Political club RPI Sunrise gains Union affiliation
RPI Sunrise presented to the Executive Board to become a Union-affiliated club. Class Representative Kriti Sharma ’24 and other staff from the club described the group as a nationally-affiliated environmentalist club that supports the Green New Deal. Sharma said RPI Sunrise previously tried for affiliation in 2021, but the club was not approved due to confusion over the club requesting funding.
Member-At-Large Nick Longchamp ’24 asked why RPI Sunrise should be the first political club allowed to be affiliated since Turning Point, especially since the E-Board had rejected the Young Democratic Socialists of America club two weeks prior. Sharma responded that RPI Sunrise has been very active in terms of hosting seminars and activities. Club Representative Jake Herman ’23 suggested that E-Board should approve or reject political clubs seeking affiliation based on what they do, not the fact that they are political. Graduate student and Counselor to the President Matt Zapken added these clubs should be “addressed one-by-one based on the merits of the organization. If they’re doing stuff clearly against Union policy, that’s one thing, otherwise, why should we tell them no?” A few other E-Board members mentioned the precedent that approving RPI Sunrise would set, but ultimately, E-Board unanimously approved the motion.
The Badminton Club requested a subsidy to cover the costs of their upcoming tournament in November. RPI’s team had missed the Durabird Eastern Collegiate Team Badminton Championships for the last three years but are looking to make a strong showing this year. The club sought funds to help cover their travel costs, lodging, and registration fee, but said they would have students pay for their own food, drink, and uniform.
There was some confusion surrounding discrepancies between Badminton’s proposal to E-Board and their actual request. The proposal that the Badminton Club submitted called for a $500 subsidy to cover the tournament registration fee with no mention of travel or lodging subsidies, but their presentation asked for $1,440. Club Representative Ava Gallagher ’23 was in favor of approving the proposed original $500 subsidy and having the club return later if they required more funds. Multiple E-Board members were confused by the Badminton Club’s presented budgeting, so Vice President for Board Operations, Minh Nguyen ’22, calculated the required subsidy for the tournament to be $278.
After confirming with Badminton that only $278 was needed to cover extra costs for the tournament, Zapken led a motion to amend the initial motion to the new amount. The new subsidy of $278 was approved 7‒2‒1, with Gallagher and Member-At-Large, Evan Mahns ’23, voting against, and graduate student and Club Representative Syed Nabeel Amjad abstaining.
Another motion was to approve an $800 subsidy for the American Collegiate Hockey Association Men’s Hockey Team to purchase Dartfish video software. The team, represented by Nicholas Spinelli ’23, had been using RPI TV to record and watch game footage for film sessions, but argued that it was too time consuming for players and staff to manually sort through the lengthy videos. The Dartfish video software would increase the efficiency and effectiveness of these film sessions.
Mahns asked if the software was necessary, given that his personal experience found athletic teams often ended up buying technology equipment only to use it sparingly. Spinelli responded that the team already hosted frequent film sessions and having the software would make these sessions more productive. The E-Board unanimously approved the $800 subsidy.
In a separate motion, the E-Board unanimously approved the ACHA team’s request of $300 to cover food for an away game later this year with an increase in their dues to include the cost of additional away game food.
The final organization requesting a subsidy was Union Show Tech. UST requested funds for two new spotlights in one proposal and two Dante sound cards in a separate proposal. The current UST spotlights pose fire and burn hazards, and the Dante sound cards would replace the lengthy and expensive XLR cables that UST currently uses.
Zapken asked what would happen to the old spotlights if the two new lights were obtained. UST responded that they would move the dangerous lights out of rotation and potentially use them for parts. The E-Board approved both motions unanimously—$1,345 for two new spotlights and $1,388 for the sound cards.
This Executive Board meeting was held on September 29. The Executive Board meets every Thursday at 7 pm in the Shelnutt Gallery.