Our source of pride

Student-run Union seemingly nearing an end; efforts to voice concerns necessary

In light of recent events, the editorial staff of The Polytechnic would like to take a moment to explain a source of pride for many at Rensselaer: our beloved Rensselaer Union.

Our Union is unique; it’s completely student run. Students do just about everything around the Union. Yes, we have administrative staff—and we love them for the work they do—but our Executive Board, full of student leaders, has the ultimate decision-making power for Union-related business. The Union is a place we can make our own, and that’s the reason so many of us spend countless hours involved with it.

However, the recent resolution released by the Executive Committe of the Board of Trustees puts all of that into question. If parts of the Union Constitution are in conflict with the Bylaws of the Institute, then Article V of the Constitution, which outlines the director of the Union position, may be completely voided. The role of the director of the Union could then extend past “advisory status,” with the potential to veto decisions made by the E-Board. It could have the power to make decisions about the Union’s budget against the wishes of the student body.

This threatens everything we love about our Union. When students are making decisions, the Union is what students want it to be. Clubs can bring speakers to campus, put on events, or publish articles without having to justify them to an administrator. It’s this freedom that students have enjoyed for over 125 years; it has shaped the clubs we know and love into what they are today.

It feels like this is the end of our student-run Union, but we believe that there is still time to turn things around. Now, more than ever, students and alumni must work together to ensure that these concerns are heard by the administration—so that future students may enjoy the same freedoms we did during our time here.