Reserving Rooms Proves More Challenging for Student Groups

Photo: Student groups often use rooms such as 219 Dwinelle to conduct meetings. These rooms have become more difficult to obtain due to competition with academic departments.
Anna Vignet/Photo
Student groups often use rooms such as 219 Dwinelle to conduct meetings. These rooms have become more difficult to obtain due to competition with academic departments.

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Many of UC Berkeley's 850 student groups are finding it increasingly competitive to reserve rooms for their events due to campus budget cuts.

The heightened demand comes in part from academic departments who now compete with student groups for the free rooms provided by UC Berkeley's Office of the Registrar, said Deborah Gray, special events scheduler for the office.

Before budget cuts, departments could afford to pay for rooms, leaving the registrar's rooms vacant for use by students. However, since funding has become an issue, many are forced to utilize the free services, Gray said.

Gray is responsible for scheduling all room reservations and handles an average of 40,000 to 45,000 requests per year. There are more than 125 rooms available through the registrar's office, but location and amenities for the rooms vary, making some more appealing to groups than others.

Previously, student groups were given priority over academic departments, but now the system is run on a first-come-first-serve basis. Both student groups and academic departments sign up for rooms online with preference given to whoever clicks the "send" button first.

According to junior Roselyn Ly, the external vice president of campus relations for Phi Beta Lambda, processing time has been slow, and without a room number, it is difficult to publicize events. Ly, a political economy major, said she does not blame the registrar's office for delays, but holds the system culpable.

"It seems like this semester the rooms have been too small or too far away, and there's nothing else available," she said. "It's hard to offer suggestions (for solutions) because there are limited resources available."

In a meeting held on Oct. 27, John Tran, academic affairs vice president, addressed student groups and their concerns with LaVern Lazzereschi, principal administrative analyst for the Office of the Registrar.

Tran has called for the creation of a student task force, which he said will research reservation systems at other colleges and will then develop a method conducive to both student group and academic department requests.

"I'm pretty confident that once more students are involved in the discussions about room reservation policies they should become more user-friendly," Tran said.

Tags: STUDENT GROUPS, ASUC


Contact Mollie Bloudoff-Indelicato at [email protected]



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