After a week of intense discussion of the Rensselaer Union, the Executive Board’s meeting on Thursday, March 31, turned its focus back to the clubs.
Members of club volleyball came before the E-Board to seek approval to begin the process of reaching varsity status for women’s volleyball. Currently, there are only three teams in the Liberty League that do not have a varsity women’s team, and one of the three is in the process of gaining varsity status.
The members present, Anna Thonis ’17, Mara Giga ’19, and Rachel Haskell ’16 cited that the worldwide growth of the sport, especially among women, is an important fact to consider. They said that the sport is fast-paced and exciting to watch, so high turnout for their games should be expected.
Graduate student Jen Church asked what power the E-Board had, because athletics was removed from their budgeting process in February. Director of the Mueller Center Steve Allard said that the E-Board would need to approve them to seek varsity status and that they would leave the Union’s budgeting process if they were granted it.
Jeremy Feldman ’16 asked how an upgrade to varsity status would change the budget for Fiscal Year 2017. Allard was again able to respond, saying that it was unlikely the process would move that fast as to affect FY17, but that the Union would hopefully know by the time budgeting for FY18 occurs.
Club volleyball was approved to seek varsity status in a 10-0-1 vote.
Devin Glenn ’16 came to the E-Board to seek approval to charge an entrance fee for the Evening of Jazz. The event is usually held in the Chapel + Cultural Center, but Glenn proposed moving it to the upper floor of Russell Sage Dining Hall.
Sodexo has said that the price for dinner would be just under $12, so the Jazz Ensemble would charge $15 dollars for non-students and $10 for students. Ines Roman ’16 asked if they had enough money to cover the situation where a disproportionate number of students attend the event. Glenn told the E-Board that if that were the case, money would come from their budget. The motion to approve Jazz Ensemble to charge admission to their event was approved 12-0-0.
Glenn was also there to request that the Rensselaer Music Association donate older, less used material to the Folsom Library to free space in RMA’s storage. The library has been notified of the proposal and is prepared to take in the material.
Joshua Rosenfeld ’16 wanted to know if the music was originally part of the RMA and if the rights could be sold by the Union. Glenn said that most of the music was purchased by the Institute when RMA was part of the arts department and that selling the music was not feasible. RMA was approved to move material from their music library in a 12-0-0 vote.
Flying Club was seeking approval to, as Alex Benzell ’16 put it, “buzz the tower.” Members of the club are looking to restart an annual aerial tour event. At this time, the Flying Club is not seeking subsidies for flight time, just approval for them to start the program again.
The proposed cost is $15 per person, slightly less than what it would cost four people to split the cost of flying the four-seater Cessna 172s that the club flies. This is because if a pilot’s flight time is paid for, the FAA considers them a commercial pilot. The proposal was approved 12-0-0.
The last club on the agenda was Ski and Snowboard Club. Rosenfeld was in attendance to seek funding to cover the cost of their spring general body meeting. Last fall, the club spent their entire food budget because of an unexpectedly high attendance. They are expecting an equally high attendance and want to be prepared to provide pizza for all members.
The E-Board wanted to know if it was possible to refund members for the abysmal season this year. However, Rosenfeld said that most of the cost did not go through the club, only the $25 membership fee, and that, if they were to refund everyone, it would have to be individually appealed and voted on according to their bylaws.
During the Director’s Report, Business Administrator Martha McElligott and Allard told the E-Board that they were looking to hire a Facilities Assistant. This role would be to assist the current Facilities Manager with ongoing tasks. The E-Board approved the position 12-0-0.
McElligott and Allard also spent time collecting old copies of the Union Constitution to create a timeline of the changes that have occurred in the Union over the past decade. President of the Union Nick Dvorak ’16 with the help of Grand Marshal Marcus Flowers ’16 and other members of the community spent Friday, April 1 organizing a timeline to bring to their Saturday meeting with the Board of Trustees the following day. With that, the meeting concluded.