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BG24 Newscast
September 29, 2023

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BG24 Newscast
September 29, 2023

Union director proposes room reservation restrictions

When Union Director Patrick Nelson outlined to Undergraduate Student Government his proposed changes to next fall’s Union room reservation guidelines at Monday night’s meeting, it was met with resistance throughout the room, especially with USG President Alex Solis.

Nelson’s plan changes the hours student organizations may reserve Union rooms, limiting their time to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday but allowing meetings at 7 a.m. The plan also limits student organizations to one weekly meeting in the Union for a maximum of two hours, Sunday through Thursday from 6:30 to 11 p.m.

The purpose, Nelson said, is to limit “no-shows,” allow more groups to have meetings in the Union and increase efficiency by not having rooms open yet not in use.

“Our job is to take demand, sort the data, find solutions and support the groups,” he said. “That’s costing us dollars to keep areas open.”

Student organizations can still get an exception if they submit a proposal in writing for the semester, Nelson said.

“We are not going to turn away any reasonable request,” he said.

Nelson also said the University will find a building for an organization to have a meeting if there is no room in the Union.

Solis countered that Nelson didn’t form this policy with any student involvement.

“The last time I checked, student voice matters, and that’s why I took this position,” he said.

Solis also proposed discipline measures for those organizations who do not fully use their scheduled time.

“I think you have to look at the ‘one strike, two strike, three strikes you’re out’ rule,” he said.

Solis, who sees the plan as a limit on student organizations, said he is worried about what these changes will lead to in the future.

“I’m very concerned that if this is the first step, then what’s next?” he said. “I’m more worried is, will this stay a student Union?”

Other organizations are also “fired up,” Solis said. He plans to get to work on a USG resolution declaring their opposition to the change.

There will be open forums in 206 Union to raise awareness Feb. 12 at 3:30 p.m. and Feb. 13 at 7:30 p.m.

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