Thank you for your interest in the Alternative Breaks Advisory Board! We are looking for enthusiastic, hard-working people who are really committed to AB and the Volunteer Center. Our selection process is competitive, and requires both an application and an interview with the Student Coordinators.

Alternative Breaks Board member applications for 2018-19 academic year are published now on the Mary Ellen Brandell Volunteer Center Orgsync portal. These applications are due March 23rd at 5 p.m.

If chosen as a Board Member, you will be required to attend weekly Alternative Breaks Board Meetings every Thursday at 6:30 p.m.  Board members are expected to spend additional hours each week working on AB business outside of the meetings, including at least one hour every week in the Volunteer Center or Alternative Breaks Office. An extra time commitment will be needed as Breaks near, and amount of the work to be completed is postion dependent.

Please read over the descriptions of each position below and indicate on your application which positions you feel most qualified for. However, applications are not position specific.

Previous participation on at least one Alternative Break and a GPA of 2.5 or higher is required to be a Board Member. If the requirement is met, GPA will not be factored into applications. Applications will be available via the OrgSync form. Applications may be saved and finished in more than one sitting. No paper applications will be accepted.

If you have any questions, please contact an Alternative Breaks Board Member or contact the Volunteer Center (989.774.7685). After submitting an application, you will receive an email from OrgSync saying you have completed a form (if your settings are set to receive emails).


Description of Positions

*Student Coordinators (2)

Maintains the Alternative Breaks program on a holistic level, ensuring the big picture of the program is being achieved. Individuals split responsibility through the semester. 

Duties include but are not limited to:

  • Overseeing the advisory Board, plans and conduct Board Meetings together
  • Planning program events, such as Kick Off, Information Sessions, Orientation, and Reorientation
  • Managing participant lists and transportation, logistics, and policy
  • Having a working knowledge of everything AB
  • Managing selection process for Board members
  • Attending a weekly meeting with both Coordinators and Alternative Breaks advisor
  • Motivating others to accomplish tasks by deadlines and with great quality and efficiency

Must be a current or previous board member, and nominated by peers. Student Coordinators will be a part of the Volunteer Center Staff and work a required 12-15 hours per week, but are expected to put in additional volunteer hours as necessary, just as the other Board Members are.

Participant Engagement Chair

This person will be taking on a dynamic role within the Alternative Breaks Advisory Board. Participant Engagement Chair will work alongside advisors, coordinators, and various board members. 
Duties will include but are not limited to: 
  • Co-hosting orientation, helping plan and facilitate sessions about AB foundations for new and returning participants and site leaders
  • Recruitment, attending hall councils, and facilitating outreach
  • Working with student coordinators to create innovative ideas for reorientation activities and events
  • Engaging participants with a semester participant newsletter 
  • Creating surveys for participants to continue growth in the program 
  • Administrative tasks as assigned, such as taking meeting minutes, logging service hours, and managing OrgSync portal
  • Sending thank you notes to program community and campus partners

Fundraising Chairperson:

Fundraising Chairperson manages and organizes all program fundraisers, approves individual site fundraisers, and coordinates individual participant fundraising. 

Duties include but are not limited to:

  • Coordinating a large scale fundraising event for Winter, Spring, and Summer Break
  • Approving fundraising ideas from individual site leaders
  • Managing and facilitating individual participant fundraisers

This individual should be highly organized, efficient, and mindful of time management. To be successful in this position, this chairperson should be detail oriented. They must be committed to the development of new fundraisers as well as the sustained success of historical fundraisers. 

Chairperson spends between five to ten hours per week working on their position. Special events require more time and chairperson must attend for the duration of the event. Busiest times of the year are October through November and January through February.

Public Relations Intern

The PR Intern works in coordination with Volunteer Center PR staff and Student Coordinators to promote Alternative Breaks around campus.

