Civic Engagement & Service

Bulls Service Break

Bulls Service Breaks (BSB) is the USF alternative service breaks program housed under the Immersive Experiences Committee on the newly designed Civic Engagement Board in the CLCE. The mission of the Civic Engagement Board is to advance civic engagement training, education, and development at USF. The purpose of the Immersive Experiences Committee is to develop and implement immersive, reflective programs and services focused on moving students from Volunteers to Conscientious Citizens on the Active Citizen Continuum. BSB is a part of a national movement of Active Citizenship whose purpose is to raise awareness of root causes of social issues and injustices through education, direct service, and immersive cultural exchange. Each BSB trip is rooted in the Break Away Eight Components of a Quality Alternative Break, which are: strong direct service, orientation, education, training, reflection, reorientation, diversity and social justice, and full engagement. The social issues explored on each BSB Trip align with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. 

The BSB experience consists of three critical parts:

  • Pre-Trip Transformation: Prepare participants for on-site, immersive experience and provide initial education, orientation and training about site-specific social issues
  • On-Trip Immersion: Participants work alongside communities to look critically at the root causes of social issues and evaluate the role they have in the community.
  • Post-Trip Re-Orientation: Participants commit to find avenues for continued community involvement and take action locally

BSB Structure (NEW!)

The Immersive Experiences Committee that houses BSB is led by a Vice-Chair, who serves as a CLCE Board Member, and consists of two Content Developers, two Global Educators, and 16 BSB Trip Leaders. Each BSB trip is student-led by a team of two Trip Leaders (one Trip Developer and one Trip Educator) is staff-supported by a professional Trip Advisor, and has 9 student participants to total 12 travelers. 

BSB Trip Advisors- 

A professional USF advisor is a required component for each BSB trip. The role of the BSB Trip Advisor is to advise and supervise the two student Trip Leaders who lead nine participants on the service trip experience. While the Trip Leaders are responsible for coordinating all logistics and educational components of the trip, the Advisor supports these functions while serving as the financial and risk manager for the safety and protection of both the students and university resources. Successful applicants are passionate about working with students in high energy environments, committed to social justice, effective at motivating and organizing teams, are very organized, and have positive, fun attitudes. Trip Advisors must have contractual employment at USF and the ability to assume responsibility for a rental vehicle. Advisors can be faculty, administrative staff, or Graduate/Teaching Assistants. The Advisor application opens in July each year. 

BSB Trip Leaders - 

The BSB Trip Developer is primarily responsible for developing participants as Conscientious Citizens through the development and implementation of logistics for their specific BSB trip. The BSB Trip Educator is primarily responsible for developing participants as Conscientious Citizens through the development and implementation of educational components for their specific BSB trip. BSB Trip Leaders are typically selected in late March/early April to lead trips for the following year. 

BSB Trip Participants - Now open! Click here to apply  

BSB Trip Participants are selected after an application and interview process.  The main role of each trip participant is engage in the experience as a Contentious Citizen, concerned with discovering root causes of social issues and committed to becoming Active Citizens who create positive change. Successful applicants have prior volunteer experience, a servant-leader attitude, and commit to full engagement in BSB from November to April. 

There will be 7 domestic trips offered for spring break 2020 and they are all $400, all inclusive (lodging, meals, transportation). Locations and trip issues (UN Sustainable Development Goals) will be announced in the fall application. In addition to our spring break trips, we will also offer a December 2019 and May 2020 service trip to Puerto Rico, which is $600, plus flight. Participants are offered flexible payment scheduling options that start in November and end in early March. All costs must be paid in full prior to trip departure and each student is responsible for their own payments. Individual fundraising is encouraged and supported.

BSB Participant Timeline:

  • October: Applications open, interest sessions take place
  • Saturday, November 2 and 9, 2019: BSB Participant Interview Days: (mandatory to be considered)
  • November 2019: Participants and alternates are selected and notified
  • November 22: Commitment Deposit Due 
  • Late November: Fall Pre-trip meeting
  • January: Transfer and New Student applications open 
  • January-March: Pre-trip Transformation (meetings, pre-service, fundraising, etc.)
  • March 15-21 On-trip Immersion (spring break)
  • March 23-April 3: Post-trip Re-Orientation Projects 

2019-2020 Trips 

Winter Break 2019:

Puerto Rico Service & Outdoor Adventure Trip- December 15-21, 2019

Spring Break 2020: March 15-21, 2019

Human Trafficking
Refugee Rights and Empowerment
Youth, Education & Food Insecurity
Public Health
Disability Awareness
Women’s Empowerment
Hunger & Homelessness

The Puerto Rico Service & Adventure Trip

A collaboration between Campus Recreation Outdoor Adventure Trips and the Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement Bulls Service Breaks program, The Puerto Rico Service Trips are designed for students who have a passion for nature and outdoor education and volunteer service. In May 2019, we served in Puerto Rico for our fourth time since hurricanes Irma and Maria struck the island in fall 2017. This trip focuses on the UN Sustainable Development Goal: Life on Land. We work in El Yunque, the only tropical National Rain Forest in the National Forest Service system, and Hacienda Tres Angeles, a family owned organic coffee farm, where we rebuild trails and replant crops that were devastated from the storms. Outdoor challenge rating is a 3/5 (camping, hiking, direct service outdoors).

View the photo album for the first Puerto Rico Service Adventure Trip that took place in            May 2018  here

       Read more about our initiative in this news article.

Click here to register for the December 2019 trip. 

If you have any questions about BSB, please contact Aixa Cruz, Civic Engagement Board Vice Chair for Immersive Service Experiences, at amcruzrodrig@usf.edu