Category Archives: Editorial/Opinion

EDITORIAL NOTEBOOK

Rensselaer needs bold, expansive changes

The Institute must continue to pursue new physical research infastructure and invest

Rensselaer was founded upon the principle of the application of science to the common purposes of life, and the prominence of modern scientific prospectus in education. In 1824, this was a radical, if not momentous,development. Prior to this, education had been largely concentrated to a few small, old, and rich liberal arts colleges in the Northeast, such as Harvard and Yale. The conventional departure from liberal arts to the creation of the first established science program, and later one of the first centers of experiential learning in engineering education, is what led to Rensselaer’s rise to prominence in the 19th century; it continues to lead our university through a momentous transformation as we continuously reevaluate our role as a source of research and ingenuity in industry, education, and the future of our species. Read more...

Leave a comment
DERBY

Be informed for GM Week

Hello again, RPI! This weekend, the Executive Board played the Student Senate in our annual game of broomball. Our team played hard and gave it our all, but in a year of unexpected upsets, we suffered a 3-0 defeat. Shout-out to the Student Senate for a game well played. Thank you to RPI TV for filming our game—you can stream it on their website if you want to watch an exciting amateur sports event. Thank you to everyone at the Field House and Mueller Center for helping us coordinate the game space and rent our equipment, and to Nate James, chairperson of the Judicial Board, for being our referee for the afternoon. Most of all, thank you to my team for supporting each other, playing hard, and enjoying themselves during the game. Read more...

Leave a comment
EDITORIAL NOTEBOOK

Photography combines art, technology, adventure

All benefits of taking photos: improved photo editing capabilities, connections with people, community exposure

Photography gets me involved in events all over campus and the world. In fact, the reason I first got involved with The Poly is photography. I started out by taking photos of events around campus, like hockey, football, and Student Government meetings. Photography got me to go to the campus Holi celebration, where I foolishly attempted to remain unscathed by color (that didn’t last long). Last spring, I talked to many students, alumni, and faculty about why they were there and what they hoped to change at RPI, while I photographed the Spring Town Protest. Read more...

Leave a comment
EDITORIAL NOTEBOOK

Networking unlocks doors for successful careers

Last week, members of the Tech Valley Young Professionals Network, an initiative of the Capital Region Chamber of Commerce, visited my marketing class. They came for a panel discussion. First, they gave a presentation and answered some questions they had prepared themselves. Then, they spoke to us in small groups. The main idea they got across was that the real world is much different than what we expect, and not in a nice way. Read more...

Leave a comment
EDITORIAL NOTEBOOKS

Broadening horizons by experiencing food culture

Meals mean more than eating, providing an atmosphere for conversation, passing many hands before the store

“What’s your favorite food?” Chances are pretty likely that you have been asked this question before. Food is one of the essential things needed in life. It is necessary for you to function and allows you to go through with your day. Aside from a nutritional point of view, there is a greater significance of the food you eat. Every day, each person makes decisions on the foods that they are going to eat. They either decide to stay in and make something themselves or maybe go out with friends to eat. Either way, food plays a significant part in the decision making process. When you go out to eat with friends, food serves as the common bond among everyone. From a social aspect, food is one reason that brings people together. Think about all the meals you have had. I am sure that most of them have been with people you are close to (like your family and friends) or people you have met recently and would like to know better. Similarly, I am sure that you’ve been invited over before by someone for a meal or you have done the same for someone else. Either way, food allows people to interact with each other and share different ideas. Read more...

Leave a comment
EDITORIAL NOTEBOOKS

Private prison practices profit driven, dehumanizing, unfair

Flawed, corrupt jailing system operated under guise of corrective service institution prioritizes money instead

This past summer, the Justice Department decided to phase out its use of private prisons. I remember how happy this made me. I had spent my entire senior year in AP United States Government and Politics arguing for just that. The culminating project in that class was an oral argument and a thesis, and we were encouraged to pick topics we truly cared about. For me, the private prison industry was the obvious choice, and that was at a time when I really knew quite little. As my research of the topic continued, I only became more impassioned. Read more...

Leave a comment
STAFF EDITORIAL

Low affordability of prototyping

Creative spaces available, yet costly

Rensselaer students are very fortunate to have access to a number of facilities which can aid them in forming a startup company. These include, but are not limited to, some of the finest research facilities in the world, access to market funding opportunities through the Severino Center, and a driven student body. The only thing that is missing is accessibility and affordability, which are critical component in many projects. Read more...

