Spring Break is nearly upon us, and Macalester students are finalizing their vacation plans. Many are headed home for the week, while some are planning trips to the world’s Spring Break hot spots such as Miami and Cancun. This year, a few students will also be participating in a new “Alternative Spring Break” right here on campus.
Every year, several groups offer alternative Spring Breaks to students who are looking for a unique way to spend their vacation. Habitat for Humanity and Outing Club regularly offer Spring Break trips to students.
This year a new alternative Spring Break is being offered and led by the Civic Engagement Center. The program, called Spring Break and Stay, gives students the opportunity to volunteer and learn about food justice in the Twin Cities.
“The goal of our program is to offer a unique opportunity to residential students to volunteer, learn and have fun in our own community during their time off,” wrote Mariah Geiger ’15, an RA who is helping to run the program. “You don’t have to travel a long way to have a fun Spring Break experience and do something engaging and worthwhile with your time.”
The students participating in Spring Break and Stay will learn firsthand about food justice in the Twin Cities, visiting important locations such as Mississippi Market, a natural food co-op in St. Paul. They will also watch documentaries and complete volunteer work.
“Most students do not consider the process that brings food into everyday life,” wrote Ross Peterson ’15, another student involved in organizing the program. “The cultivation and mass production of food may help satisfy the needs of a burgeoning world population, but their caveats raise serious ethical questions. As consumers, our choices determine the survival of products that, beyond the packaging, may represent something more suspicious.”