It is clear that student-administration relations have been strained this year, and it is clear why. It should be clear that administrators have a moral obligation to inform students of changes that are being made, particularly when those changes are likely to have long-standing effects on student life. For all the work that has been done to improve the situation between students and professionals at RPI over the past two semesters, it’s disappointing to see just how little things have changed for students.
On November 29, Rensselaer students discovered that a listing for Director of the Rensselaer Union had been posted on the William Spelman Executive Search, and it seemed for a moment that history was beginning to repeat itself. While the position now includes some recommendations given by Grand Marshal Paul Ilori ’17 and President of the Union Chip Kirchner ’17, neither was notified before the listing was posted. This position bears significant weight in the daily functioning of the Union, and the two students that we, the student body, have elected to uphold our interests were not informed that the search had begun.
This is precisely the situation that ignited the Spring Town Protest in March, and it seemed like the administration had made earnest efforts to learn from the toes they had stepped on and the lines they had crossed. There is complete disjoint in what the administration is doing and what they are telling students. Evidently, we were wrong, and the work to make the student voice heard is not finished. It is our obligation to ensure that students have a say in the way that the school is run, and we have an obligation to make sure that administrators follow through on their promises.