The Student Association (SA) is in the process of creating a sanction appeal policy after men’s club ice hockey asked SA to overturn a $4,197.50 fine levied on the club in December.
The team was fined for not requesting funds to rent the Northtown Center’s ice beforehand and for not paying referees before games.
Club treasurer Ryan Kelly went to plead for the reversal of the fine at a Feb. 6 SA Senate Meeting. The senate discussed the request but ultimately denied it.
There is also no policy for the club to formally appeal the fine. Currently, clubs can only appeal a fine if SA made an error or violated a law. Senator Ian Roma is working on creating an appeals policy, SA Vice President Sammi Pang said.
“I’m glad that we could be the ones to pioneer the first appeal process,” Kelly said. “I’m kind of disappointed that there wasn’t one before we could appeal our fine. But at least things are changing for the good now.”
On March 17, the SA Club Oversight Committee met to discuss the team’s violations. During this meeting, SA senator Matthew Dowd (who is also a Spectrum staff writer) suggested that the club’s budget be frozen. The committee voted 3-0 with one abstention in favor of suggesting that the senate freeze the budget.
In a March 27 senate meeting, SA decided not to freeze the budget because the hockey club said it still has expenditures that would otherwise have to be paid by individual members, according to Pang.
In that meeting, Kelly argued the hockey club’s case for canceling the fine despite the lack of a formal appeal procedure. Pang said the senate wanted to hear the club out and have closure on the situation.
The approximately $4,000 fine stands, in part because the SA already reallocated the funds, Pang said. When a club is fined, the money goes toward supplemental club funding and the senate.
“It was very disappointing that they spent or gave away our $4,200 without letting us have a fair appeal process,” Kelly said.
While the appeal policy is still not in place, Pang said the hockey team is unlikely to get its money back.
In the most recent SA Senate meeting, some senators argued that the student governmental organization has been “lenient” toward the club despite its numerous violations.
Along with the violations resulting in fines, the hockey club also has three additional SA policy violations for ordering jerseys to the head coach’s house instead of the Student Union, not requesting the money for trainers before games and not submitting their coach’s Volunteer Agreement form.
“We would appeal again because we feel as if $4,000 is too much,” Kelly said. “And I think a lot of senators agreed that the $4,000 was way too much. Maybe a reduced fine would be the best compromise for us. So I think that’s what we would try to appeal.”
The senate is expected to vote on the appeal policy at its next meeting. The club can appeal when the new policy has passed but Pang mentioned that they would be appealing to the same SA members to whom they’ve already pleaded. She said these people are unlikely to change their minds. But, Pang said, “never say never.”
Victoria Hill and Alexandra Saccone contributed reporting to this story.
Amy Maslin is a sports editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org