Constitution

Alternative Breaks Constitution
Last Revised April 2017

Mission Statement

Alternative Breaks promotes active citizenship within the Grand Valley State University student body through community-based learning projects, focusing on social  and environmental topics throughout the nation.

Vision

Alternative Breaks is a community of active citizens, empowered through service learning, who value the community as a priority when making life decisions.

Values

  • Community
  • Diversity & Inclusion
  • Teamwork
  • Dedication
  • Leadership
  • Social & Environmental Responsibility

Program

Alternative Breaks offers all students the opportunity to participate in a weekend, winter, spring, or summer break. These trips promote community-based learning about social and environmental issues as well as building relationships. Alternative Breaks follows the No Drugs and Alcohol Policy (Full Engagement). Students cultivate strong leadership skills by progressing from Participant to Site Leader to Executive Board. Alternative Breaks strives to make each trip diverse. This allows everyone to learn from other members of their group. Alternative Breaks welcomes people of all faiths and beliefs, and therefore does not affiliate with any religion or political organization.

Article I

Purpose of Alternative Breaks

  • To help students grow toward being active citizens
  • To provide students with the opportunity to connect with the community in a productive and safe environment
  • To provide students with affordable means to experience community-based learning trips
  • To help students connect with people of different cultures, majors, ages, etc.
  • To draw connections between national and local community impacts
  • To draw connections between social & environmental issues on both national and local levels
  • To foster personal growth through education, hands-on community-based learning projects, and reflection

Article II

Membership Requirements

Membership in the Alternative Breaks Program is open to all Grand Valley State University students. Alternative Breaks does not discriminate based on age, ability, familial status, financial status, race, ethnicity, religion, creed, gender, sex, or sexual orientation.

Members of Alternative Breaks include:

  • Faculty Advisor(s)
  • Executive Board
    • President
    • Executive Vice President
    • Vice President of Community Impact
    • Vice President of Finance
    • Vice President of Fundraising
    • Vice President of Member Engagement
    • Vice President of Public Relations & Recruitment
    • Vice Presidents of Site Development and Assessment (2)
  • Site Leaders
  • Participants

Section 1

Participant Requirements

  • Every member must fill out the appropriate application and pay the appropriate fees on time, as outlined in the Fees and Dues section under Article III.
  • Members must attend all mandatory events as listed in the application.
  • Members must uphold the Grand Valley State University Code of Conduct while participating in Alternative Breaks activities.
  • Members must uphold the Alternative Breaks Constitution and all Alternative Breaks policies while participating in any Alternative Breaks activity or event.
  • Members should welcome a respectful and safe environment, and should engage fully during their trip as well as at all Alternative Breaks events.

Section 2

Faculty Advisor

  • Provide guidance and advice to Executive Board members with regard to university policies and procedures
  • Maintain relations with Break Away, and annually renew membership
  • Work collaboratively with the President to lead strategic planning activities for the Executive Board at the beginning of the year
  • Meet weekly with the President to ensure strong communication with the Executive Board
  • Be on-call for all weekend, winter, spring, and summer trips, keeping in close contact with the President, from when trips depart Grand Valley to when they arrive back at Grand Valley
  • Oversee payments and financial requests of both on and off-campus accounts
  • Annually reconcile the on and off-campus accounts for Alternative Breaks with the Vice President of Finance
  • Meet weekly with the Vice President of Finance to ensure proper budgets and maintenance of finances
  • Work collaboratively with the Vice President of Finance to make sure all spending within Alternative Breaks follows university protocol
  • Assist the Vice President of Finance in reconciliation after all trips return
  • Oversee site and housing contracts, and assist the Vice Presidents of Site and Development in creating lasting relationships with trip sites and housing
  • Collect and distribute insurance and W9’s as necessary to/from sites and housing
  • Work with the Vice Presidents of Site and Development to pay sites and housing
  • Provide guidance and leadership when dealing with issues of conflict that may arise within Alternative Breaks
  • Work with the Executive Vice President to put down a deposit for Site Leader Retreat
  • Be available for all other board members as need be

Section 3

Duties of the Executive Board

President

Logistics/General Responsibilities

  • Manage and maintain the ab.gv.president@gmail.com and alt.breaks@gmail.com accounts
  • Actively participate in Site Leader interviews and selection
  • Actively participate in Participant selection
  • Attend all Alternative Breaks events, as well as Site Leader meetings and Executive Board meetings
  • Maintain and update the Constitution, legacy notes, future notes, and any other Alternative Breaks forms and descriptions as is fitting
  • Maintain relationship with Break Away
  • Prepare the annual calendar collectively with Executive Board
  • Uphold and encourage all other Alternative Breaks members to uphold the values, vision, and mission of Alternative Breaks
  • Provide leadership to the organization and empower members in all areas of the program
  • Annually create a roster for Orgsync, and give the roster to the Advisor
  • Apply for or delegate applying for awards (i.e. RSO, Immediate Impact, etc.)
  • Maintain and add to Legacy Notes and Future Notes for future chairs
  • Manage and maintain Dropbox and Trello
  • Be the main contact for Sophomore Academy
  • Look over and maintain a relationship with DRS to improve Inclusion in GVAB

