Executive Board

Students with Families becomes Union-recognized club

Editor's Note: This article was meant to be published on January 24, 2024.

Graduate Council President Alexander Lutsevich stood before the Executive Board with hopes for his club, Students with Families, to become Union-funded. The organization, run by Lutsevich and his Graduate Co-President Mahfuz Ullah, is geared towards “providing a hub to enable peer-to-peer support, resources and knowledge” for students seeking to obtain a degree while having families of their own. Lutsevich detailed a wide variety of challenges that students with families face, such as accessing child care and housing, whilst studying and engaging in campus life. Having families sometimes separates students from campus life, especially if the student is international, and there are not many support systems on campus for those students with families. The club seeks to serve as a basis for families to discuss things like child care, safe housing, and places to obtain strollers or other resources that are specific to family situations. Lutsevich states that the club serves as “an advocacy for our specific needs” and additionally stated that he would like to see the Union become more “family friendly.” Overall, the club would focus on finding current resources and addressing the community of those who have children and spouses, creating a space where these resources can be discussed. He also suggested the possibility of working with the International Services for Students and Scholars to support onboarding of future members.

In discussion, Lutsevich expanded further on his plans for the future. He suggested finding a room on the RPI campus where children of students could stay while their parent is in class and shared that this club could help improve student life for students with families. “Often the students themselves or their spouses feel as though they cannot take active part in the university’s life and take part in the culture because they do not have the time or resources,” Lutsevich stated. The club looks to not only serve as a place to share information but also could allow students with families to become more involved in student life here at Rensselaer. He also fielded concerns made by a board member concerning children being around college students, saying he has not had issues with RPI students and has found them to be very “caretaking” to his own children when they have interacted in the past. The motion for Students with Families to become a Union-funded club passed unanimously.

RPI TV additionally requested a subsidy for eight new headsets. Their headsets, now 15 years old, are worn out and difficult to wear, especially when members need to work up to 16 hours on weekends. Given that the current headsets were discontinued 10 years ago, having new headsets would allow for easy replacement of broken parts in the future. The motion for the subsidy of $2,920 for the headsets passed unanimously.

Director of the Union Charlie Potts shared that construction plans were formally approved by the City of Troy including the sports court by Warren Hall, future plans for the RPI bookstore, and designs for the RPI Playhouse, which shut down last year from flooding. He stated that they are looking for a contractor to hopefully break ground by May of this year.

This Executive Board meeting was held on January 18. The next meeting will be on Thursday, January 25 at 7 pm in the Shelnutt Gallery.