School of Journalism and New Media

The University of Mississippi

The Big Event Faces Challenges Managing Over 2,700 Volunteers

Posted on: March 20th, 2012 by

By Betsy Lynch, Ashley Lance, and Stephanie Konkle

The University of Mississippi’s Big Event is taking place on March 31, and it serves as a way of bringing Ole Miss and the Oxford community together through service.

The idea of having one big day of community service originally began at Texas A&M and has since spread across colleges all throughout the Southeastern Conference.

This year Ole Miss hosts its second annual Big Event and expects for it to be even more successful than last year.

According senior public policy major and The Big Event’s Director of Registration and Placement Marianna Breland, “We have it set up where no one can schedule events or spring parties or anything to go on this day, because we really want this to be that big of a deal.”

However, though the student led Big Event team has been so successful in encouraging students to register to volunteer, with three weeks left for registrations and over 2,700 students already signed up, logistical issues have arisen.

Representing the campus side of Big Event coordination, Breland says, “But now we’ve realized, especially the student recruiting directors, that they’ve done such a good job that now we have to get projects.”

While The Big Event is composed of mostly student volunteers, the city of Oxford is playing a large role in establishing worksites and managing the students.

In an effort to support The Big Event, Oxford Mayor Pat Patterson is heading up his on workforce that will participate in the community service project.

However, according to Patterson, there have been challenges.

“We have some, not issues that’s too strong, but there are some challenges in managing two thousand of y’all,” said Patterson.

Even so, Patterson and campus directors have faith that the event will be a great success and have a positive impact on both the Ole Miss and Oxford communities.

“We’re going to have a good time, we’re going to work hard, and it’s going to be a good thing for the community. And I hope that it’s good for the students as well,” said Patterson.

For more information on The Big Event and how to get involved, visit The Big Event’s website.