Top Hat

Senate reviews Union Annual Report

Show your Rensselaer pride; sport red for spirit day

Good afternoon, RPI. Today’s Top Hat comes to you from Seattle, Washington—I’ve traveled across the country for an interview. Back on campus, as I’m sure you are aware, we have a busy week, filled with a career fair, a critical Student Senate vote, important events, and fun annual celebrations—concluding with a four-day Presidents’ Day weekend to give us all a welcomed break from our academic rigor!

First and foremost, the spring Center for Career and Professional Development Career Fair will be taking place this Wednesday from 10:30 am to 3:30 pm in the Armory, so don’t forget to review and revise your résumé, get your suit dry-cleaned, and practice your sixty second sell. As this is a one-day career fair, remember to get there early and take full advantage of the companies, labs, and other career opportunities here to visit. After a long day of job-hunting you’ll be tired—but don’t forget to follow up! Promptly send thank-you letters or emails to the various employers through their business cards, and remember to apply online when instructed, so that you have a high chance of continuing the interview process.

This Thursday’s Senate meeting will focus on the Rensselaer Union: first, the Senate will be hearing and reviewing the Union Annual Report Committee’s recommendation for the activity fee, as well as the Union Annual Report, for Fiscal Year 2016. The report, viewable on flagship at the following URL (, promotes transparency in Union budgeting, and details the Executive Board’s recommendations for next year’s Union budget. The Senate will be voting on whether to adopt the Report, as well as voting on the recommended activity fee. The activity fee is paid by all students and supports our Union’s many clubs, organizations, facilities, and services. If approved by the Senate, the Union Annual Report and activity fee recommendation will be sent to the Rensselaer Board of Trustees for final review and approval. Currently, threads are up on various social media outlets to discuss the Report prior to a Senate vote: you may view, comment, or contact the Union Annual Report Committee if you have questions or input.

On Friday the 13th, as a build-up to this year’s Valentines Day Freakout, is RPI Spirit Day! Whatever you’re doing and wherever you’re going, wear and display your RPI pride—put on your RPI gear, take a picture, and post to various social media with #RPISpiritDay! Take the opportunity to connect with friends and alumni from Rensselaer. Pictures from the day-long event will be voted on from February 16–20 in three categories: most likes, best corporate picture (for our beloved alumni) and of course, the most spirited selfie.

This Saturday, to begin our four-day weekend, is the event I for one have been waiting for: The Big Red Freakout. Sandwiched by back-to-back alumni events, the Freakout pulls together students, alumni, families, and all other members of the Rensselaer community for a long evening celebration and an awesome night of hockey. As many of you are aware, the Freakout has been a tradition since 1978. Once a year, RPI students, alumni, and staff are encouraged to deck out completely in red, and make as much noise as possible at the Houston Field House. After facing Brown last year, we’ll be playing Yale. The puck drops at 7 pm in the Houston Field House. Additionally, there are plenty of other festivities surrounding the game: starting at 4 PM, the Heffner Alumni House will host face painting by Red and White, a Pep Band performance, and a meet-and-greet with the hockey team over a dessert bar.

Finally, as this is a four-day weekend, remember to take advantage of the time off! It is rare that we get four days off in the middle of a semester. Consider a visit home to see your family, if only for a night or two. In either case, you may use the time after Freakout to relax, study up, and to (hopefully) enjoy the snow. Have a nice week!