Student vote pushes climbing wall expansion forward

The motion to pass the climbing wall on April 12 was done so resoundingly, winning the student vote 2,100 to 1,100 according to the election results. The vote brings with it the promise of a new climbing wall, as well as a turf field outside Roskie Hall that, according to almost everyone with a horse in the race, is sorely needed. The climbing wall expansion and new turf field still need to be voted on by the MSU Board of Regents.

Over the last three years, participation in club sports at MSU has increased by an incredible 50 percent — 24 clubs house a whopping 470 student participants. Water polo, just like our Lacrosse and Rugby teams, fall under the club sports umbrella and draw from the same funds that allow students our intramural sports teams. Club sports have followed suit with the rest of MSU with massive expansion in recent years.

It’s inevitable then that renovations and reallocation of resources is necessary to maintain these programs. An appropriation of funds isn’t the only thing that these programs fight for. There is a rigorous, and often times cutthroat, process for these teams to get practice time on MSU grounds and they must do so secondly to the varsity sports, which always takes precedence selecting practice times and schedules. The cash cow programs like football recieve first pick, followed down the line all the way to the mysterious water polo team. Thus, the vote last week for a new turf field outside Roskie was a huge win for club sports to help accommodate this rapidly growing trend of club sport at MSU.

Connlan Whyte, an active rock climber, was very pleased with the results. “Our wall was in desperate need of renovation, and even though the field was tacked on at the last moment, it’s a huge win for club sports,” Whyte said. “Having been in some of our programs here, I know how important they are to the student body. With some of the statistics coming out on MSU’s depression and counseling rates, these clubs can be a very important stress reliever. To not have them? Or to have them underfunded? It would be like taking recess away from elementary schoolers.”

Club sports receives an estimated $12,400 a year to allocate to various activities. That also includes all the intramural sports at MSU, which boasted 2,643 participants this year.

To learn more about the specific club and intramural sports offered at MSU, students can contact the ASMSU Recreational Sports and Fitness Office at montana.edu/getfit or visit their office in the Fitness Center.