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Waldorf hockey club-sport encounters unfortunate restrictions

Waldorf hockey player, Jeremy Navarro, hopes scholarship requirements will change in order to help hockey players. Photo by Shannon Clark

Waldorf hockey player, Jeremy Navarro, hopes scholarship requirements will change in order to help hockey players. Photo by Shannon Clark

By Shannon Clark

The Waldorf Warriors participating in the hockey club-sport are beginning to feel financial pain as restrictions on scholarships remain tight and foreign countries face economic hardship.

In order to understand the situation, comprehension of the concept of a “club-sport” is crucial. A club-sport is unable to receive scholarships for their team. Also, the distinction of sport versus a club-sport for hockey is unique.

Reed Loucks offered clarification on the matter. “Because there’s no NAIA hockey, and just ACHA and NCAA, teams are not actually considered ‘sports,’ but rather they are classified as clubs. Unfortunately with Waldorf being an ACHA classification, we are not allowed to receive scholarships for hockey,” Loucks said.

Recently the hockey team has encountered financial difficulties among foreign students. Loucks was able to state several reasons why he [and the other international students] feels the members could use, and deserve, economic aid.

“International students are struggling right now,” Loucks said. “The dollar exchanges are terrible, and the financials are becoming difficult for our foreign students to manage. Since the team has several Canadians, the recession back home is affecting us to the extreme. We’d really appreciate some type of financial help, seeing as though we do a good job of getting the Waldorf name out there to different countries. Also, nearly all of us made the Dean’s List last year. We’d just really appreciate financial help because we feel like we put in the work – about four hours taken up by practice and traveling a night, games on weekends and homework.”

The consequences for the team are serious. Some students are looking into other colleges, in the unfortunate event the financials are not put under control soon.

“If I don’t get financial help, I’ll probably have to look at more affordable schools back in Canada,” Loucks said. “This would probably mean not all my credits would transfer, and I run the risk of having to repeat a year or two of schooling. The rest of the internationals are considering the same idea. I’m afraid that if this happens it could be detrimental to the club-sport. About nine out of 10 of our top point makers are internationals. If they were to all leave due to financial problems, the team would suffer tremendously.”

The hockey club is highly valued by Waldorf students. Many students are concerned with the outcome of the situation.

When asked how he thought students would react to the international financial crisis many foreign students are facing, Stephen Jenkins replied, “I don’t think it’s as big of a deal as it should be. Many students are unaware of the seriousness of this problem. I think the whole ordeal is scary, because some of the students might have to go back home.”

Identifying the problem is the first step in solving the issue. The next is, of course, finding a plan of action that will work for Waldorf College.

“Identifying a solution will be tough for the college to come up with,” Jenkins said. “I think at this point one of the only options is to provide an international student athlete scholarship to help balance the exchange rate issues.”

Jenkins introduced an interesting idea. However, the ultimate decision will fall on those with the power to make financial decisions for Waldorf College.