Clubs struggle with absence of storage space

Circle K Club President Blake Lerner’s car is used as a storage space for the club. Photo by Nicole Smith

For years, student club locker space was located in the basement of the SUB, providing room for clubs to hold items they needed for meetings, or periodically throughout the year.

Student Body President Kiah Abbey estimated that four or five clubs used the locker spaces extensively, while as many as 25 used them in some capacity.

The option of having a locker became unavailable in January of this year, however, as clubs received notice that their storage items would have to be moved to another location on the third floor of the SUB.

According to Lukas Geyer, Associate Professor and Faculty Sponsor of the University Chess Club, the clubs were notified via e-mail, which gave them less than 14 hours to move their supplies to the new location. If the items were not moved, they would be recycled or thrown away.

When the Office of Activities and Engagement (OAE) was created last spring, it required SUB space that had previously been used for club storage. The club lockers were then relocated across campus to the former Office of Community Involvement’s abandoned office in Culbertson Hall. Kathryn Tanner, Director of the OAE, said that although her office knew Culbertson was not an ideal location, they were happy to have found a space for club storage.

This was not a permanent solution, however. According to Tanner, Culbertson Hall is an academic building and therefore is under the purview of the Provost. The Office of the Provost, under advisal from the Space Committee, determined that student club storage space was an inappropriate use of the rooms in Culbertson. Because of this decision, the clubs were contacted during Catapalooza and told to collect their possessions by a named deadline.

With no other storage space available, the clubs were informed that there would no longer be lockers offered.

This process of relocation and elimination of the club storage space has angered several clubs on campus, including the University Chess Club. The club, which stored game pieces for meetings as well as banners and equipment for events, has been forced to take out a small bowling locker in the SUB to hold its equipment. The club’s larger items, which do not fit in the bowling locker, have been temporarily stored in Dean of Students Matt Caires’ office.

Club treasurer, Travis Kidd, said his biggest issue with the process has been the “general lack of respect and communication” afforded to clubs. He noted the short timing of the notifications sent to clubs and his feeling that they were merely an inconvenience to the administration. “Our needs,” he continued, “haven’t been considered or given any sort of priority.”

Kidd pointed out that included in the Strategic Plan for the University is the hope of doubling the number of student organizations on campus. “Yet they’re pulling support for student organizations,” he said.

Plans are being made to accommodate student club storage, Kiah Abbey said. The SUB Advisory Board is currently looking into space available on SUB third floor landings. The lockers, she said, will hopefully be available by the end of the semester.

“The bottom line,” she said, “is that we’re going to have to get creative with space. I think this is…something that is necessary for a lot of clubs, but at the end of the day, it’s a privilege.”

 

Make your voice heard:
Club Charette
October 17th 1-3 p.m.
SUB 233 and 235