TOP HAT

Internal Reforms becomes Senate committee

The committee will focus on reviewing operational polices and procedures of the Senate, ensuring open lines of communication between constituents and their representatives

Hey Engineers! I hope everyone is having a strong close to the semester and that everyone’s projects, exams, and assignments are going well. As you’re preparing for finals, I recommend you make use of the resources available to ensure you perform as best as possible. The Advising & Learning Assistance Center coordinates tutoring, supplemental instruction, and other resources for free, and I highly recommend you visit the office in Academy Hall to learn more!

Student government has seen a busy end of the semester! In addition to normal activities for the spring semester, including the appointments of Executive Board representatives and student Senate officers, we have been working hard to achieve the promises we made to you during our campaigns.

Firstly, the Senate approved the formation of the Internal Reforms Committee, tasked with taking a critical look at all of the operational policies and ensuring that they’re the most conducive to ensuring accurate representation, promoting open communication practices, and presenting an approachable, inviting presence for student government on campus. The committee is being lead by Steve Sperazza ’18, so if you have any ideas or questions, be sure to share them with him at speras@rpi.edu!

Additionally, I have been working with the Senate to enact some changes to the format and environment of general body meetings. We have instituted a new section of the agenda, called “invitation to speak,” which is an opportunity for any member of the Rensselaer community to speak to the Senate and raise any questions, ideas, comments, or concerns without having to worry about parliamentary proceedings. If you’re interested in speaking or presenting, you can email me in advance to be placed on the agenda, or you can simply attend the meeting and speak—no request or approval needed.

Additionally, we relabeled constituent reports as “peer body and officer reports,” so that we can prepare for true constituent reports to begin in the Fall. The constituent reports section will ensure that Senators regularly poll their constituencies for feedback and relay that feedback to the Senate during this report. Because each constituency is represented by multiple senators, the duty of fulfilling the constituent report will cycle through the different senators.

Finally, I believe it is very important for the senators to maintain a tone of approachability, accountability, and professionalism for the Senate. At the first meeting of the term, I detailed expectations for the Senators and emphasized the importance of setting a high standard in fulfilling these responsibilities so that we can fulfill our duties to the student body. I have faith in this Senate to set a high standard for accurate representation, respectful administrative relationships, and advocacy for student rights. However, you—the student body—are the real judge of that.

As always, if you have any questions or want to get involved, feel free to reach out to me at gm@rpi.edu!

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