A lot has happened at RPI since I was elected as a senator last April. We have seen the retirement (or firing, depending on how you see it) of a number of high-profile staff members at the Institute; we have seen a report commissioned by the Student Senate which outlined the dire state of the Institute; and moreover, we have seen a vote by the Student Senate to recommend, to the Board of Trustees, the removal of President Shirley Ann Jackson.
Echoing what my friend and former colleague in the Senate, Anasha Cummings ’12, stated in his editorial on February 8 of this year, the Grand Marshal elected by the students last year was not allowed to return to RPI to complete her final semester after spending last semester crusading on behalf of the students and speaking out against Jackson’s leadership. With increasing pressure from student groups like the Alliance for Responsible Governance, she took on the incredibly difficult task of gleaning information out of her positive relationships with a number of high-profile staff members to create a report that would give students, staff, trustees, and anyone else who was not given the full story previously unprecedented information into the inner workings of their Institute. What this report showed was not an Institute with a few issues; it showed a school that was on the brink of tearing itself apart due to unduly-aggressive leadership and poor management.
I will always consider the last three-and-a-half years of my life to be some of the best in memory and I want other students, both current and future, to be able to enjoy the same feeling. I have been honored to have been a part of the Student Senate over the past semester, but lately I’ve felt as though the Senate has lost both its power and its willingness to act on behalf of the students, especially in matters related to the administration of the Institute. With all due respect to, and confidence in, Russell Brown ’13 and the rest of the current Senate, I feel as though my time would be better spent working independently to facilitate change at RPI. For this reason, I am resigning as Senate creative director and Class of 2012 senator.
If you are interested in working with me, Cummings, and other concerned students to protect our Alma Mater and her legacy, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
In the current political climate, it is impossible for me to fully represent my constituents and make the changes that I joined the Student Senate to help enact. Due to these limitations, I am resigning as the Student Life chair and as a Class of 2012 senator. I regret the fact that I’ll be leaving behind the Senate and the Student Life Committee and I wish everyone well.