DeLuca Havana bad time with Cuba trips

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By Renata D’Aliesio

RyeSAC VP administration Angelo DeLuca should have worried less about his tan and more about his reputation with travel companies.

TJ Donnelly, director of student programs at Breakaway Tours, said he was expecting a higher turnout from Ryerson students for spring break trips this year. He was also expecting to be the only agency providing the trips.

“It shocked me to find out we were not the only ones,” said Donnelly. “It’s disappointing because I know how hard we worked to get onto the campus.”

Donnelly said he only found out Temple & Temple Tours had been approved by RyeSAC when he heard some of his agency’s posters had been ripped off the walls and Temple & Temple posters were stapled over other.

“Why should Breakaway Tours spend all this time and money when all we had to do was make a call and get a stamp of approval on a poster?” asked Donnelly.

Breakaway subsidized part of DeLuca’s and council member Sanjay Dhebar’s week-long familiarization trip to Cuba this past summer. Students subsidized the rest of DeLuca’s trip — $471, which was against RyeSAC bylaws.

DeLuca said the trip was essential to see if Cuba was a viable travel destination for students. Of the approximately 70 Ryerson students who will be travelling with Breakaway Tours next week, none will be heading down to Cuba.

DeLuca said he did respond to Donnelly’s inquiry and made it clear to Breakaway in September both they and Temple & Temple would be authorized to provide spring break trips.

“Instead of complaining about why they are only one of two, I think they should be concentrating on promotion and serving Ryerson students as best as they possibly can,” he added.

DeLuca said the trip was necessary to gauge Breakaway Tours’ performance outside the university, even though last year’s VP administration Donna MacNeil went on a familiarization trip to Puerto Vallerta.

“I think every year the VP of administration should go on one of their sample trips to see if they are professional,” DeLuca said. “I stand by that and next year the VP of administration will also go — it is their job.”

 

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