By Aleksandra Sidorova
For its first trip this semester, the Student Association took 94 students to Burlington, Vermont, Saturday, Feb. 26. The two buses left Plattsburgh at 10:30 a.m., reached Burlington by noon, and returned by 6 p.m.
Tickets cost $5. Initially, the SA only reserved one bus for the trip, but with the tickets completely selling out within a day, upgraded to two. Tickets for the second bus sold out after two days — 98 spots in total. Incomplete attendance is a rare occurrence on SA trips, according to Carter Mosher, the SA’s senator for PR and co-chair of F.E.N.T. (Film, Entertainment, Novelties and Trips) on the SA activities board.
“The only reason maybe was that it was a Saturday, and I know students like to party on Friday nights,” he said.
Mosher chose Burlington as the destination because it is an hour away from Plattsburgh.
“I wanted to stay closer to Plattsburgh and I figured, you know, everyone loves Burlington,” Mosher said.
Unlike the trip to Salem, Massachusetts, last October, the SA did not plan a sightseeing program. In the allotted time, students were free to explore Church Street and the surrounding area as they wished, indulging in shopping and dining experiences unavailable at Plattsburgh.
“Essentially, I just wanted everyone to go have fun, shop, eat, explore the city of Burlington,” Mosher said.
Logistically, the trip went smoothly. Despite the large number of attendees, the return bus was delayed by no more than 10 minutes.
“Getting 94 people in the same spot is crazy, but [the students] did really well,” Mosher said.
Aysun Akhundlu, a junior biomedical sciences major who attended the trip, liked that it was scheduled for the weekend and offered tickets at a low price. She also liked the freedom to choose her own activities.
“[The organizers] didn’t make any rules that we need to stick together,” Akhundlu said. “We’re adults. It’s better if we just do our own thing.”
To her, the seats on the bus were uncomfortable. If possible, she would have paid more for a ticket for more comfortable seating.
Akhundlu visited her favorite bookstore, Crow Bookshop, bought snacks from a Japanese supermarket, “explored coffee shops” and had Turkish food at Istanbul Kebab House. For her, the trip to Burlington was an opportunity to get a taste of home.
“I’m Azerbaijani, and we kind of eat Turkish food all the time. I’m half-Turkish, so I missed it a lot,” Akhundlu said.
Akhundlu noted that most of the students on the trip were international and may choose to travel for similar reasons as her.
Some students, like Mary Stockman, a sophomore double majoring in criminal justice and law and justice, travel to take a break from the routine of campus life.
“I feel like I’ve been really stuck on campus the last few weeks, so, when this trip was announced, I was kind of like, ‘Great, Somewhere else. Let’s go somewhere else,’” Stockman said.
Mosher said the SA is planning two more trips for this semester, but has not revealed details yet. It is also possible that there will be an overnight SA trip next semester.