The University of Richmond archery club is working overtime this semester to keep its attendance up and increase its funds for future events to keep the club at the school — an issue that led the former archery club to dissolve.
“We are building up our numbers, focusing more on outreach, getting more people involved and doing the letter-writing campaign to raise some money,” sophomore Maddie Bright, president of the current archery club, said. “I think it’s going really well, and we are laying the groundwork to keep it going so it doesn’t fall apart again.”
Bright arrived on campus as a first-year student planning to join the former archery club, but it fell apart because of a lack of interest once the members of its leadership graduated.
Bright decided to found another archery club with Bill Hanley, RC ‘19, and Dagny Barone, WC ’18. The process took about a year, including the creation of a proposal, a constitution and specific safety procedures. The archery club also had to gain approval from the Student Organizations Committee, the Assistant Director of Sports and the Executive Club Council, and had to be voted in by the Sport Club Council.
“I spent most of last semester just keeping whoever was already there returning, just to keep the club alive," Bright said. "But now that people are sticking to it, I’m getting some Spiderbytes out from time to time, and I have a huge email list going.”
The current club has about 37 members including the seven students who joined at the beginning of this semester.
“Unless you’re constantly bringing in new people, you’re just going to be hemorrhaging numbers and it’s not going to work out long-term,” Hanley said.
One of the ways the archery club hopes to gain momentum is through incentive funds that are available to current sport clubs under the responsibility of the Recreation and Wellness department.
On Thurs., Feb. 9, the archery club participated in the Letter Writing Campaign, an incentive fund opportunity to solicit donations from alumni who participated in the club, friends and family. Each sport club under the responsibility of the Recreation and Wellness department can write a letter outlining what the club has been up to, what its future plans are and what it plans to do with the money.
However, as a recent addition, the archery club will not be eligible to receive any other funding aside from Incentive Funds until the fall of 2017, part of a 365-day trial period for every sport club.
Tom Roberts, assistant vice president of Recreation and Wellness, said that the former archery club was an example of why the trial period exists now.
“That stuff by the club wasn’t active and sat in the closet for a long period of time and it’s exactly what we don’t want to happen," Roberts said. "When students were gung-ho, and the next group of students are not, so the club is off and we have a closet full of archery equipment."
In order to stay in good standing with the Sport Club Council to receive funding next fall, one major requirement of the Archery Club is following the strict safety guidelines.
“One of the things about their club was weapons, and that’s a big deal — especially with the issues we’ve had on college campuses,” Roberts said.
If the archery club’s safety officer, Bill Hanley, cannot attend the club meeting in the Millhiser Gym, then it has to be canceled. This is a requirement for all sport clubs. A second safety officer can be approved, but the club has to cover the cost of their certification.
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