Safety

  • Distribute and keep record of all driver checks for all trips
  • Distribute and collect forms for the emergency booklets for weekends, winter break, spring break, and summer break trips; make copies of emergency booklets
  • Spend part of a Site Leader meeting explaining the rules of safety and risk management as laid out in the constitution with the Advisor
  • Facilitate Van Orientation for all trips
  • Ensure drivers checks are completed three weeks prior to trips leaving

Trips

  • Order vans for all trips in the early fall
  • Sign paperwork for all vans at Enterprise
  • Assign vans to each trip, marking each set of keys
  • Assist Executive Vice President and Vice President of PR & Recruitment for filling and distributing van bags and trip shirts
  • Create van folders for each trip, including forms, safety instructions, and other important papers
  • Be on-call for all weekend, winter, spring, and summer trips, keeping in close contact with the Advisor, from when trips depart Grand Valley to when they arrive back at Grand Valley
  • Be aware of and responsible for the allergies of participants and Site Leaders

Board

  • Assist all Executive Board members in whatever capacity they need
  • Hold Executive Board members accountable for their responsibilities
  • If an Executive Board chair is not accounted for, the duties of that chair will fall upon the President, who will delegate the duties appropriately
  • Oversee Executive Board transition

Meetings

  • Hold a minimum of six office hours per week in the Student Organization Center
  • Prepare agendas for and facilitate Executive Board meetings
  • Meet weekly for one hour with the Advisor to ensure strong communication
  • Meet with the Graduate Assistant as needed to ensure strong communication
  • Delegate Ignite attendance
  • Delegate Service and Advocacy Council meeting attendance
  • Meet monthly as needed with all Executive Board members outside of E-Board meetings to provide support and ensure accountability
  • Record or delegate the recording of meeting minutes
  • Record or delegate the recording of PLOWS

Events

  • Plan and facilitate Executive Board Retreat, focusing on half group-bonding and half strategic planning/future planning
  • Assist the Executive Board with all event planning as needed

Executive Vice President

General E-Board Requirements

  • Hold a minimum of three office hours per week in the Student Organization Center
  • Manage and maintain the ab.gv.vicepresident@gmail.com account
  • Actively participate in participant selection
  • Attend all Alternative Breaks events, as well as Site Leader meetings and Executive Board meetings
  • Maintain and add to Legacy Notes and Future Notes for future chairs
  • Manage and maintain the cage, cage inventory, and reflection materials
  • Reserve rooms for  Alternative Breaks events and meetings
  • Send invoices and recipes to VP of finance

Site Leader Selection Process

  • Take the lead on Site Leader selection and the pairing process
  • Take the lead on Site Leader interviews
  • Update the Site Leader application annually

Site Leader Training

  • Actively participate in Site Leader training
  • Plan and facilitate Site Leader meetings, and prepare all necessary training materials for these meetings
  • Ensure that Site Leaders are kept up to date and informed through emails as is fitting
  • Oversee and ensure Site Leaders create the education portion of the Orientation Packet
  • Ensure that the Components and Values of Alternative Breaks are emphasized through Site Leader training
  • Manage and maintain the Site Leader Manual
  • Maintain Legacy Notes of Site Leaders
  • Work with the Vice President of Public Relations and Recruitment to manage and maintain the Site Leader Facebook page

Site Leader Events

  • Plan and facilitate Site Leader Retreat, including all Site Leader training material, food, group bonding, and location
  • Plan and facilitate Site Leader Orientation to determine how to pair Site Leaders and assign trips
  • Plan and facilitate the Site Leader Banquet
  • Prepare and organize van bags and reflection materials
  • Work with Member Engagement for Site Leader’s educational pre- packet

Vice President of Community Impact

General E-Board Requirements

  • Hold a minimum of three office hours per week in the Student Organization Center
  • Manage and maintain the ab.gv.community@gmail.com account
  • Actively participate in Site Leader interviews and selection
  • Actively participate in Participant selection
  • Attend all Alternative Breaks events, as well as Site Leader meetings and Executive Board meetings
  • Maintain and add to Legacy Notes and Future Notes for future chairs
  • Manage and maintain the cage, cage inventory, and reflection materials
  • Reserve rooms for  Alternative Breaks events and meetings
  • Send invoices and recipes to VP of finance

Connecting to the Community

  • Provide Site Leaders, participants, and all Alternative Breaks members with educational tools such as:
    • On-Campus events
    • Events in Grand Rapids for pre-trip volunteer opportunities
    • Grand Rapids and campus connections
  • Maintain a relationship with organizations in the local Grand Rapids community
  • Maintain a relationship with GVAB alumni

