Spring Breaking the Stereotype

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Lizzie Horne>Sophomore>Journalism and African American Studies>University of Maryland
When you think spring break, you usually picture tanning, drinking, dancing and more. Although many college students partake in these activities, hundreds of others take a different approach to their freedom from classes. Every spring break, students from all over the country travel to places in the United States and around the world to do community service as an alternative to the typical spring break. Public and private universities along with many non-profit organizations sponsor alternative spring breaks for students to participate in. These three students are proving that helping others over spring break can be just as fun as heading down to Mexico or Panama City.



Ed Herman, a sophomore at Southwestern University, is going to the Gila Wilderness near Silver City, N.M. It costs $55 for the program, and another $10 for the optional t-shirt. The program, through Southwestern’s Office of Religious Life, will have Herman repairing trail-heads that lead to the most popular hikes in the wilderness using nothing but pioneering tools (shovels, mallets, axes, picks, etc.). This is Herman’s third experience with the program and he says he would instantly go again. “It offers me some time away from the college atmosphere, electronics and stressful world I’m normally in,” he said. Herman especially likes the alternative spring break program because he can work side by side with the ranger and park staff for a week for almost no cost. He enjoys making “the public aware of the natural beauty of the world we take for granted.”
Kate Raulin, a sophomore at Ohio Wesleyan University, is going to Chicago through her school’s Chaplains Office. The $100 trip involves learning about Christian-Muslim dialogue and how it relates to poverty, immigration and homelessness. The trip members are going to various organizations that relate to the issue and deal with interfaith relations. Her group will be working on the small projects that the organizations have started throughout the city. Raulin is really looking forward to learning more about the city of Chicago and witnessing the interfaith movement in action. She cannot wait to tackle real-world issues over her spring break. “There are only a few chances where we are able to have a set amount of free time with no obligations. Therefore it is a chance to completely dedicate your time to help others . . . and the Mexico beaches aren’t going anywhere,” Raulin said.
Aaron Picus, a sophomore at Tulane University, is going to Buenos Aires, Argentina, over his spring break. The $950 program is through Hillel International, and they are going to volunteer with the local Jewish community because it has not been as self-sustaining as it was before the Argentine stock market crash of 2001. Picus says that they have not gotten a schedule that is set in stone, but they will probably be repainting the exteriors of buildings and helping to rebuild. He really enjoys the people who choose to go on service trips because to him they are top-notch people that are excited to spend spring break doing manual labor or something similar. “I hope to make some really strong connections with the people on the trip, to gain some really good friends, see Argentina, and immerse myself in the Jewish community there,” said Picus. “It’s a different culture, and it’s making an impact while I’m at it.”



College Magazine Staff

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