Alternative Spring Break

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 p.m. 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 two 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.

Alternative Spring Break

The Alternative Spring Break (ASB) program began in 2000 with 12 students who engaged in meaningful service during their spring break week. Last year, nearly 100 students participated in eight trips across the United States. During ASB, Suffolk students dedicate their spring break week to join communities across the country in addressing critical issues, such as affordable housing and poverty, environmental protection, and LGBTQ rights. Through these experiences students learn the importance of being active and engaged citizens, develop leadership skills, and cultivate a commitment to service that they bring back home to Boston.

The Center for Community Engagement is offering various trips during spring break 2020 for those who want to spend their time serving and learning in various communities throughout the United States. Teams of 12 students, accompanied by university staff and faculty members, will engage in a week of service related to social justice issues. All participants will also be required to attend weekly meetings during the spring semester and participate in a social justice based curriculum, facilitated by our student leaders.

ASB 2020

March 8-14, 2020

Past Sites Include

  • Habitat for Humanity in the following cities: Denver, CO; South Bend, IN (CAS Honors trip); Clarkesville, GA; Battle Creek, MI; and Meridian, MS.
  • LGBTQ+: Washington, D.C.
  • Racial Justice: Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, MD

Applications

Applications open August 28 on SU Connect.
Check back soon for a link to the application!

Cost

Students accepted into the ASB program are required to submit only a $100 non-refundable contribution to help cover program expenses such as lodging, meals, transportation and accommodations. Students are responsible for baggage fees and meals during travel time (at the airport or during a van ride.) Financial aid is available on a case-by-case basis; please contact Dennis Harkins, the CCE’s Assistant Director, for details.

ASB FAQs

What is Alternative Spring Break?

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.

What is "Alternative" about it?

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?

Each ASB group is comprised of 14 people: two student leaders, two staff/faculty/graduate fellow staff advisors, and 10 student participants.

What are the dates of the trip?

In 2020, trips will take place from March 8-14, 2020.

What do we do at the weekly meetings?

During the spring semester each group meets once per week on either a Tuesday or Thursday during the activities period from 12:15-1:30 p.m. They are a time to get to know your group, learn about social justice issues through the ASB curriculum, and acquire important information regarding your trip.

Do I need to attend them?

Attendance at the weekly meetings is mandatory. Students who miss two or more meetings will not be permitted to attend the ASB trip. The weekly meetings are a critical component of ASB and will prepare you to create a rich and meaningful service experience. There are two 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?

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.

When will I find out my trip?

You will find out your trip assignment and meeting schedule when ASB positions are offered in mid-November.

Please do not hesitate to email the Center for Community Engagement, or call 617-305-6306 with any questions.

Student Leaders

ASB trips are led by student leaders who are committed to providing Suffolk students the opportunity to serve and learn in communities outside of Boston. ASB leaders are responsible for all aspects of the Alternative Spring Break trip, including recruiting participants, trip logistics, coordinating with the host site, delivering a social justice based curriculum to the group, and leading the actual trip. Serving as an ASB trip leader is a year-long commitment.

Leaders are selected during the spring of the year prior to the dates of the trip. ASB Student Leaders for Spring Break 2020 trips have already been selected. Check back for more information on how to become a leader after March 14, 2020!

Staff Advisors

Suffolk staff and faculty advisors travel with each student group to serve as advisors and offer support and guidance to the group. There is no cost to staff advisors. If you are interested in applying to become a staff advisor for an Alternative Spring Break trip, please contact Assistant Director Dennis Harkins.