As SG vans near approval, sports teams keep waiting

SG is still pushing vans through procurement, though it campaigned on providing them by the beginning of the quarter.

By Sam Levine

Athletic clubs are getting impatient as they wait for Student Government (SG) to finalize leases on two vans that would be made available for a subsidized fee, cutting down on RSO transportation costs.

Though the vans were to be made available for use at the beginning of this academic year, SG and University administrators have taken longer than expected to compare different leasing options to find the best deal for students.

“I was really hoping we would have the vans so that we could start saving money,” said third-year and men’s crew captain Alexander Ostapenko in an e-mail. The crew team’s only transportation option is renting school buses for $200 a day to bring team members to and from practices, he added.

Once the van-rental program begins, RSOs will enter a lottery to gain access to the vans. If an RSO is selected, it will pay between $25–$50 to per rental.

“I’m holding out hope for a fall quarter delivery [of the vans], with a full launch in the winter quarter,” fourth-year and SG President Greg Nance wrote in an e-mail this week.

It is estimated that each van will cost approximately $5,500 to lease each year in addition to maintenance and gas costs, Nance said.

Access to the vans would save club sports teams thousands of dollars spent on transportation out-of-pocket, but since Assistant Director of Athletics Brian Bock has not been given a specific start date, many are anxious.

Without the University-organized transportation varsity teams use for games, club teams have to find ways of getting to practices and away games on their own.

Jeremy Kane, a fourth-year and the captain of the men’s club fencing team, is eager for the van program to start. “We rent vans from Enterprise and beg team members to volunteer their personal cars” for away tournaments, Kane wrote in an e-mail. “We certainly would use the vans if they were made available to us.”

The vans, which will also be available to RSOs and community service organizations, were promised as part of Next Generation’s 10 goals for its first 30 days in office and were originally approved by Vice President for Campus Life Kim Goff-Crews in May.

The van rental program is funded by $8,000 from the Student Activities Fee, and $3,000 from the SG budget. Nance said in an interview that the cost of the vans would not exceed the $11,000 budget.