The Chimes

Letter to the editor: Regarding the recent opinions article on the SPA ski trip

The associate director of Student Programming and Activities responds to the points made in a recent opinions article.

Courtesy of SPA

Lexi Adres Lai

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Regarding the opinions piece that was published on Feb. 16, while we would far rather have heard the author’s concerns in person than through the article, we are glad to provide clarity to what SPA does as I am also sure it would have helped the writer to know how Student Programming and Activities plans and what effort the student workers put into their events. Regardless, we also think that the comment section for the article got a little out of hand, and encourage the author to continue writing for Chimes.

Our mission at SPA is to provide a wide variety of experiences for all students to engage in, allowing them to build community outside of their classroom learning. We host about 24 events each year, not including Intramural sports and Clubs activities.

Some events are larger and can accommodate lots of participants. For instance, Mock Rock hosts 2,300 attendees and around 400 student participants. Others, by their nature, must be smaller. Such events include club meetings, off campus trips and so on. Regardless of size, all of our programming is co-planned and run by student leaders who are learning and growing as they work with us. Naturally, as with most event-planning roles, there are often bumps in the road and we do make it a priority to debrief after every event and discuss how to improve for the future.

The goal of our Outdoor Excursions program, which included the ski trip, is to provide opportunities for students to try new outdoor activities and enjoy what Southern California has to offer. We work to reduce costs to students by chartering transportation and working out ticket deals with the trip locations. This requires us to work with external vendors to provide these services, which means setbacks beyond our control may occur. We certainly follow up with vendors whenever there are concerns.

The author did bring up a good point about students deserving to know how SPA funds its events. We are happy to provide this information. SPA, along with several other student departments and organizations, receives yearly funding from the student fee. The Student Government Association, which works with administration to distribute the fees, is currently working on an in-depth review of where the fee is allocated. The goal is to make sure the money is going where it needs to go, based on the current campus needs and best practices of other institutions.

– Lexi Adres Lai, Associate Director of SPA

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Thank you for your measured and thoughtful response, Lexi!

-Austin Green, Chimes Managing Editor

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Letter to the editor: Regarding the recent opinions article on the SPA ski trip