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Alternative Spring Break 2012

Isaak Kifle

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Spring Break is known, especially to college students, as a time to rest from their hectic schedules. This year, spring break at UNH took

Group of students that participated in the Alternative Spring Break 2012 at the University of New Haven.

place from March 10-18. Many students choose to go to faraway exotic places for spring break, while others went home to family and friends. In either case, students tend to use spring break as an opportunity to escape from campus and take a much needed week off from classes and the work that comes with them.

However, a group of UNH students decided to spend their spring break a little differently than everyone else. The Alternative Spring Break program, which has been in place for a little over 10 years at UNH, places students at various nonprofits within the community to perform service work throughout the week of spring break. This year, the program, coordinated by Dean of Students Rebecca Johnson, University Chaplain Marty O’Connor, Assistant Director of Student Activities Lisa Saverese, and Graduate Assistant for Community Service Angela Cortese, placed 34 students in six different community organizations: Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services (IRIS), Habitat for Humanity, New Haven Home Recovery, Christian Community Action (CCA), The Children’s Museum, and New Haven Reads.

The group of students that spent the week at IRIS assisted the organization in a variety of ways, from administrative assistance in the office to helping clients obtain medicine and other needs. The Habitat for Humanity group helped build a house (which including tiling, painting, and clearing land) for a family in need Tuesday-Friday, and worked in the West Haven Community House on Monday. The New Haven Home Recovery group painted, sanded, cleaned, and fixed up a low-income house while the CCA group assisted the organization with the various services they provide. The Children’s Museum group helped provide tours, and the New Haven Reads group worked with students to assist them academically.

In addition to having access to their residence halls over break, the students that participated were also treated to breakfast, lunch, and dinner throughout the week, as well as the opportunity to make new friends. Most importantly however, through the Alternative Spring Break program, everyone was able to assist people in need within the community, as well as the organizations that provide vital resources and services to those people. It was an eye-opening and enriching experience, which any of the participants can attest to. So, if you’re already considering your options for spring break next year, consider UNH’s Alternative Spring Break!

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The Student News Source of the University of New Haven
Alternative Spring Break 2012