Thursday, Jan. 23 marked the grand opening of the ASUCR Bear’s Den, a lounge-like room located in HUB 105, which will serve as a multipurpose area for any registered student organization (RSO) on campus to reserve and utilize.
According to ASUCR Executive Director Laurie Sinclair, the grand opening attracted a rough estimate of 350 to 400 students from numerous UCR organizations including Feel Good UCR, Women’s Rugby Club and Pi Beta Phi. It featured poster-making activities, photo opportunities with Scotty the Bear, food, drinks and giveaways.
The space that now occupies the Bear’s Den was the former home of the ASUCR Exchange, a campus store that sold sorority and fraternity items, discounted amusement park tickets, gifts and school supplies. The store was closed in late 2012 after it began losing money, however. According to Sinclair, ASUCR wanted to utilize the area again and add a service that would not risk losing revenue.
Different ideas including an ice cream store and a barbershop were considered, but were ultimately ruled out. At one point, ASUCR realized it had money to spend in RSO reserve funds, which is unused and leftover money ASUCR has from funds earmarked for club use. So they decided to use the money to create a space that can be utilized by the same organizations free of charge. As of Thursday, the space has become available for organizations to use.
According to Sinclair, rules and regulations will be put in place for each organization that reserves the den, however. For instance, no excessive noise will be tolerated, no pets will be allowed indoors and the sale of food will be prohibited. Routine checkups will be made by ASUCR student staffers to make sure the den is kept in the same shape it originally was prior to the reservation. Additionally, security cameras will also monitor the area at all times. If damages are made to the area or if the key to the room is lost, the organization reserving the room will be billed for the repair work.
As for the expenses that went into making the den a reality, ASUCR spent an estimate of $10,000. The costs covered the design of the space, furniture, rugs, photos, lights, a table, a white board and supplies that will used to decorate the room, in addition to a brick wall with free installation. ASUCR will also spend $16,000 a year to cover renting expenses.