Top Hat

147th Grand Marshal Dai bids farewell

Hello RPI! This is officially the last Top Hat that I will get to write, which is making me a little nostalgic. I can’t believe how fast my Grand Marshal term has gone by, how fast this year has gone by, and how in no time we’ll be walking across the stage to shake President Shirley Ann Jackson’s hand as we graduate and enter the alumni community.

Firstly, I want to thank everyone that has made this an experience of a lifetime. It has been great to have been part of many awesome activities that I have been invited to by clubs and organizations. There are so many students doing great things in these groups that I otherwise wouldn’t have met, and for that, I feel very fortunate. The Poly, UPAC Sound and Lights, RPI TV, Alpha Phi Omega, and Rensselaer Student Association are just a few of the groups that I was incredibly impressed by and I think are full of students that are doing special things for this
school and student body.

This whole term has been a great experience, with everyone having been incredibly supportive across the whole Institute, and especially the Student Life Division. It became apparent to both President of the Union Jon Stack ’13 and I very quickly that the administration is willing to go to great lengths to help students be successful and provide us with whatever help they can.

Many have asked why I’m not running again. I think after one year of this experience, I have learned a tremendous amount. The GM position is not just a position where a student can make differences; more than anything else it is an amazing opportunity to learn. I think it would be selfish to take that opportunity away from someone else deserving of it. I still plan and hope to be involved with a lot on campus, but without a fancy title and a hat. After a year of being the GM, I have seen the Institute in a much different perspective than most students, and I hope to apply the past year’s
experience in a productive way!

That being said, I think that there are many ways to make a difference on campus. I think that there are actually better ways to improve what we have here than to hold an official position; however, these positions are definitely the best ways to learn. I challenge everyone to find something that they can do this next year that can improve the Institute. Whether you’re a graduating student, an alumnus or alumna, student, or staff member; it doesn’t matter what your title is, you can always act on something and make some positive changes.

Lastly, I wanted to give a shout out to William Schmitt ’13, the GM Week Committee chair for all of the hard work he and the GM Week Committee has put into making this GM Week 2013 great for all of us. I heard a lot of positive feedback while walking around “GM Block,” and hopefully things go well the rest of the week.

Once again, a big thank you to everyone who has helped me this year, and good luck to our future GM and PU! Please e-mail any questions or comments to me at daik@rpi.edu—I won’t have gm@rpi.edu available anymore.

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