There are many different ways to get involved with Rensselaer’s Student Senate. The Student Senate consists of elected and appointed members and the Senate’s committees are open to all RPI students.
I. Voting Senate Membership
The Grand Marshal, Class Senators, and Independent Senators are elected by popular vote annually in April and serve for one calendar year. If vacancies arise during a Senator’s term, their respective class council or constituency appoints a replacement. The Interfraternity Council and Panhellinic Council Senators are elected by a vote of their bodies. All elected students, with the exception of the Grand Marshal, are voting members of the Senate. Looking for more information? See Elections on this website or check our the Rules and Elections Website listing candidates, parties, and platforms.
II. Non-Voting Senate Membership
There are also several non-voting appointed positions on the Senate. At the beginning of a new Senate or when a vacancy arises, the Grand Marshal will launch an open call, conduct interviews and then select a student to fill the role. The Grand Marshal’s appointment is confirmed by a vote of the Senate.
Non-Voting positions on the Senate include: Senate Vice Chair, Chief Information Officer, Secretary, Treasurer, Parliamentarian, Committee Chairs
III. Senate Committees
Any student may join a Senate Committee as an equal contributor. While public discussions of student issues, project finalizations, and policy decisions take place in the Senate’s weekly General Body Meeting, the majority of the Senate’s project work takes place in its committees. Senate Committees develop the proposals, legislation, and initiatives that are later examined by the entire Senate.
Committee involvement is an excellent opportunity to develop leadership, communication, and project-planning skills – and to have a direct impact on the RPI community. Involvement in committees is much more flexible than voting positions in the Senate. Students have a greater ability to control the time commitment based on the roles and projects which they take on in committee.
A complete listing of Senate Committees is included on the Projects tab and contact information for each committee is listed on individual committee pages. The Senate encourages you to reach out to committee chairs for more information on getting involved in their particular committee.
IV. Student Opinion
The final way, but arguably the most important way to get involved is through providing student feedback. The Senate is continually seeking student opinions as they launch initiates and shape policy stances. Engagement in student government social media, attneding events, and contacting Senators is encouraged and always welcomed. Not sure who to contact? Check out the Senate Membership to find your representative or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org