Board club expelled from campus

    Board@UCSD, one of the largest on-campus student organizations with approximately 300 members, has been suspended from holding campus activities pending further administrative review of club policies and conduct, according to club president Corene Petlin.

    The group, which organizes snowboarding, wakeboarding and surfing trips as well as parties, was suspended without warning by Student Organizations and Leadership Opportunities officials at the end of fall quarter in December, Petlin said.

    “According to our communications … our suspension was related mostly to our promotion of the annual All Cal ski and snowboard trip,” Petlin stated in an e-mail. “In addition, however, there have apparently been allegations of violations of UCSD’s alcohol policies. We strongly contest these allegations and are in the process of meeting with administration officials to resolve what we believe are misunderstandings of school policy and, in some cases, blatant double standards.”

    The club’s S.O.L.O. adviser, Samantha Faile, and Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Life Carmen Vazquez declined comment pending review of the case.

    All student organizations must abide by the Student Conduct Code, which assigns “sponsoring student and college organizations” the responsibility of insuring compliance with applicable alcohol consumption laws as well as UCSD policies, according to Director of Student Policies and Judicial Affairs Nicholas S. Aguilar.

    The All Cal ski and snowboard trip is an independent, student-run outing coordinated by California college students.

    In addition to the suspension, Board@UCSD has faced controversy surrounding the latest All Cal trip to Telluride, Colo. During the winter-break trip, a UCSD student almost bled to death after a UC Riverside student allegedly stabbed him, according to Mountain Village Police Department Investigator Robert Walraven.

    When MVPD officers reported to Mountain Lodge on Dec. 15, they found John Muir College senior Ross Rhoades suffering major blood loss from a wound to the brachial artery of his arm, Walraven said.

    Witnesses described an altercation between victim and alleged assailant, UC Riverside student Nickolous Buchholz, which led to the stabbing, according to Walraven.

    “For the most part, all witness statements were consistent,” Walraven said. “We had over 10 witnesses that, in summary, described an altercation that escalated to the victim’s stabbing.

    Their statements aided in the arrest of the suspected attacker, and alcohol may have been a factor in the exchange between victim and assailant, MVPD officials said.

    Both parties had just left a bar in Telluride before Rhoades was stabbed, according to Walraven. However, no blood alcohol test was taken of either student. MVPD filed formal first-degree assault charges late last week.

    While there was suspicion of alcohol involvement in the All Cal trip stabbing, it had no bearing on the suspension of Board@UCSD, according to Petlin.

    “The stabbing, which occurred [last] year, was an isolated incident without precedent in All Cal’s 52-year history,” she said. “As far as we know, the stabbing … is completely unrelated to our suspension since we were suspended before the trip began.”

    Although told by S.O.L.O. officials that their suspension would end this spring, club officers hope to return to normal operations as soon as possible, according to Petlin.

    “Board@UCSD has always desired to be a positive and responsible member of the UCSD community,” she said. “We look forward to meeting with the administration in order to resolve, as soon as possible, whatever issues may be in the way of our operation. Most importantly, however, we would just like to get back to providing UCSD students with a healthy social outlet.”

    A meeting between the club and SOLO officials has been scheduled for Jan. 31.

    Though the allegations of alcohol abuse in Board@UCSD’s activities remain in question, the situation is still regrettable, Aguilar said.

    “The problem of students and student organizations engaged in the abuse of alcohol is unfortunate and contributes to the detriment of students as well as their organizations,” he said. “It’s my goal to see that students engage in activities in healthy fashions.”

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