I hope everyone has been having a great week. Considering there has been an influx of new clubs this year, in this Derby I am going to explain the process for club formation at RPI. The timeline below provides a thorough breakdown on how a rising club/organization attempts to first receive Rensselaer Union recognition, and then, if appropriate, Union funding. It should be noted that the entire process for recognition is set-up to take between four to six weeks upon the completion of the application for recognition, but the time could certainly take longer depending on the circumstances.
The first step in the process is to visit http://union.rpi.edu/pages/view/12/ to obtain the guide and forms necessary for starting a club. Next, submit the club questionnaire to Assistant Director of Student Activities Melissa Termine-Goetz (firstname.lastname@example.org) in the Union Admin Office. Termine-Goetz will then review the submitted club questionnaire to ensure completeness. Upon approval, the President of the Union will be sent the club questionnaire. As PU, I will review the club’s proposal for recognition with guidance from the Director of Student Activities Cameron McLean (email@example.com), the Union Business Administrator Martha McElligott (firstname.lastname@example.org), and Director of the Union Bookstore Mike McDermott (email@example.com).
After these discussions, I will contact the fledgling club with more information about recognition and/or questions about more information being submitted to the Union. If the response of the club does not bring up any further questions and satisfies the prior inquiry of the PU, then the club will be put in a queue to go before the Union Executive Board for approval. If the club fails to accomplish the previous two conditions because of special conditions, then the club will remain at this step until the completion of further investigation.
Moving forward, the club contacts will receive an e-mail from the PU about presenting their club’s recognition proposal to the Union Executive Board a few days before the weekly E-Board meetings (Thursdays, 8–10 pm in the Shelnutt Gallery of the Union). The club will present itself to the Union Executive Board for recognition. If the club does not receive recognition, the process ends. If the club does receive recognition, the club will receive an e-mail from the PU the following day with a package of information for newly recognized clubs about what to do next. Funding is not approved to clubs upon recognition. The recognition process ends here.
If a recognized club would like to request funds for its activities, then it needs to submit a detailed budget request to the PU via e-mail. The PU will review the club’s proposal for funding under the consultation of McLean, McElligott, and McDermott. The PU will then contact the recognized club with more information about funding and/or questions before funding approval. If the response of the club does not bring up any further questions and satisfies the prior inquiry of the PU, then the club will be put on a queue to go before the Union Executive Board for funding approval. If the club fails to accomplish the previous two conditions because of special conditions, or the rise of more questions, then the club will remain at this step until the conclusion of additional study.
After investigation, the club contacts will receive an e-mail from the PU about presenting their club’s funding proposal to the Union Executive Board a few days before the weekly Union Executive Board meetings. The club will present itself to the E-Board with its proposal for funding. If the club does not receive funding, the process ends. If the club is approved for funding, then the club will receive a student Union Executive Board Representative and a staff Student Activities Resource Person to assist it with the management of its finances. It should be noted that the newly approved funds for the club will be a starter-budget of $125 per semester until a formal budget is approved the following fiscal year. If the request for funds is approved in the latter half of the semester, the starter budget will not be available for use until the start of the following semester.
One last note before I end: Last week I spoke about the focus groups for the Union Facilities Master Plan. The purpose of these groups is not to simply focus on what students will be interested in, but what facilities will be necessary for students to participate in any potential activities. This is the most important step because these focus groups will bring in information that will be the building blocks of the Union Facilities Master Plan. This Thursday, March 8, the meeting will be led by Director of the Union Joe Cassidy and Operations Coordinator Jean Purtell and will focus on support spaces, such as meeting rooms, lounges, offices, parking, and more. The last meeting on March 22 will focus on fitness, recreation, and intramurals, and will be facilitated by Coordinator of Mueller Center Programs and Club Sports Steve Allard and Assistant Coordinator of Mueller Center Programs and Intramural Sports Joe Campo. I encourage all students to attend one of these sessions and participate in creating and supporting a future for our Union.
If you ever have any questions about the Union or the Executive Board, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I hope everyone has a happy and healthy Spring Break.