Dear RPI Alumni,
On October 8, 2018, the Rensselaer Alumni Association (RAA) held a Special Meeting of Members as a result of our 231Petition, submitted in May of this year.
Many concerned alumni attended in person, and even more watched via the livestream. We would like to thank all those who attended, as the meeting was a success due in no small part to their active participation.
For anyone who would like to watch the meeting or view our presentation slides:
Both Renew Rensselaer and the administration were given forty minutes each to present, followed by a question and answer (Q&A) period. Renew Rensselaer’s presentation focused on issues with finance, academics, and governance at the Institute, as detailed in our Petition. The Q&A period saw several topics along these lines frequently mentioned, including the administration’s usurpation of the formerly student-run Rensselaer Union, RPI’s deteriorating financial condition, the continual decline in alumni engagement, the Institute’s overarching lack of transparency and accountability, and free speech on campus, among other things. Disappointingly, the administration’s speakers were not focused on the facts, and their responses not only lacked substance, but at times even failed to directly answer the questions posed.
As one alumnus who spoke during the Q&A said, “Renew Rensselaer has done their homework, and I’m disappointed [the RPI administration] did not…and we want to see [it].” Several former Grand Marshals (president of the RPI student body) and a former President of the Union who were present voiced their dissatisfaction at the changes that have occurred with regard to the Rensselaer Union and genuine leadership opportunities that have been taken from students as a result. One such former Grand Marshal even exclaimed, “It’s wonderful that good things are happening [at RPI], but you really didn’t address the concerns that Renew Rensselaer brought to our attention.”
We proposed a Resolution in support of our Platform during the Special Meeting, which carried “overwhelmingly” by the Members of the RAA. The text of this Resolution is as follows:
RESOLUTION OF THE MEMBERS OF THE RENSSELAER ALUMNI ASSOCIATION
Whereas, We, the Members of the Rensselaer Alumni Association (RAA), endeavor to further the educational mission of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI); and
Whereas, We seek to strengthen RPI by stimulating greater alumni engagement, participation, and financial support;
Therefore, be it resolved, that it is the sense of this meeting to recommend to the RAA Board of Trustees that it should:
- vote to endorse the Renew Rensselaer Platform (as it appears on its website renewrensselaer.org); and
- urge the RPI Board of Trustees to adopt and implement all of the policies, principles, and goals of the Renew Rensselaer Platform, thereby triggering the commitments of support from the alumni signers to the Platform.
You may contact your RAA Board Members and lobby them to support and endorse our Resolution by visiting the RAA Board of Trustees’ website and clicking on a Board Member’s name, as it will trigger a window with the pre-populated email address of the selected person:
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