Since the official opening of the Clough Commons, rehearsal and breakout rooms have been available for instant reservation, and classrooms have been available for reservation 24 hours in advance for both students and faculty. A combination of the implementation of a new software for the event management system and the influx of students and faculty have created some problems in terms of accessing reserved rooms and publicizing the reservation methods, as rooms are intended to be locked until 10 minutes before a scheduled reservation.
To reserve a room, students and faculty can log on to http://www.gtevents.gatech.edu/virtualems/ and request study space or a Clough Commons room, in addition to other event and study spaces on campus. If not affiliated with an organization or a campus department, students select “Student” as their “Group” on this page.
The 41 classrooms are the main priority for Library staff regarding the Clough Commons, according to Catherine Murray-Rust, Dean of Libraries, as last year hosted at least 25 classes for which classroom space could not be found.
In addition to the Clough Commons, this crunch for space has been alleviated by Tech’s new policy to prevent colleges from reserving space in their respective buildings for only their classes, according to Murray-Rust.
“Classes take precedence no matter what you’re using the space for,” Murray-Rust said, citing the new class policy as a necessary cultural change for Tech, as the Institute has few large classrooms, but many large class sizes.
The second highest priority for the Clough Commons is the use of classroom space outside of regularly schedule class time. Of the 41 classrooms, 21 rooms can be reserved instantly, while the rest of the rooms require reservations to be placed at least 24 hours in advance.
Plans are in place to extend the amount of time in advance students need to reserve classroom space, with the expectation that review sessions and large study sessions are known about well in advance.
“We’re trying to make sure that there’s a balance between people booking rooms on the chance that they’re going to use them versus making sure that there’s a need and a fair chance,” Murray-Rust said.
When not in use for regularly scheduled class time, the two auditoria can be requested by campus departments and student groups for scholarly lectures only, according to Murray-Rust. To this end, musical and theatrical performances and career fairs are not intended to be hosted in the Clough Commons because they disrupt other classrooms and study spaces, according to Kathy Tomajko, Associate Dean of Libraries. This is key because the building is intended for academic use only.
“Scholarly purpose is what this building is all about,” said Tomajko.
Currently, reservations for large classrooms and auditoria in the Clough Commons are reviewed on a case-by-case basis to ensure that only academic requests are approved.