Julia Nagel/Sun Assistant Photography Editor

As clubs return to holding in-person meetings and events, students run into issues booking meeting rooms on campus.

December 1, 2021

University Rolls Out New System for Clubs, Students to Reserve Rooms

Print More

This fall, as student clubs return to in-person activities, they are once again booking spaces on campus to host events and meetings. Recently, the University’s space usage and event registration policies changed, introducing new procedures and website tools.

Students said that the new, streamlined process is helpful but at times lacks clear guidance on reserving spaces

The website now used for reserving rooms is Scheduling@Cornell, also known as 25Live. Before this, to book rooms, students had to email buildings and college departments separately. Attilus Leung ’22, a software co-lead of the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle project team, said that 25Live allowed students to see room availability across buildings at the same time. 

“[Before], you had to go to every single building and submit a request. But they consolidated that and put it into one booking system, which is really nice,” Leung said.

To book rooms through 25Live, students must first find a location, submit a reservation request through the Event Form and allow up to five business days for a staff member to review the request. 

The frequency that students use the website varies depending on their club’s needs. For recurring club meetings, students can do one booking to cover their meetings throughout the academic year. For one-off events, such as interviews, students would need to book each time separately.

Several students, including Leung, said their main challenge using the current system was that there was a lack of clarity in the details provided about the rooms. Some rooms require fees, host different numbers of people or can only be booked by students in a certain college or organization, but this information was not easily accessible. 

This made booking rooms a trial-and-error process initially. Leung found that some rooms, such as the ones on North Campus, were easier to book. But Caleb Biddulph ’22, president of Effective Altruism, submitted three booking requests for his club before one in Klarman Hall was approved. The first, for a room in Uris Hall, was rejected because it was locked after 4:30 p.m. and the second, for a room in Martha Van Rensselaer Hall, was rejected because it was not open to the type of student group he was booking for, restrictions he had not been informed of prior to submitting the request. 

For some, the process for booking one-off events was more stressful due to the short notice, as many rooms are already reserved. Leung said that he struggled to book rooms to interview candidates for his project team with two weeks’ notice.

“We need to have huge chunks of time, maybe five hours per day for a few days in a week. That’s a lot of rooms we need in a very short timespan. And it was a bit hard because all the recurring room bookings have been done in the beginning of the year,” Leung said. 

Leung ended up booking rooms in multiple buildings for different times, so students would move from one room to another depending on the time slots available.

Leung said even though the website requests five business days to reserve spaces, starting early allows students time to resolve any difficulties. 

Some students reported reaching out to the department of the student organization for help in navigating the new system. Liam Galey ’23, president of Logos Undergraduate Philosophy Journal, reached out to the administrative assistant of the philosophy department for assistance with room bookings. 

Daniel Kim ’23, a member of Emmaus Road’s student leadership team, said it was helpful to call the people in charge of the building he wanted to request rooms for. Through this, he was able to clarify building-specific policies, such as what days and times were available for booking.