The Polytechnic endorses Marcus Flowers ’16 as Grand Marshal. As the highest elected student official at RPI, the GM serves as not only the head of the Student Senate but also the student body. It is his or her responsibility to understand and voice the concerns of the student body to the proper parties. Consequently, the GM holds a significant amount of responsibility to not just those in the Senate but also those of the entire RPI campus.
Flowers has been a part of Student Government since his spring semester freshman year, as Class of 2016 Student Senator. In addition, he is the chairman of the Academic Affairs Committee, and has served on the Facilities and Services Committee, Student Government Communications Committee, and Student Life Committee. However, outside of StuGov, Flowers is involved with the RPI Quidditch Team, RPI League of Legends club, RPI National Society of Black Engineers, and is a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated.
As an active member and chairman of the Academic Affairs Committee, Flowers has initiated and proposed the idea of a research index to the Student Senate. The research index is both an archive and directory for students to find research on campus. The archive is a backlog of all past research, in order to continue unfinished work. The directory contains current research opportunities offered by professors. The research index aims to incentivize not only research, but also foster student-faculty relations. Another academic related point Flowers proposes is a syllabus catalog. This catalog will help students plan their schedules semesters in advance by having a library of syllabi from all RPI classes. Additionally, Flowers proposed an online support system for upperclassmen coursework, as many higher level classes become more specialized, and as a result have fewer students and information on them. In the past years, academics have not nearly been as emphasized in the Senate as other elements of student life. With Flowers’s strongly rooted ideals in the Academic Affairs Committee and his proposed ideas, we feel that this candidate will revitalize academics.
One of Flowers’s short term goals is work to restore all-entrance access to student residence halls. Flowers realizes the inconvenience that single access to student residence halls causes. As such, he believes that students should be educated in residence hall safety and security before all-entrance access can be restored, as safety is paramount. Additionally, Flowers knows the appropriate channels in Residence Life through which to accomplish this end.
At RPI, there exists a negative social stigma on communicating and seeking help; since the school is predominantly an engineering and science institute, where emphasis is placed on those subjects, rather than communication. Flowers seeks to mitigate this stigma by exposing RPI students to other college campuses. As a member of Alpha Phi Alpha, Flowers has received outlook on other institutions, for example, the University of Albany, and has seen the culture that manifests on those campuses. The Poly believes this GM candidate will help burst the social “bubble” around RPI.
Flowers is the ideal candidate for GM because through his broad scope of experience in a wide variety of clubs, he understands and can represent the RPI student body as a whole. His emphasis on scholarship will propel this coming year, and hopefully future years, into academic excellence and support. Moreover, his participation in more than seven student organizations gives him well-rounded experience to approach difficult issues.
In addition to his extracurricular experience, Flowers is a professional and approachable individual. This makes him the ideal candidate to represent the student body, as he comes across as personable and bright individual, which are characteristics that the GM should possess.
Following the endorsement meetings with both GM candidates, Flowers demonstrated capable ability to speak extemporaneously and sincere interest in questions which were asked of him. In addition, he was composed and prepared, which segues into Flowers’s possible competent ability to address and work with not only the Student Senate but also RPI students and the administration.
Though The Poly believes that Marcus Flowers is the strongest candidate for Grand Marshal, the student body is the true determinant for electing the highest elected student position on campus. If you would like to learn more about Flowers’s platform and his answers to The Poly’s questions, see Page 8.