Campus Beat Reporter
Located on Isla Vista’s main road, Associated Students Pardall Center hosts an average of 300 events every quarter. The popular destination for campus organizations is set to undergo several improvements in the coming months, according to a report given by A.S. Isla Vista Community Advisor Diana Collins Puente at Wednesday’s A.S. Senate meeting.
The two story building, whose services have become increasingly popular in recent years with students and community members alike, will be taking measures to increase security in and around the building. According to Puente, panic buttons and surveillance cameras will soon be installed on both the front and back entrances to the building. Outside lighting around the building will also be updated and increased to accommodate students and staff who use the building for late night study.
In addition to increased security measures, the center and study space will be closing for three days during winter break for building maintenance. Though the building does not currently pose a health risk, the building’s history of rat and termite infestations over the last year has left rat feces and debris in the first floor ceiling tiles that require removal.
A.S. Assistant Director for Community Affairs, Student Engagement, and Advocacy Aaron Jones later shared with senators that the process would be a costly one. Jones urged senators to propose a resolution that would allow the center to access $20,000 in rollover funds from Pardall Center’s 2015-2016 budget to help fund the project.
In terms of A.S. Pardall Center staff members who maintain the first floor computer and print center, Puente is hoping to hire a non-student career staff building manager, in addition to their nine student staff members, to better address building maintenance problems in the future.
Off-Campus Senator Reilly Hobson expressed hesitance at the idea of hiring more career staff, proposing instead that the position be given to students instead.
“Certainly that is what we want to do and that is what we prioritize,” said Puente. “One of the issues that comes up though is the scheduling. Students with a lot of commitments don’t have enough time to cover certain shifts. In my mind, that’s what makes career staff really necessary.”
Puente did take time on Wednesday night to remind senators that positions exclusively reserved for students interested in becoming involved in the A.S. Pardall Center are available. The governance board voted in by students alongside the 2015 lock-in fees has yet to be filled.
“This is a really important entity to guide the work of the Pardall Center,” said Puente. “We are responding to student needs, and we are asking for any and all help to make sure that board is filled so that there will be student oversight.”
Increased outreach and awareness of the board’s presence, Puente urged, is key to filling those seats.
Senators later passed a resolution to extend the A.S. Pardall Center lease for an additional year. A.S. staff, including Puente and Jones, are working to negotiate a longer term lease in the future.
The A.S. Pardall Center, home to the Isla Vista Tenant Union, A.S. Legal Resource Center, and the newly formed volunteer safety group UCIV, is open seven days a week.