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Club Sports Association looks to distance from SGA

By Jonathan Toman
On May 5, 2014

Some at UCCS are not willing to wait for student government funding to come to them.

The Club Sports Association recently submitted a proposal to the Student Government Association’s Budget Advisory Committee to request $32,000 from the club funding money for specific club sport use.

Since then, the BAC has voted on the measure twice. April 16 the vote passed, five yes, two no and one abstain. On April 22 the count was five no and two abstain, and the vote failed.

The email informing the CSA of the final decision, provided to The Scribe by Chen Zhao, SGA director of finance, highlighted the reasons for their reluctance to pass the measure.

According to the email, accountability exists but is “not being utilized.” Additional concerns were that the proposed structure would not allow for any SGA oversight, new club sports would not be supported by the funding structure and clubs would not “be funded under equal funding process” (meaning some sports might receive a disproportionate share of the funds).

“The more we think about it, the more concern we have,” said Zhao, regarding the proposal. “The current funding guidelines work well.”

Zhao expects $86,000 will be allocated for all student clubs next year, to include club sports.

Club sports present individually to SGA BAC for funding from the student activity fee. Individual teams are capped at $3,000 dollars for the amount they can request.

Mallory Price, coordinator of club sports (both a UCCS staff position and a CSA position), highlighted club development and accountability as reasons for the change.

“It’s modeled after our peer institutions; we want to get ourselves up to par,” said Price.

Randy Rosso, student treasurer of the CSA, came up with the idea for separate funding.

“Why don’t we have a separate fund that we can get money out of instead of going to SGA,” Rosso said.

Rosso explained club sports at colleges around the country are self-funded through a separate fee.

“Club sports sometimes require more expenses than normal clubs,” said Rosso. “They have more liabilities and the possibility to rack up more expenses than a normal club might.”

These costs can include rent of facilities for home games, equipment and national governing body membership dues.

Rosso felt his proposed change could lead to higher levels of play.

“I don’t want to say we need it more than other clubs,” said Rosso. “(Club sports’) functionality is different than a normal club.

He indicated club sports have different expenses, liability and responsibilities from other student clubs.

The CSA is looking at other options for next year.

Options include the use of Plant Funds, a rollover fund of unspent club funds from previous years. Rosso indicated they would ask for around $39,000 – $3,000 for each of the existing 13 club sports.

“That Plant Fund is only used for if needs to allocate more money but otherwise it’s just kind of sitting there from years and years past,” said Rosso.

Another option would be for the club sports to present to the CSA and request funds. Then the CSA would recommend an amount to the BAC.

At print time neither of these options had been discussed with SGA.

Next year, Rosso said the CSA will look to create a separate fee for club sports, which would then not be limited by CSA not SGA guidelines. The fee could be around $2.50 per student.

“In the grand scheme of tuition and stuff, $2.50, you could find that lying around on the ground,” said Rosso. “I don’t think it would be that much of a burden on students.”

“I don’t think that number is significant enough to cause an argument hopefully, but if so we have some good reasons I think.”

Clubs would still be required to have club dues and fundraise to limit reliance on the proposed fee.

Regardless of what, if any, change are implemented, Rosso said SGA is still interested in oversight and being a part of the allocation procedure. Any change would include a separate funding committee made up of the CSA members and others.

Rosso said discussion with SGA will continue over the next few weeks.

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