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Thursday, May 06, 2021

A club that provides UF students with opportunities to whitewater raft and rock climb must find ways to operate more safely.

The Outdoor Adventure Recreation club must undergo risk management training to fix liability issues and apply for emergency funds from Student Government in order to remain active.

The club has not received SG funding this semester.

Club officials met with Stan Beckerdite, business manager of the SG Finance Office, and Chris Bullins, director of the Office of Sorority and Fraternity Affairs, to come up with a solution on how to keep the club on campus.

Beckerdite said the club has not received SG funds because it didn't show up for this year's budget hearing.

He said he advised the group to put in a special request for financing, which would allow it to receive emergency funds from SG.

The group has not made that request yet, according to the SG Office of Finance.

Jackie Selevan, OAR's treasurer, said officials have been helpful in trying to come up with a plan for the club.

"It's not their fault," she said. "They've been really great in trying to work with us as much as possible."

OAR was asked to increase safety within the club by getting members certified for various activities and providing insurance for participants, said Jeff DePree, club president.

SG is requiring the group to find an insurance provider to minimize the university's liability if an accident should occur.

DePree said the club is looking to the American Canoe Association to provide insurance for their whitewater rafting trips.

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The club is also attempting to get students certified to lead climbing trips.

But with the lack of SG funds, OAR is finding it difficult to pay for the new costs.

To get five people certified for climbing would cost ,1,200, DePree said. "We're just students, so we haven't gotten serious qualifications," he said.

"But now we are going to have to do that. The problem is we are completely unfunded at the moment."

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