Ever had no idea what to do for a school break? Ever wanted to meet new people and make a difference in a community at the same time? Clemson’s Alternative Break Program may be for you! Clemson’s Alternative Break Program has trips during fall, winter and spring breaks in a variety of locations throughout the southeast, with the Winter Break Trip being international.
This fall, I went on an alternative break trip to Charlotte, N.C. to volunteer with Campus Pride. Campus Pride is an organization that works to improve LGBTQ inclusion on college campuses across the United States. Campus Pride has an index that ranks colleges on a five-point scale based on certain measures like LGBTQ policy inclusion, recruitment and retention efforts and student life. While working with Campus Pride, we helped out around their office and learned more about what they’ve achieved so far and what can be done on college campuses to further LGBTQ inclusion. Clemson has three stars out of five on Campus Pride’s Index, with improvements being needed in Clemson’s LGBTQ academic life, housing and residence life and recruitment and retention efforts.
During my fall break trip, we also had some time to explore downtown Charlotte and get involved in other areas of the LGBTQ community there. One night, we went to a midnight drag show, and we also listened to speakers share their experiences about being members of the LGBTQ community specifically in the south. At the end of our trip, we came back to Clemson more knowledgeable about LGBTQ issues on college campuses, and we also came back with some improvements that can be made on Clemson’s campus to make it more inclusive. My alternative break trip was truly enlightening and tons of fun. If you’re ever looking to get outside of your comfort zone, meet new people and make a positive change, sign up for an alternative break trip!