Monthly Archives: August 2016

Full Issue: August 31, 2016

The Rensselaer Polytechnic July 11, 2016

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President welcomes Class of 2020

Speeches from Jackson, Ledet, Grand Marshal at freshman Convocation

The Class of 2020 made its way to the East Campus Athletic Village Gymnasium for Convocation on Sunday, August 29. Read more...

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Editorial notebook

Moving on with resilience

A breakdown of the 2015–2016 community theme

In a previous notebook, I mentioned that the 2015–2016 community theme, resilience, wasn’t so bad. After reading what I wrote, Jack Wellhofer ’18 told me he’d never heard anyone support it. Administration tend to be biased toward it—for obvious reasons—and students tend to be biased against it. I believe that there’s more to it than a paycheck or spite, so here’s my case. Read more...

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Freshmen give their first college live performances in NRB

Along 15th Street sits the RPI Playhouse, where Players perform several productions a year. This year, the Players welcomed the new freshmen by allowing them to participate in one of three shows: Bad Auditions, SUPERHEROES, and Meet the Roomates. Under the guidance of current Players, the freshmen had 48 hours to prepare for a live performance in front of their peers. Students were evenly split between working on the set and acting on stage. Enthusiasm for this Navigating Rensselaer & Beyond experience was overwhelming. Out of the 50 students who have signed up for this event, 47 showed up for the Pancake Breakfast hosted at the Playhouse on Wednesday morning. Not all of their day was fun and games however, as the group had to work hard. Read more...

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Vo appointed Secretary

Elections Handbook also approved

Grand Marshal Paul Ilori ’17 welcomed the Student Senate back from summer and immediately jumped into business with committee reports. While committees have not yet met, the chairmen of each committee outlined their plans for the year. Read more...

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Editorial notebook

Burn your ships to succeed

All of my life, I’ve been told that I always need a plan B, a backup plan, for almost everything I do. As I progressed through my first year of college, what became increasingly evident is that most of the time, I won’t have my life completely together, and I won’t have backup plans for the important things, and that’s okay. Read more...

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Martial arts clubs introduce styles

Culture and spirit imbued via drill and simulated combat

The armory was hot on the August day that various activities were taking place around campus. Inside, the culture was completely changed, as the bamboo shinai flashed and the feet of students hit paddles instructors held high. The scene was mesmerizing, and watching the activities instilled a sense of curiosity. The Navigating Rensselaer & Beyond event exploring the martial arts consisted of three different forms: taekwondo, kendo, and kung fu, all great sources of exercise here on campus. Read more...

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NRB Event

Tuning in to WRPI

Located in the underground tunnels of the Darrin Communications Center is the the hub of WRPI, Rensselaer’s own exclusive radio station. It includes everything from a 20,000-plus collection of vintage vinyl records, to broadcasting booths and soundboards, to stickers stuck haphazardly on the wall—the “hippest” subterranean hangout for the station’s staff of about 20 students. Read more...

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Freshmen get a glimpse into Troy’s illustrious past

“Troy is really where the iron and steel industry started in America,” says a volunteer model railroad curator to a group of incoming freshmen. The freshmen are part of the RPI Traditions tour group, a Navigating Rensselaer & Beyond event that exposes the students to RPI and Troy’s rich history. “For years, Troy was the fourth richest city in New York and the 16th richest in the country,” the volunteer continues. When asked what his favorite part of the model is Bud replied that he has no one favorite part, but rather enjoys how much it reminds him of his days at RPI back in the early 1960s. Read more...

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Looking to the semester ahead

It is so great to see our campus alive with activity. To all our returning Rensselaer students, welcome back. And to our new students, we give you a special welcome as you begin the first week of your new academic journey. We are glad you are here and part of the Rensselaer family! Read more...

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RPIA coaches trauma care skills

Navigating Rensselaer & Beyond may seem all fun and games, but A Day in the Life of an EMT is deadly serious. Hosted by RPI’s own EMT-B volunteers, A Day in the Life of an EMT is an exhibit showcasing the techniques EMTs learn and apply to assist those in need. Student ambulance operators teach incoming freshmen the vital skills an EMT should know, such as how to take blood pressure, control bleeding, use a stretcher, respond to mock calls, perform CPR, and of course, take vitals. Incoming students are taught these skills by being tasked with things like removing bloodied, or in this case, syruped gloves—gloves which were covered in maple syrup in order to teach the students the proper hygienic techniques—and by strapping injured patients to a board for transport, which is referred to as “backboarding.” No wonder Commons Dining Hall ran out of syrup at breakfast! Read more...

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Student Life

New Greek dean gets appointed

In light of the new school year, Rensselaer has appointed a new Associate Dean of the Greek Life Commons. Meredith Bielaska joined the Rensselaer community this fall after the position sat vacant for nearly a year. The previous Greek Dean, Rafael Matos, was removed from his position for unclear reasons after serving only six weeks at RPI. Read more...

