After holding its meeting in the same room for the past five years, the UCSB Red Cross Club was recently forced by Associated Students to relocate.
In previous years, the club had met in the A.S. Community Affairs Board office with permission from former A.S. Community Affairs Associate Director James To. Associated Students ordered the move last Thursday and stated that only A.S.-affiliated organizations are authorized to use the space. RCC President Toni Brand said the timing of the relocation is particularly inconvenient for the club as it is currently preparing its “Fight the Bite” fundraiser – a campaign that seeks to raise funds to help stop the spread of malaria.
“It’s really taken up my time as the president.” Brand said. “Right now we don’t have a room. We’re actually meeting outside of the CAB office tonight. I just think [A.S.] really handled it poorly.”
Since the RCC was ordered to leave the premises, the organization has begun the process of relocating club headquarters to a space in the Student Resource Building.
A.S. Executive Director Marisela Marquez said that although the previous arrangement with To had allowed the club to maintain the space, when To left the university in Jan. ’08, the agreement had to end.
“There are no student groups that are not affiliated with A.S. that are allowed to be in that space,” Marquez said. “I only became aware of their use of that space last week, and the privilege of being able to be there could no longer be extended.”
According to Brand, A.S. Community Volunteer Coordinator Pam Van Dyke ordered the club to immediately vacate the CAB offices the day after its first meeting of the quarter.
“They said they could offer us a new space, but the CAB office is so convenient to make a successful club work,” Brand said. “The place that they’re moving us to in the SRB doesn’t have the supplies we need. We’re paying a lock-in fee for CAB and we can’t even use the damn office.”
Carolyn Buford, Associated Dean of Students at the Office of Student Life, said she was forced to assign the club a temporary meeting place in the SRB.
“They could no longer occupy the CAB offices,” Buford said. “They’re a student organization, so like other student organizations they need to reserve the space. I have worked with the group and allocated them a meeting room and temporary storage.”
Brand, a fourth-year biology major, said she is outraged by the lack of warning prior to the club’s displacement.
“For the last 5 to 6 years, we’ve been a club on campus we’ve always met in the CAB office,” Brand said. “Now they’re saying that because we are not an A.S. group – we’re part of Office of Student Life – we can’t be located there, but it had never been an issue before. We’re everything CAB represents.”