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Thank you to the 50th Student Senate

By Meagan Lettko May 15, 2020

This past year was a historic year for Student Government, and specifically the Student Senate. This was the 50th year that we’ve had a Student Senate on our campus. Over this past year, members of the Senate have contributed over 5,500 hours to representing students and working on projects to better the student experience at Rensselaer.

Some of the amazing accomplishments from the past year include:

  • The “Troy’s Got Talent” talent show was put on by our Community Relations Committee.
  • The Counseling Center Survey Report was given by our Student Life Committee.
  • New shuttle routes were created and implemented by our Facilities and Services Committee.
  • The Union Annual Report was published by the UAR Committee.
  • Freshman Elections and virtual Grand Marshal Week Elections were administered by our Elections Commission.
  • The shuttle tracker was updated and the Spring 2020 Senate Survey was created by our Web Technologies Group.
  • A folder of syllabi for every course was created and hosted in the RPI Box by our Academic Affairs Committee.
  • An Arch Survey was created by our Arch Task Force.
  • Sodexo’s Bite app was fixed to accurately reflect the daily food offerings and an earlier start time for Sage to-go was advocated for by our Hospitality Services Advisory Committee.
  • Our marketing was enhanced by our Student Government Communications Committee

Some of the important legislation we worked on this past year includes:

  • Appointments to the Executive Board and Judicial Board were confirmed.
  • Bylaw changes for the Executive Board, Judicial Board, and Undergraduate Council were approved.
  • A resolution regarding Greek Housing during Arch was reached.
  • A Climate Action Plan was developed by the Student Sustainability Task Force.
  • The new shuttle routes, Counseling Center report, the “Hail! Dear Old Rensselaer” fight song, and elections policies for both Freshman Elections and virtual GM Week Elections were all endorsed by the Senate.
  • The Union Annual Report and the Union activity fee recommendation for Fiscal Year 2021 were approved.
  • Resolutions regarding facial recognition, campus surveillance, bias against clubs, and the peace officer bill were reached.

To the 50th Student Senate: Thank you all so much for an unforgettable year! I am constantly blown away by the people that make up this group. Every person that participated as a member of the 50th Student Senate put forth their time and energy to improve the student experience for both current and future students. You all have done so much to represent your classmates and you should be incredibly proud of the selfless and honorable work you do. For those who are graduating, best of luck in your future endeavors! For those of you not graduating, continue to contribute to Student Government—it is only as great as the people that are a part of it. In this crazy time, we need passionate and driven people in these roles, and I am confident the 51st Senate is positioned to make a lasting impact on our campus. I am so honored to hand over this position to the next Grand Marshal to make their mark in this role.

Thank you for allowing me to learn and take on this role in my own way. Thank you for holding me accountable and keeping me focused. I especially want to thank my cabinet members. The officers and committee chairs of the Student Senate go above and beyond their job descriptions every day. The projects that the committees have accomplished in the past year speak volumes to the leadership of the chairs. I am so incredibly grateful to have witnessed the great work that was accomplished in committees this past year!

To the Union staff: Thank you for attending our meetings every single week. Thank you for taking the time away from your families and other responsibilities to participate in our meetings and for mentoring us in becoming better student representatives. Thank you for coming to work every day and giving us 100% of your energy to help us accomplish our goals! We are so appreciative of you!

To campus administrators: Thank you for meeting with us over the course of the past year to have important conversations and listening to our feedback. Thank you for coming to our meetings and respecting our process of governance. It is my hope that the 51st Student Senate will be able to cultivate a similar partnership with you all to better the student experience during these trying times!