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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Statement from President Shirley Ann Jackson, Ph.D., regarding the Rensselaer Student Union

March 31, 2016

Statement from President Shirley Ann Jackson, Ph.D., regarding the Rensselaer Student Union

Troy, NY - I have great respect for the history and functions of the Rensselaer Student Union. 

The Union is a rich part of the history and fabric of the Institute. I appreciate the role it plays in supporting student growth and development by giving students a great degree of autonomy in managing student clubs and activities. I am committed to its continuance in the years to come.

There is clearly disagreement regarding the degree of autonomy for the Union. The language of the Union Constitution is ambiguous.

There is no ambiguity in that the Rensselaer Board of Trustees has the ultimate responsibility for the Union. Therefore, it is appropriate for the Trustees to look at the Constitution and decide what independence and autonomy mean. 

I have asked the Board, through its Executive Committee, to review the Union Constitution and decide whether any changes are warranted. I have also asked the Board to meet with students directly, and the Board has agreed to do so.

We will let the process run its course. In the meantime, we will suspend any hiring for the positions of Executive Director for Student Activities and Director of the Union until the Board of Trustees concludes its review.

Contact: Suzanne Morris Office of the President Email: media@rpi.edu Phone: (518) 276-6211