Staff Editorial: Improve Senate publicity

Last Friday, the Student Senate released its State of the Institute (http://docs.studentsenate.rpi.edu/documents/1701), a document the Senate used in passing its recent motion in regards to the direction that Rensselaer is heading and President Shirley Ann Jackson’s style of leadership. The Poly would like to recognize the effort that the Senate has put in to this report; it is evident that a great deal of time and effort has been put into it, as there is a significant amount of information and research. We encourage everyone in the Rensselaer community to read the document and voice their opinion.

However, proper and timely publicity currently seems to be lacking from the Senate, particularly with regards to this document. A lone post on RPI’s sub-reddit was made to acknowledge the existence of the State of the Institute. Outside of this, any information on how to find this report does not seem to exist, or be widely known. We are concerned that the Senate may not be reflecting the same transparency it requests.

Also, we question the Senate’s decision to pass a motion before releasing the full document it so heavily depends upon. If the State of the Institute (or even a draft of it) had been released to the public before the Senate made its decision, a lot of the sentiments that the Senate is “anti-Jackson” could have been avoided. Not only that, but more people from the RPI community could have voiced their input, perhaps making for a more complete and unified campus voice.

Another thing the Senate failed to promote was the Student Life Performance Plan Review, first held last Thursday. Due to low student turnout, Vice President for Student Life Timothy Sams and President of The Union Nikki Gallant ’13 set aside another date, this previous Monday, for another occurrence of the event, something for which we commend Sams, PU Nikki Gallant, and the rest of the Student Life Division for doing.