SGA and administrators look for alternative funding for Bell Center student employees


Photo credit: Matthew Claybrook

The Student Activity Fee (SAF) Students funds recreational sports jobs in the Bell Center, though most student jobs are paid through alternative funding sources.

There are approximately 100 Recreational Sports jobs — including lifeguards, student athletic trainers and coaching staff assistants. As Recreational Sports is one of the program that students pay for with the SAF, Trinity has chosen to pay for the employees and individual programs through the SAF.

“That model is common when looking at other university recreation programs across the country,” wrote Seth Asbury, associate director of Athletics. “In fact, some universities charge a separate fee just for recreation. Trinity students pay a total of $300 per year for more than just recreational sports opportunities. Trinity provides some amazing opportunities outside the classroom supported in part via the Student Activity Fee.”

The only student employees that are paid through the SAF are students who work for Campus Publications (Mirage and the Trinitonian) and Recreational Sports. However, the majority of Campus Publications’ funding is from sources of income besides the SAF, while students with recreational sports jobs are paid entirely through the SAF.

Members of the Student Government Association (SGA) have recognized that the way Recreational Sports jobs are funded is concerning. By allocating less of the SAF to Bell Center student employees, more of the fund could go towards operating University-Sponsored Organizations and Registered Student Organizations.

“SGA has identified it as something we’ve had concerns with as to why the student activity fee is funding student workers in the Bell Center as opposed to getting another source of school funding,” said Rachel Daniel, senior and vice president of SGA. “We are in conversation with vice president [Gary] Logan about this, as well as other school administrators to see if there are other options and to see if there are ways of reducing constraints on the student activity fee.”

Logan, vice president for finance and administration, believes that potential alternatives for funding Recreational Sports jobs do exist.

“This just becomes a resource allocation issue,” Logan said. “At the SGA meeting last spring when this issue came up there was a request to appoint a committee to study this and see if we could come up with some other ideas. As far as getting the university to pay for it, it really needs to be formulated in a proposal to the university and submitted as part of the budget process.”

After a proposal has been submitted, the university will decide if it’s a high enough priority for them to fund Recreational Sports jobs.

“Like everything else, it comes down to if it’s not paid by the SGA and goes into the university coffers or someplace else and then the question is, ‘What are we not going to fund to fund that?’” Logan said.