Final day to apply to Union Executive Board

Learn how money from the Student Activity Fee is allocated to campus clubs and facilities

Hello RPI! As the weather gets warmer and Troy begins to escape the clutches of winter, I wish everyone the best of luck wrapping up the school year and preparing for finals. I know that I, for one, will have a bit of difficulty buckling down with the sun shining once again. However, with summer fast approaching, it will surely be worth it to push through these last few weeks.

I do want to remind everyone that today is the last day to apply for a position on the Executive Board for the 2017–2018 school year. The work of the E-Board is not as well known to all of our students as I might hope, so today I want to talk a little bit about what the E-Board is and what all of the representatives do.

The E-Board is the chief financial body of the Union. The Board oversees the operational budget of the Union, all of which comes from our Student Activity Fees. Every year, the E-Board decides the best way to allocate all of these funds to support our clubs, facilities, and student body. In addition to overseeing the budgeting process, the Board also monitors all of the Union’s facilities, and helps guide the operation of our clubs.

The E-Board is comprised of 20 members of the student body, representing all of our diverse backgrounds and interests. The best way to represent our community is to ensure that the Board be an accurate representation of our campus population. A well-balanced board is critical to upholding the ideals of the Union, “to expand the extracurricular life at Rensselaer, to coordinate all student organizations.” This statement, from the Rensselaer Union Constitution, describes only a part of the purpose of Union. To me, the Union is a home to all students. It is a place for academic and personal development, for gathering with friends, and for improving our quality of life. To ensure that all of our students share this sentiment, the E-Board must work tirelessly to improve our Union.

In order to do this, representatives must play two roles. The first is to advocate for the clubs and organizations that they work with. Each representative is assigned a few clubs for them to advocate for and assist with budgeting. They must meet with these groups regularly to maintain open lines of communication and to stay up-to-date on programs, events, and issues the club may be facing. In addition to this responsibility, a representative must also work with the entirety of the Board to best decide what improvements should be made to the Union and how to go about effecting those changes. Each board member sits on a committee that works on specific projects to help further the Union and improve it for all students.

Being a member of the E-Board is not an easy task. It is a significant time commitment. Representatives must attend weekly meetings where each member is expected to be able to articulate their opinions on each agenda item, all while keeping the best interest of the community in mind. Representatives must also continually communicate with their clubs and relay messages between them and the Board. While all of this sounds a little intimidating, I can assure you that being a member of the E-Board is one of the most rewarding things that a member of this community can undertake. Over 200 student-led organizations rely on the E-Board, and to be able to help so many students truly is an honor and privilege. If this all sounds interesting to you, I encourage you to join the E-Board in making the Union a better place for all of our students.