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Club Sports Hit By Funding Cuts

By Madeline R. Conway and Steven S. Lee, Crimson Staff Writers

With the Undergraduate Council’s budget constrained and its ability to fund student organizations increasingly limited, some club sports groups on campus have received less UC funding this year than expected and have had to make spending cuts or raise fees to adjust.

At its Oct. 20 meeting, the UC approved about $32,000 in club sports funding and awarded grants to 32 groups. Although the $32,000 in funding to those groups is comparable to recent years, it is also 54 percent less than the Finance Committee would have given the groups were there not a budget constraint, according to legislation authored by UC Finance Committee chair Matthew R. Marotta ’14.

The largest grant that a club sports group received this fall was $1,275, a sizeable decrease from last year, when groups received up to $2,000.

“It’s mostly the newer and less-institutionally endowed clubs that are suffering from this,” UC President Tara Raghuveer ’14 said. “That enforces inequality at this school that we want to avoid.”

The men’s club lacrosse team is one of 14 club sports groups that received $1,275 but applied for more. Ernie J. Doherty ’15, the group’s president, said his team will probably have to raise membership dues and may buy less gear this year. The team may also hire friends on the varsity lacrosse team to referee their games instead of outside refs, Doherty said.

The women’s club soccer team also received $1,275 instead of its usual $2,000, and according to treasurer Julia B. Hyman ’15, the group is trying to save some money on transportation by recruiting local team members to drive cars to away games. To raise money in the past, the team has worked dorm crew and timed a varsity swimming event. Hyman said the team plans to continue such fundraisers but that those will likely not raise $725.

For some club sports groups, the effect of receiving less funding has not been too significant. The figure skating club has made only “little changes” to its operations in light of the reduced funding, according to Hannah C. Donoghue ’14, the club’s co-president. As an example of one small adjustment the club has made, Donoghue cited an approximately $5 extra charge on figure skating jacket orders for undergraduates, graduates, and alumni. Still, Donoghue called the changes “nothing too drastic.”

The UC has proposed an increase in undergraduates’ termbill fees to address its budget constraints and the student group funding issue.

UC representatives held a meeting with Associate Director of Athletics Gary Brown on Tuesday to present a report on club sports funding. Increased funding from the UC or more funding support from the Athletics department were both discussed as options to increase increase club sports funding, according to Raghuveer.

—Staff writer Madeline R. Conway can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @MadelineRConway.

—Staff writer Steven S. Lee can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @StevenSJLee.

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