Students weigh options for spring break events

By Roshni Rana

By Roshni Rana

Staff Writer

Spring is almost here and University students are ready to get out and explore the world during their spring break. However, there are quite a few students who will spend their week off in a totally different way than the rest of the campus.Spring is almost here and University students are ready to get out and explore the world during their spring break. However, there are quite a few students who will spend their week off in a totally different way than the rest of the campus.

Alternative Spring Break is an organization that allows students to travel to different parts of the country to do community service during their spring break. During ASB, the students do many different types of services like building houses, tutoring children, planting trees, and helping the homeless. However, there are many steps a student must take in order to actually go on the ASB trip.

Rebecca Guyette, ASB advisor, said that the students who want to be part of ASB must apply and write an essay in order to be considered as an ASB traveler. However, the student board members in ASB decide everything.

“The organization is run by the students, they are the ones that pick the trips, decide who will be part of it and decide who is going on what trip,” Guyette said.

The board members organize fundraisers, pre-break meetings and post-break projects. They put a lot of time and effort into this organization because they know how important it is. Since ASB is so popular, the return rate is very high and Guyette said that sometimes they have more applicants than trips.

The abundance of applicants has not stopped ASB from going beyond their expectations. Since so many students want to join ASB, it has become an organization that volunteers during all breaks. During fall break, about 50 students traveled, while during winter break about 100 went. However, spring break is the time when the largest amount of students go. This year is the 17th year of ASB and there are about 160 students going on 15 different trips. These trips range anywhere from environmental trips in Virginia, to migrations work in Texas.

Many students have been involved with ASB, including senior in LAS, Jessica Wetmore, who has been part of ASB for the last four years. She is a board member this year and feels that being part of ASB has changed her life.

“It has taught me many things, but the biggest thing I got out of the trip is personal growth,” Wetmore said.

She feels that it was the best experience of her life because she was able to promote diversity and knowledge about new and different surroundings to other members. Wetmore also had an opportunity to learn about those she went to help during her spring break and see how they viewed her and her fellow ASB members after they went to go help.

After going on the trip, the students become somewhat of a family, bonding over things they experienced in the week they were together.

Wetmore said that the students try to stay in touch with other trip members, and whenever they learn that another student is part of ASB or has a friend in it, they achieve a sense of excitement. The ASB students feel as if they have a special connection with someone who has similar interest as they do.

Megan Johnson, sophomore in Education, is a student who wants to have that special bond with other college students in ASB and is going on her first trip this year. She will be volunteering at the St. Therese School in Jackson, Miss., through St. John’s Catholic Chapel’s Service and Justice Outreach program.

Like many students, Johnson picked something of interest. She will be working with children and helping out around a school and community.

“Since I’m an education major, I felt that this would be a perfect opportunity for me to serve and have a good time with it,” Johnson said.

She is very excited because this is the first time she will be going out of her area and comfort zone to help other people.

“I hope through this trip I will learn to be humble and to serve others the best that I can,” Johnson said.

Like the rest of the students participating in ASB, Johnson and Wetmore know what is important when it comes to helping others. This spring break they will not only experience encountering new personalities, but also service learning and citizenship.

“It is important because these are the kind of things that can’t be taught in a classroom,” Guyette said.