Monthly Archives: November 2011

Senate criticizes Institute leadership

On Monday, the Student Senate convened to finalize their work on a resolution put forward at their last meeting two weeks ago. The resolution in question analyzes the current financial state of the Institute, the atmosphere for students and faculty alike as engendered by the leadership style of President Shirley Ann Jackson and the Institute’s ability to continue to follow the path put forward by in The Rensselaer Plan. Read more...

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Staff Editorial: Disappointment in cabinet attendance, communication

Among many questions asked at the recent town hall meeting, one that seems most relevant over these past days was a concern questioning the lack of of communication between RPI’s administration and the students. President Shirley Ann Jackson’s response cited the communication routes available between students and the deans/vice presidents. In particular, reference was given to the semesterly Pizza with the Cabinet. Read more...

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Quality of Skyrim equal to quantity

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Let me try to put this game into context for you, because, let’s be honest, without first narrowing the frame of this review, I could literally talk and write for the better part of a day on all of the reasons why this is the greatest thing since both sliced bread and the second metaphor I think of. (Side note: The game contains both sliced bread and the second metaphor I can think of. You can eat both, and they are each physics-operable.) Without going into the fact that this game’s pedigree makes any royal family you care to name look like they grew up in a double-wide somewhere in the terrifying depths of Alabama, and without going into the fact that the game is, I kid you not, theoretically infinite, I will submit to you simply this: Read more...

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Engineers earn 2-0 shutout over RIT

Following a devastating 5-1 loss to Union College before the brief break, RPI men’s hockey bounced back to earn its third win of the season, defeating the Rochester Institute of Technology. The Engineers, backed by freshman goaltender Scott Diebold, blanked the RIT Tigers in a 2-0 decision. Rensselaer moves to 3-10 overall, while RIT falls to 5-4-2. Read more...

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Pizza with the Cabinet lacks key members

On Tuesday, RPI’s Student Senate hosted its semesterly Pizza with the Cabinet. The event used to be known as Pizza with the President, until President Shirley Ann Jackson decided that the cabinet members would be more qualified to answer the specific questions of students. Jackson frequently uses the event as an example of the various communication channels available. Unfortunately, the only cabinet member to make an appearance was Vice President of Student Life Timothy Sams. In addition, the Dean of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences Mary Simoni accompanied him. Read more...

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Editor’s Corner

Editor reflects on RPI years

This is my final Editor’s Corner. This Sunday, The Poly will be turning over a new slate and electing a new Editorial Board and new editor in chief. Staring at a blank document, cursor blinking, all I can think is, I wish I’d done more. Read more...

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Sustainability

Biking promotes environment, physical health

As a child, I often biked around my neighborhood. It was a good way to get exercise and to visit my nearby friends. Most importantly, though, I found that it was a lot of fun. I am ashamed to admit this, but as I grew up, I started to ride my bike less and less. This decrease in cycling activity seemed to peak around the time that I got my driver’s license and moved away to attend RPI. Read more...

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Women’s hockey takes on Wisconsin, Syracuse

Starting the weekend prior to Thanksgiving break, the RPI women’s hockey team entered one of its most difficult stretches of the season. November 20 and 21 saw the Engineers host reigning national-champions the No. 1 Wisconsin Badgers, while this weekend brought Syracuse University to the Houston Field House. Rensselaer kept it close in game one against the Badgers, nearly pulling off the upset in a 4-3 loss, but ran out of steam in game two which saw Wisconsin put up eight goals to RPI’s two. The Engineers’ matchup with the Syracuse Orange had a similar result, with the visitors coming out on top in a 4-3 win in the first match, but this time Rensselaer followed with a 2-1 victory. RPI now sits 4-10-4 on the season, while Syracuse is 6-10-0. Wisconsin remains nearly perfect with a 15-1-0 mark. Read more...

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Bill threatens Internet

The Stop Online Piracy Act, which is more formally known as, “To promote prosperity, creativity, entrepreneurship, and innovation by combatting the theft of US property, and for other purposes,” is a bill put forward in the House of Representative by Republican Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas on October 26. A similar bill, in terms of intent and language is also being presented before the Senate; however, SOPA has received a significantly larger portion of media attention due to its more rigorous and strict guidelines with respect to enforcement and punishment of pirates and those deemed to be supporting pirates. Read more...

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Editorial Notebook

More communication needed

If I could give a condensed description of the Town Hall meeting I attended two weeks ago, it would go a little something like this: “It started late, and then I was given some cuddly feel-good information about how the school really is awesome and how such a great job is really being done. After that the floor was opened to questions, most of which President Shirley Ann Jackson deferred to her staff, which then answered with ‘Well, we’ve actually been talking about that, and …’.” Read more...

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Muppets return with new well-received film

The Muppets! This glorious trademark was born on the television screen in the year of our Lord 1976 of one Jim Henson, and, to date, it has no less than 9 movies and 31 TV specials under its belt. Their latest movie, creatively titled The Muppets, is a treat combining fantastic celebrity cameos, terrible puns, and the breaking of the fourth wall (among other things) all into one hilarious film. Read more...

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RPI basketball teams commence new season

Both the men’s and women’s basketball teams started their respective seasons strong, with the women posting a 2-2 record, while the men’s team is 1-3 overall. Read more...

