PU provides insight into his freshman experience

Rensselaer Union, clubs play major role in making the most of your time at Rensselaer

Hello everyone, and happy summer! I hope that you are all enjoying the warm weather, because we all know that it doesn’t last very long once we all return to campus. Summer is a great time for students all across the Institute to relax, to get valuable job experience, and to spend time with friends and family. I wish you all the best and cannot wait to see everyone refreshed once you all return to campus!

Now, I would like to specifically address our newest students who are just arriving to campus for orientation. First off, welcome. Welcome to the newest chapter of your life and to the Rensselaer community. I want to congratulate you all on being accepted to RPI, and to reassure you all that you belong as part of our community.

Right now, each and every one of you will be experiencing different emotions as you transition into college. Some of you may be nervous to live away from home for the first time. Some of you may be dreading leaving your friends behind and moving to where you know no one. But hopefully, each and every one of you is excited to begin what can only be described as the rest of your life. I want to offer you all a little advice, from someone who was in your shoes only two years ago.

First, remember that Rensselaer is one of the top rated institutions in the nation, and offers limitless potential for academic growth, leadership development, and research opportunities. Second, remember that each of you are here because you belong. RPI is not an easy school. I should know; I’ve had my fair share of tribulations. There was a time when I didn’t know if I was going to stay at RPI. I didn’t know if it was right for me. Thankfully, I found a home. Well, two to be exact. One was in my fraternity. The second was within the Union. I can say, without a doubt, that coming to RPI was the best decision I have ever made. My only hope is that you too find yours.

To help you accomplish this goal, I want to invite you all to attend the annual Activities Fair hosted by the Rensselaer Union and the Executive Board. At the Fair, you will find every club and every organization on campus representing themselves and showing off all the great opportunities you have to get involved in whatever you are passionate about. And if you can’t find a club that suits your needs, you can work with the Executive Board to start your own! To see what groups there are on campus before the Activities Fair, you can go to our webpage at and start browsing. Here, you’ll find lists of services available to students, announcements, and a list of all of our student clubs.

I look forward to seeing all that you will accomplish over the next four years, and the ways that you may impact our campus. If you have an interest in getting involved in our Union, or if there is any way the Union can help your transition, please do not hesitate to contact me at or stop by my office in the Student Government Suite on the third floor of the Union. Enjoy the rest of your summer, and I lotok forward to welcoming you in person come the fall.

All the best,

Matthew Rand ’19

128th President of the Union