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top hat

Many opportunities upcoming

I’ll begin with the same phrase you’ll probably hear 200 times over the next few weeks: welcome to Rensselaer! I am Paul Ilori ’17, the 151st Grand Marshal and wearer of headwear that was more fashionable when the Class of 1917 were seniors. The position was created in 1866 to honor Albert Harper, a student from Pittsburgh, PA who returned to graduate after fighting in the Civil War. Over the past century and a half, the role has transformed and has undertaken different roles and symbols. Currently, as GM, I serve as the presiding officer of the Student Senate and an officer of the Rensselaer Union, one of few truly student-run student unions in the United States. Our Union gives us the opportunity to explore ourselves outside the classroom and allows students to explore a wide range of interests, along with providing us with a direct voice in decisions made at RPI as a whole. Our school holds a unique place in history as the oldest technical university in the English-speaking world. But with all the information you’re having thrown at you right now, that’s enough history. Read more...

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Exercises help to foster improv skills

At Rensselaer’s improv comedy group, “Sheer Idiocy,” there is no business but funny business. Freshmen participating in the related Navigating Rensselaer & Beyond day trip were given the stage for a variety of comical games and skill-building exercises. They worked all day in the Darrin Communications Center on Wednesday, August 24th building their improv skills, building complexity in their performance, and practicing scene-setting. The exercises included “Gibberish,” “Party Quirks,” and “One-Word Story.” Read more...

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Challenges and opportunities await

I want to take this opportunity to welcome everyone back to Rensselaer for the Fall 2016 semester. Hopefully, everyone had an enjoyable summer vacation and took advantage of the many opportunities that summer has to offer, from internships, co-ops, or simply time to relax and recharge. I’ve been using this summer to prepare the Rensselaer Union for what I believe will be a great semester. By a “great semester,” I certainly don’t mean an uneventful one. I believe that students of RPI are at their best when they are presented with huge challenges. These types of challenges are what make us great students, and great leaders in the professional world. Make no mistake: our Union faced its fair share of challenges last semester. The root causes of these issues are as multifaceted and complex as the solutions to it. I hope that challenges we continue to face and new challenges we will undoubtedly face in the future can be addressed in the same way that we would tackle a challenge in our academic lives: with creativity, innovation, and good ideas. Read more...

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NRB students ruck into action on Anderson field

RPI Rugby teaches basic drills and patterns

Incoming RPI freshmen interested in learning more about the nuances of rugby, one of the world’s most preeminent international sports, had the opportunity during Navigating Rensselaer & Beyond week to learn more about the sport at Anderson Field early Wednesday morning. For those unfamiliar with the sport, players attempt to reach one end of a field without losing the ball, which is slightly large, but lighter, than a football. A major rule is that players aren’t allowed to pass the ball forward; the only way that the ball can be moved forward is by running with it or kicking it up the field. Play doesn’t end when the ball hits the ground—when in trouble, players may pass the ball backwards on the field to teammates. Read more...

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Freshmen get taste of RPI extracurriculars

Note from the Editorial Board: Staff Editorials are the weekly opinion of the editorial staff. For this Poly Press Pass issue, we decided to let the Press Pass members put their thoughts together into a special piece on Student Orientation and Navigating Rensselaer & Beyond. Read more...

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Rensselyrics host a cappella enrichment

Navigating Rensselaer & Beyond week showcases many of the clubs and traditions of RPI, including the highly celebrated activity a cappella. Incoming freshmen were able to meet other students with a shared interest in singing. No prior experience was required for the event, making it the optimal time for new students to learn more about the singing style. The oldest coed RPI a cappella group, Rensselyrics, served as mentors to students, teaching them the art of a cappella. Read more...

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Hybrid vehicle segments assembled

During their Navigating Rensselaer & Beyond event, the Rensselaer Formula Hybrid gave freshmen a taste of what it does year-round deep in the labs of the Ricketts Building. Two groups of incoming freshmen were set on the daunting tasks of building a car frame and battery case. They were given no instructions, just the necessary parts and tools to build the car. As a result, the assembly process was a constant flow of questions and answers. Their questions touched on a range of information, from the proper placement of a switch to the complexities of electricity. The event allowed students to leave with not only a finished product, but a better understanding of the engineering and thought behind a Formula Hybrid vehicle. Read more...

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Broadcasting school at W2SZ

After a gruelling hike up to the far reaches of campus, we arrived at a rather unassuming shack. Positioned in the hills on the edge of campus so as to get the greatest reception, the tiny building seemed distant and isolated. For all its isolation and lack of external decoration, the activity and equipment within were nothing short of amazing. Read more...

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