Hey RPI! I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving break! Now it is time to buckle down for the last few days of classes and to push through finals so we can enjoy our extremely long Winter Break. Remember that the Heffner Alumni House will be open during study days for students to study with an endless supply of snacks and coffee.
As we enter the Christmas season, the Executive Board is also approaching the budgeting season. Reminder, final Club budgets are due on December 16. For those of you who don’t know, the E-Board spends four to five days going through every budget that falls under the Rensselaer Union each winter. These budgets include all of our clubs and organizations, the Union’s physical building budget, the Mueller Center, the Administration Office, and the athletics budgets, which include support for each of our teams, including the fitness and training centers, but not the head coaches’ salaries or the physical space of East Campus Athletic Village itself. During these five days we also calculate the Student Activity Fee for the upcoming year.
On the first study day, the E-Board will be reviewing the administration budgets and the budgets for all of the facilities we maintain. This encompasses facilities like the Mueller Center and the Union building as well as programming budgets such as the Union Speaker’s Forum, intramurals, and specific budgets for general club support. On the second study day, the E-Board then reviews the athletic budgets, trying to be as fair as possible to each team while keeping in mind the anticipated needs of clubs which haven’t been budgeted yet. Once budgeting is over each day, we are free to return to our studies with all the other students to prepare for our finals.
Then as Winter Break comes to a close, the E-Board will gather before classes begin to continue the budgeting process. On these two or three days, the E-Board goes through every club budget to determine the best way to support each club and to give students the most opportunity to participate in the activities they love. While this is a big undertaking, the E-Board is excited and enthusiastic. I am confident that while this budgeting cycle will be tighter than in years past, the E-Board will do a great job.
Once this process is complete, the clubs and organizations have time to submit appeals to the E-Board if they disagree with our decisions of the E-Board and are unhappy with their budgets. The E-Board will then hear any appeals and make a final decision regarding those budgets. Once all budgets are finalized, the Union Annual Report Committee receives all of this information and compiles our Union Annual Report. This report is a detailed description of where the Activity Fee is being spent.
I wish everyone the best of luck on their finals. As always, if you have questions about the Union or the budgeting process please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or stop by my office hours on Wednesdays from 8:30 am to 11:30 am. If I don’t see you before you leave campus, have a wonderful Winter Break!