Today: Jun 17, 2024

The Big Event is back at SCSU

amanda brail | news reporter Shanley McClave, the head chair of the Big Event planning committee.

Amanda Brail – News Reporter

The Big Event takes place at over 75 campuses across the nation every year and, according to the event’s official website, Southern Connecticut State University has been one of the participating universities for the past five years.

“I think that  it’s just really important to give back to the community that   supports Southern,” said Shanley McClave, the head chair of The Big Event planning committee.

According to McClave, The Big Event is a way for Southern students to help out the New Haven community that they have become a part of since attending the university. During the event, which took place Saturday, April 27, students were sent out to 20 different sites throughout New Haven in order to volunteer. McClave explained that students were asked to give back to their community in a number of different ways.

“There are so many different options for students to volunteer,” she said. “They can do anything from raking, to planting new gardens, to office work, to painting, to simply picking up trash.”

Derek Emerick, a member of the Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity, said that they participated in The Big Event by volunteering at the Hamden-North Haven YMCA.

“The Hamden-North Haven YMCA is expanding their camp,” explained Emerick, “so TKE did their part by cleaning up the wooded area in the back for the YMCA to install rock climbing walls and a zip line for their new program.”

photo courtesy | The YMCA was one of the 20  locations students could volunteer at for The Big Event.
photo courtesy |
The YMCA was one of the 20
locations students could volunteer at for The Big Event.

McClave, who has been a part of The Big Event for the past two years, said that last year she participated in the event not only by being a committee member, but also by helping to make over 100 sandwiches that were delivered to The Columbus House – a homeless shelter in New Haven. This year she said her responsibilities were more difficult as not just a volunteer, but the head chair.

“This was my first year running The Big Event, although I was on the committee last year” she said. “A lot of planning and organization went into planning the event, but I would not have been able to do it without the hard and dedication of the committee; they’ve been behind me and helping me out the whole way.”

Amanda Roller, a sophomore history major said that she helped plan The Big Event by getting in contact with the volunteer sites, organizing the volunteer groups, and setting up volunteer times. She said that she hopes the event helped students realize what they could do for the community around them, but more importantly she said she hopes the volunteers had fun.

“I myself definitely had fun,” said Roller. “I just hope Southern students who volunteered can now understand that participating and volunteering, particularly in The Big Event, is just such an enriching experience.”

The event’s website said that it “started off as a very small service day involving only about 50 students” and that the goal for the event was to get 450 students involved; however,  McClave said she would be more than pleased with a turnout of about 300 students.

“I just hope everyone gets something out of the experience and really has a good time with it,” she said. “It’s important that we realize we are more than just students that are here to get an education and leave; we want to help out everyone that has helped us out along the way as well.”


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