Top Hat

Grand Marshal discusses future events

Hello everyone! Welcome back to school. I hope you all enjoyed the break and got some sun. This Monday marks the start of the Grand Marshal Week 2013 Campaigning season, so pick up your candidacy forms in the Student Government Suite on the third floor of the Rensselaer Union if you want to run!

This weekend was also the end of the men’s hockey season. The three game series was definitely an awesome battle between two great teams, but we all know that next year the Engineers will continue to play well and hopefully start the season as strong as they ended it this year.

Now that you’re all back from break, you’re probably bored and itching for something to do, right? Well rather than reminiscing about how great it felt to relax for a week, do something, or support a cause!

Today, the Women’s Mentor Program—a program started years ago by the School of Engineering’s Barbara Ruel— will hold its screening of Miss Representation. The documentary focuses on the role today’s media has on the underrepresentation of women. Earlier in the year, members of the Student Senate met with the Archer Center for Student Leadership Development’s Annie Virkus, who leads a women’s task force in discussing the environment and culture that exists for the women here. She expressed that the group’s concerns about how women are viewed in the media tie in closely to Rensselaer; women are not viewed as equals even on an intellectual level. This lack of respect for women on an intellectual basis not only exists at the college level, but also in the workplace and in high school. Their goal is to start this conversation about a culture shift in how women are unfairly perceived. The screening of Miss Representation will occur in DCC 318 at 7 pm tonight—so show your support! There will also be raffles for items from local vendors.

On Thursday, Relay for Life @ RPI will be holding its “Paint the Campus Purple” event, as they do every year. Show your support for Relay for Life by wearing purple all day. Sign up for a team if you haven’t already, and start raising money! Relay for Life is April 26–27 in the Armory this year.

Starting at 8 pm on Friday night is Union After Dark, a program sponsored by Residence Life, the Resident Hall Association, the Union, and other campus organizations. Union After Dark is part of the After Dark series, which aims to provide our students with safe and responsible fun at night. Last month, Armory After Dark was geared towards pick-up sports and exercise, so chances are, if you don’t play sports, you might not have attended! However, Union After Dark is something everyone can enjoy. It features free food from DP Dough and Ben and Jerry’s. There will also be a lot of pizza and mocktails (fake cocktails). If you don’t like free food, then come watch performances by the Dance Team, 8th Wonder, Rusty Pipes, Sheer Idiocy, and more!

In other campus news, I’m sure everyone has heard about the four percent increase in tuition from last years. Although some students detest hearing “the increases are comparable to other schools in the nation,” it is a fact of life that higher education is costing more and more money. The Institute’s Board of Trustees is a group of extremely intelligent and highly mindful people that understand that there will be concerns from students when raising tuition, but as with any organization, more money means more things can be done. Take, for example, the Student Activity Fee, which also increased by the same percentage.

School is expensive, and yes, it very much stinks to have to pay more for education. However, this should stress the importance of focusing on what every one of us has come to school for, which is an education. You might be able to put a price tag on the academic foundation that each student builds here at Rensselaer, but in the long run, that foundation brings you places that can be well worth the investment and sacrifices that we and our families have made. As always, please feel free to e-mail me at with any questions that you may have.