Monthly Archives: November 2016

Full issue: November 30, 2016

The Rensselaer Polytechnic November 30, 2016

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CAMPUS EVENT

Space veteran visits RPI campus

NASA astronaut Guion Bluford recounts time in orbit and other experiences

On Wednesday, November 16, former astronaut Guion Bluford shared his 15 years worth of experience in NASA, including 688 hours in space, with his lecture, “Free Fall! Flying In Space.” Bluford was one of 35 selected by NASA from a pool of thousands in 1979. Four years later, he became the first African American in space. Bluford didn’t hold back as he detailed all four of his Space Shuttle flights, including 76 different lab experiments he helped perform in Spacelab, his attempts at making sandwiches, and all of the quirks associated with daily life in zero gravity. Read more...

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EDITORIAL NOTEBOOK

Shoutout to my friends for keeping me sane

Well here we are, the last two weeks of the semester. For the next couple of weeks, we all have term projects, tests, papers, presentations, and, of course, finals, to look forward to. The upcoming weeks will feel like an eternity. This is not an uncommon feeling, but this feeling hits home at RPI more than at other colleges. RPI pushes its students with such a rigorous academic curriculum with incredibly challenging classes that may not necessarily be well taught. This puts extra pressure on us, especially at this time of the year, as this semester comes to an end. Read more...

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MOVIE REVIEW

Wizards, witches, beasts take New York City

Let’s get this out of the way: if you haven’t seen Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, go do it as soon as you can, because it is a fantastic movie and this article will contain spoilers. Read more...

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CURLING

Rensselaer slides to third national rank

Finishing in the runner-up position at the Rochester Institute of Technology Bonspiel at Rochester Curling Club on Sunday, November 13, the RPI Curling team emerged the third-ranked team in the nation, trailing only No. 1 University of Oklahoma and No. 2 State University of New York Polytechnic. The team maintains its ranking as it ventures into its home event this Saturday and Sunday, the RPI Bonspiel, held at Schenectady Curling Club in Schenectady, New York. Read more...

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EXECUTIVE BOARD

Student employees see wage increase

Members of the UPAC Lights and Sound committee presented a wage increase plan for their technicians. Currently, they are paid $10 per hour. The minimum wage value in New York is $9 per hour. They are paid slightly over the minimum wage because members of the UPAC Lights and Sound committee are trained technicians. However, the technicians of UPAC Lights and Sound have been making $10 per hour since $5 per hour was the average minimum wage. Read more...

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EDITORIAL NOTEBOOK

Physics II finally clicking

Undergraduate TAing most rewarding experience academically, socially since coming to Rensselaer

One special opportunity I’ve had this semester is that I’ve been able to be an undergraduate Teaching Assistant for Physics II. The undergraduate TAs staff the room during labs in order to help the students with the lab activities and answer questions. Sometimes, it can be intimidating to directly ask a professor what seems to be a simple question and that is where the undergraduate TA shines to fill in the gap. Also, at least in Physics II, the graduate TA and the professor float between two labs so they may not always be available during lab to answer questions immediately. In addition to being available during lab sessions, many of the TAs also do separate office hours either on Wednesday or Sunday of every week. Read more...

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ON CAMPUS EVENT

A night of Gatsby-era extravaganzas

On Saturday, November 19, the Rensselaer Union and UPAC hosted Union After Dark: Great Gatsby night. Many different groups hosted several activities, ranging from a spaghetti and marshmallow tower building contest, to juggling, to a 1920s costume contest. At each activity you participated in, you received a raffle ticket, which could be used to enter the contest to win one of a number of prizes, including an Amazon Echo Dot, a battery bank, a Lego set, a Bluetooth speaker, a Cinema Bulk pass, and a free dinner with Assistant Dean of Student Living and Learning Randi Mogul. There was also a selection of free food, including pizza, desserts, and a root beer keg open to those who came. Read more...

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CROSS COUNTRY

Runners close out season

The record-setting men’s cross country team raced on the 8000 meter course at the NCAA Division III National Championship in Louisville, Kentucky, on Saturday, November 19. They finished the race in 13th overall out of 32 teams, the highest position ever earned by the team in the Rensselaer’s history. The Institute’s only other appearance at the NCAA meet was in 1996, when they took 17th. Read more...

