Executive Board

RESET and RPI Chess Club proposals approved

Rensselaer for Ethics in Science, Engineering, and Technology was approved for Union affiliation and RPI Chess Club was approved as a Union-recognized club on February 13. Changes and updates to the Rensselaer Union Guidelines & Procedures were approved, effective immediately.

RESET is now a Union-affiliated club, providing a space for conversations on today’s ethical matters. The organization started as a small discussion group this past summer, talking about any and all social and ethical issues in the fields of science and technology. Currently, a topic is decided ahead of time for each meeting, where members sit in a circle with two moderators that alternate each week.

During meetings, participants go around in a circle and voice their opinion on the topic. Once the conversation approaches a new topic, the moderators formally introduce it, and the process repeats. “The conversations are deep and engaging, often running for hours,” said RESET founder Jacob Kaplan ’20.

Membership has significantly increased in a short amount of time, most likely due to a Times Union article featuring the club, according to Kaplan. They have collaborated with several other groups and departments on campus, including the Lally School of Management and the Student Sustainability Task Force; RESET is currently affiliated with the Department of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences. According to Kaplan, given the type of students at Rensselaer, the club found that many students look at “innovation for innovation’s sake” and forget to recognize the importance of understanding the ramifications in doing so. The group aims to provide an opportunity for students to share their thoughts and gain exposure to various perspectives. As a Union-affiliated club, Kaplan hopes to further establish RESET on campus. The motion to approve RESET as a Union-affiliated club was passed effective 15-0-0 immediately.

RPI Chess Club became a Union-recognized club, providing a niche for avid chess players on campus. This group gives players the opportunity to discuss strategies, develop new skills, and play chess together. With nearly 40 interested students and 15 regular members, this group is hoping for an even more successful future with the support of the Union. A chess club existed on campus in prior years, but it disbanded after its core members graduated. The new club aims to maintain interest and secure a stable membership that will allow the club to continue.

Rensselaer Union Business Administrator Martha McElligott mentioned that at past Activities Fairs, students have inquired about chess clubs on campus or groups to play with, adding that the club will address those wants and will be a “great addition to our Union.” The motion to approve RPI Chess Club as a Union-recognized club passed 15-0-0 effective immediately.

Vice President for Rules & Special Projects Dragana Dragutinovic ’20 shared the revisions and updates to the Rensselaer Union Guidelines & Procedures with the Executive Board. Now, according to the document, “If a new club is approved to merge with an already funded club, then the resulting group must repeat the New Club Funding Process.” In addition, the price limits for lodging for club overnight events were reduced from $175 to $125 for venues in rural locations and from $225 to $175 for venues in urban locations. Other changes included fixing inconsistencies throughout the document and editing content to reflect previously passed motions and information from the past year; budgeting procedures are now outlined in the document so clubs have easier access to them. The updates to the Rensselaer Union Guidelines & Procedures were approved as proposed by the Ad-Hoc Policy Committee and presented to the Board on February 13, effective immediately 15-0-0.

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