Letter to the Editor: Spring break service trips shouldn’t be ‘alternative’


I was pleased to see coverage of the 50 of us who spent spring break trip rebuilding homes damaged by Hurricane Katrina. For 14 years the University Lutheran Center has sponsored trips to New Orleans, Atlanta, Washington D.C., Jamaica, El Paso, Juarez, Mexico, Denver and the Navajo Nation to give SDSU students an opportunity to experience another culture, a different economic reality and a warmer climate. It often turns into a conversion experience, not for those we meet, but for those of us on the trip-reordering our priorities, rethinking our faith and values and discerning what it is we are called to do and who we are called to be.

We do this at a cost of $100 or less to keep the trips accessible to all students, and all students are welcome. Christians, Muslims and students without a faith affiliation have gone on the trips we sponsor. Lutheran campus ministry is a ministry to the university, not a ministry exclusively to Lutherans, and I want to encourage all interested students to join us on future trips.

My only quibble is not with The Collegian but with the notion that trips like this are an “alternative.” To me these trips are exactly are what spring break-and life at the university-are about: growing, stretching, learning and having a great time doing it.

Pastor Bob Chell

University Lutheran Center

South Dakota State University