Jock talk: candidates' take on Mustang Athletics

Council positions for athletes, Raising money for unfunded teams among ideas

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Men's baseball

Jon Purdy

THOSE BLEACHERS KIND OF LOOK LIKE TODAY'S VOTER TURNOUT. This year's USC presidential candidates have different opinions on the feasibility of raising money for self-funded teams like the men's baseball squad.

One topic debated in this year’s University Students’ Council presidential elections is the measures the candidates plan to take to improve Mustang Athletics.

Candidate Josh Safer doesn’t hold a definitive stance on the issue but believes fundraising measures would be worth considering.

Candidate Chris Reynolds’ position is based largely around council representation for varsity athletes. He plans to put one male and one female athlete under the president’s portfolio to have bi-weekly meetings with the president.

“A lot of times, we just don’t know the issues for athletics and for our athletes,” he said. “They need somebody to advocate for them too.”

Candidate Tom Stevenson also proposes putting one student athlete on council, but he said he envisions the position as more of a liaison between the USC and Intercollegiate Athletics.

Stevenson also hopes to push for lower fees for varsity athletics.

“I want to advocate for lower facility rental fees for our sports teams,” he said. “Because [right now] they have to pay the same as any outside organization to use Western’s sports facilities.”

The greatest difference between Reynolds’ and Stevenson’s platforms is the prospect of fundraising for varsity sports. Stevenson hopes to organize a charity event bringing a high-profile school to Western to play a Mustang team.

“It would be a team we don’t normally play that would be an attractive option for both our Western students and London citizens to come watch,” he said. “Then the proceeds from that game would go to Western athletics.”

Reynolds doesn’t believe a fundraising event is feasible.

“I know [current USC president Fab Dolan] has talked with [Western Sport and Recreation director Michael Lysko] about how much money it would take to raise for all those teams to help cover their costs,” he said. “It’s way more than you could ever raise at a charity event.

“I’m not necessarily against it, but do I think it’s our best use of time? Probably not.”

Reynolds also suggests the USC play a role in promoting athletics, a notion Lysko agrees with.

“The USC can serve an important role with regard to IA, primarily by helping provide opportunities at the UCC to promote our student athletes and events to the students at-large,” Lysko said.

Share this article on:

Facebook | DiggDigg |

Copyright © 2008 The Gazette