The Graduate Student Council met with candidates running for Grand Marshal and President of the Union. Candidates were asked to describe their platform along with several other questions about how they would involve and support graduate students in their goals for the Student Senate and the Rensselaer Union. Based on their responses and platforms, the GSC has voted to endorse Justin Etzine for GM and Matt Rand for PU. The primary role of the GM is to serve as the leader of the Student Senate and guide Senate committees in their pursuit of student life, academics, and facilities projects. We were unable to arrange a meeting with Stephen Duduch, the campaign proxy for GM candidate Dorer. After meeting with Justin Etzine, we found him to be a qualified candidate for the GM position. Etzine’s passion for student government has been noted by the Council, but we find more impressive the fact that, over the last year, Etzine has shown a renewed interest in working with the GSC and its graduate senators. We are particularly looking forward to following up on his promises for improved communication with the Graduate Council, such as including the Graduate Student President or Vice President in meetings with the administration.
Our next endorsement is for the position of President of the Union. Each candidate had interesting project ideas, but Rand’s approach to increasing coordination between undergraduate and graduate councils seemed to offer the most potential for beneficial, rapid, and effective policy changes. Rand’s extensive experience with both the administration and student government make him equally capable of quickly and effectively implementing some of the changes we discussed. In addition, the GSC has sought to more fairly distribute Union activity fees between the graduate and undergraduate populations. We look forward to working with Rand on his proposal to collect statistics on the usage of the Student Union and its various programs.