Sun Devil Sports Association alters system for club funding after losing part of budget

An ASU organization has adopted a new system in an effort to receive a larger budget after a $100,000 decrease in its funding over the past two years.

Sun Devil Sports Association, the organization in charge of allocating funding to the 36 sport clubs on campus, received a budget of $100,000 this year from the Undergraduate Student Government, a considerably lower amount than previous years, SDS President Adam Sandstrom said.

“It’s been cut in half over the last two years,” Sandstrom said. “Now we are basically struggling to survive.”

The organization received $200,000 in the fall of 2011, which then dropped to $180,000 for 2012.

In response to the cuts, SDS has created a tier system that allows it to determine funding for each club sport through a series of requirements that Sandstrom said will help them gain more recognition.

“It gives us structure to not only allocate funds but also gives us some leverage when we go to the University and ask for more money next year,” Sandstrom said.

The teams are divided into four tiers depending on the number of activities they participate in and how well they fulfill the requirements. The higher the tier, the more money they can receive, Sandstrom said.

All sport clubs are required to participate in and attend a certain number of charity and school events before they can qualify for certain tiers, Sandstrom said.

The tier system was not only created to prove the club’s existence but also to be more transparent about how it distributes funds, he said.

“The reason we did this was to be more black and white and transparent about (the process),” Sandstrom said.

The system has not been implemented yet, but the clubs have been informed to start working toward the goals so that they can qualify for more money next year.

So far, Sandstrom said there has been no opposition to the new system, but the decrease in funding has negatively affected many of the teams.

Travis Dunn, a captain on the ASU Men’s Ultimate Frisbee team, said his team has had to increase its club dues and rely on fundraising to get them through this year.

The team is taking donations and is actively pursuing sponsorships to help cover the costs for the season, ASU Men’s Ultimate Frisbee team treasurer and co-captain Danny Bellissimo said.

“(Participants) may have to pay more out of pocket this year depending on the success of our fundraising efforts,” Bellissimo said.

The club’s funding dropped from $5,000 to $3,000, a 40 percent decrease in the last year, Dunn said.

“It is ridiculous that the school governing bodies find it fit to cut funding to a student organization that caters to so many students,” Dunn said.

Sandstrom said he doesn’t accept USG’s reasons for the cuts and doesn’t agree with the way it dispersed the funding.

“None of them have been good reasons or excuses,” Sandstrom said. “I’ve seen what USG has been allocated, and they’ve gotten basically the same amount over the last three, four years.”

Sandstrom said the goal for next year is to get back to where they were and prove that they are deserving of the money.

“We’re not just hanging our heads and getting through this year,” Sandstrom said. “We are still doing all these things to try and prove ourselves.”

USG’s vice president of services had not responded to requests for an interview as of press time.

Reach the reporter at ldelato2@asu.edu