Editor’s note: This article was written by the University of Wyoming Student Media. https://www.uwbrandingiron.com/2023/10/16/the-big-event-connecting-students-and-locals/
The Big Event was held across Laramie, Wyoming, on Oct. 14, allowing students from the University of Wyoming to volunteer their time to service projects as a way to give back to the local community.
There were several projects around the city, including the community cleanup at Albany Public library. Students of Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Kappa Kappa Gamma came together to move piles of dirt to clear the sidewalk for the library’s outdoor storywalks.
With the help of students, the clearing of the dirt for the storywalk will prevent problems that arise in wintertime, such as snow runoff that creates icy unsafe sidewalks for the community. Rachel Crocker, the Director of the Albany County Public Library, believes that the Big Event helps connect the university campus and Laramie community at large.
“I went to UW many years ago. But I remember it can feel like there’s a distance between the students and the great community that is created at the university, which is amazing, and the great community of Laramie,” Crocker said.
“So it is nice when there’s these moments to create a bridge between those two communities, and I think it helps students maybe see different parts of the community that they wouldn’t see, but also help other parts of the community interact with students in different and really positive ways.”
Students have an opportunity to be site leaders for the Big Event through SLCE, where they are in charge of overseeing several projects in their section. Aseel Abutarboush, a major in marketing and management, was the site leader for the Albany County Public Library along with two other sites at locals homes.
“I’m having so much fun. I’ve met so many people and like giving back to the Laramie community. It makes you feel better about yourself and that you’re doing something good.”
She mentioned that it’s important to volunteer in your community because the Laramie community has older community members that need assistance with their properties.
“Honestly it’s something that I feel like everyone needs to do. Not every job that you have to do has to be paid. You just do something out of kindness and giving back, especially because Laramie has so many older people that need people to help with their properties. So like why not if you can and [if] you have the time.”
olunteerism is especially important to Fraternity and Sorority life on campus, and each year the Big Event provides an opportunity to members to connect with the Laramie community.
“So Sigma Alpha Epsilon, we like to give back to the community and come out here. My old fraternity does this every year. We do it. It’s very fun meeting new people,” Benjamin Bocken, an SAE member, said.