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Publicity policies reconsidered

Although the demolition of the Bryan Center Walkway has attracted plenty of attention in recent weeks, some students complain that organizational events have suffered from a lack of attention usually garnered by tabling and signs on the walkway.

Because the BC walkway provided organizations with the option of high visibility publicity for their programming, student leaders say the removal of the campus throughway has necessitated finding new and better advertising space for their events.

The Inter-Community Council spent part of its meeting Monday night discussing the advertising issue, which has been raised in previous meetings. Organizations have also talked independently about the problem since the closure of the walkway.

Students are currently allowed to table outside the Bryan Center doors adjacent to the visitor parking lot. But Campus Council President Jay Ganatra, a junior, said the location was a poor alternative to the usual-but now inaccessible-area adjacent to the Chapel Gardens.

"There's not a lot of students just coming to the Bryan Center in their spare time," he said. "The people that are tabling are... losing out on the average student who's not going to Science Drive."

Many ICC members suggested that organizations set-up tables on main West Campus, specifically the CI quad-the section of Main West Quad running from the corner of West Union to Kilgo Quadrangle.

"It almost seems like a more appropriate way of tabling than having of the gauntlet feeling of the BC walkway," said senior Chris Kallmeyer, president of Duke University Union.

But some students said this alternative could create the difficulty of transporting tables from the Office of Student Affairs, which is located in the Bryan Center, to more visible locations.

"I don't anticipate tabling at all this year on the main quad because that sounds really inconvenient to me," said senior Wintta Woldemariam, Black Student Alliance president. "And to be quite frank, I don't want to get off the bus and people bombard me at the tables."

Others disagreed, citing that the effort required should not outweigh the benefits of successful publicity.

"It's really not that much work to take a table and some chairs from the BC over to Main West," Kallmeyer said. "If they really want to do good tabling I think they're going to put in that effort."

Another problem for both student leaders and administrators is the need to prevent damage to tables in transit from OSAF to the potential designated area for tabling.

Some students suggested storing tables in West Union Building.

Senior Jesse Longoria, Duke Student Government president, and junior Jeff Federspiel, president of the Student Organization Finance Committee, suggested buying lighter, cheaper tables.

"If we're really worried about damaging these big tables, let's just buy cheap tables. We've got the money to do it," Federspiel said.

Others suggested billing organizations for any damage incurred to the tables.

Compounding the problem is the recent enforcement of tabling policies on East Campus.

Student organizations are unable to table on the main patio or the first floor of the East Union Building. They may only table in the basement of the facility.

Although no policy for West Campus is currently in place, OSAF plans to implement changes sometime next week.

Senior Logan Leinster, ICC chair and vice president of community interaction for DSG, reminded students that the anticipated policy change is unavoidable but temporary.

"Not having the Bryan Center walkway is an inconvenience, so any tabling policy that's going to come out is probably going to be an inconvenience," she said. "Who tables in the middle of the winter? Very few people. So it's really just another month or two and then maybe the last two months of the year."

Less controversial were the new banner and plywood board policies recently implemented by DUU members to advertise campus events.

The changes specifically addressed the construction fence surrounding the new plaza site. Plywood boards may now be no larger than four feet by 39 inches, which is half the size they have been in years past.

"Having smaller boards allows more groups to advertise," Kallmeyer said. "It's a pretty simple policy. We're just trying to give students more options."

The new banner policy states that banners must not obstruct any signs pertaining to the plaza construction or to the University itself.

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