People who use the K-State Student Union for conferences are now officially required to pay for the use of rooms.
Effective Jan. 1, 2007, conference rates are charged to rooms when two or more of the following apply: a group of people is using two or more rooms in one day, people are meeting in rooms for two consecutive days, there is a charge or admission fee for the conference or the conference involves mostly off-campus attendees, according to the Appendix B of the Union Constitution.
Jack Connaughton, associate director of the Union, said the criteria for payment were implied in the past but were not in writing.
“All we did was revise what constitutes a conference,” Connaughton said. “The same criteria is still there.”
The Union Governing Board set the guidelines for what qualifies as a conference in the middle of last semester, said Mary Fox, president of the Union Governing Board.
“The reason it came up was because we had fuzzy lines between who was a conference and who was exempt from it,” said Fox, junior in political science. “Being that we are a nonprofit organization, we were losing money.”
Fox said some groups were using their organizations to get free rooms for companies.
“Any student organization gets to book rooms for free,” Fox said. “Sometimes people used the rooms to recruit for jobs. We wanted to eliminate that.”
When organizations charge a fee for the conferences, Connaughton said there should be a fee for the room in which they have their conference.
“If you’re having a conference, more than likely you’re charging a deligate fee,” he said. “Over the years there have been some situations that we wanted to take a look and get everyone on the same fee. That was the reason for trying to look at it. We were inconsistent. We thought, if your organization’s going to get charged, it should be the same rate and situation.”
Fox said the set guidelines have led to a few complaints.
“The biggest complaint was that an organization has used it every year and they have been exempt,” she said. “They haven’t paid in the past.”
However, Fox said most students and organizations understand.
The exceptions to the charged rates occur when the event includes mostly college or high school students and the sponsoring K-State organization is not charging a fee, according to Appendix B.
For more information about Appendix B, contact the Union Director’s office at (785) 532-6591.