Community Impact Events

  • Prepare and organize Service Saturdays, and facilitate appropriate educational materials and reflections
  • Work with Site Leaders to prepare and organize Never Ending Journey & Alternative Breaks Volunteer Day
  • Plan and facilitate the weekend trip

Alumni

  • Solicit donations from alumni & donors
  • Work with the Alumni Committee to plan and facilitate the Alumni Banquet
  • Work with the Vice President of Public Relations & Recruitment to engage alumni
  • Cultivate and maintain an alumni database
  • Engage with Alumni to help coordinator future alumni events

Vice President of Finance

General E-Board Requirements

  • Hold a minimum of three office hours per week in the Student Organization Center
  • Manage and maintain the ab.gv.finance@gmail.com account
  • Actively participate in Site Leader interviews and selection
  • Actively participate in Participant selection
  • Attend all Alternative Breaks events, as well as Site Leader meetings and Executive Board meetings
  • Maintain and add to Legacy Notes and Future Notes for future chairs
  • Be in charge of gas remibrustments
  • Writing refund checks
  • Creating payment dates
  • Manage and maintain the cage, cage inventory, and reflection materials
  • Reserve rooms for  Alternative Breaks events and meetings

Budgeting

  • Work with the Advisor to update and maintain the general budget of Alternative Breaks
  • Update the Executive Board at the beginning of the year and after trips regarding the budget
  • Oversee any spending that occurs through Alternative Breaks
  • Work with the Advisor and President to prepare, organize, and propose a budget for the following school year
  • Work with the Advisor and President to prepare, organize, and provide budgets for all events
  • Fill out monthly p-card receipt forms for the Office of Student Life
  • Manage the 5/3 bank checking and savings account
  • Work with the Vice President of Fundraising to track income from fundraisers and donations

Trips

  • Work with Vice Presidents of Site Development and Assessment and Advisor to make sure money is ordered for all trips, and oversee any trip spending issues that occur
  • Work with the Advisor and President to prepare, organize, and provide budgets for all trips
  • Have Site Leaders fill out SVDC applications at least four weeks before trips leave
  • Have Site Leaders activate SVDCs at least two weeks before trips leave
  • Provide Site Leaders with budgeting sheets and receipt instructions for trips
  • Spend part of a Site Leader meeting discussing where payments go, how trip finances work, what trip budgets are generally like, etc.

Payments

  • Track and update participant and Site Leader payments through the Office of Student Life via an online payment system
  • Email participants updating about payment due dates
  • Collect Site Leader deposits from Site Leaders for $100 and supplies costs at Site Leader Retreat

Scholarship Process

  • Maintain, update, and be actively involved in the scholarship process
  • Read through all scholarship applications and assign interview dates
  • Lead scholarship interviews, with 1-2  board members assisting at each interview
  • Lead the distribution of scholarship money
  • Generate a budget for each scholarship fund, based on donations, leftover scholarship money, and $5 application payments
  • Request FAFSA rankings from the Advisor for each applicant
  • Email scholarship participants announcing the scholarship amount received
  • Work with the Vice President of Fundraising to hold scholarship recipients accountable for their fundraising requirements
  • Email participants and Site leaders about scholarships and deferment plans date
  • Promote deferment plans

Vice President of Fundraising

General E-Board Requirements

  • Hold a minimum of three office hours per week in the Student Organization Center
  • Manage and maintain the ab.gv.fundraising@gmail.com account
  • Actively participate in Site Leader interviews and selection
  • Actively participate in Participant selection
  • Attend all Alternative Breaks events, as well as Site Leader meetings and Executive Board meetings
  • Maintain and add to Legacy Notes and Future Notes for future chairs
  • Manage and maintain the cage, cage inventory, and reflection materials
  • Reserve rooms for  Alternative Breaks events and meetings
  • Send invoices and recipes to VP of finance

Fundraising Opportunities & Donations

  • Search for and provide fundraising options to Site Leaders, participants, and Executive Board members
  • Coordinate in-kind donations, as needed
  • Ensure that thank you letters get sent to all donors and sponsors in a timely manner
  • Create and Update numbers of previous money raised
  • Set fundraising goal per year
  • Give a report of money raised to executive boards during spring transitions

Fundraising Requirements

  • Hold Site Leaders accountable for their fundraising requirements
  • Work with the Vice President of Finance to hold scholarship recipients accountable for their fundraising requirements

Vice President of Member Engagement

General E-Board Requirements

  • Hold a minimum of three office hours per week in the Student Organization Center
  • Manage and maintain the ab.gv.orientation@gmail.com account
  • Actively participate in Site Leader interviews and selection
  • Attend all Alternative Breaks events, as well as Site Leader meetings and Executive Board meetings
  • Maintain and add to Legacy Notes and Future Notes for future chairs
  • Manage and maintain the cage, cage inventory, and reflection materials
  • Reserve rooms for  Alternative Breaks events and meetings
  • Send invoices and recipes to VP of finance

