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Senate discusses Plan refresh, re-passes RAD

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving break! After five days of eating, sitting around, being unproductive, it’s hard to kick the habit and get back in the groove of studying for finals and wrapping up the semester.

Although they are two weeks away, many students are starting to think about (and dread) finals. While many management majors are lucky to not have a single final exam, there are students out there who have to worry about up to five different exams! One thing that the Student Senate found out about students is that the biggest complaint about this school was that it is difficult. Is that a bad thing? Maybe … but was it always this way?

Alumni that come back always talk about the horror stories of their engineering classes and how hard school was. Back in the day, the graduating class was one third of the entering class. The President of the Institute at the time, Richard Folsom, would greet the freshman class by saying, “Look to your left, and now look to your right. Only one of you will graduate.” Imagine if that were still true today … that would mean two-thirds of us would have wasted thousands of dollars on tuition and books!

Luckily, things are different nowadays, and our graduation rate is around 82 percent. However, this does raise a question: if a student is good enough to get into Rensselaer, shouldn’t they be given enough, and be good enough to graduate from Rensselaer? Of course, there are many factors that affect the graduation rate, but this question is something that we students should be asking.

On Monday, members of the Student Senate, Executive Board, and Student Life Advisory Council met with President Jackson to finalize and discuss the Rensselaer Plan Refresh. One thing that was brought up was “Should we include somewhere in the plan that ‘our graduates will have these skills’ upon completion of either their undergraduate or graduate studies?” Is this something that really should be included in the Plan? We might as well include promises of getting a job or of being accepted into a university for post-graduate studies then. I’d like to hear what you have to say about this, so e-mail me at!

In Senate news, we recently passed a written statement about our position on the off-campus RAD program. The Senate agreed in a 13-2 vote that the off-campus RAD program should exit its pilot phase and be extended to other vendors. Next week we intend to vote on a motion being moved by Panhellenic Representative Senator Stefany FeKula ’14 to create voting Greek Senators.

Yesterday, the Panhellenic Council held their annual Greek Lip Sync which fundraised for the Non-governmental Organization (NGO) LifeNets Foundation Inc. started by Rensselaer student Albert Yu ’14. They raised around $2,000 for the cause! The non-profit organization strives to prevent malaria in the African country of Malawi. If you want more information about LifeNets, you can visit their website at