A summer research position can serve many purposes: (1) many are paid positions; (2) they introduce you to research-based graduate school; (3) they look great on resumes and applications; (4) they let you see what other universities are like if your experience is off the South Bend campus.
As an example, the University of Texas at Dallas offers two types of undergraduate research programs. Each is 10 weeks with a stipend of $4,000. Housing costs are covered as well. Such programs are competitive so you will need at least decent grades and excellent letters of recommendation from your IU South Bend faculty. The following websites describe the two programs at Dallas.
If you are interested in a summer research experience, inform a faculty member so that he/she can let you know of opportunities. A limited number of SMART grants are also available from IU South Bend to support research at this campus - see your favorite research professor for more details.