SACGB Chair Katy Ziebell veritably froze the allocation process for office space Sunday.[/media-credit]

Decisions on office space allocations in the Student Activity Center for student organizations were postponed at the Feb. 28 Student Activity Governing Board meeting until March 7 in order to have legal consultation with the allocation process.

After the Feb. 21 SACGB meeting where the allocation process was questioned on viewpoint neutrality, SACGB Chair Katy Ziebell has veritably frozen the allocation process.

Depending on what Nancy Lynch, SACGB legal counsel, advises as the next step for the allocation process, the current rankings for office space for student organizations in the Student Activity Center could be scrapped or continued during the next meeting.

“Since there was so much contention over what we were doing, I wanted to double check with [Lynch] on what was going on and get everyone’s input,” Ziebell said.

Ziebell will be informing board members later this week of the direction the allocation process will continue on.

Ziebell said she did not get any feedback from anyone in the Associated Students of Madison as far as the original process before the Feb. 21 meeting, which consisted of members voting a student organization up or down a ranking list based on three questions from the original survey which groups filled out while applying for office space.

While the questions are drawn from the same application filled out by student groups, this process differed from the original criteria on which they were ranked.

The questions were for how the office space will be used, how many hours a week the space will be used, and how many people, on average, would be in the space at one time.

“If there were any problems [with the process] they were never brought to my attention,” Ziebell said.

ASM Secretary Kurt Gosselin said he made his opinions against changing the process very clear in public, although he never formally sat down with Ziebell to discuss the changes.

After the Feb. 21 meeting, a number of ASM members gave Ziebell feedback on the process, and Ziebell said she wants to do what is best for the board and the registered student organizations who applied for office space.

The office agreements are for two years, beginning in June 2010 and ending in June 2012. Student Groups who receive a higher ranking from the SACGB will receive a higher ranking than those who are lower down the ranking list.