November 19, 2008

Alternative Spring Break

Posted in Activists, Kent State University, Student Organization at 3:30 pm by cdziak

Fall semester is quickly coming to an end and when spring semester approaches, all students will have one thing on their mind: Spring Break. I was never one who really had a spring break experience because it never really appealed to me. My freshman year I went home, sophomore year I went to Disney World – which was a blast, junior year I headed to Hilton Head and my senior year, I went home again.  Spring break seems like a ritual when you come to college and everyone looks forward to it.  For those students who want to enjoy their spring break and volunteer their time, Kent State is offering their alternative spring break.

Kent State’s Alternative Spring Break

Kent State United for the Gulf Coast had a large ad in the Daily Kent Stater with informational meetings coming up. Although their website is not up-to-date, it does provide information for students and faculty to look at from past trips. There are volunteer blogs, podcasts, and an essay.  After coming across the ad, I went to the website to see if there was more information about the spring trip but there was not.  The ad did provide meeting dates and times and I’m hoping that after the informational meetings are held, the trip information will be posted on the website.

Alternative Spring Break

Break Away‘s mission is to train, assist, and connect campuses and communities in promoting quality break programs that inspire lifelong active citizenship.  Break Away is just one of many organizations that provide alternative spring break options for students.  Alternative Spring Break trips have been around for a while, but The Case Foundation have found that these trips have been on the rise the past couple of years.  Alternative spring breaks see like a great way for students to build their resume, gain leadership skills and to be selfless for a week.

In today’s world, teenagers and college students seem to be so consumed with material items that they forget what is important in life.  The economy is in such bad shape, people are losing their retirement funds and the Gulf Coast is still a disaster from Hurricane Katrina three years ago. Only a limited number of students can attend  the alternative spring break though Kent State but students can attend a trip through another organization. Check out United Way, Spring Break Alternative, or the Student Conservation Association for more opportunities. I think students really need to take advantage of such a great opportunity and learn to be selfless for a week and be an activist.

I hope that Kent State United for the Gulf Coast gets a good turnout at each of their informational meetings.  With such a huge ad and a website with good information, they seem to be headed in the direction of having another successful alternative spring break trip.  I’m crossing my fingers to go on this trip.



  1. Kelsey Wilcox said,

    I think that Alternative Spring Breaks are a brilliant idea, and students should definatly take advantage of them. This blog has inspired me to look into an alternative spring break and also reasearch further in depth the possibilites. I have talked to other students who have done something similar to this. There are trips for students to go to Jamaica and rebuild communities and houses, and make food for the needy. Not only are you helping better mankind, but you are also in a beautiful setting and amazing atmosphere. Many students can choose to go overseas and around the world, but we must not forget that right here in U.S. and right out our back door are areas that are in need of help. There still is a tremendous amount of cleanup that is needed after Katrina, and not only could you help with that, but you could offer your ear just to sit and talk and listen to these people and there stories, and from there we can figure out how to help.
    I am going to research some more websites and foundations in which these trips are available from. Thank you for this post. Kent State Students lets take over the Gulf Coast and help our country and neighbors ! 🙂
    Kelsey Wilcox
    PR Student- Michelle Ewing-Professor

  2. Charlotte VanDuzee said,


    I’m glad I read your blog. I have been debating about what I want to do special for my spring break and the Break away program sounds awesome. I wish you would have been able to get more information on this subject, unfortunately Kent State really isn’t that organized when it comes to more indepth information, I have always in the past had a hard time diging for more information then whats lying on the surface. Your links were helpful and I’m glad you had alternative ideas in case the spots get too full for Spring break in the main program.

    I agree that more students do need to take full advantage of the resources here at Kent, not enough people get involved. As you said it is a great way to build a resume and looks good on transcripts. But I think the main point is that you are doing something out of your own time for people that are less fortunate its a great way to help out our country and show that you care. I feel that its important for students like myself and other students in my PR class to realize these things since damage control and crisis management is what we just talked about in class.

    I enjoyed your blog, keep up the good good! Hope you get to go on that trip!

