Seven international students, a biology major and an outdoor recreation in parks and tourism major journeyed to Toroweap in Grand Canyon National Park over the weekend.
Tyler Rogacki, a senior outdoor recreation in parks and tourism major from Boston, led the weekend camping trip with help from his roommate Doug Hafen, a junior biology major from Salt Lake City. Rogacki said the trip was part of his senior seminar class and also a way to help get some of the international students outside, since most do not have a vehicle or a way to leave Cedar City.
Rogacki said he wanted to take international students last semester simply as a Pacesetters trip, but it got too cold and international students lost interest. This semester he said it worked out in his favor, fulfilling an assignment in his senior seminar class.
“The best part of the trip, to me, was watching the international students when we got to ... the Grand Canyon,” Rogacki said. “Cameras flew out of bags.”
Luzzy Peters, a sociology major from Emden, Germany, said the trip was helpful to her because it allowed her to see some of the unique landscapes Utah has to offer. She said she wanted to see the outdoor sites here, and that is one reason she chose to come to SUU from Germany.
“There should be more trips like this offered to international students here because we are so dependent on other people to get around,” Peters said. “If you study at SUU, then you should see these unique landscapes. Many international students have never hiked or camped before and these trips make it so we can experience it.”
Peters also said blame for the lack of trips does not fall entirely on SUU, but international students should come into the Harry Reid Outdoor Engagement Center or SUU Outdoors to see what trips are heading out.
The students left Cedar City on Friday at 1 p.m. and arrived at the Toroweap group campsite around 5:30 p.m. Rogacki said there was an issue with getting vehicles, and one of the cars they ended up taking could not make it all the way to the campsite. He said they had to shuttle the rest of the people from where the car had to stop.
Friday night, the group watched the sunset and sat around the fire talking about the plans for the next few days. Rogacki said it was great to sit there with so many cultures in one place, away from technology.
Yu Yuan Fuh, a graphic design major from Taipei, Taiwan, said the natural beauty of the area was beyond what he had expected to see. He said there were a few challenges to camping he wasn’t expecting.
“It was great to see all the natural beauty, but I woke each morning with sand everywhere,” Yu said. “I think this was part of the special experience for me.”