The Poly would like to welcome everyone back to campus for the spring semester. Yet another winter break—we’ve also heard it referred to as “J-term” or the “J-mester”—has passed, and we hope you made the most of your five weeks off.
It wasn’t very long ago that our winter breaks were shorter. Although RPI’s winter break was extended in January 2010 as an opportunity for students to explore a wider variety of activities between the fall and the spring, not much has changed since then. RPI-affiliated opportunities are still limited, apart from on-campus research and the occasional trip abroad, and we at The Poly feel that there is untapped potential in those in-between weeks. Perhaps classes could be offered during future winter breaks for those ambitious students who want to do more than just take it easy.
Unfortunately, not everyone had the chance to simply relax over break. While nobody wants to find out that his/her housing has been affected while they are away, some students discovered their personal belongings stolen or their residences in danger of not existing. Campus Habitat was abruptly reported to have no guarantee of continued housing. To RPI’s credit, information about this event seems to have been facilitated rather efficiently; Residence Life reached out to students with as much information as was available as soon as possible. (We encourage you to read Associate Dean Cary Dresher’s statement about Campus Habitat on Page 7.)
In addition, apartments in RAHPs were broken into; however, many of the affected students were first notified via the RPI sub-reddit or found out about these events from their peers. While we do understand that the school needed to take precaution before spreading the news, we believe that the news could have been released in a timelier manner, especially for those who were directly affected.
We at The Poly have high hopes for the upcoming semester, and we are especially interested to see what will happen with the Faculty Senate, now that it has been reinstated. We wish them the best of luck and look forward to see what they bring to the RPI community.