ASB serves Land Between the Lakes

by Tyler Baker
Staff Writer

Transylvania students have always been committed to serving their community. Every week there are countless opportunities on campus for involvement to help those around us, but every year a group of participants goes above and beyond its call of duty to serve another community for a whole week — which happens to be spring break.

2012 Site Leader Raisa Tikhtman, a sophomore, feeds sheep while working at the Homeplace.

The community service project entitled Alternative Spring Break (ASB), led by Karen Anderson, Transylvania’s coordinator of community service and civic engagement, happens every year and this year she and 13 other participants traveled to Land Between the Lakes to take on a week’s worth of service activities that involved cutting lumber, clearing trails and lending a helping help to keep the area beautiful.

“We first volunteered at a homestead which served as a historical site which displayed how a farm would operate during the 1850s, where everything was done by hand, and we had to take care of lumber to help create split-rail fences,” said Anderson.

The trip then moved to the trails where Anderson described how students were responsible for removing debris and making sure there was a nice pathway for people to safely walk through the forest. On the last day of service the volunteers participated in an art project.

“We volunteered at a place called Nature Station, where previous groups had started working on a turtle, and so we decided to finish it up some more and put a feel to it,” said Anderson.

First-year Kristina Farr also weighed in on the experience.

“I was familiar with Land Between the Lakes and it was a great way to get back to the area with Alternative Spring Break and all my friends from Transy,” Farr said. “It was a lot of hard work and I didn’t know how much work went into making a trail, but I can’t wait to go back there and hike it with my family.”

Anderson encourages all students at Transylvania to participate in ASB.

“(ASB) has been a fun tradition for a lot of alumni and current students. It’s a nice way to work service into your academic career and gets students out of their comfort zone so they can learn about situations they may not have much experience with,” Anderson said.

Anderson also said that ASB can serve as an energizer that allows students to step away from the world of academics and really see how the big picture of the world looks.

Even if ASB doesn’t conform to your schedule, there are numerous ways to get involved on campus.

“Inside Transy is constantly updated with posts on Columns, as well as the Facebook page for the Transylvania office of community service and civic engagement, and every two weeks a newsletter is sent out that offers 10-15 service projects that students can get involved with,” said Anderson.

Anderson extended an invitation to any student to stop by her office to talk about ways to get involved in community service, whether it be an ongoing relationship or a one-time thing.

“Service is the opportunity to look around and see how things operate in the world and how thinking critically can affect the student in general,” said Anderson.

Besides Farr, the students that participated in Alternative Spring Break included seniors Cody Alton and Holly Brown; sophomores Esie Kalefe, Ethan Campbell, Alex Naumann, Sarah Tatum and Raisa Tikthman; and first-years Ajibola Bakare, Justin Bullock, Shanelle Grose, Kris Smoot and Stacey Venneman.

For more information on serving, please contact Karen Anderson at kanderson@transy.

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