Participant Orientation Process

  • Plan and facilitate participant pre-trip events such as orientation, send-off and socials for winter break, spring break, and summer break
  • Familiarize participants with site leaders, trip topics, trip locations, E-Board members and each other
  • Create a connection between the E-Board and participants
  • Explain AB’s values, vision, and mission to participants
  • Explain active citizenship and the eight components to participants
  • Explain the No Drug and Alcohol Policy to participants
  • Answer any participant questions, and update them as needed
  • Work with the Executive Vice President and Site Leaders to create the Educational Packet

Participant Education Process

  • Plan and facilitate monthly Transformation Tuesdays
  • Incorporate education during pre-trip events as listed above

Participant Selection Process

  • Annually update the participant application
  • Lead participant selection to ensure drivers are evenly distributed and participants are placed on their desired trips
  • Work with the President to collect and check participant behavioral contracts, travel release, and emergency forms for all winter, spring, and summer break trips

Vice President of Public Relations and Recruitment

General E-Board Requirements

  • Hold a minimum of three office hours per week in the Student Organization Center
  • Manage and maintain the ab.gv.publicrelations@gmail.com and ab.gv.recruitment@gmail.com accounts
  • Actively participate in Site Leader interviews and selection
  • Actively participate in Participant selection
  • Attend all Alternative Breaks events, as well as Site Leader meetings and Executive Board meetings
  • Maintain and add to Legacy Notes and Future Notes for future chairs
  • Manage and maintain the cage, cage inventory, and reflection materials
  • Reserve rooms for  Alternative Breaks events and meetings
  • Send invoices and recipes to VP of finance

Recruitment

  • Hold Site Leaders responsible for recruitment requirements
  • Plan and Facilitate the following:
    • Alternative Breaks Info Nights
    • Campus Life Night & Campus Life Night 2.0
    • Nonprofit Volunteer & Internship Fairs
    • Presentations to classrooms, student organizations, offices, etc.
    • Chalking, white-boarding, tabling, etc.
    • Swag tables at Alternative Breaks events
  • Compile a list of email addresses from Campus Life Night, Info Nights, tabling, and other events, and send initial welcome email to all prospective participants
  • Effectively recruit participants and Site Leaders to the Alternative Breaks Program
  • Provide leadership and direction to Site Leaders involved in recruitment

Promotion

  • Advertise for:
    • Alternative Breaks Info Nights
    • Service Saturdays
    • Transformation Tuesdays
    • Fundraising & Scholarships
    • All trips and their application deadlines
    • Other important dates/events
  • Have other Vice Presidents provide and double-check dates and other information
  • Work with Site Leaders and other Board members to post flyers around campus
  • Work with Site Leaders and other Board members to chalk for upcoming events
  • Design flyers, posters, table tent ads, banners, web ads, and whatever other promotional material is needed
  • Be responsible for all tabling materials, including the display board

Social Media

  • Continually maintain and update the Alternative Breaks website, Orgsync, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest pages
  • Reach out and connect with other programs and non-profits via social media
  • Create and distribute the Alternative Breaks Quarterly newsletter to members, alumni, etc.
  • Work with the Executive Vice President to manage and maintain the Site Leader Facebook page
  • Gather and edit trip videos for seasonal trip videos (5 second videos)

Merchandise

  • Create, design, order, and manage merchandise for sale
  • Design, order, and distribute site leader sweatshirts and trip t-shirts
  • Work with President to decide how many trip t-shirts to order

Public Relations

  • Communicate with other campus organizations and offices including University Promotion Office, the Community Service Learning Center, News and Information Services, The Lanthorn, and GVTV
  • Send out press releases following major Alternative Breaks events (particularly for winter, spring, and summer breaks)
  • Be a filter for the press (Handle interview/information requests, etc.)
  • Send negative press from trips on to the proper Grand Valley State University’s University Communications
  • Design and coordinate thank-you letters to all site and housing locations to highlight the impacts of the Alternative Breaks movement and their part in it. Information can include number of participants served, total service hours, quantifiable service stats (i.e. number of trees planted, number of children tutored)

Vice Presidents of Site Development and Assessment

General E-Board Requirements

  • Hold a minimum of three office hours per week in the Student Organization Center
  • Manage and maintain the ab.gv.development@gmail.com or the ab.gv.development2@gmail.com account
  • Actively participate in Site Leader interviews and selection
  • Actively participate in Participant selection
  • Attend all Alternative Breaks events, as well as Site Leader meetings and Executive Board meetings
  • Maintain and add to Legacy Notes, Site Bank,  and Future Notes for future chairs
  • Manage and maintain the cage, cage inventory, and reflection materials
  • Reserve rooms for  Alternative Breaks events and meetings
  • Send invoices and recipes to VP of finance

