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Spring 2021 Trustee and Society Meeting at 9:00AM EDT
Sat, Apr 24, 2021
RSE Alumni Work Weekend - July 2021
Fri, Jul 16, 2021 - Sun, Jul 18, 2021

Continuing the Dialog with RPI January 2021

The RSE Trustees continue to work with the RPI administration to get RSE reinstated. RPI Dean of Students, Travis Apgar, recently asked to meet with our current Junior Members (JMs) to get their perspective on having RSE emerge on a more academic and career-oriented organization.

The Junior Members, led by President Zach Alexander ‘21, included Brendan Donnelly ‘20, Francisco Braschi’21, Inwon Kang’21, Allen Bekov’22, Leo Humber-Henriquez ‘21, and Dylan Starace’22. RSE Alumni Tom Keating’75, Don Thoma’83, and Mark Vince’75 participated as support to our Junior Members.

Dean Apgar said that he was pleased with the new direction previously outlined in meetings with the RSE Trustees and that he now wanted to hear from the JMs. Dean Apgar’s main concern was that fraternities get off suspension, but because they do not make needed fundamental changes that within 2-3 years, they often find themselves suspended again.

JM President Zach Alexander’21 detailed the current state of the student members and described the JMs’ activities during the three-year suspension. He described how the JMs maintained a positive attitude and worked with the both the school and the RSE Trustees/Alumni.

Zach mentioned how to some degree we are returning to our roots of the original Pi Eta of 155 years ago, while still remaining as IFC members and maintaining parts of the traditional fraternity system. He also pointed out that the JMs made the difficult decision to remove members who did not want to comply with the new RPI rules, while others left on their own.

Other JMs spoke about how their perspectives have changed for the better over the last four years, thanks to RSE. Additional comments included: 

  • the mentors found in the House and support for the mentor culture,
  • how fraternities at other schools are becoming more educationally focused,
  • RSE has continued to participate in Philanthropy type events, even while on suspension,
  • the Networking and other events done in conjunction with the Trustees/Alumni to keep everyone engaged in RSE,
  • important RSE characteristics resilience, loyalty, and integrity,
  • the time commitment required to be a member/officer of a fraternity and noted that all the JMs still at RPI have held various unique positions and all have shown that they are willing to put in the time,
  • the JMs are willing and ready to share their knowledge and experience and feel they can help identify some of the right candidates for RSE 3.0 this spring during virtual Rush.

Don Thoma’83 provided a brief update on the work and status of the Alumni Advisory Committee (AAC) and RSE 3.0, including how we are engaging with various areas and people at RPI. Don stated that there is still much to do, and we want to be ready for a full reinstatement and recruitment by the fall of 2021.

Tom Keating’75 made a pitch for at least a partial or conditional/probationary reinstatement of RSE this spring with the approval to take the plastic off the house letters, the allowance of the JMs to wear RSE colors and letters around Troy, and most importantly getting permission to conduct a Spring Rush of some sort.

Dean Apgar said that he understands the need for Spring Rush and stated that he is not the sole decision maker and that a consensus approval from others is required.

Dean Apgar expects the following from us:

  1. Mission / Vision / Goals statements
  2. Recruitment plan based on our Mission / Vision / Goals statements and describing the who / what / and how’s.
  3. Orientation plan, that instills the proper values in the new Junior Members. Travis repeated that the “break ‘em down and rebuild them” will not work and is not acceptable.

Dean Apgar asked how will RSE ensure their commitments and how will RSE keep its commitments to them? He is confident that RSE can contribute positively to the student experience. Travis continued with “Frats are guests and RPI is the host.”

We submitted all the additional detailed documentation requested within a week of the meeting.  As of this writing, we are awaiting feedback from the Dean of Students on possible next steps.