CLEMSON — When most students think of spring break, they envision a chance to work on their tans on sunny Florida beaches. However, some Clemson University students think of something else: they see a chance to make a difference.

This spring break, which began Monday at Clemson, several students planned to travel and volunteer in other communities.

About 400 students in Clemson’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes group traveled to Indianapolis to volunteer in schools, tutoring, providing food and serving in other ways.

Through the Alternative Spring Break program, students are visiting Winter Park, Florida, and participating in serving the surrounding communities.

Their activities include visits to homeless campuses, preparing furniture for resale to those transitioning from homelessness to home ownership, preparing meals for teen residents of the Covenant House Florida and sanitizing and sorting food items at the Second Harvest Food Bank.

“The purpose of the trip is for students to be able to define and explain issues of power and privilege as they relate to justice, as well as explain factors that shape their own personal values and beliefs,” said LaNita Weisenberger, Clemson’s associate director of Multicultural Programs.

“In addition, students will gain a deeper understanding of homelessness/hunger on a local and global scale,” she said.

The students are also conducting several cultural excursions to the Orlando Museum of Art, the Zora Neal Hurston Museum and the Holocaust Museum, as well as several other areas.

In addition to the Alternative Spring Break group, various other student service and faith organizations are volunteering during Spring Break.

Among them is the Presbyterian Student Association, which is serving with Young Adult Volunteers in New Orleans. The main focus of this trip is rebuilding homes that were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina

“The purpose of this service trip for the Presbyterian Student Association is to spread the Word and Love of God through our actions with those less fortunate than us in the New Orleans community,” said Alex Davis, the president of PSA.