President of the Union Erin Amarello ’15 seeks to apply her “unique approach and point of view” to become a great President of the Union. She seeks to brand herself as a people’s president; her goal is to make the Union more accessible to more students. “It’s your money!” she exclaimed. In her selection of the current Executive Board of the Union, she attempted to create as diverse an E-board as possible. Her goal was to change the culture of student governance at RPI. She noticed that the Student Government members tend to form a closed culture and be less diverse than the student body they represent. Her aim is such that everyone who comes to the E-board will have someone on the board they can relate to.
Her specific goals for this semester include installing new projectors in meeting rooms, putting the decommissioned post office in the games room to use, and improving the bookstore. Over the summer, she consulted on expanding the sushi station into Father’s Marketplace and installed MegaBurger in the Rathskeller.
Along the lines of increasing student involvement in the Rensselaer Union, Amarello is also developing a new way for students to bring ideas to UPAC committees. Student event concepts will soon be able to be submitted to UPAC, bringing the highest quality sound and lights to produce high-quality events that better reflect student desires. She is also working on a new Union website that will be more intuitive to use and will feature an events calendar on the front page. Amarello’s hope is that students who find themselves without an activity on a Friday night will open the Union website and notice that there’s an activity they find interesting on the front page. This will hopefully increase student involvement in clubs and activities.
The origin of Amarello’s approach resides in her father. He “always told [Amarello] that [she] can do anything.” An engineer himself, he inspired Amarello’s interest in nuclear engineering. As soon as he described nuclear processes to her as a child, she declared that she wanted to develop nuclear fusion. She is well on her way to achieving this goal, having already spent two summers working at nuclear power plants. Her father once brought a model of a nuclear reactor to her fifth grade class for show-and-tell, exemplifying his qualities as an extremely passionate, open, and friendly person.
These qualities translated well into Amarello. The attitude of openness will follow last year’s election poster scandal well. She plans on carrying an open, inviting attitude and maintaining open lines of communication with the student body throughout her term in office. She plans on leaving the door to her office open whenever she is present, and invites students to stop by with their questions, comments, and concerns, or even to just say hello. Her office is in the Student Government suite on the third floor of the Union.
Amarello states that though the Union under her leadership may be more accessible to the students, there needs to be a reciprocal effort on the part of the student body, actively choosing to become more involved on campus. As Amarello said, “It’s up to you to make your experience the way you want it to be.”