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The General Student Senate meets with sports clubs and settles funding debate

On Tuesday, April 5, the General Student Senate (GSS) held their weekly meeting in Neville 100 and invited representatives from club sports to present budget expectations for the upcoming year.  


In total, GSS spoke with 19 club sport teams including field hockey, figure skating, men’s and women’s lacrosse, men’s and women’s rugby and many others. 


Most of the budgets included equipment and travel needs for the clubs, and many clubs belonged to Tier 2. 


Frank Kelly, the vice president of financial affairs (VPFA) for the University of Maine Student Government (UMSG), highlighted how the club sports tier system works for the members of the senate that were unaware.  


“There are five tiers within the tier system and we fund the top four,” Kelly said.“As you move up, the tier requirements get greater and greater.” 


Clubs must meet certain requirements such as community service hours in order to move up the tiers, and as the tiers go up, the more money clubs are able to receive from the senate. 


The senate provides a significant amount of support to the clubs on campus. 


The Women’s Basketball Club came to the student senate on Tuesday requesting funding for uniforms and basketballs. 


Zachary Wyles, the president of UMSG, said that UMaine athletics has numerous extra jerseys available but denied the Women’s Basketball Club access to them. 


“In order to participate in the league, you need jerseys,” VPFA Kelly said.


The Women’s Basketball Club is a fairly new sports club and have not yet had the opportunity to fundraise for their club, which is how most clubs pay for their jerseys. Due to this, there was heavy encouragement and support from the senate to pass this funding request in order to get the Women’s Basketball Club on its feet. 


After a period of discussion, the senate approved the funding request. 


There was also a large funding request from the Climbing Club who was seeking over $4000 for climbing gear. 


There was a heavy debate in the previous senate meeting that occurred on Tuesday, March 29, regarding climbing gear. A request by the Backcountry Squatters Club for climbing gear was denied as VPFA Kelly highlighted that the senate avoids providing the same gear to multiple clubs. 


“It really comes down to the core purpose of a club,” Kelly said. “Last week, what I tried to express was that Backcountry Squatters expanding their scope starts to cover other clubs and it makes it so that we are looking at buying very expensive gear and multiples of it.” 


Their resolution is to add additional gear onto the Climbing Clubs’ request to provide Backcountry Squatters with the gear they require and come up with an inventory system through which the gear is all stored together. 


“We ended up having a discussion about increasing the amount of gear that we would purchase so that we can make gear available for other clubs that have interest in climbing,” Patrick Downing, the president of the Climbing Club, said.  


The goal moving forward is for any clubs interested in utilizing the gear to have access to it as well.


There was also a stipulation added to the funding request that it will be allotted once a comprehensive safety process is established by the Climbing Club. 


“Liability insurance applies to stuff like this and our goal is to make sure that the insurance policy doesn’t get touched,” Kelly said.  


Kelly highlighted that Maine is a state with great opportunities for climbing and that the senate should be encouraging students to explore the outdoors safely. 


The senate approved the funding request and put the debate to rest. 


The club Wilde Stein also successfully received funding for their upcoming Lavender Prom.  


“I think it is a great opportunity for students who were not able to attend their high school prom,” Kelly said. “Wilde Stein has been putting on a lot of great events as of late, the Drag Show was a huge success and I have no reason to believe this won’t be as well.”


Lavender Prom is scheduled for Friday, April 15, at 7:00 p.m. in the Wells Conference Center. 

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