Hi again RPI! One year after my first Derby, I’ll write to you all for the last time as President of the Union. This has been an incredible ride and year for me and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the people who I have learned the most from this year, my team. Each and every one of this year’s Executive Board members brought unique skills, backgrounds, and experiences to our group and working with them will have a lasting impact on myself and hopefully on everyone on our team. So, in no particular order; thank you Ines Roman, Shannon Gillespie McComb, Amanda Youmans, Conrad Mossl, Erica Lane, Matt Rand, Ananya Murali, Stephanie Kern-Allely, Kay Sun, Luke Kuprenas, Rasika Ekhalikar, Ciera Williams, Chris Hoskins, Donna Grace Moleta, Ida Etemadi, John Fantell, Anissa Choiniere, Caitlin Kennedy, Majken Rasmussen, Dan Rogers, Jen Church, and Tommy Alappat. These are the E-Board members that worked this year to create a lasting and positive change to the Union’s operations. They all deserve more recognition than I could have given them this year for what they put into this team. Another important piece of our operations is the administrative staff in the Union. Without the people I worked with every day, our jobs on the Executive Board, and especially my job as President of the Union, would be all but impossible. Thank you Cameron McLean, Steve Allard, Martha McElligott, Amy Corron, Rafael Gonzalez, Joe Campo, and Nicole Hayden for a great year and for helping me along the way. And thank you to all of our staff for putting in so much time to help students every year.
To close out my year I have some advice for our next pair of student government leaders. Approach this job with humility and never think that your opinion matters more than another student who is as well informed. Always be fair to the student body, to student organizations, to your teams, and to yourself. Just because you don’t have a vote doesn’t mean you don’t have a voice. Your words should never be used to guide anyone in the wrong direction but it’s your obligation not to watch on the sidelines when you know there can be a positive change. Ultimately, the buck stops with you. Anything that your team does is your responsibility and you should own that and be proud of it. Your accomplishments are your team’s accomplishments and your team’s accomplishments are your own accomplishments. So never go alone and always respect and honor the advice of the people around you.
Come Friday night I’ll be forwarding all communications to the new President so please hold off on contacting me at firstname.lastname@example.org until then (just kidding!). Good luck to our primary winners and have a great GM Week. Thank you for a wonderful year Rensselaer!