UNCA Students Head Out for Alternative Spring Break
Eight UNC Asheville students are taking an alternative approach to spring break this year. Instead of packing up for the beach, they'll pick up hammers to help build a new home in Andrews, S.C. as part of Habitat for Humanity's Collegiate Challenge.
David Larkins, a senior computer science major, is one of the students participating in the trip. "This spring break trip is a win-win situation," he said, "I get to do something good, visit a place with beautiful weather and help people out. It's something really neat to get into."
During the trip, which lasts from March 7-13, UNCA students will join college students from around the southeast to work on the home. They will stay at the Habitat for Humanity Collegiate Challenge dorm in nearby Georgetown, S.C.
The trip is just one example of how UNCA extends learning beyond the classroom. Service-learning, one of UNCA's key missions, allows students to experience an important aspect of liberal arts education: the creative application of "book-learning" to life and leadership. Service-learning provides an opportunity for students to experience the society and culture in which they will be working, raising families and serving as leaders. Not only do students help others but they also realize a core value of their UNCA education: the ability to make connections and to use the mind creatively.
"The act of serving helps make beliefs, choices and academic learning more complex, deeper and more mature," said Peg Downes, director of UNCA's Key Center for Service-Learning. "It helps students avoid the dangers of a shallow and easy relativism, of a selfish and closed-minded individualism."
Students won't be faced only with work while they are gone. Sides trips are planned to historic Charleston and nature preserves near Georgetown.
The UNCA trip was coordinated by UNCA's Cooperative Campus Ministries. United Methodist campus minister Rev. Amy Rio-Anderson and Presbyterian campus minister Rev. Steve Runholt will accompany students on the trip.
Founded in 1989, the Habitat for Humanity's Collegiate Challenge is one of the country's largest year-round alternative break programs. More than 9,000 high school and college students participated during spring break 2001.
- Rev. Amy Rio-Anderson, UNCA United Methodist Campus Minister, 828/253-4779
- Jill Yarnall, UNCA Public Information Assistant Director, 828/251-6526