Political club RPI Sunrise wins union affiliation

RPI Sunrise ran for the board to become a Union Affiliate Club. Class representative Kriti Sharma ’24 and other club staff described the group as a nationally affiliated environmental club that supports the Green New Deal. Sharma said RPI Sunrise had already attempted affiliation in 2021 but the club was not approved due to confusion over the club applying for funding.

At-Large member Nick Longchamp ’24 questioned why RPI Sunrise should be the first political club allowed to affiliate since Turning Point, especially since the E-Board had rejected the Young Democratic Socialists of America club two weeks prior . Sharma replied that RPI Sunrise has been very active in terms of hosting seminars and activities. Club representative Jake Herman ’23 suggested that E-Board approve or reject political clubs seeking affiliation based on what they do, not whether they are political. Matt Zapken, graduate student and adviser to the president, added that these clubs should be “dealt with one at a time based on the merits of the organization. If they do things clearly against EU policy, that’s one thing, otherwise why should we tell them no? A few other E-Board members mentioned the precedent that RPI Sunrise’s endorsement would set, but ultimately E-Board approved the motion unanimously.

The badminton club has applied for a grant to cover the costs of its next tournament in November. The RPI team had missed out on the Durabird Eastern Collegiate Team Badminton Championships for the past three years, but are looking to put on a good showing this year. The club has sought funds to cover its travel, accommodation and registration costs, but said it would ask students to pay for their own food, drink and uniform.

There was some confusion surrounding discrepancies between Badminton’s proposal to E-Board and their actual request. The proposal submitted by the badminton club called for a $500 grant to cover tournament entry fees with no mention of travel or accommodation subsidies, but their submission requested $1,440. Club representative Ava Gallagher ’23 was in favor of approving the proposed initial grant of $500 and for the club to come back later if they needed more funds. Several E-Board members were confused by the budget presented by the badminton club, so the board’s vice president of operations, Minh Nguyen ’22, calculated that the required subsidy for the tournament was $278.

After confirming with Badminton that only $278 was needed to cover additional tournament costs, Zapken submitted a motion to amend the original motion to the new amount. The new $278 grant was approved 7‒2‒1, with Gallagher and member-at-large Evan Mahns ’23 voting against, and graduate student and club representative Syed Nabeel Amjad abstaining.

Another motion was to approve an $800 grant for the American Collegiate Hockey Association men’s hockey team to purchase Dartfish video software. The team, represented by Nicholas Spinelli ’23, used RPI TV to record and watch gameplay footage for cinema sessions, but argued it was too time consuming for players and staff to manually sort through long videos . Dartfish video software would increase the efficiency and effectiveness of these cinema sessions.

Mahns asked if the software was necessary, given his personal experience that sports teams often end up buying tech hardware only to use it sparingly. Spinelli replied that the team already organizes frequent cinema sessions and that the software will make these sessions more productive. The E-Board unanimously approved the $800 grant.

In a separate motion, the E-Board unanimously approved Team ACHA’s request for $300 to cover food for an away game later this year with an increase in their dues to include the additional food cost for the away match.

The last organization to apply for a grant was Union Show Tech. UST requested funding for two new projectors in one proposal and two Dante sound cards in a separate proposal. Current UST projectors pose fire and burn hazards, and Dante sound cards would replace the long and expensive XLR cables that UST currently uses.

Zapken asked what would happen to the old projectors if the two new lights were obtained. UST responded that they would move the hazardous lights out of rotation and potentially use them for parts. The E-Board approved both motions unanimously – $1,345 for two new projectors and $1,388 for sound cards.

This meeting of the Executive Council took place on September 29th. The Executive Council meets every Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Shelnutt Gallery.