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The Big(gest) Event in Corpus Christi

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Image courtesy of islanduniversity.smugmug.com/ TAMUCC President Quintanilla talking with Islanders during breakfast at The Big Event.

NICOLE SHAIR
REPORTER

Though the rain and the wind tried its best to ruin the 10th Annual Big Event at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, hundreds of college and high school students still swarmed the Dr. Jack and Susie Dugan Wellness Center on April 14 at 8 a.m. to help the residents and organizations of Corpus Christi.

Organized by the Student Volunteer Connection, the Big Event is an opportunity for students to show their appreciation to the community which helps sup- port the Island University as well as to spread unity among TAMUCC students and the community.

To start off the event, participants gathered in the Dugan Wellness Center for breakfast tacos and coffee as well as to participate in various activities put on by one of the Big Event’s biggest sponsors, Whataburger. After a rousing speech from President Quintanilla and a few words from a representative of Whataburger, participants dispersed to get the needed tools for whatever they were assigned to do.

The people who participated either worked with a group or organization, like the Alpha Epsilon Delta Society, or there was the option for participation as individuals.

Students had the opportunity to help either the Salvation Army, the Pharaoh Community or a variety of other organizations and communities.

Individuals like sophomore biomedical science major Brian Owens and senior biomedical science major Kristin Rodriguez were taken either to the campus beach or the Hike and Bike Trail to help clean the area.

For Owens, participating in the Big Event was a good way to help both himself and the Corpus Christi community.

“I’m here to get volunteer hours,” Owens said. “But I’m also looking forward to having a great day and helping spread positive energy to the community.”

These sentiments rang true for Rodriguez as well.

“I want to give back to my community,” Rodriguez said. “I feel like it’s beneficial on my part and on the part of Corpus Christi.”

For other participants, like sophomore biomedical science and psychology major Chandler Marshall, volunteering is about more than just volunteer hours: it’s about doing something you love and proving a point at the same time.

“I think the Big Event shows people that college students care about other things in the surrounding community,” Marshall said. “It also helps to improve the lives of the people that were helped.”

Marshall was a part of a group, particularly the National Society of Leadership and Success or Sigma Alpha Pi, that went and cleaned the trash off of Padre Bali Beach. While most of the detritus was what one would expect to find on the beach, there was some litter found that surprised Marshall.

“There was so much trash,” Marshall said. “A lot of cigarettes and bottle caps, and a weird number of toothbrushes.”

And so, despite the weather not clear- ing up as expected, the Islander community still traveled far and wide to help the people and community of Corpus Christi after a wild year of powerful hurricanes, surprising snowfall and spring tornadoes.

For more information on the Big Event, their purpose and for a recap of 2017’s events, visit ucsa.tamucc.edu/ SVC/BigEvent.

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