October 2019

Executive Board

Dance Dance Revolution funding denied

By Madeline Wilson October 30, 2019

Executive Board members approved an event proposal from the African Students Association and denied a funding request from the Dance Dance Revolution Club on Thursday. The Board then closed their meeting to work on the upcoming budget for the next three hours.


I’m tired of the noise: liability in modern music

By Harrison Todd October 30, 2019

I know that the music industry has been notoriously manipulative for decades, but this time, it’s different. It’s no longer an issue tied to managers and pop superstars. It’s woven deep into the music that teenagers and young adults are listening to today, the same music they cling to and use for their support.

Empac Event

Frightening fridge-dance fascinates

By Anushka Potdar, Rachel Wang, and Medhini Mankale October 30, 2019

The avant-garde Turkish dance duo Taldans performed one of their earliest pieces, titled Dolap, on Thursday at the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center. Mustafa Kaplan and Filiz Sizanli make up the group, which was formed in 1996, the duo choreographed Dolap in 2000, and Thursday evening's performance was an example of the cumulative effect of working on a single piece for nearly twenty years. Dolap was the kind of piece that excited the audience with the dancers’ physicality and trust in each other. It lent itself to many interpretations and plenty of discussion, especially regarding Taldans’ strange choice of prop: a refrigerator.


What Family Weekend means to me

By Caitlin Kennedy October 30, 2019
As I’m sure you know, this past weekend Rensselaer celebrated Family Weekend. If your family came out to campus, I hope they had an awesome time.
Editorial Notebook

Being robbed made me confident

By Anjali Shinde October 30, 2019

Shards of glass scattered the rough asphalt, voices yelled out in frantic desperation, feet shuffled back and forth in a nervous sway. I stared at the scene before me, processing the previous hours leading up to this exact moment. A single question buzzed loudly in my head: How could this happen?

Guest Speaker

NASA chief engineer shares exciting vision

By Anushka Potdar October 30, 2019

B. Gentry Lee, one of the chief engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, gave a talk to members of the Rensselaer community in the Russell Sage Laboratory as a part of the Union Speakers Forum. Lee engaged the audience with his animated storytelling, combined with his advice to students and interesting experiences in engineering at NASA.

Student Senate

Changes to Undergraduate Council Bylaws approved

By Deena Kassem October 28, 2019

The Student Senate meeting brought multiple changes to the Undergraduate Council Bylaws, as well as presentations on this year’s Senate survey and Light Walk on October 21.

Town Meeting

Jackson announces 10-petaflop supercomputer

By Harrison Todd October 28, 2019

During this semester’s Fall Town Meeting held Wednesday in the EMPAC Theater, President Shirley Ann Jackson spoke in front of a smaller-than-usual crowd about the acquisition of a new supercomputing facility, the establishment of a Greek Commons fund, and the impacts of the recent storm on RPI’s campus.

Town Meeting

Jackson announces Greek Commons fund

By Madeline Wilson October 28, 2019
Wednesday’s Fall Town Meeting brought forth a discussion between President Shirley Ann Jackson and students about how Greek life is being supported, and what its future is at Rensselaer.
Town Meeting

Jackson: Arch will not be optional

By Brookelyn Parslow October 28, 2019

President Shirley Ann Jackson confirmed that she would not consider making the Arch optional, when asked by The Polytechnic during her biannual town meeting on Wednesday, regardless of if the majority of students wanted it to be.

Town Meeting

PubSafe director addresses recent RPI Alerts

By John Stotz October 28, 2019
“Given the recent uptick in campus shootings, why did PubSafe not issue any warning to shelter in place as soon as they were aware of something happening on campus?” asked a student during the Fall Town Meeting in reference to the recent incident in which a SWAT team apprehended someone near the Darrin Communications Center on October 16.
On-Campus Event

Family weekend closes with GM–PU brunch

By Sarah Shiang and Medhini Mankale October 28, 2019

The Grand Marshal–President of the Union brunch was held in the McNeil Room as part of an activity-packed Family Weekend. During her address to the students and parents, President Shirley Ann Jackson stated how proud she was to have “a Union run by the students.”

The Arch

Six-week courses removed after student feedback

By Medhini Mankale October 28, 2019

The Arch Core Committee approved the recommendation to eliminate six-week courses during the Arch.

Men'S Hockey

Engineers fall to Huskies in Family Weekend game

By John Stotz October 25, 2019

In the first home game of the season, the Rensselaer Engineers lost to the University of Connecticut Huskies with a final score of 2‒5.


