Alternative Spring Break
Alternative Spring Break at UIS is a week-long service experience that takes place during Spring Recess, usually in mid-March. Students travel off-campus, have the opportunity to make an impact with a national reach, and bring valuable and sometimes life changing experiences back to Illinois with them.
How does it work?
Alternative Spring Break at UIS has been student-driven from the beginning. Students are responsible for the following:
- Choosing the location of trip
- Organizing all the logistics of travel to and from the site
- Raising the necessary funds
- Setting the rules that govern application requirements
The Alternative Spring Break Student Organization is in charge of these responsibilities. The Volunteer Center acts in an advisory capacity to this group and helps secure additional funding when necessary.
Where have we been?
2008 – South Dakota- Habitat Restore: demo and reconstruct a house
2009 – Mandeville, Louisiana – Habitat and AmeriCorps team-up to build structures and roof 3 houses
2010 – Galveston, Texas – Hurricane relief from Hurricane Ike
2011 – Memphis, Tennessee – Mississippi River Clean-up with Living Lands and Waters
2012 – New Orleans, Louisiana – Hurricane relief from Hurricane Katrina with His Hands 2 Go
2013 – Everglades National Park, Florida – Park clean-up, restoration and preservation
2014 – Washington DC – Hunger and homelessness project at various soup kitchens
2015 – Biloxi, MS – Early childhood education and ecological sustainability projects
Where are we going?
2016 – New York City with Youth Services Opportunities Program to work in soup kitchens and social service agencies.
How do I apply?
Applications are available at the beginning of each Fall semester. The ASB 2015-16 application is available here. Applications are accepted on a rolling deadline, but this trip has seen a high level of interest. Participants must be students at UIS with good academic standing (graduate and part-time students are quite welcome).
You also have to be committed! As noted above, this trip is run almost entirely by students, and that means you. Participants are expected to:
- Pay a deposit to reserve your space on the trip
- Participate in both group and individual fundraising
- Abide by all UIS student policies and regulations
- Attend ASB meetings and socials
- Participate in occasional surveys
- Pay fees to cover any expenses not covered by fundraising
Fees can vary from year to year since they are dependent on the cost of the trip and how much funding is raised from outside sources. Past fundraisers have included letter writing campaigns, auctions, and car washes.
Do I have to the the EXL 202 course to go on the trip?
No, but enrollment in the course does grant a degree of priority in the application process, specifically as the trip nears capacity. Students seeking to enrich their ASB experience while earning General Education ECCE Engagement Credit can enroll in this course and have the service hours on the trip count toward the course’s service hour requirement.
If you have any questions about ASB, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also visit the ASB Facebook Page
Want to help the students out?
You can also donate funds to help make this trip a reality for more UIS students. Visit the Volunteer Center’s Foundation Page, where you can donate directly to Alternative Spring Break.