New leaders breathe life into stalled club

Kevin "Tweak" Merchant catches some air at the recent Rails 2 Riches rail jam.
Christopher Williams / Castleton Spartan

As the semester draws to a close, the winter outdoor sports season is just gearing up. This year, the Ski and Snowboard Club, under new leadership, has revamped its initiatives and is ready to hit the slopes.

Seniors Josh Budzinski and Christopher Williams have taken on the roles of president and vice president of the club, respectively, while junior Emily Hudson manages the finances as treasurer.

According to Williams, who has been a part of the club since his freshman year, both he and Budzinksi ended last season hoping to make changes in the club this year.

“I was really frustrated with the lack of engagement the Ski Club has with the student body,” said Williams. “I know a lot of people that ski and ride, but very few with the actual club.”

Budzinski agreed, saying he wanted to increase the activity and involvement within the club. The two then decided to bring Hudson into the mix. The trio said they all had aspirations of increasing the sense of community within the club this season.

“We want to support and help further the snow sports community of Castleton as much as we can,” said Hudson.

Through achieving a specific set of goals, the officers said they expect to establish this coherence between the members of the club.

“Beyond anything else that’s what I want to achieve is a better sense of community,” said Williams. “The value is in the community.”

To date, the officers have been successful in drafting a constitution, transitioning from an interest club to a club sport, and organizing its members with a movie premier event.

According to Budzinski, at the Nov. 6 “Heavy Mental” movie premier event, they raffled off approximately $2,000 in prizes from local businesses.

“It just kind of kicks off the season and gets everyone excited about the season,” he said.

Budzinski also said they have already purchased another movie and are planning to host a similar event later in the season. Hudson and Williams said they are also looking to add a coaching staff, host a club trip and hold rail jam competitions.

“We want to host small, informal rail jams to keep people active,” said Budzinski.

Hudson said the campus park between Hoff Hall and Morrill Hall is used most often informally by students, but she hopes to bring some competition to the area. The officers also said they envision using their geographic location to their greatest potential for both recreational and competitive opportunities.

“Here in Vermont, we have a large number of resources available to us, so why not take full advantage of them?” Hudson said.

With a little more than a semester left in his college career, Williams said he hopes his efforts in the club will leave a lasting impression on the Castleton community.

“I want to build a community that can last longer here than the few of us who were first motivated to get it started again this year,” he said.

Hudson said she anticipates that the club will be something she can watch succeed in her next two seasons of involvement.

“Between the end of this year and next year, I hope to just keep building the club, getting our name out there, and being more involved in the Castleton community,” she said.


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