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Student Center Committee Makes Plans to Restructure

By Stacey E. Blau
News Editor

The Student Center Committee is currently planning changes that will involve restructuring and expanding the organization over the next several years, according to SCC Chair Jonathan A. Allen '96.

"We're looking at what other programs we can do," Allen said. The SCC wants "more than a focus on just pubs and concerts that we've been doing over the past years. The SCC does programming for the entire campus," something which makes its target audience much bigger than some more specialized groups, he said.

The changes are going to start out small, Allen said. It is going to take about five years before the entire process of restructuring is complete, he said.

The SCC runs the 24-Hour Coffee House and the SCC Gameroom. It also organizes the MIT College Bowl and runs postering services as wells as events like the Strat's Rat, the Battle of the Bands, and comedy nights.

"We're still actually pretty much in the planning stages" of the restructuring, Allen said. The SCC has been busy recently with planning this weekend's spring concert and organizing other Spring Weekend '96 events, Allen said.

SCC plans Program Board with CAC

The major part of the restructuring for the SCC has involved the creation of the Program Board in conjunction with the Campus Activities Complex. "Program Board" will replace the SCC name.

The Program Board will involve creating an advising and working relationship between the SCC and CAC, said Director of the Campus Activities Complex Phillip J. Walsh.

The idea is to "create a mechanism whereby there can be increased activity for the SCC," Walsh said. "Some existing programs will continue, and some new ones can flourish."

The programming board concept grew out of a mutual desire to revitalize the SCC, Walsh said.

The SCC "is still going to be a student run organization," Allen said. With the changes, it will have the benefit of "more support from the administration -- namely CAC," he said.

"It's a big process," said Sarah S. Sarvis '96, SCC concert chair. "There's going to be a lot more overseeing. We're doing a big merger, basically."

"It's the best thing for the SCC," Sarvis said. The SCC as a whole was in agreement that it wanted the to work with the CAC to improve its situation.

"A lot of us in SCC now are graduating," Sarvis said. Over the past few years, the SCC's membership has dwindled from about 30 core members to the seven to 10 that will be left next year. The extra involvement with the CAC may help the SCC with its recruitment efforts, she said.

SCC wants to `improve social life'

The SCC provides a unique service to MIT, Sarvis said. "Sometimes MITisn't the most social of places," she said.

"Basically, we just want to improve the social life at MIT -- which could use some improving," Allen said. The SCC has plans for a number of events in the next year, including a drag show and an a capella contest.

While the restructuring will involve new ideas, some plans will also involve dealing with long-standing problems like the SCC's financial troubles with the coffee house.

"The coffee house has been losing money over the years," Allen said. "That's been a drain financially for us." The SCC took out a loan during the 1980s to move the coffeehouse from the second floor of the Student Center to its current location on the third floor. "We're still paying off that loan now," he said.

The gameroom earns about $90,000 every year, the bulk of the SCC's income. That money goes to fund the SCC's other events, Allen said.

"We're financially okay," Allen said. "We wouldn't have been allowed to do the Spring Concert if we were in debt." The SCC pays each year for the band that comes to play for Spring Weekend.

This year, the SCC chose Soul Coughing, a band less well-known and less expensive than some bands in previous years. The concert "was scaled down because of budgetary restrictions," Allen said.

The coffee house will close down just for the summer, and two student project managers will do some customer research that may help the coffee house improve business, Allen said. There are no plans to close down the coffee house permanently, however.

"The coffee house has a core following," Allen said. "Someone would probably shoot us if we closed down."