LGBT professional networking club approved


The Executive Board had a busy agenda on Thursday, approving Lavender Ambassadors—a professional networking group for LGBT students and allies—fireworks during the GM Week 2018 finale, and an increase in RPI Flying Club’s subsidy.

Lavender Ambassadors applied and was approved 19-0-0 to be a Union-recognized club. It sets itself apart from other LGBT organizations on campus with a focus on issues in the workplace. President Jay Luppino ’18 said that there is a higher rate of LGBT students dropping out of college, which Lavender Ambassadors aims to reduce through professional networking and workshop opportunities. According to Luppino, “about 60 people” attended the club’s three meetings last year, and there are 30 people who are interested in becoming members after the club’s approval.

Lavender Ambassadors was provided with a starter constitution, by which all newly recognized clubs are required to govern themselves. Representative Brookelyn Parslow ’20 asked if a provision in this constitution that required the club to maintain membership information and make it available to the Board applied to Lavender Ambassadors. Club Operations Committee chairperson Erica Lane ’18 responded, saying that the Protected Class Policy overrides this provision, and therefore the club would only be required to reveal the identities of its members after a vote of the E-Board. Even then, the membership list would be treated as confidential and kept in the Admin Office. A motion to allow Lavender Ambassadors to operate under the Protected Class Policy passed 19-0-0.

RPI Flying Club President Stephen Hansen ’18 came before the Board to request more funding. He said that the club budgeted for approximately 40 club members, but this semester has seen a surge up to 74 current, dues-paying members. Much of the interest has been from freshmen, he added, and Flying Club needs more flight hours to train additional pilots. The club requested its flight hour subsidy be increased by $717 and its reception fund be increased by $170. A motion to reallocate a total of $887 from the club contingencies budget to the Flying Club budget passed 18-0-1.

GM Week Committee Chairperson Andrew Kiselik ’19 presented on behalf of the GM Week Committee to request that the E-Board guarantee to cover up to $15,000 in damages due to fireworks during the GM Week 2018 finale. Previously, fireworks had been launched from the East Campus Athletics Village, but damage to a synthetic field surface caused RPI Athletics not to approve this request. Director of Student Activities Cameron McLean said that Vice President for Administration Claude Rounds has tentatively approved fireworks on the ’86 Field, and she wants the Union to be able to say that it could cover any damage.

There were a number of questions about the expense. Member at Large Caitlin Kennedy ’20 asked if they are worth the cost, and Kiselik said that the committee thought fireworks would be the best option. Member at Large Jared Segal ’19 asked if the committee considered other ideas, to which Kiselik replied that the committee talked it over and “a lot of people think fireworks would be a good part of the week.” Parslow pointed out that the $15,000 guarantee on top of the $3,000 cost of the fireworks means that they could potentially cost $18,000 in total. She said that, with that additional money, the GM Week Committee could have other “really good” events that could be “more influential” than just fireworks.

However, McLean reassured the Board that damages would cost nowhere near $15,000. A motion to cover up to $15,000 in damages from GM Week fireworks passed 15-0-3. The money would come from the facilities reserves fund, if necessary.

In his report, President of the Union Matthew Rand ’19 said that temporary furniture for the new Student Veterans Lounge is coming in piece by piece, and he is working on a date and time for the lounge’s ribbon cutting. Rand said that additional interviews for director of the Union candidates will occur on Tuesday, November 7 and Friday, November 10, and that the Human Resources Interview Committee will be leading the interviews. He hopes that the Board will have a motion on the director of the Union by November 16. Rand also shared that Rafael Gonzalez, the Union’s assistant director of student activities, has put in his two weeks’ notice, and the Multicultural Leadership Council that Gonzalez works closely with may become a standing committee of the E-Board.

Lane shared an update from the Club Operations Committee, saying that she has found that many E-Board policies cite the Policies Committee, but now that the Club Operations Committee exists, references will need to be updated. According to Lane, over 30 new clubs have applied to be recognized by the Union this semester.

UPAC Comedy came before the Board with the intent to have unused money reallocated within its budget so that it could have a larger Last Day of Classes Show, which is scheduled for December 13. The money is from a cancelled Family Weekend show and revenue from their Tape Face show. Vice President of the Union Rasika Ekhalikar ’18 pointed out that this would be a reallocation within the same line item, so UPAC Comedy doesn’t need to have this approved by the Board. No motion was made.