Stanford University News Service



CONTACT: Stanford University News Service (650) 723-2558

Students to celebrate spring break with public service projects

STANFORD -- While many Stanford University students plan on spending spring break week, March 19-26, tanning by the sea or schussing down the slopes, several dozen have other plans this year.

Seventy-two students will forgo rest and relaxation for an opportunity to learn and serve in five projects that range from helping the homeless in Los Angeles and San Francisco to working on the Zuni Pueblo Indian reservation in New Mexico.

The trips are part of the 1994 Alternative Spring Breaks Service-Learning Project. Now in its seventh year, Alternative Spring Breaks are designed to expose students to specific policy areas through an intensive public service experience. Participants spend their spring break examining specific social and environmental issues through a combination of hands-on, direct service activities and meetings with activists, policymakers and service providers.

This spring interested students could choose from five projects: Asian American Community Issues, Native American Cross- Cultural Exchange, Homelessness in the Bay Area, Earthquake Relief and Homelessness in Los Angeles, and Youth in Action in East Palo Alto.

Sponsored by the Haas Center for Public Service, Alternative Spring Breaks attract students who want to expand their horizons beyond the sheltered bounds of a campus. No prior service is required.

Each project is coordinated by a student leader with experience in the area. Coordinators provide participants with relevant background materials and an orientation session before the project begins. Participants are expected to contribute a small amount to cover project expenses, although financial aid is available to students who need it.

The spring break experience has inspired many students to become more involved in service once they return to campus. The student organization SHAC, the Stanford Homelessness Action Coalition, arose from a 1989 project on homelessness.

The Haas Center for Public Service, a division of Student Affairs, was established in 1984 to serve as a focal point for local, national and international voluntary student efforts on the Stanford campus. The center houses more than 40 university programs and student organizations, assists students with integrating academics and service through service-learning courses and independent study, coordinates public service fellowships, and sponsors the annual You Can Make a Difference conference.

  • * *


Homelessness in the Bay Area

Greg Martellotto (415) 497-1911

Students will have a firsthand experience with the issues of homelessness by working at various shelters and soup kitchens in the Bay Area. Students will meet with local experts and policymakers in San Francisco.

Earthquake Relief and Homelessness in Los Angeles

Rob Axelrod (415) 497-6554 or Rich Stolz (415) 497-6595

Participants in this project will both aid Los Angeles residents in reconstructing buildings damaged by the January earthquake and meet with organizations working on the increasing problem of homelessness in the Los Angeles area.

Asian American Community Issues

Karen Yee (415) 497-4995, or Ken Wong (415) 497-2896

The goal of this project is to raise awareness among Stanford students about issues and needs of Asian Americans in the Bay Area. Students will perform direct service and meet with a range of community members in San Francisco. Overnights will be at Cameron House in Chinatown.

Native American Cross-Cultural Exchange

Una Lee (415) 497-0804 or Laurie Koon (415) 497-6760

To experience Native American culture firsthand, students will travel to the Zuni Pueblo Indian reservation in New Mexico to participate in a cultural exchange program. Activities will include tree planting with Zuni youth; grant research for funding projects such as social forestry, ecological economics, alternative energy, audiovisual equipment, policy analysis and citizen participation; developing a Zuni community newsletter; working with fish and wildlife preservation; and painting murals. Trip participants also may meet with the tribal council, watch tribal dances and talk with artists.

Youth in Action in East Palo Alto

Johnathon Briggs (415) 497-3837

Students will meet with leaders of community agencies and local government officials to learn more about community development issues facing the youth of East Palo Alto. They also will participate in neighborhood improvement projects.



This is an archived release.

This release is not available in any other form. Images mentioned in this release are not available online.
Stanford News Service has an extensive library of images, some of which may be available to you online. Direct your request by EMail to

© Stanford University. All Rights Reserved. Stanford, CA 94305. (650) 723-2300.