By MANDY THOMAS
McNeese State University–Lake Charles and Southeastern
Louisiana University–Hammond have teamed up with the University of Louisiana
System to plan and provide an alternative spring break called “Extreme Spring
Break 2006: Students Rebuilding Louisiana.”
The alternative spring break will be a five-day intensive
service project to benefit the families and homes of the Gulf Coast areas
affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Lindsay Mencacci, Student
Government Association president and a senior biology major, said because Tech
is on the quarter system and has already had spring break, an alternative
schedule is being planned for Tech students.
“Tech SGA is planning to leave on Thursday to allow Tech
students to participate and only miss one full day of class,” Mencacci said.
Mencacci said SGA is providing
transportation to both locations and will also write a letter for students
participating to give to professors of any classes missed during the trip.
C.J. Johnson, SGA vice president and a junior political
science major, said the program is a collaboration
between all of the ULS schools for students to take initiative to rebuild
“Students will spend five days building homes and
cleaning the community,” Johnson said.
The program will be April 19–23 and will have 250 spots
available, 125 at both McNeese State University and
Southeastern Louisiana University.
Johnson said the sponsors for the event are Habitat for
Humanity, the New York Times and the American Red Cross.
Jackie Tisdell, director of
Student Initiatives and Outreach of ULS, said the program will consist of three
full days of work with Habitat for Humanity. Tisdell
said there will be hurricane and service orientation programs and intensive
professional development programs. There will also be a special development
disaster training course on Sunday morning, which is actually the first of two
steps with Red Cross to become disaster certified.
“This way, students can return home and complete the
second step of disaster certification,” Tisdell said.
“So if there is another disaster, students can immediately
get the ball rolling with volunteering and disaster relief in their area.”