By Andrew Kutzer
Student Government Board approved funds to pay for Topton Community Ambulance Service to be on the field during the three remaining men’s rugby home games during their Oct. 6 meeting. The funds approved totaled $780, the proposal for
which began after fear over ambulance response time for injured players became a rising concern.
The budget request was made by Johan Van Wyk, men’s rugby treasurer and SGB board member, after KU student Joey Kauffman broke his leg during a rugby match in September. According to Van Wyk, Kauffman and his team waited 30 minutes for emergency services to arrive after the call was made through public safety.
Van Wyk first brought the issue to SGB’s Budget and Finance Committee when he found the rugby team unable to fund themselves on their Recreation and Sports Club Council budget. SGB Treasurer Erika Lynn helped him bring the issue to the board’s attention.”
“I did it for safety, overall. What if something happens? That’s a person’s life in your hands,” said Lynn, regarding her reason for approving the funds for the ambulance.
“If something more serious happens like a head or neck injury, thirty minutes can mean a lot. I, as the treasurer, knew we did not have the funds [for something that was a necessity],” said Van Wyk.
Recreational Services Director Amy Sandt spoke with organization’s advisers about the incident. “Their advisors were there and indicated that it felt like quite a while, almost a half hour, prior to them arriving. That is a concern especially in a high contact sport like rugby.”
RSCC, which oversees sports and recreational clubs, requires two CPR and first aid certified members at all activities. Men’s rugby leagues require either an EMT or athletic trainer present, according to Sandt.
“We make sure all of clubs meet at least the minimum safety requirements. [The ambulance] is something that is above what is required from them through their league or through our department,” said Sandt.
According to Van Wyk, the rugby team’s budget relies on dues made by the players, former alumni donations and money allotted by SGB. They spend a majority of their funds on traveling to matches.
“We have a pretty tight budget because we travel all over the country. We have games that are seven hours away and traveled as far as North Carolina for a tournament,” said Van Wyk.
Van Wyk has added in the cost of an ambulance for in the team’s budget and hopes to receive increased funding in the future. “It’s in the budget for the next academic year. Hopefully, we get a budget increase. We will have to see how much money the budget and finance committee will allocate for us.”