Puget Sound Outdoors, other campus organizations prepare for spring break



Puget Sound spring break will last from March 18 to March 22. For that time, campus will remain open for residents of the University and food services will be limited to students and faculty. While a number of students choose to remain in the area for that time, several others will be journeying home for the week. Others will be participating in campus-sponsored activities and events.

Puget Sound Outdoors will be taking students adventuring through the northwest on their Spring Break Trips 2013 program. Events consist of day hiking, camping and snowshoeing through southern Oregon and northern California. PSO will also be taking students to Tofino, which has been voted the second best surf town in the world.

No previous experience is needed to join one of the adventures, which allows for exploration by all skill levels. Freshman Jenna Fontaine has never surfed before and will be taking the journey to Tofino for her break. “I didn’t really have these kinds of outdoor opportunities at home … being able to begin experimenting with all these types of outdoorsy things has really been cool,” Fontaine said.

Spirituality, Service and Social Justice has prepared their annual Alternate Spring Break for students wishing to learn about their community’s needs and issues. This year, the program’s theme is Immigration and Advocacy.

“Students will learn more about the realities of immigration in the Puget Sound area, develop skills for advocacy, hear from local activists and get involved through volunteering,” the program states. Signups for the ASB end this Sunday, March 10.

ASB is not the only program focused on community causes. The organization Kaleo Missions will be working with the local Christian fellowship group Lighthouse to assist the homeless community of Portland, Ore. The group will be assisting shelters in the mornings, and evenings will consist of tutoring children with local after-school programs. “We’re going to be working with people who have been overlooked and disregarded, and learning how to feel compassion and give back to them,” Lighthouse member Nicole Renna said.

While these groups are working with organizations and programs, some students are taking adventure into their own hands. Senior Claire Sarff-Foden will be taking a drive with a group of friends down the west coast to Las Vegas, Nev.

“I’m just really excited to do something fun,” Sarff-Foden said. “[It’s] good to do something big for your last college spring break.” The group plans to see one of Las Vegas’ many iconic shows, try out the casinos and make the most of their vacation time.

Making these long journeys, whether back to your hometown or away on a homemade vacation, puts strain on traveling students. Some have to drive for hours to reach their destination, while others spend hundreds of dollars on airline tickets. The increased price of airline travel and gasoline make both options a hassle for these students.

“Being back home is going to be awesome, but going back home is going to be a hassle,” freshman Lisa Hawkins said. Hawkins resides in Anchorage, Alaska—about 1,400 miles away.

While others are venturing away from campus, the spring athletics teams will continue to train during the week. Washington’s mild temperatures during this time of year are ideal for training athletes in sports such as baseball and crew. Even over break, Puget Sound athletes are committed to their activities to ensure victory later in the season. An extended weekend allows these students a cooling-down period before school begins again.