After a year and a half of sub-group allocation censure, the women’s rugby football club has been cleared by College Council (CC) and will regain priority funding, effective this year. The original censure was due to the team overspending by more than $6000 over the course of two years.
In May 2012, CC voted to censure women’s rugby based on the excessive debt the group incurred in the fall of 2011. The team overspent its budget by $4665 and already faced a debt of $2157 for the fiscal year in 2012. The main costs were accrued from transportation. At the time, the team was not allocated funding for transportation and was encouraged to use personal vehicles. The team chose to pay for more expensive transportation and thus incurred debt.
“As a censured group, [women’s rugby] would not be allowed to participate in the subgroup allocation process that we hold every fall and would thus have to request funding on a case by case basis,” Adrian Castro ’14, CC co-president, said. In addition, the CC Treasurer was also placed in an oversight position for the team’s expenses to ensure that women’s rugby remained financially sound.
The process of reconciliation began when the new leaders assumed responsibility over the team. “It did not change anything on the organizational level of the team,” Nina VanBiene ’15, current president and former treasurer during the censure of women’s rugby, said. “I just had a different process to go through to request money.”
CC gave credit for improvements to VanBiene. “Not only did she keep the group from going into the red, she maintained very close communication with Council and ensured that the group was moving toward becoming a more fiscally responsible organization,” Castro said. The management of the team in the 2013 fiscal year impressed CC, and over the summer, the Council decided to review the censure in the fall.
The revoke of the censure would also aid CC in more accurately projecting its expenditures for the season, as the allocation for women’s rugby would be set for the year during the regular budget approval process rather than incrementally. “This ensures they have a set number of guaranteed games for the year,” Castro said, distinguishing this scenario from the case-by-case determination of funding during the censure, which hinged on whether CC had enough funding at the time.
The air of the recent vote seems to be one of optimism on both sides. “The fact that the censure has been lifted two years earlier than expected speaks volumes to our responsibility as an organization,” VanBiene said. “We’re proud of the women’s rugby team and hope that they can continue working in collaboration with College Council in the future,” Castro said.