Category Archives: Editorial/Opinion

Editorial Notebook

Tinder measures desirability

Since its release in 2012 as an online dating app, Tinder’s popularity has skyrocketed, with a reported 1.4 billion swipes per day and 2.4 million matches per day (https://poly.rpi.edu/s/qc11z), The app is popular for good reason, it gives users the safe feeling of not having to face rejection, combined with a simple concept; if you like someone, swipe right, if they swipe right too, you can talk, eliminating the often all-too-real struggle of trying to interact with people face-to-face. Picture trying to figure out how to introduce yourself to that someone who catches your eye—you design the perfect introduction in your head, carefully plan conversation topics, jokes, and witty lines. You decide to approach them, your heart rate speeds up as you walk up to them, you panic, make quick eye contact, give that tasteful head nod and carry on your way. Social intricacies aside, the premise seems simple, you see everyone who meets your preferences in the area, and are able to swipe away. However, underneath that simple clean interface, there appears to be other factors at play. Read more...

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EDITORIAL NOTEBOOKS

Let no worker go unnoticed

Engineers depend on the skills of many individuals

The interconnectedness of our modern society is an amazing and beautiful thing to behold. Many processes mesh to bring us modern technologies. My favorite example of this, and the reason why I want to be an aeronautical engineer, is the plane. Read more...

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Editorial Notebook

Residence hall activity unites students in exchange of ideas

Beginning the week of October 23, I was sitting around in the wonderful Cary Residence Hall. I was thinking, “let’s start something new for everyone who lives here.” Let’s make posters that ask a random question or prompt each week. Then we’ll tape it into the corner of where the girls’ wing meets the guys’ wing. Read more...

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TOP HAT

Quality of political discussion easily digresses

Difficulty of holding calm conversations about national issues increases due to election

Having lived outside the US for nine years before coming to RPI, I wasn’t really ready for the media maelstrom called the 2016 Presidential Election. While my friends and I followed the news—my parents normally would go through the process of scheduling times to go into the embassy to send in their absentee ballots—there’s a totally different level of fanfare, drama, and coverage that surrounds you when you’re actually in the States. And I definitely am not one of the people who predicted one, let alone all, of the different twists and turns that took place over the course of this election cycle. Read more...

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DERBY

Club officer training summit yields high turnout

86 students attend workshops as part of campus event hosted by the Executive Board

Hello RPI! Happy third week of classes! I have a few updates and things to share from the Executive Board of the Rensselaer Union. This weekend, we held a club officer training workshop in the Union; at the E-Board meeting last week we replaced the ID scanner for the Clubhouse Pub, approved new email lists for clubs, and began planning for future projects in the Union. Read more...

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Questions asked of a Greek student

I won’t lie, I’m in a fraternity and I am sick and tired of being judged. I’m tired of being asked if I consume massive amounts of alcohol on the weekends or if I’ve ever committed sexual violence. I’m tired of people not believing that I’ve never smoked weed, gone on an acid trip, or taken pills to help myself study. I’m tired of potential employers asking questions about whether I frequent kegs on the weekends or cheat on my exams, instead of asking about my internships with Fortune 500 companies and data startups. Read more...

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STAFF EDITORIAL

EMPAC underutilized as a space for student media

The Rensselaer community is blessed to have a beautiful campus. There are countless scenic views—and sitting upon a hill is the grandest of them all: the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center. It’s a breathtaking building, and it provides students with one of their favorite aesthetics. Despite its appearance, however, it has historically seen lackluster usage. Read more...

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STAFF EDITORIAL

Democracy needs everyone’s voice

Whether or not you agree with his policies, Barack Obama’s last public speech in Chicago left us with plenty to dwell on. As we return to campus and settle into routine, the editorial staff of The Polytechnic thinks back to a particular line of Obama’s speech: “... for all of our outward differences, we in fact all share the same proud type, the most important office in democracy: citizen… that’s what our democracy demands. It needs you. Not just when there’s an election, not just when your own narrow interest is at stake, but over the full span of a lifetime.” Read more...

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EDITORIAL NOTEBOOKS

Prioritize health in your life

Exercise, sleep, relax, hydrate, and avoid skipping meals

I pulled my back over winter break. It was one of those moments I would’ve forgotten if it hadn’t happened; I was just passing my break like usual. I had been sitting at the dining table, with my knees pulled up to my chest, just relaxing and talking to my family. But this put me in pain for a week. I couldn’t walk—each step sent a jolt up my cardboard back. I couldn’t sit or stand in one position for too long—I would start cramping up more than when I moved. I couldn’t focus—I was taking pain relievers like a 40-year-old. For that matter, I had to take them to sleep; otherwise I would roll around, uncomfortable in every position. When it was all over, I was finally able to walk away, though with a greatly shifted perspective. Read more...

