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Activity Fee revamp

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Hola Amigos!

This past week was filled with events and celebration galore! Last Wednesday, the 46th Student Senate voted to pass both the Union Annual Report document and Activity Fee recommendation. In the fee recommendation, it was stated that the Activity Fee recommendation was $374 for undergraduate students and $320.50 for graduate students. This figure includes the class dues portion of the Activity Fee ($13.50 for undergraduates and $12 for graduates). This is roughly a 2.5 percent increase from last year’s fees. If you would like more details on the fee breakdown and where your money is going, please check out http://poly.news/s/q6dmk/. We will also be releasing a one page summary of this document with infographics in the next few weeks, and will have a brochure available for students next semester! If you are interested in the process or would like to get more involved with this fee, please feel free to reach out to me at any time.

It should be noted that, in the Activity Fee recommendation, the Senate and Executive Board requested the administration not include the new “Athletics Fee” in the “Activity Fee” line item for billing purposes in Fiscal Year 2017 and beyond. The Activity Fee is a long-standing tradition of Rensselaer of a tax levied by students for students, which pays for the services that the Rensselaer Union provides. With Athletics leaving the Union budget, and therefore leaving direct student control, both bodies of student government felt that it would be an inaccurate representation of the Activity Fee if a cost not levied by students were to be included in it. Although we have received initial push back from the Bursar department, we hope that this information can be disseminated to students in a straightforward and simple manner. In addition, the Communication Helps Inform the Public Committee has been established to provide regular updates about this situation as more information becomes available. If you are interested in getting involved with this committee, I again highly encourage you to reach out to me at any time and express your ideas.

On a lighter note, this past weekend featured the Winter Carnival! This year’s theme was Polar Bearadise, which came with performances such as fire dancers, the RPI Jazz Band, and free food galore. Each year, this awesome campus event is planned by the students on the Winter Carnival Committee; I want to thank them for all of their hard work in putting together this awesome event. I hope everyone was able to pick up some swag from earning tickets, and ultimately came out to support the men’s hockey team on Saturday night in their last home game of the regular season. We were able to take out Princeton, and secure our place in the playoffs. I can’t wait to catch the next game! As always, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, feel free to reach out to me anytime at pu@rpi.edu or stop by my office hours Mondays/Thursdays 12–1 pm, or Pub Chats 6–8 pm Wednesdays!

See you around, RPI!

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