Paying to play on University property

The University’s outdoor activity policy assumes students are juvenile.

University policy requires parties trying to reserve University space must purchase insurance if they might use it for “gaming” purposes.

Gaming includes anything from football to soccer to Frisbee, and this policy is not only applicable to the mall area. The policy actually includes many places on campus, such as Northrop Plaza, West Bank Plaza, Coffman Plaza, Coffman Riverbend Plaza and the Gateway Plaza. Insurance permits can range from $46-$668 with a $2,500 deductible. Such costs are likely to deter any student group from trying to reserve a space on campus with gaming in mind.

The University doesn’t generally require insurance for reserving the space, but if gaming is involved, insurance is required. Punishments remain unclear. You might simply be told to stop playing, or if it appears innocent enough, no one will say anything. Students might also have to pay for the damages themselves if they are caught damaging the space without any insurance.

Maintaining the greenery on campus and preventing damage that might be the result from physical activity is something the University takes seriously.

The University invests much time and money into the aesthetics of the campus, and this policy is mostly preventative. This is unfortunate, considering it assumes student groups will damage property and prevents student groups from holding activities on certain campus locations. Perhaps the University should consider a policy that is reactive rather than proactive. Punishing all student groups wishing to hold an event with gaming by requiring the purchase of insurance is unfair.

While these barriers are present, it doesn’t seem to put any constraint on the average students. Student groups bear the burden of dealing with this policy for an event that requires a permit. Assuming student groups are reckless bands of yahoos is patronizing and reinforces the notion that the University is exclusive rather than inclusive.