Students pitch in to help the commnity
This past Saturday, Longwood University held their annual Big Event, a day of community service and student bonding. Participants signed up in advance to reserve their spots, and arrived at the Grand Dining Hall around 9 a.m. for a small breakfast and waited for further instructions. One of the organizers of the event was junior Katherine Hyland, a business administration major who is concentrating in marketing and minoring in art history.
The Big Event is run by a student organization of the same name, and Hyland is on the logistics side of the operation. She has been involved with the Big Event for two years now, and has been on the committee since her sophomore year.
“We got everything started around September,” said Hyland, referencing how long it took to prepare the event. “I talked to Longwood to rent out the Grand Dining Hall, I talked to Aramark to get out food donated, I talked to WMLU [Longwood’s student-run radio station].” She also said that there were a multitude of “PR days,” when the Big Event was advertised to the student body. “We hand out flyers, and there’s a lot of word of mouth, as well; upperclassmen inform lowerclassmen about it through the Greek community, which is also great,” added Hyland.
To quote Hyland, she and her colleagues have a “master list” of job sites in Farmville that have been assisted during prior Big Events. These job sites are sometimes the houses of local residents or community resources, such as playgrounds. This year, the Big Event organizers also went to Main Street to look for new job sites.
Hyland listed some of the specific job sites and activities that were worked on this year. Most of the groups are assigned to help at residential homes, though are other activities as well. One group built a wheelchair ramp, and two others cleaned up playgrounds. Still others worked indoors, performing work like organizing the books in a library.
“They’re not all outside, but most of it is,” said Hyland.
Hyland and her crew did not directly engage in these activities because they were too busy keeping the event running. They acquire the equipment the students need and ensure that it is brought back to Frazer Hall, among other tasks.
The Big Event is held annually in March, and emails will be sent out in advance of the next one reminding students to sign up.