Leave a comment
DERBY

The role of the Union Annual Report in student government

President of the Union encourages all interested to participate in shaping the direction of the Rensselaer Union

Hello RPI! Over the course of the last several weeks, the Student Senate approved the Rensselaer Union Activity Fee recommendation as well as the Union Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2018. These are two items critical to the student-run nature of the Rensselaer Union. Every year, the Executive Board prepares the budget for the following fiscal year. This budget includes money available for clubs, money spent to upgrade our facilities, money spent to hire our staff, money spent to maintain our equipment, and so on. It’s a large undertaking that, in reality, involves many more students than the 20 of us who serve on the Executive Board. Over 100 clubs submit budgets to be reviewed every year. Each club has several officers and even more students who are directly impacted by the funding they receive from the Union for their operations. Once all of this is put together, the Executive Board and the Union Annual Report Committee work backward to develop an activity fee that every graduate and undergraduate student will pay. Read more...

Leave a comment
LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Pilot G2 07 rivaled by competitor

Attractive mechanical pencil easily refillable, always sharp, features sturdy clip, does not smudge, better than Pilot G2 07

Last week, The Poly posted its issue announcement on the RPI subreddit and I went to check it out. Amongst the usual features, I found one article that truly stood out. What I found was so disgusting, so repulsive, so absolutely despicable that it makes me feel embarrassed for the unfortunate soul that wrote it. I am talking about, of course, Jack Wellhofer’s misguided and ill-informed opinion piece, “Pencils are inferior to pens”, published with the subheading “Pilot G-2 07 makes perfect linewidth, doesn’t require sharpening”. The article in question can be found at https://poly.rpi.edu/s/pens Read more...

Leave a comment
EDITOR'S CORNER

Pencils are inferior to pens

Pilot G-2 07 makes perfect line width, doesn't require sharpening

The most important tool for any college student is the writing utensil. Theoretically, we all take notes in class, and what we take those notes with is of the utmost importance. Sure, one could take notes on a laptop, but there’s always that one professor with the overzealous sketches that don’t quite translate to Microsoft Word. And before anyone complains, yes, I am aware that written note-taking is available on tablets. I am choosing to ignore that for the sake of my arguments. Read more...

Leave a comment
DERBY

Student government campaigning to begin in one week

Hi RPI! I hope that all of you are engaging in a great semester and getting into the right groove to have your best success. Personally, I have begun to think about how to wrap up my term as President of the Union and how to best ensure the success of my successor. As many involved in student government might know, campaigning is just one week away. By April 7, if there are no run-off elections, we will have a new student government. I hope that all who are interested get involved in one way or another. Running for Student Senate or your class council, or applying for the Executive Board are great ways to get involved and share your experience with the student community. If you are looking for less commitment, consider joining student government committees or even attending your class council’s meeting to voice concerns you have or just participate in discussion. Student government at RPI is a large organism and it requires participation from a great many students to thrive. Read more...

Leave a comment
ACROSS THE POND

American politics extend beyond national borders

I have never been apologetic with regards to my political views, and frankly I was kind of disappointed that I would be leaving the United States for the first six months of the Trump administration. It has already been a decidedly unique period in American politics; never before have we seen so many people stand up and stiff-arm their way through the U.S. legislative process, and it’s exciting to see people that are just beginning to stand up for what they believe in. And it’s for that reason that I was a little disappointed to scamper 3,500 miles away almost immediately after President Trump was inaugurated—I wish I could be there to do my part. Read more...

Leave a comment
EDITORIAL NOTEBOOK

Increased storage space, clarity, and performance all positives for new iPhone 7

Despite the removed headphone jack, this phone is an improvement over a heavily-used iPhone 6

This past weekend, my parents were very kind in taking me to get a new cell phone because the screen of my iPhone 6 had become quite damaged and it also had a very sparse amount of storage. My previous phone only had 16 gigabytes of space and now I have a vast 128 gigabytes. I also “upgraded” to an iPhone 7. I put upgraded in quotes here because the lack of a headphone jack has already proven to be a hassle, even though I’ve only had the phone for a day now. Read more...

Leave a comment
Administration

Where’d he come from? Where’s he headed?

