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Club Sports Council to Function as Autonomous Body

Organization will keep ties with Department of Athletics and ASA, but will follow a different set of rules

By Helana Kadyszewski

MIT’s athletic department has announced the creation of a new Club Sports Council, which will redefine the relationship between the club sports program and its two major sponsors, the Association of Student Activities and the Athletics Department.

Larry Anderson, MIT’s director of club sports, said that the creation of the Council came in response to cutbacks and restructuring within MIT’s Athletic Department and the ASA over the past year.

“With resources as limited as they are, we must work to maximize those allotted to our club teams, and provide a better service for our athletes, ” Anderson said.

Ignacio Perez De La Cruz G joined Anderson in explaining the concerns of the club sports program. Perez is a member of MIT’s intercollegiate volleyball team, and currently represents club sports on the Athletics Board, a group which consists of members from all sections of the Athletics Department.

Anderson and Perez plan to factor in the input of the Graduate Student Council, ASA, and Undergraduate Association into the new council’s decisions, but like the idea of having a single representative body for club sports.

“My vision of the council as a separate entity would serve to organize and centralize the dealings of club sports,” Perez said.

Right now club teams face considerable restrictions in acquiring funding, referees and trainers, and in adopting new policies. The ASA demands that all groups petitioning for recognition as a club sport must first go to the Athletics Department for approval.

“What we want is to make sure that no varsity, intramural, or club team is shortchanged by the current system. Communication between all groups is essential; we want this new council to be one of the groups,” says Anderson.

As a two-year president and four-year member of a club sports team, Perez knows the importance of a strong relationship between the sponsors of club sports. “I think that the Council would help raise the profile of club sports in MIT’s athletic community while ensuring that the actual club members have a say in how the money is spent, and how the rules are made,” he said.

The men’s intercollegiate volleyball team travelled to Kansas City for the National Division II championships last year and placed 9th.

“We’re just one of MIT’s many successful competitive club programs. We just want to make sure there’s some trophy space for us in the new building,” he said. “That’s all.”

Anderson and Perez have submitted proposals for the new council and await feedback. They hope the council will be operating soon, and that as a result, the coordination of the Athletic Department and the ASA will be simplified.

“What we’re hoping for is a little bit of freedom and a better partnership,” Anderson said.

Recent construction has contributed to a lack of space and an unclear budget for MIT sports. As a result, MIT’s Athletic Department asked the ASA to suspend the initiation and recognition of all new club sports as of February 5, 2001. The ASA granted the moratorium, and has agreed to work with Anderson and Athletic Director, Candace Royer, to redefine policies and recognition procedures.