Executive Board

Active Minds now Union-affiliated

By Jonathan Caicedo April 18, 2018

Newly-elected Justin Etzine ’19 opened the weekly meeting of the Executive Board—his first since becoming the 129th president of the Union, and the second-to-last of this semester. The agenda called for proposals from Active Minds and the Chinese Students and Scholars Association. 

Active Minds Interim President Emily Stiklickas ’20 presented, seeking Union recognition for the organization. She explained that the organization’s mission is to raise awareness around mental health, providing resources to individuals who live with mental health issues. Stiklickas elaborated that through partnerships with both Rensselaer’s Student Health Center and local professionals, this local chapter will provide further assistance to students seeking help. A chapter of Active Minds previously existed at RPI, and when asked if she contacted previous club presidents to understand why the organization failed, Stiklickas made it clear that attempts were made, but they ultimately couldn’t gather much more information. Active Minds was recognized as a Union-affiliated club by the Executive Board with a vote of 10-3-3. 

Chinese Student and Scholars Association President, Bingsheng Yao ’18 and member WangKun Zhang ’20 then presented a proposal that would allow CSSA to use EMPAC’s theater for its annual Chinese New Year Celebration, a concert featuring traditional Chinese performances. As this would constitute a new program proposal, it needed to be approved by the Executive Board before further progress could be made. Zhang mentioned that, in preliminary talks, EMPAC curators and staff seemed receptive to the idea of hosting the event, and that CSSA would like to continue forward with the process. Yao explained that this event was previously held in West Hall, but that the location wasn’t optimal for the number of guests attending. Yao further stated that typically this event draws students from nearby colleges and members of the greater community, and is an important event for many Chinese international students who may not be able to travel home to celebrate the new year. The Board approved the CSSA program pending further funding 15-0-1, while also suggesting that the organization work closely with Union administrative staff to coordinate inviting off-campus members of the community. 

Next, a motion was presented that would amend the Board’s Club Classifications Policy, adding a statute of limitations for all inappropriate and unacceptable behavior. Graduate Representative CJ Markum, who authored the motion, explained that this motion was created to address concerns made by an organization regarding the recently released Executive Board ad-hoc report which can viewed at poly.rpi.edu/s/clubin. The organization was demerited for infractions that occured over 10 years ago, and expressed concern regarding the lack of such statute of limitations policy, arguing that an organization 10 years ago is hardly indicative of an organization now. The proposed statute of limitations would be in effect for five years following an infraction for collegiate chapters, and eight years for infractions occurring within a chapter’s national organization. The motion was ultimate tabled until the next meeting 10-3-1.

A second motion, also authored by Markum, that would amend club travel policy and help athletic organizations further save money by allowing hotel rooms to sleep more than two athletes, was presented. It was ruled out of order by Etzine, who stated that since it was a policy change, the motion would have to originate from the Executive Board’s Policies Committee itself. During member reports, Markum expressed his discontent with the calling of the motion out of order. 

In the director’s report, Union Business Administrator Martha McElligot reported that the Union Student Activities Resource Person’s are going through club budgets, working on third quarter forecasts for this fiscal year. As of current spending, the forecasts anticipate roughly $87,000 to be remaining at the end of this fiscal year, money which would then move to the budgets for next fiscal year. Director of the Mueller Center Steve Allard reported that the Center’s Ladies Lift and Learn program will be successful, as it—at the time of the meeting—already had 53 out of the 60 available spots filled. He also mentioned that the RPI Quidditch Team is leaving for the World Cup, with hopes of making it to the final four. Allard also gave an update on progress in replacing the Mueller Center’s weight plates with rubber coated variants, stating that preliminary bids are in, and that all costs will come out of the Center’s endowment account. 

At the time of publication, the meeting minutes from the April 12 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 final meeting of the Executive Board will be held at 8 pm next Tuesday in the Union’s Shellnutt Gallery.