Every SJU student is told that they need to do APEX once before they graduate, but the reality is, the spots are limited. The sign ups are typically expected to be filled in as little as 13 minutes, sometimes even less than that. Not to mention the campus wi-fi and the fact that the website never seems to work during this time either. This is the harsh reality Saint Joe’s students face every year. No matter how many times you refresh your browser, the possibility of not getting in due to the overwhelming amount of people trying to sign up at the same exact time is very real for a lot of SJU students. While some may think their lives are over from not getting in, there are a lot of other service oriented and rewarding things to get involved with on campus-for example, Collegiate Challenge, WIP (winter immersion program), and weekly service. Although APEX is an amazing experience, Hawk Hill offers many other ways to help make the world a better place.

On October 3rd at 9:29 p.m., Saint Joe’s students were stationed anxiously in their dorm rooms glued to their laptops awaiting the sign ups for APEX. Stressed, impatient, and overwhelmed with anxiety are just a few words to describe what these students are feeling at the moment. We observed Colleen, an SJU sophomore and APEX veteran who hoped to get the chance to embark on the amazing Appalachian experience once again. The emotions she was feeling as the 9:30 p.m. sign up time was approaching was written all over her face.


Tuesday, October 3rd, 9:39 p.m.

Sign ups closed for APEX in 8 minutes. Not only did the website crash, but Colleen did not get in. The mood quickly switched from anxious to upset when she didn’t get in. Most initial sign up rejections are followed by excessive ice cream eating, crying and melt downs. However, the Always Sunny team was able to step in and save Colleen from losing all hope for happiness in life without APEX. See for yourself.



YES. Don’t fear hawks, the Always Sunny team has got your back on campus. Whether it’s WIP, weekly service, or Collegiate Challenge, there’s many rewarding things to do on campus that don’t involve APEX.

Winter Immersion Program (WIP)Ever wonder what’s it like to travel to places outside of your comfort zone while expanding your knowledge of other cultures and people? And to be able to help and restore a community all at the same time? Then WIP is definitely for you. The winter immersion programs here at SJU are a way for students to learn about social issues of other places and open their minds to other opinions and experiences. They also allow for the students to help restore places that have been destroyed by tragedy such as New Orleans. If you like service and exploring people of other cultures than WIP is for you.

Collegiate Challenge Collegiate Challenge is a summer immersion program offered at SJU that works with Habitat for Humanity International. The students are not only able to do service projects to helps others, but they are also able to grow as people. Below are photos from a Collegiate Challenge site, and there’s a link to a video of Max, a member of Collegiate Challenge talking about his experience here.



Weekly Service Weekly Service is a way for students to be able to give back to the communities of Philadelphia and Camden surrounding Hawk Hill whose lives could use some of our generosity. It’s a service program that reflects back to our Jesuit values in connecting with one another on a deeper level to seek justice for others. It helps the students appreciate the lives they live and want to continue on the mission of change and justice for all.


Who would’ve thought, service life on Hawk Hill without APEX? Crazy concept to most, but as you can see it’s true. All the service opportunities offered on campus, including APEX, are amazing experiences that will change your life for the better. You can even do multiple of these programs in one year if you wanted to. Any of these service programs sound like the right fit for you? We thought so. So, next year when the dreaded yet excitedly anticipated APEX signups approach, we hope we gave you a little more comfort knowing the other service opportunities offered on campus.



All picture and video content was produced by Emma Brenner and Max Ickes. 





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I'm a junior communications major with a major interest in sports broadcast journalism. I love writing for Hawk Chill and improving my journalism skills with every article.

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