If club sports do not spend all of their grant money this year, they could find less funding headed their way next year.
Butler University’s club sports teams have used $4,000 of the $10,000 that the Student Government Association grants committee gave to them this year, said Dan Schramm, SGA’s vice president of finance. Schramm said club sports grants can supplement a team’s regular budget and are useful if the team has to travel.
Schramm said club sports teams should apply for grants soon if they need funding because the grants committee could repurpose some of the money next year if it isn’t used.
“If that’s money they can use and will use, then it should be allocated to them,” Schramm said. “If not, maybe they don’t need it.”
Robert Beckett, treasurer of the Club Sports Council and men’s volleyball team, said this creates a problem because it causes clubs to spend more money than they must. Beckett said that’s something the executive council of the men’s volleyball team has been discussing.
“We don’t want to just go throwing money around for nothing,” Beckett said. “What we’re realizing is if we don’t spend this money, one, our budget’s going to get reduced, and two, we’re not going to live up to our club’s full potential.”
Faith Lindsay, allocation coordinator for the Club Sports Council, said she sees harm in the reduction of club sports grants.
“It would be a problem,” Lindsay said. “I don’t want them (students involved in club sports) to feel like they can’t go to a regional or national championship.”
Lindsay said reduced grant money could put limitations on teams’ accomplishments.
“It’s hard to know if you’re going to make it,” Lindsay said. “Some years are rebuilding years for teams, and other years you just don’t know.”
One club in a rebuilding year is Butler’s Shotokan Karate Club. The Butler University dojo was formed in 2001 but is currently inactive.
Karate Club president Avery Stearman said the recent loss of two key members has jeopardized the vitality of the club.
While the club could continue to exist in a partnership with an outside group from the Indianapolis area, Stearman said she wanted more Butler students to take ownership of the group.
“Getting the word out is difficult and has been a struggle since I’ve started,” Stearman said. “Typically students interested in karate come find us, not the other way around.”
Stearman said that karate club is not the only club whose advertising has failed to garner student body interest. Stearman said she thought that several other teams appeared inactive.
“There are too many clubs for the amount of students we have,” Stearman said.
Eric Kammeyer, Butler’s assistant director of recreation, said getting the word out is “the biggest missing piece” within club sports.
Kammeyer said the appearance of certain clubs as inactive is a result of confusion caused by SGA.
“That’s something that needs to be cleared up with SGA,” Kammeyer said. “The PuLSE Office decides who is inactive for club sports. SGA has its own use of inactive status.”
Kammeyer said a club sports representative to SGA who misses three meetings is declared inactive by SGA and cannot apply for a grant.
Kammeyer said the PuLSE Office’s definition of inactive is much more severe and means that operations are suspended until the requirements dictated by the office are met.
Hockey is the only club sport to currently have inactive status from the PuLSE Office.
Kammeyer said the Club Sports Council has done a good job of recognizing which clubs deserve the grants. Kammeyer said that despite the efficiency of the Club Sports Council, the entire budget cannot be covered with grant money.
“We can’t function on the money we receive from SGA alone,” Kammeyer said. “Men’s lacrosse, for example, brings in thousands in donations and competes on the field at a national level.”
Joshua Phelps, vice president of the men’s lacrosse team, said the fact that men’s lacrosse costs more than most other club sports forces them to rely on players, fundraisers and donations for financial support. Phelps said parents primarily provide donations because alumni will not.
“The alumni situation’s unique with lacrosse,” Phelps said. “A lot of people who played lacrosse at Butler don’t have the best relationship since they cut the program, because it was a D-1 program and then they dropped it.”
Maddi Corry, secretary of the Club Sports Council and a member of the women’s lacrosse team, said her team relies on donations too, but could not compete at a high level without SGA grants.
“I feel like it would be a problem for all of the teams, but we actually do apply for them, and we actually need the money,” Corry said.
Beckett said actually applying for a grant has been a rarity for most clubs recently because people do not want to have to fill out the paperwork. Beckett said he will be presenting a new method for the submission of grants using Google Docs at the first Club Sports Council meeting of the semester on Thursday.
Beckett also said he has plans to discuss his goal of improving the Club Sports Council’s website and posting a copy of the finalized club sports handbook online by the end of the semester.