Southeastern's Big Event draws 800 students for community service
Contact: Rene Abadie
Date: March 12, 2013
1) READY TO SERVE – Some of the 800 Southeastern students gathered in the Student Union mall prior to fanning out to more than 40 job sites as part of The Big Event.
2) CAMPUS BEAUTIFICATION – Mindy Guidroz, left, of Delta Omicron and Katherine Smith of First Presbyterian Campus Ministry plant azalea bushes Saturday (March 9) along Western Avenue as part of Southeastern's community service day The Big Event.
HAMMOND – Approximately 800 Southeastern Louisiana University students came together Saturday
(March 9) and picked up rakes, shovels, paint brushes and other tools to participate
in the university's third annual community service day called "The Big Event."
After gathering bright and early at 8 a.m. in the War Memorial Student Union Mall, the students – all dressed in bright yellow Big Event-3 t-shirts – gathered in teams to hit more than 50 sites in the area where they performed a wide range of chores from landscaping, to trash pickups, to painting.
Southeastern President John L. Crain greeted the assembled students from the Student Union balcony, congratulating them on their dedication and commending them on their strong commitment to community service. Their efforts, he said, demonstrate to the community the belief our students have in giving back and have helped the university earn a three-year consecutive presence on the national President's Honor Roll for Community Service.
The sites included area elementary, middle and high schools, St. Albert's Catholic Student Center, Serenity House, Hammond Headstart, the Louisiana Children's Discovery Center and numerous locations on the campus itself.
Child Advocacy Services (CASA) coordinator Lori Banks watched as students and staff worked on the organization's buildings and grounds, sprucing up the playground and painting offices.
"We have a great relationship with Southeastern, utilizing their students in counseling and social work as interns," said Banks. "But as a nonprofit organization, we don't have the funds to do the kind of extra work that these students are providing today."
"It's great to see this many students pulling together and making short work of some big jobs," said Student Government Association President Branden Summers, as he handed out cold water to students laying sod and planting azaleas on the campus. The Big Event is sponsored by the Southeastern SGA.
The Big Event was started at Texas A&M university 30 years ago and has spread to universities nationwide. It is considered one of the largest service days among college students.