Representing Rensselaer reasonably, responsibly

Incorporating passion through influencing public

Admissions season is now in full gear. Students have begun applying to and visiting colleges across the country. We all were at this stage of our lives, unsure where we will end up and anxiously seeking out help wherever we could. I know it seems like a blur at this point, but I would like to ask, for a second, that you think about where you came from and how you got to where you are today.

This is a time to reflect on the past just as much as new beginnings and to remember that you can have a real impact on someone else’s future. When you see high schoolers touring campus, maybe offer a word of advice or give them directions. Talk to younger friends or siblings and help them navigate through the college admissions process. Or maybe, even encourage a friend to apply to Rensselaer.

Remember that the RPI community is built primarily by students. We go to school here, we study, we work, and we do everything humanly possible to make this school the best possible experience for everyone involved. We want to attract the best students, the most trustworthy friends, and the hardest workers to join our ranks.

This is why I chose to participate this year, as a freshman, in the Road to Rensselaer program, an initiative piloted by the Admissions Office where current RPI students go to their former high schools to speak to prospective students. I wanted to give back to the community in a new and exciting way, and this provided a unique outlet.

This begs the question: why did you choose RPI? Was it because of a drab presentation you heard by the admissions office or meaningful discussions with alumni and students? Members of the RPI community should be encouraged to talk as much as possible with incoming students and get involved in shaping outside opinions with those outside the RPI community, whether they are potential applicants or not.

Students should go into Troy, just as they normally do, wearing RPI sweatshirts and symbols representative of their organizations, if applicable, to represent the RPI community. Students should speak to locals, not just buy food and leave. Referring to locals as “Troylets” is equally demeaning to RPI’s overall reputation and the relations the campus community has with the City of Troy. Represent yourself, at all times, as a student of Rensselaer and present yourself as so, and benefits will follow for yourself and RPI as a whole.

So, again, think about your role in the perception of the Rensselaer community and the image Rensselaer puts forward as the year progresses. If everyone played a greater role in changing the outside perspectives of Rensselaer, the Institute will be a better place by the relationship it will form with individuals as a whole.

For more information on the R2R program, email Meghan Griggs at griggm2@rpi.edu or call (518) 276-6218.