More space is being allocated to student activities this year as a result of the opening of Bartlett Dining Commons. Several Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) will have office space on the first floor of Bartlett beginning this spring.
RSOs have annually been allotted office space in Ida Noyes Hall and the Reynolds Club by the Committee of Recognized Student Organizations (CORSO) and the Office of the Reynolds Club and Student Activities (ORCSA). The revamping of Bartlett Gymnasium as a dining hall has created addition space on its first floor for RSO offices.
"The opening in Bartlett doesn't mean that there will be less space in the other two buildings," said Student Government (SG) President Ben Aderson. "There is simply going to be more space."
Chosen from among the applicants for the spaces in Bartlett are the six Coalition of Academic Teams (CAT) teams: College Bowl, Model United Nations, Chicago Debate Society, CEDA/NDT Debate Team, Chess Team, and Mock Trial. These groups will each have a section of the shared office space on the first floor of Bartlett, which is the only space available in the building.
"The organizations are given space based on several different factors including RSO membership and space requirements of their organization (e.g. storage, meeting space),"Aderson said.
RSOs must submit an application to CORSO to be allotted space. CORSO, a body made up of SG and RSO representatives, then makes allocation recommendations to the director of ORCSA. This process takes place every spring so that the organizations may begin to use allotted space in the fall of each new year.
"The applications for all three buildings, Ida Noyes, Reynolds Club and the new Bartlett, are all identical, and all organizations have an equal chance of getting in each of the locations," says Jennifer Bird, Director of ORCSA.
"And although some organizations will be rejected, we don't really consider this process that of a competition."
This year there are 31 RSOs with office space in the Reynolds Club and 12 in Ida Noyes Hall.
The CAT teams will move into the new Bartlett space from cubicles on the first floor of the Reynolds Club. "The cubicles are adequate, but for our teams they've simply become too small," says Andrea Haney, the president of the Chicago Debate Society and a fourth-year in the college. "We need computers and desks and office equipment, which means that we need a safe office to keep them in to reduce the chance of break-ins."
The six CAT teams have previously applied separately for the office space, but this year, after the application process they met to jointly petition ORCSA. Due to the new open spaces in Bartlett, their application for offices was accepted.
Although the CAT teams are scheduled to move into Bartlett this spring, it is likely that they will begin the moving process at the beginning of next year.