Bennion Center offers five Alternative Fall Break programs

By Alex Cragun, Staff Writer

Instead of visiting family or soaking up sun in the Bahamas, some U students will spend Fall Break serving the community.

Alternative Fall Break, organized by the Lowell Bennion Community Service Center, gives students five opportunities to gain a broader perspective on the world around them.

“We’re getting a lot of interest, especially for Navajo Mountain. I expect that to fill up first,” said Josh Newbury, a senior in social work, who coordinates the program.

The Navajo Mountain Cultural Exchange trip gives students a chance to herd sheep, feed horses and sleep in a traditional American Indian house for three days.

“Students will be staying with local families and participating in their day-to-day activities,” said Alexandria Griffin, program coordinator. “It’ll give them a chance to learn a language and another culture.”

Luke Leclair-Marzolf, co-site leader for the Southern Utah program, said students will work with the conservation group Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance to fix areas that have received damage from illegal camping, floods and storms, and motor vehicles.

Newbury said the program is a good opportunity for students to make a difference and make connections with other students while having fun.

Besides visits to Southern Utah, students can opt for a hands-on disaster relief trip to Iowa, an economic and urban justice trip to Denver or another Denver trip focused on helping immigrants adjust to a new home.

“We won’t just be working,” Newbury said. “We’ll be having fun. I have looked through pages and pages of events to attend for Denver.”

The trips, ranging in cost from $100 to $290, include lodging, transportation and most food.

The Bennion Center subsidized every trip by providing as much as $2,000. Newbury said the additional funding motivates students to participate by helping them afford costs.

Although some might be discouraged by the labor, Newbury challenges their hesitance.

“I think people should give it chance,” he said. “It doesn’t seem like the most exciting to do, but we’re approaching it in a very different way.”

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