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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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Photo by Photo by Cassie Stricker

Ana Pozas Garza pours a bag of mulch out as freshman interdisciplinary studies major Katie Mascari spreads it out.

This weekend more than 21,500 Aggies dedicated their Saturday to volunteering in the Bryan-College Station community as part of the 35th annual Big Event. Students were able to aid residents in more than 2,300 projects.

Computer science senior and Big Event director Dalton Harris feels he owes it to the Aggie family to give back.

“I came in as first generation Aggie, didn’t really know a lot of people here, and throughout my experience here lots of people accepted me,” Harris said. “The Big Event  was the best way to give back and acknowledge those individuals who accepted and loved me.”

Industrial distribution senior and Big Event outreach executive Eric Lan said this student-led event shows that all Aggies are willing to take them to serve.

“One project that I specifically enjoyed spending time on was working with Ron Crozier at Twin City Missions and the Texas A&M football team,” Lan said. “The football team and coaching staff serve at Twin City every year and they continually make the place better by constructing playgrounds, cleaning the facilities and interacting with the residents there. It is very encouraging to the student body to see that even some of our favorite athletes find time in their busy seasons to serve our community.”

In addition to the football team, members of student group Minorities in Agriculture and Natural Resources believed it was important to attend the Big Event as well. Agricultural leadership and development senior and MANR member Jelisa Fields said Aggies owe it to the residents of the community to give back.

“I think Big Event is important because we need to make an impact in the community,” Fields said. “The students come here and take up a lot of space in College Station and Bryan, so it’s important for us to give back.”

In order for student organizations to participate, the Big Event executive staff had to commit countless hours of hard work to ensure as many residents as possible could be served. Accounting graduate student and operations executive Collin Krueger said the staff was able to overcome many hardships by working together.

“We had many challenges this year and they were all handled incredibly well because of our teamwork atmosphere,” Krueger said. “We had to relocate our storage units for all of our tools this year and we could not have done it if we didn’t rely on each other.  We leaned on each other for support and ideas and through that we were able to come up with the best solutions possible.”

Krueger is from College Station and considers it an honor to be a part of the staff this year.

“I have grown up in College Station my whole life and have always seen The Big Event and knew that it was something that I wanted to be a part of,” Krueger said. “Because The Big Event is not just a one day service project, it is a movement of selfless service that has spread worldwide and it started here at Texas A&M. That is something that I am extremely proud of, and I knew I had to be.”

Students like business freshman Lauren Middleton and mechanical engineering junior Brian Mahaffey said they were excited to participate in Big Event alongside their friends.  Both students volunteered with their organization, Wind Symphony, and hoped to bond as a team while helping a resident paint his home.                                                                                                        

“I think this is a pretty good way to get things done around the community since it’s so many of us,” Middleton said.

Mahaffey said he was glad to spend his Saturday helping others.
“It’s good to give back and it’s cool that we are here to do it,” Mahaffey said. “I usually don’t do anything on Saturday’s anyway, and it’s fun to be with your friends doing community service work.” `

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