Inside Rensselaer
The Peoples Avenue Approach received a much-needed clean-up recently.
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Students from the Student Senate Community Relations Committee take a moment to relax following the completion of the clean-up of the Peoples Avenue Approach (clockwise from bottom left): Steve Siden, Josh Greenman, Andrew Armenia, Chris Butler, Andrew Neidhardt, Rob Graham, and Michael Zwack (center).
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Student Senate Community Service Project: Cleaning Up the Peoples Avenue Approach
Extending the university’s reach beyond the borders of its campus is a clear extension of Rensselaer’s commitment to “communiversity,” a vision of the ways in which institutions of higher learning and the cities, towns, and counties that serve as their homes can and should work together to ensure the viability and vibrancy of their shared communities.

Nowhere is that more important than in the Institute’s home community, in the city of Troy and the greater Capital Region. On Sept. 26, several members of the Student Senate Community Relations Committee carved out time to participate in a community service project to clean up the Peoples Avenue Approach.

The project was developed as part of the “Good Neighbors” Initiative, a program of the Student Senate Community Relations Committee aimed at improving relations between the city of Troy and Rensselaer.

The Peoples Avenue Approach, also known as the “Mini-Approach,” is a staircase located on Peoples Avenue leading up to 12th Street. “It was constructed in 1915 with the assistance of Cornelius Burns, who was mayor of the city of Troy,” said Grand Marshal Michael Zwack. “We had received numerous complaints from students regarding the physical condition of the property, noting that it receives minimal maintenance or repair, so this seemed like the ideal project for us to pursue.”

Zwack said that the students removed weeds, brush, and other growth that had overrun the plant beds of the property and limited visual security of the stairway. They also removed debris, glass bottles, broken stair fragments, and other materials that were found along the stairway. Following the clean-up, the students placed mulch to beautify the plant beds as a way to maintain weed control.

The Student Senate-led community service project was developed as part of the “Good Neighbors” Initiative, a program of the Student Senate Community Relations Committee aimed at improving relations between the city of Troy and Rensselaer. The project was sponsored by the Office of the Grand Marshal, the highest elected office in the Rensselaer Student Government, who serves as the leader and chief spokesperson for the Rensselaer Union.

Planning and preparation for the project was also supported by several other members of the campus community, including Erin Crotty, director of community relations; Cynthia Smith, assistant dean for pipeline initiatives and partnerships; and Scott Litwin, supervisor of Rensselaer landscaping operations. The Student Senate worked with the city of Troy in coordination with the Department of Public Works Deputy Commissioner Bob Mirch.

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Inside Rensselaer, Strategic Communications and External Relations
1000 Troy Building, 110 Eighth Street, Troy, N.Y. 12180 or to leibat@rpi.edu.
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Inside Rensselaer
Volume 3, Number 11, October 23, 2009
©2009 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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