Campus Winner
Month: March 2016


Organization of the Month

School: Appalachian State University Region: SAACURH
Nominee: Alternative Service Experience Nominator: Marcus Wise

On-Campus Population: 5500 Chapter Size: 55

Please explain the outstanding contributions of the nominee during the month of nomination

Appalachian State is known for a lot of things. Our school is known for our Football program, our campus beauty, and our ‘Appalachian family’. There is connection between all three of these things, which is their promotion of community. In the opinion of most Mountaineers, the Appalachian community at home is strong. One of the reason’s the community is so strong is because of the ACT office and their Alternative Service Experience (ASE) organization. ASE is a student-lead service organization that sends approximately 30+ groups of 11+ people over university breaks to local communities, communities around the country, and communities abroad to serve in whatever way they can. ASE’s contain two Peer-leaders (PL), a Learning Partner (LP) or professional staff member, and a community partner (CP) that is settled within the community and serves the particular community. ASE focuses on 4 main pillars: Service Together, Simple Living, Thoughtful Dialogue, and Full Engagement. Service Together means that in order to serve a community, you must connect with the community in which you serve, and fulfill the needs of the community you serve with their permission. Serving with the community derails the notion of White Saviorism or Voluntourism. Participants live on a budget that represents the poverty line, so the PL’s will find either free or low cost housing for the participants along with purchasing all vegetarian food for the week on a $1 per person for breakfast, $2 per person for lunch, $3 per person for dinner. Thoughtful Dialogue is represented through daily reflections between the participants and the PLs. The reflections would provoke thought and reasoning behind why their particular service is effective, how can the service relate to our home community and the world, and how can we take what we learn effect our daily lives and the lives of others. Full Engagement relates to ASE being drug free, alcohol free, and limited technology so 100% of our minds, bodies, and spirits can be given toward the Service Learning. This march, 24 of Appalachian State’s ASE programs humbly tallied up over 1,000+ hours of service to communities domestic and abroad. They worked on several projects ranging from English immersion abroad, to food justice education, to fighting the stigma against AIDS, to preparing camps for underserved youths. The impact of ASE not only resonates with the communities served but with the participants serving. The Participants serving gain insight to the difficult world we live in, the true meaning of service, the importance of using our privilege to serve those who can’t serve themselves, and how we can open our eyes to the injustices present in our own backyards. ASE is not an organization that serves just to serve. ASE educates others about the importance of using our own privilege to help communities empower themselves by providing hands to help.

Word Count: 469

Date of entry into database: 2016-03-30 15:24:12