Is your code worth $1,000? Find out at HackRPI

By Anushka Potdar October 23, 2019

Rensselaer's annual student-run hackathon will be held over the weekend of November 2 in the Darrin Communications Center. HackRPI invites students of all majors to work in teams and develop a software project in one of this year’s project themes: natural disaster and mitigation, accessibility in education, and artificial intelligence.

On-Campus Event

Family fun at Fall Fest

By Madeline Wilson October 23, 2019

During this year’s Family Weekend, Fall Fest celebrated autumn and entertained students and their families alike.

Club Event

Delving into diversity at I-Fest

By Sarah Shiang October 23, 2019

From the vast assortment of food around the McNeil Room to seeing the smiles of family and friends, Rensselaer’s annual International Fest is a celebration of RPI’s diverse student body.


An inside look into how student money is spent

By Caitlin Kennedy October 23, 2019

We have officially reached the halfway point of the semester. This tends to be one of the busiest times of the year for students, and that is no different at the Union. Very soon, the Executive Board will begin club budgeting for Fiscal Year 2021.

Editorial Notebook

I'm addicted to Mario Kart Tour

By Shardul Joshi October 23, 2019

About one month ago, Mario Kart Tour released on the iOS and Android app stores. Since then, playing has been a daily practice for me, probably too much so. In playing as often as I do, I have found it to be my all-time favorite mobile game, but it still doesn’t capture the essence of previous Mario Kart games.


Union signage gets an upgrade

By Caitlin Kennedy October 21, 2019

This week, I am going to write about the new Union wall wraps, which are the signs that are now over the Sage Avenue and 15th Street entrances. The wraps were designed by the Union marketing team, and the proposal was brought to the Executive Board and passed over the summer.

Freshman Elections

Freshman elections held across campus

By John Stotz October 16, 2019

The Class of 2023 chose their representatives through a two-day election on October 9 and October 11.

Letter To The Editor

Rensselaer is hiding true intentions of Arch

By Robert Boudrie '80 October 16, 2019

It is unfortunate that Rensselaer now treats its students as chickens to be plucked rather than members of an academic community.

Letter To The Editor

Planned obsolescence harms the consumer

By Bill Ni October 16, 2019

Devices emerge that are only expected to last a couple of years: either until the warranty runs out, or until the user is disenchanted with its performance compared to new releases later down the line. Firms shouldn’t be making these products with short lifetimes, they should make products that last lifetimes.

Tv Series Review

Over the Garden Wall: a fall-themed feature you’ll fall in love with

By Medhini Mankale October 16, 2019

So far during my time at Rensselaer, many people have asked me about the television shows I enjoy watching. Usually the answers vary depending on who’s asking. I, however, always make sure to mention Over the Garden Wall, the animated miniseries created by Patrick McHale that aired on Cartoon Network in 2014. In fact, this is a show that I often call “essential fall viewing,” because the aesthetic of the show meshes so well with the changing colors of the leaves outside and the spookiness of Halloween, but, this show can, and should, be enjoyed at any time of the year.

Club Event

RPI aims to become 'Stronger Than the Stigma'

By Medhini Mankale October 16, 2019

The Active Minds “Stronger Than the Stigma” event, held October 9 on the ‘86 Field, was a great way to showcase the various mental health resources available on campus.

Student Senate

Meeting reveals numerous student concerns

By Shardul Joshi October 16, 2019

The Student Senate met on October 7 to listen to reports from senators about the state of each of their constituencies. Additionally, there was a report from Grand Marshal Meagan Lettko ’20.

Executive Board

TeamRPI will return to ECAC tournament

By Madeline Wilson October 16, 2019

As of September 26, TeamRPI eSports is now a Union funded club and will attend this year's Eastern College Athletic Conference tournament. The RPI Pep Band will also—for the first time in years—attend an away men’s football game rather than an away men’s hockey game. Finally, a Pedi-Mate was purchased for RPI Ambulance to facilitate safer transport of pediatric patients. Each of these expenditures was approved by the Executive Board with no votes against.

Student Life

Period products absent from campus, Student Government takes action

By Madeline Wilson and Sapna Raghavan October 16, 2019

This year, all provided feminine hygiene products on campus—both free and paid for—have been removed by the Environmental and Site Services department. In response to student complaints, the Business Operations Committee of the Executive Board responded by purchasing period products to place in all three women’s bathrooms in the Union.

