The Rensselaer Union Executive Board opened their meeting Thursday, November 3 with the Rensselaer Global Medical Brigades budget review. GMB brought to the E-Board’s attention an anomalous situation regarding the Club Management System: during updates, GMB was never appointed an E-Board representative or SARP and their budget lines were automatically zeroed. Furthermore, their member count was not showing up on CMS.
To fix this dilemma, a new budget was constructed and submitted. Although budgets are normally discussed within smaller sub-committees, this budget was deemed too large not to bring before the E-Board.
Global Medical Brigades is a nation-wide organization that partners with communities in developing countries to administer medicine and medical expertise to those who cannot afford it. A “brigade” consists of 30 student members and three practicing physicians. In the past, Global Medical Brigades has encouraged their student chapters to fundraise for the medicine that they would administer once within the community. However, there has been a change: in order to be considered affiliated with Global Medical Brigades, a chapter must supply an obligatory $1,500, which would go towards the medicine they would be administering.
For their next brigade, RPI Global Medical Brigades has chosen to send 30 members to occupy all 30 slots in a brigade. The cost of travel to the airport, to the community, and to a local clinic where members volunteer was calculated. In line with Union policy, the E-Board would typically cover 40 percent of travel costs. However, Global Medical Brigades requested only ten percent, which accumulated to $6,355.28.
E-Board members were torn at subsidizing such a large amount despite being in support of funding the group. Member opinion, however, was unanimous in support of funding the club’s trips to the Whitney Young Health Clinic and paying the obligatory amount of $1,500. Suggestions for supplying a smaller percentage of the originally requested amount was discussed before tabling the topic for next week.
Red Army appeared before the E-Board requesting additional subsidies for rally towels. These traditional towels which typically feature Puckman are handed out at the Mayor’s Cup Ice Hockey game at the Times Union Center. This game is one of the most well-attended games of the season despite typically being held during winter break. This year, the game will occur in the first week of the Spring 2017 semester. In the past, Red Army has run out of towels quickly. This year, they anticipate the need for even more with the likelihood of a large percentage of the student body attending. A motion was approved to reallocate $1,069 to the purchase of more rally towels.
RPI Design For America returned to the E-Board to discuss the solutions for the budgeting problems that arose from RPI DFA attending DFA nationals. On October 20, DFA had appeared before the E-Board with the crisis of having gone some $3,000 over budget. This dilemma was rooted in miscommunication amongst the members of the club and the Union. Members of the E-Board were aware that better communication was required of not only the club but of them. The E-Board approved funding of $1,857 from contingencies and DFA would fundraise to cover the cost of the rest. Until that point, their purchases were frozen.
Closing the meeting were member’s reports. In the Spring 2016 semester the artist The Chainsmokers threw a concert hosted by UPAC concerts up at the East Campus Athletic Village. UPAC Chair Ines Roman ’17 announced a survey that RPI students can fill out to let UPAC concerts know what artists they would be interested in seeing come to campus. Follow the link https://poly.rpi.edu/s/bsoyi and let them know today.