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SMU Alternative Breaks

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SMU Alternative Breaks

World Changing Service. Life Changing Experience.

Alternative Breaks is a student organization offering direct community service opportunities during every academic break, including Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer. Alternative Breaks takes groups of students, student leaders, and faculty/staff to communities across the country and the world to perform vital service alongside reputable non-profit organizations. Participants have the opportunity to engage in quality service, gain education about important social issues, and reflect on how we can create positive social change. Please use this website as a resource to learn about our trips, apply to join us on one of our next trips, or meet some of our student leaders. Join our movement of active citizenship as we strive to create sustainable change and fight social injustice in all communities.

 

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2016-2017 AB Leadership Team Applications

Executive Board:  APPLY NOW!

Site Leader:  APPLY NOW!

 

 

What does it mean to be on the AB Executive Board?

 

General Requirements for Eligibility:

  • Applicants for the Executive Board must have attended at least one trip.
  • If selected for the Executive Board, students must attend at least one trip during the year as a participant.  NOTE:  Due to time commitments, it is not recommended that Executive Board Members also serve as Site Leaders.  Those that wish to serve as both are required to meet with the Staff Advisor prior to the application deadline.
  • Students must be in good standing with the University and the Community Engagement & Leadership Center at SMU.

General Executive Board Commitments:

  • Attend the AB Leadership Retreat in the Fall from September 9-11, 2016. All AB Executive Board Members and Site Leaders are required to attend this retreat in entirety. Failure to attend this retreat will result in loss of position. There will be no exceptions.
  • Attend bi-weekly meetings for the entire 2016-2017 academic year. Time and date for these meetings will be determined at a later date.
  • Fulfill all expectations of their positions in a timely manner as well as thinking of new and innovative ideas for their positions.
  • Spend at least one hour a week in the Alternative Breaks Office for “Office Hours.”
  • Have a commitment to fundraising for the organization
  • Maintain position from date of appointment through March 31, 2017.


Available Positions:

Co-Student Director (Logistics)

  • Must have previously served as a Site Leader
  • Oversee all members of the Executive Board
  • Schedule and lead bi-weekly Executive Board meetings
  • Maintain and evaluate quality of the organization
  • Serve as a public image for AB to the rest of the SMU community
  • Conduct individual meetings with board members as needed
  • Assemble trip folders and bags for all trips
  • Plan and host AB Leadership Interest Meeting in March 2017
  • Co-plan and co-facilitate the AB Leadership Retreat in the Fall
  • Focusing most on logistics, materials, and details
  • Attend weekly meetings with Bailey Guthrie (Staff Advisor), SD, and Site Leader Trainer
  • Attend bi-weekly Executive Board and Site Leader meetings
  • Transcribe and share notes from meetings
  • Schedule bi-weekly Site Leader meetings
  • Maintain contact with Site Leaders and oversee trip logistics/details (itinerary) and manage Site Leader deadlines
  • Have attended one of the Alternative Break Citizenship Schools (ABCs) prior to Fall 2016

Co-Student Director (Curriculum)

  • Must have previously served as a Site Leader
  • Oversee all members of the Executive Board
  • Schedule and lead bi-weekly Executive Board meetings
  • Maintain and evaluate quality of the organization
  • Serve as a public image for AB to the rest of the SMU community
  • Conduct individual meetings with board members as needed
  • Plan and host AB Leadership Interest Meeting in March 2017
  • Co-plan and co-facilitate the AB Leadership Retreat in the Fall
  • Focusing most on Site Leader aspects and trainings
  • Attend weekly meetings with Bailey Guthrie (Staff Advisor), SD, and Site Leader Trainer
  • Lead bi-weekly Site Leader meetings
  • Plan and conduct Site Leader post-break Site Leader debriefs
  • Have attended one of the Alternative Break Citizenship Schools (ABCs) prior to Fall 2016
    • Create curriculum/training plan for Site Leaders
    • Create materials/documents necessary for training on areas such as reflection, Active Citizenship, conflict management, team building, diversity/inclusion, etc.
    • Coordinate speakers/campus partners as needed
  • Encourage and motivate Site Leaders to embody the mission/vision of Alternative Breaks

Financial Officer

  • Manage overall AB budget of approximately $95,000
  • Make deposits and withdrawals from the Student Comptroller as needed
  • Attend all mandatory Senate finance meetings
  • Request Student Senate funds
  • Create individual trip budgets
  • Reconcile money and accounts after each break
  • Develop financial planning tools for Site Leaders (i.e. budget guide, grocery shopping guide, etc.)
  • Must be detail-orientated, organized, and proficient in Excel

Outreach Coordinator

  • Plan and execute a fundraising strategy for the entirety of the 2016-2017 academic year
  • Plan and execute at least three (3) fundraising events per semester
  • Plan and execute the Letter Writing Campaign in mid-Fall semester by reaching out to alumni, businesses, family and friends.  This entails:
  • Editing all fundraising materials
  • Addressing envelopes
  • Coordinating Thank You notes after donations have been received
  • Work with Sabrina Gonzalez from SMU Development & External Affairs to involve alumni in Alternative Break cities
  • Maintain AB alumni relationships
  • Gather pictures from every trip to store in the Alternative Break database and use for promotional items

