Executive Board

Philipps hosts penultimate E-Board meeting of first term

President of the Union Catherine Philipps ’24, ’25G hosted the penultimate Executive Board meeting of her first term last Thursday.

The Rensselaer Music Association was up first, requesting a $1,650 reallocation to purchase a Mac mini for their recording studio. Currently, the club is using one of their members’ personal Macbook. The E-Board approved the reallocation unanimously.

Next up was Chess Club, who requested a $797.50 subsidy to purchase 50 chess sets in addition to the 11 they already have. The club is looking to host a tournament during the Fall semester and wants to invite students from nearby schools. The first tournament the club hosted back in January attracted 54 attendees who were mostly RPI students. Ultimately, the E-Board reduced the subsidy amount to $500 while also giving Chess Club the ability to fundraise if they needed additional funds. It was also pointed out that the club has roughly $150 in their food allotment that could be reallocated to purchase the chess sets. The Board approved the motion to grant the subsidy and the ability to fundraise 10—1—1.

RPI Dance Team followed by looking for a $4,690 subsidy to attend a national competition in Daytona, FL. The initial total cost of the trip was just over $21,000, which would come to roughly $1,615 out of pocket for each of the 13 dancers attending the competition. The team was able to reduce the out of pocket cost to $861 using money from their budget, fundraising, and through an award. The subsidy was necessary to further reduce the out of pocket cost to $500 per member. The E-Board approved the subsidy unanimously.

Women’s Club Volleyball was the final club to approach the Board, seeking a $3,392 subsidy to attend a national competition. The E-Board lowered the subsidy amount to $3,000 since the Club Contingencies fund, which is used to fund subsidies, was running low. The E-Board approved the subsidy unanimously.

The E-Board then retracted a motion in support of the Student Senate’s decision to ask professors to allow students to attend Monday’s solar eclipse. The retraction was due to poor wording. A new, reworded motion in support of the Senate’s decision was then passed 8—2—1.

Director of the Union Dr. Charlie Potts then gave an overview of the proposed renovations of the Union that would occur over the Summer semester. The plan is to modify Rathskeller to support six different food vendors. Thunder Mountain Curry would be moved to the counter that previously housed Ben and Jerry’s. Halal Shack would be moved to where Wild Blue Sushi currently is, and a Jimmy John’s would take Halal Shack’s spot. Wild Blue Sushi would then be moved into Father’s. Lastly, the hair salon across from the bookstore will be replaced with a pizza shop. MrBeast Burger will remain in its current location.

The focus of the renovations would be updating the dining hall area. However, Potts also explained plans to renovate the Games Room and Mother’s. Part of the Games Room would be used to create a larger dining hall. As such, the billiards, foosball, and ping pong tables would be moved into Mother’s. Mother’s would then be moved to the 1st floor’s 15th Street entrance. The ’09 Lounge would be moved closer to the entrance of the Games Room. Potts has provided The Poly with a before and after layout originally created during the Spring 2021 semester when the renovations were first being planned.

Overview of current Rathskeller floor plans.
Overview of proposed Rathskeller floor plans.

Since all of Rathskeller will be closed over the summer, including Father’s, the plan is to have an outdoor cafe on the patio facing the Mueller Center. Father’s would be temporarily moved to the X-Lounge on the second floor during the renovations. The renovations are estimated to cost at least $2.5 million, with $1.9 million coming from Sodexo and the remaining $600,000 coming from the Union.

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