Top Hat

Spring semester breaks for everybody

GM urges using tact in representing Rensselaer community off-campus

Hello, everyone! Just two days from now, hopefully you will be somewhere warm or tropical—and very far from the harsh Troy winter. Although the winter hasn’t been too bad this year, the change of climate, or even just the week off of school to do other things, will be nice. I bet that even our Rensselaer faculty and staff members are excited for Spring Break!

To our students traveling south or out of the country for break, please be careful and cautious of where you are going. It goes without saying that even in different parts of the country or even outside of the country, not only are you representing yourself as an individual, but remember, you are also representing the Rensselaer community in a way. There are incidents every year of college students at other colleges and universities causing problems in other places while on break. Having Rensselaer tied to a headline like that would be unfortunate, especially with all of the great things going on in the past decade. This brings us to our topic of Student Handbook revisions and off-campus jurisdiction.

Last spring, in the beginning of my term as the Grand Marshal, Dean of Students Mark Smith met with the Student Senate in an open forum setting about off-campus jurisdiction. There was a lot of concern for our rights as students, which obviously conflicted with the Institute’s opinion on how to handle off-campus situations. The meeting resulted in the DOSO revisiting the Student Handbook and making new revisions. The original concern that we had was that students may be “excessively punished” for things such as noise violations, open container violations, and underage drinking incidents that happen off-campus. However, the newer revisions have addressed that issue, and more importantly, these revisions show how much collaboration and student opinion have affected the outcome of an almost-controversial issue.

On a lighter note, congratulations to our men’s hockey team on finishing in second place in the ECAC! With a season that began a little rough, who would have thought that we would have finished with a streak like that? The team now has a bye in the ECAC tournament; unfortunately, the team will be playing during Spring Break, so I won’t be there, but hopefully there will still be a decent crowd at the Houston Field House.

Lastly, the Student Senate approved the new Rensselaer Union Constitution. The Constitution was refreshed by the Constitution Committee led by Charles Carletta ’14, the vice-chair for the Student Senate. The last time the Constitution had been reviewed at this level was 1987, so this is definitely something that was long overdue. For more information, please look to the article in this week’s Poly. If you have any questions, please e-mail me at gm@rpi.edu. Enjoy the week off, and stay safe!

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