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Top Hat

Senate outlines concerns over Institute’s state

The Student Senate, in the past month, has been looking into the current state of the Institute as it pertains to the student experience. This process involved in-depth data collection and analysis, many meetings with various stakeholders at Rensselaer (including a personal meeting with President Shirley Ann Jackson), communication of student concerns in public and private forums, and a letter sent to the leadership at Rensselaer outlining student concerns and requesting a response. The Senate has received very little in the way of official response to any of these efforts to reach out and collaborate; instead, more lines of communication have been closed, most recently demonstrated by the lack of attendance at Pizza with the Cabinet event Tuesday (even after positive RSVPs days before). In the past few weeks, we have also been given many more examples to illustrate the “culture of fear”-like environment at the highest levels of leadership. It is our preference in Senate to not “air our dirty laundry” and handle problems internally, but it’s been demonstrated repeatedly that private communication has not been successful. Read more...

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Derby

Executive Board prepares for Union budgeting

Now that we are fast approaching the end of the semester, the Executive Board is preparing for “Budgeting Season.” The Board is responsible for reviewing budgets for everything supported by the Union, especially intercollegiate athletics, clubs/organizations, and facilities. The 15 members of the E-Board are each assigned between eight and 12 Union-funded student organizations and one or two varsity athletic teams to work with. In addition to Board representatives, there are also eight Student Activities Resource Persons, who are Union staff members that help oversee these same organizations. The Institute’s athletic department assists in overseeing Varsity Athletics. Read more...

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My View

My first days, first impressions, next steps

As the newly appointed vice president for student life, in effort to familiarize myself with the campus, I have spent the first three months of my tenure talking with various segments of our Rensselaer community. In these conversations with undergraduate and graduate students, student leaders, and alumni, I have met people who hold a clear passion for our school, and for addressing human needs both locally and globally. Read more...

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Letter to the Editor

CFO defends image of President Jackson

To the Editor:

A Student Senate resolution recently passed can be summarized as an attack on President Shirley Ann Jackson and her leadership style, ostensibly based on “personal accounts from students, faculty, staff, and administrators.” As the longest sitting vice president on Jackson’s Cabinet, a position I held when she became our president, I find it perplexing that my opinion of her leadership style was not sought. Then again, my opinion is known and would not support the language of the resolution. Jackson is an exacting, uncompromising, and relentless leader, which are the traits needed—and needed to be exercised constantly—to transform an institution. Early on in the president’s tenure, I learned to “do my homework” and to do it well, to enable decision making as we partnered on the financial aspects of The Rensselaer Plan’s execution. Her mentoring in that regard has resulted in tremendous professional growth for me. Unlike other Cabinet members and deans who have matured under the president’s tutelage and moved on to successful provost positions and presidencies elsewhere, I have elected to stay and put those skills to use in partnership with the president to see The Rensselaer Plan through to its successful execution. A constant thread in the fabric of our relationship over the past 10 years has been the president’s focus on student academic experiences and general well being. This focus has been evidenced through a change in the graduate support policy early on in the president’s tenure, a drive to hire faculty, residence hall renovations, East Campus Athletics Village construction, and her vision for Clustered Learning, Advocacy, and Support for Students, to highlight several highly visible initiatives. What the campus does not see, because she is a private person, is Jackson’s deeply felt concern for a particular student or her reaching out to that student and/or that student’s family. I have seen that concern expressed. I know it is very strong and ongoing. Read more...

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My View

MIDN partake in marathon

As most students and midshipmen were preparing for parents’ weekend, some of us were packing our bags for the nation’s capital to run in the 36th Marine Corps Marathon. Early Saturday morning, the day before the race, Lt. Col. Larson, Gunnery Sgt. Abrego, and midshipmen Sage D’Aprile ’12, Andrew Watson ’13, Paul Maloney ’13, Kieren Merek ’13, Benjamin Fulton ’13, Doug Heinzel ’13, Liam Traver ’14, Atticus Moll ’14, and I—all of whom were first time marathoners—loaded up and headed down to Washington, D.C. Merek’s parents graciously put most of us up for the night and treated us to a hearty spaghetti dinner. Read more...

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Jackson addresses RPI community at Fall Town Meeting

On Wednesday, President Shirley Ann Jackson hosted the annual Fall Town Meeting at Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center. As Jackson explained, the point of the meeting was to discuss “the achievements at Rensselaer, the direction in which the Institute is heading, and its options for the future.” A question and answer period followed Jackson's presentation. Read more...

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Senate discusses vote on Jackson’s leadership

At 6 pm on November 14, the 41st Student Senate convened to work on a bill whose resolution asked for either a distinct change in the leadership style of the Institute’s president, Shirley Ann Jackson, or her removal from office. Read more...

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Staff Editorial: Two sides to every story

The issue of poor communication between students and the administration was addressed at last week’s Student Senate meeting, when President Shirley Ann Jackson visited. In response, Jackson noted that channels do exist for students to bring their concerns to the administration, even if these channels may not directly be to her. If they desire direct communication with her cabinet, for example, Jackson pointed toward the semesterly “Pizza with the Cabinet” event. From what The Poly saw, students’ reactions to this were not overwhelmingly positive. Read more...

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