Category Archives: Editorial/Opinion

DERBY

President of the Union promotes student voice

Hello RPI! My name is Matthew Rand, and I am honored to have been elected to be the 128th President of your Union. I am a member of the Class of 2019, a dual materials and mechanical engineering major, and a two year veteran of the Executive Board. I am also the vice president of the men’s club lacrosse team, a brother of Pi Lambda Phi, and the treasurer of the Interfraternity Council. Read more...

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STAFF EDITORIAL

Voting impacts students

Grand Marshal Week elections about more than mug

Another election is upon us, so the staff of The Polytechnic would like to take the opportunity to plug voter participation. Read more...

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EDITORIAL NOTEBOOKS

Sleep deficits unsustainable

As a freshman coming back to school from my first Spring Break, things sucked. Adjusting to life from an environment of constant sleep and catching up with friends, to one where I had tests the next week and the hardest Data Structures homework (possibly ever) due on my birthday, I felt terrible. I just wanted to go back home or curl up in a ball and never work again. But somehow, I persisted and I’m here. Break was fun, but you can’t let the end goal out of your sight: we’re all here to end the semester and continue on with our lives. Read more...

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EDITORIAL NOTEBOOK

Labs, field trips imperative

Almost that time again—time to pick classes for the next semester! I’m going to try my hardest to avoid saying that time flies by and I’ll be a senior next year, but I thought it’d be okay to mention it right at the beginning of this notebook. Instead, I’m going to explore how my classes have been up to this point and what I’d like to see in the last few semesters of my education here at Rensselaer. Read more...

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MY VIEW

Crack growth in aerostructures

Poor aircraft analysis

“Don’t fly in 20 years,” my college teammate leaned over and whispered. Read more...

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DERBY

President of the Union commends Board

Hi again RPI! One year after my first Derby, I’ll write to you all for the last time as President of the Union. This has been an incredible ride and year for me and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the people who I have learned the most from this year, my team. Each and every one of this year’s Executive Board members brought unique skills, backgrounds, and experiences to our group and working with them will have a lasting impact on myself and hopefully on everyone on our team. So, in no particular order; thank you Ines Roman, Shannon Gillespie McComb, Amanda Youmans, Conrad Mossl, Erica Lane, Matt Rand, Ananya Murali, Stephanie Kern-Allely, Kay Sun, Luke Kuprenas, Rasika Ekhalikar, Ciera Williams, Chris Hoskins, Donna Grace Moleta, Ida Etemadi, John Fantell, Anissa Choiniere, Caitlin Kennedy, Majken Rasmussen, Dan Rogers, Jen Church, and Tommy Alappat. These are the E-Board members that worked this year to create a lasting and positive change to the Union’s operations. They all deserve more recognition than I could have given them this year for what they put into this team. Another important piece of our operations is the administrative staff in the Union. Without the people I worked with every day, our jobs on the Executive Board, and especially my job as President of the Union, would be all but impossible. Thank you Cameron McLean, Steve Allard, Martha McElligott, Amy Corron, Rafael Gonzalez, Joe Campo, and Nicole Hayden for a great year and for helping me along the way. And thank you to all of our staff for putting in so much time to help students every year. Read more...

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Endorsement

President of the Union: Rasika Ekhalikar

The Polytechnic endorses Rasika Ekhalikar ’18 for President of the Union. Running the juggernaut that is the Rensselaer Union is no small task, with more than 200 clubs and millions of dollars to account for. Ekhalikar is the candidate we believe can manage the beast. She is well versed in the workings of the Union, both from her time as an Executive Board representative, and as the chairperson of the Business Operations Committee. This intimate knowledge of the Union and the skillset she has gained while serving on the E-Board will ensure the smooth operation of the Union in the year to come. Read more...

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Candidate Questions

President of the Union candidate profiles

Why do you want to be President of The Union?

Keegan Caraway: I would like to be President of the Union for a few reasons. I want to continue the legacy of a student run union here at RPI, which I feel has been threatened in the past. I want to help improve and rebuild the lines of communication that student government has with the administration. I want to help plan for the coming summer arch and future summer arches and their effect on Union operations. I want to ensure that the search for a new Director of the Union moves forward and that the position is filled with an adequate candidate so that the position doesn’t sit vacate for another year. Read more...

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Endorsement

Undergraduate President: Kayla Cinnamon

The Polytechnic endorses Kayla Cinnamon ’18 for Undergraduate President. The Undergraduate President presides over the Undergraduate Council, and it is her responsibility to nominate officers, assume the duties of unfilled officer positions, and upholding bylaws as well as preside over meetings. Read more...

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Endorsement

Graduate Student Council endorsements

The Graduate Student Council met with candidates running for Grand Marshal and President of the Union. Candidates were asked to describe their platform along with several other questions about how they would involve and support graduate students in their goals for the Student Senate and the Rensselaer Union. Based on their responses and platforms, the GSC has voted to endorse Justin Etzine for GM and Matt Rand for PU. The primary role of the GM is to serve as the leader of the Student Senate and guide Senate committees in their pursuit of student life, academics, and facilities projects. We were unable to arrange a meeting with Stephen Duduch, the campaign proxy for GM candidate Dorer. After meeting with Justin Etzine, we found him to be a qualified candidate for the GM position. Etzine’s passion for student government has been noted by the Council, but we find more impressive the fact that, over the last year, Etzine has shown a renewed interest in working with the GSC and its graduate senators. We are particularly looking forward to following up on his promises for improved communication with the Graduate Council, such as including the Graduate Student President or Vice President in meetings with the administration. Read more...

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Endorsement

Grand Marshal: Justin Etzine

The Polytechnic endorses Justin Etzine ’18 for Grand Marshal. As the highest elected student official at Rensselaer, the GM serves as not only the head of the Student Senate, but as the leader of the student body. It is his or her responsibility to understand and voice the concerns of the student body to the proper parties. Consequently, the GM bears a significant amount of responsibility to not only those in the Senate but also to the entire RPI community. Read more...

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Candidate Questions

Grand Marshal candidate profile

What makes you the best fit to lead the student body?

Justin Etzine: Since I first joined student government almost three years ago, I have seen the impact and relevance that student advocacy and self-governance can have in bringing changes that benefit the student body. However, that impact has not always been consistent.
I’m running to be your next Grand Marshal because I believe I am the best fit to lead the student body to both maximize this impact in the coming year and solidify this impact as a consistent benefit to the students for years to follow. I understand the importance of simultaneously supporting a student-run Union, advocating for the interests of students, and maintaining productive and respectful relationships with administrators.
During my tenure as the chairman of the Senate’s Student Life Committee and Web Technologies Group over the past two years, I have tested and developed my ability to inspire other students to channel their passion and lead charges to bring changes that improve the overall student experience at RPI. I believe I am best equipped to take these efforts to a Senate-wide implementation.
From working closely with the past three Grand Marshals, I have seen firsthand what approaches are most effective in advancing student priorities. My platform is a reflection of these observations and experiences, and it forms a detailed schematic for how the student government will further student interests. Read more...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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