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Syracuse University will join with greater Syracuse community April 21 for ‘The Big Event,’ day of service
Syracuse University will join with greater Syracuse community April 21 for ‘The Big Event,’ day of serviceApril 12, 2007Matthew R. Snydermrsnyder@syr.edu
On Saturday, April 21, Syracuse University students, faculty and staff will head into the greater Syracuse community and engage in a broad range of community service projects as part of The Big Event: One Big Day of Service and Thanks.
The event, now in its third year at SU, will connect members of the SU community with nonprofit community agencies within the city of Syracuse for volunteer opportunities such as tutoring, park clean-ups, planting trees and landscaping, interacting with senior citizens and serving meals, among many other activities.
SU students, faculty and staff are encouraged to volunteer, either as individuals or in groups. Information on The Big Event, as well as online volunteer registration forms, can be found at http://thebigevent.syr.edu. Information can also be obtained by e-mailing email@example.com.
“The Big Event is a highlight among our students’ signature actions in response to the challenges and opportunities of engagement with the world,” says Barry L. Wells, senior vice president and dean of student affairs. “By leading strong engagements with the community closest to us, the student organizers of The Big Event are setting an example for all of us at Syracuse University.”
The Big Event model was established at Texas A&M University in 1982, when student leaders saw a need to give back to the surrounding community that continually supported their university. The Big Event is now an annual event at more than 50 major universities across the nation.
Sponsored by the OrangeSeeds, the University’s first year-leadership empowerment program, The Big Event has experienced tremendous growth at SU since its inception in 2005. In that first year, 250 SU volunteers gave their time to benefit 18 community agencies during The Big Event. In 2006, more than 500 volunteers worked with 22 community agencies. This year, organizers are expecting volunteers to be engaged in service with nearly 30 community agencies.
“Many of those who volunteer are in their first, sophomore and junior years at SU. By attracting more underclassmen, we can maintain the legacy of The Big Event at Syracuse University,” says OrangeSeeds co-executive director Eric Crites. “We want The Big Event to become an experience that facilitates lasting relationships between student volunteers and community agencies. The OrangeSeeds Program is proud to be working to better the lives of the people who rely on the services and facilities at which we volunteer.”
A Pre-Big Event Community Reception will be held on Friday, April 20. Its purpose is to educate student volunteers on the Syracuse community and community needs; serve as a forum for community organizations to network with SU students and organizations to establish long-term relationships; introduce volunteers to the sites where they will be working during The Big Event; and to set an energetic and enthusiastic tone for the following day’s activities. Speakers will give an orientation about community geography and needs. Discussion will also focus on the positive impact The Big Event has made in the community in the past and how it can be a catalyst for future community engagement. For information on The Big Event, or if you are interested in attending the reception, call (315) 443-2718.
The Big Event is one of three major engagement opportunities available to students, faculty, and staff at the end of the spring 2007 semester. The others are the Earth Day Cleanup, held April 28, and the Ten Tons of Love year-end donation drive, held April 30-May 18. Details of those events will be announced in the coming weeks; for information, call (315) 443-5489 ore-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.