Senators discuss updates, projects, elections

Committees projects include study effort, Light Walk, changes to State of the Union

GRAND MARSHAL KEVIN DAI ’14 LEADS discussion during the Student Senate’s weekly meeting. Beside him sit Panhellenic Council representative Stefany FeKula ’14 and Vice Chair Charles Carletta ’14.

On Monday, September 17, the Student Senate held its weekly meeting. Along with the regular committee reports, the Senate also made an appointment and released information and numbers regarding this year’s freshmen elections.

Frank Abissi ’14 explained that the Academic Affairs Committee has begun an effort to inform students of potential study areas across campus. He informed the Senate that the AAC is looking into building usage, particularly in terms of when rooms are being used for classes, clubs, and other groups on campus. Abissi hopes that, after compiling that information, the Senate can let students know about open rooms in academic buildings, which would then be available for studying purposes.

Abissi also talked about the changes to the hours for the Voorhees Computing Center. According to VCC personnel, the hours are due to staffing issues. Human Resources is currently interviewing potential staff members to fill in empty positions.

The Finance, Facilities, and Administration Committee, headed by Russell Brown ’14, is working on preparation for a “Light Walk.” This is in conjunction with the Department of Public Safety, during which they will check the many emergency poles on campus, which are lit by blue bulbs. FFA is also looking into acquiring shuttle signs to provide students with information about shuttle times.

Christina Gilliland ’15, the committee chair for the Senate Communications Committee, stated that her committee may change the format of the semesterly State of the Union address. She explained it may become a forum-style meeting with more external input.

After the committee chairs and representatives spoke, the Senate allowed William Schmitt ’13 to speak about his goals as the potential Grand Marshal Week committee chair. Schmitt said that he hoped to increase attendance at GM Week events. To do so, he hopes to make it more spirit-focused, and making events that are “more fun and interesting.” Some of his current ideas include a block party as well as a carnival in one of RPI’s multiple parking lots. The Senate voted Schmitt into the position unanimously, 12-0-0.

Grand Marshal Kevin Dai ’14 then reported on Hockey Line and the freshmen elections. 358 tickets were sold during Hockey Line. Every position is contested for the freshmen elections except for the Class of 2016 Independent Council representative, for which no student is running.

Rules and Elections Committee Chair Willaim Toth ’13 provided further information about the elections. The committee also released results for the Class of 2016 presidential primary elections and released two elections violations. 392 freshmen voted in the primaries with 111 students, 28.3 percent of the electorate, supporting Joshua Schramm and 94 students, 24 percent of the electorate, voting for Robert Dai. The first violation was toward Austin Hernandez, Marcus Flowers, and Michael Han for breaking postering rules. The second was toward Robert Dai and Marcus Flowers, again for postering reasons.

For more information on the Class of 2016 elections or any other Senate information, members of the Rensselaer community can visit The Senate’s weekly meetings are also open to RPI students, faculty, and staff. They are held on Mondays at 7 pm in Rensselaer Union room 3202. A question and answer period occurs at the end of each meeting to allow external questions.