The Chimes

A recent ski trip raises questions on how SPA plans their events

The SPA ski trip revealed many issues with how events are planned, advertised, and funded on campus.

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A recent ski trip raises questions on how SPA plans their events

Courtesy of biola_spa/instagram

Courtesy of biola_spa/instagram

Courtesy of biola_spa/instagram

Maria Weyne, Freelance Writer

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Recently, the Student Programming and Activities department advertised a ski trip on their Instagram page. However, despite SPA having almost 1.2k followers on its Instagram—approximately equal to one-fifth of the undergrad student body—almost no one seemed to be aware of this event. This event is not the only thing students are unaware of. Where does the money come from to fund SPA-sponsored events and how is that funding being spent? As students, we have the right to know.


One of the main issues with the SPA ski trip is the fact that there was little to no advertisement. Besides the one post put on Instagram, SPA failed to spread the news anywhere else on campus that they were holding a ski retreat. This is especially frustrating for those students who only found out about the event when the trip was full. Additionally, the lack of advertisement keeps students from being able to participate in school-wide events, as many may be unaware of them.

The price of the trip was also striking, as it cost only $10 to attend a day-long ski trip. This cost comes as a surprise, as the cheapest rentals and lift tickets cost around $86 altogether. Considering these cost differences, students should be concerned with where the money was coming from and where it was going.


The trip was a good idea, as it presented an opportunity for students to go out and experience the outdoors. However, the poor planning and lack of research made the weekend unforgettable for the wrong reasons. Having attended the trip myself, I can attest that the weekend derailed quickly as soon as students stepped inside the bus. Arriving at Big Bear Lake, students had to stay in line next to trash cans waiting for tickets to be passed out. Following the wait for tickets, the long wait for ski gear led to encounters with workers who reeked of marijuana, which ultimately led students to enjoy around two hours of failed attempts to ski comfortably. These issues could have been avoided if there was any research put into the retreat at least a week prior, or if the event had been replaced by something everyone could attend and enjoy.

On the way back, students ended up stuck in the bus for seven hours, soaking wet due to the rain and did not have access to a heater good enough to help them dry or a well-functioning restroom. In addition, the driver of one of the buses had to remove the chains from the wheels by himself, which added a few hours to the trip as his hands turned purple.

Therefore, the fun weekend planned by SPA was made with good intentions, though it could have been better planned. The cost of the trip proved itself to be accurate, as the students attending definitely had a $10 experience.


All these issues presented by this trip should be considered as SPA moves forward in the school year. Students should always be able to know what is happening on campus, and they should also be able to know how much of their money is being spent on things they cannot attend due to limitations. The ski trip should be no different than the generally well-run Eddy or Punk n’ Pie as these are all events made for the student body, meaning they should be advertised the same.

Furthermore, putting students first should be the priority, whether that means making a bigger effort to bring more students, or simply making more events where everyone can participate. SPA should also do more research ahead of time, as cheaper is not always better and the safety of students should always come first. This trip suggests that SPA needs to work on their budgeting, and planning skills, as the ski trip proved itself unnecessary, and ultimately became a waste of money. Therefore, this ski trip should be a learning lesson for SPA’s budgeting and advertising policies, as it was a considerable failure in many aspects and could have caused harm to those attending.


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Austin Prock

This is absolutely ridiculous. What was SPA suppose to do? Pray the weather away? It’s no ones fault that any of this happened. Sit down.

Hunter Finnegan

This is a horribly written article. First, the event was well known by almost all. There were a ton of people on the waiting list and unable to go. Second, the worst part of this whole article is where you say student stand by garbage cans… yes you have to wait to give all the people there lift tickets and rentals. If you’ve ever been on a ski trip you’d know this process is always teadious. I am so sorry that you had to stand next to a garbage can while you waited. The horror. Third, the fact that you… Read more »


Please consider conducting research on the subject before writing an article questioning Biola and the legitimacy of SPA. In addition, moving forward, give others grace and understand that you cannot control the weather. Even though these are your opinions, it does not mean that it is right to exaggerate and even dramatize the truth.

alex reimer

“SPA failed to spread the news anywhere else on campus that they were holding a ski retreat.” cmon don’t just say and make up whatever you want. SPA puts out posters and TV ads campus wide + FB and instagram/ig story posts for every event they put on. honestly feel bad for the chimes for publishing this and trying to knock another biola organization. you’re giving yourselves a bad rep and people reading this article are laughing. “had to stand in a line by trash cans” hahahah oh nooo. haha i’m sorry hate to be this negative, but let’s maybe… Read more »

Jessica Kenaston

The ski and snowboard trip was marketed in the exact same manner as any of the other events put on by SPA. Before writing an article, be sure your facts are correct. This trip was posted on Instagram once, but posted on SPA’s story a number of times. Many events put on by SPA are only posted once on Instagram’s actual feed. The reason the advertising did not continue is due to the lack of space for the trip as the spots filled up within TWO days of the initial post. It is impossible to compare this trip to The… Read more »

Jonah Ladesic

Take your own advise and don’t go on the trip next time.


Fair enough.


Doesn’t the fact that there was a waiting list at all undercut the main argument here? If no one knew about it, how was there a waiting list? I wholeheartedly agree that the student body should know how the SPA obtains its funding, and how they spend it. But if they don’t, that sounds like an indictment of the Chimes’ reporting on the topic, at least in part. Isn’t a major function of a student newspaper to disseminate information like this through the news section? Final point — complaining that SPA didn’t do enough research about an event and providing… Read more »

Truly a garbage article. Please learn MORE of what SPA does. Sorry the Lord had other plans in order to give you some weight to your journalism portfolio. Looking forward to writing a rebuttal to this. How can there be a problem with advertising or fundraising when the TRIP WAS FULL. In the words of friend, Austin Prock, “Sit down.” No one reeked of marijuana, however this article reeks of crude and
un-researched criticism.

Lukas Klause

What this should have been titled:

Prank GONE WRONG in the mountains!! (EMOTIONAL)! I almost smoked weed


This article was painful to read. Sorry. Long lines waiting for ski gear? Welcome to every ski resort in the world. That’s par for the course. Attendants smelled like pot? Seriously? Get out of your Biola bubble. Time to grow up a bit.

Laura Igram

Hi all- this is Laura Igram, Assistant Dean of Community Life. I work closely with the students who execute SPA events and programs. I appreciate the comments shared here and recognize everyone’s desire to affirm the ways SPA works hard to plan events for all students on campus. I ask, however, that you be kind in how you talk to each other and seek to understand the author’s concerns and point of view, rather than accuse and criticize. The Chimes Editor in Chief reached out to us this weekend to ask if we’d like to provide a response with information… Read more »

A Fan

Maria, well done. Way to share your opinion and your story. This is a great piece.

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