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Grand Marshal shares first week experience

Week one is completed! After a long week of getting acquainted and situated with everything here, I feel that there have been a lot of things that have been accomplished. Every day has been full of surprises, with small things here and there that I have picked up on. For the most part, these are all issues that are necessary, but not as apparent to students. Unfortunately, in these last two weeks of school, it is quite impossible to start everything up without losing momentum into the next year.

With that being said, we are setting up to get big things done! Our first meeting was not too long ago, and it went extremely well. We defined the goals of the Student Senate, appointed positions, and went over some summer, pre-semester, and current, prevalent topics of interest. Of the items on the agenda, the biggest was the off-campus jurisdiction revisions to the Student Handbook. I am encouraging all students to voice their opinion on this issue … however, it is very easy to enter the whole debate with a bias. What I have encouraged all senators to do is to be objective about the issue, and try and consider all aspects of the argument; that is how we need to make decisions, with proper information and deliberateness. I invite all students to an open forum discussion with Dean of Students Mark Smith this Thursday at 6 pm in the Phalanx Room of the Rensselaer Union. We will be discussing anything related to the new revisions.

Besides this, we also appointed all of the officer positions which are: Vice Chair Chuck Carletta ’14, Secretary Stef FeKula ’14, Treasurer Greg Niguidula ’15, Parliamentarian Paul O’Neil ’14, and Chief Information Officer Kenley Cheung ’13. Two other significant appointments were also made, with the Finance, Facilities and Administration Committee being chaired by Russell Brown ’14, and the Communications Committee being headed by Tina Gilliland ’15.

I know that we have a strong group of leaders in the Senate, and everyone is committed and motivated to do great work. There is a mix of experienced and new faces, which is also great. I’ve been able to talk with both one-on-one, and it’s very reassuring to get the wisdom of all of the veterans, but equally great to hear the ideas and perspectives of new senators.

My main goal for the end of the semester is to pave the way for everything so that we can start strong next year. There are a lot of opportunities for everyone to get involved as well. Although we will not be having any committee meetings until next year, it doesn’t mean that you can’t start brainstorming with us! There have already been a few people who have started coming up with solutions to problems that committees can start to implement, which is great.

Overall, my first week as Grand Marshal was absolutely amazing. It reminds me of how great our school is, and with just a bit of collaboration and creativity, how much better it can be.

Feel free to e-mail me at gm@rpi.edu.