The Rensselaer Union Executive Board was called into order by Vice President Charles Bittner ’16 last Thursday, October 1, in the place of President of the Union Nick Dvorak ’16. The first issue on the agenda came from Zach Shute ’16, president of the Weightlifting Club,who appealed before the E-Board to reinstate his club’s status as a Union-recognized organization. Before, the club’s popularity had dwindled when its leaders had adopted a cliquish standpoint, making entrance to the club difficult and intimidating. Shute plans to recreate the club so that the environment is inviting and students of all levels of experience have a place to participate. The motion to reinstate the Weightlifting Club as a Union-recognized club was passed with a vote of 12-0-0.
Representing the Hearthstone Club, Matthew Lindsay ’16 petitioned the board for Union recognition. The purpose of the club is to create a forum for gamers to congregate and play. Beyond playing against each other, Lindsay has plans for their club to participate in The E-Sports Association organized events. TeSPA is a nationwide organization that has individuals ranging from the high school to the collegiate level come together to play competitively; and, as of this summer, RPI has an official branch of TeSPA. The E-Board approved Hearthstone Club as a Union-recognized club and acknowledged the club’s affiliation with TeSPA in a 9-0-1 vote.
As the meeting drew to its close, a final presentation was led by one of the board members, Gregory Bartell ’17, representing WRPI. Alongside him were Chief Engineer and Chief Operator Katharine Morrison ’18 and President Jonathan Greeman ’17. Bartell, business manager for WRPI, went before the board and stated that WRPI was not receiving the money they had requested in the past. The station and its equipment are currently in disrepair. The highest priority is their transmitter, which is over 30 years old and they are in the process of acquiring a new one. In the meantime, equipment such as the emergency alert system’s weather alert function also needs repairs and replacement. The details over how much money is spent and on which particular items were laid plainly by Bartell, and he determined the overall expenses of the station. The club requested $4,000 as a precautionary measure in case more equipment needs repairs or replacement in the future.
Before the E-Board decided to vote, they wanted to discuss any possibility of the club budgeting. The E-Board was reluctant at first to sign off $4,000 without a definite idea of where and what the money would be used for. They suggested using the money that wasn’t used for sending reporters on the away games for sports. Every year nearly $26,000 is allocated to the transportation of equipment and reporters to broadcast away games, yet a quantity in the high thousands is sent back due to the fact that the sports teams don’t always make it to those away tournaments. The club’s members stated that at that point, even if the Board was expedient in supplying the money, the station would have spent too much time off-air. In the instance, explained by Morrison, of a delay in the airing of a show, call of complaints would be the immediate response.
After back-and-forth debate, Bartell would not let the E-Board table the discussion for a later date, reiterating that the need was imminent. The motion to reallocate funds, capping at $4,000 from club contingencies to WRPI’s budget, was passed in a 6-1-3 vote.