Campus / News / October 21, 2015

Reserving space poses challenges

Dancers of the Terpsichore Dance Collective perform a dance inspired by the ocean during dress rehearsal on Wednesday, March 5. (Jason Deschamps/TKS)

Dancers of the Terpsichore Dance Collective perform a dance inspired by the ocean during dress rehearsal on Wednesday, March 5. (Jason Deschamps/TKS)

When Terpsichore Dance Collective Co-Production Managers and sophomores Elise Goitia and Claire Cody went to meet with Associate Professor of Theatre Craig Choma to discuss production elements for the fall Terpsichore show, they were unaware that Harbach Theatre had already been booked on the day of their show for another event.

For Terpsichore, the double booking was a minor mishap; the show was quickly rescheduled and everything was back on track.

While the occurrence was a first for Terpsichore and Choma, for many other students and organizations on campus the frustrations of double-bookings are a weekly concern.

For Orthodox Christian Fellowship President and junior Micah Wilger, the issue of double booking came into play as soon as the school year started. The Common Room in Old Main, where OCF meets weekly, had been reserved and locked for an audit which would last more than a week. The only warning that Wilger received was a note taped to the Common Room doors announcing to students that the space was off limits.

“No one told us about this, not Campus Life, not [Campus Life Secretary] Cindy Wickliffe. I just came and the room was locked and there was a sign. Thankfully there was a sign at least. So we kind of just had to make do for the first few weeks,” Wilger said.

Some spaces have a better time with scheduling than others. Cody, the Dance Secretary who is in charge of scheduling practices and events in the Aux Gym, maintains and updates a Google Calendar.

“I make sure to send out the schedule so [students] have access to that calendar,” Cody said.

The calendar helps reduce conflicts and is still manageable because it only addresses the Aux Gym. For the Center for Fine Arts, which has multiple stages, productions in process and people in charge, there is no such system.

Across campus, reserving space has been a problem for students, some of whom don’t even know who to contact to address the issue.

“There is no one office that is in charge of scheduling events,” Choma said. “With [scheduling] fractured in so many ways, it is hard to figure out who to contact and what needs to be done.”

A look into who is in charge of what spaces lead to a list of several faculty and staff in charge of various spaces.

Options have been suggested as a way to avoid these conflicts and reduce the chance of them happening. Some other groups have gotten together and collaborated on a schedule that works for all of them or are creating their own Google Calendars.

Choma, who is already in charge of multiple parts of CFA, has suggested the creation of a new office that would be in charge of scheduling events, even if only for CFA. The new office would be able to handle scheduling various groups more effectively, would have keys and access to various rooms to ensure that they were unlocked and set and would be able to coordinate events so that there are no conflicts in times, locations or theme.

As with all spaces, priority would go first to any academic events. But since the new department would not be specialized in any field, they would be able to communicate across departments, creating a more unified events schedule on campus and preventing event overloads.

For now, students in charge of reserving space are advised to keep in mind who they should contact for that particular location, and to send out emails as soon as possible in order to take advantage of the “first-come, first-served” policy when it comes to clubs and other activities. Because conflicts can happen, having a secondary date or location in mind is a good idea.

Sarah McCurley

Tags:  aux gym calendar campus life CFA Ford Center for the Fine Arts harbach theatre Orthodox Christian Fellowship scheduling space terpsichore

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