Expenses, Space Limit Club’s Hopes

Taryn Talacka, Reporter

Joshua Ford and Paul Henn are trying to form a men’s volleyball sports club after officials shot it down.

Ford, a junior accounting major, thought the team would have been a great idea. He said a few key stumbling blocks are in the way.

“When I initially tried to see if it would be possible, it was denied because of lack of gym time as well as lack of funding.”

Henn, a junior government, law, and national security major who was also interested in the team, said the team would have been an alternative for those who want to take their passion for volleyball to the next level.

“A men’s volleyball team would add a much more competitive element to those who want more than just co-ed ‘gym’ volleyball,” said Henn. “We would like to have a competitive team that can go to tournaments and play against some of the best players in the area.”

Ford and Henn said officials did not explain why there was not adequate gym time.

Darcy Brodmerkel, Director of Student Activities, said she was initially interested in the idea of a men’s volleyball club.

“Part of the issue is that I know that there’s an interest in the men starting a volleyball team,” said Brodmerkel. “When they first came to me and asked about wanting to start a volleyball club, I explored it with them and found out they were looking to start a club team.”

Brodmerkel said club teams typically play competitively and those clubs take time to create. She said club sports usually need to be active for about a year before the the University can consider them a team, and players would need plenty of time in the gym.

“If they wanted to form just a club [under Student Govern- ment], that’s absolutely possible,” said Brodmerkel. “The problem becomes the space in the gym.”

Brodmerkel said there is limited space because of the weather. She said many spring sports programs have had to practice inside so space is often limited in the gym. Other intramural sports that use the gym also have to be considered, and Brodmerkel said that is why Athletics staffers said the team is not possible.

“We are limited as far as space goes, but if they’re looking to do a regular sports club, that doesn’t go through me,” she said. “I’ll try to help them, but it really needs to go through Coach Martin.”

She said equipment needs are another problem. Supplies can be very expensive, and the club would have to raise the funds.

“It would be just like how every other club is responsible for obtaining their own supplies,” said Brodmerkel. “This club would have to come up with money to purchase things such as balls, the net, and the whole nine yards.”

Ford said there are solutions.

“Gym time shouldn’t be too much of a problem, and I have found it is easy to fundraise through holding volleyball tournaments, which can generate close to $800 or more each.”

Henn said interest in the team is high – many men would love to play competitively against other area schools.
“We can go to tournaments and hopefully get other colleges to do the same,” said Henn. “Doing this might be the start of seeing men’s competitive volleyball around the area and might even lead the col- leges around here to making men’s volleyball an official sport.”

Brodmerkel said all clubs on campus, including a men’s volleyball club, are required to have a set of officers and an adviser. They also have to do service work throughout the year.

She said many members don’t complete the work. There are cu rently 45 clubs, but only half of them are active.

“Lots of times, people start the club, they go through the paper- work, and then they don’t follow through.”

Brodmerkel said organizers should take the idea to Student Government first instead of trying to create a sports club.
“I have yet to turn down any club idea other than maybe recommending that instead of starting the club, they should just do it through another group,” said Brodmerkel. “We had a group that wanted to do something not too long ago, and after further discus- sion, it came back to maybe it should go to Campus Ministry.”

Brodmerkel said that she always tries to follow-up with requests no matter how different they may be. She said she once had a request for a fight club that would have to practice in the dance studio. She looked into the request because there are real established techniques used in the sport.

“One of the requirements I put on them was that every time they had a session, they had to have their adviser present,” said Brodmerkel. “We’ll absolutely try to work with the request.”

Brodmerkel also received a request for an archery club. She spoke with safety officials and set up equipment storage.

Ford and Henn said they are still interested in starting a volleyball club. Ford said he may create it through Student Government.

“It won’t be the same thing as a sports club,” said Ford. “It will provide information about local tournaments to students who are interested in volleyball.”

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