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The Battalion

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

The Battalion

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Big Event returns to Aggieland this weekend

On+Saturday%2C+March+27+the+nations+largest+one-day+student+run+service+project+The+Big+Event+will+return+to+College+Station+after+being+cancelled+in+2020+due+to+COVID-19.%26%23160%3B
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On Saturday, March 27 the nation’s largest one-day student run service project “The Big Event” will return to College Station after being cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19. 

After the cancellation of the 2020 Big Event due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event will make its return on Saturday, March 27.
The Big Event is the nation’s largest, one-day student-run service project and aims to give back to the surrounding communities. The day-long event will return to Bryan-College Station with certain protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among the community.
Finance senior and The Big Event Recruitment Executive Connor Harwell said they have limited group sizes, will be enforcing social distancing and masks and have changed the event from four hours to two hours to limit interaction time. Harwell said the service projects will be the same type of work as they were in the past years, such as landscaping and fence painting.
“Our number is down a little bit from last year because there are two class years that have never actually seen the Big Event,” Harwell said. “That was something we did expect, but we were extremely overwhelmed with the number [of participants] we did end up getting. We didn’t expect it to get anywhere close to what we ended up getting.”
Homeowners in the community rely on the work done during The Big Event, Harwell said. There have not been any homeowner concerns raised yet, he said, and the community is excited to have students helping out this Saturday.
“We did let the homeowners know of the COVID[-19] restrictions, so they understand that,” Harwell said. “A lot of [homeowners] are happy we are able to come back out, and they know that we’re doing everything we can to keep people safe while also having the most effective Big Event that we can.”
In a March 24 press release, A&M interim President John L. Junkins said although the event will be slightly different, it allows for the Spirit of Aggieland to continue to persevere and for students to help the community in ways never thought of before.
“While we won’t be able to have a large gathering of volunteers at Kyle Field Plaza like in past years, we are excited that this event will carry on in the same spirit of service,” Junkins said. “Organizers have adjusted the protocols for in-person projects to ensure the safety of everyone involved. There is even one job that will allow hundreds of students to choose from several virtual service opportunities, giving them the chance to have an impact both locally and globally.”
While the number of students participating is lower than in previous years, many organizations are still eager to help. Allied health sophomore and service counselor for Aggie Fish Club Kayla Dominguez said they are excited to give back. Dominguez said it’s an exciting opportunity, especially for the counselors who had their first Big Event canceled due to COVID-19.
“We want to give back to the community and participate with A&M,” Dominguez said. “Although we didn’t get to do it last year, I think it’s going to help us reach out and be part of the whole university. We are super excited to experience this, especially the counselors.”
The Big Event has arranged for a representative to undergo a training course and relay the information back to their group or organization. Aggie Fish Club’s representative and general studies freshman Alyssa Owens said The Big Event staff made it easy and has helped throughout the process.
“Big Event staff was able to split up our group of 60 for me, and that was very helpful,” Owens said. “I believe that giving back to the community is something everyone should do, so being able to [do] that through Big Event is really nice.”
While The Big Event may look different this year, Harwell said the community is united in its excitement and eagerness to serve during a difficult time.
“Residents can’t wait,” Harwell said. “I know for a lot of them, this is their main interaction with students, so being able to go out and serve them in a year where no one thought this would happen is an extreme privilege. We get to see all that joy.”
For more information, visit The Big Event’s website.

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