Renegades board preps for next year with election

By JeffGraveline

Columbia College’s student athletics is about to get new leadership, sort of. With an upcoming election for new Renegades board, including two returning members, the board will continue its work to bring sports into the college’s forefront.

The Fitness, Athletics and Recreation, F.A.R., office, which is under the direction of Mark Brticevich, oversees the Renegades.

The Renegades board, a group of elected student officials who oversee club athletics and intramural sports, is a four-person group that is elected by captains and co-captains of Columbia’s sports clubs.

The upcoming election on April 5 will decide who will fill those board positions for the upcoming school year.

The Renegades handle all of Columbia’s sports clubs, including the basketball team, intramural volleyball and everything in between.

Under the direction of the board that also includes representatives from each club and intramural team at the college, the Renegades control the athletics at Columbia.

“We [the board] meet weekly to run the athletics and we are also the ones who run the general board,” said Kevin Hartmann, current vice president of the Renegades. “Which is us, plus the captains and co-captains from each team that we have.”

Each member is currently enrolled at Columbia and each position oversees a different aspect of the Renegades.

The election will not be open to votes from the student body of Columbia. Elections will take place at a general Renegade board meeting. Current board members and representatives of teams at Columbia

will be eligible to vote.

“Frankly, the students wouldn’t have any clue who any of us are,” Hartmann said. “We’re hoping to be able to change that, so that in the future it can be campus-wide.”

As the Renegades board spots need to be filled, students have come forward to fill the vacancies.

However, there were not many students who stepped forward.

In fact, there were only four, two of whom were returning members from this year’s board.

President and vice president, Erienne Byers and Hartmann, respectively, are returning to their posts to lead the Renegades again next year. Newcomers Melody Ruetsche and Cassie Schollmann will step into the roles of secretary and treasurer.

“Those are the only candidates we have right now, so it’s not really much of an election,” Brticevich said. “We have four able bodies that are ready to hit the floor running. We’ve got some new people and some old people, so there’s going to be a nice transition there.”

It is the Renegades’ goal to raise awareness of sports and competition at the college.

Because of a lack of awareness at the school, some students don’t know the college offers athletics or even has

gym space.

“I think a lot of it has to do with the stigma of being an art school,” said Ruetsche, a junior film and video major. “I know this sounds really weird, but there are jocks that come here. I think [jocks] try harder to find athletic opportunities, but not so much with the more art-incorporated people.”

Brticevich and most on the Renegades board think Columbia students don’t support or participate in athletics because of the possible lack of awareness.

Be it at the intramural or club level at the college, the Renegades board and Brticevich hope to change that in the coming year.

“Our focus next year is still getting awareness up and trying to do more on the fundraising end [and] trying to actually get people out to games,” Brticevich said.

For more information, visit or visit the Renegades facebook page at Columbia Collage Athletics (Renegades).