Coffman student groups to hold moving-out contest

by Nathan Whalen

Let the race to the basement begin.
When 33 student groups begin to move their desks, file cabinets and everything else out of soon-to-be-gutted Coffman Union on Nov. 12, they will try to beat each other to their temporary offices below the Stadium Village McDonalds and Dairy Queen.
To liven up the move, officials are holding contests to make the transfer more fun. Contest details were distributed Wednesday by Coffman Union’s 6-foot-tall mascot, CoffMAN.
Prizes will be awarded for the fastest move, most out-of-date furniture and oldest phone book.
But the contest isn’t just for fun. Everything has to be cleared out in 72 hours to meet the Nov. 15 deadline for Coffman’s closure.
University officials overseeing the move are also concerned that student groups won’t have to pay more for their temporary location.
The University will lease the new site for $183,000 per year, $35,000 more than the current rent at Coffman Union. The University will charge student groups their usual rent and make up the difference so student groups won’t have to shoulder the extra cost.
The University is also picking up the tab for moving costs.
“We just need to make sure we take care of students for the transition,” said Bill Vadino, assistant director of Twin Cities Student Unions.
Despite the efforts by Vadino and his staff, some dislocated students aren’t pleased with the move.
“Everyone is bummed out that we’re not going to have a central location,” said Alison Blomster, office coordinator for the Queer Student Cultural Center. She added that students who attend meetings between classes might find an off-campus location inconvenient.
However, Blomster hopes that their proximity to Stadium Village restaurants will draw the attention of lunchtime crowds.
To save people from walking an extra block or two, some groups have arranged to have their meetings on campus.
But William Bulmer, who organizes off-campus meetings for the Pre-Law Mock Trial Council, said it doesn’t matter whether people have to walk to Coffman or Stadium Village.
“It’s just a matter of walking down a little further,” he said.

Nathan Whalen covers facilities and construction and welcomes comments at [email protected]