By Katelyn Collins
The ski club at Union has been increasingly utilized from year to year, with trips to various mountains all winter long. However, there is a limited capacity on the buses each week, causing major competition to grab one of those highly sought-after seats.
The faculty advisor of the ski club and Assistant Director of Student Activities Karoline Sears spoke of the popularity of the club and how great of an opportunity it is.
“The weekend trips will have 50 or more students, which is the max that the coach bus can take, so they are limited there,” Sears said. “Sign-ups for these weekend trips start on Monday mornings as early as 5 a.m. in Student Activities.”
While many might think that this early deadline would keep the student turnout fairly low, the result is, in fact, quite the opposite.
Sears remarked, “Students start lining up well before that time; I don’t blame them — $20 for free transportation and an all-day lift ticket? I’d be in line at 5 a.m. myself!”
Despite the early wake-up call, Union students like to take advantage of the close proximity to so many mountains and fantastic skiing conditions. The ski club is also advantageous to Union students because it gives the typical “broke college students” an affordable way to ski, which usually costs almost $80 per ticket.
Sears stated three reasons why the ski club has grown to be so wildly successful. First, the price is extremely affordable. According to Sears, the really popular ski areas now charge up to $77 or more for an all-day ticket. Of course, there are ways to get around that price (like a Sunday afternoon ticket), but you don’t get to ski the whole day.
The second reason that Sears believes the ski club is so popular is because of Union’s location in relation to the ski areas. There are tons of ski resorts that are all within driving distance of Schenectady. The ski club doesn’t repeat any of its weekend trips because of the vast array of surrounding mountains.
Third, Sears believes that the ski club offers students a special opportunity that is specific to Union. The fact that our Union Ski Club offers students the opportunity to ski for just $20 for an all-day ticket is incredible. The club gives the chance for those who have never participated in skiing to learn from their peers who have been doing it their whole lives.
Sarah Kitross ’16 is an avid member of the Union Ski Club. When speaking of her experiences with the club, she had nothing but positive things to say. Of her latest ski club experience, she stated, “I had an amazing time. The skiing conditions were awesome, and the fact that it was only $20 was great! This wasn’t my first ski trip and it’s definitely not my last. It’s not the best feeling to have to wake up before the sun is even up to sign up to get a seat on the bus, but by the end of the day it is more than 100 percent worth it.”
The biggest trip of the year, according to Sears, is the trip to Jay Peak, which is located in upstate Vermont. The trip has even more limited tickets than usual and is an overnight trip. The more students that continue to take part in ski club, the more variety and frequency in trips, the school will be able to provide.