Student group spaces get shuffled

The Portland State Space Allocation Committee released the new locations for student group offices in the Smith Memorial Student Union (SMSU) today. The committee has been working on the new student group locations since September, and plans to have groups moved into new spaces by June 30.

The decisions come after the committee gained space in SMSU, including Library East and telecommunications offices.

"We’ve had a very fruitful year. We’ve been able to give space to a lot of groups that haven’t had it before," Smith Advisory Board member Nicole Browning said.

The new space has been parceled out to student groups, some of whom say they did not want to move.

At press time, three groups had signed up to appeal their new space assignments: Students for Unity, Mega Gamers and the Vanguard. SFU and the Vanguard raised questions concerning the Space Allocation Committee’s rationale of assigning new spaces to the established groups, saying the proposed spaces are less accessible.

The proposal would move Students For Unity, which shares Room 103 in the Smith mezzanine with OSPIRG, to the telecommunications offices, which will be remodeled. The Pre-Health and Pre-Law Societies would take over Room M103.

"We’re really upset because we’ll be separated from OSPIRG, and we’ll be pushed further back, so we’ll be less accessible to students," Students for Unity member Kayla Goldfarb said. "We’re an advocacy and service group. Why would [the incoming groups] need to be in here instead of in telecom? I’m curious as to why they have the option over us."

The Outdoor Program has been slated to take over the Vanguard Ad Office’s current location in Room 115, in the main ground floor hallway across from the university store. The ad office would move to empty space in the basement.

"It’s important to have a high-visibility location on campus where students can interact with the paper," Vanguard Editor in Chief Christian Gaston said. "Having the advertising office in a high traffic area allows us to use it for promotion and marketing purposes as well."

"It’s unfortunate that decisions like this were made without consulting the Vanguard," Gaston said.

OSPIRG has requested to stay with SFU in the current office. Member Meredith Small said, "It’ll be nice for us to have our own office," but added that they would miss sharing an office with SFU as well as the visibility and easy access of their current office.

Empress Aquarian, Pre-Health Society member, was pleased to hear of her group’s reassignment. "Anything’s better than the sub-basement," she said, citing a break-in and homeless people sleeping outside her office door.

Outdoor Program members were also pleased with their group’s space assignment, which is several times larger than the current office. According to Todd Bauch, ODP director, it will allow the program to combine office and equipment rental functions.

"Right now we can’t afford to keep our rentals open full-time," Bauch said, referring to the alley space where equipment is stored. "We just don’t have the ability to have someone there all the time.

The process that the Space Allocation Committee used is basically a point system that bases a student group’s eligibility for a space on factors like student membership, advisor recommendations, and activities and events.

Wafa Ghnaim-Alston, chair of the Space Allocation Committee, said the Vanguard Ad Office’s space allocation was based on an application that was unclear on basic information about what they do and what kind of space they wanted.

"We thought it was a great space," she said of the change, expressing surprise at the negative response. Ghnaim-Alston says the committee chose that space for the Ad Office because of the basement’s "community flow."

"These are initial allocations; they’re not permanent," Ghnaim-Alston said.

"I’m really hoping anyone who has concerns will come talk to us," Browning added. "People hear ‘appeals’ and they freak out. That’s what appeals are for."

New student group locations
Where groups are moving in the Smith Memorial Student Union

Graphic Design Center/Portland Review: SB 30
KPSU: SB 18 and SB 23
Rearguard: SB 21
Vanguard: SB 26

Food for Thought Caf퀌�: current space and B 26A

First Floor
ASPSU: 117
SALP: 119, 119A, 119B and 119C
Advisor offices: 107-9, 118
Campus Rec: 104, 114, 142C

First Floor Mezzanine
Advisor offices: M102, M113B
World Dance Organization: M104
Literary Arts Council: M104
OSPIRG: M107-12
Arab Persian Student Organization: M107-6
BCAB: M109
Pre-Law: M103
American Society of Engineers: M107-10
Campus Crusade for Christ: M113F
Pacific Islanders Club: M113H
MEChA: M113A
Forensics/Debate Team: M107-7
Portland State Students Opera Theater: M107-5
Sailing Club: M107-11
Students for Unity; M107-3
Las Mujeres: M112
PSU Cycling Club: M107-4
Dancers Club: M107-11
Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship: M113F
BCM Christian Challenge: M113F
League of Women Voters: M113-I

Third Floor Mezzanine
Student Center for Dispute Resolution: M333

Fourth Floor
Queer Resource Center/Queers and Allies: 401A-E