Committee considers giving more space to student orgs

By Federico Burlon

Student organizations looking for space on campus met two weeks ago with a Macalester College Student Government (MCSG) committee that is trying to redistribute available campus space among student organizations.The Campus Spaces Committee has been evaluating all “underused campus spaces that could be given to students organizations,” according to committee member Franz Meyer ’09. The committee plans to use responses from the recent MCSG survey on budgeting priorities in deciding how to allocate space.

“We toured the campus and looked at rooms in buildings’ basements that could be better used,” Meyer said. He said that many rooms in dorm basements “were to be given to student organizations but then were used as storage rooms.”

The basement of George Draper Dayton Hall (GDD) contains a music room that could be used by a student org, committee member Brian Stephenson ’10 said.

The room is soundproof and “if you played the drums there, nobody would hear you on the first floor,” Stephenson said.

Currently, this room is full of beds waiting to be repaired.

Two weeks ago, the committee met to find out about student organizations’ space needs and to try to match them with the list of “possibly available” spaces.

Six or seven student organizations expressed a desire for meeting and storage space on campus, including Mac Bike, which previously unsuccessfully lobbied for space in the new athletic center. Despite the fact that only a few representatives showed up at the meeting, Meyer said he thinks that most organizations would like to have their own space on campus.

Stephenson said he hopes that the new athletic center will have space for student organizations, but the issue is still in its “abstract” stages. “We don’t know how much space student organizations are going to be given,” he said.

Stephenson said that the music room in GDD is one space he fully expects to be utilized by a student group.

“I would expect that it will be ready at the beginning of next semester,” he said, noting that the broken beds currently occupying the space could be moved to other storage rooms.

The committee’s other projects include a proposal for the renovation of 10K, in the basement of Dupre Hall.

The source of the funding for these projects is not yet clear.

“It can be from the budget of MCSG or from the college itself, given that it will be used for improving common spaces to all students,” Stephenson said.

For Mac Bike, the future is still unclear. “We couldn’t put them in the new athletics facility,” Meyer said, but “we proposed them a room in the basement of GDD which they liked.”