The Yale College Council has begun to distribute money raised in the inaugural year of the Student Activities Fee, but some students who are involved in these activities said they think the allocation process needs improvement.
The YCC allocated $270 to each club sports team this fall and will form a group next semester consisting of team leaders to distribute the rest of the $34,400 designated for club sports, Treasurer Emery Choi ’07 said. But some club sports leaders said they have received little or no information about the new funding. Leaders of some large club teams also said the recent funding will do little to offset their costs, though the leaders of some smaller teams said the additional money will significantly augment their current budgets.
The first round of funding distribution for club sports has been finalized by the YCC and the Athletics Department, Choi said.
“[We] have been working hard all semester to create a plan for effectively managing the increase in budget,” he said. “Club sports captains can turn in their receipts today and get reimbursed for their expenses if they wanted.”
But Joanna Wu ’07, coordinator for the Yale Ballroom Dance Team, one of the largest club sports on campus with more than 80 members, said she has not yet been contacted about the new funding.
“I wish we would be more informed, considering I haven’t received a single e-mail about how the money will be spent,” Wu said. “I’m surprised because we are one of the bigger club sports and one of the older ones, too.”
Wu said she does not think the allocated money will significantly offset the team’s costs. The team will use most of the money from the fee for transportation costs, but each weekend of travel costs about $1,500 to $2,000, she said.
Garan Geist ’06, president of the Yale Men’s Rugby Football Club, also said the money from the Student Activities Fee is small in comparison to the operational costs for his team, which includes 45 members, about 35 of whom are regular competitors.
“For us the money doesn’t really go very far at all. Our budget is generally around $30,000 for the year,” Geist said.
Geist said he does not think every club sport should receive an equal amount of money by the YCC, instead suggesting that funding allocation be primarily based on team size.
“I don’t really think it’s too fair because the rugby team is probably the most professional … of the club sports,” he said. “I think it would be more equitable if they distributed it based on roster size.”
But some leaders of smaller club sports said the new money will make a significant difference in terms of their operational costs.
Vicente Undurraga Perl ’06 said that while the fishing club has about 40 members, only five to 10 students actually compete on the team. The new funding will allow the team to purchase some of its own equipment instead of relying only on his equipment, he said.
“Now we are using all of my equipment,” he said. “There are a lot of things we need to buy because fishing is an expensive sport.”
Although Perl has not been contacted about joining the proposed group of club sports leaders that will determine how the remainder of the funding will be distributed, he said he is concerned about the ability of club sports leaders to reach an agreement on how much money each sport should receive.
“It’s going to be hard because everyone is gong to be pushing to get money for their groups,” he said. “I hope somebody arbitrates because I don’t think we are going to come to a consensus too quickly or easily.”
The first two campus-wide events sponsored by the new fee — a YTV-hosted Halo 2 tournament and a benefit coffee house — are also set to take place this weekend. While overseers of both events said they appreciate YCC the funding, one organizer said he would prefer more flexibility in allocating funds.
YTV President Emerson Davis ’06 said the organization may not have been able to host the 64-person video-game tournament without the $500 given to the organization by the Committee for Campus-wide Activities.
“We probably could have pulled it off, but it would have been a lot more difficult on our budget,” he said.
But some of the stipulations for funding set out by the CCA, which is in charge of distributing funding for campus events, are limiting for planners, Davis said. The CCA refused to fund the tournament prize, a new Xbox 360, because the purpose of the organization is to benefit the entire Yale community, not just one student, Choi said. But the prize is an integral part of the event and without it the tournament would not be as attractive to students, Davis said.
“It is sort of does a disservice to the diversity of events and the need to be flexible,” Davis said.
The CCA is also funding a benefit coffee house and talent show for the group Liberty in North Korea in the Morse College dining hall this Saturday. LiNK Director Cole Carnesecca ’06 said the CCA’s support will free up the funds raised by the event to go toward charity instead of defraying the cost of the event itself.
“The object is to raise money that you can devote to the cause that you are supporting,” he said. “We aren’t having to go into our donations to pay for the event.”
Carnesecca said he faced some problems when filling out the application and would have preferred more instruction from the CCA during the application process. But he said he understands that the organization is still settling into its new role on campus and working out application details.
“The formation of [the CCA] is still pretty loose, but I think that’s because they are still trying to feel out their role alongside UOFC in terms of funding organizations,” Carnesecca said. “If the mode of applying for funding was a little bit more concrete and clear, it would have made it a little easier.”
The YCC raised about $172,000 through the optional $50 student activities fee this year. Approximately 37 percent of the student body opted out of the fee.
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