The Rensselaer community mourns the passing of graduate student Yeming Shen, after his roommate discovered him on February 10 in their apartment at City Station.
The Rensselaer Union website is currently undergoing maintenance to increase its functionality and address some issues. The site’s present status renders some information regarding clubs and Union events inaccessible to the greater student body, causing students to resort to social media such as Reddit and Facebook.
While Big Red Freakout and Winter Carnival went on without a hitch, administrators placed severe restrictions on some students’ biggest events of the year, citing concerns with coronavirus. “It’s discriminatory and wrong,” said Multicultural Leadership Council member Sundjata Suma ’20 while discussing the issue in a meeting.
Rensselaer lobbied for the New York State Senate bill that would grant peace officer status to certain public safety officers, which was posted publicly on the government website earlier this month and sparked concern in the RPI community. There has been no communication about this initiative to the student body, besides the bill’s posting.
The student mail center has been relocated to the first floor of the Rensselaer Union and will open on Monday. It now features an “intelligent parcel locker” system for packages aimed at decreasing wait times.
“Hail! Dear Old Rensselaer” was endorsed as the official fight song of students by the Senate after a petition advocating for this change reached 275 signatures.
The main issues brought to light through the report include low pay, comparatively low usage of Union resources, and tense student-advisor relations.
New shuttle routes, already approved by the Institute, were presented to and endorsed by the Student Senate on November 25, and then advertised to the student body. Since then, the routes have been changed twice, both by the Institute and the Facilities and Services Committee of the Student Senate.
The Executive Board approved $12,000 for the Business Operations Committee to purchase two Xerox printers for installation in the Rensselaer Union lobby and the Mueller Center study area. A Jazz Invitational was also approved to be hosted by the Rensselaer Jazz Ensemble and funded by the Union.
The Facilities and Services Committee presented a follow-up report to the senate about facilities concerns found during the Light Walk. In addition, the Arch Task Force introduced a mental health module to its Arch preparatory course, and the Hospitality Advisory Services Committee announced several projects that will begin implementation next semester.
The Executive Board approved Union recognition for the Mediterranean Student Club, and the Art Club received Union funding on Thursday.
President Sanjana Davuluri ’20 and Treasurer Nirav Patel ’20 of the Desi Network of Dance stood before the Board for approval of the RPI Rudras to travel to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in February to compete in the Dhirana Competition, an Indian classical dance competition. They requested a budget from travel contingencies for this purpose.
The Executive Board approved the annual art show held by the Black Students Alliance and the Union recognition of Women’s Club Basketball and Women in Business on Thursday.
A survey conducted by the Student Senate showed that 78 percent of respondents were unsatisfied with the Arch after they participated in it. 94 percent of respondents thought that students should be able to live in off-campus housing during the Arch. 64 percent of respondents said they would not participate in the Arch if it were optional.
The Executive Board unanimously approved three programs for the African Student Association, granted Union recognition to the Disc Golf Club, and granted Union affiliation to Project Sunshine on Thursday.
Bachelor of Science degrees in Business Analytics; Communication, Media and Design; and music have been added to Rensselaer’s offerings. In January of 2020, biological neuroscience will be added to the School of Science.
The Senate passed a motion to endorse the Counseling Center recommendations, expressed support for the establishment of “Hail! Dear Old Rensselaer!” as the school’s official fight song, and heard reports from various senators on Monday.
The addition of two counselors, drop-in counseling, and the ability for students to book their first appointments online were some of the recent changes to the Counseling Center presented by the Student Life Committee on November 4.
An accessibility assessment application, a wildfire detection device, a disaster evacuation application, and a peer-to-peer service were all developed within a day at the Darrin Communications Center last weekend at HackRPI.
Seven months ago, the 49th Executive Board approved the shifting of the current Multicultural Lounge in the Union and the creation of a new one to be completed over the summer. On Thursday, the current E-Board approved up to $35,000 to be spent on “renovating the spaces.”
The Executive Board met on Halloween to vote on club requests for budgets and official Union recognitions.
Executive Board members approved an event proposal from the African Students Association and denied a funding request from the Dance Dance Revolution Club on Thursday. The Board then closed their meeting to work on the upcoming budget for the next three hours.
The Student Senate meeting brought multiple changes to the Undergraduate Council Bylaws, as well as presentations on this year’s Senate survey and Light Walk on October 21.