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The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

Confusing rule raises concerns for clubs

Clubs at Diablo Valley College are critical of a new school policy which emerged early this year charging student organizations for the use of media equipment during on-campus events, as statewide educational budget cuts continue to affect student life.

The Students for Democratic Society, one of DVC’s 64 registered and active clubs, held an event at the college’s Performing Arts Center last semester. The club had to pay a trained technician to monitor the school’s multimedia equipment during the event.

“We had to pay somewhere between $200 to $300 – a ridiculous sum for the service that was provided,” said Frank Runninghorse, the SDS community advisor.

The DVC’s current media equipment handling policy requires clubs to hire a trained technician to overlook any audio and/or video equipment that is used during an event held on campus. Francisco Hoe, the President of the Inter Club Council, is concerned about that fee policy not being in sync with the school’s mission statement.

“I don’t like the fact students are being charged such a high fee that hinders our ability to enhance our experience at DVC,” Hoe wrote last week in an e-mail. “I find that being charged so much contradicts the DVC mission statement about being passionately committed to students learning,” Hoe wrote.

Runninghorse said the technician they hired walked from his office to where the event took place on campus, to then turn on a DVD player and monitor the device for about an hour and a half, the amount of time it was in use.

Because the club had applied for financial support with the Inter Club Council, the SDS did not have to pay the technician from its own club budget.

The reimbursement came from the annual ICC fund, currently about $17,400. Part of this fund comes from the sale of ASDVC discount stickers. The stickers cost $8 and are available at the DVC bookstore.

According to Runninghorse, the money should have been invested in helping students with their projects, “instead of paying for a technician to run from one side of the campus to another,” Runninghorse said.

SDS Vice President Keith Montes says that there are liability issues regarding use of the school’s equipment. “For example, it could happen that someone turns the system up too high and ends up damaging it. Things can get quite tricky there,” Montes said.

“The question should not be why are they charging the clubs, but, why haven’t they been charging them before?” Montes said.

Montes says students had to start paying technicians to monitor the school’s media equipment in the spring semester of this year.

“My understanding is that they’ve always charged fees, but it wasn’t always followed through with actually sending the clubs an invoice,” Michelle Zapata, DVC’s student activities coordinator said.

“I believe it was in fall of 08, or spring of 09, when we actually started getting the invoices,” Zapata said. “What’s new is clubs are now getting the bills for the technicians.”

Bill Oye, the dean of student life, says that the current statewide budget cuts bear at least some responsibility for the recent changes students have noticed. “My understanding is that they’ve shifted from using salary classified staff for some of these special students events to basically having an on-call media person,” Oye said.


Contact Parjanya Holtz at [email protected]

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Confusing rule raises concerns for clubs