Interview: Meet RPI’s 149th Grand Marshal

KYLE KERAGA ’15 HOLDS the position of Grand Marshal, the highest elected student office at RPI.

Kyle Keraga ’15 said he had always wanted to be Grand Marshal, but it was not until midway through last year that he finally decided that he was going to run. When we asked what his motivation was, he said that he felt there was a need for change. Keraga is a senior pursuing a major in computer science.

In the brief conversation with our GM, we believe that he is a true advocate for change. One of the major issues prevalent on campus is with Sodexo. Coming into the new school year, this is one of the first problems he wishes to address. He also hopes to start a initiative to renovate North Hall, E-Complex, and Quadrangle Residence Hall, as well as improving communication with the student body. Whether it is through Reddit threads or Facebook posts, he wants it to be easier for the general student body to voice their opinions and concerns to the Student Government.

There are three policies that are in the works for the next couple of months. Students have been complaining that they felt they were being overcharged by taxi companies. To combat this, Keraga wishes to reach an agreement with taxi companies to have a flat-rate taxi fee which will be convenient for many students. Keraga also wants to revise the academic excuse policy. Currently all excuses have to be voiced in person. With these changes, it would be possible to voice them over the internet and then later voice them in person. This would help in fringe cases when people are incapable of physically getting to class to take a test or complete a lab. Cases in the past include a fallen tree on a car and ill people who cannot get out of bed. The third policy is a simple prescription delivery service between CVS Pharmacy and RPI. This will be helpful as students can have prescriptions sent to their door for any illness or health issue.

Keraga also wants to bring Zip Cars to RPI. Zip Cars are different than renting cars. Zip Cars are rented on the fly, but anybody that is subscribed can use them. Currently, it takes much longer to ride buses than it would take directly driving a car. The Clustered Learning, Advocacy, and Support for Students objective is part of the opposition. Ideally, CLASS would like for students to spend most of their time on campus. If Zip Cars arrived, it would allow for a lot more freedom for students on campus. Keraga wants to bring Zip Cars for seniors and juniors as a pilot program, and then eventually provide them to freshmen and sophomores.

Another interesting topic Keraga touched was called a green revolving fund, proposed by student sustainability task force chair Kenny Campbell ’16. With this fund, one could invest in some sort of renewable energy. The money saved from the use of renewable energy will be used to reinvest back in to more renewable energy programs. The cycle would ideally continue on until everything that can be run off renewable energy would be.

The GM also has his own special column in The Poly called the Top Hat. He uses this space to discuss his opinions, raise prevalent campus issues, and upcoming events to the student body.

There seems to be a lot of positive change for the student body. Our elected GM has put in a lot of thought in the daily life of the student as he takes steps towards making the campus safer, academically beneficial, and much more enjoyable. He can be contacted at gm@rpi.edu.

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