It's not uncommon for people to wait overnight in lines for great deals and good concert seats. At Concordia, students camp out for an opportunity to serve.
Some students spent a night in Knutson Campus Center in hopes of getting their preferred location for a Habitat for Humanity spring break trip.
Erin Host '17, Aitkin, Minn., and Becca Trunk '18, Princeton, Minn., wanted to go to North Carolina.
"It's got to be warmer than Minnesota," joked Host.
This will be both students' first Habitat for Humanity trip. They saw it as a great way to get involved, plus Trunk notes the trips look like a lot of fun.
As they waited in line, other students chatted from a circle of couches arranged on the upper level of Knutson. Nearby, the hallway was lined with sleeping bags and backpacks, ready to be put to use as the night went on.
Dr. Dan Biebighauser, faculty advisor, brought the students treats around midnight and opened the sign-up around 8 a.m. Those who slept over got the first picks.
With a tradition going back 25 years, Concordia has one of the largest Habitat for Humanity campus chapters in the country because of the large number of students who participate in builds throughout the year. This spring, students will be serving locations in New Mexico, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Oklahoma.
"At almost every build site I've been at, the local workers have said that Concordia students have been the best college students they have ever worked with," says Biebighauser. "It says a lot about our students, their strong sense of purpose and service, and their work ethic. We have fun, but our main purpose is to work."
Each trip has openings for 20 people – 19 students and one faculty advisor. If the trips fill, 110 Cobber volunteers will be serving around the country.
"I think students are excited enough about the trips to camp out because of that strong tradition, and the fact that students know that they will accomplish meaningful work during their spring break," Biebighauser says.