The Poly staff welcomes the Class of 2018 to Rensselaer! This will be your home for the next few years, and we can’t wait to meet you. Hearing “2018” makes us feel so old, though—we came to RPI in 2013, 2012, 2011, or even before!
We’d like to start by telling you to make sure you take advantage of the opportunities Rensselaer offers. There are tons of cool research programs to get involved in; you can look into a co-terminal or accelerated Ph.D. program and get advanced degrees in less time, if that’s something you’re interested in. Your fellow students will include some very smart people.
You’ll see that our President of the Union and Grand Marshal have talked about all the benefits of the Rensselaer Union and extracurriculars. The Poly staff wants to stress the importance of extracurricular interests—all of us have learned so much through being on the newspaper! Our paper is completely student-run to the point where we don’t even receive money from the Union for it. This means that we have complete journalistic freedom, which is something we’re incredibly proud of.
Over the next four years, you’ll hear fables of old, great student leaders. You’ll hear of Uprise at Five, when students protested against the housing and meal plan requirements for sophomores. You’ll hear of a Grand Marshal who disappeared from RPI just months after a controversial Student Senate motion. You’ll hear of “GM Month”, when elections took a month to be decided in Spring 2010, and the elections chairman’s long memoir. The history of RPI is incredibly interesting, and we’re not just talking about who founded what and when buildings were built; we’re talking about the students who have made changes and the names they have made for themselves. Maybe, one day in your tenure here at RPI, you too will become a part of history.