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September 25, 2023

‘We have no support on campus anymore’: Club sports overlooked

Matt Mynes // Photo Editor
Walker Mullin

Clemson is widely known for its championing competitive sports and athletics programs. However, outside of its Division I play, Clemson is also home to 33 student organizations recognized as club sports which the University has overlooked in recent years. 

One student is charged with overseeing the 3,000 students participating in club sports programs at Clemson without assistance from a faculty advisor. 

“There really isn’t a department anymore,” Walker Mullin, the president of Clemson Club Sports Association, said regarding the University’s relationship with its club sports teams. 

At Clemson, there are over 500 clubs and organizations that students can join. Within the sphere of extracurricular activities, there are three distinctions that define how the University deals with such organizations: delegated student organizations, independent councils and independent student organizations. 

Currently, club sports are recognized as independent student organizations which receive the lowest level of support from the University. 

In 2019, Clemson updated its guidelines which altered the meaning of how club sports would be represented on campus. 

“The 2019 change was the implementation of the ISO policy which affected all university organizations but specifically club sports in the limitations surrounding the support given by Campus Recreation,” Walker told The Tiger. “Examples of this are former Concussion Testing, First Aid and CPR training, Travel Logistics Support, ETC.”

In the years following the 2019 changes, club sports became even more isolated from the University and the Department of Campus Recreation. 

“The support we did have from Campus Recreation all but ceased completely at the end of the 2022 summer when the decision was made not to rehire for the Assistant Director of Club Sports position that became vacant in May,” Mullin stated.  

Since the transition, Mullin’s responsibilities have increased dramatically, as the University and Campus Recreation have stranded him and the organizations he presides over. 

Before the 2019 change, Walker used to serve as the connector of Club Sports. He would lead leading cross-team bonding events and assist Campus Recreation. However, now, due to a lack of resources on campus, Walker has become the connector of Club Sports with the scarce resources for ISOs within the Center for Student Leadership and Engagement, Campus Recreation and Student affairs as a whole, Mullin articulated. 

“I have led training sessions, town halls, and individual coaching sessions with the presidents and executive board members of the 33 Club Sports to help them manage the burden of leadership within their organizations.” 

Mullin hopes for the Club Sports Association to be recognized as an Independent Student Counsel and be assigned a full-time employee advisor position within CSLE or Campus Recreation to provide University support and resources to club sports.

“As Clemson and Student affairs continue to promote Clemson as the premier college destination for Student Engagement I hope to see them ‘put their money where their mouth is’ in a way, by providing the support needed to help our Club Sports grow with the growing population of our beloved CLEMSON,” Mullin concluded.

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