A helpful way to spend spring break


Students looking to get away from the snow and the cold can attend an informational meeting today and Monday for the Alternative Spring Break Plan.

The program will send students to Galveston and Houston, Texas to help aid those in need from the effects of Hurricane Ike, said Becky Harlow, assistant director for student involvement and leadership development. This is the first year NIU is participating.

Students will work with relief efforts to help with shelters and food pantries, build homes, work with children, landscaping and fundraising. Students will learn and see first-hand social issues such as poverty and homelessness, Harlow said.

Harlow said ASB is a nationwide event that will allow students to make their Spring-Break time worthwhile.

“It’s like the Peace Corps but domestic,” she said. “Students will open up to the world outside of their bubble by being there first-hand.”

Senior English major Liz Rivera said she wants to get out of town for Spring Break, and she wants to help people on a large scale.

“I know I won’t be on the beach with tropical drinks and lots of sun,” Rivera said. “Not a lot of students have the chance to witness such devastation, and I think this experience can put your life and how you’re living it into perspective.”

Shelley Crane, sophomore special education major, used to go to work camps with her church when she was in high school. She misses volunteering since she’s been at NIU.

“I just love the feeling I get from helping people,” Crane said. “I think this is something that is great for all students to try.”