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New clean-up policy for Paces Cafe proposed

The new interior of Paces will require a more thorough and systematic clean-up after parties and events. (Allegra Pocinki/The Phoenix)

This summer’s Paces makeover, both inside and out, has been followed with a proposal due Sunday for a new systematic policy regarding the use of Paces as a social space — the Social Affairs Committee (SAC) has agreed to pay a nonrefundable $40 deposit for each event as a means of funding proper clean-up of the venue.

“In a compromise between SAC and the Paces Management Team, we decided to pay $40 to cover for clean-up costs at each Paces event,” Angela Meng ’12, co-director of SAC, said.

She further explained that the motivation behind this compromise primarily lays in both parties’ desire to maintain a higher level of cleanliness at Paces. “We wanted to be more diligent about keeping Paces consistently clean and thought this agreement would help us be more conscientious about our usage of Paces as a social venue,” Meng said.

A proposal for this policy will be submitted on Sunday for approval to the Student Budget Committee (SBC). If approved, every Paces event, excluding Pub Nite, will be supported by a $40 deposit from SAC that will cover the newly-formed Paces Cleaning Crew and additional expenditures for cleaning necessities.

Discussions about students’ usage of Paces as a social venue began to blossom amongst administrators and students late spring of this year. “We’ve been discussing since late spring about how to make this space more welcome to a larger cross-section of campus,” said Paury Flowers, Swarthmore’s Coordinator of Student Activities, “and be more proactive this year in addressing some of the more serious facilities concerns about the space’s level of cleanliness.”

Flowers attributed the change in policy to Paces’ growing reputation as an unclean social space: “We have all had extensive experience with student party hosts not cleaning the space and then scrambling to get waiters, baristas and others to take on that additional responsibility before preparing for their busiest night on Sunday,” Flowers said.

Flowers further explained that all parties recognized the need for a change in protocol concerning who was in charge of keeping Paces clean, and how the cleanliness would be maintained.

Among many of the changes to Paces this fall was the installation of a new Cleaning Crew, a group of Swarthmore students hired to ready the space for future events every week.

Despite the success of the hiring process, however, the administration was unsure of how these student workers would be paid for their efforts, as the Paces Café’s budget cannot accommodate the expenses necessary to maintain such a crew.

Given the need to further ensure Paces’ cleanliness and the need to acquire an appropriate source of payment for the Paces Cleaning Crew, SAC and the Paces Management Team held a discussion concerning the logistics of these two necessities. After deliberation, they concluded that putting students under the financial burden of a nonrefundable fee out of their pockets would be undesirable.

“We want to keep the space open to all students, so we were opposed to implementing a nonrefundable fee towards the hosts themselves,” Meng said.

Which is where SAC stepped in as an additional source of funding. SAC has agreed to pay $40 of the refundable $150 required to host an event at Paces, $35 of which will be placed directly into the wages budget for the Cleaning Crew.

The remaining $5 will be a source of “emergency” funding for other cleaning supplies necessary for maintaining an appropriate level of cleanliness at Paces.

When asked whether this policy would imply further additions to the rulebook, Meng said that if additional hours of labor and manpower were necessary to clean up the space, the funding necessary for paying the Cleaning Crew and covering any additional cleaning costs would likely come from the host’s refundable deposit.

Although this policy has not been formally proposed to the SBC yet, all parties are optimistic that this will improve the management of Paces as a social venue. “I’m writing out the proposal which will be presented to theSBC on Sunday,” said Zac Wunrow ’14, a new addition to SAC this fall.

Any changes to the policy would most likely come from adjustments made by SBC.

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