Executive Board

Indian dance clubs unite

By Medhini Mankale October 16, 2019

During their meeting on Thursday, the Executive Board confirmed the absorption of the Indian dance teams RPI Rounak and RPI Bhangra into the existing dance team within the Indian Students Association, RPI Rudras. During a closed portion, they also approved a budget for Men's Club Basketball.

Breaking News

Rensselaer community unsettled by police presence on campus

By Pragati Pant and Brookelyn Parslow October 16, 2019

Over five police vehicles and a SWAT team were seen on campus stopping a vehicle and apprehending multiple people on Tuesday around 9 pm. Near the time of the stop on 15th Street, uniformed officers with guns lined the Darrin Communications Center walkway near Russell Sage Dining Hall, where an arrest took place.

Executive Board

Fishing Club becomes Union recognized

By Medhini Mankale October 11, 2019

During the Executive Board meeting on Thursday, the RPI Tennis Club, RPI Fishing Club, and the Multicultural Leadership Council all had their requests for additional funding approved.

Rensselaer Union

Dominoes delayed, funding approval recently granted

By Shardul Joshi October 11, 2019

The “Dominoes Project” is a series of club, organization, and business location shifts throughout the Union, approved in an Executive Board meeting last spring. The plan was set to be executed over the summer; it is now the Fall semester and there are still some dominoes left to topple.

On-Campus Event

Josh Groban brings audience to tears

By Anushka Potdar October 9, 2019

Josh Groban, the Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter, and actor, mesmerized audience members by performing many of his classic numbers in the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center Concert Hall on Saturday.

Staff Editorial

Senate should fight to make our Union student run again

By The Polytechnic Editorial Board October 9, 2019

Last week, the Senate unanimously passed the exact Union Annual Report that it refused to consider six months ago, without making any of the changes it deemed necessary at the time. As a result, The Polytechnic is concerned that the Senate is failing to do what’s best for the Rensselaer community: reclaim the student-run nature of our Union.

Student Senate

Senate backtracks decision after six months

By Brookelyn Parslow October 9, 2019

Six months after the Student Senate declined to consider the Union Annual Report because the Executive Board was "strong-armed" into making the changes it entailed, members unanimously approved the same document without discussion.

Student Senate

Hiring of director of sustainability urged

By Shardul Joshi October 9, 2019

During its second meeting of the year, the Student Senate approved Executive Board appointments and passed a motion in support of the Climate Action Plan presented by the Student Sustainability Task Force.

Editorial Notebook

A different perspective on playing pool

By Theo Severud October 9, 2019

Almost fives times a week, my friends and I will visit the Union’s game room to play a few rounds of pool. I've found more value in pool than I expected and it has taught me a valuable life lesson.


Technology in academics has advanced to a fault

By Joseph Lyon October 9, 2019

Screen time is unavoidable due to the requirements of my education. This constant attachment to screens has a large impact on my engagement, learning, and mental state.

Lesser-Known Locales

Where to recharge: the perfect places to cry on campus

By Pragati Pant October 9, 2019

When you were little, crying was natural. If you fell down while running and scraped your knee, you cried. If your parents didn’t let you buy the coolest new toy, you cried. But, somewhere along the road of growing up, you were told crying is weak, that what you’re feeling doesn’t matter, and that you should just deal with it.

Student Senate

Arch survey responses remain unreleased after closed meeting

By Madeline Wilson October 9, 2019

During their second meeting of the year, the Student Senate closed its meeting to hear and discuss the results of the Arch Task Force Survey. Grand Marshal Meagan Lettko ’20 and Chairperson of the Arch Task Force Peter Gramenides ’20 defended this decision, citing that responses were “vulgar” and “extensive.”

Community Recipes

A remedy for homesickness: crowdsourced recipes

By Anushka Potdar October 3, 2019

Every year, Rensselaer brings together a group of diverse individuals, each from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds, who are passionate in pursuing varied academic interests and are all unified in our shared experience of building a new life away from home.

Greek Life

Rensselaer in search of Greek staff after department resigns

By Anjali Shinde October 2, 2019

At the end of the Spring 2019 semester and over the Arch, Greek Dean Meredith Bielaska and assistant Greek deans Pierre Jefferson and Craig Rowley left their positions at Rensselaer.

On-Campus Event

Mesmerizing magic at RPI

By Namish Gali and Anushka Potdar October 2, 2019

The Union Programs and Activities Committee organized an open house for students and alumni on Saturday.

Downtown Troy

Troy Night Out exceeds ex-pup-tations

By Madeline Wilson October 2, 2019

On Friday, Troy Night Out took place in Downtown. The month’s theme was “All About Animals (and pets),” and the event definitely lived up to its name.