Category Archives: Editorial/Opinion

MY VIEW

Renew Rensselaer

As a former president of the Union, it was with great sadness and concern for my alma mater that I read a recent memorandum from RPI’s vice president for human resources. In that memorandum, Curtis Powell was attempting to explain to the current grand marshal and president of the Union the legal basis for the administration’s sole discretion to hire a new director of the Union. In my opinion, he totally missed an opportunity to heal a festering wound—although no one following this ongoing spat should harbor the illusion that this memorandum was solely his creation. Read more...

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EDITORIAL NOTEBOOKS

First Amendment should not protect bigotry

In her book The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood describes freedom as a duality: “freedom to and freedom from.” As Americans, we have been conditioned to appreciate the former as the pinnacle of patriotic liberty; we have created a country where we can do anything we please, where we can exercise our rights in any way that we see fit. There’s a bravery in that, and it’s the concept that lies at the core of American exceptionalism. However, this particular facet that our country was built on focuses on only one of those aforementioned dimensions; we’ve built a state that sacrifices freedom from in favor of freedom to. Read more...

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We want pockets now

Our country has successfully overlooked and intentionally idled on one of the most essential problems in the United States of America: missing pockets. Read more...

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TOP HAT

Updates: Dinosaur BBQ, Interview Committee

Hi, RPI!

Wow, the past seven days have been quite the week! I’m sure I’m not the only one who has felt the time fly by as all of the activities, events, organizations, and, of course, academics begin to kick into high gear for the semester. Read more...

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DERBY

Club officers start year off with workshops, Title IX training

Hello everyone! Welcome to another edition of the “Derby,” brought to you by yours truly, Matt Rand. Today, I want to talk to you about a new training initiative that will include discussion of Title IX. But, before we get into that, I just wanted to say a quick thank you to all of the clubs and organizations that made the effort to come to the Union’s financial and travel workshops this past week. The opportunity to convey all the necessary information to ensure that club operations run smoothly is a highlight of the Executive Board, and making sure our club leaderships have the proper tools is essential. So, thank you to all of you who came out, and thank you to the Administrative Staff and Executive Board members who helped put on the events. Great job! Read more...

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EDITORIAL NOTEBOOK

Managing editor shares personal ideals, anecdotes

Mindfulness: why it matters to balance awareness and outreach, logic and emotion

I was scared to write this notebook. I was afraid it would seem like I’m not chill, or like I have a sociopolitically charged opinion (I promise I’m not a social justice warrior). In the end, I decided to write it as part of a personal endeavor to speak up when it matters to me. I like to think I’m pretty good at being ambivalent, so I’ve done my best to write it in a way that balances emotional investment in culture and appeal to logic. Here’s my case for mindfulness: two anecdotes and three dualities. Read more...

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STAFF EDITORIAL

Commending Jackson’s comments on DACA

On September 5, Donald Trump’s movement on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival made it clear that American citizenship is what he holds essential to the American identity. Through this policy, people who came to the United States as children are offered opportunities like college education and work permits—opportunities that are denied to immigrants who enter the country illegally as adults. On an ethical level, this is a policy that provides people who were not old enough to be held accountable for decisions regarding how they entered the country some degree of normalcy as they transition to adulthood. Read more...

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TOP HAT

Grand marshal responds to HR memorandum

Director of the Union subject to Executive Board approval vote, according to Union Constitution

Fellow students,

Yesterday, Vice President for Human Resources Curtis Powell sent a memorandum to President of the Union Matt Rand ’19 and myself in regards to the director of the Union position. In essence, the memorandum expresses the Division of Human Resources’ position that the president of the Institute ultimately appoints a candidate as director of the Union, per the Bylaws of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Read more...

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DERBY

Taking part in two traditions at Rensselaer

Hello everyone, and congratulations on surviving your first few days of classes. I hope that they are off to a good start, and wish everyone the best of luck as classes begin to ramp up. This week marked the beginning of two very important occasions on campus: Hockey Line and Greek recruitment. Read more...

