By SARAH E. WARD
IU South Bend students are about half way through the semester and are ready for spring break to arrive. Some will travel out of town, others will party, a lot will catch up on sleep and a few will experience an alternative spring break.
Hailey Hennessy, a trip leader and a junior at IUSB, wanted to do something different with her week away from her studies. She wanted to help a community and participate in an alternative spring break.
“Alternative spring break is like it sounds: An alternative to spring break. A typical college spring break you go to the beach, get drunk and do nothing productive. What this is, is going to a new community where they need help and everybody works together. You just become a little team a little family.”
Hennessy is a part of the learning community for student housing and organized the alternative spring break trip to Cumberland Gap National Historical Park in Kentucky for this year’s spring break. The group will work with Breakaway, a nonprofit organization that supports alternative spring break programs by providing information and training to colleges and universities.
“This is our first time doing this. We’ve had alternative spring breaks in the past and I think those were through Habitat for Humanity. This is through Breakaway and this incorporates the learning before the trip.”
IUSB has offered alternative spring breaks before in partnership with Habitat for Humanity where student groups worked with the local chapter, the community and partner families to build improved housing in areas of poverty. Alternative spring break trips typically involve student volunteer service for the benefit of communities in need.
The sign-ups for this year’s trip are now closed and there is a waitlist, but if enough people sign-up on the waitlist, a local trip will be planned. To participate or inquire about future trips contact Scott Strittmatter at email@example.com.