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E-Board plans for future

Hello, RPI! I hope that everyone has gotten through the majority of the exams and projects that typically fall near the end of September. I would like to give a special shout out this week to our many alumni and alumnae who are back on campus for Reunion & Homecoming Weekend! There are many events and activities scheduled this weekend for everyone to attend; make sure to stop by the football game or the men’s hockey season-opener on Saturday night and show your school spirit! A full list of event times, locations, and descriptions can be found here: http://alumni.rpi.edu/. Many thanks to the Center for Career and Professional Development and students of the National Society of Black Engineers and Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers for working together to coordinate this year’s Career Fair. Students got the opportunity to showcase their talents and skills, and talk to recruiters about future employment opportunities, so thanks to the hard work put in by these individuals. Great job!

I would like to introduce the two newest members of the Union Executive Board. On Monday night, Daniel Bruce ’16 and Paul Blejwas ’16 were confirmed by the Student Senate. They will be filling the remaining member-at-large and Class of 2016 representative positions, respectively, and have joined the other student members at our weekly meeting tonight.

Last Wednesday brought many proposals to the E-Board. First, the system administrators presented a proposal to upgrade the Union’s current technology infrastructure to a newer, more robust, and easier to maintain virtual solution. This plan was approved and will be implemented in the near future. The Student Senate came in to discuss a program encouraging students to either register to vote, or to vote via absentee ballot in their home state. For more information, contact Student Life Committee Chair

Kyle Keraga ’15 (keragk@rpi.edu). The idea of a Clothes Closet for professional attire was discussed, and this proposal will be discussed more in depth at a later date. Newly-hired Assistant Director of Student Activities and Multicultural Programs John Killings was approved to host a webinar highlighting LGBT issues on campus. This webinar will be held on Monday October 29 at 1 pm, location TBD. This program is open to anyone on campus, so if you are interested, please attend!

I want to take the rest of this article to highlight our plans for the Rensselaer Union in the near future. As many of you know, our student Union is unique in that it gives students the ability to fund the clubs, programs, and activities that they feel are important to their student experience here at Rensselaer. Whether it is through clubs, intramurals, varsity athletics, or facilities like the Union, Mueller Center, Archer Center, or the ’87 Gym, students experience their student activity fee at work every day in some form. At the center of our operations sits the Union Executive Board, a group of 15 students who work together to manage the Union budget and ensure that students truly have a voice in how their money is spent. All of our 200+ student clubs and organizations have different and unique needs in terms of funding, equipment, space, and storage. To ensure that these needs continue to be met, we began planning for the future last spring by instituting a Union Facilities Master Plan. The goal of this project was to assess both current operations and future needs, allowing us to better serve students now with the facilities we have today and to begin looking at the types of spaces that students and clubs will need in the future. This process will continue later this semester, and the Executive Board has already begun discussing options to improve our physical facilities.

This is an exciting time for students: we are beginning a process by which students will be able to shape what the student experience will look like at RPI for years to come. Along with our focus on the Union, the Institute as a whole is in the process of revising and refreshing The Rensselaer Plan. This new strategic roadmap will become the foundation of advancement across campus for the next 10–12 years, and it is vital that student input is collected. As such, we will be hosting student discussion forums focused on talking about the current plan and how it addresses student needs and concerns both today and in the future. The first of these sessions will be on Wednesday, October 10 from 5–7 pm in the McNeil Room. Please take some time out of your schedules and attend (and bring your friends)! Look for more information regarding this event in next week’s Poly.

As always, if you have any questions, concerns, or comments, please contact me via e-mail (pu@rpi.edu), or stop by my office. My official office hours for this semester will be Wednesdays from 5–7 pm, but you can always stop in as long as I am there. Enjoy the rest of your week!

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