Hello RPI! As this is my second-to-last article, I would like to begin my thanks to everybody for making this year so great. Everybody I have interacted with, from members of student government (especially the members of the Union Executive Board), to the Rensselaer Union and Institute administration, the experience has been great, and I believe that the progress has been tangible.
I would like to leave Rensselaer with a couple pieces of advice. First, people make mistakes. Leaders make mistakes. This is just an experience of life. If mistakes are made, apologize, learn, and move forward. Second, is that people should be constantly asking questions. Especially here at RPI, where each student is a scientist in her or his own field, students develop questions all the time about why things happen, or who was involved with projects or events. If you have questions or concerns about student life, student activities, campus politics, or campus events please reach out to your student government and ask, especially when it comes to your student activity fee; you have a right to understand where your money goes.
Next, I would like to take a little bit of time to discuss the upcoming election. This Friday is The Poly’s endorsement issue, so make sure your read through the candidates’ information. Of course, the traditional means of learning about candidates, such as The Poly’s endorsement issue and the debates are still important venues for discussion. The Rules and Elections Committee (http://elections.union.rpi.edu/) is also a good resource to see who is running, and to track their progress or learn about the rules of the process.
It is important to sometimes reflect on our surroundings; to view the bigger picture, beyond your own homework, classes, or activities. Over the next few weeks, take a moment to think about your experiences here. Consider what things are issues for you. Think about what has gotten better, or worse, over your time in college. Then take another moment to look at all the candidates and consider which seems to align themselves with your opinions. Consider their ability to do their job; to represent you, to assist you, to improve your experience at RPI. It’s your vote, so use it well.
The most visible races, as always, are those of Grand Marshal and President of the Union. I’m not going to use this venue to endorse any particular candidates; I would like to mention that I have had the pleasure of having both current PU candidates on the Union Executive Board for this past year. While each candidate is unique, they both bring enthusiasm and good ideas to the table. Both have taken substantial roles on the board’s committees and work, and I have faith that either could do an excellent job.
I have one last Executive Board meeting, this Thursday, to preside over. GM Week follows with numerous events, both fun and informative, that everybody should try to attend. I urge each student, undergraduate and graduate, to go out and have some fun this week. This is the most active week of RPI, and so everyone should take advantage of that. You can view a list of the activities on the GM Week Committee website (http://gmweek.union.rpi.edu/). Make sure to check out all the events going on this weekend during the GM Week Kickoff. I hope everyone enjoys the beginning of GM Week. If you have any questions, please send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.