SPAM reduces risks at Rensselaer events

Grand Marshal, Kyle Keraga ’15, was not present at this week’s Senate meeting. Instead, Senate-Executive Board Liaison and Class of 2016 Senator, Shoshana Rubinstein oversaw the meeting. The meeting began with words from Lester Gerhardt, president of the Faculty Senate, who was present for his usual first-of-the-month review. Although Gerhardt had no new news business to report, he did convey the willingness of the Faculty Senate to work with the Student Senate on problems they may see fit. He applauds the work of Marcus Flower ’16, head of the Academic Affairs Committee, and suggests that when the AAC discusses their projects with the Faculty Senate, they are presented in order of preference. This is so that the faculty may see a concrete formulation of the work done and will likewise be able to help them in the best way possible.

The meeting then turned to Stephanie Turk ’15 who, as the director of the Student Peer Alcohol Monitoring program, wished to present SPAM to the Senate. Turk explained that SPAM is a program run and funded through the Student Health Center whose goals is to minimize potential risk at school registered events. SPAM is made up of paid student monitors who are present at registered events within the RPI community. If at any time during the event the monitor notices something which they register as risky, it will be reported to the sober host of that event. At the end of the event, the monitor will give a recap to the event holder and suggest ways to improve, risk management. The monitor also fills out a survey to review the event and their job is concluded. Turk claimed that the program is not policy enforcement or issue reporting, but is instead a “second set of risk management eyes.” SPAM is currently made up of 12 members but looking to double by the end of the semester. Any person who wants to apply to the paid position should email for an online application. Senator Justin Etzine ’18 asked if events were able to opt out of this service or if it was a mandatory installation. Turk clarified that SPAM was used at any registered event that would benefit from increased monitoring. Upon being questioned by Interfraternity Council Representative James Whelan, Turk added that SPAM was solely for RPI related events. After approving the minutes from the previous meeting, the meeting then transitioned into committee reports. Paul Ilori ’17 reported on behalf of the Rules and Elections committee that the code for the electronic voting system should be completed by the end of the semester. AAC chair Marcus Flowers ’16 stated the committees’ projects are being revamped after a meeting with the vice-provost and there is an upcoming conversation with the Faculty Senate on the calendar. Graduate student Kristen Lee informed those in attendance that a movie night is being held for graduate students Friday, November 7 at 7 pm at Union Program and Activities Committee Cinema’s showing of Guardians of the Galaxy.