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Senate gives funding to pay Karges’ building managers

September 30, 2010

Student Senate approved a motion allocating $13,600 towards paying the salaries of student building managers in Karges Center Tuesday. Any unused money will be returned to the Senate reserve account at the end of the year.

The building managers were trained and hired to increase the security and safety of the facility after a blood spill incident was not handled properly last spring said Director of Recreation and Sport Facilities Steve Stocker.

Because the positions were new and there was no current budget that included the pay of the building managers, Karges began to charge fees to student organizations and others for use of the facility to gain funds and compensate the managers.

Club sports organizations were not able to plan for these fees in their budgets ahead of time. Each of the 13 affected organizations would then have to request extra funds from the Senate reserve account to pay those fees.

Rather than allocate more money to each organization to pay fees, Allocable Fees Appropriate Board Chair Jordan Harshman said that paying the managers directly would be more cost effective. For example, if two organizations reserved spaces from 1-3, each would have to pay the full reservation fee which would be more than paying the building manager’s salary for those two hours.

The decision will also make the transaction process simpler, reduce paperwork and staff labor to complete those transactions.

Managers would be in charge of opening and closing the facility, monitoring the space reservation schedule and some additional custodial duties said Stocker. Previously, the building was opened and locked up by custodial staff and University Police.

Sometimes the building was left open, Stocker said. Because of that, anyone could walk into the building. Students were found wandering in classrooms or rode bikes through the building. He said that another person set a pair of tennis shoes on fire in the basement Saturday.

Because the managers will have to be on duty when the facility is in use, the times available for reservation have been restricted to four hours of reservable time in the evenings Sunday through Thursday and two hours of open gym time during midday Monday through Friday.

How the manager’s salaries will be funded annually is still uncertain said Stocker. The possibilities include a segregated fee increase of approximately two dollars, budgeting the money out of one of the overseeing departments or finding another source. Currently, the building is overseen at different times of the day by three departments: Health and Human Performance, Athletics, and Recreational and Sports Facilities.

Stocker said that this situation could be seen as a starting point for creating an operational plan for the new HHP building and deciding how the three departments will work together.

While the decision to pay managers directly will remove the reservation fees for student organizations and intramural sports, alumni, faculty and community members will still have to make reservations and pay fees.

Knowles already charges use fees and is a popular facility for community members.

Stocker said Knowles is a place used frequently and that it builds a relationship between the students and community. Activities at Knowles provide the community with a different view of students rather than seeing them on the streets and in bars.

Student organizations can reserve spaces outside of the schedule, but will have to pay the reservation fee.