Ria Massoni for Undergraduate President

By The Polytechnic Editorial Board March 19, 2023

The Polytechnic endorses Ria Massoni ’24 for undergraduate president. Massoni’s goals to further improve the Arch Task Force and increase communication between the class councils can create a stronger Undergraduate Council for the year to come.

Under Massoni's leadership, the Arch Task Force achieved several goals including recognizing undergraduate research as an Arch exemption and working with administration to spread most summer Arch classes over 12 weeks instead of six. Changes that will come into effect in the future during the Arch include increasing the hours that the Folsom Library, dining halls, and Union stay open. In previous summers, those facilities closed earlier than during the Fall and Spring semesters; however, this summer, they will experiment with longer open hours to accommodate students' needs. Furthermore, the conclusion of the Arch semester in upcoming years will have two weeks of break instead of one.

Massoni intends to work further with the Center for Career and Professional Development and improve the Arch preparatory course. Currently, the class is online and there is little student engagement. Massoni wants to move to an in-person format with specific courses for each major. The proposed changes will likely increase student engagement and significantly benefit the class.

Communication between class councils is one of Massoni's most important short-term goals. Currently, each class council does events individually with little contact with the other class councils. Massoni plans to increase this level of communication by having a monthly or bi-monthly meeting in hopes that it will strengthen the bonds between classes. Additionally, after elections occur, Massoni wants all the class councils to gather and hold a day of training, doing various activities to promote bonding between the classes. Another way Massoni plans on improving the class councils is through the creation of a database with all previous event ideas. During her interview with The Polytechnic, Massoni said that oftentimes class councils are motivated to host events but need help with the logistics of starting events or ideas for fun programs. The proposed database would have all the information a class would need to host events and provide great ideas they could use.

The Polytechnic is concerned with this goal, as Massoni intended to improve communication between the class councils last year as well. Still having communication as a goal for this year, The Polytechnic worries about her lack of progress. The Polytechnic hopes Massoni puts more emphasis on this goal in order for events that combine class councils to come to fruition.

Massoni told The Polytechnic about her last long-term goal, starting a mentorship program with alumni. Massoni hopes this will become a resource that all students can use for help with entering the workforce. The Polytechnic believes this is a beneficial goal, but in its current state, it is not much more than wishful thinking. It will take a lot of effort over a long period of time to create such a program, and with Massoni having other goals as well, The Polytechnic does not see much happening with this program during Massoni’s term.

The Polytechnic believes that Massoni has shown she has what it takes to excel as undergraduate president. Unifying the class councils and improving the Arch experience will make for a more enjoyable and educational experience as an undergraduate student at RPI.