On Monday, the Student Senate approved a new Executive Board representative and discussed an awards event to facilitate communication between students and staff.
The meeting started with the approval of new E-Board representative Colin Fortuner ’15, who explained a bit about himself. Fortuner is a management major active in athletics. The E-Board position open was for the ICA representative, who must be either in varsity athletics or a club officer. Fortuner said that he had “an interest to leave an impact on the student body” during his time at RPI. He was approved by the Senate 17-0.
Senate business continued with the announcement by Grand Marshal Chuck Carletta ’14 on a committee to plan the celebration of the 125th anniversary of the Rensselaer Union. Committee reports started with Rules and Elections Committee. Greg Niguidula ’15 talked about the status of an electronic voting system that is being worked on.
Shoshana Rubenstein ’16, chair of the Student Government Communications Committee, talked about an event that the Senate may bring to campus next semester. Awards would be given out to students at an event open to everyone. Administrative staff that students don’t normally talk to would be invited, in hopes that conversations would be started. Senators talked about the feasibility for the event. One of the graduate senators, Kristin Lee. said “I think there is merit to that (type of award). I actually won an award like that at my undergrad.” Faculty nominated the students for the award that Lee won.
Kyle Keraga ’15 said that more awards might motivate what is a very unmotivated student body. Senators then talked about how to get people to come to the event. Overwhelmingly, the response was free food. There was then an exchange over whether the event being open might make awards less special, as well as whether most people would bring friends to an event where they were getting an award. Jessica Krajewski ’17 suggested that perhaps there could be an awards event followed by a separate, open event. A discussion was then had by senators as to what awards would be for. Rubenstein said that her committee would continue discussion at their meeting later in the week.
John Spangenberger ’15, of the Academic Affairs Committee, briefly discussed the waiting list system. Due to the software used, the waiting list system cannot easily be expedited. Frank Abissi ’14 said that the E-Board had approved RPI TV to buy a new computer. The E-Board also met with the embedded hardware club, but the fire alarm in the Union last week interrupted them from finishing. Tina Gilliland ’15, of the Facilities and Services Committee, talked about the public safety forum last week. Most of the attendees were senators.
Keraga talked about the Student Life Committee’s current projects. One such project is a flat-rate taxi service for students who are either sick or need a ride. Troy’s Building Improvement District is working on such a taxi service. SLC members are also talking to residence deans regarding residence halls. Senators then discussed the feasibility of the taxi system; for example, whether it would be chosen over CDTA buses.
The Web Technologies Group update was given by Gabe Perez ’16. Concerto screens are failing because they are on a five-year cycle. Perez said that fixing the screens has taken up his time recently. Abissi, who is also heading the Union Constitution Committee, said that the committee has been working on the part of the Constitution that focuses on the Judicial Board. Panhellenic Council representative Lisa DeCrescente ’15 talked about an upcoming event, Greek Lip Sync. Lee gave the Graduate Council update. After updates were finished, the meeting was adjourned.
Senate meets on Mondays at 6 pm in Union Room 3202. All meetings are open and students are more than welcome to come.