For the past semester and a half I have had the privilege of sitting in on the Rensselaer Union Executive Board meetings, Thursdays at 8 pm. To be totally honest with everyone, it wasn’t always a privilege. I started the semester off starry-eyed and willing to take on any task for the Editorial Board of The Poly. I thought, “Dang, these people are official. They’re like … a real newspaper.” Having dealt with nothing so professional, I was easily roped into the task of covering what was so elusively referred to as “E-Board.”
My good friend and current Editor in Chief, Jack Wellhofer, went with me to that first meeting. We sat down together, off to the side, and took mad notes. Well, Jack took useful, concise notes. I, in a frantic wind, recorded word for word what everyone was saying. And I didn’t even know what they were saying. “The policies committee has made an amendment to the bylaws (or was it guidelines?) concerning club budgeting …” or “I have a motion here approving (insert club) as a Union funded club …” or “I just have some qualms over the precedent approving this motion will have on further cases …”
The meeting came to a close and Jack looked over at me. “So, you want to write E-Board?” And I, in my ever-present need to please others, agreed. Every week, they asked “Liss? You gonna write E-Board this week?” And I did. It got to the point that the E-Board sign-in sheet had my name on it with the title Poly Reporter. I even got a mailbox! I was a part of the team.
And I took it for granted.
Some weeks I moan and groan about having to attend “E-boring,” and that previously mentioned good friend Jack will step in for me on certain weeks. This past week was one of those weeks. You’ll notice my name under the Senate article, not the E-Board one. The reason for this is based in the need for Jack to finish one of our “post-protest” articles during the Student Senate meeting.
All I can and will say about the Senate meeting is that it is nothing like the E-Board meetings.
Now, let me tell you about the E-Board meetings. Current President of the Union Nick Dvorak ’16 runs a tight ship with his merry band of appointed E-Board members. At the beginning of each meeting, I am presented with an agenda detailing who will be here, when they will, and a brief (what I like to call) teaser of what their presentation will be about. The E-Board members make discussion on the presentations, raise good points, ask pertinent questions then—they get the job done.
Sound boring to you? Well, to the untrained eye (and mine was for sure at the beginning of the year), it may appear as much, but I am here to assure you that the E-Board meetings are far more than what lies on the surface. Hundreds of thousands of dollars are dealt with weekly; the financial fate of your student-run Union is decided in that room (Shelnut Gallery). It’s very serious business, and I can say, with a whole and untainted confidence, that I can vouch for the intelligence of every person on the E-Board.
Sitting in on their meetings has taught me so much, and I just want the public to know that I don’t do them justice with my weekly articles. Yeah, I take some pretty awesome notes (although the E-board secretary has had to spot me on notes more than a few times, but it’s cool, she and I are tight). And, yeah, I make some pretty good jokes when I’m in there, and I can say that I’m friends with more than one member. But honestly, dear reader, you will not understand the pure, unadulterated euphoria that is E-Board until you take the time to sit in on one of their meetings.
Am I hyping it up? Eh. Yeah, a little. But honestly, I can’t quit gushing about how impressed I am with this year’s Executive Board. And their term is coming to a close soon. So get in there before it’s too late! That is one stellar team, and I want to thank them for being exactly who they are.
On that note, take care when voting this coming Grand Marshal Week. Take care in all the offices you are voting upon. They are all important, from GM down to your class representatives. You want the best. You deserve the best.