While the Service & Justice Trips program continues to look differently due to the realities of COVID-19, we are adapting our transformational programming to still allow students, faculty, staff, and alumni to learn, engage, reflect, and act with our incredible community partners over the course of the semester.
Who goes on Service & Justice Trips?
Service & Justice Trips are open to all members of the university. Students of all ages, from every undergraduate school, and even some graduate students, participate in the trips each year. Faculty and staff members are welcome on trips and if they are interested should speak with RJ Toledo at the SCSJ (email@example.com or 402-280-1295).
I have friends at other universities that talk about their schools’ “Service Trips.” Why is Creighton’s program called “Service & Justice Trips?”
Service and Justice are often linked together and called the two feet of social change. Meeting someone’s immediate needs by providing services like food, clothing, housing, education, or an ear to listen, are all important things. Yet, we also want to change unjust social structures that are causing the need for our service to exist. Therefore, we’ve named our program to recognize that service and justice are both equally important for creating a better world.
How much do Service & Justice Trips cost?
The price (what we charge) of a full-week Service & Justice Trip is $330. The price for a half-week trip is $230. The cost of each trip is over $400 a person, but we are able to keep prices low because of fundraising and a subsidy from the Creighton Student’s Union.
Finances are a little tight but I still want to go on a Service & Justice Trip. Any advice?
Even if finances are a little tight this semester, there are still several ways in which we can try to make Service and Justice Trips a reality for you. In addition to the regular Service & Justice Trips application, there is a separate scholarship application for students looking for need-based financial aid for their trip. If a scholarship does not cover the total amount of the financial need, the SCSJ can also set up a payment plan to spread the payments out over the course of the semester. Finally, we offer half-week trips which cost $230 instead of $330 for a whole week trip.
How do I get placed on my trip?
On the Service & Justice Trips application, participants rank a variety of social justice issues that they have an interest in learning about over break. Core Team tries to take the top two to three interests of all participants and match them up with an appropriate site. Because of the size of the program, and the number of spots available at each site, we are not always able to guarantee someone’s top choice.
One other consideration: we try our best to split up students that know each other particularly well (roommates, best friends, folks dating each other, relatives…) because it allows participants to meet new people. While this is not always possible, it’s certainly a goal.
How will I get there?
All of the Service & Justice Trips are in the United States within a day to a day-and-a-half drive of Omaha. Your group will likely travel to your site in a Creighton vehicle or rented van. If your group is staying in Omaha, you will be walking and using public transportation. Some of our other sites take public transportation as well; for example, all Chicago trips travel on bus to Chicago and then use local transportation once in Chicago.
I am studying abroad this semester. How do I apply for next semester?
We don’t want you to miss out on doing a Service & Justice Trip next semester just because you’re abroad this semester. The application deadline will still be the same (sometime in November for fall trips, or April for spring trips) you’ll just need to contact RJ Toledo to make a special arrangement for your interview. We can take care of the remaining logistics when you return to campus the next semester.
Where will I be staying?
Each site is different. Groups stay in churches, post-grad volunteer program houses, Catholic Worker Houses of Hospitality, or with community organizations. You will have access to showers and all necessary (though often simple!) facilities. A sleeping bag is a helpful item. At most sites participants sleep on floors with sleeping bags. More information about specific host site arrangements is given during the General Meetings.
What should I bring and not bring?
You will not need much for your Service & Justice Trip (clothes and basic travel essentials like toiletries being the main things) and your coordinators will outline your site-specific packing list at the General Meetings. While packing, though, we ask everyone to keep in mind the pillar of Simplicity. One reason is practicality – space is limited in the vans and if everyone packed a large 50-pound suitcase, there would be no room for participants. The other reason is to help facilitate the community on the trip.
We ask that participants not bring cell phones and other personal electronic devices like computers, cameras, or music players. By “unplugging” for the week, participants are able to be fully present to their host site and group. Many participants say that going without a cell phone is a highlight of their week.
Every group has a cell phone for emergencies (and this number is given to parents in case they need to make contact), and there is a single group camera to capture pictures of the entire group. We cannot be responsible for lost or stolen items brought on trips. We ask that you leave anything too expensive to lose at home.
Will I need to bring any extra money on the trip?
Sleeping arrangements, food at the site, transportation, and a donation to the community partner host are all included in the price of the program. While you won’t need any additional money to go on the trip, we’d still recommend bringing a little spending money (around $30) just to be prepared.
I completed the Children and Vulnerable Adults training last year. Do I have to do it again?
Yes. Every academic year, Creighton students, faculty, and staff need to complete the Children and Vulnerable Adults training if they want to do service with children or vulnerable adults. Since all Service & Justice Trips have the potential for working with children or vulnerable adults, it is necessary to require the training. If you have already completed the training this school year for another Service & Justice Trip or with a different club/organization, you fulfill the requirement. Check out the Office of Equity and Inclusion website to take the online training.