Alternative Spring Break

BUFFALO, NY – More than 20 Canisius College students participated in the college’s Alternative Spring Break (ASB). The longest-running service immersion program at Canisius, the college’s Office of Campus Ministry has offered this unique alternative to a traditional spring break for 23 years. ASB is based on four cornerstones: solidarity, simplicity, spirituality and social justice.

“It’s amazing that in a time-challenged culture, there are students who freely give of their time for others instead of going on a vacation,” says Mike Hayes, director of campus ministry. “We hope that they become more aware of poverty in our own country, which is often hidden from many of us.”  

This spring, students, student leaders, administrators, alumni and staff traveled to two sites in Appalachia and one in Erie, PA.    

Students traveled to Knoxville, MD; to serve at the National Parks Service at Harpers Ferry. The group participated in park upkeep and renovations, including landscape restoration, including fence removal and construction, trail maintenance, brush clearing, trash and illegal dumping pick-up.

During service immersion in Harlan County, KY; students learned about coal and coal mining in the Appalachian Mountains, one of Americas most fascinating and misunderstood regions. Students participated in hiking, old-time mountain music, documentary films, planted trees on an old strip mine and helped low-income Appalachians weatherize their homes. 

In Erie, PA; Canisius students worked and served alongside the sisters of the St. Benedictine Community in a variety of ministries throughout the inner city and within the monastery, itself. They served at education centers for adults and children, at a community center for disabled adults, at after-school programs for underprivileged children, and at a children’s art house, a soup kitchen and a food bank.

Canisius College is one of 28 Jesuit universities in the nation, and the premier private university in Western New York