Summer services

As the summer wraps up, so does the test season for the university’s new Conference Services.
Previously, Sodexo controlled renting rooms at King’s during the summer season. The residences and other campus facilities, with the exception of the Senior Common Room, Board Room and Journalism School spaces, are available to rent for a variety of events from May to August. Sodexo’s contract was not renewed for the 2014 summer season.
“The university just wanted to take control of it and have it as an in-house service,” said Alex Doyle, director of facilities and now head of Conference Services at King’s.
The goal of the “test case” program was to break even, Doyle said. The university had to buy new equipment for Conference Services, as well as pay students and the one full-time employee.
He said the test during the summer was successful, and they are breaking even.
The new service hopes to hopes to host camps during the summer season along with renting rooms out.
“Whether it’s children’s camps or adult learning camps, physical fitness camps – we’re looking to expand, to maximize the space,” said Doyle.
Jobs will be available to students through such camps, or as part of hosting conferences and other events, much like working through Sodexo at Prince Hall.
While Conference Services is aiming to draw in conferences from outside the university, the application process for student renting and events will remain the same.
For strictly university functions, there will continue to be no cost for students, staff and faculty. Outside conferences will have a fee attached to them, allowing more revenue for the university and more flexibility for student employment.
“The only effect it has on students is actually positive because what we’ll be doing is, hopefully, hiring a lot more students over the summer months,” Doyle said.
“What we wanted to do with this was to basically create a job bank for the students. The more camps we have, the more residences we have filled. The more we can create this community conference services, then that’s just going to create more jobs.”
The Conference Services hopes to expand into the academic term after the summer of 2015.

By David J. Shuman

David is the current editor-in-chief of The Watch and writes on student issues and events. Find him on Twitter: @DavidJShuman

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