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Carletta discusses value of Senate speakers

Grand Marshal discusses policies of Health Center, Public Safety to help students

For the past two weeks, the Senate has had guest speakers from RPI come in to talk about their respective fields and how they affect student life on this campus. By educating all of us on issues and policies, that students seem to be unaware of or are in need of a refresher, these visits have been a very positive experience both for Senators and for students. I want to continue this trend because I feel that it is beneficial to talk about our campus policies and so I encourage anyone to attend the Senate meetings to hear about topics relating to our student experience.

Last week, Medical Director of the Health Center Leslie Lawrence visited the Senate to talk about health policies on campus and how they affect students. Lawrence specifically talked about medical excuses and the policy that exists for giving them to students. There are many students seeking medical excuses, more than the health center staff could possibly handle at once. In order to give out excuses in a timely manner, those students seeking out excuses for an illness that they currently have are given priority over students who want an excuse for a previous illness. A potential solution that Dr. Lawrence mentioned would allow a student to miss up to three classes without having to provide a note to excuse the absence. After that it would require a medical excuse. He made the point that it puts more faith in the students and treats them more like adults.

This week, Director of Public Safety Roger Johnson stopped by and focused primarily on RPI compliance with the Clery Act. As part of the Clery Act—which is enforced by the Department of Education—an Annual Security Report is released every year that includes all required policy and procedure statements, as well as the number of crimes that relate to RPI. These crimes are broken down by their crime category, type of offense, and geographic location. Failure to comply with these polices can include penalties such as fines, funding loss, and bad publicly. Johnson also discussed what kind of crime would be included in the report which primarily focuses on where the crime was committed. The 2012 edition of the report can be found in the Public Safety Office, which is located next to the Mueller Center. It is a very interesting article and I think that everyone should pick up a copy and see what policies are in place to keep us safe and what the statistics for crime have been for the past couple of years.

In other news, if you are looking for something fun to do this Friday, then you should head to the After Dark Series in the Armory. There will be basketball and soccer tournaments, pick up table tennis, dodgeball, zumba, free snacks, and refreshments all night. This event starts at 9 pm and goes to 1 am so stop by anytime! As always if you have any questions please e-mail me at gm@rpi.edu.

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