On October 26, 2019, Honors Across State Borders (HASB) will host their first Hike For HASB fundraiser at the UConn Forest.

A service initiative of about 50 students, HASB dedicates their efforts to tackling social justice issues. They have one event per semester, with the main one being the week-long “alt break” trip over spring break, junior and HASB team leader Cailin Tennis said. 

Their upcoming 2020 spring break trip is based in New Orleans, where the group will be working with the United States Recovery Project, a housing-based service organization. 

“So we don’t know the exact work we’ll be doing yet, that usually comes closer to the trip, [. . .] we mostly focus on going there and doing what they need us to do,” Tennis said. “A lot of times service can become what you want to do and what you think is best, or what’s easiest for you, but we try and focus on [. . .] seeing what they need us to do.” 

Tennis said that while HASB usually focuses on issues like food insecurity and housing inequality, this year they will also be more involved in other matters like environmental action and racism as part of an effort to revamp the club’s mission.

One of HASB’s smaller groups, since the organization as a whole has about 50 people (photo provided by Cailin Tennis)

Among these new changes is the hike, which was the idea of HASB’s fundraising chair Brendan Hogan. Tennis said the group’s goal is to gather enough donations to help pay for their trips, and if it’s successful enough, they will keep doing it. 

“With HASB, you’re always meeting new people and making great connections,” Tennis said of HASB.  “If you’re a freshman or new to the university it’s a great way to meet people as well.”

No formal registration or fee is required for the hike, although Tennis said around 30 people have already signed up and donations are accepted. It will start at the top of Horsebarn Hill at 1 p.m. and move into the UConn Forest. There will be time for reflection and bonding activities before the start of the hike, which will be around 1-1 ½ miles, Tennis said.

Tennis said she has high hopes for the hike, both in terms of crowd turnout and funds. 

“We don’t have a fundraising goal necessarily,” Tennis said. “Because part of it is just raising awareness as well, just for all the issues that we’re tackling, and hoping it inspires others to do service.”