The Big Event, a one day student-run event sponsored by Auburn University Student Government Association, will be March 24 in Opelika, Auburn, Notasulga and Lee County.
There will be a large turnout of Auburn University faculty and students who will lend a hand to the locals. It is their way of saying, “thank you” to the community for providing a thriving environment in which they live and learn.
The Big Event has been an annual affair since 2003 and is growing each year.
There is no charge for these services and participation is not based on financial need; it is for everybody, household, business, church or organization.
Last year 2,400 students and faculty helped on 196 different projects. Much cleaning and yard work was done and such projects as painting interior school rooms were completed.
The SGA has advertised in the media and placed flyers in businesses throughout the area. Applications were mailed out by the City of Auburn with the water bills. Jobsite forms can be found on line at aubigevent.com.
The bad news is that the applications must be postmarked by Feb. 17 (today) however, the student government office said there will be a grace period.
The work to be accomplished is divided into three categories: interior work, exterior work and painting.
Under interior work, you may choose window washing, painting, cleaning/sweeping, and other.
Exterior work includes painting, trimming, digging, fertilizing and other.
Painting is for either interior or exterior. If exterior, the paint will be furnished in white, tan, or yellow or a specific color may be chosen when the coordinator visits the job site. Interior work will only include supplies and labor; no interior paint will be supplied.
In the old (very old) days students and townspeople were much closer than they are today. Back then, many homes in Auburn and Opelika had a room that was rented to students.
There were no expensive condos available for students. Places to live were at a premium. It was not unusual to find a dozen boys living in one house and the lucky ones lived in private homes where they were treated like grandsons.
At one time, the athletic department asked the town to adopt one or more athletes to make them feel more at home. The townspeople did things for athletes in those days that they would be put in jail for now and certainly Auburn would be on probation forever. Nothing illegal, just nice friendly gestures but it was not what the SEC would smile on today.
Special meals were often waiting for the adopted students when they met their goals, both in athletics and academics. Let us hope that such things as The Big Event can bring some of that back.
If you did not apply for assistance on this day, keep it in mind for next year. This event started at Texas A&M and is being copied by a number of schools. The Student Government invites you to join them as: 1)a jobsite, 2) a sponsor or 3) a school.
Information as to the potential benefits of becoming a sponsor is available in the SGA office.
This assistance could be put to good use by schools. Now that budgets are getting tighter and tighter, free labor is a valuable commodity.
If your school or other organization can benefit from such an offer, take SGA up on it.
Bita Bullet is the pen name of a local anonymous writer who can be reached at email@example.com