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ASA to Reset Activity Spaces by March

By Rishi Shrivastava
Staff Reporter

In March, the Association of Student Activities will finalize its plan to re-allocate office space for student activities.

The ASA categorizes activities into two classes, said Scott D. Centurino '94, ASA treasurer. There are approximately 200 class one activities and 80 class two activities; technically, the ASA Executive Board can only assign rooms to class one activities, he said.

Kenneth Yang '95, an ASA Board member, assured that all groups who currently have a room will have a room next year. In many cases, they may actually "be moved to better rooms," Yang said. Only a few groups lost space this year because there were few petitions, he added.

The board makes decisions independently of whether groups currently occupy rooms so that no group holds an unfair advantage, Yang said. The idea is to make as many people as happy as possible, Centurino said.

Large groups have their own clout and ties to the administration, Centurino said. But ASA tries to be accessible to other groups as well, he said. Some groups have been looking for rooms since the early 1980s, he added.

Activities protest allocations

Student groups may file complaints to ASA concerning their tentative room assignments by the Feb. 14 deadline.

The Chinese Students Club, an activity in danger of losing its room, was surprised because it has over 200 members, making it one of the larger student groups, said CSC President Beth L. Chen '94.

Chen said the classification does not seem just, and she did not understand the factors on which ASA based their decision. All of the CSC books are located in one room; "I felt like our room was pretty important," Chen said.

Ranjini Srikantiah '95, a president of The Society for Women Engineers, said SWE also submitted a protest form. She believes that SWE was recategorized because it did not realize that activities occupying existing space needed to resubmit an application.

Andrew Q. Kraft '95, president of the Musical Theater Guild, said they will not protest the loss of their room because he feels the ASA is doing its job fairly. Kraft said, it is good that the ASA is examining how groups use their space, because many inactive groups have received spaces in the past.

Office Space Allocation Policy

According to the Office Space Allocation Policy passed in November, student groups seeking new office space have until the end of the fall term to apply for rooms.

The ASA board classifies all groups -- with and without space -- into one of three categories. The board then either allows groups to retain their rooms, asks them to relocate, or reassigns their spaces.

Many factors contribute to deciding this classification. The level of member participation, frequency of meetings, usage of space, and willingness to share space with others are some factors that determine group classification.

Groups may protest the decision by submitting a one-page report describing their classification grievances. Afterwards, representatives from the group meet with the Board and the Office of the Dean for Undergraduate Education and Student Affairs.

The Board members then vote again and must agree to a categorization by a two-thirds margin. If the Board fails to reach a decision after three votes, the Dean's office representation then decides the categorization.