FSU Students Participate in the Big Event
On Sunday, October 23, over a hundred Frostburg State University students, armed only with rubber gloves and green trash bags, took to the streets of Frostburg during the annual student homecoming community service effort known as the Big Event.
First started in the fall of 1993 during the administration of former Student Government Association President Alex Giles, the Big Event has become a homecoming weekend tradition that has been sponsored by SGA ever since its inception. During the event, students from numerous student groups walk up and down streets in the city’s student housing neighborhoods to collect trash and clean up after student and alumni homecoming parties that may have been held during the weekend.
On the morning of the event, participating students from several of Frostburg’s largest student organizations gathered at the clock tower in the center of the FSU campus. Each student group was then assigned a specific street in town they were responsible for cleaning. Each group collected any trash they found and placed trash bags in garbage pick-up locations designated by the city.
The Big Event has become highly recognized as a noted example of student engagement in the Frostburg community. FSU Director of Civic Engagement Patrick O’Brien, whose office helps facilitate the event, expressed the vital role this event plays in Frostburg town-gown relations. “This is a great event because homecoming is a time when students kind of take over the community, so going out into neighborhoods the next day shows that they take accountability for their actions, and that they want to be a part of the community,” O’Brien said.
He also noted that the city notices the effort of the students, saying, “the city knows that this is homecoming weekend, so it’s important for [city residents and officials] to get to see students taking responsibility for their neighborhoods and helping improve the community.”
For many participating students, the Big Event is an annual opportunity to support a community that they feel has welcomed them for years. Peyton Washington, an SGA senator and sister of Delta Zeta National Sorority, called doing community service work, including participating the Big Event, a part of her “duty as an FSU student to give back to the community.”
For the Student Government Association, sponsoring the Big Event has become a proud and valued tradition. SGA President Nicholas DeMichele stressed the importance of his organization’s continued support of the Big Event, saying, “The Big event is one of the most visible examples of FSU students engaging in the local community. As the primary student liaison organization, SGA is proud to sponsor the Big Event annually to show our appreciation of the support of the City of Frostburg and its citizens.”