Some students spend Spring Break drinking their cares away. Some relax in the serenity of an Isla Vista transformed into a ghost town by the weeklong hiatus. Others build houses for the needy.

Twenty-three members of the UCSB chapter of Habitat for Humanity spent Spring Break in Portland, Oregon, constructing the frame and foundation for a new low-cost home and repairing local homes that were worse for wear.

“Instead of going to Mexico or wherever and getting drunk, we wanted to do something meaningful with our break,” said Sarah Crowley, junior geography major and president of the UCSB chapter of Habitat for Humanity. ” It felt good to spend our time in a positive way.”

This will not be the first Spring Break that students with Habitat for Humanity have left the state to do some good. Last year they went to Texas to help build homes, and the year before they traveled to New Mexico.

“I went last year and had a great time, so it was an easy decision to go again this year,” said Joanna Funke, fundraising chair of UCSB Habitat for Humanity and sophomore history major. “It gives me a chance to meet people like me and do something with my break other than sitting around.”

The group stayed in a church during their week in Oregon, sleeping on the floor and driving to the nearby University of Portland to shower. Many of their meals were provided free of charge by the university’s dining commons.

“It was really cool for us to be in a big city,” Crowley said. “There was lots to do around town after work was done, and we were able to take a day off to do some hiking around the area.”

The UCSB Habitat for Humanity chapter participates in local builds two weekends a month, with projects in Lompoc, Piru, Santa Maria and Ventura.

Aside from its biweekly trips to nearby towns, the group’s next undertaking will be the construction of a new three-unit condominium on upper State Street in cooperation with the Santa Barbara chapter of Habitat for Humanity. Construction on the condominium is scheduled to begin May 3.