RPI United places spotlight on campus life

I spent the better part of the week participating with a student team from the Lally School of Management & Technology at Georgetown University’s Business Strategy Challenge. Colleges including New York University, Northeastern University, Southern Methodist University, and Clemson University attended and we spent most of our time on Georgetown’s campus. Call it school spirit, but I missed what we had at RPI. They have their own student union, but it is just an organization, not a building. RPI students certainly have a bigger voice when it comes to funding not only a building and its services, but athletics, clubs, organizations, and programming. I guess one doesn’t know what they have until they’re displaced for a few days…

Congratulations to the Women’s Ice Hockey Team on a hard-fought victory over Quinnipiac in the first round of playoffs (after five overtimes) as well as to our men’s team for making the playoffs as No. 6 in the ECAC. If you’ll be around this Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, watch our RPI Engineers play on home ice against Brown for the first round of playoffs. Go Red!

Last weekend, the Rensselaer Alumni Association met to discuss a variety of organization topics in addition to campus items. Garett Vassel ’10 made a great presentation to the board on RPI United, a great grass-roots student organization that only seeks to bring the spotlight on campus life, whether sporting events, musical performances, or student traditions. If you haven’t yet, join their group on Facebook; it’s another great way to stay involved in what’s going on.

The Student Senate is working on revisions to the Rensselaer Handbook of Student Rights and Responsibilities, in addition to its regular committee work. Send me an e-mail at gm@rpi.edu if you’re interested. Always feel free to stop by and visit me at the Grand Marshal/President Union office in the Rensselaer Union Student Government Suite (chances are I’m there) or send me a comment on http://twitter.com/rpigm/. Other current projects include Clustered Learning, Advocacy, and Support for Students benchmarking, a new Student Senate website, and looking at making student printing more sustainable. One item that we’re still working on that you’ll notice right now is upgrading to our shuttle-tracking program, which is already faster and improved. It’s still a work in progress, but you can still access it at http://shuttles.rpi.edu/.

For a quick return to campus pace when we all return from Spring Break, the Student Senate’s next Pizza with the Cabinet will be held on Tuesday, March 16, from 5:30–7:30 pm in the conference room of the Blitman Commons. In the spirit of the environment it is being held in, Residence Life professional staff will be attendance in addition to members of the President’s cabinet to discuss campus issues. This event is open to the entire student body; you can avoid the walk down by taking any West Campus shuttle.

As this is the week before the Spring Break, it is a traditional midterm exam time, so before you head off to Panama City, Myrtle Beach, or home to two feet of snow, keep up the academic motivation until that last class. For next week: stay safe, have fun, and enjoy.