Sailing budget stirs controversy

At the close of last semester, the ASUPS Budget Committee convened in an emergency meeting to reconsider allocating $14,000 to the Sailing Club for new racing boats.  The decision stirred controversy due to the sheer dollar amount of the investment, which is expected to benefit the 40-member club at a competitive level for the next eight years.

The request passed both times it was presented to the Senate but was met with some opposition by both senators and students who joined the meeting to express their dissent.

ASUPS Club Sports funding has always been a difficult issue, as the money is the lifeblood of a variety of clubs that hope to use it to cover equipment, travel costs and league dues. Each year, the Budget Committee is charged with the task of allocating the Club Sports funds, with the goal of meeting the needs of as many students as possible.  For many clubs, the funding only partially covers the cost of operating, and members must raise additional funds themselves  or face increasing membership fees.

Through a somewhat complicated process, clubs apply to gain funding from either the finance budget, used for year-to-year costs such as travel and league dues, or the capital budget, spent on long-term physical investments such as uniforms or equipment.

Currently, the Men’s Lacrosse Club is seeking ASUPS funding to the tune of $6,400, which will cover their league dues for the next three years.  The team’s league, MCLA, has put them on probation until they are able to pay the future dues.  The club, which typically has a 25-man roster, competes through the MCLA to play schools like Gonzaga and Willamette.  If the team is dropped from the league, they will be forced to play at an intramural level, if at all.

The club continues to pursue outside fundraising to augment their membership fees and ASUPS funding.

“It would be great if we got the money, but if we don’t, I know that it will be used to benefit students in other clubs,” Brendan Witt, Men’s Lacrosse Club captain and ASUPS senator, said. “I think the system works to give everyone what it can.”

The Budget Committee considers club funding at weekly meetings before making final decisions on allocations near the end of the semester.  Students are welcome to attend Senate meetings on Thursdays at 7 p.m. in the Murray Boardroom (Wheelock 106) where they can listen, contribute their opinions and show support for their chosen clubs.