City Council approves athletic funding

Liz Stephens, City Reporter

The Charleston City Council approved funding in multiple areas to help Eastern in its expenses in athletic events.

The council authorized Expenditure of Tourism Funds for the Department of Kinesiology and Sports Studies in the amount of $2,230 to cover expenses relating to the Illinois High School Association Girls’ State Badminton Championships, to be held on Eastern’s campus from May 12 and 13.

The council also authorized Expenditure of Tourism Funds for the Athletic Department in the amount of $3,000 to cover expenses to IHSA State Track & Field State Finals on campus from May 18 to 20 for the girls’ finals and May 25 to 27 for the boys’ finals.

Mayor Brandon Combs said these sports events bring in a lot of people to Charleston, and they wanted to help out with some of the costs and expenses.

He said they give these funds almost every year if they are requested.

“You have to think that all the schools in the state, all their state track kids come here to Charleston, and it’s a big deal to all of our businesses, restaurants and hotels, and its big for the university,” Combs said.

“And it’s big for the university because a lot of kids can come and see the University that they may one day potentially go to.”

Combs said funding these events goes along with his saying that “Charleston is EIU, and EIU is Charleston, we are all in one.”

The EIU Student Senate had a voice at the council meeting with the representation of William Outzen, a freshman history and political science major.

Outzen is the external relations chairman for the senate.

He said previously the senate had “slacked off” on teaming up with the council on meetings the past couple of semesters, and once he received his position he said he decided to make these meetings a priority.

“One of my goals in my position was to re-forge the relationships in the community because Eastern really is all about the community,” Outzen said.

Outzen said one of the connections he wanted to re-forge was the connection to city council and thinks he has been successful so far.

He said his job is to come to all of the meetings and talk to the members, report what in going on in the senate, and update the senate about what is going on in the city.

During the end of the meeting, Outzen was given the chance to update the council about events going on and about what the university is in need of.

Outzen said a few of the City Council members were able to come to last week’s senate meeting.

“It’s just another way for EIU to be active in the community and have a voice,” he said.

Liz Stephens can be contacted at 581-2812 or [email protected].