Alternative Break trips get USG funds
Published: Thursday, March 14, 2013
Updated: Thursday, March 14, 2013 01:03
The Undergraduate Student Government Senate allocated $10,741.50 form the “emergency fund” to three on-campus organizations Wednesday night in order to fund Alternative Break trips.
Alternative Break and Immersion Programs are an initiative by the UConn Division of Student affairs to encourage students to “step away from traditional learning and living.”
“Each weekend or weeklong trip integrates service, reflection and education and focus on topics as varied as poverty, hunger, housing, healthcare, and disaster relief,” according to the Division of Student Affairs website.
USG has typically funded 50 percent of final trip costs for Alternative Breaks, but trips had to be denied during the normal funding process in the fall due to insufficient funds.
UCC UConn, a student group affiliated with the Storrs Congregational Church, was awarded $5,165.20 to fund their alternative break to Lake Charles in Louisiana. The group intends to help with the recovery process after hurricanes Rita and Ike caused serious damage to the area.
Sergeant at Arms Daniel Violette sponsored the bill that awarded the group the funds.
“It’s trips like this USG is known for funding,” Violette said. “It should be funded now because [these trips] are improving the experience of the student body by funding undergraduate intiatives.”
InterVarsity Chrisitan Fellowship was given $3,896.30 to help fund a trip Tampa, Fla. where the group will help improve the area’s infrastructure.
“We want to help impoverished families rebuild houses,” said UConn InterVarsity Christian Fellowship CFO Julia Thayer, a 6th-semester pharmacy major. “This is one of the main events we do every year, and [without this funding] our members would pay $575 each out of pocket.”
The UConn Honors Council plans to travel to Mobile, Ala. to build homes through a Habitat for Humanity program. The overall cost of their trip will be over $25,000, but USG allocated the group $1,680, and the group plans to fundraise and pay the remaining costs out of pocket.
USG’s emergency fund, which is comprised of rollover funds from the previous semester, has $5,150.92 remaining. However, this fund can grow as money is returned to USG from groups that received funding previously and either did not use it all or had to cancel the event the funds were intended for.