The Big Event returns with new focus, more volunteers
By: Tyler Story, Contributing Writer
The Big Event, Towson University’s annual day of service, took place on Saturday with over 400 student volunteers, the university said.
More space for students, new learning goals and some quality-of-life improvements better supported participants in the Event’s 13th year.
The event, which is organized by the Office of Civic Engagement and Social Responsibility, is a service opportunity for students to participate in hands-on projects locally.
This year’s festivities had a new focus on environmental sustainability and more intentional connections with local community associations, which allowed more students to participate, according to Romy Hübler, the director of the Office of Civic Engagement and Social Responsibility.
The local approach gave participants learning-based opportunities to improve Towson and the surrounding neighborhoods, The Groups worked at over 20 volunteer sites including the Perring Loch Community Association, Loch Raven Library and the Towson Chamber of Commerce, according to TU Today.
“One of the things we have been doing this year is working with community associations and really focusing on those relationships so that there are larger group sizes that they can accommodate and that they are focused on environmental sustainability,” Hübler said.
This year saw groups clearing invasive species from green spaces, cleaning up streams and planting trees and flowers.
Riley Finazzo, who participated in the Big Event last year, said that the supplies the university provided, including gloves and ponchos, used to be given out at the individual worksites.
Finazzo said she felt that the new considerations made the Event go better than it did last year.
This year’s event had over 400 spots to fill with volunteers, Hübler said, a number that CESR was excited to share as they have been working on expanding how many volunteers they can handle for the day.
Members of the Student Government Association, sororities and fraternities and club sports filled most of the volunteer spots, Hübler said. Some individuals signed up as well.
The groups were split by their organizations, so students that signed up together went to the same sites for the day. Students were given bus transportation to volunteer sites.
“It was fun,” participant Jacob Noovani said. “Everyone’s spirits were high.”