In a last minute move to allocate the organization funding, Blue Crew was made a Student Government (SG) committee at a Sept. 25 meeting.
The Blue Crew, a student group started in 2014 to raise school spirit at sporting events, recently found themselves without a budget after failing to apply to be a club in time to receive funding through the University of Dallas Student Activities and Leadership Center (SALC).
Clubs that apply a semester in advance are eligible for funding from the SALC.
Though Blue Crew has been around for a few years, this is the first year they have been in economic need.
Last year the founder, now an alumnus, volunteered to donate $500 to the group.
That money is nearly gone now, meaning that the group may not have the ability to pay for Blue Crew materials at opening home games, October pink out games, and senior games for all fall sports.
To avoid this, the group decided to attempt to become an SG committee.
In the past they had been supported by SG under the ‘Athletic Support Committee’.
This suggestion led to a debate at last week’s student government meeting about whether this was the best use of SG funds, as well as the best way for the Blue Crew to receive funding.
SG can allocate a portion of its general funds to a committee, or allocate money for a specific club or committee event.
“Last week in the senate meeting, a Blue Crew committee was formed on the part of Student Government with the intention of figuring out the best way to keep Blue Crew running for this semester,” student body president Angelo Novello said. ”Blue Crew really should be a club, not a part of Student Government, because what they do is really the function of a club, not a Student Government committee. I don’t really think that the general fund for Student Government should be permanently allocated to them.”
Novello is not alone in that concern.
At the meeting, SG members supported the continuation of Blue Crew, but expressed frustration that they did have the foresight to become a club in time to receive funding.
SG agreed to support Blue Crew for now because they recognize that the group’s mission benefits campus life.
“People are excited about Blue Crew, and it is definitely something that should grow and become a part of the culture so to keep them afloat this year,” Novello said. “I’m not opposed to using Student Government funds if that [is] what the senators decide.”
SG was adamant that the group begin the process of becoming a club immediately.
“Every semester clubs get funds, but if we become a club right now, we could apply to SG for a clubs and Orgs grant,” Blue Crew member and co-chairman of the committee Muhammad Arif said. “Then, starting next semester, the school will fund us.”
Though their status as a club would not immediately grant them an allocation every semester, it would put them in a position to apply for a club grant from SG.
SG has a large sum that it can allocate to clubs with small general ledgers who are in need of extra financial backing, usually for specific school wide events.
Blue Crew is currently working on their club application. They have everything ready except for the club constitution.
Once they become a club, SG will vote again to see if they want to dissolve the committee.
Joe Pelletier says Blue Crew would prefer to be a club for more reasons than funding.
“The main problem is with advertising. If you’re not a club, you can’t advertise in Haggar,” Pelletier said. “We had trouble advertising for the first Blue Crew event because we couldn’t put stuff up.”
Pelletier feels that Blue Crew’s potential contributions to the school community makes it imperative that they survive this semester.
Recently, for instance, Blue Crew organized support at a soccer game.
“Soccer was a success,” Pelletier said. “The coach was really impressed. Apparently there was a recruit there. He’s been thinking about UD and Trinity. Hopefully he likes UD more.”
Arif explained that Blue Crew is important because it connects the athletes with the rest of the UD community.
“Soccer and rugby are popular, but no one goes to baseball and lacrosse,” Arif said. “We want people to cheer for all games.”