After the cancelation of the 2020 Big Event amid the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the spring event at Texas A&M University is scheduled for March 27, 2021.
The Big Event is a one-day service project in which Aggie student volunteers perform jobs for local community members, such as painting and yard-work. The Big Event is an integral part of the community, organizers said. In previous years, over 18,000 student volunteers served Bryan-College Station residents. Since its start in 1982, Texas A&M students have volunteered more than 1 million total service hours.
After collaborating with the cities of Bryan and College Station, the Brazos County Health District and the Texas A&M University COVID-19 Task Force, business management senior and Director of the Big Event Kristin Guzak, said the executive team has been working to implement changes to make sure the event will happen.
“We are doing everything we can in our efforts so that all students and residents feel safe participating,” Guzak said. “I hope that the residents of Bryan-College station are still able to see the gratitude that the students have for the community.”
Human resource graduate student and finance director for Big Event Jake Koppelman, said the driving force of the executive team has been their desire to bring the event back to campus to reunify the student body.
“We didn't have Big Event in 2020,” Koppelman said. “So we are going into the 2021 school year with a freshman class and sophomore class that have never experienced the Big Event.”
According to Operations Executive history senior Perri Sibille, the 2021 Big Event will come with a few changes in efforts to minimize the risk of participants, including requiring masks to be worn by all volunteers as well as the introduction of a virtual aspect to the event.
“When you are dealing with the operations of the day-of it has been hard to plan because there is just so much unknown,” Sibille said. “We have been working to figure out the best way possible for the students… and for the residents in a way that still really exemplifies the mission of our organization.”
Sibille said the goal of this year's Big Event will be more focused on unity than in past years.
“My biggest goal for this year is to...remind people the significance of being an Aggie and what it means to serve selflessly,” Sibille said.