Executive Board

E-Board denounces actions of Dr. Charlie Potts over Bennett hiring, plans to shut down Rathskeller over summer for renovations

Given the recent unconstitutional hiring of Cait Bennett without the approval of the E-Board, the Board discussed their response to administration. The room was closed to the public during this discussion, but the Board voted to make a formal denouncement of the actions of the Union’s administrative staff, which passed 8-3-1.

Director of the Union Dr. Charlie Potts presented the Union’s upcoming construction and renovation projects, most of which will occur over the Summer 2024 semester. The first project was regarding the parking lots between Nugent and Warren halls and to the right of the softball field. One of the lots is currently only used for snow plows, so they want to turn it into a recreational space with a pavilion.

The next project was regarding the Rensselaer Playhouse, which flooded last year. One of their plans is to reorient the entrance to the Sage side of the building. They also want to make some outside space to have outdoor shows and movies.

The third project was about summer renovations to Rathskeller in the Union. Potts explained that they want to extend seating into the games room and adjust the current space for Mothers. This unfortunately means that the Rathskeller will be closed during the Summer semester, assuming the renovation plans go through. The games room would also be closed during the renovations. Potts noted that they want to keep student satisfaction high over the summer, so are looking for a usable space to move the ping-pong tables and other recreational activities into. Additionally, they are looking for food services to supplement Panera over the summer. Although there were some aspects of the plans that worried the E-Board, the atmosphere of the room was one of excitement for the future development of the institution’s student-led spaces.

Alongside the two important discussions, there was a series of short proposals. Given the runoff election, the Grand Marshal Week Committee requested to use the McNeil room for the upcoming GM Week activities. The two activities included a debate on Monday April 1st, and a UPAC-hosted afterparty on Friday, April 5th. This motion passed 8-0-5.

The Society of Plastics Engineers then came for Union affiliation. SPE, a global organization with a new chapter at RPI, provides networking and career opportunities for students interested in the plastics industry. The current members of the club are confident this will be a lasting club with strong future interest and membership and are seeking club affiliation to advertise themselves to students through Union channels. Their appeal for club affiliation was approved unanimously.

RPI Club Field Hockey approached the E-Board for Union recognition. The club seeks to establish a fun and competitive environment for RPI students who want to play or learn field hockey. Marketed as less of a time commitment than varsity but more competitive than intramural field hockey, the team will play against other University club teams. After some brief edits to the motion, it was also approved unanimously.

In the administrative business section of the meeting, assistant Director of the Mueller Center James Bradbury presented William Weinert for Assistant Director of Outdoor Programs. Bradbury expressed his and students’ support of the candidate, showing his experience and accomplishments. The motion to approve the recommendation to hire this candidate passed 12-0-1.

This Executive Board meeting was held on March 28. The next E-Board meeting is Thursday, April 4 at 7 pm in the Shelnutt Gallery.