    PR-Professor Ewing

  3. Kimberly Ugran said,

    I am very interested in and support the idea of an Alternative Spring Break. It is a great way to get away from home and help out to areas in need, instead of going away over break just for fun. My sister at another university went to Florida for her spring break to participate in Habitat for the Hummanity. She said it was beneficial, memorable, and a great way to experience life in a different type of community. I am sure one must feel warm inside knowing that one has contributed to making our country a better place. Also, it will help build resumes and learning experiences.
    I read the FAQs on the website for Kent’s alternative spring break and it kept me interested. The pricing statements from last year that were posted seemed quite reasonable as well. Not only did it look like it was a great way to help our country, but it also looked like it could be fun. I defintely would consider going on a trip like the one Kent State is offering.

  4. Jessica Van Nostran said,

    Alternative spring breaks are an amazing idea for those who can get involved. For the rest of us who spend spring break working hard for some extra cash, it isn’t as convenient. But it is good to reminder that these opportunities are offered all year round.
    Organizations such as The United Way look for volunteers year round.


    So if spring break isn’t the best time to volunteer, maybe one week in the summer could be. There really is no reason to not get out and help those in need, as college students we all know that life is tough and a little help goes a long way.

    Jessica Van Nostran
    PR Student: Prof. Michelle Ewing

  5. Part of Universities around the world the Break Away organization deals with universities coming together around the U.S. to help create and become a greater and better America. Break Away does this through providing help for those in need during times that others such as college students have free. Kent State University and many others I’m sure will help Break Away and get this to be a succeeding organization for years to come.

    A thought that mainly crossed my mind is why have I not heard of this organization before?. If I was not taking principles of public relations with Professor Michele E. Ewing I would have never heard about organization other wise or at least have not so far in my college experience of two and a half years here at Kent State University.

    This is a great idea and should be promoted through more ways. The video helped tie even more emotion to the already appealing article. Hopefully Kent State University among many others will contribute to this sterling organization and help to create a more well rounded helpful America.

    Devin C. White

    Principles of Public Relations Professor Michele E. Ewing

  6. Brandon West said,

    Alternative spring break opportunities are such a great idea for college student who may not have any idea what they want to do for spring break. Students should really take advantage of all the opportunities they can to better others in a selfless way, instead of spending the week boozing with all your buddies on the beach in the tropics. This blog has also been very inspiring and possibly has changed my spring break plans, I never really knew much about any of the programs that are offered to students here at Kent State.

    Which is another issue being faced, these activities are being poorly promoted. This is such an amazing opportunity and they need to start doing more promotions for these volunteer type activities. With natural disasters occurring here in our country, we all need to team up and work together to better our nation and build it back to what it used to be. The gulf coast is still a disaster three years after hurricane Katrina destroyed peoples lives, belongings and everything they owned. We all need to get together as a nation and clean this up. If it was happening to you, you would want people to lend you a helping hand too.

    Brandon West

    Principles of PR Michele E. Ewing

  7. Ashley West said,

    I also agree that Kent States Alternative Spring break is an amazing idea. The typical college spring break has never appealed to me. I have always believed that there is something better that I could do with my time and my money, but I have never found what that was. After reading about Alternative Spring break I realized that this is what I have been looking for. This is an opportunity to do something rewarding for myself and others. Throughout the last few years our Nation has overcome several natural disasters, and it is because of volunteers such as Kent State students. There are still areas in America that need are help and cann’t be forgotten about. This is definitely something that I will looking into.

  8. Amanda Vitarella said,

    I think Alternative Spring Break is a great idea and wonderful opportunity for college students. Alternative Spring Break provides a safe and productive way for students to spend their spring break. It also teaches students to help people and they have the opportunity to see how rewarding it can be. When tragedy occurs it is important for people to come together and provide a helping hand becuase, when one never knows, it could happen to you.

    Volunteering over spring break and possibly rebuilding someone’s life is more appealing to me as a person and something I would remember for the rest of my life.I feel The Breakway Organization had the right idea that students will be contributing in a selfless way and will learn valuable tools that they will use for the rest of their lives. I feel that the Alternative Spring Break has been poorly promoted and it is important to get the word out. I am sure a lot of students are unaware of the opportunity who would love to help. I appreciated reading the blog and am gkad I am more educated on the cause.

    Amanda Vitarella
    Priniciples of Public Relation, Michele E. Ewing

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