SA Senate approves $15K for hockey club

By Jacqueline Evans and Kyla Gardner

DeKALB | The Student Association Senate voted unanimously to approve about $15,000 in supplemental funding to the NIU Ice Hockey Club on Sunday night.

If the club had not been approved the funds, it would have been suspended as a student organization on campus as of Tuesday, said Mike Sible, president of the NIU Ice Hockey Club. The club would also not have been able to attend its playoff tournament this weekend.

“It’s a relief,” Sible said. “We were two days away from being able to exist as an organization.”

The club applied for supplemental funding in October, Sible said.

The Hockey Club needed $15,000 to pay a debt it owes to the Fox Valley Ice Arena, 1996 S. Kirk Road in Geneva, for using its rink for practices and home games. The club also owes money for bus trips taken to away games during its season, said Peter Alfano, former NIU Ice Hockey Club president.

Last year the club requested $25,000 in SA funding for 2010-2011. The Senate approved $20,800 and that budget was then cut by almost half to $10,540 by the SA finance committee.

Speaker of the Senate Jeremy Peters reminded the senators at the start of the Senate meeting that $22,500 in supplemental funding remained.

Approved student organizations may apply for supplemental funding to add to their original SA-allocated budget.

Before unanimous approval, there was some debate by the senators over whether to approve the request for the hockey club.

“I don’t know about giving away over half of our budget to one club,” said Senator Rickey Layfield during the debate.

Layfield said after the senate meeting that he was trying to be cautious with SA funds.

“I hope, in the future, we don’t need that money for something more serious,” he said.

Sentor R.J. Kunde voiced support for the hockey club during debate.

“They do more than enough, more than any other organization on this campus,” he said. “We need to give them this money [or] they are not going to exist.”

The NIU Ice Hockey Club has an operating budget of about $80,000 per year, Alfano said, about $60,000 of which it raises on its own through private contributions and ad, ticket and apparel sales. The club no longer charges membership dues.

The SA Senate also recognized two student organization during the meeting.

The NIU Track and Field Club was recognized.

“It feels fantastic to be recognized by the senate,” said Alexander Fitch, NIU Track and Field Club president. “It’s taken a lot of hard work but it paid off.”

Currently, NIU does not have an official men’s track and field team.

The SA senate also recognized La Unidad Latina, Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity Inc.

“We’re very proud,” said Gilberto Rivera, the organization’s president. “It’s taken four long years to get established on campus and it feels good to finally be recognized by the Student Association Senate. Now we will be able to move forward without obstacles.”

Senator Austin Quick, acting chair of the Mass Transit Board, updated the senate during announcements on the progress by the board.

In the next month, Huskie Buses will be equipped with real time GPS, smart phone applications and free Wi-Fi, Quick said. The mass transit board will also introduce a secret rider program to evaluate cleanliness and riding experience.

The number eight Northern View Shuttle will add two stops to its route for the Stadium View apartment complex starting Tuesday. The fare for non-NIU students from $.75 cents to $1 beginning Monday, Quick said.