Site Development

  • Equally split trips between the two Vice Presidents for the winter, spring, and summer breaks
  • Select locations, sites, and housing for trips, and set up initial contacts
  • Assist Site Leaders with all site and housing-related concerns throughout the year
  • Utilize records and reports from previous years’ Site Leader and Participant evaluations to determine with which sites to continue working
  • Issue and collect site and housing contracts, and forward to the Advisor and President
  • Collect W9s, insurance, and invoices from sites, and pass these on to the Faculty Advisor and Vice President of Finance
  • Maintain database of host sites and lodging organizations, locations, and contact information
  • Go over assessment with whole Eboard
  • Give a progress report of site inquires at Eboard retreat

Assessment

  • Create and execute post trip program outcome assessments
  • Create and administer comprehensive site and housing-related exit evaluations (for host sites to fill out about us and for Site Leaders to fill out about the sites).
  • Compile assessments in a comprehensive statistical manner to be used for program assessment and development purposes

Section 4

Duties of Site Leaders

  • Attend all Alternative Breaks events and meetings for to contract
  • Provide leadership to participants
  • Maintain open communication with participants, E-board, and faculty advisor
  • Meet all SL requirements as outlined by their contract, given when accepting their position
  • Develop a positive relationship with the designated site and housing contacts/organizations
  • Maintain contact with site and housing both before and during the trip
  • Maintain communication with participants prior to the trip, and provide opportunities for group building
  • Be actively involved in participant recruitment and selection
  • Abide by all Alternative Breaks policies and uphold the mission, vision, and values of Alternative Breaks
  • Facilitate active citizenship among participants
  • Provide educational opportunities before and during the trip, including the Educational Pre-Packet
  • Facilitate effective, daily reflections on trip
  • Be aware and responsible for the allergies of participants
  • Recommend new Site Leaders from participants
  • Responsible for deposit
  • Receive discount for paying for their trip

Article III

Fees and Dues

Every member of Alternative Breaks is responsible for paying the appropriate dues for their trip. They should be notified of payment deadlines by the Vice President of Finance, by their Site Leaders, and in the application. Scholarship opportunities are available on a limited basis (as discussed in Article IV).

Section 1

Week Break Trips

  • Winter Break participants pay $250 for a national trip and $150 for a regional trip, which covers the cost of transportation, gas, housing, food, a t-shirt, and any administrative fees required for the trip.
    • The payment deadlines of the trip for winter break participants are on dates determined by the Executive Board when setting the annual calendar.
    • Refunds are allowable to participants before a date determined by the Executive Board when setting the annual calendar. If the participant pays in full before the refund deadline, then the amount of the first payment will be refunded 50% and the amount of the second payment will be refunded in full.
    • Refunds after the refund date will only be given under extenuating circumstances. The Executive Board must agree to grant a reimbursement. Any participant asking for a refund might be asked to provide proof of circumstance in order to be considered.
  • Site Leaders pay $150 for national trips or $50 for regional trips plus the cost of Site Leader sweatshirts and tie-dye t-shirts. This covers the cost of transportation, gas, housing, food, a trip t-shirt, and any administrative fees required for the trip.
    • The payment deadlines for a winter break Site Leader are on dates determined by the Executive Board when setting the annual calendar.

Section 4

Payment Policy

  • If a member is not able to make a payment in time, they should notify their Site Leaders and the Finance Chair in order to work out a payment schedule.
  • If a member is not able to pay or does not pay by the assigned deadlines without notifying their Site Leaders, they might lose their spot on the trip.
  • If a member goes on a trip without paying their dues, the total amount due will be charged to their student account.

Article IV

Scholarships

All members of Alternative Breaks are eligible to receive a scholarship. The scholarship fund should be a set amount at the beginning of the year based off of application payments specifically. No member shall receive a full scholarship from Alternative Breaks.

Applications for scholarships should follow the following procedures:

  1. Applications will be posted on the Alternative Breaks of Grand Valley State University Orgsync page.
  2. Applicants will write a brief description of their financial situation.
  3. Within one week after the scholarship due date, the applicant will meet with the Finance Chair and at least one other Executive Board member to interview
  4. At a designated meeting, the Executive Board members will discuss each applicant, and will recommend an amount.
  5. The Executive Board will vote to allot the given amounts to applicants.
  6. The applicant will be notified of the scholarship decision from the meeting. The amount allotted will be deducted from the applicant’s total amount due.

7.If an Executive Board member applies for a scholarship, they can not sit in for allocation night

Article V

Policies & Procedures

Every member of Alternative Breaks will be held accountable for all policies outlined in this article. If any policy is not followed, disciplinary action may be taken by the Executive Board of Alternative Breaks and/or the faculty Advisor(s).

