Archery Club owes $12K in damage fees, drafting repayment plan with AMS

The AMS Archery Club owes the AMS $12,000 in property damage fees due to damages incurred on the Great Hall Skywall, requiring the wall panels to be replaced.

Two years ago, the Archery Club accidentally shot some arrows into the Great Hall Skywall — a wall that comes down and divides the hall for events — leaving behind small holes in the wall’s panels. While the holes in question are tiny, the airlock and soundproof nature of the wall means that the damaged panels have to be replaced rather than fixed — coming at a cost of $12,000.

The AMS is currently working with the Archery Club to draft a long-term repayment plan so the club is not financially burdened in the immediate future.

“The biggest thing that we're doing in their support right now is letting them pay off damages over a number of years,” said Cole Evans, president of the AMS. “They [should be] able to repay those damages without inhibiting their ability to operate as a club.”

Rather than a punitive measure, the focus is on preventing damage from happening again, and making sure that people and university spaces are kept safe at all times, Evans said.

He also noted the Archery Club is welcome to apply to the Clubs Benefit Fund, which is open to all clubs in case they need financial support. Through the fund, clubs can apply for grants to fund events, purchase equipment or engage any other services that would benefit the club as a whole.

William Tow, a fifth-year student and vice president of the Archery Club, said the archery program was not well-refined at the time of the incident, but that things have changed. They now use better quality netting and mesh protection, and make sure that beginners are not shooting towards walls.

“The fact that we haven't had any damage issues since then … basically shows [we’ve made improvements],” he said.

Initially, the Archery Club did not feel supported by the AMS in the repayment process, Tow said. All their bookings for the term were cancelled and club sessions were suspended indefinitely, without explanation. “[The AMS] could have contacted us rather than shutting us down,” he said. “It was challenging because venues are so hard to book and without a venue we cannot have events, which is where our income comes from, so we can’t pay back the debt.”

Tow, who is also a licensed archery coach, said that archery is one of the safest Olympic sports there is. “One thing that bums me out is the misconceptions about archery as a sport, and how this situation perpetuates it.”

Despite the challenges, the Archery Club is now in communication with the AMS regarding the repayment process, and plans to begin holding club sessions next term if possible.