Spring Break: Service Gone Wild

Can good deeds and learning compete with wet T-shirt contests and random hookups? You decide.

Illustration: Gordon Studer

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For spring break fun, can good deeds and learning compete with wet T-shirt contests and random hookups? You decide.

Rite of Spring: Tequila shots
Righteous Spring: Measles shots. Public health students from the University of Michigan spend their vacation observing a childhood vaccination program in China.

Rite of Spring: Señor Frog’s
Righteous Spring: See more frogs. Life Changing Travel’s Galapagos Islands trip has students building trails, adding native plants, and working at the islands’ research stations.

Rite of Spring: Gaudy cruise
Righteous Spring: Godly crusade. Students spend four days lobbying with the Oregon Right to Life Education Foundation. Highlight: the quiz game “Who Wants to Be a Pro-Lifer?”

Rite of Spring: Contracting stds
Righteous Spring: Preventing them via an AmeriCorps condom distribu­tion and sex ed trip to Charlotte, North Carolina

Rite of Spring: Drama
Righteous Spring: Dharma. A retreat at Virginia’s Radford University includes an ass-numbing 15 hours of silent meditation.

Rite of Spring: Crossing the border
Righteous Spring: Walking the border. University of California-Berkeley students tour the routes used by illegal immigrants coming into the US. ­But instead of following los coyotes, the students are guided by la migra.

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The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

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