ASUA, club sports renegotiate funding

By Todd Hardy
Arizona Daily Wildcat
November 21, 1996

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Erin Russell
ASUA vice president for clubs and organizations


Despite plans to eliminate sport club funding by next year, the Associated Students yesterday said it will find other ways to lend its support.

"We are still committed to sport clubs. We just don't know if we can commit financially," said Jim Drnek, assistant dean of students and ASUA's adviser.

Drnek and other ASUA officials met yesterday with Mary O'Mahoney, program coordinator of the Student Recreation Center, to discuss the future of sport club funding.

Last week, citing a 30 percent budget cut, ASUA announced a $5,000 cut in sport club funding this year, and complete elimination of funding beginning next year.

Erin Russell, vice president for clubs and organizations, said sport clubs were chosen for elimination because of the high risk of injury associated with many athletic activities.

"I want them to get funding, but unfortunately, there is a huge liability in many sport club events, especially contact sports like rugby and lacrosse," Russell said.

Although athletes are highly prone to injury, O'Mahoney said liability should not be a concern of ASUA.

She said all sport club members are required to carry their own insurance, and contact sports like rugby and lacrosse have liability insurance provided through their leagues.

"I think I will be able to convince them that liability really isn't their problem," she said.

O'Mahoney said $10,000 has been transferred to the Recreation Center for sport clubs, but the money has yet to be allocated to individual clubs.

She said many small clubs like fencing and boxing will be unable to buy new equipment or participate in tournaments this year because of the budget cuts.

"It's a shame because they compete as representatives of this university," O'Mahoney said.

ASUA President Rhonda Wilson said she does not foresee any future funding for sport clubs, but said she plans to help them find a way to get funding in the future.

"We are not trying to cut them off and tell them to fend for themselves," she said.

Wilson said ASUA plans to meet with O'Mahoney and other sport club representatives throughout the year to discuss alternative sources of funding.

"I am confident we will have this problem resolved by next year," she said.