“It allows students to get off campus without much hassle and to explore everything from the cities to the wilderness of northern Michigan.”
—Abby Massell ’18
Many college students don’t own cars, and those who do often drive beat-up compacts. So what to do when a golden autumn arrives, and with it the desire to hit the highway?
That’s where Mac’s van pool comes in. The Facilities Department leases five eight-seat, late model Ford vans, which it rents to student groups—with college-trained drivers— for $57 per day and 45 cents a mile. “By providing vehicles in good running condition driven by trained drivers, we can provide safer transportation,” says facilities services director Nathan Lief.
Over the college’s recent fall break, which dawned sunny and warm throughout the Upper Midwest, Mac students took advantage of those college wheels to visit the big city and the big woods. Both the Fresh Concepts improv group and the Scotch Tape a cappella group drove to Chicago, and three separate Outing Club groups traveled to the Porcupine Mountains in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to backpack.
“It’s super helpful that Mac provides these vans for student use,” says Abby Massell ’18 (Burlington, Vt.), who led one of the Porcupine Mountain trips. “It allows students to get off campus without much hassle and to explore everything from the cities to the wilderness of northern Michigan.”
As for Scotch Tape, their 13-member group needed two vans to travel to Chicago, where they put on concerts with a cappella groups from other colleges, including Loyola and Northwestern. They stayed in the large furnished attic of an alum family, and when they weren’t singing, tried “to relax and really have a break,” says James Lindgren ’15 (Marshalltown, Iowa).
“This trip allows us to really come together as a group of friends through our singing,” he says. “It feels critical for our success that we tour each year.”
Fresh Concepts members also stay with alumni, as well as with families of current members or in “parent-sponsored” hotel rooms. “Luckily, we never have to sleep in the vans!” says troupe member Hannah Rehak ’15 (Chicago). A travel grant plus their student org budget allows Fresh Concepts members to see multiple shows, as well as to do a daylong workshop with professional improvisers at Chicago improv theater iO.
“It’s absolutely the most important weekend of the year for Fresh Concepts,” says Rehak, “and it means everything that the school recognizes and supports that.”
November 17 2014Back to top