During this Monday’s meeting, the Student Senate unanimously passed the Union Annual Report, to be approved by the Board of Trustees next month. The report includes general information on the Rensselaer Union and budget information for the upcoming school year, along with a large number of tables and charts.
“This year’s budgeting process was especially challenging,” said Student Senate/Executive Board Liaison Jonathan Stack ’13 in a letter prefacing the report. Student enrollment has dropped over the past few years, he explained, which meant they had to work harder to ensure that Union programs and activities got the funding they need. Other obstacles include declining bookstore profits (“a trend currently active at the majority of campus bookstores across the country,” according to Stack), since more than half of the Union’s non-fee income comes from the bookstore.
The result was a $20.50 increase in the undergraduate fee and an $11.00 increase in the graduate fee. Intercollegiate Athletics was cut by four percent, including a decrease of $16,390 for Men’s Hockey, in order to avoid raising the activities fee any further.
Over the next few pages, the report gave a historical perspective with graphs mapping change over time in the budget, total cost of undergraduate attendance, and enrollment. Expenses have been lowered by three percent and undergraduate enrollment is projected to drop by five percent, while the activities fee and total cost of attendance have trended upwards.
Another section describes the function of class dues, which remain constant next year at $13.50 for undergraduates and $12 for graduate students. These funds are available for class events like parties or other gatherings, organized by a separate council for each year.
In the income section, the report lists funds received from services offered in the Union building, such as Father’s Marketplace, the Rathskeller, and Ben & Jerry’s. Each of these contributes a portion of their profits back to the Union, totalling $212,297.04 for the year.
The full report has been approved for public release by the Senate. Any questions about the document should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.