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Big Event staff shares project tips

Published: Thursday, January 31, 2013

Updated: Friday, February 1, 2013 01:02

When students think of traditions at A&M, what tends to come to their minds first are ones like Silver Taps, Elephant Walk and saying “Howdy.” Though many students may not know it, The Big Event is the newest official tradition at A&M, a testament to how significant service is to Aggies.

Saturday Feb. 2 will mark the 7th annual Big Event Conference at A&M, a day where Big Event staff welcomes universities from across the U.S. – from Auburn to Mississippi State to the University of Oklahoma – to the MSC to discuss how each of their Big Events, or their other one day service projects, operate and can grow.

The itch to serve is spreading further than universities, as two high schools in Dallas and a College Station church are attending the conference.

The conference– open to Big Event staff and delegates only– will consist of workshops, presentations and guest speakers such as vice president of Student Affairs, Gen. Joseph F. Weber, and vice chancellor of Recruitment and Diversity, Frank Ashley, as well as three round table discussions.

Ashley McNew, outreach executive for The Big Event and senior communication major helped organize this year’s conference, and emphasized The Big Event’s newly implemented vision for this national collaboration of schools: “The One Big Day.”

“For a long time, The Big Event has had this underlying bigger vision of what we want The Big Event to ultimately look like, not just at A&M, but for all of the nation,” McNew said. “Basically, it’s a vision of everyone and every school coming together on ‘The One Big Day,’ doing a service project and saying thank you to the community that they are a part of.”

McNew noted the significant steps forward that conference has taken this year, emphasizing the outcomes resulting from a more organized means of contacting schools and from the website.

“At the first conference, maybe just a couple of schools came,” McNew said. “This year, we had a high goal of between 100 and 120 delegates to come – we thought we were a little crazy for shooting that high – but we are hosting 23 schools and 112 delegates are coming.”

Nereson said The Big Event’s hope for national influence is rooted in knowing that the scope of impact extends far beyond the city limits of Bryan-College Station.

“[Conference] is something that’s very tangible for [A&M students] to see that other people are being affected by what’s happening here at A&M,” Nereson said. “Ultimately, it’s all through our mission of saying thank you to the community.”

Considering the commitment to service that Nereson sees A&M students making in their daily lives and through The Big Event, he hopes students can tangibly see the impact of The Big Event through the conference.

The goal for this year is to have 19,000 participants serve in The Big Event, and McNew said she hopes A&M students get excited that this love of service is spreading across the nation.

“Because this idea that we are doing – this tradition that we hold at such high value at A&M – is being done in other places, we should be excited about it and want to know how we can help spread it,” McNew said. “We would love for this to be a tradition at every school.”

 

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