E-Board approves Publications Suite renovation

ON THURSDAY, THE EXECUTIVE BOARD APPROVED changes to the Publications Suite as depicted in the architectural drawing on the right.

The last meeting of the 2016-2017 Executive Board began half an hour earlier than usual, to accommodate the extensive agenda set for the meeting. First on the list was a reallocation request from UPAC. The club has recently gained responsibility for hosting ECAV After Dark, and wanted to reallocate extra money in the UPAC budget to help with the event. The change was approved 10-0-5.

Next was a presentation from Thomas Alapatt ’17, who presented on behalf of Rensselaer Sports Car Association. The club used to host autocross events in North Lot, but due to changes in policy they are now unable to host those events. Instead, the club would like to pivot to become a car enthusiast club, with the intention of traveling to the Lebanon Valley Speedway to see races. The E-Board approved in a 15-0-2 vote to change their budget to allow the club to travel to the races.

After discussion from the previous week on what actions, if any, should be taken in regards to leadership training and RPI TV, President of RPI TV Jason Lee ’19 came to the Board to discuss the matter. Last week, former President of the Union Chip Kirchner ’17 brough recommendations of leadership training for RPI TV to the E-Board, citing a number of incidents over the last year that would suggest a need for training.

During the meeting, Lee insisted that training would not be necessary for the club. Lee said that much of their leadership happens “in the field,” during the coverage of events, editing recordings, and contacting parties interested in TV’s services. Lee believes that training would not be helpful in this situation, and that the club has learned from the incidents that transpired over the past semester.

When Lee mentioned that he was “unhappy with the culture of the club,” Stephanie Kern-Allely ’18 pressed him on the topic. Lee explained that he was unhappy with the way members of the club treated one another and members of the community. He had previously left the club for a semester to seek leadership experience elsewhere, hoping to bring that knowledge to RPI TV. Speaking directly to the Board, Kern-Allely said, “This club has had two years of ‘disappointing’ behavior. We need to step in here and help out. This club is very important on campus.”

A motion was brought forward to require that members of RPI TV undergo leadership training through the Archer Center before October 31, 2017, and that equipment purchases would be restricted until completion. The motion passed 12-2-3.

As part of checks and balances, the E-Board needed to approve the appointment of the Programming Board chairperson, the governing body of the UPAC organization. Andrew Kiselik ’19, involved with UPAC Lights since his freshman year, and recently a member of UPAC Cinema, was nominated by the P-Board. During discussion of merits of the motion, members of the E-Board expressed concern about Kiselik’s communication skills, and cited it as a reason he would be unfit at P-Board chairperson. Other members of the Board felt that he would be a good fit, however, the motion failed to pass in a 5-6-6 vote.

Last on the agenda was a series of motion regarding the Publication Suite renovations. The current Statler & Waldorf office, as well as the unoccupied Transit office and a portion of The Polytechnic’s composing room will be converted to a lounge space for the Student Veterans Association and a new office space for either S&W or UPAC. The $60,000 for renovations is coming from the facilities budget, which currently does not have any other large projects planned. Much of the current space is underutilized, and the E-Board believes that this renovation will allow better use of the space. The motion to renovate was approved 16-0-1. Next, the large lounge space was officially approved as the Student Veterans Lounge 16-0-1. Finally, the Business Operations Committee was designated the task of ensuring S&W receives an office of comparable size to their current one, and that Business Operations investigates the possibility of relocating the SVL to the Welcome Lobby of the Rensselaer Student Union.