The 11th annual Big Event at Southern Miss will be held Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to noon.
The Big Event is a partnership between the Student Government Association and the Center for Community Engagement. It is a student-initiated service project that gives students the chance to give back and volunteer in Hattiesburg.
The Center for Community Engagement coordinates the service aspects of the event while SGA recruits student volunteers and manages the student experience.
Volunteer check-in will be at the Reed Green Coliseum from 7:30 a.m. to 8 a.m. After a short pep rally, volunteers will be assigned to a community site such as the Southern Pines Animal Shelter, Christian Services or a local school. Transportation will be available to those who have requested it.
Director of the Center for Community Engagement Christy Arrazattee has been involved with the Big Event since 2014. The Center for Community Engagement has been a part of the Big Event for six years; however, this year is the first it has truly been a partner on the event with SGA.
“I’ve been involved since I arrived at USM in 2014,” Arrazattee said. “I am appreciative of the Big Event because of the opportunity that it offers students to learn about the great organizations in the Hattiesburg community.”
Junior biological sciences major Auburn Ansley, a past volunteer, gained more from the experience than she expected. Ansley is the executive director of events with SGA and has been involved with the Big Event since her freshman year.
“When I volunteered, we went to an underdeveloped Hattiesburg elementary school, sorted through closets, cleaned classrooms and organized the school gymnasium,” Ansley said. “It was a great experience for me because I was able to interact with students who I usually would not have an opportunity to meet. I left that day feeling very humbled and empowered that I was able to serve my community.”
To volunteer, visit www.southernmisssga.org/the-big-event.