E-Board keeps Outing Club minutes under wraps

THE EXECUTIVE BOARD DISCUSSED transparency and policy concerning the Rensselaer Outing Club. (file photo)

On Thursday, September 18, the Rensselaer Union Executive Board held its second meeting of the semester in the Shelnutt Gallery. The agenda was remarkably brief, at only one page.

First up was the appointment of Lauren Pencille ’18 as the Union Programming Board chairperson. The P-Board is the governing body of the UPAC organizations. Pencille said that she wants P-Board to take on a broader view of UPAC, focus more on marketing and increasing attendance at UPAC events, and improve communication among the UPAC groups. The motion to appoint Pencille passed 11–0–1.

Following up on last week’s on-campus pharmacy discussion, the E-Board heard a proposal from the Business Operations Committee to allocate the Student Government Suite’s Club Library to Marra’s Pharmacy for six hours each week. Marra’s will set up their prescription delivery service inside the Club Library, which the Board deemed to be sufficiently private. Students waiting to pick up their prescriptions will queue outside the Club Library, and the pharmacist will call them in to handle the transaction and any necessary consultations.

The Club Library has a window where people in the Student Government Suite can see in. To remedy this, the Business Operations Committee proposed replacing it with frosted glass, or putting up a large poster during pharmacy hours. The motion to allow Marra’s to use the space passed 13–0–0.

Next, the E-Board heard a motion from Lead Systems Administrator David Raab ’19 to approve the Sysadmins–WebTech Infrastructure Agreement. The document outlines the relationship between the Union Systems Administrators and the Web Technologies Group of the Student Senate. It specifies that the Sysadmins will provide WebTech with infrastructure and resources to host its applications, such as the Elections website (https://elections.union.rpi.edu) and Shuttle Tracker (https://shuttles.rpi.edu). WebTech will be responsible for all development and maintenance of the applications. The motion passed 10–0–3.

The E-Board then went into training on the Union Constitution and Executive Board Bylaws. President of the Union Matthew Rand ’19 led a presentation that gave an overview of the documents and the role that the E-Board has in the structure of the Union.

After the presentation, Director of the Mueller Center Steve Allard gave his report. In it, he noted that the Mueller Center now hosts a record 35 classes. He added that more than 500 students, faculty, and staff are currently enrolled, which is up from 330 people last year.

In the president’s report, Rand updated the E-Board on the status of the search for the next director of the Union. One candidate was interviewed by 16 students, and another candidate is due to be interviewed on Wednesday, September 20. He hopes to share more news about this position in the coming weeks.

Rand then kicked off a discussion about the E-Board’s transparency and handling of the Rensselaer Outing Club. He is planning to meet with graduate Judicial Board Chairperson Nathan James, Policies Committee Chairperson Anissa Choiniere ’20, and Senate–Executive Board Liaison Joseph Venusto ’18 to determine what judicial powers the E-Board has at its disposal when a club violates a policy. Representative Jared Segal ’19 said that the Union Constitution does not give the E-Board the power to punish a club, adding that it would fall to the J-Board to take action. Grand Marshal Justin Etzine ’18 jumped in, saying that the Senate’s Rules and Elections committee and the J-Board are the only bodies that can rule on policies.

Representative Kay Sun ’19 said that the E-Board should explain the results of its closed meetings. Representative Brookelyn Parslow ’20 added that the E-Board’s not explaining its decisions about the Outing Club led to more rumors. Raab cautioned that the E-Board’s discussion of specific events could lead to wider implications and discipline for the people involved, so it was important to close the meeting.

Parslow then motioned to release the minutes from the closed meeting on September 14. The motion needed a two-thirds majority to pass, which it did not attain, failing 8–5–1.

Next, the E-Board approved a motion naming Representative Ida Etemadi ’19 as the chairperson of the Marketing, Advertising, and Publicity committee 13–0–1.

The E-Board then voted unanimously to close the meeting to the public at 9:55 pm.