Since arriving last month, I have been asked by many variations of two questions. First, inquirers have sought information as to my background, such as where I have previously worked, what my previous responsibilities included, and about the kinds of projects and initiatives I have led or been involved with. The second question has been about my plans for the Rensselaer community, with some searching to determine if I will proceed with efforts similar to those endeavored at previous institutions. I want to be clear: I arrived here without presumption, with an overarching guide to contribute to the successful completion of the Rensselaer Plan 2024. More specifically, to build upon the excellent work of my faculty and staff colleagues and that of our exceptional current and former students, to fully realize Clustered Learning, Advocacy, and Support for Students, Summer Arch, Art_X@Rensselaer, and other student focused aspects of the Plan, culminating in the actualization of The New Polytechnic. Read more...

Comments Off on Where’d he come from? Where’s he headed?
EDITORIAL NOTEBOOK

Learning in college ends up different from high school

Frequest transitions from topic to topic discourages retention of material, diminishes feeling of achievement

As I continue to trudge through the mid-semester lull of RPI, right before exams start, on the brink of stressed but not getting panic attacks, I’ve come to the conclusion that my experience at RPI is really starting to feel like the phrase “fake it ‘til you make it”. Read more...

Leave a comment
Editorial Notebook

Familial love is a permanent, enduring love

Valentine's Day may not always have a fairy tale ending, but love is about more than romance

As Valentine’s Day approaches each year, I always witness two prevailing attitudes: one of fullness, and one of emptiness. For those who feel as though emptiness has taken their heart hostage this year, know that there is one source of love that has existed since you entered this world that will exist indefinitely. This love is the love that comes from family, and it promises to fill what may at times feel like an incurably deep void inside. Whether or not you have a loved one to shower with gifts and affection this year, there are people in your life who wish to do those things for you, and those people come from your family. Read more...

Leave a comment
DERBY

Union facilities reorganized, student Activity Fee approved

Yearly Executive Board agenda transition proves difficult

Hello again RPI! It’s good to be writing to all of you this week, especially since this past Monday the Student Senate approved the Activity Fee recommendation for next fiscal year (that would be Fiscal Year 18). This is a great load off of my shoulders. Now that the Executive Board has finished budgeting and the Student Senate has approved a recommendation, next year’s Activity Fee goes to the Institute for final approval. Since working with club officers, staff members, and students to make the budget every year is one of the main functions of the Executive Board, the only thing we have left to do is wrap up the school year. We are going to spend our last two months finishing projects we began this year and leaving our plan for what’s next to our successors. Read more...

Leave a comment
TOP HAT

Four-year journey to the top

From humble beginnings as a Senate committee leader, Ilori is proud for reaching the pinnacle of student power

The question I’ve been asked the most over the past few months has been some version of “what is it like to be Grand Marshal?” and “what do you dislike or like most about the role?” I normally throw out some pithy response: the main difference for me is that I have more meetings and get asked the same questions a lot. I don’t like wearing a top hat because it’s not exactly casual apparel. But if I sit down and think about it more, I can find more substantial answers. Read more...

Leave a comment
Administration

Science & The New Polytechnic

First of all, the title of my column isn’t meant to suggest that we need a new version of “The Poly” – in fact, I feel honored to share some of my thoughts with you here. The title actually reflects on how the School of Science is committed to realizing President Jackson’s vision of “The New Polytechnic” as articulated in the Rensselaer Plan 2024—as an intellectual construct that embodies new ways of thinking and new ways of tackling some of the most important global challenges of our time. More on that later… first, here’s a little background about me. When I arrived at Rensselaer during the summer of 1989 as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry—the Department didn’t have “Chemical Biology” as part of its name then—I felt a deep sense of responsibility and excitement about becoming a part of this great institution, and I wanted to make sure that I did my best in both teaching and research in order to live up to its reputation. I had heard a great many things about how highly regarded the student body was, and that the faculty were known for inventing new ways of teaching, such as “studio” courses. They were also national and international leaders in their respective fields of research. Wow! Well, it’s 2017, and I’m even more excited about the success of Rensselaer, and amazed at how much progress we have already made together. When President Jackson appointed me Dean of the School of Science in January of 2015, I was honored and excited to have the responsibility of making sure that the School of Science continued to grow and thrive, provide the best instruction and a great student experience, and grow our international research reputation to new levels. Read more...

Leave a comment
Editorial Notebook

Avoid procrastination this semester

Ever since coming back to RPI following Winter Break, I’ve felt a sense of dread about going to class. My motivation has been slipping, and I haven’t felt any drive to do work until it is absolutely necessary. I’ve talked to a few other freshmen about this, and it seems to be a common thought. As I finished my first semester, I felt like I cleared some sort of monumental hurdle; a hurdle which made it ok to stop trying in school. However, as we progress further and further into this spring semester, I realize that this is not the case. Read more...

Leave a comment