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GM talks important carsharing iniative

Discussion of a new carsharing program designed to improve student life by renting cars to students

Hello, RPI! The Student Senate voted on a very important proposal this week prepared by the Senate’s Facilities and Services Committee chaired by Senator Christina Gilliland ’15. This year, the committee’s main project has been working on a campus car-sharing initiative. For those that don’t know car sharing is a type of car rental program where members can quickly and easily rent cars for short or long periods of time.

The members of the FSC committee have been hard at work researching and benchmarking against RPI’s peer institutions to see how many of them have similar programs to the one the Senate is looking at. It turns out that most schools that RPI compares itself to do have a car sharing program of some kind. In addition to the benchmarking, the committee focused on outlining the value propositions of a car share on campus. The Senate believes that there are many academic, professional, cultural, and personal benefits brought to the student experience through a program such as this.

Carsharing can help students with getting to their interview destination when seeking employment, research and other academic opportunities off campus, and building and retaining a professional network in the capitol region. It allows clubs and organizations to participate in more extracurricular activities offered off campus. This will allow for more personal development and eliminate transportation barriers that used to exist for holding such events. Carsharing lets students without cars take care of personal problems such as medical appointments or family issues, on their own as well.

This program will increase communiversity with Troy and the surrounding Capital Region. Some destinations that students travel to are within CDTA’s routes but others are not. Carsharing will allow students to go to a local park, attend a theatrical performance, or be a part of programs to give back to the community in areas with greater ease. I’ve mentioned students in all of these benefits, but this program would be open to Rensselaer faculty and staff as well. There are many benefits to this program and the Senate sees it as a great opportunity to strengthen the student experience. The whole proposal with specific data points, benchmarking statistics, and the full benefits list can be found on Flagship Docs in the 44th Student Senate section.

Besides the car-share proposal, the Senate approved the new Graduate Student Council by-laws. The changes within the bylaws were made to streamline the organization’s internal responsibilities and to clear up some confusion that existed in the document itself.

Campaigning has finally begun and I’m really excited to see all the new posters appear on campus. Student government is a great opportunity to get involved on campus and I highly recommend it. That being said, there are many ways to get involved and it’s important to know if the position you are running for is right for you. If you are unsure and would like to learn more about any position please feel free to email me at gm@rpi.edu. Have a great week everyone!