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Editorial Notebooks

Participating in the March on Washington empowers

When I arrived home from Washington after the march, I received nothing but support from my closest friends and family. But from others, it was different. In Washington, there were a few Trump supporters protesting the Women’s March, and I also encountered disappointing people on the street. Many called the march disrespectful and a waste of time. The march was, hands down, the best experience of my life. Read more...

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DERBY

Filling Union staff vacancies

Hi RPI!

Happy second week of the spring semester, and happy last second week of classes to all my seniors out there! There were a few things happening within the Executive Board over these past two weeks. First off, congrats to Caitlin Kennedy ’20 and Majken Rasmussen ’19 on being officially confirmed as Executive Board members by the Student Senate on Monday night! They will be filling two vacancies as members at large. After the vote on Monday night the Executive Board has returned to full strength. Read more...

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STUDENT GOVERNMENT

Subcommittees tasked with initiatives

This past semester was an exciting one for the Student Senate’s Student Life Committee! The committee, which is tasked with creating projects, proposals, and legislation relating to “student rights, residence life, quality of life and well-being,” has made substantive progress in a number of different projects, all with the common objective of improving the RPI experience for all students. For the fall semester, four subcommittees were established to tackle these projects: the Study Spaces Subcommittee, the Counseling Center Subcommittee, the Student Rights and Policy Subcommittee, and the Pharmacy and Residence Halls Subcommittee. Read more...

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Across the pond

I’ve written a number of editorials on how the education you receive at Rensselaer is only as powerful as you make it. In all honesty, it’s probably the easiest thing to complain about at RPI: we’re consumed by studying to a degree that prevents us from remembering that the world is larger than Troy. I think it’s important to take the value of our education into perspective, and to understand the context in which you can apply it. Oddly enough, that context is much larger than the capital region, and even the United States. Read more...

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EDITORIAL NOTEBOOKS

Questioning Trump’s actions

Truth is under attack. Donald Trump seems to believe that repeatedly shouting falsehoods makes them true. He aims to distort what is and is not truthful so that everyone is left in doubt as to what is factual. Trump’s goal is to convince you that reality is unknowable. Read more...

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STAFF EDITORIAL

Freedom of press relieves fear of reporting the truth

Journalists provide an unparalled service to society

At a time when the legitimacy of the press is questioned and the term “fake news” is thrown around without regard to its impact, we must remember the irreplaceable role the press fills in our lives. We have the privilege of living in a country where the freedom of the press is protected. Journalists need not fear persecution for exposing the truth. We are privileged to have a diversity of news sources available to us, and to not have that news censored by our government. Undermining the credibility of reputable news sources practicing responsible journalism is detrimental to the health of the United States. Read more...

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EDITORIAL NOTEBOOKS

Environmental policy at risk of losing attention

I remember walking into my Environment and Politics recitation last semester, two days after the election. I was still in a daze and hadn’t fully processed the results. Our TA had prepared an exercise for the class that would help us understand what a Donald Trump presidency would mean for the environment. We spent the next hour and a half filling the board with his proposed actions, comments, and tweets. The board was covered with words that blatantly contradicted almost everything we had learned. It was a sobering experience that I can’t help but consider as the inauguration approaches. Read more...

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DERBY

Payroll changes

Welcome back from break, and happy 2017! I hope everyone enjoyed a great winter break and an even better start to the spring semester. Last time I wrote was in early December. I generated a long list of projects and goals the Executive Board has for this year and our progress so far. Nearly a week after that was written, the E-Board completed club budgets and budgeting appeals for the next school year, finalizing the Union’s budget. Read more...

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STAFF EDITORIAL

GM and PU not told of job posting

Search for new Director of the Union starts behind the backs of students

It is clear that student-administration relations have been strained this year, and it is clear why. It should be clear that administrators have a moral obligation to inform students of changes that are being made, particularly when those changes are likely to have long-standing effects on student life. For all the work that has been done to improve the situation between students and professionals at RPI over the past two semesters, it’s disappointing to see just how little things have changed for students. Read more...

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DERBY

Veterans lounge for students underway

Happy end of the semester! We all managed to make it to the end, just two weeks left until we can all head home for Winter Break. Since this is the last time I’ll be writing to you this semester, I would like to wish everyone happy holidays and good luck on their final exams and projects. Read more...

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EDITORIAL NOTEBOOK

Shoutout to my friends for keeping me sane

Well here we are, the last two weeks of the semester. For the next couple of weeks, we all have term projects, tests, papers, presentations, and, of course, finals, to look forward to. The upcoming weeks will feel like an eternity. This is not an uncommon feeling, but this feeling hits home at RPI more than at other colleges. RPI pushes its students with such a rigorous academic curriculum with incredibly challenging classes that may not necessarily be well taught. This puts extra pressure on us, especially at this time of the year, as this semester comes to an end. Read more...

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