As the Student Senate at RPI continues to play politics, the campus community has begun to question the relevancy of student government. To be fair, the group has struggled to implement changes, and it’s reasonable for the student body to question the group’s relevance. However, we at The Poly feel it is important to mention that student government serves several integral roles in the life of students on campus.
To begin, student government often serves to provide a balance between the administration and the students who have grown to call this place home. While students are here to earn an education, they certainly deserve input on how the Institute they have devoted four years of their lives to is run. In the face of administration, student government has traditionally served as the voice of the students.
In a campus community as complacent as Rensselaer’s, our elected officials serve as the primary group of people that are willing to make changes in the lives of students. It wouldn’t be fair to suggest that the work done by student senators and other officials is easy—the elected students have sacrificed themselves to hours of bureaucracy in the name of improving the lives of the students. Students at RPI get genuinely angry about the decisions made by the administration, but it is rare that any actual demonstration of our concerns happens; consequently, we are subject to the whims of the administration. We rely on government to provide Rensselaer with the changes that will keep us evolving and pertinent to modern society.
Additionally, as a newspaper, we live for controversy. If it weren’t for student government, we would never have the opportunity to report on a breaking story. The Student Senate has afforded us an opportunity that we would never have otherwise: to be the first source for the Rensselaer. As petty as it might sound, we’re thankful to the student government for keeping our campus interesting and dynamic.
We can understand the frustration that students feel with the current status of student government, but our elected officials stand as our best bet to make changes in the Rensselaer community that will ultimately benefit the Institute as a whole.