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Ole Miss students ready for annual Big Event

University of Mississippi students are once again gearing up for their annual “Big Event,” service project to the LOU community.

Co-Directors for this year’s event, Alex Martin and Miller Richmond — both students at Ole Miss — went before the Lafayette County Board of Supervisors this week seeking their support and informing the board of their desire to seek service projects and how the community can make requests for the Big Event set for March 25.

The Ole Miss Big Event is not only the largest community service day in Mississippi, but is expected to be the largest community service project in the history of The University of Mississippi.

“We’re really proud of that,” Richmond told the board. “And it’s important to us to have the Oxford-Lafayette community behind us.” Miller said law enforcement has also been a big help in ensuring students are safe as they complete these projects.

Richmond said there will be improvements to the Big Event based on feedback they’ve received last year and in previous years.

There were a few “issues” in regard to some city and county projects that were submitted last year that the Big Event volunteers could not fulfill, according to Martin. She said improvements have been made within the system and in the way the groups of students will move from project to project on the day of the event.

“Team leaders will be better trained to handle larger projects more effectively and we envision the city and county process will go a lot smoother,” Martin said.

In the past, students have done several roadside cleanup projects during the Big Event and will do so again this year

Board President and District 3 Supervisor Jeff Busby commended the Big Event for doing so much to help the county each year.

“You help us out a whole lot with litter control and we appreciate the Big Event and the service you provide for Lafayette County each year,” Busby said.

The Big Event began at Ole Miss in 2008 after students and faculty visited College Station, Texas and learned about Texas A&Ms Big Event and decided it was just the kind of community service project that Ole Miss needed to implement in Oxford.

Since the first year, the event has continued to grow, both in the number of volunteers and the number of projects around the community that include picking up garbage along highways, painting fences, cleaning out storage sheds, helping nonprofit organizations clean and organize and placing flags on the graves of American soldiers. More than 800 students participated in the 2016 event.

On March 25, Ole Miss students will serve their neighbors in the Oxford/Lafayette Community once again. On this day, Ole Miss students will serve as voluntary participants in service throughout the community, from cleaning yards and raking leaves to painting and assisting the elderly as an opportunity to give a big thanks to Oxford and Lafayette County.

Projects locations included private homes and businesses, local organizations, fire and police departments and local schools.

For more information or to sign up to have a community project performed by the Ole Miss students, visit bigevents.olemiss.edu to complete the registration form. Once the registration form is submitted, a University Big Event representative will contact you as soon as your project is approved. Some project approvals may involve a scheduled visit to the project.