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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Big day for giving back

Then-sophomores+Meagan+Banowsky+and+Danielle+Alford+work+in+flower+beds+during+The+Big+Event+in+2017.
Photo by Photo by Meredith Seaver

Then-sophomores Meagan Banowsky and Danielle Alford work in flower beds during The Big Event in 2017.

On Saturday, Texas A&M students will be participating in The Big Event — the largest student-run single-day service project in the country.
The program allows students to give back to residents in the Bryan-College Station community. This year, students will be participating in a total of about 2,700 service projects.
According to Molly Murphy, business honors and marketing junior and Big Event outreach executive, around 20,000 students typically register to participate in the Big Event. This year, the staff expects 19,000 students to volunteer in Saturday’s service projects.
“Throughout the years, we’ve seen a continued commitment from A&M to want to be a part of something bigger than themselves, but to also want to connect with residents and the Bryan-College Station community,” Murphy said.
Murphy said the organizers try and assist as many B-CS residents as possible.
“What I’ve been amazed by, for the most part, is how many residents sign up from word of mouth,” Murphy said. “Whereas in the past we’ve had to recruit residents pretty heavily, now it’s gotten to the place where we advertise the Big Event in places where residents frequent. But more than that, I feel so many residents are coming because of the referrals.”
Murphy said Big Event reflects A&M’s value of selfless service and the relationships that can be built around that value.
“By essence, a relationship is about being about the other person and giving of oneself to the other,” Murphy said. “That is why relationships are able to be built on the day of the Big Event — because we are giving ourselves to the other. Whether that’s through our time, our conversations, the things that we are doing — we are giving them ourselves.”
In addition to A&M, Florida State University students will be simultaneously holding a Big Event on Saturday. In all, approximately 125 Big Events are held throughout the year by schools and universities across the U.S.
“The mission behind Big Event and its growth at A&M is how do we get more students or residents to sign up so that we can all be a part of this?” Murphy said. “But more than that, how do we get other schools and  entities and communities to do this — to commit one day to do the same thing?”
Murphy said the executive staff comes up with and receives numerous ideas related to the Big Event and its future. Some suggestions have been improvements that the staff  has managed to implement, and others have been avenues for expanding the Big Event concept.
“One of the changes we’ve made this year that we are going to continue on is creating the ‘One Big Thank’ conference and empowering other schools and other entities to be leaders in this selfless service movement,” Murphy said.
Computer science sophomore Kade Flitton said the experience of  participating in Big Event has been one of his most cherished memories from A&M so far.
“What stood out to me was the scale of it,” Flitton said. “Everybody was just there to do good for the community. Seeing the community of A&M come together to do good is incredible.”

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