Exec report - President 2014 - 2015

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VOC President report (2014-2015, Clemens Adolphs)


WORK IN PROGRESS. Currently I shamelessly copied Steph's report from last year to use as a template for my own report. I will remove this here note once I'm done.


How the year went

Membership

memberships ending after 2015-04-13

- total members = 838 - regular (student) members = 593 - staff members = 0 - other members = 92 - alumni members = 153

Membership seems to have stabilized at the mid-800 level.

Huts

Brew

Brew has been provided with solar lighting thanks to the efforts of Roland Burton. We will monitor how useful the harvested solar power turns out to be.

Firewood:

Following last year's organizational efforts by Stephanie Grothe, there is now a couple of tons of firewood up at Brew hut, see last year's exec report for a detailed account of the logistics. The helicopter ride and the wood turned out a bit more expensive than expected, and hut attendance in the winter season 14/15 was lower than usual due a lack of snow. In the long run, Brew hut is still a reliable source of hut money, and we hope that will pay off some of the cost of the firewood.

Note that the abundance of firewood had encouraged some non-VOCers to have campfires outside the hut, which we strongly discourage, since it uses up that precious wood in no time.

Protection of the area

This section hasn't changed much compared to last year. To quote from Steph's report:

"Powder Mountain Cat skiing would like to offer cat skiing and heli skiing close to Brew hut. Another worry is that logging companies by cutting down the forest will open access to the alpine area of Brew hut for Snowmobiles.

The VOC has to do what it can to keep the area as much free from motorized traffic as possible, so we should apply to have the area designated as non-motorized.

Important contacts are Gordon from PMC, Bryce Leigh from the ACC, Jeff Fischer (Squamish FN consultant, also governmental person for logging and such), Scott Shaw-McLaren and Alistair McCrone.

Ben, Caitlin and Ryan are the best people to ask about details."

In the past year, the government hasn't done much. Gord from PMC has approached us a few times with revised plans; the VOC wrote a letter directly to Malissa Smith from the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations

Outhouse

The Brew outhouse needed emptying, and Ross Campbell with his lack of a sense of smell, volunteered to do the bulk of the work. A metal container was brought up to the hut, together with a sign, to encourage people to burn their toilet paper. The idea is that then the outhouse will fill up a bit slower.

Brian Waddington hut

Not too much was done on this hut this year. There's still the question of what remains to be done with the outhouse. Cassandra suggested that a consultation with someone who builds/designs backcountry outhouses for a living might be a good idea. The problem of a bird nesting in walls of the hut also hasn't found a satisfactory solution yet.

Burton hut (Sphinx bay)

This season, Garibaldi lake seemed to take forever to freeze over, and when it finally did, it didn't last for too long. As such, the hut has seen significantly less traffic than it usually does. We aren't aware of any pressing issues regarding this hut.

Harrison hut and trail

Trail

At the end of summer 2014, the trail could be considered officially done. There is obviously always room for improvement, but it is now to a standard where travel is generally pleasant, multiple switchbacks are in place, side-hilling has been removed for most sections and, in several iterations, a proper bridge across Barr creek has been established. Many thanks to all the volunteers working on the trail. MEC funding allowed us to helicopter in a lot of the material required.

Outhouse

Roland designed and built an outhouse. It was flown in via helicopter and put together during a week-long hut/trail reno trip. Jeff Mottershead dug a very deep pit, in the hopes of lasting us for a long time.

Hut Renovations

The hut received new steel roofing, installed on the same week-long trip mentioned above.

Grant applications:

It is always good to get free money for projects. For this, we have: - MEC (several 1000 dollars) - FMCBC Member Club Grants - The AMS club benefit grants Check out our previous funding partners on the homepage (http://www.ubc-voc.com/funding), and please update the homepage when appropriate.

VOC evening events

Room booking

Make sure rooms on campus for big events and big pre-trip meetings get booked in advance. Basically book rooms as soon as you know the date.

