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Community Outreach's unique excursions

Honors Alternative Spring Break sends student on purposful vacations

By Sandy Mueller
On March 13, 2014

  • Students embark on a trail through the Appalachian mountains on Honors Alternative Spring Break’s trip last year. This year students will be treated to similarly exotic spring break venues all around the world. Santiago Peleaz/The Daily Campus

During the spring break, some students choose to do alternative breaks. Alternative spring breaks are a way to give back to community over break. Some trips are planned through Community Outreach, while others are planned through student organizations.
"Alternative Breaks are service-learning experiences designed to heighten participants' awareness of critical social issues, enhance their individual growth, and prepare them for lifelong social action," according to the Community Outreach website.
Often the breaks are in many different locations in the country and even abroad.
"The purpose of an alternative break is to learn more about a social issue that is a problem in a community in the United States," said Steven Hong, the director of this year's Honors Alterative Spring Break (HASB).
The usually involve focusing on a problem in that particular area.
"Each weeklong trip integrates service, reflection, and education and focus on topics as varied as poverty, hunger, housing healthcare and disaster relief."
The trips lead students to get a new perspective because they are having a "full immersive experience in the population, culture and social issue."
They are considered alternative due to the fact that they give students the opportunity to "step away from traditional learning and living."
"While many students may prefer to spend their breaks catching up on sleep, hitting the slopes, or laying on a sandy beach, the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life offers a great alternative to the typical student's break through the Greek Alternative Break program," stated on the Greek Life website.
USG may be able fund Alternative Breaks with their "emergency funds." The emergency fund is the leftover money at the end of the semester.
"The Undergraduate Student Government (USG) may support a percentage of the final trip cost for all selected participants of ... alternative breaks that fall within the academic school year," according to the Community Outreach website.

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