CSU’s Swing Society has enough trouble finding a room big enough to accommodate it, let alone a room big enough to jump, jive n’ wail.
Because of the renovations in Ammons Hall, one of the largest student organizations on campus has been displaced, and may now be forced off campus entirely.
The group has been practicing in different areas of the Lory Student Center and is now being asked by the university to buy insurance because they are a “high risk” group.
“We’re mostly confused as to why it has to be such a hassle to keep our club in operation,” said Swing Society President Melissa Mullins. “(The university’s) not making it easy to be a student organization.”
Mullins is unsure how much the insurance would cost because they do not yet know what type of insurance would be needed, but doubts the club could afford it, which could force them to move their practices off campus.
The club met with the Associated Students of CSU on Monday to discuss who would pay for the insurance. Swing Society is hoping ASCSU will be able to fund it through a tulip policy, which would provide general accident insurance for all student organizations on campus.
ASCSU Director of Finance Robert Sons, who represented ASCSU at the meeting, was not immediately available for comment.
Swing Society currently meets in the East Atrium and the Cherokee Park Ballroom of the LSC. Many students know the atrium as “the hallway by the bank” Mullins said.
“It’s just frustrating because all the other collegiate swing clubs in Colorado have a permanent room or gym,” Mullins said. “We’d like to have a room and not a hallway.”
Glenda Madden, a facilities coordinator in the Event Planning Office of the LSC, said no student organization is allowed to use an LSC ballroom more than twice each month.
The student center worked with the club and Swing Society pays $50 every other week to rent the ballroom, as opposed to the normal fee of $200. But if the group were required to be insured it would lose the atrium space because it is an uninsurable place, Mullins said.
“We feel like nobody knows or cares that we don’t have a space,” Mullins said. “Where’s the love, CSU?”
Swing Society is one of the fastest-growing organizations on campus, with more than 50 individuals who consistently attend dances and lessons each Wednesday, and new members come every week.
“I heard about Swing Society when I lived in the dorms,” said the club’s events coordinator Andrea Steinberg. “It was fun and a great form of exercise.”
Steinberg, a senior psychology major, is also the co-leader of Blam!, the club’s performance troupe that meets every Monday night.
Blam! currently has first place bragging rights from their win at last year’s Colorado Intercollegiate Swing Battle where they competed against Colorado-Boulder, School of Mines and others. Blam! also rehearses in the East Atrium.
Mullins admitted that her club is “special needs” because of its size and the type of floor it requires and hopes the Swing Society will be able to stay on campus and find a more permanent spot to practice.
“The whole point of our club, besides teaching dance lessons, is to give people an authentic experience of the swing scene and its history,” she said. “Part of that is having the music and the wood floor and the space to dance.”
Staff writer Hilary Davis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Swing Society will meet today from 7:15 to 10:30 p.m. in the Cherokee Park Ballroom in the LSC. For more information about the club, go to www.csuswing.org.