Every year for the past 15 years, Salisbury University has made an effort to reach out to the community in a day filled with miscellaneous volunteer efforts conducted by students and faculty.
Sponsored by the Student Government Association, the annual event known as "Big Event" is a way for SU to create a good relationship with the surrounding community and to, in a sense, get to know its neighbors.
Prior to the community service, SU President Dr. Charles Wight gave a speech to the near 500 volunteers that came out to "Big Event."
Wight emphasized the role of leadership that these volunteers were assuming in participating in the event.
“Part of being a university is being a leader in our community, and that means inviting people from the community onto our campus to see some of the wonderful things that we have to offer,” Wight said. “And part of it is sending students, faculty and staff out into the community to work with our community partners and to help make a better community.”
"Big Event" allows the opportunity for individual volunteering, as well as group volunteering. This often leads to sports teams, clubs and organizations in Greek Life to come out as a group and bond while helping their community.
Vice President of Student Affairs Dane Foust showed his gratitude toward the volunteers in their initiative to make a good impression on people in the surrounding areas.
“I can’t thank you enough for all that you do, as leaders on campus and in the community. This is a really great opportunity for Salisbury University students to show who they are and the great people that they are,” Foust said.
The event consists of helping campus neighbors within five miles of the university with outdoor household tasks such as raking leaves.
Foust emphasized that while a large part of the day is dedicated to service, he also hopes that volunteers take the time to actually talk with the town residents.
“You’re gonna do some raking, some cleaning up, but you know what? As you’re at that homeowner’s house, take a couple minutes to get to know them,” Foust said. “They have a story. Listen to their story. You have a story. Get to know them — that’s part of being in a community, and that’s part of who we are at Salisbury University.”
SU sophomore and Director of Campus Enhancement Brendan Link revealed that he's proud to be part of a school that aims to help out the surrounding community.
Link said that the event yields a good turnout of volunteers and community residents each year, but they always strive to add even more residents with each event while getting as many SU students to participate as possible.
“We’re an engagement community, so we are trying to create a relationship between the community as well as with the university … creating a good relationship between the students and the community just makes a great impact,” Link said.
By SAMANTHA STELTZER and CAROLINE STREETT
Staff writer and Gull Life editor
Featured photo: Center for Student Involvement and Leadership image.