“Pack the Union” event seeks to improve next year

Happy Wednesday, RPI! This past weekend was the Rensselaer Union’s spring activities fair, Pack the Union. The two hour event was lively with over 100 clubs and organizations in attendance. It was very nice to see the diversity of clubs throughout the Union being loud and conversing with each other. The success of this event was brought about by the Marketing, Advertising, and Publicity Committee of the Union Executive Board, led by Kimiko Johnson ’14. I also would like to thank all the club officers that participated in the fair. There are a variety of new ideas that we are trying to incorporate in order to continually improve this annual event.

One idea was to talk with the greek community about having individual chapters in attendance hosting their own table. The spring activities fair could be transformed to incorporate a currently non-existent spring Meet the Greeks event. This could inspire more greeks to become more involved in clubs and meet potential members through other activities besides the typical “Dorm-Storming.” Another suggestion was to have the activities fair during the week, like on a Thursday afternoon, like the fall activities fair. More advertisement will also be a priority for next year as well. We will look into a banner and more signage across campus. Overall, the spring activities fair is a good idea that can be developed into a greater event over time. It gives students coming back from break and opportunity to try new things, and it also collectively gives clubs a second chance during the year to recruit more members. Another suggestion was to create a directory of club meeting times and locations so that students can reach out to clubs on their own. This is an idea that will slowly be incorporated throughout the upcoming year by checking out when and where clubs have room reservations. It will also provide easy access for students looking to get involved anytime throughout the year.

In other club news, the draft of the Union Annual Report is currently being put together by the Union Annual Report Committee. This report essentially lays out the formulas and background numbers behind the activity fee calculation for next year. It also shows the amount budgeted for each Union funded organization, and also attempts to explain the financial logistics behind the Union’s $8.4 million budget. Once the report is finalized, it will be released to the students and brought before the Senate for approval. The Senate, as elected representatives of the student body of Rensselaer, will review the document, ask questions, and prepare comments. If you have any questions why Union money is spent the way it is spent after reading the report, send an e-mail to

There are a variety of great activities going on this week. The first is going on throughout the day today, February 8. Head over to the Armory between 11 and 4 pm for the Spring Career Fair. This is a great opportunity to network with professionals and speak with companies about jobs and internships. Another great event this week is Open Office Hours with Dr. Tim Sams, vice president of Student Life. They’ll be held tomorrow, February 9, in the Union in room 2424, and Sams is excited to have the opportunity to speak with students across campus about any topics that interest them. You should definitely head over to the Union on Thursday and talk to Sams about anything that’s been on your mind. Also, in anticipation for the Year of the Dragon, the Chinese American Students Association will be holding their biggest event of the year: The Annual Chinese New Year Celebration on Friday, February 10 in the Russell Sage Banquet Hall. Come join CASA and the Rensselaer community for a night of celebration and authentic food; everyone is welcome.