Students who receive financial aid for school trips now have to sign a contract affirming their participation in all aspects of the trip, including events before and after and required projects.
Though the new policy by the financial aid office would mostly affect financial aid students attending the documentary filmmaking trip to Cuba in January, leaders of the trip have already obligated attendees to sign a similar contract.
The contract for financial aid students states that students who violate this agreement will not be eligible for financial aid on school trips.
New director of financial aid Melanie Leon said she hoped the new policy would encourage students to immerse themselves in the full experience of the trip.
“We just want to make sure the student takes advantage of everything offered,” she said.
Leon also said a smaller factor in the change was that students in previous years did not complete assignments related to the trip.
The contract has not seemed to deter students from signing up. Thirty-two students have signed up for 20 spots on the Cuba trip.
Visual Arts Department Head Cheri Gaulke said a digital storytelling project is both required and the main objective of the trip.
“[The documentary] usually takes the form of a video but sometimes is a blog, PowerPoint, photo exhibition, or presentation,” she said. “By going on the trip, students promise they will complete a project that can tell the story of the Cuban people.”