Two clubs gain Union recognition, virtual competitions allowed
Two clubs on campus became Union-recognized at the Executive Board meeting on September 23. Additionally, the E-Board made a decision allowing funds for in person events to be reallocated to virtual events, given that they meet Institute guidelines.
President Jonah Miller ’22 started the Conscious Conversation club in hopes of creating a “more aware campus” through conversation. The club currently operates mainly through their discord server. “It’s important to talk about things in a safe environment where everyone’s opinion is welcome,” added Editor Elena Cappy ’22, “especially with all of us being remote.” The club is not affiliated with a political party, but they would like to “get a grip on how [students] are thinking” about topics like the upcoming election and other current events. Sean Muraka ’22, who is in charge of public outreach for the club, hopes that members can “release some tension” and “learn something about people who they wouldn’t have had the opportunity to learn about otherwise.” When asked about what they hope to do with Union recognition, Miller stated that Conscious Conversation “hopes to use Union resources to collaborate with other clubs,” especially the cultural clubs at Rensselaer. The motion for the Conscious Conversation club to become Union-recognized was approved 12-0-0.
The Executive Board also passed a motion to provide Union recognition to the Live Action Role Play club. President Gale Pollard ’22 describes LARP, or live-action role play, as a “niche hobby” that is similar to a “combination of acting, improv, and tabletop roleplay like Dungeons and Dragons.” Pollard states that the activity allows “no [physical] contact” between participants and “is about the acting, interacting with other people, and problem solving.”
Though Rensselaer students have been involved in LARP on and off campus for a while, there has not been a student-run group dedicated to the hobby. According to Pollard, Union recognition will allow the club to “have an official channel to go through” for planning and coordinating events and help the activity reach more students, since as of now “you have to know someone who is involved to get involved.” The motion for the LARPing club to become Union-recognized passed unanimously.
The Executive Board also passed a motion regarding virtual competitions and socially-distanced competitions for clubs. The motion states that all virtual activities are approved by the Union as programs for any funded club, given that they adhere to “the social distancing guidelines set forth by the Institute.” It states that any prior funding for a planned in-person event can be reallocated towards the corresponding online event. Also, any competitions that have not yet been approved as program events that need a subsidy not budgeted for in the Fall semester “must be brought to the Executive Board for separate approval.” It also states that “participation in competitions may return to the regular format described in the Union Guidelines once the Institute removes the social distancing guidelines.” The motion passed unanimously.
The Executive Board meets weekly at 8 pm on Wednesday in the personal Webex meeting room of President of the Union Anissa Choiniere ’21.