Staff Editorial: Appreciating RPI Relief

This Sunday will mark the final excursion of the RPI Relief group to the Poestenkill, Prattsville, Greene, and Schoharie County areas in order to help clean up and restore the areas after Hurricane Irene. Formed by the Student Senate’s Advocacy, Community, and Advancement Committee, in partnership with the Dean of Students Office, RPI Relief has spent the past few months removing debris from rivers and tearing down hurricane-soaked homes in order to restore some of the hardest-hit towns.

We at The Poly wish to thank all those who gave up their Sundays over the last two months to help those in need. Too often, we have seen students get bogged down with homework or get too attached to their glowing computer screens that they don’t pay attention to the world outside of RPI. Instead, these students ventured forth to do a great service to the community, which we appreciate.

As time passes, Hurricane Irene becomes a distant memory of that time when the first day of classes was cancelled. For the students who had already made it to campus, it represented a day of constant rain and staying indoors. Very little damage was done to on-campus buildings. However, not everyone was as lucky. Two buildings in Troy were destroyed when the rain saturated the ground enough to cause a landslide, and many of the businesses and residences along the Hudson River experienced significant flooding and damage. All this happened while RPI students calmly stayed in their dorm rooms on the top of the hill away from damage, enjoying their long weekend.

We would like to encourage everyone to consider going out this Sunday to the final RPI Relief trip. The RPI relief group is currently composed of members of all of the following groups, each of whom we here at The Poly want to recognize: the Student Senate, the American Red Cross Club, Alpha Chi Rho, Air Force ROTC, Navy ROTC, Alpha Phi Omega, Circle K, Ground Zero, Tau Beta Pi, NOMAS, AED—Prehealth Honor Society, the Rensselaer Society of Engineers, and the RPI Landscape Department. There are yet other groups who are still participating, and other unaffiliated individuals we don’t have room to mention here. To everyone involved: thank you for your selflessness.