Alternative sports get tournament funding, set precedent

Last Wednesday, the Student Finance Board (SFB) passed two motions to provide funding to the College’s Bowling and Ultimate Frisbee clubs to participate in tournaments. Both are currently funded by the Student Activites Fee (SAF).

Passing the motions to give additional money toward funding the Bowling Club, however, was not an easy task; board members were worried about inconsistencies regarding sports club funding requests after SFB budget approval, and in the end, the motion only gave the organization about half of the money it requested.

“Whatever we decide to do today, we have to do for all the other club sports,” Danielle Grinblat, financial director of SFB, said.

Motions to provide full and zero funding for the Bowling Club’s tournaments did not pass, and although the motion to give the club $476 did pass, six of the 14 board members voted the motion down.

Unlike other club sports, like lacrosse, soccer and rugby, the Bowling Club does not have a “home field.”

This concerned the six dissenting members because it means the team chooses to enter tournaments in the mid-Atlantic states instead of hosting its own events or competing directly with another school.

Without home games, some also argued, there will be no fan base and no interest in the club other than for those already in it.

“So if people can’t clap for you, you aren’t good? We don’t care?” Jon Borst, administrative director of SFB, said. “I think the Bowling Club is good for the people in it, and for the people in the future who would like to join, and those looking at this school.”

At SFB’s budget retreat, the Bowling Club received money to fund only five out of its 12 tournaments, which would leave it to pay the other expenses, minus travel, to participate in the remaining seven tournaments. Travel expenses come out of a separate line of funding.

After giving a club sport SAF funding, SFB calculates funds for its games and tournaments by averaging the amount of money required to host a home game and multiplying it by the number of home games the team will host.

In theory, a team like the Bowling Club would then receive no SAF funding because it has no home games. SFB has made exceptions, however, for clubs such as this one.

Most SFB members believed that taking into account each particular club’s purpose and agenda is important.

“It’s not fair to penalize (the Bowling Club) for the nature of their organization,” Julia Pratt, executive director of SFB, said.

Some members were also concerned that because the Bowling Club appealed the funding it received from SFB last year, which ultimately resulted in its receipt of an additional $400, the club may continue to request more money in the future, perhaps more than would be allotted or available for a club sport.

The Bowling Club received $476, which is the amount the club requested minus the amount it received during its appeal last year.

Similarly, the Ultimate Frisbee Club requested money to fund the two tournaments it will be competing in this semester.

Because SFB gave the Bowling Club funding for approximately four additional tournaments, board members voted unanimously that it would be only fair to fund the Ultimate Frisbee Club’s two tournaments.

According to Pratt, the consistency of these decisions is a good sign for SFB.

“Everyone is doing a really great job,” Pratt said.

“Everything is running a lot more smoothly.”