Top Hat

Senate’s Student Life chair describes committee goals

For this week’s Top Hat, I would like to allow a fellow senator, Kyle Keraga ’15, to talk about what he has been doing. Keraga has recently joined the Student Senate, but has shown a strong commitment to improving the Student Experience and has played a key role in Senate operations. Here is what Keraga has to say:

Hello, everyone! I’m Kyle Keraga, serving as Class of 2015 Senator and current chair of the Student Life Committee, here to talk to you about the major projects and initiatives currently taking place in SLC. Promoting the welfare of the student body and improving the quality of campus life has always been part of the Student Senate’s core goals, and the work done in the SLC is highly relevant to that focus. The SLC has been involved in everything ranging from improving student rights to responding to student concerns. This year, we’ve been working on several projects aimed at improving many areas of the RPI experience.

The SLC has already engaged with other campus organizations on RPI Votes, an initiative promoting both voter registration and informed voting. Some of you might have seen our tables set up in the Rensselaer Union, Darrin Communications Center, and Commons Dining Hall two weeks ago, allowing people to register or request an absentee ballot … The combined effort of everyone involved allowed the program to be an enormous success, servicing approximately 500 students! To wrap up RPI Votes, the last presidential debate (October 22 from 9–10:30 pm) is being screened in the DCC, so if you’re interested in what’s going on, or want to hear where the candidates stand, come watch!

Moving into the second half of the semester, and the year as a whole, the SLC will be working on another slew of ambitious projects. To give you all a preview of what’s on the horizon, we’ll be looking into an expansion of the current peer mentoring system to include not only women, but men as well. In doing so, we hope to allow what has been a successful program to help all those who could benefit from it. One other big project we’ll be approaching in the near future is the creation of a student study network; an online database/search function students can use to form study groups by networking with those of similar interests.

Beyond those two ideas, and critical to the core of our committee, SLC is focused on opening avenues for feedback about student life; we make it our mission to look for things that can be improved at RPI. To accomplish this, SLC aims to network with other student life organizations, to work together towards our common goals. But more than anything else, we want to hear what’s on everyone’s mind: What do students want? What do students need? To this end, we plan to cooperate with Senate Communications to organize open forums for student feedback, places students can go to talk about life at RPI and voice any concerns they may have, so that we in turn can address those concerns.

The biggest thing I’d like to leave you with is that Student Life is a very open committee, very receptive to your feedback, and very welcoming to anyone who wants to get involved! If you have any concerns, anything you wish to improve, or anything you’d like to see brought to RPI, send me an e-mail at, or come to one of our meetings at 3 pm each Sunday in the Student Government Suite.