Campus club gets shot down
By Maija Ambrogio
Western's Rifle and Pistol club no longer has a home in Alumni Hall and no longer carries the Western title.
Recently, three decisions were made regarding the immediate future of the club. Firstly, Campus Recreation's support and endorsement of Rifle and Pistol club activities was terminated, said Elizabeth Elliot, coordinator of physical fitness and sport instruction at Campus Recreation. "This was done because the club was not filling the recreation mandate including a component of physical activity," Elliot said.
Due to withdrawal of support, Campus Recreation closed the shooting range facility in Alumni Hall as it was no longer needed.
This decision was supported by Western's senior administration, said Beverly Green, assistant to Peter Mercer, VP-administration. Western's name was then removed from the club to protect the university from potential liability, Green said.
Rifle and Pistol Club president Jason Brown and vice-president Terrence C. Biggs said they are unable to explain why the club's support was withdrawn and are skeptical of the reasons provided.
To correct the lack of physical activity, Biggs proposed events which involved cross-country running accompanied by target shooting in which the competitors' times are recorded.
"Although a formal proposal was never received, the university does not have a venue that is suitable for that type of shooting," Elliot said.
Green argued there is an element of risk associated with the Rifle and Pistol club as well. However, Brown said during the club's 35 years, there has never been one accident or complaint.
There was one more issue outlined in a letter to Biggs from Elliot. "In the current fiscal climate, it has become necessary to streamline several programs within the organization."
In order to offset the $14,513 annual cost of the shooting range, Biggs proposed the club pay half this amount, which would be taken from the $50 membership fee paid by the 230 to 250 members each year.
Green claims that currently the Chief Provincial Firearms' office is in negotiations with the club and she hopes a suitable solution for all can be found.