Re: Criticizing Club Chairs

Editor, the Gauntlet,

     Mr. Bonner’s letter about the performance of Greg Hovdebo was hasty to say the least. Greg Hovdebo has been extraordinary in his capacity of Students’ Union Clubs Chair. He regularly puts in 20 hours a week in office hours–the position asks for no more than 10. He works diligently to represent clubs both on Club Committee and in the Students’ Legislative Council.

Mr. Bonner was correct in his assessment of the allocation of office space. It is an arduous task, and one the Club Committee must do every single year. He is right that the SU does not have the resources to house each one of the SU sanctioned clubs. However, Mr. Bonner was incorrect in his statement that the balance of clubs that do not receive office space in MacEwan Student Centre are able to find it in other buildings on campus. Very rarely is it possible for a non-academic club to find space anywhere other than Mac Hall and chances are further reduced if they do not have the funds to rent the space.

The Club Office space in Mac Hall is coveted, and with over 160 clubs on campus there is a fight each year for the space. Clubs are asked to submit an "Office Space Application Form" by the end of the school year. During the summer the Club Committee then designates one meeting towards office space allocation. At the beginning of the meeting the Club Committee determines the criteria for receiving an office, and clubs are judged on the applications they submit. Every member sits down with all the applications and determines which clubs are most deserving of the space.

It is inevitable some clubs will be angry at the decisions made at that meeting. The reality of the situation is that clubs compete against each other.

When Mr. Bonner said Greg’s "facts are just plain wrong," it is appropriate to mention that Mr. Bonner was not present for the meeting, and is not aware of what transpired. We know office space is coveted, and it is a very substantial point on Greg’s behalf that clubs interested in the office space will ensure their applications are up to par. As harsh as it sounds, it is true that clubs who were denied office space were denied it because their application was not up to the standard their counterparts had achieved.

By the time Greg posted the letter on his door, he had already been approached by the entire membership of some clubs questioning the decision of the Club Committee and demanding explanations. In writing and posting the letter, Greg was answering the questions club members had been asking him since the school term began. It is my belief that neither Greg nor the Clubs Coordinator are required to answer the same question to every single member of every single club who was denied office space. A better approach would be to appreciate the limited time that Greg and the Clubs Coordinator have to work with by sending one delegate to express their concerns and having that delegate e-mail the details of the conversation to the membership of the club.

It should also be noted the Club Committee is aware of the frustration felt concerning office space allocation. It is our intent to provide clubs with the necessary information to be able to complete an application form successfully.

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