Resolution on the Rensselaer Union

On December 5, 2016, the Rensselaer Union 47th Student Senate passed the following resolution on recent Union developments by a vote of 21-0-0. The resolution read as follows:

Whereas the Rensselaer Union, since its establishment over 126 years ago, has been widely hallmarked for its unique, student-run structure and continues to serve as a source of pride, spirit, and admiration for students, faculty, alumni, administration, and the greater Rensselaer community; and

Whereas the Rensselaer Union remains one of the last student-run student unions in the country; and

Whereas the Rensselaer Union Constitution is empowered by the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Board of Trustees; and

Whereas the student body has expressed concerns regarding the changes in organizational structure of the Division of Student Life, as they pertain to the Rensselaer Union, the Director of the Union position, and the potential for the planned changes to impact the Rensselaer Union’s student-run structure; and

Whereas the student petition “Preserve the Student Union” received over 450 signatures—the highest signature count found on an online student petition to date—and focused on these concerns; and

Whereas Article V of the Union Constitution specifies that “the Director of the Union shall be employed by the Union” and that “the Vice President for Student Life shall act as adviser to the Director;” and

Whereas three job postings found on the William Spelman Executive Search website asserted duties of—and a reporting structure for—the Director of the Union that contrasts the Union Constitution; and

Whereas the Rensselaer Union Student Senate recognizes the value in, and the importance of, maintaining open dialogue with the Rensselaer administration;

The Rensselaer Union 47th Student Senate hereby RESOLVES:

  1. To express gratitude to the Division of Student Life in their swift action regarding an unintended posting from November 2016 for the Director of the Union position and to the Vice President for Student Life, Dr. Frank E. Ross, III, for continuing to listen to the ideas, suggestions, and concerns of the student body,
  2. To reaffirm the Student Senate’s commitment to representing the interests and concerns expressed by the student body and relaying these student opinions to the administration,
  3. To reaffirm the importance of the advisory role of the Director of the Union in a student-run Rensselaer Union,
  4. To emphasize the importance of preserving the responsibilities and reporting structure for the Director as stipulated in the Union Constitution, and
  5. To recommend to the President of the Union and the Rensselaer Union Executive Board the initiation of an open call to gather students that are interested in participating in the hiring process for a new Director of the Union.

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