With the ski and snowboarding season just around the corner, people from all across the country are gearing up to hit the slopes. Since 2011 there has been a club here at Marist that exclusively provides students with the unique opportunity to take weekly outings to Hunter Mountain here in New York, in addition to a larger trip to Vermont during the spring semester.
The student-run club known as the “Marist Shred Foxes” (no, they do not serve a dual purpose as a heavy-metal guitar club) is the organization that was created to serve the powder-craving population here on campus.
Despite the fact that they do not receive as many allocations from the school as some other clubs do, the Shred Foxes have been able to maintain a presence here on campus for several years.
Bryan Buttigieg, who currently holds the position of treasurer in the club, elaborated on how the club began, how it has grown and what their plans are for the future.
“The club has been going on for four years now. We are a recreational snowboard AND ski club, welcoming those of all levels. Two years ago the group organized a club-exclusive trip to Mount Snow, V.T. for a weekend trip. We are planning on organizing the club-sponsored trip to Vermont again this year, but if we generate enough interest it will be open to the public as well.”
This year the club is working on expanding its reach to garner interest from more students across campus. “We are trying to get more involved with social media,” said Buttigieg. “In the past we had set up an Instagram page where people in the group could post pictures from the trips. We have a Facebook page that is currently up as well.”
Buttigieg is in charge of managing the club’s finances, but he acknowledged that the club does not receive much funding from the school. “The Mount Snow trip is not funded by the program, so the students would have to pay for themselves – I believe it was around $200 for transportation, lift tickets and lodging the last time that trip was held.” Nevertheless, that package according to Buttigieg, is a “pretty solid deal.”
There are organizations similar to the Shred Foxes that exist throughout the Northeast (Johnson State in Vermont and Allegheny College in Pennsylvania both have ski & snowboard clubs), but at schools like Dartmouth and the University of Vermont there are teams that actually compete in snowboarding as an NCAA sport. Buttigieg alluded that this could one day be a possibility here at Marist, too.
“I was recently told by one of the members of the Ski Team that they may one day be interested in allowing snowboarders on the team as well, but I do not know how open the coach is to that idea.”
So whether you are competing or just hitting the slopes for fun, with the season kicking into gear in the coming months, make sure to keep an eye out for the upcoming trips sponsored by the club and follow their social media accounts to keep updated with relevant information throughout the winter.