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University News

Cancun trip canned over alcohol

Staff Writer
Friday, February 12, 2010

The 2011 Class Board recently canceled a planned spring break trip to Cancun because of liability concerns about alcohol consumption expressed by the Student Activities Office, according to Director of Student Activities Phil O’Hara ’55. A University-sponsored spring break trip is unlikely to happen now, O’Hara said.

Neil Parikh ’11, president of the class board, e-mailed the student body on Feb. 4 to announce the trip’s cancellation, six days after he sent an e-mail to all undergraduates that the board was sponsoring a trip through STS Travel, which included the company’s party package.

“Due to liability, reputational, and logistical concerns, the trip will no longer be associated with Brown University or the Class Coordinating Boards,” Parikh wrote in the second e-mail.

The original Jan. 29 e-mail’s inclusion of the line “All day parties and free drinks” was what forced the SAO to ask the board to rescind Brown’s official sponsorship of the trip, O’Hara said. “Brown has to protect itself from liability suits,” he said.

In their “exuberance” to find out how many students would be interested in such a trip, the members of the board did not show the text of the Jan. 29 e-mail to one of the advisers assigned to the organization, O’Hara said.

“Nothing at Brown can have alcohol be the advertising centerpiece,” he said. “There has to be something more to it.”

O’Hara said he told the board that it could research spring break trips and discuss the details with him, but he would have to approve any University-wide e-mails sent by the board. He said he would have removed the remark from the e-mail if the SAO had seen the e-mail before it was sent.

“We tried to plan the trip out of interest from the student body,” Parikh said in an interview with The Herald. “It’s unfortunate that the administration doesn’t want to go forward, but we hope to pursue it in the future.”

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