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Virginia Tech News / Articles / 2004 / 03 

Virginia Tech students participate in The Big Event

March 24, 2004

Virginia Tech senior Catherine Clark will not be sleeping in on Saturday, March 27. Instead she may be painting a house, raking a yard or picking up trash at a local park.

Clark, 22, a psychology major in the College of Science, is one of 1,500 students who will participate in almost 200 service projects around the New River Valley Region for The Big Event, a day of community service sponsored by the Virginia Tech Student Government Association.

Students involved in sororities, fraternities, athletic teams, and various other campus organizations will come together to complete nearly 200 jobs for organizations or individuals that want help in Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Montgomery County, and neighboring communities.

“The Big Event gives students the opportunity to thank the community for their undying support of the university, and students seize that opportunity and take the chance to thank them,” said Erin Bryant, Big Event director of marketing.

This will be the third year The Big Event has been held in Blacksburg. In its first year, more than 450 students completed 60 service projects in the local communities. In 2003, more than 1,000 students participated in 110 service projects. This year, a strong increase in student volunteers means that 1,500 students will be able to complete nearly 200 service projects.

“The increase in the amount of service projects shows that there is a lot of need in the area and that the community is willing to welcome college students into their lives,” Bryant said.

Service projects include yard work and landscaping, helping non-profit organizations, painting, washing and cleaning, household chores for the elderly and roadside and park cleanup.

The Big Event started at Texas A&M in 1982 when six students cleaned a local cemetery in College Station, Texas. Since, The Big Event has expanded with more than 40 schools participating nationwide. It has become the largest single-day, student-run service project in the nation.

The Student Government Association is a Virginia Tech organization that is able to influence policy, create change, and improves the climate and campus of Virginia Tech. SGA exists to advance students' needs, concerns, and opinions to university administrators, local, state, and federal officials. As an organization, SGA offers the recognized opinion of the unified undergraduate student body and represents all students to the governing bodies of Virginia Tech, the Town of Blacksburg, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and to other universities around the nation.

Founded in 1872 as a land-grant college, Virginia Tech has grown to become the largest university in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Today, Virginia Tech’s eight colleges are dedicated to putting knowledge to work through teaching, research, and outreach activities and to fulfilling its vision to be among the top 30 research universities in the nation. At its 2,600-acre main campus located in Blacksburg and other campus centers in Northern Virginia, Southwest Virginia, Hampton Roads, Richmond, and Roanoke, Virginia Tech enrolls more than 28,000 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries in 170 academic degree programs.