Today is the last day to apply to be a member of the 2016–2017 Executive Board. That being said, I’m going to continue pushing Executive Board applications as long as possible. So, in my Derby this week, I will give you some background on the Board and what an E-Board representative does.
The Executive Board is the chief financial body of the Rensselaer Union and is the vehicle by which the students of RPI manage our Union. The E-Board decides the best way to allocate the Student Activity Fee through the annual budgeting process, appeals, and new proposals. The E-Board is also responsible for managing Union facilities and operations, and providing advice and guidance to Union-funded clubs.
If you didn’t already know, the E-Board is made up of 20 voting members, and aims to reflect the campus population to be able to truly represent students in all aspects of its operations. The makeup of the board is defined within the Union Constitution. Of the 20 members, 17 are chosen by the President of the Union and three positions are appointed by other governing bodies. One of these appointed member represents each of the following groups: the Student Senate, the graduate council, and the undergraduate council. Among the 17 representatives selected by the President of the Union, there shall be at least one member each from the freshman, sophomore, junior, senior, and graduate classes. There must also be seven representatives who have been members of a student club on campus, and five members-at-large who represent any membership within the Union.
The Executive Board’s purpose is to further the purpose of the Union; its constitution reads, “… to unite all its members in a commitment to the ideals for which Rensselaer stands.” This purpose includes expanding extracurricular life, coordinating student organizations, and providing the space and environment for students to share their ideas and opinions. The goals of E-Board representatives are twofold. The first is to be a liaison for the clubs they work with and an advocate for them during budgeting. Every E-Board member meets with their clubs regularly to open lines of communication and build solid relationships with the clubs they represent. Club officers should always feel comfortable contacting their representative with any questions, concerns, or business. The second responsibility is to be an effective member of the E-Board team—to work together with the other Executive Board members in deciding how best to allocate time and resources to benefit as many students as possible and help improve the college experience for each RPI student. The Board acts by supporting programs, upgrading facilities, creating policies and investing in services to promote a quality student life at RPI.
Being an Executive Board member is an honor and a service to your fellow students. The time commitment is substantial; E-Board members attend weekly meetings, fully prepared to discuss each agenda item, and commit to serve as an integral member of an Executive Board committee. On top of these requirements, representatives meet with their assigned clubs whenever they need assistance in addition to answering questions in a timely fashion. Less frequently, there are three to four full days of budgeting in the winter before the spring semester begins and there are also required days of training in the fall so that the Board is prepared for the year ahead.
With all this in mind, being an E-Board representative can seem like a daunting task, but it is one of the most rewarding experiences the Union has to offer. Each year, we support nearly 200 student organizations and pour our hearts into making our Union into exactly what we need it to be. I look forward to seeing your applications and creating the best team our Union has to offer!