Section 1

Amount of Alternative Breaks Members on Trips

Each trip must consist of at least nine students,  two of those acting as Site Leaders. In the event that a trip falls below the required number of participants, that trip shall be dissolved and the students placed on other trips, if possible.

Section 2

Trip Forms & General Liability

The following policies are in place for Alternative Breaks general liability:

  1. Each participant and Site Leader must fill out a behavioral contract and an ER contact form, and any other trip-specific forms in order to depart on a trip.
  2. Students are not covered for accident and sickness by Alternative Breaks or Grand Valley State University.
  3. Grand Valley State University does cover Alternative Breaks for general liability.
  4. If a participant or Site Leader does not have insurance, they must acknowledge that they will accept all responsibility in the case that an issue arises while on the trip.
  5. Grand Valley State University and Alternative Breaks are not liable for any injury or accident that occurs while participating in Alternative Breaks events. Participants assume responsibility for any risks they take.
  6. Grand Valley State University and Alternative Breaks are not responsible for any items or belongings that become lost or stolen during any trip or event.

If a participant wants to visit family during a trip, he/she/ze/they must fill out the Participant Exception Form. This form will be reviewed by the President and Advisor, and they will determine whether or not to approve temporary departure from the trip.

Under pre-arranged situations, participants of the Alternative Breaks Program may be approved to leave their group at the completion of a trip and make their own travel arrangements to travel to another location and return home at their own expense and own liability. The Alternate Return Travel Arrangements Form must be filled out and given to the President and Advisor, who will determine whether or not to approve the early departure from the trip.

Section 3

No Drug and Alcohol Policy

Alternative Breaks has a zero tolerance policy for drugs and alcohol at all Alternative Breaks sponsored trips and events.

Grounds for dismissal include:

  • Consuming alcohol or illegal substances during any AB-sponsored event
  • Purchasing alcohol or illegal substances during any AB-sponsored event
  • Being under the influence of drugs or alcohol during any AB-sponsored event

If this policy is broken while a student is on an Alternative Breaks trip, the following protocol must be followed:

  1. The participant(s) in violation of this policy will be sent home at their own expense immediately.
  2. The student’s name(s) must be reported to the Alternative Breaks Advisor immediately, and disciplinary action will be taken.
  3. The participant(s) in violation of this policy may be refused to participate in another Alternative Break.

WHY WE STRICTLY ENFORCE THIS POLICY:

  1. We are representing Alternative Breaks, as well as Grand Valley State University.
  2. These substances interfere with safety and awareness.
  3. This is part of what makes our trips “alternative” breaks.
  4. Not everyone on the trip is over 21, and this would interfere with group dynamics.
  5. Some of the communities we work with have severe issues with alcohol and drugs, and our abuse of the substances would be unsupportive to the cause.
  6. If you are drinking, you are missing out on an once-in-a-lifetime experience with Alternative Breaks.
  7. Some of the participants on the trip might have a negative background with drugs or alcohol, and use of these substances would interfere with group dynamics.
  8. These substances create liability issues with Grand Valley State University.
  9. They are just not necessary, and there is no time if you are having a quality Alternative Break!

Section 4

Vehicle Incidents & Liability

If a traffic violation occurs while on an Alternative Breaks trip that results in a ticket, the following protocol must be followed:

  1. Alternative Breaks and Grand Valley State University are not to be held responsible for paying any fees incurred through traffic violation.
  2. The member responsible for a ticket or fine while driving will be responsible for paying the fee unless members of the group decide to equally divide payment.
  3. If the ticket is not paid on time, a $25 administration fee will be charged to the driver due to Enterprise’s fees.
  4. Any appeals to traffic violations should be done through the Advisor for Alternative Breaks.
  5. If a trip receives a ticket, the Site Leaders must inform the Alternative Breaks Advisor immediately.

Enterprise and Grand Valley State University Relationship

  1. Drivers must complete a driver check before driving any Enterprise van.
  2. Grand Valley State University does have auto liability and physical damage coverage for the rental vans.
  3. Grand Valley State University does not cover students’ personal vehicles at any time.

Rules for Driving Enterprise Vans

  1. Only 21-year old Grand Valley State University students who have been authorized by Grand Valley State University DPS are able to drive the van. Individuals who have not completed the driver authorization process are not approved to drive and will be held accountable
  2. It is required 5 hour shifts maximum of drivers and 4 hours of rest before driving again during the day. It is required 2 hour shifts maximum of drivers during the night.
  3. Co-pilot must be alert, engaged, and assist with directions for the entire duration of their shift

Section 5

Incident Report Forms

Incident report forms must be filled out by Site Leaders for any injury or accident that occurs during an Alternative Breaks trip. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Hospital trips
  • Trips to Urgent Care
  • Someone is missing for some period of time
  • Injuries or illness
  • If the van breaks down, or other van problems
  • Tickets of any kind (including parking tickets)
  • Fines of any kind
  • Problems adhering to the No Drugs and Alcohol Policy
  • Problems adhering to the Behavioral Contract
  • Sites asking trips to do inappropriate tasks to tasks that are deemed unsafe
  • SVDC card problems (including getting lost, stolen, or declined)

Additional documentation may be required if necessary (statements from participants, etc.). All incident report forms must be turned in to the Alternative Breaks Advisor by the Friday after the trips return. If any of the aforementioned incidents occur, the President and Advisor must be notified right away by phone.

