51st Student Senate confirms student government appointments
As the first of 27 motions, Colleen Corrigan ’21 was appointed Vice Grand Marshal with unanimous approval. Corrigan has previously served under three grand marshals as the Senate’s parliamentarian, ensuring that meeting attendees followed Robert’s Rules.
Corrigan stressed the importance of Senate members going to club meetings as well as “reaching out to multicultural organizations,” furthering that the student government’s role is working as “the middleman between students and admin.”
She named the peace officer bill and RPI’s alleged contract with Milestone Systems, a company that supports a video management software that has 54 third-party plugins supporting facial recognition, as “old projects that I don’t want to see get lost.”
Class of 2022 Senator Jeffrey Chai was appointed as Senate Treasurer with a 13-0-0 vote. Chai was also unanimously appointed as Academic Affairs Committee chairperson.
Incumbent Elections Commission Chairperson Keenan Adams ’21 was then unanimously approved as the Senate’s secretary. During the discussion over the subsequent motion to reappoint Adams as EC chairperson, Chai said “I would strongly oppose the appointment,” citing The Polytechnic’s coverage on the 2020 student government elections.
“I have serious concerns,” Chai continued, “there are massive oversights of the EC which contributed to the illegitimacy of the Senate.” A vote of 10-4-2 resulted in Adams’ continuation to serve as the Elections Commission Chairperson. Graduate Senators Neha Keshan and Jacob Kowalski abstained from the vote.
Manas Sharma ’23 was unanimously confirmed as parliamentarian and Student Senate-Executive Board liaison. Cait Bennett ’22 will serve as Facilities and Services Committee chairperson, with a vote of 14-0-1, and Chaz Bernstein ’22 was confirmed as Student Life Committee Chairperson with a unanimous vote. Minh Nguyen ’22 will be serving as Student Government Communications Chairperson and as a Member-At-Large Representative of the Executive Board, both with unanimous approval. Shuttle Tracker project lead Sean Hefferman ’22 was unanimously approved to the role of Web Technologies Group chairperson.
Through unanimous approval by the Senate and pending E-Board approval, Rida Rahman will serve as Class of 2021 Representative of the Executive Board and Deepika Kothakapa will serve as Class of 2022 Representative of the Executive Board. Maria Curran is a newly appointed Class of 2023 Representative of the Executive Board. Benjamin Volk was also unanimously approved to serve on the E-Board, as a Graduate Representative.
Six new Club and Organization Representatives were unanimously appointed to the Executive Board by the Senate: Andrea Choi ’21, Mia Lin ’23, Mia Mayerhofer ’23, Oleksiy Golub ’23, Joey Hinckley ’23, and Cassidy Schultz ’21. Brandon Huang ’21 will also serve as a Club and Organization Representative on the Executive Board, with the vote for him at 13-0-2.
Brian Anderson ’21, Owen Cahan ’21, and Matt Zapken ’21 are new Member-at-Large Representatives on the Executive Board with unanimous approval. Marvin Rios ’20 will serve as Special Projects Lead for the coming school year.
Towards the end of the meeting, Class of 2022 Senator Zoe Stetson, on behalf of Independent Senator Aloni Jordan ’22, expressed disappointment in the student government’s response to the Black Lives Matter movement, calling Rios’ new position as Special Projects Lead, “only a band-aid to the problem.” Narayan later emailed the Student Senate to plan a focus group meeting next week “to address and combat bias, racism, and diversity within the Senate and StuGov but also in our campus at large.”
Correction: June 26, 2020
An earlier version of this article described Milestone Systems as "a security company that uses facial recognition." This has been corrected to show that Milestone Systems does not develop facial recognition software but develops a video management software that is compatible with third-party facial recognition plugins. The Polytechnic apologizes for the false description.