Hello RPI. Last Thursday, September 25, marked the conclusion of the freshman elections, and the results have been counted and finalized. Congratulations to Kenneth Vetter ’18 on his election as Class of 2018 President, and to all other elected student officials. The 2018 Class Council, responsible for promoting class unity through traditions such as the Class Ring, Class Tree, and Senior Week, will be convened in a training and team development meeting by Jacob Derechin ’15, President of the Undergraduate Council, to help prepare them for the year and their new role as representatives.
Remember, of course, that if you were not elected, there are other opportunities to get involved. The Class Councils, as well as all committees of the Student Senate and Executive Board, are open to additional involvement, so any students of their years are welcome to join. These groups represent a great opportunity for every RPI student to grow as a leader and as a professional.
I would also like to extend congratulations and a warm welcome to Keegan Caraway ’18, Justin Etzine ’18, Jennifer Freedberg ’18, and Steven Sperraza ’18, on their elections to Student Senate. Keegan, Justin, Jenna, and Steven have already become heavily involved in the various Senate committees. They’ve already shown great potential as student leaders, and I look forward to working with each of them this year. Freshmen, this will be a fantastic experience for each of you. I hope you each are able to accomplish great things in your time here, and that you all enjoy this experience as much as I have.
Following the Student Senate’s General Body Meeting this past Monday, the Senate embarked on our annual Light Walk. The Light Walk is an annual tradition for the Student Senate as we explore the RPI campus and neighboring streets of Troy to look for any areas of dim, inconsistent, or faulty lighting. As the core aim of the walk is to guarantee safety for RPI students and the community at large, the focus area of the walk has since expanded to include any physical damage to sidewalks or roadways, any and all areas of overgrowth, in addition to any other factors that may result in students or community members feeling unsafe.
Finally, as many of you have been made aware, Dr. Timothy Sams, Vice President for Student Life, will be resigning from his position with Rensselaer a week from this Friday, on October 10. Many students may not know Sams, but those of us who do may attest that he has left an extremely positive impact on the quality of Rensselaer student life. With that in mind, I wanted to take the time to thank him for everything he’s done, and wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors. In the three years I’ve been an RPI student, Sams has proven to be a sincere, approachable, friendly, and remarkably fair supporter of RPI student rights.
Throughout my time with the Student Senate, Sams has been a pleasure to work with, and a great point of contact on a multitude of the Student Senate’s projects. He has become an excellent personal and professional advocate for all who have known him—importantly, Sams has been a strong proponent of equality, known for his support of minority causes such as Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer issues and gender equality. Through his work with student groups such as the Student Life Advisory Council, he has worked to ensure the safety, rights, and quality of life for all Rensselaer students.
There will be a full campus reception for Sams, Wednesday, from 2–4 pm in the Heffner Alumni House. Students, faculty, staff, and community members who have known Sams or who would like the chance to meet him, are invited and encouraged to attend and wish him well. Sams, thank you again for everything you’ve done to make this campus a better place for students.