Fundraisers to support other clubs and organizations

We had three different fundraisers this year. These are useful, not only to support other organizations that are important for us but also to make the VOC known. Fundraisers are also nice as they are some kind of social that brings VOCers together. We had fundraisers for VIMFF, Reel Rock and Into the Mind movies and the money went to Climbers access societies, SAR, and the CAC. Raffles are good way to get extra money. Raffle prices might get donated from MEC (budget might be exhausted in March, so ask them earlier), Icebreaker, the Hive, the Richmond Olympic Oval, the CAC itself (eg they might donnate an AST course.

VOC socials

We should try to make VOC socials (beach barbeques, winter social, banquet, slideshows) more attractive for new members. At socials we should try to be more welcoming and excited to meeting new people and not just excited to meet old friends.

Jared Stanley Lecture

Make sure this is happening. This year Fisal organized it. It would be great if he would do it again since it would be nice to have a single contact person between Jared's parents and the VOC for a few years. In the past Phil T. has organized the Jared Stanley lectures.

Annual Banquet

Cora will have details on this. Next year we should have some non-alcoholic drinks. We should also advertise the banquet better so that more people come. It was a bit too empty this year. Especially new members should get encouraged to come to the banquet and other social events. The DJ this year was great.


Insurance and Waivers

Our previous insurance did not cover us in case of bodily injury, i.e. if someone sued the club because he got injured on a trip. The FMCBC hired a lawyer that is looking into contracts with new alternate companies.

We also got new waivers from the FMCBC that we started to use in September 2013. However there was some mistake in those waivers and they may not be absolutely bullet proof.

Marius is looking into implementing online waivers. Finally the AMS allowed us to switch. Once we have this implemented all members should sign those new waivers (again). Also, parents of minors should sign the online waivers.

Gear

Lots of money has been spend on gear this year. Presumably details can (soon) be found in the quartermaster exec report.

This year we will have an official Quartermaster-Master who hopefully coordinates repairs and purchases.

Swag

This year we got new T-shirts, new Zebra lights, new Voile straps, some more maps.. We might want to widen the selection of maps we sell. Nicole might help with that. Maybe we could also order new stickers with the VOC logo. They are nice to label VOC gear and people might want to buy some.

The work on the songbook should continue.

I would not run a Mammut sale in the future. They hardly delivered anything we ordered, often did not reply to emails and they were extremely annoying to deal with. By offering this Mammut sale we wasted a lot of time of the swag master mostly and also of the QMs and the treasurer and in the end members were upset because Mammut didn't deliver anything and people had to come to get their money back.

MEC clubs night seems to organize itself mostly since MEC always contacts us.

We should try to have buy nights from intuition, icebreaker and arcterix. I wonder if we could negotiate Modo discounts for VOC members. One could ask.

New SUB building

New clubroom

The clubroom in the new Sub will be in the basement (NE-corner) of the new sub. There are more details in an older (2011/2012?) exec report. I guess you will get more details and another tour of the new building at some point.

Climbing wall

Corey will be the first climbing wall coordinator. Corey and the exec needs to decide on hours, pricing, membership kinds, hiring people to man the wall and many other details soon. Caitlin has all contacts and details.

Consitutional changes

Duties of VOC executives

We made several changes to the duties of the execs in the VOC constitution. The most important changes are: 1) we now have a huts and a trails person instead of a special projects person, 2) the secretary helps with grant applications, 3) the public relations person helps with answering emails that get send to [email protected] 4) the VOCene editor also helps with keeping the website and the wiki up to date information wise 4) we specified that there will be a head quartermaster who coordinates gear matters.


Membership Fee

We also increased the membership fee from $35 to $40 for students and from $52.50 to $60 for associate members, mostly to cover potentially higher insurance fees. Some former VOC execs were unhappy about this since the VOC has lots of savings. However, I think that we should not plan to have a deficit by default. It is fine to have a deficit because of some special investments into huts for example but there should not be a deficit every year just from normal expenses.


Peer supports group, Discrimination and Harassment:

After a harassment case in 2012 we decided to come up with several measures to prevent such incidents from happening in the future or to know how to react if something does happen. We added a new bylaw to the constitution that allows us to remove members from the club or to restrict their member rights. We also implemented a peer support group. These are volunteers among the exec, whose names are shown on the member page and who can be contacted by club members in case something bad happens. We also discuss other measures at some point, for example action plans.

Journal

This year we had two journal editors which is probably a good idea in case one of them drops the ball.

