Top Hat

Student Senate Survey requests student input

GM congratulates hockey team on win; upcoming events include AlphaTraz, R Factor

To open this week’s Top Hat, I would like to wholeheartedly congratulate the RPI Engineers on their back-to-back victories against our rivals and national champions, Union College, this past weekend! These two wins form the first consecutive victories against the Union Dutchmen since the 2004 season. RPI will now carry a three-game winning streak within the rivalry into the January 24 Mayor’s Cup. I would like to further congratulate Riley Bourbonnais on his first three goals (and first hat trick!) in his career with Rensselaer men’s hockey! This Friday, come watch the Engineers play Harvard University at the Houston Field House in a bid to extend their winning streak and Eastern College Athletic Conference dominance.

This week is National Service Week! Throughout the week, there will be a large number of philanthropy events sponsored by the Alpha Phi Omega national service fraternity and other campus organizations. These events not only serve as a call for action among RPI students; they highlight the importance of volunteerism in our community and just how rewarding community service can be. APO will also be tabling in the west lobby of the Rensselaer Union, where you may show your support and sign a banner explaining why and how you’ve served our community.

If you’re reading this article on Wednesday, come visit me down by the Union fish tank in the main lobby to bail me out of AlphaTraz! I’ll be participating in Alpha Phi’s jail and bail event, Cardiac Arrest, starting at 10 am alongside notable inmates ranging from Joshua Schramm, president of the Class of 2016, to Gavin Noritsky, president of Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity, as we try to raise bail and get out of jail. All proceeds will go to the Alpha Phi Foundation for women’s cardiac care. Help break us out of prison and help Alpha Phi save lives.

Additionally, this Saturday, the Class of 2015 Council will be hosting its fourth annual talent show, the R-Factor! Come watch your classmates perform their top talents. You will be able to vote on your favorites via a specially set-up SMS voting system. This year, the Class of 2018 Council has helped 2015 organize the R Factor—and the event will feature both seniors and freshmen! Entry to the event is free, but donations will be accepted in the form of canned goods and monetary donations, to benefit a local Troy charity.

Finally, every semester, the Student Senate’s various projects reach a stage where they require a measurement of broad student need to support moving forward, within both the Student Senate and the RPI Administration. This semester, we have projects both small and large, ranging from evaluation of iced tea products in Father’s Marketplace, to more comprehensive proposals regarding meal plan offerings and guest swipe policy, various qualities and aspects of the residence halls, the feasibility of an on-campus pharmacy, the safety of crosswalks on Burdett Avenue, and many more.

In order to gain a proper understanding of the student body’s needs, we’ve compiled and sent out a Senate Survey, now available via web at I would like to urge all students to respond—these responses will shape the direction of our projects, and all data will be prepared in a comprehensive report that will be made available immediately to the general public. Answer this survey before November 10 to have the chance to win one of four $50 gift cards. If you have any questions for me about the Senate Survey, Service Week, or other campus events, email me at

As a final note, protocols related to the Ebola virus were distributed recently to the student body by the RPI Student Health Center. At this time, there have been no reported cases of Ebola in the Capital Region—however, protocols and best practices have been disseminated to ensure a proper understanding of how to respond in the event a case arises on campus. If students have any comments or concerns, they may view the complete set of protocols online at