Letters to the Editor

Implicated officials speak out

To my colleagues in student government, fellow students and members of the entire Rensselaer community,

I want to apologize for my error in judgment in the removal of posters pertaining to the referendum on amendments to the Union Constitution. It particularly pains me to know that my decision negatively affected Student Government, which is the activity at Rensselaer to which I have devoted my last four years as a student leader. This year, we have accomplished many things together and that’s because Student Government is composed of wonderful, dedicated people whose focus has always been the betterment of student life. They mean the world to me, and I am sorry to see them and the rest of our community hurt by my actions. I hope that all of us can move forward and work together in the future so that we can continue to add to the legacy that has made Rensselaer the great place it is today.

Charles Carletta

BMGT ’14

148th Grand Marshal

To the members of the Rensselaer Community,

I would like to apologize for my recent mistakes. I have disappointed you and let you down, and I know that there is very little I can do to repair the damage of my actions.

I would like to apologize to my peers in Student Government, who will now have to deal with the aftermath of my own poor decision. I am sorry that my actions have cast a shadow on all of their good work and the changes they have dedicated themselves to this year. Unfortunately, they will have to work even harder in the next year due to my mistakes, and I deeply regret that. I have been fortunate enough to work with the wonderful and talented people of the Rensselaer Union Admin Office, club officers, and those in Student Government. I have let each of them down in many ways, and I cannot fully express how much I regret that.

I was elected to best serve our students and our Union and I am sorry that I made a mistake while in that role. It was my responsibility to fully think through my actions before I made them, and in this situation I did not. Please do not let my poor decision influence your relationship with our Union and Student Government. The mistake I made was my own and not a reflection of anyone else’s opinion or actions. Unfortunately, I am graduating and will not be able to redeem my actions over time; but I truly hope that the excellent work of my peers will not be forgotten or overlooked because of the mistakes that I made. They are great, dedicated people and they will continue to show it throughout this upcoming year.

I sincerely apologize for my mistakes and the negative impact it has had on this community.

Gretchen Sileo

MATH ’14

124th President of the Union

Members of the RPI Community,

I want to formally apologize to each and every one of you for my actions in taking down the Union Constitution Referendum opposition posters. I was wrong to do it and I should have known better. I’ve let you down as a leader and want you to know that I will never do something like this again. I wish I could go back and teach my former self all the lessons I’ve learned. I wish I had never made such a rash decision, or compromised my character in this way.

I am sorry to the people whose posters I took down, sorry to the people whose trust I carelessly discarded, sorry to the members of Student Government who know deal with the aftermath, and sorry to everyone on this campus for what I have done.

I have been thinking about this non-stop since Friday and struggled for the past few days to put my feelings into words. I know I’ve disappointed you and want you to know that I take that very seriously. I will accept the consequences of my actions and work to regain your trust in the future.

Russell Brown

MECL ’14

146th Grand Marshal

To the RPI Student Body and the Rensselaer community,

I would like to apologize for my actions in the removal of the posters opposing amendments to the Rensselaer Union Constitution. I deeply regret what I’ve done and the damage it has caused to our community and our Union.

To those who posted the signs: I don’t know your names, but I’m sure I’ve met and spoken with a number of you. If I could apologize to you in person, I would. What I did was indefensible and inexcusable, and I’m sorry for any distress my actions caused. My actions were an affront to your rights as students, and counter to everything I’ve worked for as a representative of the student body in my time in student government. I’ve failed you as a representative of your voice.

To the members of our Student Government: I know how hard every one of you works to represent and advocate for students. I know that you struggle to maintain a relationship of trust and confidence with the student body, and my actions destroyed that relationship and much of the work we’ve done to improve it over the past three years. I’m sorry for all the damage that I have done, and I’m sorry that it will fall to you to repair it. I’ve failed you as a colleague and a friend.

To the GM Week Committee, and the Rules and Elections Committee: Your hard work and dedication to producing an incredible experience for students deserved a better ending. I’m sorry that what I did puts a black mark on what should be remembered as the best GM Week in recent history.

To the staff of the Rensselaer Union: I’ve worked with many of you over the years to make our Union the best it can be for our students. You have put your trust in me, guided me, and helped shape me as a person and leader. I’m sorry that I’ve let you down, and for the distress and inconvenience I’ve caused you.

To the rest of our RPI community: You deserve better from a student leader. Many of you who voted put your faith and trust in me as someone who would lead our Union with conscience and integrity, and I have betrayed your trust. I’ve failed you as a leader.

It pains me that the consequences of my mistakes will be suffered by others. I will do everything I can to repair the damage I’ve done, and I hope that with time I can work toward earning redemption and your forgiveness.

Frank Abissi

MATH ’15

To My Fellow Students,

I want to extend my sincerest apologies for removing the posters pertaining to amendments to the Union Constitution. You trusted me as a student leader to make good decisions; by taking matters into my own hands, I have failed you. I hope that in time I can earn back your trust.

Matthew Kosman

CSYS ’14