Section 6

General Disciplinary Action

Failure to abide by Alternative Breaks policies will result in disciplinary action. In this case, the Executive Board and the Advisor of the Alternative Breaks program reserves the right to question each individual involved in the trip and decide on an appropriate action. Actions may include, but are not limited to: loss of privilege to attend further Alternative Breaks activities, referral to the Dean of Students, etc. Destruction of property including but not limited to reflection material, apparel, and documents will result in disciplinary action as decided upon by the Executive Board and Faculty Advisor(s).

Failure to abide by Grand Valley State University policies will result in disciplinary action. Documentation will be given to the Advisor, who will in turn take appropriate University action.

Section 7

Disciplinary Action of Site Leaders

Failure to attend two meetings and not acquire missed information from the Executive Vice President will result in disciplinary action. In this case, the Executive Vice President and Team Leader will meet with the Site Leader and discuss a plan of action. If failure to attend meetings and acquire missed information continues, the Site Leader will be considered for removal by the entire Executive Board.

Article VI

Selection of New Members

Section 1

Confidentiality

Members of the Committee will use confidential information only for its intended purpose. Confidential information in this setting refers to information disclosed in applications, during interviews, and during meetings, which is private and not available to others. Information about which position a Site Leader or Executive Board member is applying to is strictly confidential.

Section 2

1: Nominating Committee, hereby known as the Committee, shall be selected at least three weeks prior to when President interviews occur. Being in the Committee is open to all who will be graduating, and all Site Leaders and Board members who are graduating will be invited to participate. The Head of the Committee will be the current President unless he/she is not graduating. If this is the case, then a graduating Executive Board Member will become the Head of the Committee. At least two representatives will be graduating Site Leaders and at least two representatives will be graduating Executive Board members. Any Site Leader or Executive Board member who will be seeking election cannot be on the committee.

The president elect will be involved in two eboard interviews. The eboard nominees will be given the option to have the president elect sit in our their interview. The president elect will also sit in on “Recommandation Night”. They will only be there as a learning tool, they will not have a say in who is recommended for what position.

2: Qualifications for New Board Members. All board members elected or appointed shall meet the requirements for good standing. A member may serve on the Executive Board only if they have been a Site Leader.

3: Date of the Election shall be in two sections. The election for President will be done at least one week after Spring Break trips have returned. The election for the rest of the Executive Board members will be the next immediate Site Leader meeting following the President’s election. There will be no absentee voting and absentee ballots. If a SL is not at elections they will contact the EVP.

Election of President

3: Nominations shall be held first for the position of President. The nomination period should open at least three weeks before spring break trips leave, and should close before the spring break trips leave. Any nominations will be sent to the Head of the Committee. Nominees must fill out the President Application and set up an interview time with the Committee. The Applications should be received by the end of spring break, if not sooner. Presidential nominees will also meet/interview with the Alternative Breaks Advisor and/or graduate assistant.

5: The Election shall be by written ballot, and all members in good standing may vote. A majority of Site Leaders and Executive Board Members must be present for the election to be held.

Section 3

Election of the Executive Board

4: Nominations are not required for any position on the Executive Board. A person interested in the position can nominate themselves. Any nominations will be sent to the Head of the Committee. Nominees must fill out the Executive Board Application and set up an interview time with the Committee. The Applications should be received by the end of spring break, if not sooner.

4: The Election shall be by written ballot, and all members in good standing may vote. A majority of Site Leaders and Executive Board Members must be present for the election to be held. The committee shall be prepared listing the recommended candidates and additional nominees. All individuals nominated will give a two minute speech highlighting the skills, goals, and experience they have acquired that would lend itself to the position for which they are nominated. After the speech is given, the floor will be open to questions for two minutes. Then the all nominees for the position will be escorted out of the room by a member of the Committee, while Pro/Con/Pro is occurring in the room. The Pro/Con/Pro discussion will be moderated by the Head of the Committee. Ballots will be completed in a sequential order. A member who is absent from the election may vote by contacting the Head of the Committee before the final count. Votes are counted by the Head of the Committee and double-checked by another Committee Member. The Head of the Committee then announces the results.

