US Trip Committee changes protocol for student travels

Each year, students have opportunities to participate in either a language, music or athletic trip, all of which offer great opportunities for students to gain new experiences. A group of faculty known as the Trip Committee are the ones in charge of managing and enabling the excursions.

The committee establishes guidelines for trip proposals, oversees fundraising and finances, and organizes when the trips can occur.

“Our goal is to facilitate the faculty’s desire to travel with their students to enhance their program,” said David Williamson, the current clerk of the Trip Committee.

The Committee receives proposals from faculty representing certain GFS programs and departments. Choir, athletics, and academics (Modern Languages, Classics) work in a three-year rotation. While most other programs can propose trips any year, the above must work around yearly scheduling conflicts.

Drama’s presence in the rotation group has proven to be an issue. In the past, it has been scheduled in both the athletic and academic years, but when drama students have conflicts with sports and language trips, its placement is impractical. This year, the Committee placed the Drama trip concurrent with Choir’s, in hopes that this will create fewer conflicts for students.

The Trip Committee assesses trip guidelines in order to create the fairest and most efficient process of trip selection. The committee has asked for feedback from the school faculty and is currently in the process of creating revisions. One goal is to give all students an equal chance of going on trips, regardless of their family income. Williamson said, “the currency of trip work is money and time. If we had plenty of both then we could offer as many trips as we wished with no conflicts, and students could go on any and all trips. Unfortunately we are limited in both time and money so we must have a set of trip guidelines to allow the GFS community to offer trips that support the curriculum and enhance the students’ experience.”