Construction, fewer meeting spaces create headaches for groups

With construction under way and more than 100 student clubs and organizations on campus, scheduling events and meetings has become more difficult than usual.

Linda Halverson is in charge of all facilities scheduling and said that challenges remain because of the need to convert offices for financial aid, ROTC and athletic staff during the construction projects.

Assistant Director of Campus Life Tasia Tigue said she has not noticed that many challenges.

“I think the challenge lies in when student groups want a specific room and that room is not available,” Tigue said. “I have not had any groups where they can’t find space anywhere. Sometimes it is just not the one that they want.”

Tigue said that it is the popular rooms such as Murray-Herrick 304, Koch Fireside and McNeely Great room that have scheduling issues. From her experience, students have been cooperative and when these rooms are not available, alternate locations are suggested.

Gamma Sigma Sigma’s Social Chair and senior Tiffany Bloomquist has experienced problems this year with its weekly Monday night meetings.

Gamma is a sorority of 135 women that meets every Monday night at 9:15 pm in Murray-Herrick 304. The president requests the space at the beginning of the semester. But the past few weeks the group has had to move from the Murray-Herrick ballroom to either OEC auditorium or the 3M auditorium in Owens Science Hall.

“The Murray ballroom is the largest space that holds different events and Gamma needs a space big enough space to hold 100-plus girls,” Bloomquist said. “So we are kind of limited to where we can go on campus.”

The first time Gamma had to move out of Murray Herrick 304 was due to a larger event and the executive board was not aware of the change until about an hour before the meeting.

“We started sending e-mails, updating Facebook statuses or texting all the Gamma girls in our phones to get the word out of the changes,” Bloomquist said. “Apparently there are some things that can move us and sometimes they don’t give us much of a warning if at all.”

For groups like PULSE, finding alternate locations is not an ideal option. PULSE is a performance group that performs several times a year in the Brady Educational Center auditorium.

PULSE Vice President Katia Dragotis is in charge of the scheduling for the group and has faced several challenges this year.

“Especially this year, it has been really hard,” Dragotis said. “Especially with events because there is such limited space. We have tried to adapt and accommodate. BEC has been hard to get because classes have been moved there due to the lack of space.”

Dragotis has worked with the facilities department and has had to adjust PULSE’s performance schedule with the availability of BEC.

BEC is the ideal location for the number of people that the events attract. OEC auditorium would be the second choice but since the stage is carpeted it is not the ideal performance space.

But for junior Erin Weber, co-president of Students Against Multiple Sclerosis (SAMS), meeting schedules are often flexible.

With just 15 members, SAMS is a relatively small group. The group holds meetings once a month. Weber schedules meetings a week or two in advance with the online system and never has a problem finding a location somewhere in Murray-Herrick.

“We have had issues in scheduling speakers because we were not able to get a big enough room and had to reschedule for a later date,” Weber said.

Student clubs and organizations may have less space but Halverson has not had too many issues overall.

“People are generally very understanding, flexible and accommodating to the extent they can be,” Halverson said.

Brian Matthews can be reached at