By Amy Sharaf
Ryerson student groups and unions beware: cancelling events at the 360 bar on Queen Street could put a dent in your social budget.
Since the closure of Oakham House due to the construction of the new student centre, RyeSAC has been forced to look off-campus for suitable replacements for the popular student hang-out.
The 360 is one of two bars filling the void left by the closure of Oakham House. Through an agreement negotiated with RyeSAC, student groups and course unions can use the large events room at the 360 free of charge.
However, strict fines have been adopted to deter groups from cancelling or changing dates of events without a month’s notice. Fines range from $100 for three weeks notice, to upwards of $300 for one weeks notice.
Glenda Fordham, marketing consultant for the 360, said the fines are necessary. “As a working nightclub we can’t afford to be down,” she said. “We can’t have this at the club, it makes it pretty clear that this is a business. It’s just about mutual respect.”
Groups have booked the events room from now until the end of November and Fordham said only “acts of God and terrorism” will be accepted as suitable reasons for cancelling without fines.
“[The fines] don’t even cover our losses. We’re turning away that kind of business so that we can give Ryerson students a place to party.”
Student groups operate on a social budget of about $450, but Leatrice Spevack, campus groups coordinator for RyeSAC, said the fines are appropriate. “I thought it was fair and reasonable. It’s really more of a deterrent I really don’t foresee that happening. This is an outside business and I think the fees are a lot less than they would be if you booked a nightclub.”
RyeSAC is responsible for enforcing the fines and the money would be deducted from either the social budget or trust account of the penalized group.
However, Heather Kere, a second-year Social Work student and executive vice president of the Rooted African and Caribbean Association at Ryerson (RACA), feels the fines are too severe.
“[The fines] should be reduced to correspond to how much we have in our budgets,” she said. “It shouldn’t impact our budget in such a way that we’re left with nothing.”
Previously, repeat cancellations at Oakham House by a student group resulted in a suspension of booking privileges for one year.