By Marianne Flakk, Guest Writer

For students who haven’t yet figured out what they’re doing for spring break yet, Pacific Lutheran University has some suggestions.

A number of groups and organizations on campus plan PLU’s Alternative Spring Break trips.

One, which Ignite arranges, is a trip to Portland, Ore. and Vancouver, Wash. from March 24-28. The trip’s purpose is for students to get out of their comfort zones, see the greater community and help people who need it.

“We are going to team up with people from the local community and serve people on the street,” PLU alum Emily Branch, one of the leaders for this trip, said. “We will be talking to the homeless, give them food or clothes — whatever they need — and just interact with them.”

Ignite has already arranged for living accommodations. Branch said the group of students will live with a family and live as a family. They will cooperate with BridgeTown and Bread & Wine Church, two local organizations that help the community.

Branch said the trip costs $150, but that might change, and that it is a great way for students to give back to the community and broaden their perspectives. The deadline to sign up is this Thursday

For those who would like to go to Holden Village for spring break, Campus Ministry has a trip going there from March 25-28. According to the Alternative Spring Break web page, it is a trip for students to experience a week with service and reflective experiences.

“Students will work on carpentry, special cleaning, plumbing, electrical work and painting,” Tiffany Lemmon, assistant director for the Center for Community Engagement and Services, said.

“I’d recommend this trip for students that are looking for an alternative spring break experience, that want to meet and work with fellow Lutes, spend time with each other outside of campus, away from any distractions such as television, phone, or Internet access,” Lemmon said.

“Any students that want to be in the outdoors, working hard, spending time reflecting and just finding peace and quiet.”

This trip costs $125, which covers all expenses like food, lodging and travel. The deadline to sign up is today.

Outdoor Recreation has planned a trip to southern Utah where they will be hiking, camping and bouldering. On the way home, they will drive through California. The trip will last from March 22-29.

Outdoor Recreation has a tradition of arranging trips for students over breaks. In previous years they have been to Arizona, southern Utah and Canada. They chose southern Utah again for this trip, because it has nice weather, is warmer than Washington, things students tend to want that for their spring break.

“It is an awesome opportunity to see areas of our nation, bonding with other students, be active outside and a great outlet,”  Kelsie Leu, Outdoor Recreation’s finance director, said. “And you get to take a break from PLU.”

The cost for this trip is $300, which covers travel and food expenses, so all students need to bring is appropriate clothing. The deadline to sign up is today at 5 p.m.

Residential Life is offering the option for students to have a meaningful spring break and still stay on campus.

Running from March 21-26 and located here in Parkland, the Staycation will involve students going out in the local community and trying to tackle food issues. Students will be helping in food banks, elementary schools and Trinity Lutheran Church among others.

“We often stereotype people living in Parkland without knowing them and this is a great way to get to know them and the community” Tommy Flanagan, University Congregation president, said. “Also, if you haven’t done any volunteering before, this is a great way to start and if you have done it before you will have a lot to offer.”

Staycation is a free Alternative Spring Break, and the deadline to sign up is today.

Students can contact the Center for Community Engagement and Service at to get in touch with the right contact person for the trip. ◼︎

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