SU Senate votes yes on Sports Club Board
Student Union Senate passed the Sports Club Board initiative in a unanimous vote Tuesday, Oct. 31 but is still pending approval by SU Treasury and Executive Council.
The Sports Club Board is an initiative by the 43 Washington University sports clubs to restructure the inactive Sports Club Board and create a new board to oversee advocacy for club athletes.
The board—which now includes president and senior Isabelle Trier, Vice President and junior Kenny Dorian and chief of staff and senior Maya Sorini—will oversee operations such as travel policy, specific requirements and equipment management for each sports club.
Dorian believes that in creating the board, the sports clubs will gain better representation on campus with University administration, specifically when addressing such issues as their new travel policy.
“Right now, the main issue is the new travel policy that the University has rolled out,” Dorian said. “If you want to travel more than 25 miles, we can’t take personal vehicles; we have to take Enterprise CarShare, which is kind of an inconvenience for a lot of clubs.”
SU Senator and junior Brian Adler agrees, adding that the new board will have more leeway than the previous one and more power than the old board.
“They’ve got a lot of flexibility, but…the main priority right now is amending the incoming travel policy changes,” Adler said. “As they’ve told me, one of the main issues is being in the Midwest, you need to travel a lot to get to other schools. There’s a lot of anger over that.”
Director of the Sports Clubs Sean Curtis worked closely with Adler to create a constitution for the new board, using the old 14-page constitution from the previous board as reference while making major changes.
The old constitution included a section about allocating money, as the board previously funded the sports clubs, but now that individual sports clubs receive money from SU, the new constitution for the board focuses more on its advocacy role within the clubs.
“We’ve just switched the role of what the sports club board will be. So, now it’s not a funding group but rather an advocacy group,” Adler said.
According to Dorian, the agreement to put Curtis in charge of the initial search was made due to the fact that most sports clubs were unfamiliar with each other until now.
“We don’t know each other very well as sports club presidents—so the two options we considered were getting speeches at a meeting and having an election or submitting written self-nominations to Sean Curtis and having him decide,” Dorian said. “And as a unit, we decided that [the latter] was the fairest and best way to get good selections.”
Both Adler and Dorian believe the Sports Club Board will improve communication between sports clubs and the administration.
“As individual clubs, it’s tough to get things done. But as a unit, the idea is we have more sway when it comes to advocating for the University and Student Union,” Dorian said.
“With a board that represents 43 clubs and over 1,200 students, you have a lot more bargaining power when you’re representing them all, rather than representing one club,” Adler said. “Now that they’re getting together, they’re finding common themes and issues that they want to tackle; so, I think it’s going to be really exciting.”
Adler believes that, since the board was passed unanimously in Senate, it will be passed in both SU Treasury and Executive Council.
“I don’t imagine it being an issue in Treasury, but that’s why we have the process if they see anything that’s wrong,” Adler said. “Hopefully, it’s something that can be amended if there is something.”
Adler will continue to oversee the board for the next year, and with about 1200 people involved in sports clubs, creating this new board expands SU’s jurisdiction exponentially.
Adler believes that the Sports Club Board will be a good addition for the student body.
“I think this is going to be something that the student body really appreciates,” Adler said, “This is a massive amount of people that we’re going to be bringing into an organization, and I have no idea how that’s going to turn out, but it’s going to be very interesting.”