Drop by Zwack’s office; he wants to hear your ideas

I wrote in my April 29, 2009 Top Hat that “School is out for summer, but the work never ends.” I promised when elected that I would work as hard for you as I possibly could, and I want to tell you it is a promise that has not changed. I’m your 143rd Grand Marshal, we’re your 40th Student Senate, and we are here for you. Welcome back.

For those who are starting their first year at RPI, let me tell you a little about the role of the Grand Marshal and the Student Senate. The GM, as it is known, is the highest elected student body position at RPI. I am charged with representing the students to the administration, faculty, staff, and community members. I also chair the Student Senate, which is the chief legislative body of the Student Union. We work on numerous projects, legislative items, and handle numerous appointee confirmations to many other organizations for the Rensselaer Union.

This summer has been a whirlwind adventure for many of us in Student Senate. We have been hard at work, meeting with members of the administration, touring and assessing classrooms, and laying the groundwork for the Senate’s new term.

The Student Senate held its annual conference this past Friday, attended by Senate members, other student government representatives, members of the president’s Cabinet, the mayor of the City of Troy, and numerous other RPI staff. It was an opportunity to discuss many items regarding student life, communication, and community relations. That event was incredibly productive, and I am positive that continuing such interactions will continue to improve the student life experience. A key point made during the Student Senate conference was made by our dean of students, who had this to say about what we as students need to do to become better informed: “Just ask.”

As the start of the new academic year and semester begins, make a new start with your experience here at RPI. Try something new in downtown Troy (such as bakery The Placid Baker, at 250 Broadway), visit the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center for some of their great performances, and don’t miss the football season-opener and “soft opening” of our new East Campus Athletic Village on September 12.

Another great way to open some new horizons this year is by attending the annual Union Activities Fair, to be held tomorrow from 6–9 pm. You will find most of the 170+ clubs and activities sponsored by the Union, so visit each booth and maybe try a new club this semester.

The Student Senate and I are constantly seeking your input on our ideas and plans, plus we’re always open to hearing what you have to say about something else. Contact me through e-mail at gm@rpi.edu, via Twitter at http://twitter.com/rpigm, or by visiting me in the GM/PU office in the Student Government Suite on the third floor of the Union. The door is almost always open.

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