On Nov. 8, 2015, Randolph-Macon held “The Big Event.” The Big Event was started in 1982 at Texas A&M University by Joe Nussbaum. Nussbaum, the Vice President of Texas A&M’s Student Government Association, came up with the idea because he wanted to give back to Bryan and College Station residents for supporting the university and making Texas A&M a great place for students to live and learn. Since then, The Big Event has grown into one of the largest student run, one-day community service projects. The Big Event has been welcomed by over 75 different college campuses around the world, including R-MC.
In October, the R-MC Big Event Executive Board rallied together students from multiple organizations across campus in order to spread the word about the project. A few dozen students showed up to execute the task. The students were broken into groups of three, given flyers and a route, and set off to walk around Ashland to spread the word about The Big Event.
The event in October was wildly successful and led to 30 members of the community signing up for The Big Event in November.
When the day for The Big Event finally arrived, around 170 students from 9 different organizations, as well as students who had signed up as individuals without an organization, came out to give back to the community. For the most part, students who signed up for The Big Event did sign up with a group or an organization. The organizations and groups that participated included Theta Chi, Kappa Alpha Theta, Alpha Gamma Delta, Phi Kappa Sigma, Delta Zeta, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Service Fellows, Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, and Alpha Phi Omega.
When students arrived at the meeting place for The Big Event, they checked in and found their groups. Once in their groups, the students were broken down into subgroups, and were then given tasks, equipment, directions, and snacks. Then, the students were sent on their way to do their service projects.
The Big Event at R-MC took place between 1:00-5:00 p.m. The students were available for 4 hours of service and had to complete what they could within those 4 hours. For the most part, everyone was able to finish their project, and some groups even combined forces to help each other out.
The goal of The Big Event at Randolph-Macon was to uphold the ideals of unity and service. Sophomore Kelsey Thomas said her favorite part of The Big Event was “getting to work with people [she] knew to do something good for someone.”
Kelsey found that helping the community with her friends made raking leaves and weeding ivy seem more fun and less like tedious yard work.
The event was organized by a small group of students that made up The Big Event Executive Board. The Board was made up by President Brooke Forde, and Executives Lydia Delk, Bailey Holland, Elijah Carter, Syreen Goulmamine, Alina Pacione, and Teal Reynolds. The event was also overseen by the Assistant Director of Student Life and Co-Curricular Coordinator Jayme Watkins.
-Kayla Koslosky ’18, Junior Features Editor