Welcome back to Rensselaer! After a long, six-week vacation, we have at last returned to campus for the start of our second semester. I hope that everyone has enjoyed their break: After the first two weeks I already found myself itching to return to my home here at RPI. Following a break filled to the brim with job applications and a warm trip to the southwest, I, for one feel rested, rejuvenated, and ready to return to work.
Of course, a return to Troy means a return to winter weather: with winter storm Juno hitting hard this week, the snow has risen, and the temperature will fall—remember to bundle up and stay safe in the cold. In this kind of weather, gloves, a hat, and a scarf are your best friends. Soon enough, the weather will be sunny once more—the cold and snow to be replaced by warmth, blue skies and probably more than a little rain. For now, remember to stay warm and stay safe.
A new semester also means a fresh start—classes will start anew, there’s a career fair upcoming, and with no impending exams, reports, or finals, we can take the time to consider our future directions, and plan how we want to reach our goals. Meet with your advisor or professors and get to know them. Look at your classes’ syllabi and begin to get into your regular work schedules, figure out which activities you’d like to take part in, and what role you want to play in each of your clubs. Make sure you’re comfortable with your routine and ready to tackle the semester with confidence and preparation.
After a busy and productive fall semester, the Student Senate is back to work. Each committee will be resuming and wrapping up its projects from the fall, and in some cases, taking on new initiatives in the spring.
Our Student Life Committee, chaired by Lexi Rindone ’15 (email@example.com), is concluding its work with residence hall feedback and recommendations, continuing to work toward an on-campus pharmacy, and engaging with Student Life regarding recent campus security changes. The Facilities and Services Committee, chaired by Michael Han ’16 (firstname.lastname@example.org), will begin assessing campus parking options and privileges, evaluating locations of picnic tables on campus, and working to create an easy system for students to report physical damages to our classrooms. Academic Affairs, chaired by Marcus Flowers ’16 (email@example.com), is continuing to work with the Center for Career and Professional Development and School of Science to promote research opportunities, and continuing to coordinate with the Faculty Senate.
Finally, as many of you know, the Union Constitution is undergoing an update this year. The Constitution Committee, chaired by Nate James ’16 (firstname.lastname@example.org), aims to fix inconsistencies in the document and reflect the most up-to-date needs of student government. Entering the spring, Constitution Committee has reviewed the majority of the document. Before finalizing any part of the Constitution, several steps will be taken to ensure each amendment is adequately reviewed by the student body:
• First, sections of the document prepared by the committee will be sent to their respective groups for feedback (the E-Board changes will be reviewed by the Executive Board, etc.)
• Following this review, each section will be posted digitally as a commentable Google document for students to view, review, and leave all feedback and comments.
• If any item receives large feedback or controversy, the Senate will hold a public forum for a more direct discussion.
• Finally, the Student Body will be given at least one week’s notice before any amendment is brought to the Senate for a vote.
If you haven’t been involved yet, now is the perfect time to check out one of the Senate committees—they are, as always, open to anyone who is interested and willing to join. Simply email one of the committee chairsmen, or contact me at email@example.com, and we will be happy to assist you. Welcome back, RPI!