Wrapping up my term

By Caitlin Kennedy April 30, 2020

Wednesday was a weird day. I’m sure this was true for a lot of people—seniors especially. It was the last day of classes for the Spring 2020 semester. For many seniors, it was the day of their last class at Rensselaer, and maybe their last college class ever. I can guarantee that no one envisioned it like this. I always pictured myself walking back to my apartment across the ’86 Field on a sunny spring day with a smile on my face. Instead, it rained, I closed my laptop sitting at my dining room table, and that was it. It was a very anticlimactic end. 

COVID-19 has affected us all in ways we could have never previously imagined. It stole so many important moments from us, but it gave us something too. Watching people unite and reconnect has been amazing. Seeing students in online forums rally around each other to offer support, guidance, or an ear to rant to has given me so much hope for our future. This past Wednesday brought many emotions, and I’m glad to say gratitude was an overwhelming one. 

Wednesday was also one of my last days as president of the Union since elections have started. GM Week is a fun-packed week for everyone, but it means something different to the candidates and current officeholders. I am sad these current candidates won’t get to experience that on campus. But this experience has no doubt taught them skills about resilience and adaptability that they never would have learned on campus. It has forced all of us to take charge of our learning and other commitments. The lessons learned from COVID-19 will definitely last far beyond these few months in isolation. I encourage you all to take a moment to think of ways COVID-19 has challenged you and remind yourself of how you overcame those challenges. You should be proud. 

I could not have done anything worth doing this past year without the help of my Executive Board, the group of 33 students who showed up week after week to help our Union. Your efforts do not go unnoticed and I am grateful for your support and hard work throughout your term. I hope you enjoyed your time on the Board as much as I enjoyed having you there. You all embody the true purpose of student government, to serve the students we represent. Every member, committee, and body work together to improve our Union and the lives of our classmates. 

Since I am addressing you all for the last time as PU, I would be remiss to not thank you. This past year has been a roller coaster, but I wouldn’t change a thing. Thank you for giving me the chance to serve as your 130th President of the Union. It is a role that I will not soon forget. I encourage everyone to get involved in the Union at RPI. Whether that be through a club or student government, I can promise that you won’t regret it. Have fun and enjoy yourself, because before you know it, you will be moving on and reminiscing just like I am now.