On November 11, Policies Committee Chairperson Matt Rand ’19 opened the Rensselaer Union Executive Board meeting with a review of the E-Board budgeting policies in its entirety. This detailed presentation touched on all aspects of a club’s budget, from travel to food. Rand’s presentation not only specified the items that are Union policy to subsidize, such as 40 percent of travel costs, but also described the items that are strictly not. These items include personal items that would become the property of an individual member, rather than a club. These are not to be confused with uniforms. A uniform, such as a swim suit, may have the life-span of only a year or few years, and may only be used by a single member, but the uniform is still the property of the club. A customized shirt or jersey that will belong to the individual member will not be subsidized by the E-Board.
The E-Board’s policy towards philanthropic events and functions is typically to not subsidize an amount that would in turn be made into a charitable donation. The case in which a charitable event may be subsidized by the E-Board is if the event would bring a “substantial benefit to campus, student life, or student development.” Events that require a mandatory donation will not be subsidized. Events with an entrance fee must use the fees collected exclusively to offset the cost of the event.
Rand continued leading the discussion with another policy-centric topic. Under the New Club Classification Policy, alterations have been made to the document. These alterations include the policy regarding members of the community who participate in Union clubs. Community members do not have any voting rights, may not hold officer positions, and do not have direct access to any Union funds. Another change in policy is the requirement that all organizations on campus, whether Union-recognized/affiliated or not, must register with the Union to be considered a club. Those who do not register will lose many of the privileges offered by the Union, such as participation in the Activities Fair, the ability to reserve rooms and equipment, and storage space.
The budget concerning Global Medical Brigades was also reviewed and was voted upon. According to Union policy, a starter budget should be within $200. The revised budget, however, reallocates $90 to cover the cost of travel to their local clinic, the Whitney Young Clinic, and $270 to cover the cost of travel to the John. F. Kennedy airport for their international trips. Most of the E-Board were in favor of this new budget despite the breach in policy, due to past complications with Global Medical Brigades’ budgeting. The motion to reallocate the previously mentioned amounts was passed in a 12-1-1 vote.
A new ad hoc committee was formed to investigate clubs who participate in international travel. This investigation would go over the process of how clubs obtain funds, their reasons for travel, and a vast area of topics concerning international travel.
President of the Phalanx Honor Society Chris Hoskins ’17 reminded members to let their clubs know that nominations are open at the Phalanx website. The Phalanx society acknowledges members of the junior and senior class who play active roles on campus. Similarly, the White Key Society acknowledges members of the freshman and sophomore class. Nominate a peer today and check out the Phalanx website at https://poly.rpi.edu/s/6gzi3.