Mount St. Joseph University

Alternative Spring Break Trip to Spark Change

Dateline: student newspaper

By: Monica Brucher

With spring break quickly approaching, many students are asking themselves: “Where am I going?” Many students are heading out of Cincinnati—Gatlinburg, Lake Cumberland, maybe the beach. But for some students, myself included, this spring break will be a local one.

A new campus initiative, the spring break poverty immersion trip, will be from March 19 to 22. It’s hosted by the Office of Campus Ministry and co-sponsored by student organizations Impact Cincinnati and Social Justice Club. It’s only four days, so there’s still plenty of time to relax and enjoy a well-deserved break.

Charissa Qiu, Coordinator of Campus Ministry, said this is much bigger than having a fun trip with friends and fellow classmates—this is about experiencing and determining the issues that face our very own community.

“We should not be content with merely existing within our own bubble at the Mount, but rather, find ways to be a part of the solution to the real needs and concerns of our fellow Cincinnatians,” Qiu said.

Qiu said that this spring break trip is the perfect way to open those doors to solutions.

“This process begins by simple exposure and openness to learning, which is what we're encouraging through this opportunity to spend a few days with the Ozanam Center for Service Learning at the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in the West End Neighborhood of Cincinnati,” Qiu said.

The trip will be packed from beginning to end with experiences such as dinner and discussion with immigrant families, SNAP dinner challenge, a tour of the Hamilton Country Justice Center, and a Cincinnati poverty simulation.

Qiu noted that this is a trip for all students at the Mount—because even though we all come from different backgrounds, we all share a common city.

“It's important for us, as members of the Mount community, to be present to what's going on in our larger local community of Cincinnati, and challenge ourselves to ask how we may use our gifts and talents to respond to the needs of the larger community,” Qiu said.

Students can sign up by emailing Charissa Qiu ( or applying online at: .