Ping Center to change reservation process

Ping Center is preparing for a lot more student involvement next school year.

Because of the increase in student organizations renting rooms at Ping, Campus Recreation will be reconfiguring their rental process during the summer to make it available online, said Tasha Westfall, a rental and recreations graduate assistant at Ping.

Ping rents out singular rooms —the single gym or multipurpose room are the most popular — to student organizations about two to three times a week, she said.

Each student organization registered at OU receives two free hours of a rented room at Ping, costing $35 for each additional hour.

Campus Recreation requires organizations to rent rooms one week in advance, but Westfall recommends that organizations with specific needs register earlier.
Currently, to book a room, student organizations can visit the business office in Ping.

Despite Ping’s growing presence as a site for events, Baker University Center still offers the most spaces for organizations to rent, including the ballroom, conference rooms, the theater and its lounge, and spaces in front of Baker’s first and fourth floor entrances, said Dusty Kilgour, executive director of Event Services.

“We see roughly 20,000 events a year,” he said.

Event Services controls rentals of all spaces in Baker, as well as rentals for Walter Hall Rotunda, South Beach, Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium and Galbreath Chapel, once they are ready for use, Kilgour said.

Event Services charges student organizations around 25 percent of the price they usually charge external organizations, from chairs and tables to a dance floor and full production lighting and sound, Kilgour said.

“We have full capacity to produce full-scale events,” Kilgour said.

The most important assistance Ping offers in their rental services is the staff, who can assist with “flips,” or quick changes in the use of space, Westfall said.

Jordan Mescher, co-president of Relay for Life planning committee and a senior studying finance and marketing, said that the event’s space flips went smoothly.

“The Ping staff was very accommodating, and we were able to use Relay staff as well to assist anything they needed help with,” he said.

Westfall said that Relay for Life was one of the biggest events Ping has hosted, and the Relay planning committee held three meetings during three months with Ping employees in order to plan for the event.

Westfall said that because the popularity of renting rooms at Ping has risen in the last two years, Campus Recreation is considering an online rental process, which they would implement during the summer.

“We’ll look into all policies and procedures, hoping to make that better so we can better serve our population,” Westfall said.

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