Students looking for fun in the sun this spring break will have to search no farther than the Student Union.
Plans to offer at least two trips during UB's 2002 spring break are in the works by the Student Association, Sub Board I, Inc. and Schussmeisters Ski Club. Organizers intend to offer a trip to Florida, and possibly trips to both Cancun and Jamaica.
The vacations are the first offered by SA and Sub Board I, Inc. Schussmeisters alone previously sponsored the annual trips.
"We were thinking about different ways in which we could entertain students [during spring break]," said SA President Christian Oliver. "Obviously, Schussmeisters has been successful for years."
Although the planning of the trips is in the preliminary stages, Oliver and George Pape, student president of Sub Board I, are confident that they will be able to offer two to three quality trips.
"This is going to be well thought out and well planned by our collective organizations," said Pape. "Students should definitely at least be getting their money's worth."
The trips are being offered in addition to Schussmeisters' annual trips, with the intent of offering students more variety in selecting their vacation destination.
Schussmeisters Ski Club declined to comment on its involvement with the collaboration.
"I think it's a good idea if you get a good price, but in light of recent events I don't know if I would choose to go overseas for spring break, especially in a large group," said senior communications major Nicole Zanni.
The trips' planners are considering the possibility of a reduced student response to the trips, especially the overseas packages, because of the recent attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
"It is under consideration at this time. This is still four to five months away now so we're not making any binding decisions at this time," said Oliver. "We're still keeping the option open, but we're not making any binding decisions to go overseas."
Some students did not consider the attacks a deterrent. "I guess I would consider going if I had enough money," said Tee Hargrove, a senior computer science major. "I would probably go on the overseas Caribbean one."
Oliver said the organizers expect between 200 and 300 students to sign up, but sees no reason why thousands could not go if interest proved high.
"We've invited travel agents to come and speak with us and offer a deal,"
"Not only are these good prices, but they are top-of-the-line transportation and the best hotels in the area," said Oliver. "We want to send people on the nicest trip for the cheapest price."
SA or Sub Board I will not be subsidizing the trips or profiting from them.
"It should be a break-even enterprise," said Oliver, but he adds that "There is quite a bit of risk involved."
Along with advertising expenses, the organizers are required to guarantee a set number of student vacation packages, paying the remainder out-of-pocket if sales are lower than expected.
Although UB organizations are arranging the trip, no one from the organizations will be accompanying the trip in a supervisory position. According to Oliver, all liability rests with the travel agents and students will buy trip packages directly from the selected agent.