Good Nite Mr. President: Board says goodbye, amends club sports policy


By Emily Ahlin / Staff Writer

Amidst tears and goodbyes from the outgoing Board, committee chairs and Dean Humphrey, the 2014 Student Government Board implemented changes to club sports’ funding in its final meeting. 

The Board introduced Bill 025 at the public meeting on Nov. 18 and proposed and approved additional changes to the bill on Tuesday after meeting with club sports team leaders, according to Board President Mike Nites.

Effective immediately, the bill seeks to stomp out sports clubs’ use of private bank accounts, which is against SORC elgibility requirements  for club sports teams. University policy requires all clubs use their Student Organization Resource Center accounts to manage funds.

Bill 025, now part of the allocations manual, said “club sports have not been in compliance with the University’s policy on outside bank accounts and therefore need time to fully comply with this policy.”

SGB did not police individual sports’ non-compliance with University policy, Nites said, even though it’s in the allocations manual, because “it is not an SGB rule, it’s a Student Life rule.” 

“There has to be some oversight on how you’re spending your private funds,” Nites said, including making sure undergraduate groups are not using funds to purchase alcohol.

Mike Bolock, a member of the Pitt Quidditch Team, said the change will not affect his team very much. Although some members of the team store small amounts of the fund in their private bank accounts, Bolock said, the team doesn’t store a large amount of money in a private account. 

“It will be a little bit of a hassle,” said Bolock, a junior majoring in marketing and accounting. “But it won’t have a huge effect on us.”

The amended Bill 025 will also change the amount of funding that SGB allocates club sports teams — postiviely or negatively, depending on the club —  starting Jan. 1, 2016. The amended bill included an additional policy for 2015, which will serve as a transition year.

Next year’s transition policy sets the maximum cap of money a club sport can receive at $15,000 — including for national competitions — for “each organization who opts-in to allowing SGB to view deposits into SORC,” according to the bill. Any organizations that do not opt-in will only be eligible to receive $3,000 in 2015.

Originally, Bill 025 stated that if a club sport had up to $5,000 in its SORC account during the previous fiscal year, SGB’s funding would come  in a 1:2 ratio. That means, for every $2 in the club sports’ SORC account, SGB could allocate $1 to the club each fiscal year.

Any club sports’ bank accounts with more than $5,000 were subject to a 1:3 ratio — for every $3 over $5000, SGB could allocate $1 to the club. Allocations for each team is based on the amount the group already has in its SORC accounts from the previous year. 

The Board set funding caps at $10,000 for club sports with 50 or fewer people on their rosters, and $15,000 for club sports with rosters of 51 players or more.

Any club sport that opts out of the new policy, according to the bill, would only receive a maximum of $1,000 from SGB.

The amendment to Bill 025 now says that instead of $5,000, SGB will fund at a 1:2 ratio for the first $15,000 that a club sport has in their SORC account, during the prior fiscal year. Any amount in excess of $15,000 is subject to a 1:3 ratio.

Bolock said fundraising efforts to reach $15,000 will be difficult for the Pitt Quidditch Team.

“It’s difficult for us to fundraise,” Bolock said. “Because it’s Quidditch. We’re usually not team people want to give money too.”

Bolock said the change will create more individual costs that team members will have to pay. 

The Board also amended the bill to permit more funding for larger team sizes in 2016. 

Club sports with 50 or fewer students have a maximum cap of $10,000. Teams with 50-59 students have the potential to receive $11,000, teams with 60-69 students have the potential to receive $12,000, teams with 70-79 students have the potential to receive $13,000, teams with 80-89 students have the potential to receive $14,000 and teams in excess of 90 students have the potential to receive $15,000. 

Additionally, any club sport that opts out of this process can now receive a maximum of $2,000 and cannot opt back in until the next year.

Nites said some club sports teams might opt out of the policy if they have less than $2,000 in their SORC bank accounts. 

“It lets them opt out of the hassle of having SGB look at their accounts,” Nite said. 

The new amendments also made allowances for club sports who are in their first year of operation, because they did not have an SORC account balance from the previous year.

Allocations can award those teams with a maximum of $3,000.

In other action:

The Board appointed Nick Reslink as Allocations Chair for the 2015-2016 term. The Board also appointed the new Allocations Committee, which includes four returning members on the 12-member team. 

New Allocations Committee members Michele Buono and Gianna Callisto will serve for eight-month terms, as opposed to the year-and-a-half term, in order to allow incoming freshmen to have a chance to serve on a Student Government Board committee.