Duties include but are not limited to:

  • Designing, writing, and releasing all social media relating to AB, including press releases and interdepartmental communication
  • Coordinating large scale PR events, such as tabling or volunteer projects
  • Moderating shirt designs for all Breaks
  • Promoting weekend and weeklong break sign ups, fundraising events, and other program events
  • Communicating and coordinating with every position on Board for necessary PR
  • Updating the AB website

This individual should be positive and motivational, a good speaker, a good salesperson and have good writing skills. No artistic skill is necessary, but they should have lots of creative ideas about how to get the word out about AB and have a good knowledge of AB mission and objectives

PR Intern spends five to ten hours per week on their position. The busiest times of the year are before sign ups for weeklong and weekend breaks, program events, and during t-shirt coordination.

Site Leader Orientation & Training Co-Chair (2):

Responsible for providing Site Leaders with all the necessary training and information to prepare them for facilitating a group through the AB experience. 

Duties include but are not limited to:

  • Planning and coordinating Site Leader Retreat and training sessions in the fall and spring, and communicates all necessary AB information to Site Leaders
  • Working on team-building, reflection, crisis-management training, emergency procedures and helping Site Leaders organize their own participant selection criteria; and enabling Site Leaders to communicate and get to know each other so as to form a stronger team
  • Assigning site leaders to issues based on preferences, filling empty site leader positions when they arise, and utilizing board members for training purposes
  • Setting up appointments with Advisors for site overviews before departure

These individuals should be highly motivated, comfortable with public speaking, and should be able to organize and communicate information successfully. 

SLOT spends between eight and twelve hours each week, with more time being necessary leading up to each of the trainings.

Site & Service Development Co-Chairs (5):

Site and Service Development chairs are the initial communication link between the program and the sites. The focus is establishing and maintaining community partner relationships while planning the logistics of each break.

Duties include but are not limited to:

  • Researching and contacting service and housing sites; must confirm the specified number of sites as well as confirm any cancellation of sites throughout the process.
  • Collecting information such as location, liability insurance, on-site transportation, fees, type of work that will be done at the site, etc.
  • Planning housing for the site; must send site and housing profiles to the site leaders and have updates on site leader’s contact with both their sites and housing
  • Communicating break specifics with site leaders
  • Conducting electronic post-break site evaluations
  • Sending site and housing agreements by fax; and update trip reports in BreakAway’s database.
  • Attending weekly SSD team meeting
  • Completing all transportation and logistics, including budgets, etc. 

People in this position must be willing to spend a great deal of time on the phone to contact different sites to collect all necessary information, and should be diligent and well organized. 

The amount of work week to week may vary, but chairs spend approximately five to ten hours each week in this role, though additional time may be required in order to wrap-up site information before each break.

International Site and Service Development Chairperson:

This individual is responsible for maintaining and/or forming ethical, sustainable partnerships with CMU faculty and the Office of Study Abroad.

Duties include but are not limited to:

  • Researching organizations and volunteer-sending programs to effectively provide ethical, quality volunteer experiences for the group while maintaining all support necessary for successful international experience.
  • Working with faculty members to determine and plan the schedule of service and other aspects of the international experience for the group
  • Coordinating all flights and travel for all international sites, in conjunction with service partner and Study Abroad Office
  • Planning and facilitating information sessions to gauge interest and best prepare students to sign up for and participate in an international break
  • Meeting weekly with a Student Coordinator and AB advisor.
  • Utilizing the BreakAway listserv to communicate with other universities that send out student led international Breaks.
  • Collecting partner service information such as location, liability insurance, on-site transportation, fees, type of work that will be done at the site, etc.

This person spends approximately five to ten hours each week working on SSD International responsibilities

Weekends Co-Chair (2):

Responsible for coordinating approximately one to two Alternative Weekends per month, including site selection, transportation and all the logistical paperwork associated with the weekend.

  • Performs the functions of an SSD, but in the context of weekends. See SSD description above for clarification.

The people in this position must organize the site leader binder and create and collect all the forms necessary for the weekend.

Weekends Chairs spend approximately five to ten hours each week on their position. 

* Must be previous or current AB Board member and be nominated for this position.