News

Junior Members Step Up During COVID Crisis

We are now two months into one of the strangest semesters in the history of 1501 Sage Ave – as the pandemic continues to march across our campus, and the rest of the nation.  Thanks to the efforts of the Junior Membership President Zach Alexander ’21 and House Manger Matt Binshtock ’21 the structure is still being well cared for.

During the summer the Trustees utilized assets from our Reserve Account to perform maintenance on the Front Porch.  I’m sure that many of you will recall the efforts of 2012/2013 to stabilize and repair the porch.  These repairs are holding up very well eight years later, with the modified drainage systems minimizing the amount of water that is retained on the deck surface.  Even so, it’s necessary to have our mason give the structure a thorough examination and some minor repairs.  These repairs included some work on the Sage side staircase and minor joint repairs along the porch / seam boundary.  The final step was to apply a commercial grade sealant to the surface of the porch. 

The security system on the building is working out well… once everyone got used to it.  The Troy Police have been called out a few times during our learning curve, but we seem to have a handle on the system now. Attached is a picture taken from the exterior camera’s showing Leo Henriquez ’21 leaving the house after the boiler servicing was completed.

On that note, the boilers have been serviced, the windows closed, and the temperature control systems in the house prepared.  The building is ready for the next few months as winter is coming. 

Currently we are hoping to bring the building back online next year, COVID depending.  You’ll be hearing from us as we get closer to that date, since our Junior Membership is going to need some support in getting 1501 Sage ready again.  All Alumni are still welcome to come and visit our house, just contact the REO Charlie Adkins ’94 to get the necessary access codes. 

TSIMS.

Charlie Adkins ‘94

Real Estate Officer

RSE Alumni Advisory Committee is Up and Running. Thank You for Your Input!

Current Situation - RSE and fraternity life at RPI is at a crossroads.  The environment that most of us are familiar with at RPI and RSE no longer exists.  28% of the 29 Greek organizations at RPI are currently on long term suspension.  Even though undergraduate admissions at RPI is up 39% from the 1980’s when I was at RPI, participation in Greek Life is down 60% with only 14% of the undergraduate students members of fraternities and sororities.  Surveys of RPI students show that students are much more interested in the “Return on Investment” of their education and participation in activities while in college.  The situation at RPI, the fact that social opinions of fraternities in the US are not favorable, and the high risk environment of having 18-22 year old men living in a minimally supervised environment have created a possibly unsustainable “business model” for RSE.

Read more: RSE Alumni Advisory Committee is Up and Running. Thank You for Your Input!

COVID is no Match for our Junior Members’ Commitment to RSE

As we approach the midpoint of a very unusual semester, with many Greek organizations not living in their houses, a limited number of students on campus, and with nearly all students taking at least some classes online, it is safe to say that RSE’s JMs are navigating unprecedented events. The RSE Clubhouse is unfortunately unoccupied for the semester as RSE strives to cooperate with the RPI administration in their efforts to keep the campus safe and healthy. The security system installed this past spring has worked well in keeping the House secure and undisturbed. Efforts are being made to encourage recent graduates to claim their belongings and clear the building out for when RSE can occupy the House again.

There are still roughly a dozen JMs living in the Troy area, taking care of the House and grounds while continuing to work as best we can toward reinstatement. Our traditional Work Week in August had to be cancelled to comply with RPI’s COVID-19 protocols, some of the work that was planned will be accomplished during the semester as part of several work details ensuring that our house is safe and clean when normal operations can resume.

The JMs have been gathering (in small, safe numbers) for brotherhood and social events, including, most recently, watching the NBA Championship together. It can be difficult to maintain the close bonds that the JMs are used to in this time of social distancing and pandemic risk reduction.  We have been striving to preserve our brotherhood while taking into account safety and responsibility. We are fully aware of Greek organizations at other colleges that have been accused of spreading COVID-19 and hit with disciplinary actions.

Ultimately, RSE’s JMs are attempting to make the best of a difficult situation and finish out our education while still remaining close socially and continuing to work towards reinstatement.

Zach Alexander ‘21

Junior Member President