Hello RPI Students,
We are just coming back from our homecoming weekend, and I hope you had the chance to enjoy it as much as I did. It was great to see people who have passed through RPI and faced the academic challenge that we do today, as well as the unique situations of their time. Hearing their stories has really inspired me to take new perspectives, strategies, and ideas into the rest of my term. As such, I hope to run into as many people as I possibly can in the coming weeks and have a real discussion person-to-person on what you need on your campus. That’s something I think people can sometimes forget: that this is your place of higher education. As a student here, you have the right to the resources you need to succeed, and if those are not being provided for you, we, the Student Senate, are obligated to fix that. We are a bright and earnest body of students, each of us with a goal to succeed in our lives, and the foundation; we get today will set the standards we hold for the future. So take charge of that foundation, speak out on what you need to succeed, and make sure your questions do not go unanswered.
We still have a lot of opportunities for our freshmen to get involved, even though many are likely focusing on their first series of exams still. If you know someone in the Class of 2019 who is trustworthy and strong-willed, tell them to look at Student Government. The people who get involved today will shoulder the decisions for students just a few short years from now, and when that time comes, experience is the best thing that they can bring to the table. Here’s my message to the freshmen: there are over 1,400 students who came into RPI with you, each of them with a unique set of talents, experiences, and ambitions. Some of you will have the responsibility of doing things such as choosing a tree to plant for your class, the design of your class ring, and the like. Some will have the opportunity to bring a new event to campus for your class to enjoy. All of you, however, will be working towards graduating with knowledge to set yourself up for success. Being able to say that you worked to the benefit of all those people is a rare opportunity, and I encourage you all to consider it.
This week in Senate, we looked at more data related to the petition involving locked tuition, and further discussed how to act on it. For those who do not know or remember, the petition came from the Student Senate’s petition website, http://petitions.rpiwtg.com, which allows for students to log-in, and post or endorse petitions that go directly to the floor of the Student Senate!
We have gotten a lot of great projects from our petitions base, such as our preferred names petition project (see the petitions website for a description). This site is a tool for students to take a stance in how they address their life on campus, so be sure to make full use of it. The Student Senate is working on putting together our regular survey for our current students, so talk to us now about what your priority issues are, so that we can take this opportunity to gather enough data to investigate them thoroughly.
In related student government news, the Rensselaer Collegiate Store in the Rensselaer Union is officially opened under its new title, and came forth from the hard work of many students on the Executive Board, led by the Presidents of the Union over the last few years. I want to take this time to acknowledge their hard work and continued dedication to the students of RPI, as it took years of work and numerous students to accomplish. Let it stand as a testament to what we can do to help ourselves.
We are only a few weeks into this school year, but we, the students, have a lot of opportunities and challenges ahead. Keep your minds sharp, and be ready for anything.