Despite the club hockey team gaining busing services for its final game, transportation has yet to be secured for the team’s 2014-15 season.
Marquette’s Department of Recreational Sports mandated stricter policies for fan use of the buses, allowing the bus driver’s discretion to determine if a student is out of control. The decision follows an Oct. 25 incident in which students were found consuming illicit drugs on one of the buses on its return to campus after a game.
As a result of the incident, the contract with Lamer’s Bus Services Inc. ended, causing fan attendance to plummet.
Freshman goalie Alejandro Anderson said, prior to the contract ending, hundreds of students traveled to the team’s home games 13 miles away at The Ponds of Brookfield Ice Arena.
“Everyone loves coming and the team loves that the fans are there,” Anderson told the Tribune Jan.21. “It’s just a great environment, and now it’s like 20 people and mostly parents.”
Ryan Zanon, captain and president of the club hockey team, said that after the buses were taken away, he met with Scott Anderegg, the Department of Recreational Sport’s assistant director for the Rec Center.
“After the buses were taken away from us, Scott and I from Rec Sports explored a few other options as to how we could get the buses back,” Zanon said in an email. “ However, his bosses told him that we were no longer to have any buses. I took it upon myself this winter break to create a petition regarding the situation in hopes of getting the buses back for both the team and the fans.”
In mid-January, the team set up a table in the Alumni Memorial Union, encouraging students to sign the petition to reinstate transportation services.
Zanon said after the petition caught the attention of the Rec Sports staff, he and Anderegg had another meeting.
“After a few of our team’s board members met with (Anderegg), we came to an agreement in which we would use another bus company as well as get our events approved by the university in order to have the buses back,” Zanon said.
The team is still using Lamer’s as its bus services, but Matt Vuoncino, a junior in the College of Health Sciences and board member of the hockey team, said drivers may leave students behind.
“If (the drivers) feel the students on the bus are out of control or doing something illegal, they reserve the right to leave them at the rink and not drive them back to campus,” Vuoncino said.
The cost of buses were originally paid for through MUSG’s Student Organization Funding process, and the club hockey team was the most funded of any sport-related student organization on campus.
MUSG Executive Vice President Zach Bowman, a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences who also chairs the Student Organization Funding Committee, said he is happy with the way the situation turned out.
“I think it’s great that hockey was able to get their buses restored,” Bowman said in an email. “It was unfortunate to see them punished for something that was entirely out of their hands.”
Bowman added that MUSG was never contacted to help with the situation.