The ASUCI Bren Events Center Advisory Board passed new review guidelines on May 21 for student organizations to receive rental fee reductions or waivers for events held at the Bren.
The Bren Events Advisory Board does not have the exact fee reduction because they are currently awaiting approval from Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Manuel Gomez to make the changes permanent.
Currently, special events funding guidelines, which were last revised March 1996, require student organizations to pay a $1,250 rental fee to hold an event at the Bren.
‘Students already pay for the Bren in their student fees, and to charge a large rental fee is like double-charging,’ said Ada Cheng, Bren Events Center Advisory Board Member At-Large.
Under the new revision, however, many of the important standing guidelines will receive necessary clarification.
Rather than pay the $1,250 that has become standard, student organizations will have this fee waived for their first event using the Bren. Should the same club choose to do another event using the center, they will be charged a reduced fee, which is a key aspect of the guideline revisions.
The new fee policy offers smaller campus organizations the opportunity to use the Bren for coordinated events without having to do a lot of fundraising or search for cheaper off campus venues.
‘We don’t want large fees inhibiting smaller organizations from using the Bren for events and we want to keep campus activities on campus,’ Cheng said.
Like the rental fees, some of the established guidelines will receive some fine-tuning.
Before the change, student groups could generally use the Bren as long as they were registered UCI organizations and their events were open to the greater campus community.
While this remains true to a certain extent, a new emphasis has been placed on the use of outside sponsors as a means of funding student events.
According to the revised guidelines, any organization used as a sponsor for a student coordinated event must not receive any profit from it.
‘Any profit gained from an event should go to the students,’ said Ashley Solis, ASUCI vice president of administrative affairs.
Aside from the financial benefits for student organizations, Solis hopes that the new fees and guidelines will help strengthen the UCI community.
‘We hope these changes will encourage clubs to work together in presenting and sponsoring events, creating a community atmosphere,’ Solis said.
Although the new guidelines have been not been approved by Gomez, the Bren Events Advisory Board has already given fee reductions to student organizations.
‘Waivers and fee reductions are already being granted, but Vice Chancellor Gomez’s approval is needed before these changes can become a standing policy,’ Solis said.
The Bren Events Center Advisory Board, which consists of students appointed by ASUCI and departments important to the facility, such as the athletics department, offers suggestions to the vice chancellor on improving the operation and usage of the facility.
When asked about the proposed changes many student organizations were pleased.
‘These changes ensure that annual club events like Kababayan’s [Pilipino Cultural Night] remain at the Bren Events Center, while helping smaller clubs get involved in the campus community,’ said Rohmel Reynoso, a second-year studio art major and PCN coordinator.
Martin Ngo, a second-year ICS major and president-elect of the Vietnamese Student Association, echoed Reynoso’s positive sentiments.
‘By paying less to use the Bren for our Vietnamese Culture Night, we can focus more funding on club outings and events for the community,’ Ngo said.
Many other organizations that use the Bren for annual events have already been approved for the adjusted fees. These pre-approved clubs include the Hawaii Club for their annual Lu’au, VIBE for their modern dance competition and Greek Songfest for their annual musical performances.
The Bren Advisory Board hopes Gomez will approve the proposal within the coming week.