Campus clubs wishing to reserve a meeting room will have to register with the Student Programs and Activities Center and pay an initial $35 fee to create an account beginning Nov. 1.
Student groups have expressed concern because many existing clubs do not have incoming revenue.
ASUCD Vice President Molly Fluet said about 250 student clubs had accounts with SPAC last year, but around 335 clubs reserved rooms.
“If there is no longer any free space it’s going to harm groups that aren’t there to make money,” Fluet said. “[For example], the book club is there to discuss the book and then come home. For those types of clubs it’s unfair. You would have to collect money from your members when you have to pay $35.“
Campus departments, campus interest groups and ASUCD must adhere to this policy when requesting the use of “free” space – non-paid spaces – as well as facilities that have a rental fee.
CEVS manager Teresa Brown said additional charges sometimes come about when groups use free space. Sometimes clubs need audio or visual equipment or they stay longer than their allotted time. A record of account numbers will make billing groups for charges easier, Brown said.
“What has come across my desk is more custodial issues,” Brown said. “It could be someone had a pizza party and didn’t clean up after themselves. I have also seen equipment being ordered very late in the game – those types of charges.“
Keeping track of which group left a room in what kind of state is more difficult.
“We would have to do some research on our end,” Brown said. “There is no system because we are not the facility manager for the classroom. We would be the liaison. There is always going to be normal garbage left in a room after a full day of classes. [The policy is about] more excessive garbage and potential damage to a room.“
Previously, clubs were not required to have a campus account to reserve paid or free campus facilities.
“The new CEVS policy requires groups to set up an agency account through SPAC in order to reserve paid or free space, “said Darrell Peterson, director of SPAC in an e-mail interview. “We hope groups can prevent additional costs by returning the space they use in good condition.“
Clubs have also expressed concern as to how a record of charges related to additional cleaning and lost or damaged equipment will be kept.
“We have advocated that student organizations be notified of charges through a detailed billing statement before any recharge is made to their account,” Peterson said. “This would allow groups to ask any questions they have about the bill and to deposit sufficient funds to cover the charges.“
SPAC was notified in July of the new policy and urged delay of the original Sept. 1 implementation date to allow time for student organizations to be informed and prepare to establish an account. CEVS agreed and moved the date to Nov. 1.
“We also advocated creation of a fair system for determining responsibility for damages, since most classroom space is not monitored and it could be difficult to establish which reservation resulted in damage,” Peterson said. “SPAC staff are available to work with groups on how to document the condition of space if they find damage when they arrive.“
POOJA KUMAR can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.