One of the least understood aspects of ITSMedia is the purpose and particulars of its billing policies. To help promote understanding and reduce the possibilities for misunderstanding, we offer this FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) list.
Q. Other departments don’t charge for their services, why does ITSMedia?
A. Like all service departments, ITSMedia has services which are free and services which cost extra. Just as you pay to rent a car from Phys Plant, you will pay for duplication, lamination, dubbing, and other services from ITSMedia. Whether a service is free depends on a number of factors including whether it is for an academic event, where it is held, whether there are direct costs associated with providing the service, and whether it is considered a basic or high-end service.
Q. I understand the need to charge for supplies, but why are there labor charges?
A. The mandate for ITSMedia to charge for certain services comes from the Executive Office. While ITSMedia has budget to perform a basic level of service to the campus, often times there are demands that go beyond, even far beyond that basic service level. Billing helps planners understand the cost of what they are asking for, and revenue from billing helps ITSMedia pay for the labor necessary to service additional or more complex events.
Q. I got charged a late surcharge. Why?
A. Events that are planned at the last minute play havoc on ITSM staff and student schedules. Events that were planned well in advance can be jeopardized as attention, energies and staff are redirected to meet the new demand. That’s not fair to the people who planned ahead, and yet the late request is often very important to the planners and must be successful. Saying no is not an option. Late surcharges allow ITSM to pay students a bonus as an incentive for re-arranging their schedules on short notice and working these events. ITSMedia Staff are not compensated for their work on late requests unless it means working overtime, which contributes to cost overruns in ITSMedia.
Q. I want to hold my event in Reith Recital Hall, but I can’t afford the extra cost. That hardly seems fair.
A. Perhaps not. However, matching spaces to the events held in them is one of the most important strategies for controlling costs. Reith Hall lacks a fixed sound system, so it will always be cheaper to run an event requiring sound in NC 19, which has one. Reith Hall requires the presence of a house manager, where other spaces can be used without paid staff. ITSM and Conferences and Events staff will do their best to help you minimize costs and maximize the success of your event by finding space which requires minimum setup and support for the services desired.
Q. I’m volunteering my time for this event, why can’t ITSMedia Staff?
A. Regardless of how noble, important or cool your event is, it represents a professional obligation for ITS staff. Volunteers can say no, ITSM staff ultimately cannot. Your event may be the third night this week they’ve run sound or the fourth weekend this month they’ve given up. They’ll do it cheerfully and professionally, but don’t ask them to volunteer.
Q. Goshen College is more than a workplace, it’s a community. Aren’t things like late fees and labor charges anti-community?
A. Words like family and community are often used to describe GC and rightly so. Think about your family. It has rules and expectations, and consequences when they are ignored or broken. There are limits on the amount of money that can be spent on any given activity. Family members are held accountable for their actions. Late fees and labor charges are just accountability mechanisms to encourage planning ahead and cost control, while actually servicing the maximum number of events. The alternative would be to say no (also likely to be viewed as anti-community), or to burn out and demoralize service staff (also anti-community). Do ITSM staff like late fees and billing? No. Are they absolutely necessary even in a community? Yes, until we find more effective means cost control and accountability for planners.