But dissatisfaction with OCAF is not a recent development. In 2006, Amanda Gant (SFS ’07, GRD ’12) created a Facebook group entitled “I Hate OCAF,” mainly to protest the lack of transparency in the cost of renting event space. The group, which is now dormant, lists an extensive list of cost estimates that Gant intended for the benefit of other student groups on its homepage.

Gant, a member of Georgetown UNICEF and The Big Hunt as an undergraduate, dealt frequently with OCAF to reserve spaces for those groups.

“You had to work really hard to schmooze them and nothing you could do was good enough,” she said. “It was very much like you couldn’t find the information that you wanted.”

Gant felt that student groups had little conception of the real cost of holding an event and OCAF failed to be upfront about costs.

“If they had given us that kind of information we would have known and be able to budget for it or just choose something else,” Gant said.

Today, fee estimates are more readily available to student groups, though some still express concerns that fees are hard to pin down. Groups under CSP can obtain an OCAF Operation Manual, which walks leaders through the process and provides a list of fees. According to Shiu, other offices, such as CSJ, do not provide a similar document.

At the low end, a room like McShain Lounge can cost a minimum of $37 per hour on a weekend. Spaces such as Copley Formal Lounge go for closer to $50 per hour — with a four-hour minimum — not counting the rental fees for chairs, tables, projectors and other services. These high prices become difficult for some groups to afford.

“It’s these ridiculous, exorbitant fees that get tacked on,” O’Loughlin said. “They charged us $18 for one tablecloth.” According to Frank, OCAF determines its price list each year and distributes it to CSP.

The goal for many who must deal with OCAF extensively is merely to fix the problems they see in the office. That is easier said than done, with no formal complaint system readily available for OCAF customers.

“OCAF needs to improve its service to student groups and make itself more transparent in terms of assessing criticism and to create mechanisms where student groups can give more feedback on where OCAF can approve,” said Scott Stirett (SFS ’13), a former SAC commissioner.

McCoy said that he has heard the story of OCAF complaints before — but without hard facts, there is little that can be done moving forward.

“Unfortunately, anecdotal information doesn’t allow us in CSP the information and data to address any systemic issues,” McCoy said.

According to McCoy, CSP has instituted a formal complaint form on their website for student groups to report a variety of operating issues. So far, none of the complaints submitted have been directly related to OCAF.

After years of the same problems plaguing OCAF’s interactions with their customers, Gant feels that the problem is difficult to address because it is so ingrained.

“It’s a structural problem that OCAF [has] and also a morale problem. The students that work there … are put into a bad system,” Gant said.

But dissatisfaction with OCAF is not a recent development. In 2006, Amanda Gant (SFS ’07, GRD ’12) created a Facebook group entitled “I Hate OCAF,” mainly to protest the lack of transparency in the cost of renting event space. The group, which is now dormant, lists an extensive list of cost estimates that Gant intended for the benefit of other student groups on its homepage.

Gant, a member of Georgetown UNICEF and The Big Hunt as an undergraduate, dealt frequently with OCAF to reserve spaces for those groups.

“You had to work really hard to schmooze them and nothing you could do was good enough,” she said. “It was very much like you couldn’t find the information that you wanted.”

Gant felt that student groups had little conception of the real cost of holding an event and OCAF failed to be upfront about costs.

“If they had given us that kind of information we would have known and be able to budget for it or just choose something else,” Gant said.

Today, fee estimates are more readily available to student groups, though some still express concerns that fees are hard to pin down. Groups under CSP can obtain an OCAF Operation Manual, which walks leaders through the process and provides a list of fees. According to Shiu, other offices, such as CSJ, do not provide a similar document.

At the low end, a room like McShain Lounge can cost a minimum of $37 per hour on a weekend. Spaces such as Copley Formal Lounge go for closer to $50 per hour — with a four-hour minimum — not counting the rental fees for chairs, tables, projectors and other services. These high prices become difficult for some groups to afford.

“It’s these ridiculous, exorbitant fees that get tacked on,” O’Loughlin said. “They charged us $18 for one tablecloth.” According to Frank, OCAF determines its price list each year and distributes it to CSP.

The goal for many who must deal with OCAF extensively is merely to fix the problems they see in the office. That is easier said than done, with no formal complaint system readily available for OCAF customers.

“OCAF needs to improve its service to student groups and make itself more transparent in terms of assessing criticism and to create mechanisms where student groups can give more feedback on where OCAF can approve,” said Scott Stirett (SFS ’13), a former SAC commissioner.

McCoy said that he has heard the story of OCAF complaints before — but without hard facts, there is little that can be done moving forward.

“Unfortunately, anecdotal information doesn’t allow us in CSP the information and data to address any systemic issues,” McCoy said.

According to McCoy, CSP has instituted a formal complaint form on their website for student groups to report a variety of operating issues. So far, none of the complaints submitted have been directly related to OCAF.

After years of the same problems plaguing OCAF’s interactions with their customers, Gant feels that the problem is difficult to address because it is so ingrained.

“It’s a structural problem that OCAF [has] and also a morale problem. The students that work there … are put into a bad system,” Gant said.

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