Several student group leaders have expressed concern about the delays in scheduling event space as a result of summer construction on the fourth floor of the Marvin Center, said Marvin Center Governing Board Chair Mike Petron.
Petron said he has fielded calls from a number of student groups whose event schedules are uncertain because of construction.
“Usually, groups could schedule their meeting space up to a year in advance,” he said. “Now student groups aren’t going to be able to schedule their meetings until Sept. 1.”
Petron said groups will have difficulty advertising and planning for events as a result of the delay.
College Democrats President Marc Shaller said the scheduling problem is a “huge issue” for his group.
He said he is upset planners did not devise an alternate plan for providing student groups adequate programming space because classrooms “just don’t cut it.”
“The renovators have done our organization a terrible disservice,” Shaller said. “We rely on the Marvin Center for our events and to infringe on that in any way shape or form unfairly deprives students and the University.”
Petron also said students have expressed concerns about the security of their property.
Student groups will be allowed one cabinet each for storage in Marvin Center rooms 403 or 405, he said. Remaining items such as computers will be moved to other offices as the construction progresses.
“There are definitely security issues for students,” Petron said, “But everything will be locked up tight and only two to three people per group will have access to their office.”
While office space is traditionally allocated to student groups in March, Petron said he expects to conduct informational meetings two to three times a week at the beginning of the fall semester. He said the sessions will keep the lines of communication open between student groups and inform them about how the process will work.
“I’m hoping to have everyone in their office and doing business within the first two to three weeks of school,” he said.
About 33 student groups will have to vacate their offices on the fourth floor of the Marvin Center by May 17, Petron said.
“The offices will have desks, phones and fax machines,” Petron said. “It will be organized on a first come, first serve basis day by day.”
Petron said communal space will be adequate, but not great, for scaled down student-group activities during the summer. He said about 12 desks will be available.
“(Construction) is a time-consuming and rough process,” he said. “Eight weeks is a much better time for students not to be in their office, as opposed to what was previously projected to be a semester.”
College Republicans President-elect Brad Murphy said he hopes construction on the fourth floor will be complete by Aug. 23.
“I know (Assistant Vice President of Student and Academic Support Services) Mike Gargano and Petron will work with us so we’re just going to go with the flow and not complain.”
Murphy said the summer move will not affect the CDs as much as it may affect some other groups such as Program Board and Student Association.
But the MCGB, SA, PB and Cherry Tree will have separate office space on the second floor.
Petron estimates about 40 to 45 offices will be available to students after construction is completed in middle or late August.
Petron said he plans to send e-mail applications for office space to student groups this summer. Applications also will be available in the MCGB office.