The doors of the new student organization space on Broadway will open in February. But administrators still do not know who will be able to walk through those doors.
The Committee on Undergraduate Organizations met Monday to discuss the use of the space. Though nothing was officially decided, members will continue to consider the issues of storage and access through the end of the semester.
Dean of Student Affairs Betty Trachtenberg said that since there is no precedent for this type of facility, the guidelines are subject to change.
“Nothing is ruled out, nothing is ruled in,” she said. “Access will be electronic — who will have access, how many people will have access, and the hours of operation are subjects still under discussion.”
Philip Greene, an assistant dean of Yale College, said that he would be inclined to have the space open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but that limiting the hours may reduce the wear and tear on the facility.
The committee has not yet decided whether all undergraduates or even all undergraduate organizations will have access to the space. Trachtenberg said one of the factors is that the fire marshal has not yet said what the maximum capacity of the space will be.
“I think we’re going to clear 300 groups registered in this office by end of the year, which is an extraordinary high number for a school,” Greene said. “My perception was that the space is for registered student organizations, by implication not for those who haven’t registered.”
Three undergraduates serve on the organizations committee — Meredith Whipple ’03, Serge Grossman ’03, and Undergraduate Organizations Funding Committee Chair Ames Brown ’02.
Trachtenberg said she would appreciate e-mail feedback from students interested in using the space.
One of the central purposes of the space is to provide storage for student organizations, Trachtenberg said.
“There will be storage for students to house their files” Trachtenberg said. “One of the main features of the space is to relieve students who have to store organization files in their rooms — they invariably get lost, financial data gets lost, and the treasurer has to start all over.”
Trachtenberg said she expects construction on the space to end soon.
“We’ve been promised an end of January finishing date and hope to open in February,” Trachtenberg said. “It seems to be [on schedule].”
Only three organizations — the Yale College Council, the Yale Herald and the New Journal — will receive permanent offices, Greene said. The Herald and the New Journal are being displaced from their Park Street offices because St. Thomas More Catholic Center and Chapel plans to lease the building.
The permanent offices will be separate, with access only for members of those two organizations. The remainder of the 6,000-square-foot space will be available for a wide variety of uses.
“We’ve devised a series of so-called breakout rooms,” Greene said. “Student groups who come in and need to shut the door and talk, make long-distance calls [can use these rooms].”
The space will also offer conference rooms and technology such as a copy machine for groups to use.
“[The space will contain] IBM and Mac computer workstations, state of the art desktop publishing, video to digital transfer software, copy machine, fast printers, and some phones to call out,” Greene said.
Trachtenberg said the building has been designed to accommodate many kinds of technology.
“The place is being wired in the most sophisticated manner,” Trachtenberg said. “It probably will be over-wired because it’s much easier to do in the building stage than afterward.”
“I think it’ll take a year or two before we realize the full potential of this space and things change — we’ll have to see how it works,” Trachtenberg said.