Student Senate

No concrete progress made regarding past Senate resolution

In September 2017, Chairman of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Board of Trustees Arthur F. Golden ’66 called into question Section 2, Item F of the Rensselaer Union Constitution through an email to the student body. The item states that “[The Executive Board] shall approve the hiring and continuance of all administrative personnel of the Union.”

In response, former President of the Union Matt Rand ’18 and former Grand Marshal Justin Etzine ’18 G ’19 drafted a document to essentially serve as a contract, outlining the process for hiring administration and defining the role that Student Government would play. In short, the document advocated for student approval before candidates could be hired into administrative positions. However, the legality of this approval has since been questioned.

Following the appointment of Director of the Union Charlie Potts last summer, the Student Senate resolved to “confirm that the Rensselaer Student Senate will continue to examine the hiring process for the Director of the Union to ensure any future searches for the Director of the Union position include significant and meaningful student involvement.” This resolution, along with three additional ones, can be reviewed online.

The motion was brought to the Senate by Student Life Committee Chairperson Bryan Johns ’19, who hoped to see the development of a formal outline of student involvement expectations. The resolutions regarding the hiring process of Potts passed unanimously.

Since the resolution, Grand Marshal Stefanie Warner ’19 presented the document to Vice President of Human Resources Curtis Powell with no success, as the document was not signed nor was there assurance of future collaboration on the matter.

The document created by Rand and Etzine will continue to be passed down to grand marshals as they are elected. Hospitality Services Advisory Committee Chairperson Advaith Narayan ’21, currently running for Independent Senator, commented, “I will be here this summer during Arch and I won’t have student gov so there’s a lot of specific things that I want to get deep into, this being one of them. So, I think next Senate you will definitely see stuff about this.”