Paying back $10K snowboarding debt no easy trick

UWSA funds used to bail out annual snowboarding trips

The Snowboard and Ski Students’ Association (SSA) at the University of Winnipeg is currently trying to shovel their way out of a $10,000 debt owed to the University of Winnipeg Students’ Association (UWSA).

The debt, which has been accumulating for the past six years, skyrocketed when last year’s ski trip lost $5,000.

Allan Wallace, former U of W student and one of the four co-ordinators for this year’s trips, said this was largely due to poor planning efforts by last year’s co-ordinators. According to Wallace, the co-ordinators overestimated the number of students interested in the trip and overbooked transportation and accommodations. Once they realized the shortage of students, it was too late to cancel bookings in order to recoup some of the funds.

“You ... have to know when to cancel trips, when to cancel a certain amount of rooms, when to make certain deposit payments,” said Wallace. “It’s a juggling act.”

Courtney Maddock, UWSA vice-president internal, said that in past years the UWSA has bailed the SSA out when their trips have landed them in the red. This year, the UWSA executives are finally cracking down on the SSA to ensure they are repaid.

We believe [the $10,000] will be paid back within the next year or year-and-a-half.

Courtney Maddock,  UWSA VP internal

Maddock said that together, the UWSA and the SSA have worked out a payment plan.

“We are working very closely with them,” she said.

The UWSA is currently helping SSA plan a fundraising social in March which Wallace hopes will bring in at least $1,000.

“[The UWSA] are very helpful and they are trying their best to help us out,” he said.

Wallace also said that the SSA has the potential to earn $2,000 if the upcoming ski trip planned for reading week sells out. But considering the turnout of this year’s New Year’s ski trip to Banff, which just managed to break even, that may be a difficult task.

Although the SSA has several plans in the works to help pay off their debt, Wallace expects that it may take a while for the SSA to pay back the entire $10,000.

“It’s sort of a guessing game,” he said, adding that the profit is completely contingent on the success of the events.

But Maddock said the UWSA is expecting the payment to come in the near future.

“We believe it will be paid back within the next year or year-and-a-half,” she said.

Published in Volume 64, Number 17 of The Uniter (January 28, 2010)

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