Last week, Capital Planning and Space Management announced that all student event reservations for the Klaus Building and for room 103 of the Instructional Center were suspended effective immediately.
When asked for comment, the Office of Capital Planning and Space Management (CPSM) released a statement through Tech Communications.
“Due to concerns over loss or damaged equipment as well as the need for custodial staff to have access to the room to prepare spaces for classes the next day, the Office of Capital Planning and Space Management is strictly enforcing the policy,” the statement said.
The sudden change in policy was met with hostility by many students. A student group calling itself Reclaim Klaus helped to create a forum to discuss the issue at the SGA meeting Tuesday.
At the meeting, Dean of Student John Stein criticized the way that Capital Planning had handled the situation.
“This is not the way we do this here,” Stein said. “This was a very quick, abrupt response to something without even engaging us in the conversation.”
Several members of the Student Government Association (SGA) also criticized the response.
“I think that this, the way that they went about trying to solve this problem kind of overreached,” said Dillon Roseen, Undergraduate SGA President. “It was a much broader, across the board cut than was necessary and it could have been handled a lot more efficiently or more effectively.”
An e-mail sent to several student organization leaders said that room reservations were “suspended effective immediately,” and that students should contact Cynthia Hutcherson in CPSM for more information. According several of the students leaders present at the meeting, CPSM did not respond to requests for comments or additional information.
“They really were bad about even responding to emails we had sent them,” said Matthew Arceri, Vice Chair external of IEEE.
Students and SGA members at the meeting also questioned why Capital Planning could not simply punish the organizations responsible for the mess by checking who had reserved the space.
“Why don’t they just keep using the Buzzcard readers to log who goes in and punish those that buzzed in,” said Jack Ho, a leader of the Reclaim Klaus movement. “Because the few f**ked it up for us. Welcome to reality.”
The policy change means that only faculty and staff can rent classroom space in Klaus, a problem for many student organizations whose meetings are scheduled by students as faculty advisors are often not involved in day-to-day logistics.
“A lot of events we can get by without meeting [there] and what we prefer since we bring in a lot of companies on campus, we prefer to have a modern room with modern presentations space and whatnot and Klaus is the only space that has a significant number of rooms like that,” Arceri said.
Beginning this summer, CPSM started requiring that student organizations vacate rented classroom space by 8 p.m., apparently in response to messiness and vandalism in these rooms.
The official statement also stated that they had scheduled a meeting with student leaders to take place today to “resolve any issues” related to the change in policy.