The Big Event Proves To Be Even More Successful Than Last Year

The Big Event Proves To Be Even More Successful Than Last Year
By: Audra Bridges

Stephen F. Austin hosted The Big Event on April 8th throughout the Nacogdoches community.

What is The Big Event

The Big Event is a day of service by SFA students where they work in teams to complete projects across Nacogdoches County as a way to say “thank you!” to the community for their support. This year around 2,000 students came and worked on the day of service, which was 500 more students than last year’s event. Assistant Director of Branding and Technology, Ronnie Chapman says it was a huge help to have more people this year. “It was the best year yet. We had the most people, the most sites, the most completions, and the most involvement from news stations. We made the news this year.”

The Event


Students singing the Alma Mater

The event started with a send-off party at the commuter lot on campus. The Big Event provided donuts and water to students as they arrived. KFOX 95.5 was there djing the event. There were encouraging speeches from Nacogdoches Mayor Roger Van horn, and SFA football player, Ryan Cottingame. After the speeches, each group was assigned to a parking spot that had the tools they needed to be successful at their sites. Once they had their tools, they were free to head to their assigned sites.  

The Sites

This year there was 145 different sites all over Nacogdoches county. This is the first year in eight years that The Big Event was able to work at all of their planned sites. Sometimes the organizations don’t show up, or the residents cancel, but this year there were able to do every single one. Organizations or groups can sign up to do service work of any level of difficulty. Once they get to their sites they meet their host and get to work. The work can be anything from washing windows, raking leaves, and painting, to cutting branches, gardening, and shoveling dirt.

The Volunteers


Students waiting to go to their sites

There were over 2,000 volunteers who showed up on Saturday to work. Groups included many sororities and fraternities, the SFA football team, the women’s and men’s basketball teams, and the soccer team. Many campus organizations showed up to work too, such as student government association, residence hall association, ODK, Kappa Alpha Order, and Driving Jacks.


The People in Charge

The organizers of the event planned for nine months to get the event to run smoothly. Chapman says, “In that nine month period we are planning for organizations to gather, volunteers to sign up, sites to gather, sponsorships, all sorts of things that make it all come together”. The organizers consisted of Chapman and 6 other members of the lead team, along with 20 crew members.

The Lasting Impact on The Students and The Community

Volunteering for this event not only gives students a day to give back, but a way to mingle with those in the community. “I think it shows them [the students] an appreciation for the people who live here, not just the campus and the students. Junior Evan Requardt said, “The old women we worked for was super sweet and by chance goes to the same church as me. It was cool to meet someone I never would have had I not been assigned to her back yard.” The students are not the only ones who get experience from The Big Event. Chapman says, “I think it gives them a different perspective on us. It gives them more insight into what it is that we like to do. They get to see us help out, especially with things they can’t do themselves, it really gets us to connect with the residents. So, I think it’s great for them.” He continued to explain how residents keep signing up year after year which is a great sign that they enjoy it.

More on The Big Event

The Big Event is hosted all over the country each year in college towns. The Big Event will return to SFA in the spring of 2018. Make sure you sign up and take part in this awesome event next year.


As always if you would like more information you can contact me at [email protected] or on Twitter @audrab332