by Jessica Garza-Hutmacher
As you sit here on campus, wherever you are, you may not know, the space, classroom or building you are sitting in is up for grabs. At Whatcom Community College there is a request process; filling one out is merely the first step in order to get that space rented.
Fred Abitia, conference and events services coordinator, resides in the Foundation Building, alongside his assistant Monica Malcolm. This duo goes through many phases to make sure the scheduling of spaces do not conflict.
“Sponsored college-recognized groups here at WCC can fill out an internal facility request,” says Abitia. “Anything that isn’t handled by the instruction scheduling offices or academics, goes through our offices.”
Almost any classroom, facility or space here at Whatcom can be rented. The ultimate question is whether it’s available, says Abitia. “I am very tedious with the process,” he adds. It depends on the request, which process he uses.
There are two options, the internal and the external.
Internal deals with just that, the innards of Whatcom; any club, adviser or group may submit a request to rent out a space. Advisor Guy Smith filled out a request for the Trivia Bee, the Pavilion was rented for the dodgeball tournament, which are examples of the internal request.
External is simply the opposite. “Any client from outside the campus may request space,” said Abitia “and we do what we can to generate revenue for the college.” If a outside group wanted to come and use our facilities, they fill out a separate form and they pay a price, Abitia adds.
“First and foremost, students and athletics are our priority, then clients,” Abitia said smiling.
Abitia stresses the process. The main issue is checking that the space desired is available and with all requested necessities. “We are responsible for providing any accommodations that might be needed and we try to make sure they are accommodated,” Abitia said. If the spaces are being used, or the requirements cannot be met, then a new room, date or time may be suggested, he added.
The Conference and Event Services Office is in charge of all scheduling and calendars regarding facility usage. “The office has to keep connected with a variety of offices around campus to make sure there’s never conflict,” Abitia said.