Say ‘No’ on Club Sports


As a student, you paid $416 to the Student Government Association this year. Your money is used for things like putting tampons in restrooms, funding the 170 or so student organizations (including this newspaper and MCAB) and making sure that campus is on the ACTR bus route. Your money is managed by a group of students called the SGA Finance Committee.

Two weeks ago, the SGA Senate voted by majority to overturn a longstanding administrative rule that limited the creation of new club sports where there existed a Varsity sport equivalent. Although the bill was discussed in multiple Senate meetings and there was disagreement regarding the proposal, the Senate ultimately voted in favor. Given the interest of students in years past, we estimate that the Senate’s decision will cost the student body $20,000 per year. This request came from a group of passionate students who were trying to start a club that was disallowed by the rule.

Simultaneously, the Finance Committee has been working to mitigate the financial inaccessibility of many campus organizations that incorporate travel for competition, activism, conferences, service trips, performances, etc. A plan to provide financial assistance to students receiving financial aid to buy food when traveling with their club would cost upwards of $20,000 per year. These are organizations that the SGA has made a commitment to support and these are students who might otherwise not be able to participate fully.

We cannot fund both the financial aid and the expansion of the club sports program simultaneously without increasing tuition. We are responsible for funding so much of the student experience. We have a budget and have to live within it. This comes at a moment when a semester at Middlebury College costs 2.7 times as much as the Federal Poverty Line, so we are very hesitant about increasing our budget with tuition hikes.

We believe the Senate made a mistake by saying yes to funding new club sports. Their decision likely came from the understanding that club sports add so much to this campus and the many students that are able to participate. Club Sports are indeed wonderful organizations, and it is reasonable to assume that more club sports would mean more of something good. Unfortunately, given the required out of pocket expenses, most club sports are out of reach for many students. Moving forward, the Senate should reverse its decision on club sports. It should instead use our resources to make the clubs we already have accessible to all, regardless of socioeconomic status, so that we can make these fantastic organizations better. While it is not easy to say no to a friend, sometimes it is the right thing to do for the Middlebury community. We are asking for the Senate to reverse its decision to fund $20,000 extra for club sports so that we can focus our resources on full access for all Middlebury students instead.


Peter Dykeman-Bermingham, Jin Sohn, Farhan Haque, Kenshin Cho, Will Dowling,  Elisa Gan, Isabella Martus, Reggie Narcisse, Juan Andrade-Vera, Ish Alam, Silas Keeter, Neel Lakhanpal, Mia Brosius, Isha Kothari, Tina Brook, Hannah Pustejovsky

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.