Make sure that the advertisements get sorted out early enough.

As software the VOC traditionally used Indesign which is very expensive (~$300). One can get free trial versions for a short time or pirate copies (of course we don't do that). Those trial version have the effect that journal editors only start doing the editing work a short time before publication. This makes the job much harder than it should be.

I think the next journal editor should early (during the summer) look into open source software and start to make a journal base design similar to the old design using such a free software. I don't think switching would be too difficult and probably worthwhile.

Trips

We should try to have more beginner friendly trips. Trips are the backbone of the club, this is how people get excited about the club and how they acquire club loyalty. Without a sufficient offer of interesting trips, you don't get the next generation of members, execs and the club can die. It seems that incentives for trip organizers (e.g. special offers on swag) don't result in additional (serious) trip organizers. I would also refrain from any financial benefits for trip organizers or instructors. Most of those people have learned their skills for free from other club members in the past, joined trips when they were new to Vancouver or did benefit from the club in other ways, for example by making friends and connections. I think people should give back to the club without any sort of payment.

Trip organizer emails

We started to send out the following email to trip organizers every week.

"Thank you for organizing a trip for the VOC! We truly appreciate you taking the time and effort to make trips available to club members. Whether you are a first-time trip organizer, or an experienced veteran, please take a moment to consider addressing the following topics while you are organizing your trip.

(1) Intended goal and nature of the trip. Every member has a say in the actions of the group, however. In each situation, ask questions rather than making statements to ensure the maximum comfort and safety of the group. (2) Know your participants: gauge their experience, physical fitness, skills, risk level, deadly allergies and injuries. Gauge the management of these issues and discuss in private if you feel this trip may put them or the group at risk. You have the final say on who can or cannot come onto your trip. (3) Expected conditions during the trip (temperature, precipitation, etc.). (4) Specify the required gear and ensure participants check that their gear is functional (http://www.ubc-voc.com/wiki/Gear_lists). (5) Emergency contact/equipment: Inform a 3rd party of your group’s plans and expected return date, equipment such as SPOTs and radios may be considered. (6) Group dynamics: ensure you have sufficient experienced people to manage the less experienced people. Consider implementing the buddy (or group) system, or designating a sweep and regular meet ups at specified locations or times. (7) Remember to inform your group that you (or the in-trip leader) are not certified guides. Ensure that all trip participants have signed a waiver, including non-VOC members or guests. (8) Be sure to thank drivers! Consider splitting the cost of transportation among everyone if a rental car is required. Also remind participants that they are committed to paying fuel fees even if they drop out.


More tips can be found on the trip organizer page (http://www.ubc-voc.com/wiki/Trip_guidelines#Some_general_points). Please pass on the necessary links and knowledge to your trip participants, and have a great trip!

Also, if you have any suggestions regarding this email let us know.

Thanks again

-VOC Exec "

In the past Steph did that manually and I think we should continue and maybe this would be a job for the trip coordinator. I think it is a good idea and I would continue doing that. Doing that manually is actually good since the trip coordinator should keep an eye on the trip agenda anyway. Also, if you do it manually you can pick who gets the email and who doesn't. Roland for example doesn't want to get it and for some organizers one might want to add some personalized sentences.


Trips that should continue:

  • Intro to mountaineering in the spring, day trip on Northshore with dryschool?
  • Lead ladder
  • Ice climbing trips during Christmas time and later, Daughter of Ice (got two nice ice tools)
  • Son of rock
  • Intro to kayaking
  • Summer Longhike
  • Winter Longhike (January)
  • Teleschool (January)
  • Intro to backcountry (January)
  • Intro to mountaineering
  • Maybe a gong-show intro Phelix trip at the beginning of September
  • glacier school 1 (maybe before september, not first trip, screening)
  • glacier school 2: suggest that participants teach at G1
  • Navigation on campus sessions and trips
  • Wilderness first aid refreshers: might try again
  • CPR
  • Reading week camp (hard to organize since many exec members are grads and don't have a reading break)
  • Some trip similar to the Veenstra traverse
  • External deals on courses: AST courses, Slipstream 20hour, 50 hour, 90 hour

We should have more beginner friendly trips next year. I don't think that we succeeded this year in making the trip open enough for beginners.