Top Hat

Student Senate meets, greets campus

Representative body focuses on outreach, which results in positive new ideas

This weekend we had the pleasure (or pain) of seeing our parents here. Thousands of parents registered for Family Weekend 2012, a weekend for them to see how we, individually, are doing here and see the great things that our school is up to. The one thing that was a bummer this weekend was the weather. I hope your parents enjoyed the visit. The culminating event for the weekend was the GM/PU Brunch; Jon Stack ’13, President of the Union, and I got to meet parents. Parents also had the special treat of meeting President Shirley Ann Jackson, cabinet members, faculty, and deans. This event and the weekend in general went very well. A special thanks to everyone in Student Experience and all of the other people involved in making this weekend possible!

Recently, the Student Senate has been busy with outreach and policies. Last week, the Senate programmed a Leadership Hall event, targeting freshmen who are looking to get involved. We described our role as a Senate, and also gave them a taste of what our committees have been doing, and what they could possibly help with.

Later in the week, the entire Senate visited Commons Dining Hall. We invaded tables of students in groups of two to make new friends, and ask for their opinions on a couple things. We got some great feedback about some things to look into. Some great ideas were thrown our way. One great idea that I heard was regarding meal plans—since sometimes people go into a dining hall just to get a bowl of cereal or piece of fruit, it’s not worth a whole entire swipe. We heard a lot of other great suggestions on things, ranging from classroom facilities, safety, and dining services as well.

Monday of this week at our General Body Meeting, the Senate discussed Off-Campus RAD after a presentation given by our Finance, Facilities, and Administration Committee Chair, Russell Brown ’14. We are looking for more information regarding student usage—there should be an article about this in this week’s Poly. If you have any thoughts on this program, please shoot me an e-mail at—your opinions will help us decide whether or not this program will be continued or ended. We would like to have a decision by the end of the semester, or by the end of this year at the latest.

On Thursday, October 25, the Senate will be holding “Meet your Senators” in the DCC Great Hall. We will be talking to and engaging students in a similar fashion to the Commons Dinner event that we had. Feel free to drop by and say hi; we are looking for new ideas, concerns, or you can just tell us how great Rensselaer is!

The last Presidential Debate was on Monday night, a debate that addressed foreign policy. The RPI Votes campaign screened this in DCC 308 with a successful turnout. The Presidential election looks very close this year—so every vote counts. We are looking into screening the election results as well.

Have a good week everyone!