Students clean up in a big way

Spending the day helping out the community, organizations and volunteers from Southeastern, as well as the Student Government Association (SGA), held “The Big Event” on Saturday, April 16.  A first for the university, “The Big Event” is a service project held by other schools, and William Takewell, the director for the project, thought that it would be a good way of reaching out to the surrounding area.

“There are about 80 other schools that do ‘The Big Event’ every single year,” said Takewell.  “It’s just a really good way to get students together, not working on behalf of their fraternity, sorority or organization, but on behalf of their school, saying we want to give back to the community and that’s not something we have here at Southeastern.”

With their being no office of service learning, students have no real defined way of contacting the public and giving back to the community.  Takewell thought it would be best to take the initiative and organize a service project for everyone on campus to give them the opportunity to help the public.

With sign-up beginning at 8 a.m., student organizations from the campus were paired together to visit various locations around Southeastern and the university.  Many fraternities and sororities had given a helping hand, such as Delta Tau Delta, Kappa Sigma, Sigma Sigma Sigma and Theta Phi Alpha.  Some of the group organizations that participated were Best Buddies, NAACP, PEEPS and the workers from Starbucks.

While on campus, groups helped lay down sod at Garrett Hall, cut trees down on Texas Ave and clean around the Lab School.  Off campus, groups helped a local State Farm agency set up a car seat safety checkpoint, cleaned lawns for the elderly, clean for Campus Convenience and painted at Head Start and TARC.  Teams were given rakes, shovels, ladders and other equipment at the start of day.

Before the day was over, those who had helped the community were helped with a great lunch.  Boiled crawfish, potatoes and seasoned corn on the cob were offered, as well as pizza for those allergic.  With great weather, the day was topped of by the lunch, provided by Scott Simoneaux and Atchafalaya Crawfish.

“My friends and I had a really great time,” said Brittany Graver, a junior majoring in communication sciences and disorders.  “We painted railings, the handicap parking signs, washed busses and cleaned the playground.  I thought it was just such a great thing to do for the campus and our community.”

Others shared a similar feeling with the event, highlighting Takewell’s plan to bring “The Big Event” to campus.

“I thought it was a very creative idea, something new for Southeastern,” said Chris McKinley, a junior communication major.  “I commend William Takewell for his efforts and everyone that worked with him.”

With “The Big Event” coming to a close, Takewell had some parting thoughts on the day’s events.

“I think it was a great success for the first year,” said Takewell.