‘Save the Union’ not Union-affiliated

Hello everyone! I hope that you all enjoyed your weekend. I know that it was a very busy time on campus, filled with old friends, extravagant events, and, hopefully, many laughs and memories. I know that I had a great time at all of the events on campus this weekend and enjoyed the opportunity to catch up with some of our distinguished alumni. Though I didn’t get to spend as much time as I would have liked catching up and filling people in on all the exciting events happening throughout the Union, it’s always good to see a friendly face.

This week on campus is Greek Week! For the members of our Greek community, we will host daily events to celebrate and show our support for the Greek community. Though the ice cream social on Monday, October 16 on the lower deck of the Union will have passed by the time this article is printed, I do want to point out all the events still on the schedule. On Wednesday, we will be having our annual Greek day of service, where members of the Greek organizations perform community service projects to better our Troy community. On Thursday, be sure to head down to Darrin Communications Center room 324 from 8–10 pm to watch Greek Family Feud! There will be no limit on team sizes, so be sure to stop by and test your trivia knowledge! On Friday night, an outdoor dinner and awards presentation will begin at 5 pm back by the lower deck of the Union. Lastly, though not specifically a Greek Week event, LifeNets hosted Lip Sync at 6:30 pm on Tuesday, October 17. Hopefully, all of you reading this had a chance to stop by!

I would like to take a moment to address some of the events of this weekend, as I have been asked to do as the president of the Union. However, I would like to clarify a few points in doing so. The Rensselaer Union Executive Board, since its inception, has acted as the budgeting body of the Rensselaer Union. The Board is not a group of elected student leaders and given the nature of its financial decision-making, the Board remains an unbiased organization. One of the duties of the Executive Board, as outlined in the Rensselaer Union Constitution, is to classify new organizations on campus. As the organization that publicly sponsored the student demonstration outside of the capital campaign launch has not chosen to become an officially recognized or affiliated organization. Per the Union’s outlined processes, “Save the Union” is not classified as a Rensselaer Union organization and the Executive Board is therefore not affiliated with any of the actions and activities of the organization. However, like all groups of students on campus, the organization may choose to pursue recognition or affiliation, in compliance with all of our policies and procedures, to receive resource support from the Executive Board as an organization.

However, I will comment as an elected student leader, and as myself. I am extremely proud to have been elected, in part, to lead a campus of such vocal, passionate students. I applaud the demeanor of everyone who attended the student demonstration. The level of respect that the students showed for their campus community was awe-inspiring, and the level of passion by which they expressed their opinions is to be lauded. While I do not feel comfortable expressly condoning the act of blatantly disregarding the denial for the right to protest, I will always support the freedom of speech on our campus for our students. Campuses around the nation should look to RPI as an example for how students should be conducting themselves in the pursuit of peaceful discourse. I urge our students to continue to act with respect for all members of our campus, to refrain from personal attacks, and to continue to be passionate leaders.

Thanks for everyone who gave this a read, and as always, be sure to reach out to me with any questions, comments, or concerns!