Tag Archives: Athletics

Athletic Allegiance

The Sport Clubs program at California State University, Northridge is unlike many others because it offers so many students the chance to take part in an activity they’re interested in, to challenge themselves, and to build friendships.

“We have kind of approached ours a little differently,” CSUN Sport Clubs Manager John Paul Gale said. “A lot of schools’ sport clubs fall underneath student affairs, or in our case what would’ve been the Matador Involvement Center, but we have a department through the Associated Students explicitly for sport clubs.”

CSUN’s Sport Clubs program has more staffing than other schools, too. While most universities have only one full-time staff member, CSUN has four, according to Gale.

“We also have two full-time athletic trainers, an athletic training room, a weight room dedicated explicitly for sport clubs participants, which is very unique,” Gale said. “We are one of the few schools in the country who has that.”

The Sport Clubs program gives students the opportunity to compete regionally and nationally, allowing students to represent their school, and demonstrate their school spirit.

“We do perform very well,” said CSUN Sport Clubs Graduate Assistant Jade Law. “I know that our students represent CSUN very well, I think, and not just academically. We do hold all of our students to maintain a certain GPA level. They are required to perform academically, but they also represent CSUN even as high as the national level. We had our rugby club go all the way to Pennsylvania a few years back to represent CSUN nationally.”

All clubs are funded through a $92 fee from every student through their tuition each semester, according to Associated Student’s Lower Division Senator Nick Jackson. The total is around $8 million, which is dispersed to all clubs and organizations on campus.

“We [receive] about $650,000 from the A.S. budget,” Gale said. “In addition to that, the clubs put in their own dues and fundraise close to another $100,000, and then we also get donations that vary year-to-year: anywhere from $10 to 50,000, that goes towards the clubs and the operation of the clubs.”

There are often leftover funds at the end of the year. According to members present at a recent Sport Clubs Council meeting, there is $13,500 left in the A.S. budget.

“The funding that we reported at the last council meeting is allocated funds specifically for our sport clubs program,” CSUN Sport Clubs Council President Stephanie Peterson said. “During those meetings, people often put in requests for supplemental funding for our clubs. So, let’s say one of our teams has to travel to nationals and they don’t have money for plane tickets, then they would submit a request. Our executive board would take it to a vote and recommend an amount to allocate to them from that budget. Then we bring it before the council, and then the council votes on the amount that we recommended for the club.”

People often question the difference between club sports, NCAA sports, and intramurals, but according to Gale, CSUN students can actually choose among four levels of sports participation on campus.

“There’s your most informal, ” he said, “which is informal recreation, where people just show up and play a game on a field. Intramurals is the next step, where you’re playing games maybe once or twice a week and you’re playing a set game with set rules, and there’s no practice, no training or anything that goes on, you’re just playing a formal game once a week. The next step is sport clubs, and above that is NCAA athletics. The thing that those two have in common is that they’re intercollegiate.”

Aside from giving students the chance to play sports, CSUN has also designed a way to engage, showcase, and build a brand around their clubs and athletes, according to the Matador Sports Network web page. MSN covers sport clubs events, makes highlight reels for the teams, and builds a weekly sports show with team interviews.

“It started a little while back, a couple years ago with James [Jewett], I believe,” said Peterson. “He was from the roller hockey [team], and I also believe he was a journalism student, and he had this idea of just creating a general space where we can broadcast information about our CSUN sport clubs program. That was started, I think, four or five years ago.”

Jewett met with Gale, and they blended their ideas together, Gale said, and they started the MSN.

“Their objective is to live stream games now, and then also to provide highlights from games that we record and live-stream, and produce a weekly show called The Brief,” Gale said.

CSUN Sport Clubs officials said they want to be able to receive even more community recognition and refine what they have in the years to come.

Moderator: Malcolm Finney

Producer: Amber Partida

Anchor: Yesenia Burgara

Social Media Editors: Julie Nesbitt, Curtis Poindexter and Marissa Reyes

Reporters: Shelby Charlene, Yesenia Burgara, Malcolm Finney, Julie Nesbitt, Amber Partida, Curtis Poindexter and Abril Preciado

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Women in Sports: Inclusion or Intrusion

More women are participating in sports today, from youth to pro athletics, but you wouldn’t exactly know that by watching television. A USC study shows that in 1989, five percent of television news media covered female athletics, but in 2014 the percentage had decreased to three percent, and the representation of women in sports media lacks substance as well.

“The number of girls or women [who are] participating in sports in the United States is some 40 percent,” said CSUN Professor of Kinesiology Chris Bolsmann, “so if we’ve got only four percent coverage, for me it suggests what is taking place is just a replication of inequality within society. Sport is an interesting vehicle or lense to look at society. If we look at the patriarchal nature of our society, and more recently the misogynistic nature of our society, that is a reflection of that more generally.”

Title IX is the federal law within the Education Act of 1972 that gave way for equal opportunity, protection from discrimination based on sex, and protection of benefits based on sex. Since its passage, the United States has seen a rapid increase in women’s participation in sports. That increase in women’s participation in sports, from the youth level to pro, hasn’t led to an increase in women’s sports coverage, but it has been extremely beneficial for giving opportunities to women within athletics within the last 40 years.

“Sometimes change requires law, and sometimes change requires some enforcement,” said CSUN’s Associate Athletics Director of Marketing Dawn Ellerbe,” because even now, in 2016, every university, high school, and junior high hasn’t embraced the equal play for women. Without [Title IX], I don’t think we would have seen the rise in women’s sports.”

 The future of women’s sports might very well be the inclusion and integration of the best women within athletics competing with and against men. From real life representations like Little League World Series sensation Mo’ne Davis, to dramatized versions for Hollywood like Fox’s Pitch, maybe more and more women within predominantly male sports will become more accepted.

“The question we should possibly be asking is, ‘Why do we have gendered sports in the first place?’” Bolsmann asked. “Should we not be talking about having not-gendered sports, so if somebody is good enough, without respect to if they are male or female, they can play on a team? If we have a level playing field of some sorts and open it up to competition on the basis of being a human, rather than being a man or a women, we could move into some interesting spaces and interesting discussions more generally.”

Moderator: Alicia Dieguez

Producer: Susana Guzman

Anchor: Jackie Wawee

Social Media Editor: Nick Torres

Reporters:  Alicia Dieguez, Thomas Gallegos, Susana Guzman, Ebony Hardiman, Ke-Alani Sarmiento, Nick Torres and Jackie Wawee

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