Top Hat

Dai: run in elections

Hello, RPI, after a great three-day weekend, I hope everyone is well-rested for the long three-weeks until Spring Break! This weekend, Winter Carnival was a nice way to win some free stuff by playing games. It was also great to pet some adorable Siberian huskies. In other news, the men’s hockey team advances to second in the East Coast Athletic Conference, extending its conference game winning streak to eight games! Congratulations to Seth Appert and the team for the great work they’ve done on the ice.

Last week, the Student Senate approved the recommendations for the Union Activity Fee for fiscal year 2014, and published the Union Annual Report for 2013–2014. The budgeting process included representatives from the Executive Board and the Senate, all duly elected and appointed students. I am very confident in the job they have done, but don’t take my word for it—see their work for yourself. You can view the Union Annual Report at Comments can be directed to Please note that the final review is subject to approval by President Shirley Ann Jackson and the Board of Trustees, so numbers may change.

With the month of March approaching, it’s about time for the Student Senate’s Rules and Elections Committee and Grand Marshal Week Committee to start amping up. Start thinking about running for your Class Council positions, GM, or President of the Union. One reminder I’d like to throw out there is that you are not allowed to disclose your candidacy until R&E releases the new elections handbook and you fill out the candidacy forms.

Having held the positions of Class President and GM, I’d like to add my two cents on why you should run and what I didn’t expect. First, why should you run for a position? It’s a great way to meet new people on campus and do something really productive with your time. Let’s be honest: it’s much more fun to be planning a trip to Boston for your class than it is to solve a second-order ordinary differential equation. More importantly, though, running for these offices is something to be proud of, and you learn a lot just by doing so. It forces you to step out of your comfort zone, and it teaches you how to communicate with people.

Things to expect: more work or meetings than you originally thought, no matter what the position you run for! Expect to have to deal with tough situations that you’ll have to compromise with; nothing comes out like you think it will. Overall, there are so many things that you’ll learn, and these are things that you can’t learn in the classroom. But at the end of the day, don’t lose sight of the fact that you’re still a student, and everyone knows that, so don’t take things too seriously!

If you have any questions about the upcoming elections, e-mail me at or the R&E Committee Chair Will Toth at, talk to people involved with student government, and get a sense of what it’s really like, because it can’t be explained in a 500-word article.