Chat with the Chief: Big Event X

The Big Event X is not nearly as cool as the name suggests, but it’s still pretty cool.

The “X” isn’t short for extreme. It’s a Roman numeral. That means students at Ferris have been organizing and volunteering in the Big Event to give back to Big Rapids residents for ten years.

Last year, more than 1,700 students assisted 285 households with yard work and other chores as part of the event.

But let’s keep it in perspective. It is not a day devoted to collecting volunteer hours. It is not a day for taking selfies with a rake. It’s kind of a day for free food and t-shirts, but it’s mostly about goodwill and giving back to the surrounding community.

Oh, and it’s also a day to beg Big Rapids residents for forgiveness after they’ve had to deal with our shit the other 364 days of the year.

Yeah, it’s annoying when entire families are crowding the salad bar in the Rock, but it’s nothing compared to what some college students make townies endure.

We litter and drink outside. We set bad examples for children and listen to loud music. We act holier than thou after getting a semester’s worth of credits under our belt.

I’ll repeat the disclaimer that not all college students are that insufferable, but some certainly are. However, the Big Event helps make up for that.

The lone day of service is a great way to encourage unity between our school and our city. We get to meet new people, earn the warm fuzzy feeling that volunteering provides and feel like we’re part of a movement making a big difference.

Spending the morning raking leaves isn’t going to make a colossal difference in the community. Yet, keep in mind that while you’re raking, Bobby is cleaning out gutters and Jane is painting an old shed. Meanwhile, more than 1,000 other Bulldogs are performing similar tasks. Now THAT’S making a difference.

And THAT’S pretty cool.

The Big Event will take place Saturday, April 22, and registration is still open through Orgsync.