An open letter from the Program Managers

Dear Boston University community,

In light of the technical difficulties experienced by many during online Registration this year, we here at Boston University Alternative Spring Breaks and the Community Service Center would like to send an apology to those who were affected by the situation. We would also like to thank our volunteers for their understanding and dedication during these challenges.

First, we are excited about the overwhelming popularity of ASB. The amount of interest in this year’s ASB program was unprecedented. In the month of January, BU students viewed the ASB website a record 26,500 times, blazing past the previous record of 16,453 views of January 2010. Although this clearly foreshadowed heavy web traffic during registration, it was impossible to predict the exact amount of hits we could expect. Unfortunately, our third-party server was not able to handle the demand on the system, and crashed.

Immediately following the site crash, we worked to find a solution with the help of our Registration and Database Manager, as well as our Director and Assistant Director of the Community Service Center, and Dean of Students office. Despite attempts to salvage the registration system, we decided to reschedule ASB Registration to 7PM the same day, to allow us time to fine tune several alternatives, and give volunteers the opportunity to plan accordingly.

Ideally, all plans were designed to maintain fair access to the registration process; however, we realize frustrations arose with our subsequent systems. To those of you who did not get a trip, we ask you to consider joining our waitlist at Additionally, we ask that you realize your situation is not unique; indeed, each year, hundreds of students are unable to participate in the service opportunities we offer due to capacity limitations.

While many have suggested we expand the current program, we would like to stress that Alternative Spring Breaks is a student-run volunteer program. The Program Managers, Committee Leaders, and Coordinators are all undergraduate students, just like yourselves, dedicating their time to create the unique experiences that all of you enjoy so much. Already, the Boston University Community Service Center has one of the largest college Alternative Spring Breaks programs in the nation; however, maintaining an adequate supply of service trips for our volunteers has become increasingly difficult with ASB’s increased popularity.

That being said, we cannot thank our supporters enough. Our advisors, Dean of Students office, and administrative contacts have been instrumental in the development of ASB. Yet, we must thank you, the volunteer, for your exceptional patience and support of this year’s program. We know that this process was frustrating. You have our sympathies, but most importantly, you have our gratitude for not wavering in your desire to volunteer. We are excited by your enthusiasm and dedication, and cannot wait to begin our adventures together.


Leif Hede-Brierley & Suchie Ravindran
Program Managers
Alternative Spring Breaks
Boston University Community Service Center


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