The first day of September signaled not only a day off for faculty, staff, and students, but also another meeting for RPI’s Student Senate. The Senate was able to cover presentations from several of the Senators about a variety of topics dealing with student life at RPI. A plan to work more closely with the Hospitality Services was developed as well as the regulations for the elections for the Class of 2018.
The Senate began by passing the minutes from their last meeting by a vote of 15-0. This gave the green light for this record to be put on Flagship Docs, an online location in which all of RPI’s Student Government work can be found at http://docs.studentsenate.rpi.edu/. The meeting then continued with a presentation by Christina Gilliland ’15 in which she informed the Senate members of protocols for the organization of their work. She informed the audience at large that the public events that involve the Senate are organized and shown on a Google Calendar that is open to the general public. In addition, each senator has a mailbox which is freely open to any student who may wish to contact any senator via writing. The mailboxes are located in the Rensselaer Union’s Student Government Suite, which includes the offices of the Grand Marshal and the President on the Union. Soon after, chairman of the Rules and Elections Committee, Melanie Todis ’17, gave a presentation detailing the changes that were made in the Class of 2018 Elections Handbook. This document details the rules and regulations for the system of selecting representatives for the Class of 2018 in the 2018 Class Council and the Student Senate. This year’s changes included an added rule under Section 5.22 of this Handbook which states “Use of official Rensselaer logo or branding is prohibited from any campaign materials.” Other changes were minor and consisted only of grammatical issues and updating the dates in the Handbook. Any student who is interested in running for a position in the 2018 Class Council or the Senate should be able to find the Handbook in the Student Government Suite in the Rensselaer Union. The changes in the handbook were passed by a vote of 16-0. The Senate then was presented with a motion to approve a subcommittee of the Facilities and Services Committee called Hospitality Services Advisory Committee. Joseph Venusto ’17 took the floor with intention to inform the Senate on the possibilities of HSAC and its potential. Planning for the group began during this past summer in which Grand Marshal Kyle Keraga ’15 initiated conversations with RPI’s Hospitality Services and their interest in forming a student advisory group. This group would discuss student feedback about how HS may develop their services in order to better serve the RPI community. Should the motion to approve HSAC pass, it would be implemented for the 2014-2015 academic year as a subcommittee of FSC. Michael Han ’16, chair of FSC, would be the overall supervisor for the committee while a yet unnamed member would be the chair of HSAC itself. HSAC would have a weekly student meeting in which it plans to incorporate as many factions of students as possible and hold a meeting with HS monthly. Small-scale recommendations from HSAC would be able to go directly to HS while larger proposals would have to be passed by the Senate before proceeding to HS. There is no specific agenda for HSAC as of yet, but Venusto assured the Senate that once the feedback starts coming in and the informal communication with HS is kept up, a plan will soon fall into place. At the end of this academic year, the Senate will determine if HSAC is needed for the next academic year, or if it should be disbanded. The Senate passed the motion to approve the formation of HSAC with a vote of 16-0. A motion to make Venusto chair of HSAC was then passed with a vote of 16-0-1. The various committees of the Senate then gave their individual reports, starting with the Rules and Elections Committee stating that since the Handbook had passed, campaigning could start for the Class of 2018’s election on September 2. The primary election for this event is on September 22 while the final election will be held on September 25. All committees reported the times and locations of their first meetings on their public calendar which can be found at http://poly.rpi.edu/13210.