Blue Crew funding source experiences ups and downs

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Blue Crew rallied school spirit at a recent mens' soccer game. (Photo by Patrick Goodman.)

At Monday’s Student Government meeting, steps were taken to make Blue Crew a club, reversing last week’s last minute move make the organization a SG committee in order to provide Blue Crew with funds.

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 last week 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 SG meeting about whether this was the best use of SG funds, as well as the best way for the Blue Crew to receive funding.

“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 prior to Monday’s meeting. ”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.”

At the meeting, SG members supported the continuation of Blue Crew, but expressed frustration that they did not have the foresight to become a club in time to receive funding.

While last week SG agreed to temporarily support Blue Crew as a committee, Members moved to dissolve the committee at Monday’s meeting.

Blue Crew will begin the process to become a club in order to receive funds.

It was also suggested Blue Crew might reach out again to Athletics or Alumni Relations for additional funding.

“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 cochairman 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.

Once they become a club, SG will vote again to see if they want to dissolve the committee.

Joe Pelletier said Blue Crew would prefer to be a club for more reasons than funding.

“The main problem is with advertising,” Pelletier said. “If you’re not a club, you can’t advertise in Haggar … 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. We want people to cheer for all games.”

Michael Fazi contributed to the reporting of this article.

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