Davey Sullivan ‘22
On Sunday, Jan. 26, the Spring Break Immersion Program (SBIP) held its Third Annual Reveal Night in Seelos Theater. The event gathered all participants of this year’s program in one place for the first time. At this event, SBIP participants learned where they are going for immersion. The event was led by College Chaplain and Director of Domestic Immersions, Emily Rauer Davis, as well as the co-chairs for this year’s trips: Liv Ferrick, Maggie Wiggin, and Luke Wardour, all members of the Class of 2020.
The Spring Break Immersion Program sends many Holy Cross students to a diverse range of places, including L’Arche sites in Florida, Missouri, Alabama, New York, and Massachusetts, where students immerse themselves in communities with individuals living with intellectual disabilities. There are also special sites like Alamosa, Col., Chicago, Ill., and New Orleans, La., each with its own theme. However, the majority of students are headed to Appalachia for immersion, in states such as Virginia, West Virginia, and Kentucky.
On “Reveal Night,” students finally learned which of these sites they have the opportunity to visit, and the people that they will be working with. Upon arrival in Seelos Theater, in order to be identified with their groups, participants were given a piece of paper with an album cover on it and a meeting place somewhere on campus. All leaders and participants then gathered in the theater. After the introduction by Davis, the leaders of all of the sites came to the front of the theater. One by one, a slide would appear with the name of the leader, the site name, previous sites that leader had been to, pictures from those trips, and the album cover from the sheets. A song from the album played when the slide appeared.
One by one, students learned the leader that they would have for the week, with some groups having two leaders. From there, students were dismissed and went to meet their groups for the first time. Groups met all over campus, mostly in the senior dorms Figge and Williams halls.
One leader of an SBIP trip, Kerry Shortell ‘20, who previously participated in a trip to Roanoke, Va., commented to The Spire about the reveal, “[a] spirit of openness is an integral part of the experience. So I don’t know a ton about Glasgow, but I’m really excited to explore the area and meet the community! I think and I hope the excitement in the room at Reveal Night was palpable for everyone – us leaders have been looking forward to meeting everyone for so long and it was during that moment when it all finally felt real for us.”
Second-time SBIP participant Michaela Lake ’22 remarks, “This year at Reveal Night, I was so excited to get to meet my group for the first time and to see where I was going. This year I am travelling to Ivanhoe, Va., with a really awesome group. I’m excited to do something different from what I did at my site last year, and to get to work with a new community.”
Spring Break Immersion Program has an exciting future ahead. The immersion programs are scheduled for spring break (as the name suggests), with many flying or driving to their sites on Feb. 28 or 29.