January 20, 2004

Letters to the Editor

*University Funding*

Model United Nations (MUN) deserves $7,000 to go to one tournament—otherwise they'll miss out on the beluga caviar that real U.N. diplomats get for conferences.

By contrast, the U of C Sailing Club owns three decrepit, 30-year-old Flying Juniors (FJs). We have no working safety boat, and can only practice racing on Saturdays at CYC-Belmont (one hour by CTA). Our yearly budget is a pitiful $1,200, which barely maintains our existing infrastructure.

Despite our difficulties, we are a successful club. In just three years, we have formed an active beginner-training program that takes place at Jackson Park on Sundays during fall and spring quarters. Our racing teams managed to crack the top-six in three Midwest regattas in fall quarter and placed first and third out of a dozen competitors in regattas last spring. And we also had the second-best racing team out of 16 in CYC Frostbiting.

Should we send 16 MUN members to pass a resolution in Montreal for $456 per person? Consider the fact that with $7,000, U of C Sailing could buy seven new FJs (for 14 new sailors), a new motorboat, and upgraded training facilities. These improvements would be permanent.

We possess many comparative advantages over our Midwest competition. We are close to Lake Michigan (the best sailing conditions in the Midwest), making us an ideal host for future regattas; we have a hardy membership of over 20 people despite our lack of boats; and we have a world-famous alumnus—multi-billionaire tycoon Larry Ellison—who nearly won sailing's most prestigious prize, the 2003 America's Cup in New Zealand.

Since all our successful clubs are hindered by a lack of funds, we should make the best investments we can with the limited capital we have.

Adrian Cook

Vice-President of the U of C sailing team