Chair’s Corner Spring 2012

Your Executive Committee (EC) is already looking ahead to Hogmanay 2012-13. I wrote about it in my last Chair’s Corner and am now writing again so that the EC’s process is transparent.

We would love to hold Hogmanay in Tarble at Swarthmore, but the College has made it abundantly clear that this is no longer an option. The college insists on including a cancellation clause for snow. They reserve the right to cancel even if there is a small amount of snow. The liability rules for the college require that they clear ALL entrances and exits as well as paths if any building is being used. A foot of snow would cost them four to five-thousand dollars to properly clear the campus. Since the college is closed for the holidays, they have to pay overtime to grounds and building staff, assuming staff are willing or available to work. The college won’t even entertain the possibility of us paying for the snow removal. If Hogmanay was held in Tarble, it would be canceled if there was ANY snow.

Canceling Hogmanay is NOT something the EC will consider unless of course there is a major snow event that closes roads and airports. And so, to that end we have been reviewing other options. A “back-up” venue was suggested, but none of the facilities we have contacted are willing to “hold the date” in case of snow. We would have to pay in-full for two venues with a promise of paying for snow removal, if necessary. Additional costs and special arrangements include; booking security officers, moving tables, chairs, coat racks and floor mats into the hall, heaters turned on well in advance, decorating etc… Setting all of this up for two venues is too time consuming and expensive to consider.

The EC has been looking at other facilities in the area and have encountered all kinds of obstacles. Some insisted we use their catering, some wanted exorbitant rents and many refused to let us stay past 11:00PM. Having exhausted all other options, the EC is working on renewing our contract with Germantown Friends as the best of the available alternatives. The hall is big, the acoustics quite good, parking excellent, they will clear snow for us (at a price!). It is not as pretty as Tarble nor is the floor as springy, but on the whole most people were happy with the location.

If you have other ideas please contact the EC and we’ll investigate other options. The perfect hall at the perfect price with easy parking, accessible restrooms, a good kitchen, that allows us to bring food and decorate, has tables, chairs and coat racks and also has a great floor may be out there, but we haven’t found it yet.