Student unions coming together

Hi RPI! Some exciting things are happening all around campus but I’ll do my best to inform you on some of the bigger ones from the Executive Board and the Rensselaer Union. This weekend, members of the E-Board and the Student Senate will be traveling to Lowell, MA to participate in the Association of College Unions International (ACUI) Region VIII conference. This is a great tradition for RPI, students, and the Union for a number of reasons.

ACUI is an incredible organization that allows students and staff involved in student unions from around the world to meet, organize, advocate, and learn about operations and life on college campuses. Being part of ACUI Region VIII is actually particularly important to RPI because it allows us to interact with students representing their student unions from the United Kingdom. At schools in the United Kingdom, student unions are required to be entirely student-run and separate entities from their universities. In fact, many schools’ student unions are operated full-time by a group of recent alumni. These students are elected upon graduation and then serve a year in service to their peers. Obviously the Rensselaer Union does not function this way, but it does have key elements in common with student unions from the UK. We operate with a board of students who manage the Union in conjunction with professional staff. This is something very rare in our section of the United States and even rarer is that we are so intertwined with RPI. Examples of divisions within and institutions like RPI being managed and operated by students are extremely scarce and something that makes us unique. So this weekend, all of us representing RPI and the Rensselaer Union will be at ACUI Region VIII to learn and grow as student leaders and make some lasting connections with students across the world.

Also happening this weekend, the UPAC will be hosting Union After Dark: Great Gatsby Night which will be filled with student performances, movies, a costume contest, free food, games, and prizes. And as always, the annual Vermonster eating contest will be held during the event from 9 pm–midnight throughout the Union. UPAC and all of the clubs who work with them have put many, many hours into creating this event and they are excited to share their hard work with the rest of the student body!

I also want to take some time to thank the Systems Administrators in the Union for all of their hard work in creating a how-to video for club budgeting. This is just another example of how much they contribute to the Union and how much we rely on them to keep the place running year after year, so thank you!

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to me at