top hat

Campaigning begins for GM Week 2019

Campaigning has started and the elections season is ramping up! Have you—yes, you—thought about running for Student Government?

Through my own experience of asking this question, the answer is occasionally a quick response of “yes” or “no,” but the vast majority seem undecided or inquisitive as to what Student Government roles entails. When answering what the role entails, it’s easy to start off with one of the biggest highlights of participating in Student Government—the ability to impact and improve the experience of current or future students. Student Government gives students the ability to make a lasting change at Rensselaer; change that you can see the benefit of when even visiting campus years after graduating.

Why run for Student Government? Well, the reason varies for everyone.  For some, it is to contribute to progressing the academic experience at RPI through improved tutoring resources or longer library hours. Others use the opportunity to create a greater sense of community through programming on campus or advertising events that are happening in Troy. Every student at RPI has had an different and individual experience, and because of that, the reasons and motivations behind running for a student government vary greatly. Each student brings a wealth of new knowledge and opinions, and helps forward different aspects of the experience at RPI.

How much time does holding a Student Government position require? There are a variety of different positions with different levels of time commitment. Some positions that are only a few hours a month include class representatives for either your undergraduate class year or for graduate students. This position enables you to plan events for your class and create more opportunities to get your cohort together, while also making your voice heard with just a few meetings per month. If you have a few hours a week to spare, are financially savvy, and are invested in the variety of clubs within the Union, you should think about applying to become a member of the Executive Board. If you’ve identified a specific thing you’d like to see improved on campus or enjoy advocating for your constituents, run for a senator position or get involved on one of the Senate committees. There are a variety of different positions with varying time commitments and responsibilities, and I’m sure you can find one that fits your interests well!

So, with this information, please give your involvement some consideration. At the very least, please be sure to get out and vote during the GM Week 2019 election on March 28 and receive your mug! If you are interested in running and would like to gain more information, be sure read the Student Government Elections Policy and other information for this year at https://elections.union.rpi.edu/, and attend a candidate information session. These are held Monday through Thursday from 6 pm to 7 pm and Friday from 5 pm to 6 pm until March 15 in the Student Government Suite. If you have any questions regarding becoming a candidate or expectations during campaigning, contact the Elections Commission Chairperson Zach Taylor ’21 at union-elections@rpi.edu. And, of course, if you have any questions, suggestions, concerns, or ideas, please feel free to reach out to me at gm@rpi.edu.