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New Grand Marshal makes ‘grand’ entrance

Hello again, RPI! Last week I wrote this column as the Acting Grand Marshal. This week, I am honored and excited to write it as the official Grand Marshal!

I am going to start this week’s column with a little information about myself, as my path to the position of Grand Marshal is not the typical one. I am a sophomore (Class of 2014) majoring in Mechanical Engineering and minoring in Sustainability Studies. My home (other than RPI) is Long Island NY, and I love nothing more than spending summer days on the beach. I got involved with the Student Senate early on, running for office the fall of my freshmen year. In the spring, I stepped into the position of chair of the Senate Communications Group, where I worked on projects such as the first ever Senate Navigating Rensselaer and Beyond info session, residence hall programs, and the State of the Union Address. This past fall, I changed positions once again, and took on the role of Senate Vice Chair. When the Grand Marshal position became vacant, I assumed the role of Acting Grand Marshal as dictated by the Senate Bylaws.

On Monday night, the Student Senate appointed me to fill the position of the Grand Marshal for the remainder of the term. The meeting, presided over by the chairman of the Judicial Board, started with the nominations of candidates and was followed by short speeches, question and answer periods, and ultimately a vote requiring approval of two-thirds of the Senate membership. This procedure is loosely outlined in the Amendment 4, Section 2 of the Rensselaer Union Constitution.

The Senate has a lot of work ahead of it this semester. During the next week, the Senate Cabinet and I will be meeting to iron out a plan for the Senate. We will be evaluating the Senate committee structure, current and potential Senate projects, relationships with the administration, and most importantly, communication between the Senate and students. Judging from my dealings with the Senate Cabinet so far, I can say that I am very excited to work on this plan. The cabinet members are truly dedicated to producing effective projects that will positively impact students. If all goes as planned, more details regarding this plan will be unveiled at our general body meeting on February 13 at 6 pm in the Shelnutt Gallery.

As previously mentioned, the Senate is looking to increase the number of projects in Senate committees. Projects can be as small as bringing fruit to the waffle station in The Commons (my first Senate project), or as large ones, such as testing the campus’s emergency poles. If the past semester has taught me one thing, it is that RPI students are not apathetic. There is an entrepreneurial spirit here which could make any college envious. Send us your ideas and lets work together to make them reality! The Senate is always looking for ideas, and more importantly, people to make the ideas happen. The Senate is here to improve our school, so if you have a suggestion we would love to hear it. Send an e-mail to JustAsk@rpi.edu

If you have a question or comment for me, please don’t hesitate to e-mail GM@rpi.edu. Next week, I will be establishing office hours. Look for the whiteboard on the GM office in the Student Government Suite on the 3rd floor of the Rensselaer Union. Have a great week!