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Penn State University Ousts Outing Club

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Happy Valley is a little less happy

http://www.statecollege.com/news/local-news/penn-state-student-organizations-lose-university-recognition-after-risk-analysis-review,1476216/

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The Penn State Outing Club, Nittany Grotto Caving Club, and the SCUBA Club will no longer be recognized by the university after a Campus Recreation review deemed that the trio of on-campus organizations’ activities posed an unacceptable amount of risk to its student members.

“Campus Recreation made the decision to proactively evaluate its supported organizations, with the main goal being to keep student safety as the top priority for these groups and their activities,” Penn State spokeswoman Lisa Powers provided in a statement.

Following the review, the university recommended changes to 20 registered student organizations, including the three ousted groups, based on four criteria:

  • Environment and location of organization activities
  • Access to emergency facilities and distance to medical care
  • Risk associated with various types of impact likely in an activity
  • Impact the equipment used in an activity has on the risk of an activity (For example, life-sustaining apparatuses are higher risk than equipment like helmets, gloves, rackets, etc.)

...

“Losing affiliation with the university as a recognized student organization or club sport at Penn State means losing all privileges granted to a student organization,” Outing Club president Christina Platt said via email. “These privileges include the ability to reserve rooms to meet on campus, to be protected with $1,000,000 liability insurance, to use ASA to manage club funds, to fundraise through special university funding opportunities (such as stadium cleanup), to recruit at the Involvement Fair, and to use the university name on merchandise.”

While these clubs are no longer affiliated with the university, Penn State says it is meeting with the officers and advisers of these organizations to discuss the transition and figure how the university can “still support its goals.”

The Outing Club said it’s working with Penn State officials and making progress in finding its role in the student activities landscape. The Caving Club is still backed by a community-based caving organization that brings the student organization together with non-students interested in the area.

From the club's board http://sites.psu.edu/outingclub/

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Special Announcement

As we discussed in our general meeting last night, The Penn State Outing Club will no longer be organizing and running outdoor student-led trips starting next semester. This is a result of an assessment of risk management by the University that determined that the types of activities in which PSOC engages are above the University’s threshold of acceptable risk for recognized student organizations.

Nevertheless, the community that has grown around the Outing Club is not going anywhere. The officers of the club have been working diligently with our club advisor and Penn State staff to find the appropriate structure within the University to continue to foster this ever-growing outdoor community. We are pursuing multiple avenues for continuing this great community and are making progress each day. We will continue to update you through our ListServ, official Facebook page, and at general meetings as we move forward....

Hello? Venturing?

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But football is still ok, right?  What's the stats on how many people have been hurt in the last ten years in these clubs versus how many have been hurt playing football or basketball?  Apparently risk is ok if you generate  a lot of revenue.

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16 minutes ago, CalicoPenn said:

But football is still ok, right?  

Right. Football isn't a student-led activity. 

I'm sure the university has a lot of potentially dangerous activities and classes, but they are supervised by professional coaches and teachers.

 

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43 minutes ago, David CO said:

I'm sure the university has a lot of potentially dangerous activities and classes, but they are supervised by professional coaches and teachers.

Now that would be interesting.

Announcer: "Hello and welcome to University Outdoor Draft day. Today we're going to see a lot of fine young men and women aiming for the top draft positions with the universities. And first up is Amazing U..."

Amazing U: "We select for our first round draft pick, Eagle Scout Fred Generic from Springfield!"

Announcer: "A great pick announced by Amazing U." "That's right Bob, Fred comes out of Springfield as an Eagle scout with a strong emphasis on dutch oven cooking. Certainly a great pick to support your unit around the campsite." "Right you are Tom. The only downside is that he has One corner of his Totin'Chip left. One false move and it could spell disaster."

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1 hour ago, CalicoPenn said:

But football is still ok, right?  

Penn State...football coaches...what could possibly go wrong there

Also fraternities...not a chance any issues with those

Walking up stairs, driving to campus, intramural activities I am confident pose zero risks

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1 hour ago, CalicoPenn said:

But football is still ok, right?  What's the stats on how many people have been hurt in the last ten years in these clubs versus how many have been hurt playing football or basketball?  Apparently risk is ok if you generate  a lot of revenue.

I think this was a frog-boiled-slowly kind of deal. Clubs were segregated into sports vs. recreation. ( @David CO collegiate intramural clubs are often unsupervised.) Then the sports clubs were judged according to one level of risk/liability and the recreation clubs were judged by another standard.

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Posted (edited)
On 4/19/2018 at 11:07 AM, David CO said:

Right. Football isn't a student-led activity. 

I'm sure the university has a lot of potentially dangerous activities and classes, but they are supervised by professional coaches and teachers.

 

And yet the ones supervised by professionals have significantly more injuries than the student led activities. Yes that is the nature of those activities, and professional supervision mitigates some of the injuries. But the policy is based on potential, not actual. Second, I know of many student led outdoor activities in which the student leaders (adults) have significantly more training in their activity than some professional coaches. Being paid as a professional does not necessarily  equate to being a highly qualified leader/instructor. Lastly, some outdoor clubs are affiliated or contract with other organizations which provide quality guides, leaders, expertise as needed. IMO, the risk aversion by Penn State is not for the safety of the students but for their own exposure to liability. 

Edited by RememberSchiff
replace Penn with Penn State ...two different universities.
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Seriously? This is shocking.

For the most part students at university are legally adults. The occassional child protege genius, but the overwhelming majority are adults and surely should be being allowed to make their own decisions and take their own risks? If the club is causing damage to the enviroment, or becoming a nuisance to the public or such like then there may be an argument for the central university to intervene, but I don't see it as their place to tell their students that they cannot organsie themselves to do an activity based on risk.

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Posted (edited)

I don't think anyone is questioning the right of adult students to organize themselves and participate in an activity. The only issue is whether or not the organization/activity will be a school sanctioned club.

Personally, I don't like paying taxes to support other people's recreation.

 

Edited by David CO

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4 hours ago, Cambridgeskip said:

... I don't see it as their place to tell their students that they cannot organize themselves to do an activity based on risk.

As said before, once sanctioned, it can be argued the university is at risk and potentially has liability.  For example, the university would be listing the organization with contacts, etc.  So what if someone gets hurt of victimized.  It could be easily argued that by listing the organization (contacts, description implying a charter) and supporting the organization (meeting rooms, listing as a contact, etc) ... then, the university is implying the organization and it's leaders have been vetted and is following good policies and procedures. 

Sadly, I do agree.  But then again, I'd argue football and many other sports should be community based and not school based.  

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3 hours ago, fred johnson said:

I'd argue football and many other sports should be community based and not school based.  

My community has both. 

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Speaking of Penn State football and liability, Penn State has a home game (Beaver Stadium) with Kent State on Sept 15, with the theme All-University Day, Community Heroes Recognition, and Boy Scout Jamboree.

"All Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts are invited to attend our annual Scout Celebration. Prior to the game, all Scouts are invited to attend the Nittany Jamboree at Medlar Field -- a pre-game fair with Scout-related activities. Interested Troops and Packs can purchase special ticket packages at a reduced rate by calling 1-800-NITTANY. "

http://www.gopsusports.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/042018aab.html

Last year reservations were made through Bucktail Council

http://www.bucktail.org/Events/Penn State Football Scout Day

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