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Student life discusses student initiatives

Vice President of Student Life Timothy Sams outlines future student plan with Senate

The second semester of school is underway and we are now already in our second week. Hopefully everyone enjoyed their first week back to school and things are starting to settle down. Probably one of the most notable events of the weekend was the Mayor’s Cup matchup between RPI and the third-ranked Union. RPI won the game in the final minutes of play, and then an impressive brawl broke out right as the game ended. Both the goal to beat Union and the fight were very exciting, and if you want to see them again or for the first time, look online for the videos that were taken in the Times Union Center.

At the Senate Meeting this Monday, Vice President of Student Life Timothy Sams, in addition to other members of the Division of Student Life, presented their performance plan for the upcoming year. The performance plan outlines the key initiatives that student life will be pursing in the future. Some ideas are concrete and are already being implemented, while others are being thought out and point in the general direction of where student life wants it to be going. I will briefly outline as much of the presentation that I have written down, but to really get a good view of the plan, you should watch RPI TV’s recording of the meeting.

There are five strategic areas that were outlined initially by Sams in the meeting. They focused on undergraduate and graduate education in addition to research, community experience, and the ability to enable changes around us. The plan also brought up the establishment of hallmark programs that could continue on at RPI in the future. The goal is to create high performance leadership programs, create an Institute-wide award ceremony, and increase classroom space in residence halls. In terms of leadership initiatives, an idea that is still in the beginning stages is called the “Challenge Studio” which would bring high and low ropes opportunities to RPI.

In addition to these initiatives, athletics will continue its integration with the goals of Clustered Learning, Advocacy, and Support for Students. The Registrar will look to have a degree review program, work closer with Rensselaer Center for Open Source, and introduce enhanced course and scheduling software. Residence Life talked about increasing the number of upperclassmen living on campus, establishing an off-campus student center with Public Safety, and identifying and implementing more affinity clusters such as Vasudha and Leadership hall. The Rensselear Union spoke about enhancing student institute training for officers as well as employees, increasing engagement with faculty and alumni, and increasing collaboration with clubs and organizations.

The communications aspect of the performance plan will focus on updating the student life website to increase content on CLASS, providing greater content on student life activities, and establishing student life communication standards. The Student Health Center office is looking to hire certified nutritionists and registered dietitians as the current counselors aren’t trained to handle those matters. Finally the Student Experience office wants to challenge students to reach their full potential and support them through different informative and engaging programs. Once again if you want to see the full performance plan video visit RPI TV’s website. Have a great week, RPI!