RPI Chess Club becomes Union-funded
The Union Executive Board unanimously approved RPI Chess Club as a Union-funded club. The approval happened over a year after the group initially gained Union recognition.
According to the proposal submitted to the E-Board, the club is open to chess players of all skill levels and offers practice, competitive play, and weekly tournaments. Materials to be purchased, as per the proposal, include demo boards, clocks, and chess variations like shogi and four-player chess. The group attempted to access equipment left behind by the previous chess club, but it was poorly maintained and was missing pieces and batteries. Furthermore, the boards were not suitable for tournament play. Club Representative Kriti Sharma ’25 stated that, due to these circumstances, “restarting would be the best option.”
The former RPI Chess Club went dormant in 2011. In 2019, Henry Qi ’23 and graduate student Aaron Kleger revived the club and the organization became Union-recognized on February 13, 2020. However, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the club to move all of its meetings online. The prevalence of free online chess platforms allowed the club to continue its activities without financial support from the Union, but as in-person meetings returned during the Fall 2021 semester, the group decided to switch to a physical setting. With their starter budget approved, club member Kevin Liu ’22 stated in an email to The Polytechnic that they “are confident in [the club], now that the Chess Club has been running for a good period of time.”
Additionally, Director of the Union Charlie Potts informed members that the Union is searching for three new administrators. Vacant positions include student activities resource person, as well as assistant director of student activities, a position previously held by Maria Roberts.
Graduate Council Liaison Donovan Weiblen reported that the Graduate Council has been discussing GPA requirements for future candidates. Weiblen expressed that the Graduate Council is interested in switching to ranked-choice voting for their elections as opposed to their current method of using the popular vote.
The Executive Board meets Thursdays at 8 pm in the Shelnutt Gallery.