Student organizations face delays in room reservations

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Campus student groups were informed by the Scheduling Office on Tuesday that room reservations for campus events would be unavailable for an indefinite period of time.

In a statement released by the Scheduling Office, it is explained that the Office of the Registrar put a hold on making weekday reservations partly because of scheduling conflicts with academic events. Campus communications manager Adam Ratliff clarified in an email that these events are academic classes and discussions. The Scheduling Office’s statement also said all weekday room requests would only be processed once these events are confirmed.

“In addition to the expected daytime impact and enrollment growth, more and more classes are being offered in the evenings,” Ratliff said in an email. “With the Wheeler classrooms offline, we are facing a classroom (General Assignment) shortage.”

According to Ratliff, the campus’s classroom scheduling team is working on a new system that will allow students to search for and book available rooms at certain times but could not complete it in time for the spring 2017 semester. Instead, the system will launch in the fall 2017 semester, and is expected to reduce the wait time for room reservations, Ratliff said in an email.

Campus sophomore Grace O’Toole, who was a Daily Californian general assignment reporter in fall 2015, is vice president of events at the Berkeley Forum. She said before the new reservation system was implemented, groups made specific room reservations through the representatives of each individual building. According to O’Toole, 25Live, the new website for the reservation system, is an attempt to process all the requests through a central system.

“In theory, centralizing is a really great idea,” O’Toole said. “How it’s being implemented could use an improvement.”

Roshan Varadarajan, a campus senior and president of Berkeley Consulting, said room delays have been an issue in the past, but not at the magnitude they’re at now. Many student organizations such as Berkeley Consulting have major events occurring next week, and Varadarajan said he is a little frustrated by the lack of official communication or explanation from the school’s reservation system.

Varadarajan said he has not heard anything about why these delays are happening. He added that he would like to see more open communication from the school, although he does not think any particular party can be blamed for the delays.

“The lack of transparency is more frustrating than the inability to actually get the room,” Varadarajan said.

Ashley Wong is the lead academics and administration reporter. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @wongalum.