student life. For all the work that has been done to improve the situation between students and professionals at RPI over the past two semesters, it’s disappointing to see just how little things have changed for students. Read more...

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ALBUM REVIEW

Starboy reinforces The Weeknd’s stardom

Hailing from outside Toronto, Canadian rapper The Weeknd has had a busy year. Fresh from his fame off of his first full album The Beauty Behind the Madness, the world eagerly awaited what Abel Makkonen Tesfaye might do next in his musical career. With the November 25 release of his new album Starboy, I feel like he has written a compelling argument as to why he deserves to remain at the forefront of the music industry. The Weeknd blends smooth rap verses with interchanged bursts of aggressive EDM synths and jumpy pop melodies, which makes for a unique listening experience. Read more...

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CURLING

Largest bonspiel yields Engineer succcess

Rensselaer hosted the largest collegiate bonspiel ever held in the nation in the United States Curling Association this past weekend, with 20 teams from 10 schools in attendance. RPI entered five teams into the three-day tournament which ran from Friday evening through Sunday morning at Schenectady Curling Club, where the team practices every Tuesday and Wednesday. Read more...

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STUDENT SENATE

New solutions to enhance on-campus safety

On December 5, Grand Marshal Paul Ilori ’17 opened the Student Senate meeting with committee reports. Those reports included a discussion led by Student Government Communications Chair Korey Prendergast ’17, who is currently updating Senate profiles for the Spring 2017 semester. Senate profiles are posted on the Student Government website and are used by students to learn who their elected officials are as well as their contact information. Read more...

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DERBY

Veterans lounge for students underway

Happy end of the semester! We all managed to make it to the end, just two weeks left until we can all head home for Winter Break. Since this is the last time I’ll be writing to you this semester, I would like to wish everyone happy holidays and good luck on their final exams and projects. Read more...

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TV SERIES REVIEW

3% delivers thrills

As the newest original release from Netflix, Brazilian-produced dystopian thriller 3% seems to be riding on the coattails of the popular Hunger Games franchise. The show debuted its eight-episode first season on November 25, and has quickly become the subject of binge-watches nationwide. Read more...

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STUDENT SENATE

Senate passes resolution in response to petition

Students created petition in hopes that the Rensselaer Union can be kept a student-run effort

After approximately eight months, the Student Union Senate passed a resolution 21–0–0 responding to the student petition Preserve the Student Union, which has received 470 signatures–the highest count found on an online student petition to date. The resolution included a brief description of the Rensselaer Union’s history, remarking that the Union, since its founding over 126 years ago, “has been widely hallmarked for its unique, student-run structure and continues to serve as a source of pride, spirit, and admiration for students, faculty, administration, and the greater Rensselaer community.” Read more...

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CAMPUS EVENT

RPI film showing explores experimental media

On Thursday, December 1, Laure Prouvost showed six of her short films and discussed the inspiration and meaning behind her works at Rensselaer’s Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center. Her short films were very experimental, fitting the venue, and showcased a lot of different techniques with image, sound, color, and narration. Read more...

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Rensselaer Union

Union Director posting sparks outcry

Position was posted without knowledge or approval of student leaders

On November 29, William Spelman Executive Search posted a job opening for a position in the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Division of Student Life, the Director of the Rensselaer Union, after nearly a year of heightened tensions following a protest against proposed Student Life changes this past April. Read more...

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Full issue: November 30, 2016

The Rensselaer Polytechnic November 30, 2016

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CAMPUS EVENT

Space veteran visits RPI campus

NASA astronaut Guion Bluford recounts time in orbit and other experiences

On Wednesday, November 16, former astronaut Guion Bluford shared his 15 years worth of experience in NASA, including 688 hours in space, with his lecture, “Free Fall! Flying In Space.” Bluford was one of 35 selected by NASA from a pool of thousands in 1979. Four years later, he became the first African American in space. Bluford didn’t hold back as he detailed all four of his Space Shuttle flights, including 76 different lab experiments he helped perform in Spacelab, his attempts at making sandwiches, and all of the quirks associated with daily life in zero gravity. Read more...

