Top Hat

Halloween packed with events, SPEAKOUT

Good morning RPI; Halloween weekend is coming up, and with it, a great number of exciting events and opportunities, both on campus and throughout our community.

First and foremost, Thursday through Friday, a number of organizations will be hosting Halloween themed events! On October 30, from 5–7 pm, the Freshman Five, Davison, and Barton will be collaboratively hosting Haunted Hallways: a trick-or-treat event that entertains hundreds of local elementary school children each year. Haunted Hallways is still looking for volunteers to help decorate, give out candy, and escort children, so stop by before the event this Friday if you’d like to take part.

On Friday, the Halloween season will hit its maximum with celebrations across campus, and many for a good cause. Pi Kappa Phi and Alpha Gamma Delta are collaborating to host a Haunted House Event this Friday at 49 2nd Street, with all proceeds going to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and The Ability Experience. Sigma Chi and Alpha Phi will be hosting their 45th Annual Haunted House at the Sigma Chi Fraternity House on 58 Pinewoods Avenue. This event is open to the public, with all proceeds going to the Col. Albert Pawling Memorial Statue Project. As if that were not enough, Halloween is October Troy Night Out, from 5–9 pm! Beyond the usual festivities, this month’s Troy Night Out features a number of Halloween specials!

Finally, Halloween Night at 7 pm is RPI Hockey’s Blackout Game against none other than Union College (boo!). The Blackout Game is an annual tradition, where RPI students are encouraged to dress in full black as they do their best to support the Engineers. It is a rare and exciting coincidence that this game should fall on Halloween this year. Given that RPI has not played against Union since our victory in the Mayor’s Cup last year and Union’s subsequent national title, this may be the match of the year for our players and fans. I would like to urge the RPI student body to join me at the field house in support of the Engineers this Friday—but remember: wear black, come in costume, or both!

On a more serious note, the RPI Student Health Center is holding the first in a series of confidential support group meetings, called SPEAKOUT, for victims and survivors of sexual assault this Thursday at 6 pm. Individuals interested are encouraged to attend, whether they are ready to share or not—the environment will be both comforting and confidential to afford students the maximum degree of protection, anonymity, and support. If you have any questions, you may contact Alex Blais from the Student Health Center at, or (518) 276-2231.

This week in the Student Senate, one of the members of our Academic Affairs Committee, Shreya Patel ’18, presented progress on the committee’s efforts to establish a universal collection of course syllabi for student use. This collection would be publicly available on the web, ideally via the Student Information System or Learning Management System. Academic Affairs believes that such a resource would greatly assist students with course selection by giving them a better understanding of what each course had required in the past. The project is currently in a highly promising stage, with AAC working towards a pilot iteration.

Finally, Monday’s Senate meeting also featured the appointment of Molly Dugan ’18 as our new Independent senator—Dugan joins an incredibly involved, capable, and passionate group of first-years on the Senate. With her enthusiasm for RPI and strong feel for student government, we in the Senate are excited for her. Welcome to the team! Additionally, with Dugan’s appointment, there remains only one Senate vacancy—the sixth Graduate seat. To our graduate students, if any of you are interested in making a difference at Rensselaer, have interest in working on a particular facet of the graduate student experience, or would like to become more involved on campus, please contact Kristen Lee, Graduate Council President, at, or myself at!