Service project to build Aggie Spirit on campus
Published: Monday, September 30, 2013
Updated: Monday, September 30, 2013 22:09
Last spring, students suggested a nonprofit project that would unite students from all over campus by providing them with a way to give back to the community.
The project, BUILD, will be partnering with Habitat for Humanity to create houses for those in need in Bryan-College Station and will be holding a groundbreaking ceremony on Saturday to kick off the project.
Students will spend the next seven weeks building the walls of a house on Simpson Drill Field. The house will then be transferred to a site in Bryan where students will continue construction.
Andrew Abbott, BUILD command team leader and senior petroleum engineering major, said the idea for the project originated when student leaders gathered together and noticed campus had begun to feel disconnected. To remedy this, former deputy Corps commander and Class of 2013 Bryson Sutterfield came up with the idea of BUILD.
“We all grew up hearing about the Aggie family and about the spirit that brought everyone together, but we didn’t notice those traits defining campus,” Abbott said. “We wanted a project that brought students from all corners of campus together to serve others.”
The goal of BUILD is to involve every organization that is willing to participate, Abbott said, and he hopes it will bring students from all walks of life together.
“Our slogan is, ‘BUILD — A Tradition of Unity,’” Abbott said. “We want BUILD to be defined by bringing all students together for a central purpose.”
Abbot said he is excited for the project to begin, especially with the massive amounts of support the program has received.
Donations have already been made in support for the project from Artie McFerrin, Class of 1965 and namesake for McFerrin Indoor Athletic Center and the Cox-McFerrin Basketball Center. Widespread campus support has been received from sources including System Chancellor John Sharp, the Texas A&M Board of Regents and Student Body President Reid Joseph.
Abbott said this year will provide the organization with the opportunity to build a good foundation.
“It’s like starting a business,” Abbott said. “This year will allow future projects to have a foundation to start from.”
Antoinette Gillian, sophomore biology major, said she believes the project has the potential to effectively bring students together because Aggies are quick to show support.
“I think it’s a thoughtful project. And an accurate reflection of what an Aggie may do to help someone in need,” Gillian said.
Because this is the project’s first year, some students have questions about the scope of BUILD as well as its long-term effects.
Mark Goloby, senior chemistry major, said if BUILD wants to be seen as a separate organization from Habitat for Humanity, they will have to actively try to involve more campus organizations.
“Personally, I think this is just a sub-category of Habitat for Humanity and just a marketing campaign to get new houses built that centers around A&M culture,” Goloby said. “Not saying that’s wrong, it’s just what I feel.”
Abbott said while BUILD and Habitat for Humanity have similar goals of providing service, BUILD is made up entirely of students who come together to give back to the community.
The groundbreaking ceremony for BUILD will take place at 8 a.m. on Saturday at the job site in Bryan.