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SMC offers spring break alternatives

Alicia Smith | Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Office for Civic and Social Engagement (OCSE) at Saint Mary’s is offering a substitute to the traditional spring break trip for students. The program is called Women’s Issues in the City: Alternative Spring Break, and will take students to Indianapolis to work with the Indianapolis Peace Institute (IPI).

Carrie Call, director of OCSE, said, “The trip is offered in conjunction with the Indianapolis Peace Institute in Indianapolis.” Students had to apply to the program through OCSE.

During the trip, students will work with Kate Williams, a member of IPI. Williams is a Saint Mary’s alumna.

Throughout the trip, students will learn about women’s issues and will also participate in service projects.

“On the trip, students will live together in the restored mansion owned by IPI, visit sites in the city to learn about issues that affect women, do some direct service with a few agencies and share in meals and reflection together,” Call said.

One such project gives students the opportunity to work at a soup kitchen in Indianapolis.

“One of the service projects includes serving meals at the Cathedral Kitchen which is run by the Sisters of Providence,” Call said.

This year, students will learn about issues relating to women and the criminal justice system, women and violence, the reality of human trafficking and various other topics.

The trip begins March 7 and will conclude on March 13.

“The trip provides students with an opportunity to combine service and learning during their spring break,” Call said.

According to IPI’s Web site, the program will allow students to “examine issues facing women in Indianapolis, and how we can seek to address them as a community.”

IPI offers several trips during spring break and fall break each year.

“I think students are participating because they care about women’s issues, they want to learn more about how to make a difference, and they want the opportunity to do some hands-on service,” Call said.

According to the IPI Web site, it offers these trips to give students “the opportunity to delve into various issues related to the field of peace building in an intense short-term setting.” For more information about IPI and its programs, visit www.indianapolispeaceinstitute.org