Cal Poly Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) allocated $70,000 to club sports for the 2015-16 school year, which is approximately $50,000 less than the $120,787 budget club sports received the previous year.
Coordinator of Student Clubs and Organizations Everette Brooks acknowledged the need for more money but said he didn’t see it affecting the success of the program.
“We’re not as funded as some other programs in the CSU (California State University) are, but that didn’t take away from our drive to win 18 national championships (since 2009),” Brooks said. “We’re going to beat them in the classroom, we’re going to beat them on the field and we’re going to put out hearty student-athletes that are representative of the university as a whole.”
Two years ago, ASI was able to pre-fund staff retirement medical expenses which left room in last year’s budget, according to ASI Assistant Executive Director Dwayne Brummett.
The board decided to give some of the surplus to club sports, ASI Club Services Assistant Trisha Sanchez said. This year, ASI has a smaller budget which leaves club sports with a smaller budget as well.
“Last year, they got the big chunk because there were extra funds,” Sanchez said. “It was reduced this year because those funds are no longer available, so it was a one-time deal. So, it went back down but it’s still more than it has been in previous years.”
The $70,000 club sports budget is split among the 25 club sports teams ($29,000), insurance ($17,500), club sports management ($21,000) and operational expenses ($2,500).
Each club team is placed into one of three tiers, which determines its budget.
The highest budget of $16,000 goes to 10 teams in the Gold Tier, leaving $1,600 to all individual teams within that tier. The Green Tier receives $8,800, leaving $1,100 for each team. The White Tier receives $600 per team with an overall budget of $4,200.
These tiers are based on a point system. Earning points is the responsibility of each team, and the points will ultimately determine their tier.
Points are given to teams for participating in different levels of competition, hiring a coach, community involvement and home game attendance. Disciplinary actions and missed club sport council meetings result in penalties.
“Everette really pushes us to get out there more and show ASI and the school that we’re a serious program and that we stand for competitive sports,” Women’s Lacrosse President and business administration senior Natalie Royle said. “We are paying all this money because we love the sport, not because the school gives us money to play.”
If each team’s given budget is not enough to function, it is up to the team to fund themselves for any other needs by fundraising and making cost-effective choices. According to Brooks, teams can choose to save money by traveling less and holding more competitions at home, increasing team players’ dues or increasing the number of players.
The amount of extra work is always in students’ minds, water polo player James Tweet said.
“Even though we focus on the games and practicing,” Tweet said. “We do wish it could be easier.”
A larger budget would allow club teams to hire more professional, which would allow for more direct assistance and one-on-one time with the teams, according to Brooks.
Club sports do not generally have a lot of money, Student Financial Assistant for Club Sports Annie DeBruynkops said.
“From what I’ve experienced and observed, the teams are so well-run and so established that they’re very capable of running their programs on their own,” DeBruynkops said. “Many of these teams run on huge budgets, some upwards of $85,000 a year. The ASI funding helps and is greatly appreciated, but personal team funding has always and will always be necessary in order for these teams to run and be competitive.”