Intramurals Turn To Student Leaders
Published: Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, October 8, 2013 01:10
Changes in the department of intramural sports to combat budget constraints have led to the creation of several new leadership positions for students within the program.
Five paid upper management positions were created for students within the program to fill the former role of Assistant Director of Intramurals Tim Smith, who assumed a new position at Yates Field House this semester.
“Everyone’s tightening their belts financially. The student-driven part of our program is the upper management who are involved in a lot more of our day-to-day decision making now,” Director of Intramurals Wedge Sullivan said.
The five upper management positions are an addition to four existing student positions. Sullivan chose student staffers based on their applications and, in many cases, their experience with the Intramural Department.
“It’s kind of a move-as-you-grow system — the more you are involved in a program, the more leadership you can take,” Sullivan said. “It seems to give the students more initiative. A lot of the people were already in supervisory positions.”
Staff Manager Will Pierce (MSB ’14) said he was satisfied with the implementation of the new system and the role students can now play in the administrative process.
“The best thing about it is that intramural sports are obviously a student-driven thing in the first place, so it’s very natural to have students running the process as well,” Pierce said. “Students know what other students want, so it’s easier to relate in that sense.”
Pierce also commented on the impact of the transition on relations between students and the university administration.
“It’s only been a month or two since it’s taken place, but overall, the administration has been very receptive,” Pierce said. “They’ve given us all the resources necessary to really succeed. And because it’s gone so well the first month or two, they’ve been pretty happy.”
One of the benefits of the new, student-run system has been better oversight of intramural officiating that the old system lacked.
“We evaluate on an ongoing basis supervisors and officials randomly every night,” head official Jim Burr (MSB ’14) said.
Given that many of these student positions are filled by seniors, Burr has already begun preparations for transferring leadership roles to younger students at the end of the year.
“It’s going to be challenging, it’s not going to be like in previous years when people just got the role, but we’re definitely looking to make sure that when we leave, there’s someone to fill the void,” Burr said.
Before the transition, student supervisors were limited in their leadership roles within the department.
“The professional directors handled most of the administrative things, the student supervisors just really had to do with game check-ins, just during the intramural shifts, and not really too much behind the scenes,” Social Media Coordinator Eric Johnson (COL ’14) said.
Johnson’s position as social media coordinator, which involves managing a Facebook page, tweeting photos of games and working on a blog, is new to the department.
The department of intramural sports has also cut costs by switching to a new administrative website to keep track of rosters, schedules, scores and playoff determination. The new, free software will save the department approximately $1,000 per month.
Overall, student and faculty reception of the new administrative system has been positive, according to Johnson.
“We’ve only had this for a month, so it’s tough to say how it’s been, but it definitely seems to be positive, students have taken on a lot more responsibility, and things have really been smooth,” he said.
Hoya Staff Writer Madison Ashley contributed reporting.