May 082008
 
Authors: Erik Myers

A campus-wide reorganization of offices has been arranged for next semester with the purpose of improving accessibility, but student organizations involved in the swap say they’re unsatisfied with the end result.

This summer, the Visitors Center, along with Admissions offices in Spruce Hall and Routt Hall, will relocate to Ammons Hall to take offices alongside the Admissions Welcome Center, forming what will be known as the Welcome & Visitor’s Center.

The shift has forced out the main office of the Career Center, which is relocating to the offices of student organizations located in the basement of the Lory Student Center, better known as “cave spaces.” As a result, all student organizations located in the “cave spaces” are expected to vacate by May 22.

Mike Ellis, LSC executive director, said the “cave spaces” were an ideal location for the Career Center, as the space was not being efficiently used by the clubs and organizations situated there, as evaluated by the LSC Governing Board last semester.

“They weren’t being used as effectively as they could by the student organizations,” Ellis said. He added that the Career Center sought the space, as they were likely to see a higher flow of student traffic because of their proximity to students.

Several student organizations disagree, arguing that while other organizations have not made much use of the space afforded to them, they have.

Charissa Mueller, president of Active Minds, said the LSC board had ignored the role of such organizations when making the decision.

“We’re a huge part of the student body,” Mueller said. “I mean, all the student organizations are important when it comes to your college career basically.”

The board held forums in early February for organization leaders to express their concerns and needs in the moving process. The board is considering moving the displaced groups into the Art Lounge. Ellis said, if chosen, the Art Lounge would be arranged in eight to 12 shared-use spaces in the lounge where they’d have access to computers, phones and possibly private space for meetings. The space, he added, could also be used for storage, which clubs facing displacement have sought especially. The organizations could go from three to five years without permanent office spaces.

Robert Mahoney, an officer with the popular winter sports group Snowriders, said that while he understood the Career Center’s desire for the “cave spaces,” he was not sure the Art Lounge would accommodate their massive group’s needs.

“With 370 members, we have to keep a lot of money, a lot of documents, and all the stuff is going to be in this room,” Mahoney said. “It’s going to be like a giant conference room. It’s pretty frustrating from an organizational standpoint with our group.”

Ellis said that student organizations unhappy with the shuffle need to recognize the interests of “the greater whole,” and that they would not be entirely left out in the cold.

“Our attempt in this move of student organization spaces is to better serve the whole of all registered organizations and to recognize the needs of the few who did make good use of those offices,” Ellis said.

“We hope what we come up with better serves the needs of all rather than a relative few.”

News Editor Erik Myers can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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