Top Hat

Stand firm for your rights

By Advaith Narayan March 26, 2021

Today marks my final day in office as your Grand Marshal. As my term comes to a close, I am reflecting back on my time at RPI over the past four years, especially in working to support my peers through student government. This experience has led me to love and appreciate our Union and all that it stands for.

If you, like me, are graduating this semester, congratulations! We did it! Our cohort is perhaps the last to have experienced a different era of the Union and RPI—the Union’s student-run nature was eliminated in September 2017—which I dearly miss, as I am sure you do, too. These experiences that we have had are so unique and valuable to us, and it is a shame that current students aren’t getting the same experience.

For all those who will continue their RPI journeys next year, hang in there! You’ve made it through an extremely tough challenge with—fingers crossed—a bulk of the pandemic behind you. I wish you the best for your remaining time at RPI, and I encourage you to keep your head up and continue striving for the best for yourself and your student experience.

I want to share a parting message to everyone as I leave. Each of our individual experiences means so much to us, largely due to the strength and well-being of our Union. Our Union enables us as students to express ourselves and the values which we hold true in an effort to better our student experiences. This strength is why we must ensure our rights and privileges as students are restored and respected. Given the trend over the last couple of years, I foresee that student rights issues, such as the peace officer bill, abuse of the student judicial process, and restoration of student self-governance in the Union, will continue to worsen. When they do, I encourage you all to stand firmly for your rights. Keep fighting the good fight for your well-being and the success of our current and future classmates.

It has truly been a pleasure serving as your Grand Marshal. Thank you all, stay strong, and go Engineers!

Be well,

Advaith Narayan

155th Grand Marshal

Mechanical Engineering ’21