SAS Discusses Functions of the Student Union

By Minjoo Kim '16SAS Student Union Chair

Within the first week of classes, the Student Union Chair e-mail inbox was flooded with messages, asking about supplies, how to reserve spaces and rent out lockers. Students were constantly in and out making posters and holding meetings. Even so, this still leaves SAS feeling that this space is underutilized, and makes us ask, what else does the Student Union have to offer?

Student fees fund the Student Union, so it is important that the area is serving the interests of the student body. In this spirit, the Student Union Chair hopes to work closely with the CLORGS Chair to help make this space more accessible to all of our students. Scripps students have resources such as SARLO and SCORE, but for clubs that are less event-, awareness-, and politics-based — like the Fine Cheese Club, Get Your Nerd On, or clubs for biology enthusiasts — could the Student Union provide more services and options and essentially become a better resource for our student organizations?

Part of making the Student Union more accessible involves improving its basic organization and implementing specific policies. Changes made so far include improving the reservation process for the Conference Room and the Study Rooms. The reservations must be made 24 hours prior to the meeting by contacting the Student Union Chair through e-mail, who then posts updated weekly calendars in each of the rooms available in the Student Union. It is crucial that the times reserved to clubs and students are in the printed copies of the calendars, because there have been countless instances where people have had to ask others to leave the rooms during their reserved hours.

In order to avoid those awkward situations, please remember that it is important to reserve rooms through the Student Union Chair. As for the locker rental system, the service now comes with a terms and agreements form attached to the confirmation emails, as to preserve the confidentiality of the lockers and to maintain that these are used for the benefit of the student body.

These are relatively small changes, but come under the general understanding that there are many benefits to the currently informal nature of the Student Union - impromptu study sessions and 24-hour access to supplies like markers, paint, and butcher paper being among them.

So where is this space, established only a few years ago, headed? Who is to decide where it should go? The answer to the latter question is most certainly our student body, and the former question will have to be answered by them. Earlier this semester SAS voted to get rid of the helium tanks in the Student Union since, under California law, only people who were certified would be able to use them. Getting rid of the helium tanks helped free up a significant portion of the Student Union budget. However, we do not want to entirely get rid of the services that we provide but hope to replace them with environmentally friendly and more student-accessible options, and more information about them will be coming out soon! As for some exciting news, the supplies from the first order have finally arrived and they are available for all Scripps students to use! But please keep in mind that these supplies only belong in the Student Union and that they do not last forever, but we can always try to have them last longer if we put the supplies back in place! We value student concerns and interest and want to know how the Student Union could better serve the student body! If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to e-mail the Student Union Chair, Minjoo Kim at studentunionchair@gmail.com