ASB Frequently Asked Questions

What is Alternative Spring Break and what is alternative about it?

ASB is a semester-long program that engages Suffolk students, staff and faculty in educational programming and service trips. Through these trips, participants explore a variety of social justice issues such as poverty and affordable housing, LGBTQ and civil rights, and environmental conservation. Suffolk ASB groups complete a week of service work in a drug and alcohol-free environment (even if you are of legal age), making it an alternative to other spring break experiences.

How does the application process work?

Applications are submitted through SUConnect and reviewed by ASB student leaders. Following review of the written applications, ASB student leaders will contact applicants to schedule an interview. Prior to acceptance into the program, applicants will be subject to a review by the Dean of Students Office for final approval. Applicants should hear about the decisions by mid-November. There are typically twice as many applicants as there are spaces in the program.

How do we travel to the sites?

Most of our trips include a flight to an airport close to the service site. The group will then pick up rental vehicles to drive to their destination and for use throughout the week.

What are the accommodations for ASB trips?

Accommodations vary from site to site and we often do not receive housing details until the spring semester. In the past, groups have stayed in a variety of settings depending on the site - rustic cabins, church basements, community centers, hostels, etc. Mattresses are sometimes provided; other times participants need to bring a sleeping pad to comfortably sleep on a floor. Every effort is made to communicate the accommodations to the ASB groups as soon as we have them. If you have questions or concerns about housing, please contact CCE Assistant Director, Dennis Harkins.

How many people go on each ASB trip and what are the dates of the trip?

Each ASB group is comprised of 14 people: 2 student leaders, 2 staff/faculty/graduate fellow staff advisors, and 10 student participants. In 2019, there will be 8 trips, traveling from 3/10/19 to 3/16/19.

What do we do at the weekly meetings, and do I need to attend them?

The ASB program is about more than just the trip to another community. Each team meets at Suffolk once a week for the six weeks prior to the trip to team build, learn about social justice issues through the ASB curriculum, and to prepare for travel with their team. During the spring semester each group meets on either a Tuesday or Thursday during the activities period from 12:15-1:30 pm. Attendance at the weekly meetings is a foundational part of the program and is required. The weekly meetings are a critical component of ASB and will prepare you to create a rich and meaningful service experience. Because of how important these meetings are, students who miss 2 or more meetings will not be permitted to attend the ASB trip. There are also two required post-trip meetings. We do our best to schedule the trip meetings based on participant availability on Tuesdays or Thursdays.

Do I get to choose where I go? When will I find out my trip?

No, you do not get to choose your trip destination. We make every effort possible to match the type of trip you express interest in with your trip assignment, but we can’t guarantee that you will be given your first choice. You will find out your trip assignment and meeting schedule when ASB positions are offered in mid-November.

Please do not hesitate to call the Center for Community Engagement at 617-305-6306 or e-mail us with questions.