Top Hat

Senate FFA Committee plans projects

This week’s Top Hat is written by the Chair of the Senate’s Finance, Facilities and Administration Committee—Russell Brown. Brown is a very experienced member of the Senate, starting with his involvement in his freshman year, and was also the 146th Grand Marshal. He will talk about what his committee has been up to and how you can get involved.

Hello RPI! It’s been some time since I last wrote a Top Hat. Today I write to you as the chair of the Senate’s FFA Committee. In the following Top Hat, you will hear about this year’s biggest projects from FFA. I hope that you find them interesting and beneficial!

The Student Senate has a long history of working to enhance the safety of RPI students. Earlier this year, we completed our annual “light walk,” in which senators investigate areas of the campus and surrounding community for unsafe areas and broken street lights. When the results are compiled, I will be sending the report to Public Safety who has agreed to do what it can to address the areas of concern. Another safety project of FFA is the Senate Safety Forum. At this event, students are welcome and encouraged to ask questions to a panel consisting of Public Safety officers, representatives from Residence Education, and hopefully some members of the Troy community. When a date and time is set, I will ask Grand Marshal Kevin Dai ’14 to announce it in this column. Another major project that FFA will be undertaking this semester is a classroom assessment. Members of the FFA committee will be going through high-traffic classrooms and assessing desk size, availability of power outlets, and more. I have been meeting with representatives from the administration to discuss what kind of assessment data would be most useful. When the project is completed, I will be presenting our findings to the appropriate parties in the administration.

The last project I would like to touch on is off-campus Rensselaer Advantage Dollars. As you may have read in last week’s Poly, the department of Auxiliary Services is engaging the Student Senate in a discussion to determine whether or not the Off-Campus RAD program is benefiting students and how it should proceed. I would like to stress that Auxiliary Services is truly looking for student feedback and is acting in the interest of students, not of program profits. If you have an opinion regarding Off-Campus RAD, please send it to The Senate would be happy to hear from you!

The Senate FFA committee is open to all students and always looking for new members! We meet on Wednesdays from 4–5 pm in Rensselaer Union 3202. If you are interested, please stop by or e-mail me at If you aren’t able to join the committee but have an idea for a future project, I’d love to hear that, too. Have a great rest of the semester!