Students deserve clarity

On Monday, October 2, the Rensselaer Union Student Senate discussed the implications of the resolution released by Chairman of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Board of Trustees Arthur F. Golden ’66. It also voted on and passed a resolution declaring that there is no conflict between the Rensselaer Union Constitution and the Bylaws of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, with 17 senators for, five against, and no abstentions.

The Editorial Board believes that the Senate’s decision was made too hastily to properly determine whether conflicts exist between the Union Constitution and the RPI bylaws. The ambiguity of the Board of Trustees’ resolution created an opportunity for the Senate to ask for clarification—not only on the conflicts between the documents, but on the director of the Union approval process as a whole.

In the coming weeks, the Rensselaer Union Executive Board may vote to approve a candidate for the director of the Union position. At this time, the meaning of “approval” is unclear. To some members of the Senate, it is simply a “recommendation” that can be disregarded by the president in her final decision. To others, it is a necessary step in the hiring process that, if not obtained, could prevent a candidate from being appointed altogether.

The student body deserves clarification of the approval process—in a way that is more thorough than Article VII, Section 2, Item F of the Union Constitution—before the Executive Board can make an informed decision about how to proceed. In the Constitution’s stating that the E-Board “shall approve the hiring and continuance of all administrative personnel of the Union,” we hope that “approve” is synonymous with “ratify.” However, in a situation of this gravity, hope is not enough.