Summer is almost done, but Student Senate is fun

Summer has reached its apex and we are fast approaching the return of life to the Rensselaer campus. Sure, there is Summer@Rensselaer, which many students take advantage of to whittle away their credit hours as the campus hosts many summer camps and conferences. But nothing compares to the beginning of the academic year on August 31, when everything (clubs, sports, and, yes, classes) fires up again.

I would like to welcome our incoming freshmen to the campus for their Student Orientation and the Navigating Rensselaer & Beyond experience. Once you get through the class registrations and mandatory lectures, make the most of your visits. It showcases the best part of student life and the college experience without all the worries of classes and homework. Make friends, find activities that interest you, and discover the great parts of the RPI campus (my favorite: the Rensselaer Union). I look forward to meeting our new freshmen at Convocation on August 30.

Those of you stepping onto this campus for the first time and those of you returning will see the completion of Rensselaer’s new East Campus Athletic Village, meet the first residents to occupy the Howard N. Blitman, P.E. ’50 Residence Commons, and participate in Reunion & Homecoming 2009, which will bring alumni here during the school year.

Along with the Class of 2013, there are some other new faces joining the Rensselaer family. I would like to acknowledge our new Dean of Engineering David Rosowsky, our new Dean of Architecture Evan Douglis, and our new Vice President for Enrollment Paul Marthers.

Summer is a time for relaxing by the beach, visiting the far reaches of the world, or seeing what it’s like to make it in the real world (if only for a few months with an internship). For me and the Student Senate, it has been a time for reflection on the past year and planning for the year ahead. We are looking at all we’ve done and the feedback we have received—both positive and negative—and determining what to do next.

This summer, we have been working with the Division of Student Life on the Clustered Learning Advocacy and Support for Students initiative, doing classroom assessments to see what needs to be fixed, compiling a guide to student government to inform students and encourage their involvement, and refreshing our websites and infrastructure to better serve you.

The Student Senate is at the heart of many projects that better your world at RPI; we’ve introduced Shuttle Tracking (so you can find where those pesky buses really are), Concerto (the digital signage system on campus), Pizza with the Cabinet (food and Q&A with RPI administrators), the Union website (a refreshed portal for all your clubs and activities), and many other endeavors. But we’re always interested in hearing what your thoughts are.

Have a comment, concern, or question? E-mail me at, find me on twitter at, or come visit me and the Student Senate in the Student Government Suite on the third floor of the Rensselaer Union. We’re there almost anytime.