Understanding the Union Annual Report

By Colleen Corrigan December 8, 2022

For the past month, the Union Executive Board has been focused on preparing for the annual budgeting process for Fiscal Year 2024. Currently, we are in Fiscal Year 2023 with the next fiscal year starting on July 1, 2023.

A primary responsibility of the Union Executive Board is properly allocating the funds collected by the Student Activity Fee. Each year, E-Board representatives assist their assigned funded clubs by developing a budget for the following fiscal year. This budget contains the programs and activities that a club wishes to hold in the following year, as well as the money requested to organize them. After each budget is created and submitted, the E-Board sets aside a weekend for representatives to present each budget. Throughout the process, the Board works alongside each club’s Student Activity Resource Person to review each budget, approve club programs, and allocate money. To ensure each club receives a fair evaluation, the Board follows the Rensselaer Union Guidelines & Procedures which acts as its guiding resource. Once all budgets are reviewed, the Board uses the overall numbers to finalize the Activity Fee recommendation for the following school year.

Why is the Activity Fee important? The programs and events that the Activity Fee makes possible diversify the experiences students can enjoy. While many students come to Rensselaer for its renowned education, attending and participating in events that our clubs host continues to support the community and shared experiences at RPI. This community allows for students to discover a place of belonging as they find new activities to enjoy and people with similar interests.

For the last couple of years, the Undergraduate Activity Fee has remained flat. As students return to campus and Union businesses get utilized, the Board is able to move towards a more normal budgeting procedure. In order to ensure this growth remains steady, we have decided to continue to withhold all transfers to reserves. In order to maintain a system of checks and balances, the E-Board sends its Activity Fee recommendation to the Student Senate for confirmation. This ensures transparency with the student body as the Senate is able to review and support the recommendation. Additionally, the Union Annual Report Committee, which is a joint committee of the E-Board and the Senate, will present the Fiscal Year 2024 UAR for the Senate and E-Board to review. Once these two items pass, the entire budget will be sent to President Schmidt ’81 for review, so it can be included in the overall institute budget and receive approval from the Board of Trustees. Once approved by the Board of Trustees, I will be able to share it with the student body!

If you have any questions on this process or are interested in getting involved, please don’t hesitate to email me at! Hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving break!