The traditional Spring Break Campaigns that have taken place for more than 40 years will not happen this year.
Dr. Jan Meyer, interim vice president of Student life and dean of students, said while more than 100 students will participate in other campaigns during the break, this year’s Spring Break Campaigns will not be like past year’s trips.
“In terms of the traditional Spring Break Campaigns, the four places we had, none of them had enough people in them to make them a sustainable trip,” Meyer said.
Meyer, who oversees the Center for Christian Service and Leadership, said misunderstandings might have been one of the reasons the trips didn’t work out.
“Maybe we were hindered in the fact that things were late getting started for traditional campaigns,” Meyer said.
Last October, miscommunication between administration led to the cancellation of SBCs. The decision was reversed, and SBCs, which had been handed off to the Halbert Institute for Missions last spring, was again placed under management of the CCSL. This delayed the organization of the campaigns to St. Paul, Minn., Seattle, Wash., Chicago, Ill. and Fairfax, Va.
Mary Beth Cuevas, coordinator for campus Spring Break Campaigns, said because of short time and not having started planning until November, the 17 students who signed up for the four locations dropped out.
“They didn’t have time to connect with each other and do fundraisers,” Cuevas said. “Slowly they just started dropping out.”
When it came down to only five students, they decided to solely host a Seattle Campaign. However, Cuevas said, that one fell through, too.
Katrina Kelly, senior family studies major from Dallas, said she was disappointed that she and other students will not be able to help others after hearing of the trip’s cancellation.
“It’s a pretty long-standing tradition at ACU, and I think it’s something that is a great experience,” Kelly said. “It gets us out of our ACU bubble.”
Sean Branchaw, co-leader with Kelly and senior mathematics major from Gaithersburg, Md., said he is missing an opportunity to impact others alongside his fellow students.
“If there was work to be done in Seattle we’re not going to be doing that anymore, so that makes me sad,” Branchaw said.
However, Cuevas said many students are still traveling over spring break on mission trips.
“We have more than 100 students actually going and spending some time over spring break on what we would call campaigns,” Cuevas said.
Cuevas said a group with ACU’s Body and Soul Program is going to Guatemala to help with Health Talents International, and another group is going to Haiti to work with Live Beyond Mobile Medical Disaster Relief.
Grant Rampy, director of public relations, said students will also be traveling to various locations with churches in Abilene, such as Beltway Baptist Church’s Awaken trip with the college group around Abilene and Pioneer Drive Baptist Church’s trip to New York.
Meyer said she never saw the cancellation of this year’s SBCs coming.
“We were a little surprised by how things went this year, but this year we have students going on things that weren’t offered last year,” Meyer said.
Meyer said she is not sure what will happen with SBCs next year. She said the CSSL is waiting to get feedback from students that went on the trips offered this year to plan based on what students are interested in doing.
“We learned something this year and we’ll see what we do with that next year,” Meyer said.