Stack applauds Rensselaer as parents grace Institute

Hello, RPI! I would like to extend a special welcome to all parents, family members, and friends who are on campus for Family Weekend. There are many events for students and families alike to participate in and enjoy this weekend. For a full schedule of events, see the Student Experience website: I hope to see all of you at the GM/PU Brunch on Sunday (pre-registration is required). In any case, enjoy the weekend and celebrate making it through the first half of the fall semester!

For parents and families, I would like to give an overview of how the Rensselaer Union functions and what types of services it provides to students. Rensselaer has a wide variety of extracurricular activities that all students can get involved in. We have activities ranging from Varsity Athletics and intramural sports to performing arts and cultural organizations. A majority of our student extracurricular organizations are recognized and supported by the Union, a hub for student life and student activities. Our Union is unique in that it is run entirely by students, all the way down to the budgeting for student clubs and organizations. The Union’s business operations and $8.1 million budget are primarily overseen by the Union Executive Board, a group of students dedicated to using the Union’s money and resources to best benefit students. This group focuses on reaching out and making sure that students have the ultimate say in where their money goes. There are over 200 active student organizations on campus, and each one offers a different opportunity to try something new. In fact, in the last accreditation process, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education singled out the Union:“The Rensselaer Union is an unusual, if not unique, student organization. Run entirely by students, the Union is a justifiable source of pride for the Institute.”

This idea stretches all across campus. Here at RPI, you will find professors who are dedicated to the education of their students and professional staff truly committed to the student body at large. Together, they create a backbone by which students are able to explore their passions and become active on campus and in the community. This type of environment allows our students to grow and develop into the leaders of tomorrow who will truly change the world. In short, our students excel both in and out of the classroom, and the extra-curricular activities that they get involved with on campus allow them to grow as learners and become great employees for some of our country’s best employers.

Back on campus, everyone should attend the Union Speakers Forum lecture this Thursday night at 7:30 pm in Darrin Communications Center 308. Our speakers for this month are Olympic rowers Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, who are famous for claiming intellectual property rights to Facebook shortly after it was founded. I’m sure that this will be a fascinating talk, and I encourage anyone interested to attend. As always if you have any questions, concerns, or comments, please contact me via e-mail (, 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!