Zwack: change comes with end of semester

It’s the start of December in Troy. No one knows what is in store for us, whether it is sunshine or snowstorms. It’s also the beginning of the end; two weeks of classes and then finals and you can check off another semester at RPI. I wouldn’t notch your belt just yet, as it seems the last few weeks will certainly be the busiest.

The end of the semester also means the review of the Student Senate progress thus far for its 40th term. Senate member evaluations have been made, and each committee will report on what it has done. This week is the opportunity for the President of the Union and me to present to the Student Life Committee of the Board of Trustees; drop me a line at if there’s something you think I should bring up.

The last scheduled meeting of the Student Senate for the Fall 2009 semester will be on December 8 at 4:30 pm in Union Room 3202. As the end of most legislative calendars go, it certainly will be a busy one: consideration of a new Institute-wide sign policy, appointments of the slate of candidates for the Judicial Board, and approval of the Student Senate budget for the 2011 fiscal year. I encourage all those interested to watch those at the meeting; they’re your representatives, after all, and should be doing the job you want them to do. As always, I’m available for you through e-mail, via twitter at, or often in the GM/PU office in the Student Government Suite on the third floor of the Rensselaer Union.

I would like to note the “changing of the guard” in some student leadership positions. A job well done to Editor in Chief Cara Riverso ’10, whose term finishes with this week’s paper; best of luck, and I look forward to working with the incoming EIC. In the Student Government Suite, I welcome the new Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Council Presidents John Mason ’11 and Jessica Wiggs ’10, respectively, along with their executive officers.

This weekend marks a milestone in the history of Rensselaer: the first decade of The Rensselaer Plan, the 10th anniversary of Shirley Ann Jackson as our president, and the completion of Renaissance at Rensselaer—the Campaign for Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute—will be celebrated. Now is the time to reflect on those who have made the RPI we know today. If you look around, a lot of people are to credit; faculty, students, staff, administration, alumni, and many others made it happen, and that’s why this Celebration Weekend is for all of you. Spend some time this weekend (between studying and hockey) and attend a presentation or session; there are plenty of events going on (check out the Celebration Weekend website at

There has been change, and it can be argued that it has been good and bad, but we’ve moved ahead, and that cannot be argued. Ten years has brought us to another level, and it doesn’t have to stop here. Jawaharlal Nehru once said, “There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.”

Take a look around and see what we have done and where we can go, and join in the celebration.