Hello, RPI! I hope that everyone is recovering from their tryptophan-induced comas and is ready to get back to work! There is just one short week left of classes, and then finals are upon us. I hope everyone manages to make it through these last few weeks before enjoying our very long winter break.
This time of year is busy for everyone, as we are all out shopping for various gifts to celebrate the holidays while simultaneously trying to make sure we pass all of our classes. The Union Executive Board is also entering their busy season, as the study days mark the beginning of budgeting. For those who may not know, the Executive Board looks at all budgets that fall under the Union during about five days over the course of the next month. These budgets include club and organizations budgets, the Union’s physical building budget, the Admin Office budget, and the athletics budget, which includes support for our teams but not the physical space of ECAV itself, nor the salary for the coaches. These five days are the days during which your Student Activity Fee for the upcoming year is calculated.
On the first study day, the Executive Board will be reviewing the administration budgets and the budgets for the facilities we maintain. This will encompass some of the programming budgets, including Speaker’s Forum and Married Students Organization, as well as specific budgets for general club support and intramurals. The day will start at 9 am for the Executive Board and is anticipated to go until 3 pm. The Executive Board has only begun its work at this point, for on the second study day the Board will be reviewing the athletic budgets. During this process the Board tries to be as fair as possible to every athletic team, while also trying to balance the anticipated needs of the clubs that haven’t been budgeted for yet.
After completing the agenda for those first two days, the Executive Board is finally free to study for their finals like all other students. However, at the tail end of Winter Break, the Executive Board returns early to continue budgeting. On those two to three days, the Executive Board goes through each and every club budget to determine the best way to support our organizations, while also being as fair as possible to all clubs. While this is a big undertaking, the Board partakes with much enthusiasm, and I am confident that budgeting this year will go very well.
After this process is complete, organizations have a few days to submit appeals to the Executive Board if they are unhappy with their budgets. The Board will review these appeals and make final decisions regarding those budgets. Then, the Union Annual Report Committee receives all of the budgetary information and complies the Union Annual Report, which details to students exactly where their activity fee is being spent. I hope that you take the time to look at the UAR as it is something that is truly unique to RPI.
Again, I wish you all good luck with your finals, and I hope you have a wonderful winter break. If you have any questions or would like more clarification about the budgeting process, please feel free to reach out to me at email@example.com.