DSU students to give back on alternative spring break

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Instead of spending spring break on a boat or in another country, some Dixie State University students are opting to do humanitarian work instead. 

As part of DSU’s alternative spring break, students who sign up and pay a fee will get the chance to travel to Portland, Oregon, to complete service through this year’s theme: environmental work. 

Dillon McKinney, a senior mathematics major from St. George and vice president of service for the DSU Student Association, said careful consideration goes into picking the location for the alternative break.

“We want to have ample amount of [humanitarian work] to do, but we understand that students are giving up their spring break as well,” McKinney said. 

Portland has a “luscious environment” and fits well with the break’s theme, McKinney said. Picking Portland as the location will give students who go enough humanitarian work to do and a place students actually want to spend their spring break on. 

Even though the location is set, McKinney said he is still struggling with finding an organization to do humanitarian work for while on the trip. Originally, the plan was to work with the Parks and Recreation department in Portland, but the plan fell through because of difficulty contacting them. 

“After some time of no replied messages, we decided for the sake of the trip to switch the organization we would work with,” he said. 

McKinney said they plan on working with either The Wetlands Conservancy, an organization that conserves Oregon’s wetlands through protecting wildlife and communities from floods, or Friends of the Columbia Gorge, an organization dedicated to conserving the Columbia Gorge by watching construction developments and conserving land. McKinney said they should know which organization they will be working with by the end of the week. 

Doing service away from home brings a new perspective on life, McKinney said. 

Only two students have signed up for the alternative break so far, but McKinney is happy one of them is a “repeater” from the 2016 alternative spring break to New Orleans.

For Kamrie Davenport, a senior human communication major from St. George, the New Orleans alternative spring break trip gave her a new appreciation for things she use to take for granted, and she has since then wanted to attend this year’s trip. 

“I think college students could benefit from getting involved in service,” Davenport said. “It is really easy to see someone in need and think of how you could help them, and it is another thing to actually do something to help them.”

This year’s trip will take place March 11 to March 18, and there are still 10 spots open. Going on the trip is a first- come, first-serve basis and requires an application process and a down payment of $300. McKinney said the trip is $900 total including airline flights, transportation, stay and food. Any student interested in going can visit https://orgsync.com/35438/forms/237564