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EDITORIAL NOTEBOOK

Shoutout to my friends for keeping me sane

Well here we are, the last two weeks of the semester. For the next couple of weeks, we all have term projects, tests, papers, presentations, and, of course, finals, to look forward to. The upcoming weeks will feel like an eternity. This is not an uncommon feeling, but this feeling hits home at RPI more than at other colleges. RPI pushes its students with such a rigorous academic curriculum with incredibly challenging classes that may not necessarily be well taught. This puts extra pressure on us, especially at this time of the year, as this semester comes to an end. Read more...

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MOVIE REVIEW

Wizards, witches, beasts take New York City

Let’s get this out of the way: if you haven’t seen Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, go do it as soon as you can, because it is a fantastic movie and this article will contain spoilers. Read more...

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CURLING

Rensselaer slides to third national rank

Finishing in the runner-up position at the Rochester Institute of Technology Bonspiel at Rochester Curling Club on Sunday, November 13, the RPI Curling team emerged the third-ranked team in the nation, trailing only No. 1 University of Oklahoma and No. 2 State University of New York Polytechnic. The team maintains its ranking as it ventures into its home event this Saturday and Sunday, the RPI Bonspiel, held at Schenectady Curling Club in Schenectady, New York. Read more...

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EXECUTIVE BOARD

Student employees see wage increase

Members of the UPAC Lights and Sound committee presented a wage increase plan for their technicians. Currently, they are paid $10 per hour. The minimum wage value in New York is $9 per hour. They are paid slightly over the minimum wage because members of the UPAC Lights and Sound committee are trained technicians. However, the technicians of UPAC Lights and Sound have been making $10 per hour since $5 per hour was the average minimum wage. Read more...

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EDITORIAL NOTEBOOK

Physics II finally clicking

Undergraduate TAing most rewarding experience academically, socially since coming to Rensselaer

One special opportunity I’ve had this semester is that I’ve been able to be an undergraduate Teaching Assistant for Physics II. The undergraduate TAs staff the room during labs in order to help the students with the lab activities and answer questions. Sometimes, it can be intimidating to directly ask a professor what seems to be a simple question and that is where the undergraduate TA shines to fill in the gap. Also, at least in Physics II, the graduate TA and the professor float between two labs so they may not always be available during lab to answer questions immediately. In addition to being available during lab sessions, many of the TAs also do separate office hours either on Wednesday or Sunday of every week. Read more...

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ON CAMPUS EVENT

A night of Gatsby-era extravaganzas

On Saturday, November 19, the Rensselaer Union and UPAC hosted Union After Dark: Great Gatsby night. Many different groups hosted several activities, ranging from a spaghetti and marshmallow tower building contest, to juggling, to a 1920s costume contest. At each activity you participated in, you received a raffle ticket, which could be used to enter the contest to win one of a number of prizes, including an Amazon Echo Dot, a battery bank, a Lego set, a Bluetooth speaker, a Cinema Bulk pass, and a free dinner with Assistant Dean of Student Living and Learning Randi Mogul. There was also a selection of free food, including pizza, desserts, and a root beer keg open to those who came. Read more...

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CROSS COUNTRY

Runners close out season

The record-setting men’s cross country team raced on the 8000 meter course at the NCAA Division III National Championship in Louisville, Kentucky, on Saturday, November 19. They finished the race in 13th overall out of 32 teams, the highest position ever earned by the team in the Rensselaer’s history. The Institute’s only other appearance at the NCAA meet was in 1996, when they took 17th. Read more...

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STUDENT SENATE

Cheating survey planned by Student Senate

On November 28, Grand Marshal Paul Ilori ’17 opened the Rensselaer Union Student Senate meeting with committee reports. Those reports included a discussion led by Academic Affairs Committee Chair Varun Rao ’18, who addressed the need for the Rensselaer community to evaluate student perspectives on academic dishonesty. At the moment, the Senate currently possess no quantitative data to understand the scope of the issue. AAC hopes to address the current information disparity by releasing a survey that will collect data on student opinions regarding cheating. Read more...

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