Keep yourself healthy and safe

It has been four weeks since classes have started for the fall, and the RPI pace is starting to return to normal; freshmen now know where the Darrin Communications Center is and the football team is on an undefeated streak again after an amazing game last Saturday against Utica College. We’re one week away from Reunion and Homecoming weekend, the first time alumni and alumnae come back to campus during the Fall while we’re in school, one week from the East Campus Athletic Village opening and the first Hockey game, and it looks like a good year for RPI.

But while we’re neck-deep in homework and stuffing our weekends with sports games and club activities, we need to be aware of the environment around us. Take measures to prevent illness, wash your hands frequently, and be mindful of others. Make sure you take care of yourself and stay informed. Useful links include http://rpinfo.rpi.edu/ or http://alert.rpi.edu/.

Besides being aware of your personal health, keep an eye on your personal safety. Be proactive and contact Public Safety when you notice any suspicious activity or behavior. Keep their phone number in your cell phone, (518) 276-6611 for emergencies or (518) 276-6656 for non-emergencies. Register for RPIAlert so emergency messages arrive to your e-mail or cell phone. Try not to walk alone. It’s safer to walk in groups; plus, it’ll provide you someone to talk to. If you find yourself alone and don’t feel safe, call Public Safety for an escort, 24-7. Mind your surroundings and know where the emergency phones are. The Student Senate just recently worked with Public Safety on testing each pole and callbox on campus, and they will all reach the Department of Public Safety in an emergency. Hopefully you will never have to use one, but be prepared.

So what have you done so far this semester? If the answer is only homework, put down the graphing calculator and the textbook. Take a peek at one of the Concerto digital signage screens all over campus or visit their website at http://concerto.rpi.edu/. Turn off MatLab and go to http://union.rpi.edu/ and look over the more than 170 clubs and organizations on campus; maybe something will catch your eye. Many have their own website. If not, e-mail the club and make a meeting or two. Visit the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center website at http://empac.rpi.edu/ and experience a performance or screening; they’re held during the week and on the weekends. There are also some great websites like http://www.rpinsider.com/ that usually do a weekend sampler on all the activities and events held around campus and the surrounding community. Looking at all the options, you might stop thinking about the homework for a few hours— just don’t forget it entirely …

The Student Senate is looking at what’s happening on campus, and we have some plans on communication and awareness. It’s a project we cannot do alone, and that’s why we’re reaching out. We have been talking with the administration, faculty, and staff, and we want to talk to you as well. Watch for a survey in the next few weeks, tweet at me at http://twitter.com/rpigm/, or send me an e-mail at gm@rpi.edu. Watch what happens.

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