Campus News

Alternative Breaks

By: Meredith Francis ~Campus News Editor~

While some headed to the beach for spring break, about 175 students and 16 faculty traveled across the United States to participate in Alternative Breaks (AB) trips.

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Students on the AB South Dakota trip, Exploring the Roots of Our Nation, listen to the story of how the Lakota people got beds for the first time. The students then worked on making parts of bunk beds for houses on the reservation.

Groups of students traveled to 16 different locations to engage in service projects. The AB trips focused on issues like mountain top removal, urban schools and sustainability.

Senior AB Board Member and Site Coordinator Alyssa Lucas visited South Dakota for the trip, Exploring the Roots of Our Nation, in which students performed service on the Pine Ridge Reservation, working with the Oglala Lakota people.

“The biggest thing I took away from my trip was ‘Mitakuye Oyasin,’ which is Lakota for ‘we are all related,’” Lucas said. “Learning about the suicide rate, intense poverty and unhealthy living conditions opened my eyes to the injustices that are found right here in our own country.”

Sophomore Tommy Bell visited Harlan, Ky., to learn more about mountain top removal.

Xavier students on the trip Urban Schools and Community Learning Centers in Cincinnati hold up the “X” with younger students.

Xavier students on the trip Urban Schools and Community Learning Centers in Cincinnati hold up the “X” with younger students.

“AB provided me with the opportunity to better understand the struggles of the people in the Appalachian region,” Bell said. “The people I met in Harlan are proud, hard-working people committed to improving the lives of their friends and neighbors.”

This year, AB also offered two fall break and three summer trips, including one to El Salvador.