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SGA gives back to community through ‘Big Event’

The Student Government Association organized their annual “Big Event” where students give back to the surrounding community by cleaning up local residents’ yards, re-mulching flowerbeds and removing debris found in streams in the Millersville borough. Photo courtesy of Lexi Ganas

Julia Walters
Features Editor

This past Saturday was a huge day of giving back for the Millersville community. The Student Government Association hosted their second annual Big Event, which essentially was a one day community service project.  The event was run entirely by Millersville’s students to say a giant “thank you” to the Millersville borough community. 

Abbey Ford, Vice President of Advocacy and Outreach, went more into detail about the event, saying “it’s basically a way for us to connect with our local borough community and give back and say thank you for letting the students be here in the community.”

Because the Millersville borough is a second home for the majority of Millersville students, SGA believes that it is beneficial to both the students and the community to spend a day expressing that gratitude students feel for the surrounding area. “Because we live in a college town, it’s important to have a good working relationship with the outside community,” Ford said.

As far as who the students went out to help, there were a variety of locations that hosted the volunteers. Ford continued, “We try and target any of the older residents in the area, any local churches, or any smaller businesses that might need help. So they’re out at few residents’ houses, some churches, Lancaster EMS, and The Lancaster Bed and Breakfast. We try and focus on the borough but we do expand out if others need it.” 

This huge volunteer event served a secondary purpose as well. Students felt a sense of unity by participating in something that bonded everyone together as students of the university. Ford expands on this idea as well, saying “It’s a good way for students to break out of their bubble and the normal day to day routine that they have. They can bond, work together, and just also say thank you.”  

As far as turnout goes, the Big Event was most definitely a success. While it is still only the event’s second year, SGA was happy with the growth the event showed. “We went from 80 people last year to 140 this year. Last year, we were going through some growing pains, I guess you could say. It was good to see some growth between the two years. We definitely hope to see it continue to grow as the years go on. It was really exciting,” Ford elaborated.

SGA worked hard to get the word out and almost doubled the amount of people from last year. “Obviously we posted on social media. We also reached out to professors on campus to see if they would talk about it in class and maybe offer extra credit. Then we worked a lot with the athletic department to see if we could get some of the sports teams. We also worked with the Greek life coordinator so a lot of Greek organizations were here as well,” Ford reports.

Even Dr. Wubah, President of Millersville University, and Richard Moriarty, the Millersville borough mayor, were on campus Saturday morning to speak with students before they went out to interact with the community. While Dr. Wubah could not stay, he showed his support through meeting with the students and posting about the event on his social media accounts. “It was really great to see the students interact with both of those people,” Wubah comments.

Though this is only the second Big Event that SGA has hosted, the hope is that this will continue to grow in the future. As it stands currently, this is already an event that the university can be proud of.

John Tintera, president of SGA, commented on the event as well, saying “I am very proud of all of the students who participated in the BIG Event! SGA looks forward to continuing to grow this event moving forward into the future.”