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STUDENT SENATE

Cheating survey planned by Student Senate

On November 28, Grand Marshal Paul Ilori ’17 opened the Rensselaer Union Student Senate meeting with committee reports. Those reports included a discussion led by Academic Affairs Committee Chair Varun Rao ’18, who addressed the need for the Rensselaer community to evaluate student perspectives on academic dishonesty. At the moment, the Senate currently possess no quantitative data to understand the scope of the issue. AAC hopes to address the current information disparity by releasing a survey that will collect data on student opinions regarding cheating. Read more...

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DERBY

E-Board takes care of budgeting

Hello RPI! I hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving Break and is recovering well from their food comas! Finals are just around the corner with only two short weeks left of classes. I hope everyone manages to make it through these last few days before enjoying Winter Break. Read more...

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ARTIST SPOTLIGHT

Justice’s Woman falls short

With the release of their debut album Cross in 2007, the French electronic duo Justice achieved international attention for their funk-laden bass lines and creatively sampled lyrics. The group, composed of Xavier de Rosnay and Gaspard Auge, described the album as “opera-disco.” Cross was unique in that it stretched the borders of the disco genre using modern sampling and mixing, and ultimately the album earned a nomination for Best Electronic/Dance Album at the 50th Grammy Awards. Read more...

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LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Trump movement successful for a reason

Federal government, Cabinet appointments moving towards much needed reconstruction

With the outcome of the Presidential election decided almost three weeks ago, President-elect Donald Trump’s Cabinet is beginning to take shape. Through these picks, I am happy to see Trump is not reneging on his campaign promises to bring sweeping changes to the federal government. He is taking great care in choosing highly-experienced, well-respected individuals for Cabinet positions without regard for any personal opinions. Read more...

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Letter to the Editor

Professor’s trip out west reaffirms significance of Dakota Access Pipeline civil rights violations

I moseyed over to Bismarck, North Dakota this past week to find out what was really going on at the Standing Rock Reservation, with this “protest” of the Dakota Access Pipeline. I learned two main lessons. First, this is a classic case of egregious political corruption in which the governor, in collusion with private (foreign) corporations, is sending police, sheriffs, and even national guard troops to beat the hell out of citizens in violation of their most fundamental civil rights—in this case, non-violent demonstrators exercising the right of assembly. It’s blatant, constantly one-sided, and enraging. I saw and experienced it first hand, inquired of it, challenged it, and got confirmation that there is only one side to the story. Read more...

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Full issue: November 16, 2016

The Rensselaer Polytechnic November 16, 2016

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CAMPUS EVENT

Changing science in a new presidency

This past weekend, Rensselaer hosted a meeting of the New York State section of the American Physical Society. A banquet for the event was held on Friday, November 11 in Sage Dining Hall, and featured the esteemed Professor Mildred Dresselhaus for an “after dinner” talk. Dresselhaus grew up in a poor family in New York City during the Great Depression. She received a scholarship from Eleanor Roosevelt to attend Hunter College, and later received her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. Read more...

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EDITORIAL NOTEBOOK

Lost hope for United States

When the election results came out, I felt numb. Everyone I spoke to that morning felt numb. All of the anger, the sadness, the disappointment, and the disgust meshed to form this feeling. The numbness turned into a pit in my stomach, and every time I thought of the fact that Donald Trump will be our next president, I felt physically sick. Read more...

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Campus Event

Crossdressing monarchy takes RPI main-stage

On Friday, November 11, the Rensselaer Pride Alliance hosted their annual Drag Show. This event was held in the West Hall auditorium. As students shuffled into the first few rows, clad in rainbow colored and glitter covered garb, music blasted through the speakers, setting the mood for a good time. Read more...

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CROSS COUNTRY

Men, women make National Championship

For the first time in 20 years, the now No. 9 nationally ranked Rensselaer men’s cross country team received an invitation to compete at the NCAA Division III Championship Meet, the top meet in the country for Division III schools, following their second place victory at the NCAA Atlantic Regional Meet on Saturday. The meet will be held at Tom Sawyer Park in Louisville, Kentucky, this Saturday, November 19. Read more...

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FACULTY SENATE

Virginia Gregg addresses long-term debt

Rensselaer plans for $100 million contribution to pension plan over eight years

Vice President for Finance and Chief Financial Officer Virginia Gregg was in attendance at the Faculty Senate meeting last Wednesday to present an update of the financial status of Rensselaer. Read more...

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