Student groups are concerned that there may be a shortage of meeting space after the Community Living and Learning Center reduced the amount of space available to organizations in residence halls this summer.
“The hall councils came to us at the end of last year with concerns about student group use of residence hall space usage, and so we are trying a new system,” Assistant Dean Mark Levine said.
In previous years, registered student groups and chartered student organizations could apply to hold events in several different residence halls around campus, including Thurston Hall’s piano and television lounges, Thurston Dining Hall, Strong Hall Commons and rooms in Mitchell Hall.
This year, student groups only are allowed to apply for space in the Mitchell Hall Theater, the Thurston Hall piano lounge and the Riverside Towers Caf?. The rooms were chosen because they “provide a variety of sizes, set-ups and locations,” Levine said.
Last year, most rooms could be booked for late-evening events seven days a week. This year, the rooms are only available until 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday, according to a CLLC pamphlet.
The Residence Hall Association and CLLC worked together to change the policy. RHA President Alan Elias said residents needed more space.
“CLLC and RHA consulted about this,” Elias said. “Residents needed study lounge space, and they didn’t feel like they had it. Also, hall councils felt they never had space to hold hall activities in. That’s why the changes were made.”
For some student groups, the new meeting places are not a welcome change. Caity Leu, executive vice president of the Student Association, said CLLC’s decision adversely affects the SA’s ability to reach students.
“Thurston Hall TV lounge and Strong Hall especially should be available, because the SA needs to be able to get to its constituents,” Leu said. “I feel like this new policy has the effect of students losing out.”
Some groups also question the reduction in meeting locations because of the construction in the Marvin Center, and it may cause further strain in terms of space.
Silvana Del Carpio, executive chair of Latinos For Progress, said ample space does not exist.
“We can’t use the smaller rooms anyway, so it’s not a big problem,” Del Carpio said. “But, if the Marvin Center hadn’t ended up being really helpful, we would be in a lot of trouble. There is just not enough space.”
Levine said CLLC is willing to re-evaluate the situation if space is adversely affected.
“We can review this as the semester goes on if construction forces too many student groups out,” Levine said.
Elias said he is concerned about students.
“The space crunch is really because of construction,” Elias said. “But we hope that this works out for students.”