By Eliza Croft
The final policy document for Kambri bookings has been released to the public. The new policy sees various student groups able to access a number of spaces free of charge.
Under the leaked draft policy, clubs and other student groups could access the teaching rooms in the Marie Reay Teaching Centre for free, and other spaces at a “discount”. However, even with this discount, the groups faced fees of hundreds or thousands of dollars.
The new policy will see “Student Associations, clubs & societies, ANU departments & colleges [sic]” able to use spaces in the “Public Realm” for free: The Lane, The Lawn, University Avenue, and the Amphitheatre. Activities in these spaces must be “approved through the Precinct Management team”, with the policy document saying this is to “ensure that there are not multiple events planned in the space at the same time ”.
When it comes to indoor spaces, the above-mentioned student groups will continue to be able to use the Marie Reay teaching spaces for free, and events with more than 100 attendees will now also be able to use the Marie Reay ‘Superfloor’ at no cost. However, groups may be charged a “cleaning fee” of $150 (for the teaching rooms) or $300 (for the Superfloor) for “any events that have food and beverage or excess rubbish (or as deemed necessary if left in an untidy state)”. The policy states, “Food and Beverage in the [Marie Reay building] (only) can be organised through any licensed or insured company.” An ANU spokesperson clarified that student groups will still be able to provide food such as snacks and home baking, but that any alcohol must be organised through an insured and licensed company.
Some events will still incur a booking cost similar to the previous draft policy. Most student groups will need to pay to use spaces in the Cultural Centre. For example, using the Drama Theatre for a half-day would incur a $600 cost, and hosting an event in the Cultural Centre lobby would cost $1440. Student groups will also have to pay to use all spaces (including those in the Public Realm) if they are hosting an “income producing” event.
The policy also increases the number of “anchor users”. These groups can access special rates for the spaces that are suited to them. In the leaked draft, this applied to the ANU Film Group accessing the Cinema, and the National University theatre Society (NUTS) accessing the Drama Theatre. Now, “all theatre groups”, Revues, and residential hall productions will be able to use the Drama Theatre for $250 per day or $1000 per week. Additionally, student groups can use the Cinema free of charge if they are “sponsored” by the Film Group.
These changes come after mass backlash to a leaked draft policy. The Environment Collective and Clubs Council hosted a student forum to discuss the proposal and draft a motion for ANUSA’s Student Representative Council (SRC) opposing any booking fees. At last week’s SRC meeting, the motion was debated at length. All those who spoke on the issue opposed the draft policy, but some believed that cleaning fees or other small fees could be acceptable, and others expressed the view that ANUSA needed to be able to “compromise” on the matter. The motion ultimately passed, with a small qualifier added to say that ANUSA only had to push for free bookings “to the full extent of its bargaining power”. A “Club Stall Day” has been organised for tomorrow in opposition to booking fees. Observer understand that this event is still going ahead.
Student representatives and activists have generally reacted positively to the new policy. Facebook page ‘No fees for Kambri – save our clubs’ called the changes “a huge win for students”. PARSA has labelled the new policy “more student friendly”, saying it “represents a much fairer balance”. Clubs Council Secretary Jason Pover shared the “amazing” news to clubs, saying, “it’s certainly not a perfect policy, but a substantial improvement on what we saw previously.”
ANU will be holding a student forum to discuss the policy on 13 May. The policy will be reviewed in October, and at six monthly intervals thereafter.
Clubs Council Secretary Jason Pover is also the Secretary of Observer. He has no part in the editorial process.
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