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Students

There are many ways to connect with the Bennion Center's Alternative Breaks program! Follow us on social media for the most recent updates about our program and AB experiences, sign up for our listserv using the form below (we promise we won't spam you with emails—only important Alt Breaks info), or contact the Site Leader and/or Staff Partner leading the experience(s) you're interested in by visiting our Meet the Team page. You can also contact J Swanger, Alternative Breaks Program Manager, with any questions.

Staff, Faculty, & Campus Partners

The Bennion Center's Alternative Breaks program depends on the support of staff and faculty at the University of Utah to mentor student leaders, create impactful and educational AB experiences, and spread the word about the work we do to connect communities. Below are some of the ways staff, faculty, and campus departments can connect with our Alternative Breaks program.

One of the deepest dives into the Bennion Center's work for staff and faculty is to join our Alternative Breaks program as a Staff or Faculty Partner. 

Serving as a Staff/Faculty Partner entails joining one of our student Site Leaders in the imagining, creation, and facilitation of an Alternative Breaks experience. Through this unique, one-on-one mentorship opportunity, University of Utah employees (including GAs) receive:

  • One-on-one mentorship experience with a student leader
  • Hands-on learning and community engagement centered around a complex theme of Justice
  • The opportunity to share stories on personal and community levels
  • Free professional development
  • Networking opportunities with other university staff and faculty
  • A recruitment tool for your department
  • Completely covered costs of participation in Alternative Breaks (including food, lodging, and travel)

Interested in joining our team, learning more about this opportunity, or finding more resources available to our Staff/Faculty Partners? Visit our Become a Leader page!

Learn More About Being a Staff/Faculty Partner

We're always more than happy to present to student groups during classes or meetings!

If you're interested in letting your students know about the Bennion Center and our Alternative Breaks program, please contact our Recruitment Specialist with the date, time, and duration of the desired presentation,along with any requests for us to focus our presentation around a particular AB experience or program in the Bennion Center.

Email Our Recruitment Specialist

One of the greatest barriers our students face to participating in Alternative Breaks is financial. If you or your department is interested in supporting your students' involvement with the Bennion Center and our Alternative Breaks program, we'd love to work with you to ensure students are receiving the support they need.

Of course, all students are able to apply for Trip Discounts through Alternative Breaks (regardless of and separate from other FAFSA/financial aid information, citizenship status or graduation from a Utah high school, or academic record).

That said, sometimes the aid we're able to offer isn't always enough. To sponsor your students' involvement in Alternative Breaks, please contact J Swanger, Alternative Breaks Program Manager, directly.

Sponsor an Alternative Breaker

Faculty, staff, and departments are welcome to propose a new Alternative Breaks experience to the Bennion Center. Submitting a new experience proposal should be done in consultation with J Swanger, Alternative Breaks Program Manager, to ensure the proposal is aligned with Bennion Center and Alternative Breaks values and the proposer understands the expectations of the Bennion Center when considering new proposals.

Successful proposals will follow the criteria outlined in the proposal form and will (in the case of staff, faculty, or department proposals) include the promise of staff/faculty leadership of the experience. In other words, proposals submitted by non-student campus parties must include a University of Utah employee who will fully join the Alternative Breaks program as a Staff/Faculty Partner.

Proposals may be submitted generally (proposing an experience available to all University of Utah students) or specifically for students within a particular cohort (proposing an experience that will be restricted to a particular student group or class on campus).

Questions should be directed to J Swanger, Alternative Breaks Program Manager.

Propose a New Alternative Breaks Experience

For other ways to connect with the Bennion Center, please visit one of our faculty pages:

Community-Engaged Learning (CEL) Course Designation

Faculty Application for CEL TA

Faculty Awards

Community Engaged Teaching Fellow

Faculty Profile

Or you can contact Andi Witczak, Associate Director of Community Engaged Learning at the Bennion Center.

Community & Off-Campus Partners

The Bennion Center as a whole is motivated by the many communities we work alongside, including those we connect with on our Alternative Breaks experiences. Below are some of the ways that community groups and non-profit organizations—near and far—can connect with our Alternative Breaks program.

The Bennion Center is proud of the thoughtful and (com)passionate student leadership within its Alternative Breaks program, who have thoughtfully crafted workshops centered around justice education, identity exploration, diversity and inclusion, and many other fields. 

Our Alternative Breaks team offers on- and off-campus facilitation of these workshops for groups interested in engaging their teams in conversations around any of the following topics:

  • Identity & intersectionality
  • Privilege, oppression, & power
  • Voluntourism & cultural humility
  • Diversity & inclusion
  • Centering impact over intention 
    • Strategies for intentional impact in community work
  • The inseparability of social and environmental justice
  • Other topics upon request and student expertise

Off-campus groups may be asked to reciprocate the facilitation of a workshop with a $300 donation to the Alternative Breaks program. 100% of funds received through our workshop facilitations are used to reduce the financial barrier of participating in our program to students through our trip discount fund.

Questions about and requests for a workshop should be sent directly to J Swanger, Alternative Breaks Program Manager, and should include the date, time, and duration of the desired workshop, along with all relevant information for the facilitators (topics to be addressed, information about the group/attendees, goals for the workshop, etc.).

Requests for a workshop must be submitted at least three weeks prior to the proposed date of the session.

Request a Justice Workshop/Diversity Training

One of the greatest barriers our students face to participating in Alternative Breaks is financial. If you or your organization is interested in supporting your students' involvement with the Bennion Center and our Alternative Breaks program, we'd love to work with you to ensure students are receiving the support they need.

Of course, all students are able to apply for Trip Discounts through Alternative Breaks (regardless of and separate from other FAFSA/financial aid information, citizenship status or graduation from a Utah high school, or academic record).

That said, sometimes the aid we're able to offer isn't always enough. To sponsor your student's involvement in Alternative Breaks, please contact J Swanger, Alternative Breaks Program Manager, directly.

SPONSOR AN ALTERNATIVE BREAKER

Community organizations are welcome to propose a new Alternative Breaks experience to the Bennion Center. Submitting a new experience proposal should be done in consultation with J Swanger, Alternative Breaks Program Manager, to ensure the proposal is aligned with Bennion Center and Alternative Breaks values and the proposing organization understands the expectations of the Bennion Center when considering new proposals.

Successful proposals will follow the criteria outlined in the proposal form and will (in the case of proposals from community groups or non-profit organizations) include a description of why support from an Alternative Breaks group is of interest to the organization and the promise of partnership prior to and throughout the AB experience. In other words, proposals submitted by community organizations should demonstrate a community need along with how the organization intends to combine the assets of the community with those of University of Utah students to meet that need.

Questions should be directed to J Swanger, Alternative Breaks Program Manager.

PROPOSE A NEW ALTERNATIVE BREAKS EXPERIENCE

There are plenty of ways for community members and organizations to connect with the Bennion Center!

Please visit our Partner with Us and How Can I Help? pages, check out the Bennion Center's upcoming events, or contact Chris Wada, Marketing & Outreach Director at the Bennion Center, for more information.

Last Updated: 11/14/19