Graduate Council

Graduate Council endorse Keraga, Abissi for GM, PU

Graduate Council gives and discusses endorsements, pros and cons of each candidate for GM, PU

Last week, members of the Graduate Council sat down with the available Grand Marshal and President of the Union candidates to see how their platforms and views explicitly benefited the unique concerns and issues of graduate students.

The PU candidates Frank Abissi ’15 and Erin Amarello ’15 were both available to meet with us. Both candidates recognize that graduate students associate closely with their departments and plan outreach to the graduate student population with a departmental approach. Frank and Erin agree that personal, face to face interaction is important when reaching out to all students, including graduate students. Although both Erin and Frank understand the need to include graduate student concerns in their platforms, Frank has clear goals and plans to implement. Frank intends to increase the number of services available to students from the Rensselaer Union. In addition to introducing new services that would be beneficial to graduate students, Frank recognizes the need to promote some of the lesser known services available to students such as legal counseling and small loans, which are particularly useful to graduate students. Erin’s plans include introducing an up-to-d ate events and activities calendar to keep the student body informed, which we hope to see implemented.

Of the GM candidates, Kyle Keraga ’15 and Gavin Noritsky ’16 were able to meet with members of the Graduate Council. Gregory Niguidula ’15 was unfortunately sick and we wish him a fast recovery.

Greg’s credentials and his platform can be found on his Facebook page. Hearing both Kyle and Gavin present their platforms, it is clear that both are very passionate, have demonstrated their leadership qualities in their extracurriculars, and plan to participate in the Student Senate next year regardless of the election outcomes. Kyle has an impressive Student Senate trackrecord, being the Student Life Committee chairman for multiple years and clearly knowing the ins and outs of Student Senate procedure. In a similar light, Gavin’s experience as a Student Orientation leader and president of his fraternity have shown his commitment to student life and the student experience at RPI. Both candidates showed a desire to attend and connect to RPI’s graduate students at events next year and said they would frequently consult with the future Graduate Student Council. In the end, we believe that Kyle Keraga is the stronger GM candidate for this election—his experience with the Student Senate and activeness with the Student Life Committee gives him the upper hand in credentials for what we believe will be a successful GM. As Gavin Noritsky will be entering his junior year this fall, we wish him the best in all of his endeavors and believe with a year’s experience in the Student Senate, he will be a strong candidate for a future GM election.

We are thoroughly impressed with the activeness of all the PU and GM candidates, it is comforting to know these students are interested in improving the RPI experience for both graduate students and undergraduates alike. The Graduate Student Council would like to formally endorse Frank Abissi for President of the Union and Kyle Keraga for Grand Marshal, but wishes the best of luck to all the candidates!

The Graduate Council consists of members elected by the graduate student body every year during GM week. Using a budget formed by the Graduate Student Activity Fee, the council hold events and activities for graduate students. The current Graduate Council consists of President Kristen Lee, Vice President Mike Caiola, Treasurer/Secretary Nick Thompson, Robyn Marquis, Peter Muller, Jennifer