President of the Union describes E-board committees

Hello, RPI! First off, I would like to congratulate RPI Athletics on a very successful weekend! On Saturday, our women’s field hockey, men’s football, women’s ice hockey, and men’s ice hockey teams all won their respective contests handedly. It was great to see so many students and alumni out there supporting our student-athletes, and I hope that this trend continues for the rest of this year.

Now that things have settled down and everyone is back into the swing of school, Executive Board committees will begin meeting and tackling many different projects on campus. The Rensselaer Union Business Operations Committee will be working with the bookstore, Sodexo, and other business outlets within the Union to improve current operations and promote student utilization of these spaces. It is currently working on the bookstore renovations, the reconstruction of the bookstore’s website, and the benchmarking of our services in comparison to those found at other universities. If these projects interest you, contact Chair Courtney Lang ’13 ( The Facilities Committee will focus on continuing the master planning process for all spaces used by our clubs, both inside and outside of the Union. It will continue to create a 15 to 20 year plan for our facilities and begin working with companies to improve our physical facilities; contact Chair Dave Pazzani ’13 ( for more details. The Union Annual Report Committee is working with the business administrator to develop the Union Annual Report, a document that communicates every aspect of the upcoming Union budget to students. This committee exists as a joint committee under the Student Senate, and is chaired by Gretchen Sileo ’14 ( The Technology Committee is evaluating the Union’s technology infrastructure and will be suggesting changes to the Union Systems Administrators. It is also responsible for maintaining the Executive Board’s website and is led by Dakota Szabo ’13 ( The Marketing, Advertising, and Publicity Committee helps to promote student activities, programs, and services funded through the Union Activity Fee. Appropriately, it helps to coordinate the two club activities fairs held at the beginning of each semester as well as helping to create a social media presence for the Union. If interested, see Ann Novelli ’15 ( Finally, the newly formed Club Operations and Policies Committee will focus on the documents and policies that are essential to the continued operation of clubs through the Union. This committee is tasked with the annual review of Union budgeting guidelines and procedures in preparation for the budgeting review process of the Executive Board and the continued review of club constitutions to create uniformity and compliance under the Union Constitution. The chair for this committee is TBD.

As I mentioned last week, this is an exciting time for students: we are beginning a process by which students will be able to shape what the student experience will look like at RPI for years to come. Along with our focus on the Union, the Institute as a whole is in the process of revising and refreshing the Rensselaer Plan. This new strategic roadmap will become the foundation of advancement across campus for the next 10 to 12 years, and it is vital that student input is collected. As such, we will be hosting student discussion forums focused on talking about the current plan and how it addresses students’ needs and concerns both today and in the future. The first of these sessions will be this afternoon (Wednesday, October 10) from 5–7 pm in the McNeil Room. Please take some time out of your schedules and attend (and bring your friends)! As always, if you have any questions, concerns, or comments, please contact me via e-mail (, or stop by my office. My official office hours for this semester will be Wednesdays from 5–7 pm, but you can always stop in as long as I am there. Enjoy the rest of your week!