Senate confirms E-Board appointments

The meeting started out with the approval of President of the Union Chip Kirchner ’17 making new appointments to the Executive Board. Ananya Murali ’20 and Anissa Choinier ’20 were both confirmed by a unanimous vote of the Senate to the class of 2020 and member at large seats, respectively. Since neither of them could attend the meeting due to prior commitments, Kirchner presented to the Senate on their behalf. Both new members will have voting rights on the Board for the 2016-2017 academic year.

The next order of business was the unanimous appointment of Jenna Freedberg ’18 as the chairman of the Hospitality Services Advisory Committee, which is a subcommittee of the Senate’s Facilities and Services Committee. Freedberg was an elected Senator for the past two years but was not re-elected into a voting position this year. During her speech to the Senate to be confirmed, she mentioned how one of the most common complaints on campus is centered around the food services provided by Sodexo. HSAC in the past has met with Alexandre da Silva, Director of Auxiliary Services, Parking, and Transportation, as well as top leadership in Sodexo on a bi-weekly basis and Freedberg said she intended to continue to do that. She has experience working with those people, so she said she would be able to continue the progress the committee made last year.

Freedberg presented on the fact that RPI shuttles to the Crossgates Mall will be running once again this semester. This project is now in its third semester of operation. The first shuttles are going to be running from the Rensselaer Union to Crossgates from 6 pm to 9 pm this Saturday, September 24th. This Saturday’s shuttle operation has been funded by Auxiliary Services, Parking, and Transportation. There are seven weekends this year that the shuttle is scheduled to operate. Three of them are being funded by the E-Board and the other four are sponsored by Auxiliary Services. The Senate Web Technologies Group is also working on making an automated sign up system so that the shuttles are not over capacity but for this coming weekend signups will be done using a Google Form available at

Grand Marshal Paul Ilori ’17 informed the Senate that Samantha Notley ’18 resigned as the chairman of the Community Relations Committee and also from her elected post as Independent Senator. He told Senators to direct any people interested in either of those roles to contact him at and that he will be doing interviews to fill those positions soon.

Hannah Rabinowitz ’18, chairman of the Rules and Elections Committee, asked senators to sign up for times to sit at polls for the freshmen elections which are going to be all day on October 4.

Korey Prendergast ’17 from the Student Government Communications Committee reported that he has been working on making improvements to the student government Facebook page. Varun Rao ’17 of the Academic Affairs Committee told the Senate that his committee is meeting with Biology Professor Lee Lignon and Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education Linda Schadler in the SGS Library on Wednesday at 5 pm to discuss changes to the RPI Core Curriculum and that Lignon is looking for student input.

Chairman of the Student Life Committee Justin Etzine ’18 gave updates on several projects that his committee is working on. First, Etzine and Harrison Leinweber ’18 are meeting with Vice President for Administration Claude Rounds to discuss the restoration of universal access to campus dorms. He was also planning on meeting with Kirchner, Associate Director of Union Operations Joe Campo and E-Board Business Operations Committee Chairman Rasika Ekhalikar ’18 about SLC’s project to suggest changes and improvements to food available in the Union.

Sidney Kochman ’19, chairman of the Web Technologies Group, discussed that WebTech is working on an anonymous survey that only RPI students have access to in order to receive feedback about the Counseling Center of the Student Health Center. He also updated the Senate on his progress on restoring Flagship Documents saying that it has been a slow process to recover documents from the failed server they were previously hosted on.

Ilori ended the meeting by telling the Senate that Vice President for Student Life Dr. Frank E. Ross III contacted him about openings for students on several Division of Student Life committees. Students interested in serving on the Student Sexual Misconduct Policy, Summer Arch Summer Programming, Summer Arch Semester Away, Core Curriculum Revision, or Performance Planning Process Committees are encouraged to contact Ilori at for more information.