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EDITOR'S CORNER

Editor in chief shares revelations of running

Running offers new life lessons: pacing yourself, seeing things from another perspective

I started running this summer.

I didn’t think that running was for me; I’ve always preferred racking up miles while riding a bike. But I decided to push myself outside of my comfort zone and just start running, and I discovered how amazing it can be. Read more...

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EDITORIAL NOTEBOOK

Looking forward to living without glasses

I remember the first time I thought I needed glasses. I was a senior in high school in my chemistry class and I had to move up to the front of the class to see the board. I told my parents about it but they thought I was joking with them at first, because I had never complained about it before. I reiterated I was serious and then I got an appointment with an optometrist. Read more...

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EDITORIAL NOTEBOOK

New students reflect on NRB

Thousands of acronyms drive newbies off the walls

SOS! RPI’s FYE has got us feeling done AF. First, we arrived for SO. We talked to our RAs, RDs, and LAs about YACS, as well as SIS. Our RAs, RDs, and LAs gave us the DL on SO/NRB, so we knew to use YACS and SIS for schedules. The SOA (student orientation advisors not to be confused with Sons of Anarchy) were extremely helpful with campus geography and learning the difference between DCC, VCC, JEC, CII, UPAC, EMPAC, and ECAV. But if you’re coming from BARH you may have a more difficult time getting to these buildings (more like FAR-H AMIRITE???). But in all seriousness, what these acronyms represent have helped create a community, in which we feel comfortable enough to both critique and value our school. Read more...

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TOP HAT

Fully trained senators prepared for your issues

Welcome back, everyone! I hope you all moved in easily and are enjoying your classes thus far. Read more...

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DERBY

Advice worthy of you and PU’s little brother

Hello everyone, and welcome back to campus! It has been an exciting first week, full of all of the joys of college: the chance to see and catch up with old friends, the opportunities to make new ones, and the joys of welcoming the newest members of our RPI community, the Class of 2021! Read more...

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EDITORIAL NOTEBOOKS

Python: utilitarian language for everyday life

Programming languages like Python are powerful, yet simple for side projects, professional work

Hey guys, I hope your summers are going well! It’s always great to write a notebook for The Poly, but I have to say that this one is particularly special. First because I have writer’s block and second because I’ve really learned a lot this summer. Read more...

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Editorial Notebook

Arguing for refreshing worn-out, overdone news cycle

The news—fake or real news—it’s always around us. I’ve tried reading up on more articles, but it’s become too difficult. Read more...

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STAFF EDITORIAL

Advice for incoming freshmen

Many of us here at The Poly remember how overwhelming it felt to be a freshman, and after reflecting on our experiences, we have gathered a few bits of advice we wish we knew before we came to Rensselaer. Read more...

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TOP HAT

Summer updates, work continues during break

GM provides updates on summer committee projects, encourages students to consider joining

Happy summer! First off, welcome to the Class of 2021! My name is Justin Etzine, and I’m the current Grand Marshal, which is RPI’s student body president and chief officer of the Union. As you arrive on campus for orientation, and then for Navigating Rensselaer and Beyond in August, I hope you feel the same excitement that I did; if you’re feeling nervous, that is completely normal, and I’m sure that nervousness will be replaced with thrill as the semester begins. Read more...

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DERBY

PU provides insight into his freshman experience

Rensselaer Union, clubs play major role in making the most of your time at Rensselaer

Hello everyone, and happy summer! I hope that you are all enjoying the warm weather, because we all know that it doesn’t last very long once we all return to campus. Summer is a great time for students all across the Institute to relax, to get valuable job experience, and to spend time with friends and family. I wish you all the best and cannot wait to see everyone refreshed once you all return to campus! Read more...

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Ask Brookelyn

Ask Brookelyn: July 17, 2017

I’m an only child who’s never had to share a room, and I’m living in Barton Hall with two roommates. Do you have any advice for sharing a room with people?

Having a good experience with your roommates will require all of you to communicate and be considerate toward one another. Since you’ve never shared a room with anyone else, some of your habits might piss off your roommates. Go through your daily routine at home and try to identify these, since I’ll just be covering the basics. Read more...

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