May 26, 2018  

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Southern Miss Readies for 8th Annual “Big Event”

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University of Southern Mississippi students, faculty and staff in Hattiesburg and at the Gulf Park Campus in Long Beach will leverage their passion to serve others during “The Big Event” Saturday, March 24. Since 2010, Southern Miss has participated in The Big Event, which is also held at other colleges and universities across the country during which service projects benefiting local communities are undertaken by university volunteers.

The Big Event is supported by the USM Student Government Association (SGA), with assistance from the University’s Center for Community and Civic Engagement (CCCE). Check-in will be at 8 a.m. at both Reed Green Coliseum in Hattiesburg and at Lloyd Hall, room 101 on the Southern Miss Gulf Park Campus in Long Beach, as well as at Harper McCaughan Town Green for Long Beach community members. Students are eligible for community service hours through their participation.  

Volunteers will be divided into groups by service sites and led by SGA volunteers, and work until lunchtime. Beneficiaries of USM’s commitment to volunteerism through The Big Event in the Pine Belt include the Salvation Army, The Edwards Street Fellowship Center, local public schools, the Humane Society, Southern Pines Animal Shelter, and DREAM of Hattiesburg, Inc., among many others.  The Gulf Park Big Event will focus on a beach cleanup, in conjunction with the city of Long Beach.

“The Big Event is a great partnership between our campus communities and the greater Hattiesburg and Gulf Coast areas,” said USM Associate Dean of Student Wynde Fitts. “It truly gives our students an opportunity to give back, and invest in the communities they love.

“The fact that this initiative is student-driven and student-planned, with student volunteers, makes it a unique chance to see these students leaders make a difference right here at home.”

The CCCE has worked with the SGA over the past few years to expand the number of Big Event service sites, and also to ensure meaningful service experiences, said Christy Arrazattee, director of the CCCE.

“If a student wants to get involved as a volunteer in their local communities, but isn’t sure where to begin, The Big Event is a great option for them to do service, meet other students, and learn more about the wonderful things that are happening in Hattiesburg and on the Gulf Coast.”

For more information about how to get involved with The Big Event, including to register, visit http://forms.usm.edu/sga/view.php?id=111485; or email Associate Dean of Students Wynde Fitts at wynde.fitts@usm.edu. For information about The Big Event at Southern Miss Gulf Park in Long Beach, visit www.usm.edu/GPBigEvent; or email Jolanda.W.Taylor@usm.edu or jenny@cityoflongbeachms.com.