PU advocates ECAV

I hope everyone is having a fantastic week so far. The Executive Board had the opportunity to tour the East Campus Athletics Village and then attend the men’s hockey game this past Saturday evening. It was a great opportunity for the Board to get to know each other better and for the Executive Board members to gain an understanding of the importance of athletics here at Rensselaer.

Athletics is an important part of the culture here at RPI, with over 70 percent of the student body participating in some kind of sport, whether it be intercollegiate athletics, varsity, club, or intramural. Director of Athletics Jim Knowlton was kind enough to show us all the great facilities up at ECAV, guiding us on a tour through the locker rooms, administrative offices, training facilities, and even the press box overlooking the East Campus Stadium. The great thing about the facilities up at ECAV is that they can be used by all students, and not just student-athletes. Both our intramural sports and club sports often use the fields and gym space, and often students use the space for pick-up games. ECAV has also become a common spot for hosting other activities including Winter Carnival, Night at ECAV, Dancing with the RPI Stars, and the Girl Talk concert.

Many students don’t realize that the ECAV hosts so many different activities. After speaking with many students, the issue seems to be that students have a hard time finding out when the facilities are open for general use. Last spring when I ran for President of the Union, I spoke about creating a system in which students could easily go on and see what fields and gyms are open. This would allow a student to go online, go to one webpage, and find out where all the open recreational facilities are across campus at a given time. I have spoken with Knowlton about this, and we have discussed the best way to create such a system for students. They are already looking for a new online system for field and gym reservations, and Knowlton spoke optimistically about incorporating a way for students to gain access to this information. Although we may not see results immediately, I have high hopes, that in the upcoming year, students will be able to more easily check for and gain full access to open facilities in ECAV.

In other Executive Board news, the Board saw three organizations last week. Discussions relating to RPI League of Legends and Dance Marathon were both tabled at the Board’s request in order for there to be discussion on structure of clubs of similar nature or further information on proposals. Also, the Board approved the RPI Book Club as a Union-recognized club! If you are interesting in recreational reading and would like to see what they do, visit, which shows lists of books the club has already read and discussed as well as future reading ideas.

One last quick event plug, Grand Marshal Lee Sharma ’12 and I, in conjunction with the class deans, are hosting a dessert soirée this Thursday evening, October 6, beginning at 6 pm in the Sage Dining Hall Second Floor Banquet Hall to welcome all the new faculty and staff members to the campus. Make sure to stop by to enjoy dessert and to get to know the new members of the RPI community. Have a good rest of the week everyone, and if you have any questions relating to Union activities, please e-mail me at