Senate, CSSA, DDR, CSA get funding approved
The Student Senate proposed two separate funding reallocations for upcoming projects. In an effort to increase student responses to the yearly Senate survey, Grand Marshal Cait Bennett ’22G presented a plan to incentivize students by giving out Ben and Jerry’s coupons. After implementing this idea last year, the Senate saw an increase in responses from an average of 1,000 in previous years to 1,400. In addition, the Senate is planning on doing more tabling to increase awareness. Bennett said they are hoping to reach about 2,000 responses this year.
The $2,500 required for the coupons was reallocated from a Senate program that was used to fund shuttles from the Rensselaer campus to the Crossgates Mall. When asked why the shuttle program is no longer being used, Bennett responded that it was too expensive and not feasible. Counselor to the President Matthew Zapken ’22G asked why the Senate was requesting funds for only 1,000 coupons as opposed to 1,400. Bennett explained the incentive is targeted to people who normally wouldn’t fill out the survey, and that there are people who currently do it without the incentive. Club Representative Ava Gallagher ’23 led a motion to approve the Senate’s funds reallocation, which passed 14-0-1.
The second project was for a Bluetooth shuttle tracker. Currently, RPI cannot put GPS trackers in the shuttles per their agreement with Yankee Trails. The Senate proposed a solution that involves putting Bluetooth devices in every shuttle that automatically connects to the driver and/or student’s phone. As long as the phone has location services turned on, the shuttle tracker app can then track the phone and by extension, the shuttle. The Senate has already built and tested prototypes and were seeking funds for manufacturing a final version.
Zapken asked if Yankee Trails was okay with the Bluetooth device, and Web Technologies Group chair Gabriel Jacoby-Cooper ’24 responded that Director of Auxiliary, Parking, and Transportation Services Michael Ramella gave his explicit approval to put the devices in Yankee Trails buses. When asked where the devices will be made, Jacoby-Cooper explained that, ideally, the Senate can work with the Embedded Hardware Club and manufacture in-house. However, the club’s printed circuit board machine does not have a cartridge that allows it to function. Jacoby-Cooper then mentioned details about the upcoming fiscal year budget that were related to the Embedded Hardware Club, causing President of the Union Colleen Corrigan to ask Jacoby-Cooper to refrain from discussing the budget in an open meeting. As a result, Gallagher led a motion to postpone discussion of the Senate’s request to the next E-Board meeting, which passed 11-1-1.
Following the Senate’s proposals, the Chinese Students and Scholars Association requested a funding reallocation and additional subsidies for a Lunar New Year celebration. The CSSA plans to rent out EMPAC to host singing, dancing, talk shows, and other activities during the Lunar New Year. Having limited or no celebrations due to COVID-19 in recent years, the CSSA wanted to have a larger event this upcoming year. E-Board unanimously approved the motion to reallocate $1,536 from the CSSA budget and subsidize an additional $1,364.
After the CSSA motion, the Dance Dance Revolution Club proposed a funding reallocation to make repairs to their dance pads. DDR explained they had leftover funds from a reallocation in the Spring, and some of their higher quality dance pads were in need of repair. Given that these pads are expensive to replace, DDR wanted to move their miscellaneous funds for repairs. The motion was unanimously approved by E-Board.
Lastly, the Caribbean Students Association, requested funding for a starter budget. The CSA presented ideas for a carnival they wanted to hold this upcoming February, which is culturally significant for them. E-Board unanimously approved the $184 starter budget.
This Executive Board meeting was held on December 1. The Executive Board meets Thursdays at 7 pm.
Correction: December 13, 2022
An earlier version of this article implied that Jacoby-Cooper directly confirmed approval for implementing shuttle tracker hardware with Yankee Trails. This has been corrected to note that Jacoby-Cooper got approval from Director Ramella to implement the shuttle tracker hardware, not approval directly from Yankee Trails. The Polytechnic apologizes for this error.