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210 Emmet Street
Charlottesville, VA 22903

571-263-1600

FAQ's

General Information on Financials: 

Fencing is an expensive sport, and we know college is typically a period when money is tight. VFC strives to make fencing affordable to all its members, however certain fees (like dues) are essential to provide the club with funding and maintain its current CIO status in relation to the University. For all financial queries, feel free to contact the President or Treasurer: there are no guarantees, but we will do our best to accommodate you and your financial situation. Rest assured that all such queries will be handled discreetly and considered confidential.

What are dues and why must I pay them?
All club members must pay dues in order to be considered a “member in good standing” and be granted all the rights to tournament eligibility, practice attendance, voting powers in elections, etc. Dues may be paid on a semester-by-semester or yearly basis. Dues provide the club with much-needed funds, but they are also critical in order for the club to maintain its status with Student Council appropriations. According to Student Council policy, a CIO must charge its members dues in order to be eligible to receive funding from the University.

How much are dues?
Dues change on a yearly basis in response to the club’s financial situation and are decided upon by the VFC Executive Committee. For a quote on current dues, please contact the Treasurer.

When must I pay my dues by?
The Treasurer sets a date each semester by which time all club members must have paid dues. Anyone who has not paid dues after that date or has not reached an alternative arrangement with the Treasurer is no longer considered a member in good standing.

I cannot continue to be a member of VFC. Can I have my dues refunded?
Yes; dues can be refunded, but are subject to particular policies laid out in detail in the VFC Constitution, Article VII, Section 7.03.1. Please contact the treasurer for more information or to request a refund. Once a member’s dues have been refunded, even if only partially, they are no longer considered a member in good standing.

What are tournament dues? Are they different to the dues I pay each semester?
Tournament dues are only charged to club members attending tournaments and are charged per competition. They usually do not exceed $5 or $10 and are used to supplement the money available to the club to pay for hotels, food, etc. for competition goers.

Can I donate to VFC?
Donations from alumni, parents or any party really are always appreciated. For specific details please contact the Treasurer who will be more than happy be a personal guide through the process of donations.

How can I purchase personal fencing gear?
Fencers can purchase their own fencing gear at any time online at any of the major retailers. Additionally, the VFC Master-at-Arms email out periodic opportunities to purchase Absolute Fencing gear through the club, which carries a 10% discount. Sometimes, particularly at Temple Open and CFC Champs, a vendor will be present from which gear may be purchased on the spot.

My dorm room is too small! Is there space somewhere for me to store my fencing gear between practices?
Gear may be stored in the VFC armory if you have a bag to keep it in to ensure it stays separate from other gear. Be aware: storing your gear in the armory subjects it to the whims of the Master-at-Arms, who reserve the right to relocate it and so forth as they please. Gear that is left in the armory for too long may, in extreme cases, be appropriated by the club if it remains unclaimed.

I don’t have any gear. Is there club gear I can use?
Yes! VFC’s armory is well stocked (if disorganized!) and allows club members in good standing to borrow gear for competitions. Gear checkouts must be made through the Master-at-Arms and comply with any policies specified.

My épée broke, and I don’t know how to fix it.
Fear not! VFC’s Master-at-Arms are skilled and have a well-stocked armory at their service. In addition to maintaining club gear, they offer their services for help with personal gear as needed. If submitting personal gear to the armory for repair, please make sure it is labeled clearly with your name and the specific problem you would like addressed. In addition, be aware that any repairs may require the use of club materials for which you may be charged. The Master-at-Arms can also provide advice and instruction on how to repair the gear yourself, as well as make club tools available to you. Note that any personal gear repair is entirely complimentary and subject to the whims and priorities of the Master-at-Arms.

How does VFC travel to tournaments?
Typically, we carpool as the University can reimburse us for fuel and tolls. Depending on the distance to the tournament, sometimes a bus will be hired, though this is very expensive. Members should not need to worry about getting to a tournament if they cannot drive/do not have a car. VFC does not organize rides officially for USFA tournaments or other tournaments that we do not attend as a club.

VFC practices 3 times a week, but I cannot make it to all 3.
Practice attendance is not mandatory. Some people choose only to attend occasionally, or to show up only on special occasions. VFC is very flexible and relaxed in this regard. That being said, for fencers who want to be competitive and attend tournaments, good practice attendance is expected and is one of the major factors used to select fencers for tournament rosters.

When can I join VFC?
While VFC only actively recruits at the beginning of the Fall Semester, new fencers are welcome to join at any point in the year.

How do I become eligible to attend tournaments?
Tournament rosters are created by the captains for each tournament. Some tournaments are large enough for us to bring bigger squads, while others can be more limited. Skill level is also a factor, as is the ability to attend all of a particular conference’s tournaments in order to be eligible to attend the championships. When forming rosters, the captains evaluate factors that include practice attendance, skill level, fundraiser attendance, team spirit/sportsmanship, prior tournament attendance, and, of course, the desire to compete. Captains will never choose between members via a ‘fence-off’.

Is VFC very competitive?
VFC strives to find a balance between a competitive and a friendly, fun environment. We often compete at a varsity level, so a certain amount of whip-cracking by the captains is essential to make us better fencers, particularly in the practices before tournaments. That being said, VFC is what its members make of it, and frequent social events go a long way to alleviating any tension, as well as more relaxed in-house tournaments held periodically throughout the year.

Does VFC do anything other than fencing?
VFC also organizes a variety of other activities and events, from parties to trips to the Carter’s Mountain Apple Orchard. While participating and attending VFC social events is not essential, it goes a long way towards fostering team spirit and friendships. VFC also holds many fundraising events to draw in much needed money. Attending fundraisers is a factor that affects your tournament eligibility.

I have never fenced before. Can I still join?
Absolutely! While we are always glad to gain fencers with prior experience, most of our fencers started fencing when they joined VFC.

I am a veteran fencer. Will VFC still provide me with opportunities to fence at my level?
Yes, definitely. VFC has fencers of all levels and we attend tournaments sure to challenge you.