SGA offers apology for Inauguration trip

Student Union Room 210-The 56th Inaugural Swearing-in Ceremony of President Barack Obama was the largest event in Washington, D.C. history. Months of planning by the members of SGA, the Student Union Board, Staff Support, Student Affairs and the Office of Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu put together an affordable, but comfortable trip. On behalf of the many that dedicated time and planned a successful trip we deeply regret that due to the negligence of the Capital Trailways Bus Company, things did not go as planned. That bus company had been chosen due to the fact that they were responsible for moving the band and football team in recent years so we trusted that we could rely on them to get our group to Washington, D.C. as successfully as they had got the other entities to their other destinations in recent years.

Many of the problems appear to have been due to lack of upkeep on the charters and neglect to thoroughly inspect their charters before assigning them to our group. Another problem was due to the bus company misunderstanding that along with obtaining an access permit into Washington, D.C. a parking permit was required as well.

This was made known to all bus companies and groups via e-mail from the D.C. Metro police, the Capital Police, and Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies who is the official overseer of all Inaugural activities.

Note that buses were able to park as close as C Street, D Street, and Capital South and 3rd through 6th Street which were all within two or three blocks and in clear view of the Capital Building.

In the coming days I will attempt to randomly contact students who traveled on the trip to help thoroughly examine every aspect of our planning including the number of students taken, rooming assignments, communication, and the price range as it relates to what most persons paid versus what students paid and should and expect to pay.

Believe it or not that was our primary concern, making the trip affordable to college students. Hopefully this assessment will provide a foundation of lessons learned to future planners, so that they have the information they need to prevent similar problems. Let this not discourage you from taking another trip of this magnitude.

I remember sitting on the Metro Train headed back to my hotel talking with a Caucasian couple who had traveled from Oregon, obtained tickets in the Blue sitting areas from their states Senator, “As long as we can look back on history and say we were there is all that matters us now,” the couple eventually had to settle with listening to the event with no screens or the Capital Building in sight because the crowd had grown so large the Secret Service cut off all entering into the area, ticket or no-ticket.

However we realize how important this inauguration was to so many people and the difficulties they endured to get here to witness this historic moment, so since we can’t take away the moment of discomfort my apologies go out to you. I have hopes that you will accept this apology as I once again say we deeply apologize.