Penn State Outing Club Can Go Outside Again. But Not Too Far.

Sep 14, 2018

Christina Platt is president of the Penn State Outing Club.
Credit Christina Platt

In April, a university review deemed the Penn State Outing Club's activities -- hiking and backpacking to name a few -- too dangerous. Campus recreation disbanded the club.

But now, the group has changed its designation from a club sport to a recognized student organization. They can go on outings again, but there are still limitations: No hiking farther than 50 miles from State College and no more overnight backpacking trips.

Club President Christina Platt said they’re making the best of the changes.

“That actually still gives us access to a ton of stuff," Platt said. "Just within 50 miles of State College, we have four huge state forests. Rothrock State Forest is the closest, and that’s more than 200,000 acres of public land."

But Platt said ending overnight backpacking trips is a loss for members. 

“There’s just a unique connection that you get on a backpacking trip that I don’t think you can ever get through a day hike,” Platt said.

Penn State’s Office of Student Affairs said it’s continuing to talk with club members about providing safe ways to participate in outdoor recreation.

As for the new semester, Platt said membership hasn’t been affected, and the club will continue its mission.