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Be informed for student elections

Hello, RPI! I hope everyone is enjoying Grand Marshal Week, an RPI tradition dating back to 1865 when the campus celebrated the first GM Night. Culminating with the results of the Student Government elections, GM Week has grown to include events from the many clubs and organizations of the RPI campus. I love reading the GM Week calendar and seeing the multitude of events. From cultural events to a male beauty pageant, there really is something for everybody.

On Thursday, April 19, all students will have the opportunity to vote in the Student Government elections. RPI is lucky to have such an extensive and powerful student government and one of the few student run unions. I cannot stress the importance of understanding the positions and getting informed about the candidates. This year, the Rules and Elections Committee has introduced a voter information guide containing platform statements from all the candidates. The guide will be available at the poll sites. You can also learn more about the candidates and the elections process by visiting http://elections.union.rpi.edu/. Election results will be announced Saturday night following Dancing with the RPI Stars. I’ll be dancing the Samba, so I hope to see everyone there!

Also this Thursday, is the first WeR PROUD. This event is put on by the Spirit of Rensselaer Society, WeR. All students are asked to wear the apparel of a club, team, or organization that they are a part of and stop by the “red carpet” outside of Russell Sage Dining Hall. There will be photographers taking pictures of students in their club apparel. I hope everyone takes this opportunity to celebrate the many organizations which make RPI the great place it is.

This week marks the end of an eventful term of the Student Senate. This year’s Senate has faced many school-wide issues, worked with both a new director of the Rensselaer Union and vice president for Student Life, and dealt with the possibility of adding a GPA requirement for student senators. There was rarely a dull moment in the Senate, even during the infamous six-hour meeting.

I came into the GM position during a rough period for the Senate. Following a stressful semester and the loss of the GM, many senators were discouraged upon their return from winter break. I was appointed to fill the remainder of my predecessor’s term, and lead the Senate through GM week.

This new role has been challenging in ways I never imagined, and, at times, quite stressful. It is not easy to ask established senators to be more involved in committees or have better attendance at meetings. However, I am incredibly proud of the senators I have been fortunate enough to work with. These senators have dedicated themselves to serving students, the ultimate goal of the Senate. I cannot thank them enough for their dedicated work.

This may be my last entry to this column. If so, I must thank everyone for their support and help over the past two months. I could not have taken on this role without the help of my friends, fellow senators, and the Union staff. When I needed advice regarding Senate policies, help running more effective meetings, and even someone to vent anger to, I counted on them to get me through. I will never forget this semester and the things I learned. I love the Senate, and I am proud to have been a part of it.

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