Participant Engagement Coordinator

  • Promote Alternative Breaks to the SMU community via social media, fliers, stake signs, e-mails, and any other innovative avenue
  • Promote, plan, and lead two Information Sessions in the Fall semester
  • Table at Night at the Club and execute other fairs and presentations to student/student organizations
  • Create and design a brief slide show for Information Sessions and other Recruitment Events that compiles AB pictures from past trips and retreats
  • Oversee mailings of “Letter to Self” after each break
  • Create and send Reorientation newsletter e-mail to participants upon return
  • Coordinate Reorientation for all trip groups (combination of large group event + some local service trips)
  • Coordinate all details for and lead one event for the SMU Alternative Breaks Community to serve together

Participant Placement Coordinator

  • Assign all participants to trips
  • Manage forms and payments for every participant
  • Maintain accurate participant lists with Site Leaders
  • Manage wait list and notify participants when spots become available
  • Coordinate all emails to participants concerning trip placements, application questions, and trip questions
  • Update Orgs@SMU with up-to-date participant names
  • Review all forms for red flags/follow-ups prior to trips
  • Assemble medical forms/passport packets for all trips
  • Must be detail-orientated, have strong communication skills, and be proficient in Excel
Trip Developer

  • Attend bi-weekly Executive Board meetings
  • Serve as a liaison/support to Site Leaders for educational pieces (i.e. help Site Leaders gather information, articles, videos, speakers, etc. regarding the social issue for pre-trip education)
  • Arrange group housing for all trips
  • Research hostels, churches, AirBNB, etc. for low-cost group housing
  • Communicate via phone and e-mail with housing contact
  • Complete all forms necessary to secure housing
  • Work with Bailey Guthrie (AB Advisor) to pay for housing
  • Communicate housing details to Site Leaders; maintain updated housing information on trip itineraries
  • Serves as secondary point of contact for Site Leaders’ trip details/logistics
  • Co-coordinate (with Bailey Guthrie) transportation (ground, air, and in-city) for all trips
  • Communicate with site leaders to confirm that every trip submits a blog for SMU Adventures
  • Facilitate van driver training (each semester) and maintain eligible van driver database
  • Requires summer involvement (can be done remotely)

 

 

What does it mean to be a Site Leader?

 

General Requirements for Eligibility:

  • Must have attended at least one trip.
  • Must be in good standing with the University and the Community Engagement & Leadership Center at SMU.

General Site Leader Commitments:

  • Attending the AB Leadership Retreat in the Fall from September 9-11, 2016. All AB Executive Board Members and Site Leaders are required to attend this retreat in entirety. Failure to attend this retreat will result in loss of position. There will be no exceptions.
  • If selected as a Site Leader, students must commit to leading at least one trip during the year.
  • Fall and Winter Break Leaders will attend bi-weekly meetings in the Fall 2016 semester.
  • Spring Break Leaders will attend bi-weekly meetings in late Fall 2016 and Spring 2017.
  • Fulfilling all expectations of their positions in a timely manner as well as thinking of new and innovative ideas for their positions.
  • Maintaining position from date of appointment through March 31, 2017.

Specific Site Leader Commitments and Position Description:

Pre-Trip:

  • Attend the AB Leadership Retreat in the Fall from September 9-11, 2016.
  • Attend biweekly meetings.
  • Plan and lead pre-trip meetings for trip participants.
               -Fall Break Site Leaders - hold three (3) pre-trip meetings.
               -Winter and Spring Site Leaders - hold four (4) pre-trip meetings.
  • Research and prepare for pre-trip meetings to educate participants on the social issue of focus; this includes finding relevant articles, videos, etc. to share with participants
  • Arrange for a local speaker (either in Dallas or in destination city) to facilitate conversation with group.
  • Arrange a service schedule and maintain contact with organization for service
  • Update trip itinerary with relevant information and ensure that all details are confirmed at least four (4) weeks prior to trip departure date
  • Maintain contact with Trip Developer on the Executive Board to understand housing details
  • Reach out to Faculty/Staff Trip Advisor to build a relationship prior to trip

 

During Trip:

  • Site Leaders will handle all logistics and details during the trip to make the participant experience smooth and rewarding. This includes:
               -Manage the group budget and saving all trip receipts

               -Hold meaningful nightly reflections

               -Coordinate meal planning and cooking

               -Send daily updates to the Community Engagement & Leadership Center

               -Facilitate group bonding and handling any conflicts that arise

               -Plan Service Enhancement Day activities for group

Post-Trip:

  • Organize and lead at least one post-trip “Reorientation” opportunity for trip participants to rejoin together and discuss the "Now What" phase of the ACC through service or another activity.
  • Attend a debrief meeting with the Co-Student Directors to provide feedback to Alternative Breaks about their overall trip and leader experience.
  • Each site leader pair will ensure that at least one short blog is submitted to SMU Adventures about their experience (blog can be written by a trip participant).

 

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