Life on Campus

Beacon Voyages for Service

Beacon Voyages for Service (BVS) is a program within the Office of Student Leadership and Community Engagement that coordinates Alternative Break programs. These trips give students the opportunity to take part in service trips all over the country and the world. All of the trips take place during school breaks. BVS serves to encourage participation in a social justice movement through on-campus commitments during fall, winter, spring or summer breaks. BVS hopes to address social issues: Native American; HIV/AIDS; Border, Refugee & Immigration; Environment; Rural Poverty; Urban Poverty; Youth & Education; Domestic Violence; Disaster Relief and Health & Aging, etc.

The program at UMass Boston is a student leadership model. Student leaders are trained to coordinate the trip including developing the community partnerships, fundraising, and travel. As students are selected to participate, they become active participants in the entire trip planning process.

There are three ways to participate in the BVS Experience:

  • Participant
  • Trip Leader
  • Coordinator

Requirements for all positions to participate include:

  • Must be enrolled as a degree-seeking full time student for Fall 2014 and Spring 2015 semesters
  • Must be in good judicial, financial, and academic standing with the university
  • Must have at least a 2.5 Cumulative GPA
  • Complete application along with short answer questions
  • All applicants must participate in a group interview
  • All participants, trip leaders and coordinators are responsible for the cost of his or her trip. To confirm your spot on any trip you must pay a deposit. All deposits are non-refundable

 

To apply, go the BVS Application.

 

Participants

Participants can apply to any of the BVS trips that take place during winter, spring and summer breaks. As a participant you will be responsible to:

  • Attend weekly meetings set up by your trip leader as well as group fundraising events and activities
  • Attend leadership training
  • Develop their People and Relationship Management skills
  • The ability to further your learning about issues that are important to you

Participants will gain valuable skills.

Participant applications will be available online September 1 - September 19, 2014

 

Trip Leaders

Trip Leaders are responsible for some of the most important tasks in the Alternative Service Break program, such as:

  • Lead an Alternative Break Service Trip (either during summer, winter, or spring break)
  • Meet regularly with your selected trip participants
  • Attend regular Trip Leader meetings and training sessions throughout the year
  • Attend regular Advisory Board meetings throughout the year
  • Consult and collaborate frequently with site contacts and members of the Coordinating Team to develop pre-break and issue-related activities
  • Develop and implement fundraising plan for the team
  • Facilitate regular pre-break education and training sessions and meetings for participants
  • Serve as a year-long liaison between trip participants and advisory board
  • Coordinate and conduct student participant group interviews and selection
  • Assist in participant recruitment/public relations
  • Plan and attend the Spring Break Open Forum at the end of the year

Trip Leaders will gain valuable skills and have the following benefits:

  • Receive a stipend that will be credited towards the cost of your trip
  • Leadership training
  • Develop their People and Relationship Management skills
  • Extensive training in project and crisis management
  • Experience with handling budgets and fundraising
  • The ability to further your learning about issues that are important to you

Coordinators

All Coordinating Committee member positions are time-intensive, demanding, and rewarding experiences. There are four available positions on the Coordinating Committee; Sponsorship Chair, Fundraiser Chair, Logistics and Travel Chair, and Public Relations/Marketing Chair. Committee members work throughout the year to put together Trip Leader trainings, fundraisers, and advertisements. These members are dedicated individuals who will enthusiastically take on their roles while becoming well-rounded and educated leaders ready to take social activism to a new level and facilitate the process of training new students to become active citizens.

The general responsibilities of being a member on the Coordinating Committee include:

  • Attend regular Board meetings and trainings
  • Contribute to the planning of each trip/issue
  • Fulfill the responsibilities of your specific position
  • Work as a team with the rest of the committee and the Trip Leaders
  • Incorporate the voices of all members of the Beacon Voyages for Service program – Trip Leaders, Participants, and Advisors

Coordinating Committee will gain valuable skills and have the following benefits:

  • Receive a stipend that will be credited towards the cost of a trip
  • Leadership training
  • Experience with teamwork and advising
  • The ability to further your learning about social issues

Fundraising and Sponsorship responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Obtain external sponsorships and donations from interested parties
  • Request funding from the senate to subsidize the cost of the trip
  • Attend at least one meeting of each trip and support trip leader with marketing efforts
  • Coordinate and seek out on-campus sponsorship
  • Coordinate events to raise enough funds to directly lower trip costs
  • Collaborate with trip leaders to develop fundraising plans and facilitate trip-specific fundraising
  • Schedule tabling fundraising campaigns

Public Relations and Marketing responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Attend at least one meeting of each trip and support trip leader with marketing efforts
  • Develop press releases about the program and its trips
  • Advertise for the program as well as individual trips
  • Responsible for mini-documentaries, photos, and videos for each trip
  • Responsible for visibility before and after trips

Technology responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Attend at least one meeting of each trip and support trip leader with social media efforts
  • Manage BVS social media sites as well as trip sites
  • Organize past BVS participant lists and trip information into one database
  • Attend marketing events to help promote BVS throughout the year

Office of Student Leadership and Community Engagement

Campus Center
2nd Floor
Telephone: (617) 287-7949
Fax: (617) 287-7925
laurene.plourde@umb.edu