Hello, RPI. I hope you had a fun and relaxing Thanksgiving Break. Each year, this break has been the perfect chance to reconnect with friends and family—as well as a prime opportunity to rest and recharge in anticipation of the final push towards the end of the semester.
The next three weeks will be busy. Many courses conclude their final round of exams and project presentations this week, and immediately following we’ll be entering into final exams. While this routine may be familiar for our returning students, I want to reassure all freshmen and new students on the RPI campus that it’s not as hard as it sounds. We’re attending a difficult institution, but with proper planning you can tackle these exams with confidence.
Make sure to study more than a night in advance—it’s never fun to cram for an exam. Next Monday and Tuesday are designated “Study Days,” and we’ll have no exams or classes during that time. If you focus early you’ll be much more comfortable tackling your exams. Additionally, reviewing a semester’s worth of knowledge can be daunting—so contact your professors if you need help, and find a study group! Studying with friends can reduce the stress of finals week, and very often you’ll find it much easier to pick up key concepts from your peers than from a website or textbook.
Lastly, don’t forget to pace yourself. As your exams or presentations approach, take an hour or two to relax each day and give yourself some breathing room so you don’t burn out. The Red and White Student Organization will be hosting Study Days at the Heffner Alumni House this Monday and Tuesday from 7 am–3 pm. Every semester, Red and White opens the Alumni House as a quiet, comfortable, and welcoming study environment for students to focus on their upcoming exams. If you’re with a group, you may also reserve a room for group use.
As this is my first Top Hat in two weeks, I wanted to give a shout-out to some of the great work that’s been going through the Student Senate. On November 24, the Student Life Committee presented its ongoing work on an analysis of student input into Residence Halls. This analysis has been assembled based on your feedback in the Fall Student Opinion Survey and conversations with Residence Life and the Resident Student Association. This week, the Academic Affairs Committee showcased progress towards a public archive of undergraduate research efforts. Both of these projects will continue to be developed through collaborative conversation with appropriate administrators and students. If you’re interested, shoot me an email over break or when we return in the spring, and I’ll connect you with the appropriate committees.
The Rules and Elections Committee has released a working document of proposed rules to govern referendum elections and petitions. This rule set may be viewed here: http://poly.rpi.edu/s/ji6zp. The document is open for public comment and suggestion, so feel free to voice your thoughts or propose edits. R&E intends to bring the ruleset to the Senate for a vote when we return next semester, so if you’re interested in election rules, now is an excellent opportunity for input.
Before I close this article, I wanted to thank everyone who I’ve had the pleasure of working with this semester in my role as Grand Marshal. This has been an amazing semester for the Student Senate, and I’m excited to see what the remainder of the term will bring. I also want to wish everybody—senators, students, faculty, and staff alike—a great holiday break! With five weeks off, take the time to relax and to reconnect with old friends. Go explore, play some games, or read a book you’ve been meaning to pick up. As usual, if you have any questions, you may always reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org! So once again, I’d like to wish everyone the best of luck with the end of your semesters, and a great break. You’ve earned it!