PUBLISHED AS A PART OFMANEATER V. 79, ISSUE 19
Alternative Spring Break raised the number of trips they are offering this year.
Locations of the 39 domestic spring break and two domestic winter break trips range from Tampa, Fla., to Felton, Minn. There is also one trip this year to the Dominican Republic.
ASB Marketing Director Trevor Peters said the number of trips was increased to accommodate the growing number of students applying for the program.
“The program is steadily gaining momentum and notoriety at the university, and we had to reject about half the people that applied to go on trips last year,” he said. “We don’t want to be the ones telling students that they can’t volunteer, so we are trying to accommodate as many students as possible.”
Peters said the organization received almost three times the number of site leader applications this year than last year. Site leaders are students who plan each trip by contacting volunteer organizations, locating housing and finding transportation for the group. Two site leaders are in charge of managing 10 students on each trip.
ASB President Caleb Phillips said the organization added the two winter break trips this year to offer students another chance to volunteer their time. He said they run exactly the same way as the spring break trips. Phillips said he hopes this will give more options and convenience to potential volunteers.
The number of applications received for the winter break trips was double the goal ASB had set. Phillips said because of this turnout, the number of trips during this time of year will definitely grow in the future.
“If there is a desire to serve (during the winter), then we want to provide the opportunity to do so,” Phillips said.
Peters said ASB hopes to be the third-largest alternative break program in the country by the end of this year, but he said he thinks the structure of the organization must change in order for it to grow to that size.
Even though the future expansion of ASB is unclear, the members of its executive board, who have also volunteered in the program, said it is a great experience every student should try.
Vice President of Logistics Michelle Fiesta, who has also been on multiple trips, said it has made a significant impact on her college career. Fiesta went to Dallas her freshman year to promote HIV/AIDS awareness and was a site leader for trips in Detroit and Denver dealing with urban issues and homelessness her sophomore and junior years.
“ASB has easily been one of the defining aspects of my college career here at Mizzou,” she said. “Going on a trip is an amazing opportunity and something that not many people get to experience prior to coming to college or after leaving college.”
Phillips echoed Fiesta’s statement.
“(ASB is) one of the best opportunities on campus to meet other students and cultures and walks of life,” he said. “There’s so much out there that needs our help.”
Volunteer applications for the 2013 ASB trips are due Friday. The application is available at asb.missouri.edu.