Budgeting finished, $50,000 more provided

Hello everyone! I apologize for not having written in a few weeks, a very tight schedule caused me to miss a deadline or two (sorry, members of The Poly). I hope that you all are doing well, and that you are all buckling down for the end of the semester and finals season. I know I am. I know that, right now, each and every one of you is currently swamped with the last homeworks of the semester, trying to wrap up final projects, and studying for the last tests of the regular academic year. I wish you all the best of luck during this time, and hope that you all earn the great grades that you’ve worked all semester for!

This past weekend, the Executive Board spent the whole weekend budgeting for all of our Rensselaer Union funded clubs and organizations on campus, and I am pleased to announce that the club budgeting process for Fiscal Year 2019 has concluded!

The Executive Board spent this past weekend reviewing every line of every club budget submitted. Budgeting groups looked to maintain consistency between budgets while ensuring that funds were allocated toward club purpose statements and the Union’s mission. Above all, the Board tried to support programs that would enrich the opportunities of the entire student body. The Executive Board wholeheartedly believes that Activity Fee dollars should be spent to benefit the entire Rensselaer community, whether that be through general programming or club-specific funding. Above all, the Executive Board strives for equity, while allowing all members of our community to pursue their passions to the best of their abilities.

This year, we saw large increases in payroll budgets due to the Federal Labor Standards Act, and an increase in the New York state minimum wage. The Board also adopted the initiative to increase reception funds and funds allocated for hotel costs as a means of keeping up with inflation. However, we were able to provide over $50,000 extra to our clubs this year over the current fiscal year. We were able to support clubs as they work to expand their programming and upgrade their equipment to better service the RPI community. We also included funding for clubs who might operate during the Arch Summer Semester.

As budgeting is a human-driven, subjective process, there is clearly room for disagreement and error. Therefore, each club is given an opportunity to appeal the decisions of the E-Board. Although every decision made during budgeting has logical reasons behind it, there may be cases where the Board did not fully understand a club’s intention, or there could be simple errors made during the process. Appealing a budget will open the entire budget to be reconsidered by the E-Board, and funds already allocated may be reallocated or removed to facilitate the needs of your appeal.

   The Executive Board is very excited by the budget we have put together for Fiscal Year 2019. We were able to support clubs in starting new programs, create more opportunities for campus-wide programming, and continue to support student employment in our facilities to ensure they remain open and operational, despite increasing minimum wages.

   The Union Annual Report will better detail the entirety of the budgeting process. That document will be released early next semester. When that document debuts, I encourage you all to read it and understand all of the budgeting implementations the Executive Board committed to in order to enhance your student experience. Until then, best of luck on your schoolwork, and, as always, feel free to reach out with any questions, comments, or concerns.