E-Board hears requests for recognition, funding

EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBERS VOTE on a motion brought before the body for debate. (file photo)

In last week’s Executive Board meeting, Meher Dusi ’17, Akash Mody ’16, and Valeid Sheikh ’17 presented themselves as the representatives of the future Rensselaer chapter of RISHI.Project RISHI, an acronym for Rural India Social and Health Improvement, is a national non-profit organization whose mission is to promote the sustainable development and growth of rural Indian communities. According to these three juniors, once their club of nearly 15 consistent members becomes Union recognized, they can begin the process of partnering with a rural village and implementing solutions toward the betterment of its community. The “solution process” is a multi-phase, several-year-long undertaking.

The first year’s trip, which would take place either at the end of the spring semester or before the fall semester, would involve observing the situation in the village. This would not include living in the village or carrying out any ideas for changes, as the group would stay nightly in a city nearby, traveling daily to the observation site. In subsequent years, the group would plan and implement those solutions focused on during the academic year. The chapter would remain with that village for years to come to create a long-term impact that would hopefully allow for a better standard of living. Throughout this whole process, the group would pay special attention to the community’s health, water supply, education, power sources, and income disparity; these are the five concerns that all Project RISHI groups focus on. With a 14-0-0 vote, RISHI became a Union recognized organization.

Club Baseball returned, after previously becoming Union recognized, in hopes of obtaining funds. They had prepared a skeleton budget with a self-proclaimed “conservative estimate” of $2,550 which would cover league dues, sports equipment, and travel expenses. After examination of their budget, the E-Board ruled that Club Baseball would need to do more research in order to create a more detailed budget, down to the mileage expense for away games, for approval of funds. The E-Board also went into detail over the fact that it does not usually allocate such a large sum of money towards a newly formed club, and if they were to do so, it would result in conflict in the future with clubs interested in a similarly large budget. Representatives Stephen Munisteri ’18 and Joseph DiBuonaventura ’18 assured that their club had intentions of major fundraising and agreed to return next week.

Co-captains of Cheerleading Alisa Emag ’17 and Elizabeth Alderman ’18 appealed to the E-Board for funds to hire a coach. In an 11-3-1 vote, $2,060 was allotted to the purpose of paying a coach’s salary with benefits included.

Following Emag and Alderman’s presentation, Spencer Johnson ’16, president of the Games Development Club, asked for permission to section off a portion of the McNeil Room for the night of Thursday, October 29, which would offset 35 seats during the lunch hours Friday. The purpose for sectioning off such a large portion of the room is that the Games Development Club has plans to set up a virtual environment video game. To have it ready for Friday night, set up Thursday will be required. The E-Board approved this with a 15-0-0 vote.