Section 4

Site Leader Selection

  • Executive Vice President will be lead on this
  • Executive Board Members and Site Leaders should make participants aware of the opportunity to be a Site Leader before the end of the academic year.
    • Executive Board Members and Site Leaders should email participants to notify them of Site Leader selection.
    • Before Never Ending Journey, Site Leaders should provide recommendations for future Site Leaders.
  • Participants who received recommendations from their Site Leaders should receive notification from the Vice President of Member Engagement after Spring Break and be made aware of the Site Leader Application open and close dates.
  • Before the end of the school year, potential Site Leaders will be interviewed by transitioning Executive Board members.

Site Leader applicants are strongly recommended to have participated in an Alternative Break trip, and must go through the following process:

  1. Students interested in becoming Site Leaders must fill out the appropriate application and forms by the deadline.
  2. At the time of turning in their application, applicants must sign up for a 15 minute interview with available Executive Board members.
  3. The Executive Vice President is responsible for reading through each Site Leader’s application and making comments based on the strengths and weaknesses of the applicant. The Executive Vice President is also responsible for delegating Site Leader application review to the rest of the Executive Board.
  4. The members of the Executive Board will make a final decision on all Site Leader applicants after a detailed discussion of each applicant.
  5. Applicants will be notified via email within two weeks of their interview as to whether they were accepted or not.

Section 5

Participant selection

Participants will not be placed on a trip that they have been on before through Alternative Breaks. In addition, the Executive Board should strive to place participants with members with which they do not affiliate and away from other participants that they know. The Executive Board and Site Leaders should follow the following protocol when placing participants on trips:

  1. Interested participants must fill out an application in order to participate in Alternative Breaks.
  2. The Vice President of Member Engagement will review all applications. Participants will be chosen based on their application and availability. Extra applicants will be placed on a waiting list and will be notified if there are any openings.
  3. The Executive Board and Site Leaders will try their best to place participants on trips based on the applicant’s top choices, as listed on the application.
  4. Executive Board members and Site Leaders will also try to place applicants in groups to which they will best fit, based on the diverse group dynamics that Alternative Breaks strives to create.

Article VII

P-Card Expectations

To ensure that the P- card is used in the most appropriate manner, Alternative Breaks has created an expectation list. This will allow Alternative Breaks, our Faculty Advisor, and the Office of Student Life a clear set of guidelines to follow.

  • The P-card will remain with the Faculty Advisor.
  • Alternative Breaks E-board will sign out the P-card.
  • Alternative Breaks E-Board can use the card as necessary for projects approved by AB.
  • Alternative Breaks Site Leaders and participants are not allowed to use the P-Card.
  • Personal Items are not allowed to be bought with the P-card.
  • The P-card is technically the university’s, however the account and money belongs to the students of Alternative Breaks.
  • The Vice President of Finances should be notified before any purchase made.
  • For board members and faculty  it is not allowed to purchase items with the P-card with the intent of switching the costs to another 5/3 bank account on campus. If they do, e-board members/faculty  must be made aware.
  • The numbers on the P-Card should never be written or saved on the computer.

Article VIII

Gas Reimbursements

Eboard Retreat, Site Leader Retreat, and Weekend Trip (If we use personal cars)/ Any drive past 30 minutes. Service Saturdays can be worked on in the future, once we work on the kinks with the gas reimbursement plan. 1 hour of driving will equal $5. ½ hour of driving will equal $2.50. Example for the site leaders who drove to retreat would get $10 in return. In addition to this we should create it own category in the budget sheet, that then would have it’s own subcategories. The money used for gas reimbursements will come from fundraising money. Add money into the SL and Eboard retreat fund to the gas. Reimbursements in checks from 5/3 bank.

Article IX

Graduation Cords

Graduation cords will be available for Site Leaders and Executive Board to purchase. Previous Site Leaders and Executive Board are welcome to buy graduation cords.

Article X

Official Complaints

Under Executive Board discretion, official complaints about an Alternative Breaks Board member, Site Leader, participant, or the organization as a whole will be documented and turned in to the Advisor.

Article XI

Voting on issues

At any time a member of Alternative Breaks may motion to vote on any subject matter. If the Executive Board or any member seconds the motion the Executive Board will hold a discussion followed by a vote. A majority vote on the topic is required in order for the motion to be passed.

Article XII

Amendments to the Constitution

Proposed constitutional amendments and bylaws must be presented to the Alternative Breaks Executive Board. A two-thirds majority vote made by the Executive Board is required in order for the amendment to be accepted. For official ratification of the constitution, the entire Executive Board must be present.

Article XIII

Affiliation

Alternative Breaks of Grand Valley State University is a chapter school of the national organization, Break Away.

Article XV

Dissolutions clause

In the event that Alternative Breaks is dissolved from Grand Valley State University, 50% of existing funds should go to a strong Community Partner in the Grand Rapids area, and 50% of existing funds should go to a strong Community Partner that we partner with for trips.

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