Campus Security recently brought concerns to the Students’ Union over the breakdancers in the MacHall south courtyard.
The SU has a general liability policy that covers club activities. It provides both insurance against bodily harm and liability for property damage.
Since the breakdancing is not officially approved by the SU, Campus Security is concerned that none of these protections are in place.
The breakdancers are a mixture of community members and executives from the Hip Hop and Funk Styles Club.
The space isn’t booked out by the dancers. Allowing the club to officially book the space would solve several of the insurance and liability issues. However, it would create a different set of challenges for SU vice-president student life Ben Cannon.
“It would set a precedent that we could break our own rules,” Cannon said. “We would be allotting a certain club far more than what they would typically get according to our regulations.”
Typically, the SU allots clubs a certain amount of time slots per semester in spaces like the south courtyard in MacHall. The SU expressed concerns that if the HHFS officially books the space, they would be allotting a group not entirely composed of U of C students more time than the SU booking allowance permits.
Cannon said Campus Security had approached the SU with their concerns, mentioning that, “non-SU forces had asked for the break dancers to stop.”
Campus Security maintains that they have no security concerns with the use of the south courtyard and are primarily concerned with risk to individuals.
HHFS president Jared Herring said his club is sympathetic to Campus Security’s concerns.
“It’s important for everyone to have an open mind about how public space is utilized,” Herring said.
Like Cannon, he sees the courtyards as an open space that contributes to the quality of student life on campus, although he admitted his frustration with some of the rules.
“It’s definitely disappointing when we’re asked to leave spaces that were once empty, just so they can remain empty,” Herring said.
Cannon mentioned that he had “always personally seen it as something that was not governed by the SU,” talking about the importance of student accessibility to the space.