May Term travel is a maybe this year

by Andrea McNamara

Impending international conflict is raising questions and concerns among students and faculty about the safety of May Term travel abroad and the possible cancellation of studies abroad.

As of now, the six May Term trips that are scheduled for this spring will go on as planned.

Very few students or advisors show much concern about traveling over seas.

“The college is not going to put them in harms way,” said John Bolen, registrar and associate academic dean.

Armed with this vow from the college, students and advisors will hopefully have the reassurance they need to continue packing and eventually get on their planes.

There are trips scheduled to go to Italy and Greece, New Zealand, Great Britain, Peru, Scandinavia and Thailand.

So far three students have backed out of the Italy/Greece trip. One of those students was junior Elaine Olinger. The reason she and her two roommates decided not to go is fairly complex, but basically boils down to the fact that they weren’t willing to risk losing $3,000.

Their parents also had concerns about national security and threats of war, but in the end everything has worked out. Olinger and her roommates each have lost $500 and now need to reschedule a class to fulfill the global awareness cornerstone.

“I feel fairly confident that the trip will go on as planned,” said Fred Jones, professor of sociology and criminal justice and advisor for the Italy/Greece trip.

According to Bolen, Simpson College and the trip advisors continuously keep an eye on the world travel situation through the U.S. Department of State Website.

“If the U.S. Department of State says it’s not safe to travel then they (people attending May Term trips) won’t be traveling,” said Bolen.

“The threat posed by drunken drivers to Simpson students that remain in Indianola is greater than that of terrorists over seas,” said Nicolas Proctor, advisor for the Thailand trip and assistant professor of history.

Ron Warnet, professor of chemistry has taken the place of Sharon Jensen as the advisor of the New Zealand trip.

“It’s important not to act out of fear,” said Warnet.

“I’m really excited to go,” said Aubrey Bockwoldt, a junior education major who will be taking part in the New Zealand trip. “I don’t think that anybody has had second thoughts.”

As it can be seen here, some students and advisors are ready to go with very few doubts on their minds while others are still a little concerned about whether or not their trips will go through.

“We’re concerned about not being able to go,” said Robert Larsen, advisor of the Scandinavia trip and professor of music. “If we’re allowed to go, we’ll all be very excited,” said Larsen.

According to Warnet, the travel agent that the group works with makes all the difference. It’s very important to go with a travel planner that knows what’s going on and is very confident in its knowledge of overseas situations.

“There’s a lot that could happen between now and the May Term trips,” said Bolen. “There’s no way to predict what will happen on the world stage.”