Club Sports tries to re-group after failed referendum

Anna Giubileo, Staff Reporter

Last year, students at Case Western Reserve University were asked to vote on whether Club Sports should become a member of the Student Presidents’ Roundtable. After much confusion and miscommunication as to what membership would actually entail and how it would affect other organizations—such as the Class Officer Collective (COC) and University Media Board (UMB)—students voted to not pass the referendum. Now, almost a year after the referendum was first introduced, what has Club Sports done in the wake of the failed referendum?

According to Gareth May, fourth-year student and president of Club Soccer, the original goal of the referendum was to increase the control Club Sports had over their finances and to be able to have a set percentage of funds that did not decrease year to year. In response to questions about Club Sports’ reaction when the referendum failed to pass, May said, “The council was disappointed. Typically when something benefits you and it is not passed there is disappointment. That would be the average reaction.” 

So why didn’t the Club Sports referendum pass? 

According to May, “The goals of the person that spearheaded what became the referendum included a few loftier aspirations that are not necessary.” 

With that in mind, this year’s Sport Club Presidents’ Council has changed direction, instead looking to become an Undergraduate Student Government (USG) Ad Hoc Committee. But what exactly does that mean?

According to USG’s website, “USG Ad Hoc Committees are USG-recognized committees who receive a portion of USG’s funding each semester. These ad hocs are comprised of people both within and outside of USG and are focused on specific issues on-campus.”

USG currently recognizes three ad hoc committees: the Commuter and Off-Campus Organization, Health and Wellness and the Student Sustainability Council. 

Hunter Stecko is a third-year dual major in electrical engineering and computer science and is the current Vice President of the USG Finance Committee. He explained, “Currently, we are in the process of coming to an agreement on what Club Sports should look like as an ad hoc committee, including monetarily.”

When asked why Club Sports decided to try to become an ad hoc committee rather than trying to pass an updated referendum with feedback they received from the student body, May said, “In meeting with a few people, this was discussed as a path that would provide the simplest path toward [the goal of being financially independent].”

Stecko commented that, “the range of impact could vary widely,” meaning that becoming an ad hoc won’t increase the amount of money allocated to Club Sports. Instead, the money will be “more effectively distributed.”

If Club Sports is voted in as an ad hoc committee, they would be given a particular budget, which Stecko explained “would be free to allocate as they choose.” Additionally, rather than a vote that goes out to the entire school, only USG representatives would vote to pass them as an ad hoc or not. 

While not much has been made public concerning Club Sports after the referendum failed to pass last year, much has been happening behind the scenesthough it appears several questions have yet to be worked out. In the coming weeks, USG and Club Sports will continue to discuss next steps.

According to May, their plan for the future is “to keep working.”