Senate: Flying Chicken, VP Strong visits

On Monday, the 48th Student Senate began its seventh meeting, as Grand Marshal Justin Etzine ’18 opened with his weekly report. He reiterated that the hiring process and interviews for the new director of the Union are still underway. He also mentioned the closing of the library the Friday and Saturday of Alumni Reunion and Homecoming. In accommodation for the gala being held there, he voiced concern on the potential impact the closing would have on the availability of study spaces on campus.

Following Etzine’s report, the Senate opened the floor to LeNorman Strong, the interim vice president for student life. Strong stated his visit was to greet the new Senate and to outline some ways his office is trying to better the student experience. He first emphasized the importance of continued collaboration and communication between the student body and administration of Rensselaer. He followed by outlining the topics he will be focusing on this year in the annual performance planning process. Strong announced his partnership with Assistant Vice President and Dean of Students Travis Apgar in trying to better equip RPI to respond to student emergencies on campus. He also mentioned important initiatives to improve space planning for student recreation and studying.

Amir Hirsa, secretary of the Faculty Senate, took the floor after Strong. Hirsa began by outlining the Faculty Senate’s plan for major changes to Rensselaer’s core curriculum. He stressed that, while the process is still in the early stages, the Faculty Senate is carefully considering the major proposals and the effects that they will ultimately have on academics.

The next major item on the agenda included acknowledgement of the “Bring the Flying Chicken to Campus” petition, which garnered the 250 signatures needed to receive Senate consideration. Ultimately, the petition was charged to Class of 2019 Senator Nancy Bush ’19, who will bring it to the attention of the Business Operations Committee of the Rensselaer Executive Board, which will then decide how to proceed.

Before adjournment, the Senate closed the meeting to discuss the establishment of the Human Resources Interview Committee, which will be tasked with working with the Division of Human Resources to organize student involvement in future interviews for various campus job openings.

The Senate will meet on Monday at 8 pm in the Shelnutt Gallery.