GW misses deadline on postering kiosks

The University has not fulfilled its promise to provide more spots on campus for student organizations to advertise their events, Student Association President Carrie Potter said.

Last summer, a committee of student activities representatives and facilities department officials agreed that the installation of kiosks at several locations on campus would give groups space to put up posters and fliers touting their events.

But the University’s plan to build one $10,000 poster kiosk each year has yet to begin, said Al Ingle, GW’s associate vice president for business affairs.

“We’re finding we still haven’t gotten answers to our concerns,” Potter said.

Potter and Jen McCarthy, who coordinates student organizations in the Student Activities Center, said they do not see the need for the complicated and expensive plan the University has proposed.

“This is ridiculous,” Potter said. “This isn’t even what we asked for. Those kiosks obviously cost a lot more money and take a lot more effort to build than the boards we originally suggested. We would rather see something a lot more simple.”

Potter, McCarthy and Mike Gargano, assistant vice president of Student and Academic Support Services, said Director of Architecture, Engineering and Construction Michelle Honey told them the University would build at least one or two kiosks by the first week of October.

“Mike (Gargano) was very adamant,” Potter said. “He said we needed to see some results this year.

“We originally wanted to have these up by late August when the students returned to school, but Michelle said it was almost impossible to have anything done by then,” she said. “So we compromised and agreed to have some kiosks put up by October.”

But Potter said no kiosks have been installed.

“When we resolved this meeting, we resolved that by the first week of October, students would have the opportunity to have two kiosks around campus,” Potter said. “Our concern is that we don’t have posting now.”

Ingle said the plans were delayed for several reasons, including GW’s attempts to reduce the kiosks’ $10,000 price tag through a process called value engineering.

Ingle said each of the kiosks will be equipped with glass enclosures and electrical features such as lighting, and will be placed at high-traffic locations on campus. One new kiosk will be built each year, and the University aims to finish the first station by December, instead of this month.

Potter said she originally requested 10 postering areas, but the number that will be installed still is indefinite.

Ingle said he feels the bulletin boards the SA originally requested would not be appropriate on GW’s campus.

“We need to think about the general aesthetics of the campus,” Ingle said. “If we put up shoddy-looking boards, we would have a campus that was unacceptable to parents and students. (Bulletin boards) are not in keeping with the high quality of what we do at The George Washington University.”

Potter said the money for the kiosks could be better spent elsewhere.

“I wouldn’t really want to see a lot of my tuition dollars going into a roofed, lighted board. It just seems silly,” Potter said.

Gargano said he also is concerned that the University is not meeting student groups’ immediate needs for space to advertise their activities.

“I think the Program Board would agree with the Student Association – these kiosks are necessary,” said Kathy Weil, secretary of the Program Board, which uses posters to promote numerous campus events. “I think student groups have suffered,” Weil said. “I know our programs have suffered because of a lack of postering places. The sooner kiosks can be put up, the better.

“I think this University wastes too much money on unnecessary things,” she said. “This is not economically wise.”

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