University of Vermont to host Union E-Board

In addition to travel plans, Jon Stack ’13 describes recent budget approvals, fish tank

Hello, RPI, and happy Halloween! If you are planning on celebrating tonight, please do so safely. While it appears that the worst of Hurricane Sandy has passed (at least it looks like it will have at the time of writing this article), please continue to monitor the weather and listen to any updates that the Institute might provide.

To provide updates regarding the Rensselaer Union, the Executive Board will be taking a field trip next month to the University of Vermont. This trip will allow members to observe another student-focused college union, and meet with other administrators and students. The Davis Center at UVM is a very new building and boasts similar operations to RPI, like a games area, pub, and several restaurants. It should be a great opportunity for us to bring new ideas back to campus. Also, I will be leading a presentation at the Association of College Unions International Regional Conference in SUNY New Paltz on November 10, along with other members of the Executive Board. The focus of our session will be student leadership development within student activities, and the session will provide us the opportunity to share our experiences both as members of student government and as members of the body that makes all financial decisions here at the Rensselaer Union.

In Executive Board news, last week saw many clubs and organizations present at our weekly meeting. Representatives from All Bright Aquariums came before the Board to discuss the current state of the saltwater aquarium housed in the second floor Welcome Lobby. Over the summer, the Union saw a massive power failure, leading to damage to the air conditioning system and the fish tank. Unfortunately, we lost all of the fish. They were replaced shortly thereafter, but this proposal sought to look at the construction of the tank. In the end, the Board approved spending to improve the cooling and lighting systems within the tank to ensure that this type of problem does not occur again. A new point-of-sale system was approved for the Clubhouse Pub. RPI Quidditch asked for money to travel to tournaments. Founded early last year, the club has grown rapidly in membership and skill level, and currently they are ranked nationally and will hopefully earn a bid to the World Cup. If you are interested in getting involved with Quidditch, contact President Alexandra Hyman ’13 ( Finally, Sheer Idiocy presented in front of the Board asking for money to fund workshops held in conjunction with Mop and Bucket Company based out of Albany. This request was approved, and students will be able to benefit from improved improv in the near future!

As always, if you have any questions, concerns, or comments, please contact me via e-mail at, 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. Union Executive Board meetings are held every Wednesday night at 8 pm in Union Room 3606 and are open to the public. If you are interested in getting to know how your Student Activity Fee is managed, stop on by. Enjoy the rest of your week!