Meeting highlights need to amend policy

Students question need for advisors on trips

Laynee Merrill, Staff Writer

Students pushed to change a Nebraska State College System policy in a meeting on Sept. 29 with Angela Melton, the vice chancellor for student affairs for the NSCS.

Policy 3300 states that student organizations travelling overnight must travel with a faculty advisor. Student Senate thinks this is not fair. Melton said the NSCS recognizes this and is travelling to all the Nebraska state colleges to discuss the issue. NSCS officials are working with students to revise or make exceptions to the rule.

Students in attendance said they have problems have with the policy since they cannot find a faculty member who can travel with them or they do not have the funds to pay for an advisor to stay with them. One issue brought up at the meeting was the fact that faculty members may have to miss teaching classes if they advise an organization, causing students not in the organization to miss out on their education.

According to some WSC athletic organizations, the issue has affected their ability to compete for national titles. Sam Wesely, the president of the bowling club, said four of the club’s competitions are overnight, and since no faculty advisor could stay with them, they were unable to attend. Wesely said this affected their national ranking.

“We want to be treated like adults,” Wesely said. “We understand the rule; it is just disheartening to us.”

Students should be looking forward to a change in policy.

“We are leaning towards exceptions to the rule,” Melton said.

Melton explained why the rule was put into place. She said the NSCS has liability issues that can cause insurance costs to go up. Before the travel rules were added to Policy 3300 there was an incident with Title IX that the NSCS was liable for.

Melton is trying to work with students to revise the policy.

“What we need to do is start with our mission to serve the students,” Melton said. “Then we need to protect the colleges and the students. We are trying to find the right balance.”

Ashley VanMeeteren, the student trustee for WSC, is currently working on a proposal to change Policy 3300 in a way that is both fair to students, but will not cause unnecessary liability issues with the NSCS.

“There’s not really a set solution,” VanMeeteren said. “We don’t have anything set in stone, but at the very least, we made it clear to the students that we are trying to change the policy.”