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SGA hosts Big Event

April 21, 2016

REBEKAH BARNES

Staff Reporter | reb033@latech.edu

 

Volunteer Kaylin Hermes ties a bag of debris so it can be ready for pick up. Photo by Brian Blakely

Volunteer Kaylin Hermes ties a bag of debris so it can be ready for pick up. Photo by Brian Blakely

 

More than 1,400 Louisiana Tech students gathered in the Joe Aillet Stadium on a Saturday morning, but not for a football game. They were preparing to go out into Ruston and work.

 

 

The Big Event is the Student Government Association’s project, connecting 55 student organizations with Ruston homeowners who need help with yardwork.

 

 

“We in SGA believe our motto is ‘students serving students,’ and in the Big Event we are students serving the community,” said Maggie Brakeville, SGA president. “We’re able to reach out past what we know and do all that we can for these homeowners.”

 

 

Brakeville, an SGA member of five years and MBA student, said they spend six months planning for the Big Event, advertising, organizing students and contacting the homeowners.

 

 

“Tech is Ruston, and Ruston is Tech, and without each other we won’t work,” she said. “Louisiana Tech and Ruston are so united in everything we do that it’s important to remind the homeowners that students care.”

 

 

She said this year they have involved Grambling State University’s SGA and student organizations in the Big Event to further unite Lincoln Parish.

 

 

“We hope to continue to grow and include Grambling every year,” she said.

 

 

Victoria Barber, a junior psychology major, said this is her first year participating in the Big Event. The Psychology Society teamed with a group from KLPI to do yardwork for a woman who was unable to do it herself.

 

 

“She was beyond grateful,” Barber said. “She was incredibly sweet and even had cookies and drinks for us after we finished. Her reaction made it all the more worthwhile.”

 

 

Barber said Ruston has become a second home to her, and giving back to the community makes her feel a greater connection to it.

 

 

“I’ll definitely do it again next year,” she said. “I’ve never heard of anything like it at other schools, so I think it’s a unique way to bring us all together.”

 

Members from KLPI and Psi Chi rake up and bag leaves and pine needles from a yard in Grambling. Photo by Brian Blakely

Members from KLPI and Psi Chi rake up and bag leaves and pine needles from a yard in Grambling. Photo by Brian Blakely

Vido Turnquest, president of Alpha Kappa Psi, said he and his group of 12 fraternity brothers were unable to help their assigned residents because there are rules against students doing work inside homes.

 

 

“We only spent a few minutes with them, but they were very lovely people from the time we did spend,” Turnquest said. “They seemed to appreciate the gesture of us coming to help them out.”

 

The group instead reported back to Wyly Tower to pick up trash.

 

 

“Our group dynamic was positive, and we enjoyed each other’s company and bonded a bit while helping to keep our university clean,” he said.

 

 

He said the Big Event is a way to say “thank you” to Ruston and is a positive gesture to people who have lived here for a long time.

 

 

“I feel like in a college town, they have to deal with thousands of young adults creating a lot of excitement,” he said. “I think this helps to alleviate the concern they may have for our character as a student body.”

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