Executive Board

Policy prohibiting recording passed

By Jonathan Caicedo February 14, 2018

The Executive Board meeting on Thursday saw the RPI Students for the Exploration and Development of Space seek Union recognition, the adoption of an amended Rensselaer Union Executive Board Special Rules of Order, and a review and approval of the Rensselaer Union Room Reservation and Events Policy.

Vice President of the Union Rasika Ekhalikar ’18 served as the chair in the absence of President of the Union Matt Rand ’19.

The Board reviewed proposed changes to the Rensselaer Union Executive Board Special Rules of Order, presented by Policies Committee Chairperson Anissa Choiniere ’20.

The rules were extended to apply to “attendees of Executive Board meetings.” A clause was added that specified that all interested parties of a motion will be asked to leave the room at the president’s request. Following the vote on the motion, “the parties with a conflict of interest will be invited back into the room where the President will tell them the results of the motion.”

Choiniere also outlined the addition of a section regarding audio and video recordings, and livestreaming. The section permits the members and attendees to create recordings of open portions of meetings, provided that the recording is made known to everyone present at the beginning of the recording, and immediately stops at the request of the president of the Union. The section also permits the president to “request that all copies of an audio or video recording be deleted in front of the President if there is reason to believe the recording captured sensitive or confidential information.”

At the time of publication, Choiniere had not responded to questions about what the consequences of violating the policy will be.

“The Executive Board does not condone livestreaming meetings of any kind. The Executive Board or its members will not actively take part in or allow livestreaming meetings,” continues the section. According to the document, the policies were adopted to ensure the privacy of any party presenting “sensitive financial or personal information” and to allow the Board to “freely express its opinions without interruption from biased parties.”

The rules were passed with a vote of 15-1-1. The document can be found in its entirety at poly.rpi.edu/s/specialrules.

Business Operations Committee Chairperson Kay Sun ’19 presented a new document—the Rensselaer Union Room Reservation and Events Policy. As Sun explained, the new policy largely outlines information protocols that were already in place and followed, but organized them into an official document. She further mentioned continued work on ensuring clubs can reserve the rooms they need, and working on prioritization in the issues among clubs. The full policy can also be found at poly.rpi.edu/s/roompolicy.

The Board opened the floor to members of the RPI Students for the Exploration and Development of Space. Director of the Mueller Center Steve Allard mentioned that the organization was previously recognized by the Union, but lost membership before the current sunsetting policy was put in place.

Concerns were raised over RPISEDS’ similarity to existing recognized clubs of the same domain, notably with the Rensselaer Astrophysical Society. Some members of the Board suggested approving them contingent upon merging with RAS, but that was struck down on the notion that it isn’t the Board’s place to force one recognized organization to merge with another. A motion to recognize RPISEDS passed with a vote of 14-0-2.

In the director’s report, Allard mentioned that Fresh Check Day will take place on February 28 from 11 am to 2 pm in the lobby of the Mueller Center. He shared that he and Associate Director for Union Operations Joe Campo are exploring the possibility of turning the Mueller Center Lounge into a study space for students. Allard also elaborated on future improvements to the Mueller Center fitness equipment, and the performance of the center’s fitness classes.

At the time of publication, the meeting minutes from the February 1 meeting of the Executive Board were not published to the Board’s minutes archive at poly.rpi.edu/s/emin; according to Article 3, Section 4, subsection A of the Executive Board Bylaws, the secretary of the Executive Board, Ida Etemadi ’19, is responsible for ensuring “that minutes, public committee reports, and motions be made public and available to members of the Union no later than one week after the date of such minutes, reports, or motions.”

The Executive Board meets in the Shelnutt Gallery of the Rensselaer Union on Thursdays at 8 pm.