Hello, freshmen. While the rest of the campus barrages you all with their own opinions about the first year of college, the editorial staff of The Polytechnic want to take a moment to explain to you Rensselaer’s pride: our beloved Rensselaer Union.
Maybe you’ve heard, but likely you haven’t, because many of us didn’t truly understand until we were well into our time at RPI. Our Union is unique; it’s completely student run. Students do just about everything around the Union. Yes, we have administrative staff—and we love them for the work they do—but our Executive Board, full of student leaders, has the ultimate decision making power for Union-related business. We have the power in the Union, and that’s the reason so many of us spend countless hours involved in the place.
Last semester, the administration suggested changes to how our Union operates and those of us close to the Union were frustrated with how the whole situation was handled. It looked as if we would lose control of the student run aspect of our student union. In response, we, the students, joined together and asked to be heard; through perseverance and dedicated hours we were heard and decisions were reversed. It is unlikely you would find such a committed, passionate group of students who love their Union as much as RPI students do.
When the end of August comes and a new life chapter opens, take the time to appreciate the Union and all it has to offer. In time, you too will come to love it as much as we do and hopefully understand why it’s so important that it remain student run. Take the time to do a little research—The Poly is a great source for this—and find out how deep and strong our student-run roots are.