Pomona College pays over $30,000 for its 5C Harwood Halloween party. Why doesn’t it cover the relatively inexpensive cost of subsidizing club sports?
Club sports are an important part of Pomona culture. Club lacrosse, Ultimate Frisbee, rugby and a host of other club teams have expensive dues for playing that form a barrier for students unable or unwilling to pay the hefty fees.
Promoting sports, regardless of who can afford to pay for them, is in Pomona’s self-interest. The benefits of participating in a sport are clear and well documented. In addition to promoting physical exercise, sports teams also offer a social aspect and give students the opportunity to travel outside of the Claremont bubble.
Associated Students of Pomona College (ASPC) does subsidize part of the dues for certain sports, and this is terrific. But if ASPC doesn’t completely subsidize a sport, it’s missing the point. Making sports accessible to all students, regardless of their ability to afford to pay fees, would allow everyone at Pomona to have an equal chance of participating in club sports. Pomona certainly has the funds to completely subsidize club sports, so why does it still cost over $1,000 to play a season of lacrosse?
The cost of maintaining and running a 5C sports team shouldn’t fall solely upon Pomona. The cost should be split up between the various colleges, proportional to the number of participants each school has on a given team. Pomona and the other Claremont Colleges should start a grant policy where all students can simply request funding for a club sports team.
Certain aspects of club sports should not be funded. The portions of club fees not directly involved with the actual cost of maintaining the sports team, like social events or apparel, should not be subsidized.
Pomona would have to determine the actual price of running the sports teams in order to ensure that they could allocate the correct amount of money to each club team. This would also guarantee that club teams would take advantage of the new subsidy policy.
Club sports should be available to everyone at Pomona, not only to those who can afford them. The college should take the simple and relatively inexpensive step of subsidizing every club team Pomona students participate in.