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Students Travel to Jamaica, Portland for Alternative Spring Break

By: Kathleen Tuck   Published 10:47 am / March 20, 2012

While many Boise State students will hit the beaches and ski slopes during spring break, others will take a different approach to the annual academic hiatus.

Spring Break Alternative

Eighteen students will head to Jamaica March 25-April 1 for the annual Spring Break Alternative trip organized by the Student Involvement and Leadership Center. But they aren’t going for the sun and the sand. Instead, they’ll be busy helping to build or rebuild schools for the local community. Students will be split between St. Elizabeth Parish, where they will partner with students from University of Wisconsin La Crosse and Grand Valley State University, and Westmoreland Parish, where they will be partnered with participants from UWL, University of Oregon and Delta Upsilon International Fraternity.

The Spring Break Alternative program is designed to inspire students to become active citizens and to create a better understanding and increase awareness about social issues. The trip to Jamaica also is an opportunity to learn about a different culture and the importance of civic responsibility.

Honors College

Eight students from the Honors College will travel to Portland, Ore., March 25-29 to explore the city and delve into how it was created. Portland has a unique history of zoning and micro-communities within different neighborhoods. The program will mirror a national Honors program known as “City as Text,” where students are encouraged to “read” cities as texts, being open to interpretation and discovery of social, economic, racial and historical meaning.

This investigation of Portland will feature the expertise of Chet Orloff, former Oregon state historian and director of the state historical agency. Orloff currently is an urban studies expert who teaches courses on Portland history and planning, American urban history, museology and understanding communities. He serves the city’s planning and economic development bureaus, and chairs Portland’s central-city plan 2035 program.