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.
Rao expressed concern that, if left unchecked, academic dishonesty could devalue RPI’s academic programs and degree offerings and that, if found to be an issue, the committee will do everything within its power to respond, swiftly and deliberately. Rao also mentioned that if a response took place, the report as well as potential solutions would be thoroughly reviewed both in the academic subcommittee of the Senate and within the Senate itself before being submitted to the Faculty Senate for review.
Facilities and Services Committee Chairperson Austin Miller ’17 continued committee reports by discussing expanded weekend shuttle service, which aims to increase the frequency of shuttles to the local Crossgates Mall. Miller mentioned that the committee is also currently investigating a proposal that will eliminate plastic bags at all Sodexo service locations across campus, hoping that changes will set the standard for environmental conservation at RPI.
Senate continued with its appointment procedures for the Union Judicial Board, nominating five members to new positions. The election roll-call began with Adam Rabinowitz ´20 who was elected 20-0-0 to the position of alternate member within the judicial board. Josh Berman ´19, a standing alternate member of the Union Judicial Board, was elected to the position of regular member, passing 20-0-0. Following Berman’s nomination, Patrick Connerney ´20 was nominated to the position of alternate member to the Judicial Board, after discussion and passed 20-0-0 in the Senate. Kentaro Hansen ´18 was also nominated to the position of regular member, passing 20-0-0. Finally, Vanessa Costa ´20 was appointed as an alternate member of the Rensselaer Union judicial board.
Following judicial appointments, the Grand Marshal delivered his weekly report and concluded the meeting following general discussion.