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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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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

The Big Event: Students lend hand to B-CS residents in day of service

Photo by FILE

The Big Event is the largest one day student run service project.

More than 21,000 students streamed to the far reaches of West Campus to Research Park early Saturday morning to embark on the largest single-day student-run service project in the nation — The Big Event.
Students canvassed Bryan-College Station, serving residents by pulling weeds, raking leaves, painting homes and more.
Robert Killion, industrial distribution junior and The Big Event outreach executive, said The Big Event saw a large increase in students participating and job requests compared to last year.
Killion said this year’s estimated attendance of between 21,000 and 22,000 volunteers was a solid increase from last year’s 20,000. Killion said students served around 2,500 job sites.
Event organizers tie The Big Event to the A&M core values.
“Texas A&M had instilled the value of selfless service in its students for generations,” said assistant director Megan Ransleben at the opening ceremony. “It is because of this that The Big Event was started 33 years ago. Today we have the privilege to live out this value through serving 2,500 residences in Bryan and College Station.”
The student-nominated speaker, Scott Shafer, Class of 1980 and head of the Department of Computer Science, said The Big Event is an example that everyone working together can create something bigger than themselves.
“Once you get your eyes open and arrive at your site, pull weeds, paint a bench, clean a floor, it may not seem big but it is, and you are,” Shafer said. “The Big Event is big because you are going far beyond pulling weeds, painting benches, and cleaning floors, you are living a core value of this university, a core value of being an aggie. You’re engaging in selfless service.”
At the ceremony, Student Body President Kyle Kelly said The Big Event is an incredible event and doesn’t show any signs of stopping.
“[I’m] still amazed year after year that we have 21,000 Aggies that show up this early in the morning on a Saturday to serve — it doesn’t get old, it doesn’t get routine,” Kelly said. “Having been a part of The Big Event for five years now, it hits me the same way. They couldn’t do this at other schools.”
As students prepared to disperse to their job sites, the 2015-2016 Yell Leaders led their first yells together, including one calling for Aggies to “beat the hell out of yard work.”
Killion said planning for next year will begin right away.
“Everything that we do has been meticulously done for the future and for the growth of the Big Event,” Killion said. “We will start choosing our new exec team and director within the next month and they will be on the ball. But really every year is preparing for the current year as well as for the future.”
Cantrell Bryan, accounting senior, said The Big Event was a rewarding experience.
“It went pretty well — we went out to a house in Bryan,” Bryan said. “We chipped paint for six hours. It was a lot a fun; they were very hospitable — made us sandwiches and stuff.”
Killion said he felt The Big Event was immensely successful.
“Overall, it was a huge success,” Killion said. “I think Research Park proved to be an incredible location for us, and at the end of the day we have the chance to serve and say ‘thank you’ to the residents of the community and that’s what truly matters.”

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