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Students encouraged to apply for Alternative Spring Break Program

Published: Monday, December 3, 2012

Updated: Monday, December 3, 2012 00:12


Photo by Joshua Camacho

Crystal Wetzel participated in an Alternative Spring Break outing.

     A typical college student’s spring break usually consists of surf and sand, red plastic cups and tons of partying between excessive siestas without a care in the world.

     However, UCCS has begun offering its own Alternative Spring Break Program, an opportunity to encourage students to maybe spend their week doing activities more productive and rewarding activities.

     Sarah Elsey, a graduate student majoring in student affairs, has been the driving force behind the new spring break initiative, which was first suggested in the fall of last year.

     “Service-learning and civic engagement are passions of mine in student affairs, and both are main parts of this program,” Elsey said.

     Last semester, the group traveled to Alamosa, Colo., and volunteered at the La Puente Home, a homeless resource center. Elsey’s first term in Americore had been served in Alamosa.

     This spring, two groups will visit two different locations: Denver and Wyoming. Denver is an option for those who would like to help more locally, aiding non-profit organizations.

     Wyoming is more of a getaway trip for those who want to help outside of their own communities, assisting in revamping a horse arena.

     Although not many specific details have been released about what exactly students will be doing during these programs, that’s part of the fun and part of the learning experience, Elsey said.

     “They'll learn how to critically think and react to problems, problems that communities deal with constantly.”

     Many students are returning to the program to lend a hand again this year. “These students will be given a leadership role,” she said.

     Elsey will set up times for information sessions that will be meeting periodically until the end of winter break.

     While there is no specific cutoff deadline to sign up, those who would like to get involved are encouraged to contact Elsey before the end of finals week.

     Elsey will have one-on-one interviews with those interested in pursuing either trip, answering and asking questions regarding the trips.

     In the future, the program aims to open up trips for time frames aside from just spring break, such as during the six weeks of winter break and the summer, to appeal to students with full schedules.

     Students who would like to get involved can contact Elsey on her office phone, 255-3701, or email

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