The Big Event, an annual community service program, will take place Saturday, April 2.
Every year, the Student Government Association sponsors the Big Event, a program in which students volunteer their services for community service projects that are mutually beneficial to volunteers and recipient organizations.
SGA Social Media Coordinator Sarah North issued an email last Monday reminding students of the event and encouraging them to participate. March 28 was the last day to register for the Big Event.
“This opportunity gives a chance for our USM family to give back to the university and the community,” North said.
Volunteers will meet at Reed Green Coliseum on the Hattiesburg campus at 8 a.m. for a brief assembly and breakfast. Then, they will go to various service sites throughout the community to begin work on assigned projects.
Students are expected to arrive at their service sites by 9 a.m. and will work until around 12 or 1 p.m.
The service sites involved are being organized by The Salvation Army, The Fieldhouse for the Homeless, Hub City Humane Society, Southern Pines Animal Shelter and Edwards St. Fellowship Center.
This year, USM is also partnering with several schools and churches in the area.
Bradley Floore, a USM senior and assistant director of the Big Event, said the Big Event is a program that all Southern Miss students should take advantage of at least once.
“I believe participating in the Big Event is fundamentally important,” Floore said.
Many of the service sites are those that students at USM have volunteered for in the past. Ben Burkett, a business administration junior at USM, worked at last year’s Big Event program in which he was involved in landscaping and cleaning services.
“I love my Southern Miss and being able to not only give back to Southern Miss but to the community that supports and gives us so much,” Burkett said. “It gives me a sense of accomplishment.”
Senior psychology major Kylar Isabelle has taken part in the Big Event for the past four years. She said the event is special to her.
“Giving back to Hattiesburg is really the least we can do,” Isabelle said. “The city has done so much for campus, so just being able to give back to Hattiesburg has just been awesome.”
This year, the organizers of the event hope to see more students involved.
“Our goal this year is [not only] to increase the number of students that participate, but also positively enhance the experience that every student has,” Floore said.