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UFB, UCS partner to remove fundraising requirement for club sports on campus

Club sports can now be fully funded by UFB

The Undergraduate Finance Board voted Sept. 16 to pass a budget that fully covers club sports costs, eliminating the prior requirement that club sports members fundraise a percentage of their budgets determined by the Athletics Department, according to UFB Chair Amienne Spencer-Blume ’23. 

An Oct. 5 community email from the Undergraduate Council of Students announced the change to the funding structure. Susan Murphy, manager of intramural and club sports, was in charge of dispersing this information to the club sports teams’ leadership, according to UCS President Ricky Zhong ’23. 

Some club sports teams will continue to be funded externally through fundraising, and parts of the University endowment that support particular club sports, according to Arjun Krishna Chopra ’25, vice chair of UFB. Clubs that receive funding externally can still receive funding from UFB, he added. 

Zhong, who initially had the idea of removing the fundraising requirement, said he began working over the summer with Chopra and Spencer-Blume to determine how the UFB budget could cover club sports costs. 


In reviewing UFB’s allocations, they found that UFB provided  $100,000 of funding to academic departments that had very little involvement with student activities. Chopra and Spencer-Blume met with Senior Associate Dean and Director of Student Activities Joie Steele and Vice President for Campus Life Eric Estes to discuss moving that sum of money toward club athletics. 

The transfer of funds was “an excellent way” to remove budget allocations that were out of date, Chopra said. 

“We should all have a say in how (the student activities fee) gets allocated and make sure that basically we don’t have to have any portion of campus be financially inaccessible to anyone,” Chopra said. The student activities fee, which is paid by students, is allocated by UFB.

Spencer-Blume described this change as part of a larger shift for UFB away from being a “gatekeeper” of funds. 

“For the first time, I think UFB has really adopted the mindset that we can help groups flourish and not just exist at bare necessity,” she said. 

“This can really change the culture within club sports in terms of what’s possible and re-shift efforts and energy away from fundraising, which is very time-consuming,” Spencer-Blume said. 

Chopra added that the change was essential because no other clubs on campus are required to fundraise. 

Sophia Sordilla GS, treasurer for women’s and gender-expansive ultimate frisbee, described the club sports budget changes as a “very welcome surprise” — though she was not aware that the change was due to a UCS and UFB partnership. 

While the University previously covered tournament fees and members didn’t have to pay dues, uniforms and gear had not been covered, Sordilla said. This year, the team will have the funds to buy gear, such as uniforms and cleats, for team members who need it since the costs of those items can sometimes be “prohibitive,” she said. 

“This (change) is really helpful in that (if) someone needs financial aid, it doesn’t have to be crowdsourced from the team, it can actually come from the University,” Sordilla said.


The increased distribution of funds has made club sports teams “more accessible to anyone who would like to be a part of them,” Sordilla said, “which is huge.” 

“There was this previously conceived idea that fundraising together builds community, but I think that was more just a way of looking at it from the bright side,” Zhong said. “It is very much ideal that students don’t have to spend time fundraising and can instead focus on the club sport itself.”

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Indigo Mudbhary

Indigo Mudbhary is a University news senior staff writer covering student government. In her free time, she enjoys running around Providence and finding new routes.

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