Stack: UAR approved by Senate

Hello again, RPI! I hope that everyone enjoyed a break from classes on Monday and that some rest and relaxation was indulged in over the long weekend. Many thanks and congratulations to Jillian Johnson ’13 and all of those involved in the planning and execution of the Absolute Zero Winter Carnival, which was held at the East Campus Athletic Village this past Saturday. There were over 20 different carnival games for students and RPI community members alike to participate in, as well as free food, live music from many student groups, and other events throughout the course of the afternoon. All of this led up to the Whiteout men’s hockey game that evening, with the Engineers crushing the Yale Bulldogs 4-1! It was a great event that took countless hours of hard work and dedication to organize. If you are interested in being involved in planning the Winter Carnival next year, please e-mail for more information!

On Wednesday night, Student Senate/Executive Board Liaison Gretchen Sileo ’14 presented the Union Annual Report for fiscal year 2014—as well as the Union Activity Fee recommendations and full Rensselaer Union budget for next academic year—at a special joint meeting of the Senate and E-Board. As part of the annual budgeting process, the Union Annual Report Committee took the budgets and figures produced by the Executive Board and molded them into the UAR, which aims to inform students where every cent of their activity fee goes. After comments and questions from members of the Senate, this document and the fee recommendations contained therein were approved. From here, the Union budget gets rolled into the Division of Student Life portfolio for review by Vice President of Student Life Timothy Sams, President Shirley Ann Jackson, and the Institute Board of Trustees. Only after this approval process will the activity fee be finalized and we can start initiating changes outlined in the UAR for next academic year.

I would like to spend a little time highlighting some of the important facts and figures regarding the Union budget for next year. As a result of the budgeting process undertaken by the Union Executive Board, funding for clubs and organizations increased 8.57 percent for FY 2014, and the subsidy for intercollegiate athletics went up 5.91 percent. Team fees for most intramural sports were eliminated, although a deposit system to ensure commitment will be instituted. A new full-time marketing and advertising position was created under the Union to help clubs promote their events on campus, and to assist organizations in forming healthy relationships with outside businesses. Finally, after much consideration, the Executive Board decided to discontinue funding of the U.S. Postal Service substation currently located in the Games Room. While the Board understands that some students do use its services, we cannot justify continuing to operate a business that costs over $31,500 per year to maintain. The Bookstore will soon be selling stamps and postage to complement the blue USPS drop box we already have, and other options to replace some of the more specific services currently offered are being investigated. For more information, I invite you to read the UAR at, and questions on the budget process and UAR can be directed to

After the Student Senate met last Wednesday, the Executive Board met with students from Engineers for a Sustainable World and approved the reallocation of funds for a speaker honorarium for the Global Poverty Project event that was held on February 3. Tonight, the E-Board will continue its normal meetings with a full slate of clubs and organizations coming before the Board to discuss new events, programs, and ideas. If you are interested in seeing how students manage the Union, I invite you to stop by and find out. As always, our meetings are Wednesdays at 8 pm in the Shelnutt Gallery, and are open to the public.

I will be holding regular office hours this semester on Wednesdays from 6–8pm. If you have any questions or comments regarding the Union budget or matters for the Executive Board, feel free to stop by or e-mail me at Until next week!