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Board looks to change club sports’ allocations funding

By Abbey Reighard and Emily Ahlin / The Pitt News Staff

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Pitt students gave feedback last night on an upcoming Student Government bill that would change the Board allocations funding to club sports..

The Board introduced a bill in its next-to-last public meeting on Tuesday in Nordy’s Place that would establish a ratio of SGB funds in proportion to the money that club sports have in its Student Organization Resource Center account.

Pitt has 25 to 30 club sports teams, and currently the SGB Allocations Manual doesn’t offer express guidelines on the funding they may receive from allocations beyond one allocations cap. According to Section 3.05 of the Allocations Manual, SGB may approve no more than $5,000 per year to each club sport for competition use. The bill would expand upon allocations specifications related to club sports. 

For the first $5,000 in any sport’s SORC account, the ratio is 1:2. This means that for every $2 a club has, SGB can provide $1 from allocations.

Any amount in excess of $5,000 that a club sport has is subject to a 1:3 ratio. Meaning, for every $3 a club sport has, SGB can provide $1 in funding from allocations.

The money that SGB could provide to club sports teams according to the bill has new maximum caps. Any team that has 50 students or fewer cannot receive more than $10,000 in a given year, and a team that has 51 students or more could receive a maximum of $15,000. SGB President Mike Nites said he and Nick Reslink, an Allocation Committee member, sent out a survey at the end of September to club sports teams that asked how much money the club sports teams had available to contribute, the amount of their annual dues and how much they have received from SGB in recent years. Nites and Reslink then compared the numbers to determine what the ratio should be. Twenty-two teams responded to the survey. Four out of the 22 teams that responded have more than 50 members, and two teams had exactly 50.

Additionally, club sports have the option to “opt-out” of the policy — some students, the bill said, may not generate enough money to “justify allowing SGB to determine how many deposits were made into the student group’s bank account.”  Those who opt out would receive no more than $1,000 in annual funding. 

The Board will table the bill, which Nites said is subject to corrections, until its final public meeting on Dec. 2.The Board will vote on the bill on Dec. 2. If the Board passes the bill, it will modify the Allocations Manual to reflect the new policy. 

“We will continue to have meetings over the next couple weeks to finalize some of the details and make adjustments,” Nites said. “What I read tonight is what we’re introducing, and again, this is subject to amendments … This is in no way final.”

Students Ashley McCray and Larissa Bohn expressed opinions during open floor, suggesting changes that the Board should make to the bill.

McCray, a senior chemical engineering major, expressed concern that the cuts would negatively affect some club sports. She pointed to the Panther Equestrian Club, which may require more funding than others. McCray resigned from the Allocations Committee in September because of a conflicting schedule.

McCray said while “having fiscal responsibility is good,” the Board should “keep in mind the ratio of functionality” that club sports teams might have, as certain groups may require more funding to operate because of more expensive supplies or materials. 

Nites said he met with two or three leaders from club sports teams on Nov. 5 and 20 or 30 team members on Nov. 18. He said he will email the bill to representatives from the club sports teams on Tuesday after the meeting.

Larissa Bohn, a member of the women’s club lacrosse team, said the bill needs “a lot of work.”

“I thought at the meeting we had two weeks ago, a large majority of club sports weren’t on board with it,” Bohn, a senior majoring in chemical engineering, said. “Our team and a lot of other teams have a lot of concerns with it.”

In other action:

A nominating task force named Allocations Committee member Nick Reslink as next year’s Allocations Commiittee Chair. The task force included outgoing Allocations Chair Nasreen Harun, outgoing Vice Chair Robyn Weiner, president-elect Graeme Meyer, outgoing Business Manager Abby Zurschmit and outgoing president Nites. Nites said the Board will formally appoint Reslink on Dec. 2.

Allocations:

The Catholic Newman Club requested $1,596  for four registrations for the SEEK conference in Nashville, Tenn. The Board approved in full in line with the allocations recommendation.

Pittsburgh Club Baseball requested $1,600 for team league dues. The Board approved in full in line with allocations recommendations.

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Board looks to change club sports’ allocations funding