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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 Big Event to kick off Saturday

More+than+21%2C200+students+have+committed+to+serve+for+The+Big+Event+Saturday.
Photo by File

More than 21,200 students have committed to serve for The Big Event Saturday.

More than 21,200 Aggies will head out into the Bryan-College Station community Saturday to take part in The Big Event.
Each year, Aggies express their gratitude to the B-CS community through the biggest student led, one-day service event in the nation. This year, the signup deadline was extended to allow more Aggies to participate and express their spirit for selfless service, a core value at Texas A&M.
Computer science senior and Big Event president Dalton Harris said since its founding, The Big Event has grown significantly each year. This year, Dalton believes volunteers have the capacity to serve between 2,600 and 2,800 residents.
“A couple of years ago, in 2012 or 2013, we hit our first 20,000-person project, and since then we just continue to go up and up,” Harris said. “It’s incredible to see because while the numbers are great, every single person that goes out adds four more hours of impact and service to the residents of our community. If we get one more person, then it’s one more resident we can serve that day.”
Prior to the deadline extension, Harris said signups averaged just below 21,000 volunteers and depending on how many volunteers sign up, a wait list is created for residents requesting volunteer work on the big day.
However, recruiting more participants in part has to do with the marketing techniques and possible miscommunication, said Eric Lan, industrial distribution senior and The Big Event outreach officer.
“There was miscommunication between The Big Event and some student participants. One reason for that is, for example, a FLO wants to sign up and the service chair goes onto The Big Event website with the intention of signing up everyone in their FLO for this project, but one thing the system does not allow is for one person to sign up multiple people,” Lan said. “People realized that they could only sign themselves up and try to communicate to the organization and try to get 20 or 30 to sign up in one day.”
The spirit of service can be contagious, and The Big Event staff is trying to spread the mission. Lan said Texas A&M’s time-old tradition exists well beyond the limits of the College Station campus. Lan said The Big Event has spread to more than 100 different schools worldwide, including in countries like China and Pakistan.
Electrical engineering junior Kenny Meissner said he’s experienced the impact of The Big Event firsthand.
“Last year, we helped a lady clear out loads of logs and branches. She really appreciated what we did because it meant she wouldn’t have to go through the stress of hiring people, it also saved her back,” Meissner said. “The event shows students the importance of giving back to the community that supports them.”
The Big Event will take place on March 25. Those interested in participating can sign up that day on campus near Kyle Field.

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