On the evening of Wednesday, March 28, the residents of Bray Hall hosted an event with President Shirley Ann Jackson. Starting at 5:30 p.m., she was led on a tour by Resident Director Megan Gutzmer and her staff. The tour included stops in residence rooms on each of the floors of Bray Hall and a discussion with a group of students who were studying in the second floor lounge. One focus of the tour was on how the residence facilities have changed over President Jackson’s tenure at Rensselaer.
Following the tour, President Jackson hosted a dinner and discussion in the recently renovated Bray classroom. For the next hour and a half, she facilitated a discussion with the students in attendance. Student staff started off by discussing programs they had initiated over the past year that they were particularly proud of. For example, Paul Miller (third floor RA) ran a program earlier in the semester where he helped his residents to make bread. In addition to teaching them the art of bread-making, the program also provided the students with an opportunity to de-stress.
One recurring theme during the discussion was the importance of events on campus that can unite the Rensselaer community. Crockett Hall resident Naya Hill brought up her belief that greater emphasis needed to be placed on creating programs/events that bring together the entire Rensselaer community. While it was recognized that events like the Hockey Line and the Big Red Freakout were created to do this, some felt that additional examples were necessary. Randi Mogul, the assistant dean for Bray Hall, mentioned the Rensselaer Student Associate (RSA)-sponsored annual Spring Fling festival that takes place on the last day of the spring semester (May 2 this year), and she promised to work with RSA to create additional all-campus programs.
In addition, Assistant Vice President for Transitions Michell Tollinchi- Michel discussed the importance of programs at Rensselaer that highlight the developmental changes that students experience while at Rensselaer.
Plans are already in development to have similar programs throughout the academic year.