The CLICS-specific question was created in response to the current renovation plan to put a 400-seat lecture hall in the middle of CLICS; this plan would limit study space around the building’s perimeter. Students will be able to tell A.S. Council how they want the space to be used.
CLICS, previously a UCSD-operated library and study space, closed at the end of the 2010-11 academic year due to budget cuts. Students broke into the building Fall Quarter. Since then, it has been a student-operated study space.
“I would say [the resistance to the closure of the library] started when the announcement was made that CLICS was going to be shut down,” A.S. Vice President of External Affairs Samer Naji said.
Initial construction plans for CLICS were released to students during a Town Hall meeting on Feb. 6. According to A.S. President Alyssa Wing, who is also Representative to the Building Advisory Committee for Galbraith Hall, the plan to build a large lecture hall in Galbraith Hall began due to the growing need for more lecture halls.
“[The committee] researched where we could feasibly put a lecture hall, and renovating a building that is already there makes more sense than to try to build one somewhere else,” Wing said.
Approximately 30 students, three tenured professors and a union representative attended the Town Hall meeting in defense of the building as a study space.
“It was astounding how many students were outraged at the plan,” Eleanor Roosevelt College senior and author of the ballot question Sophia Lawson said. “A lot of the rage came from the lecture hall that was going to be [built] there.”
According to Lawson, one of the students in attendance said that the lecture hall construction plan should be scrapped altogether.
Wing recommended creating a ballot question that could be added to the special election ballot in order to get a clear idea of what students want to see happen to the space.
“[Wing told me that] someone needs to pen a question and bring it to [her] at the A.S. meeting and try to get it passed,” Lawson said.
The question originally read, “In 2011, UCSD closed CLICS library to save $450,000 annually. There are plans to renovate the space to include a 420-seat lecture hall and limit study space to three side rooms, which will cost more than $6,700,000. Do you agree that this is the best use of these funds to help you achieve your educational goals?”
During the Feb. 8 meeting, A.S. Council decided that the question needed to be reworded to make it sound more neutral and to clarify that students are voting on what they want A.S. Council to advocate.
The question now reads: “What would you like to see A.S. [Council] advocate for with regards to the CLICS space (Galbraith Hall)?” This question will have four options for students to select from, including an “other” option where students can describe their position.
No one, including Lawson, challenged the rewording of the ballot question.
“I think [changing the question] was a fair process,” Lawson said. “Obviously, I have very strong feelings for CLICS, [but] the whole point was to get a response that reflects what the student body wants.”
Results of the student survey may impact the actions council will take in the renovation of CLICS.
“Let’s say the majority [of students] say they want A.S. [Council] to advocate the lectur de hall with limited study space, then A.S. [Council] will continue what it’s doing,” Naji said. “However, if the majority say they want a student-run building, then A.S. [Council] will have to seriously reevaluate their plans.”
According to Wing, the Building Advisory Committee for Galbraith Hall is already responding to students. On Feb. 29, there will be a presentation at the A.S. Council meeting regarding the need for lecture halls.
“[The Committee] wants to provide information to students that wasn’t available at the Town Hall,” Wing said. “[They] want to answer questions like why CLICS is closed and why they want to put in a lecture hall.”
Readers can contact Natalie Covate at