There was an episode of Nickelodeon’s “Hey Arnold” in the 90s that involved all the characters banding together to clean up a large, dirty lot so they could have their own baseball field.
In the episode, after they spent days cutting the grass, picking up trash and laying out the bases and lines, the adults noticed how gorgeous it looked and used it for their own accord.
Texas A&M Kingsville students did something similar for Kleberg County Park and the park on Corral and Second street–they cleaned it up for their fourth annual Bigger Event.
Although they did not turn these parks into full fledged baseball fields, they did clean up litter, repaint things that needed painting and helped fix the landscaping.
And it was not limited to only the parks–it was throughout the entire town.
“I thought it was awesome,” Alondra Franco, member of the Kappa Delta Chi sorority, said. “We had girls from my sorority come and help that attend school in Laredo and UTPA (University of Texas Pan America).”
Fernando Trevino, graduate student of Texas A&M College Station and student regent for the A&M system, said the Bigger Event is a way to show the town that students are not just here to party, trash the town and take up lines at all the restaurants.
“Sometimes I think there’s a little disconnect between students and the town,” he said. “We appreciate everything the community does for us.”
Trevino said College Station has a similar event, entitled the Big Event, where 17,500 students are involved and has been a part of the school’s tradition for 30 years.
John Evers, organizer of the Bigger Event and chair of the external affairs committee in the Student Government Organization (SGA), said he visited College Station and learned a little bit about their Big Event, and wanted to personalize Kingsville’s Bigger Event.
“We provide transportation and throw an after party,” he said. “A tradition we hope to better establish as the years go by.”
Evers also said he noticed a difference in College Station’s environment, and felt Kingsville could compete.
“Community service is important to me” he said. “Now is the best time for students to establish good community citizenship.”
“South Texas has a lot of opportunity,” he added.
Although the Bigger Event is still a toddler in AMK traditions, it is gradually getter bigger and bigger, slowly becoming a more prominent role in Kingsville’s history.
Even graduates from AMK come back to help, such as first time Bigger Event volunteer Bernadette Araujo.
“The city I’m from (Alice) doesn’t have functions like this,” Araujo said. “No one at Coastal Bend would clean up that town.”
“The Bigger Event is a good way for students to keep in touch with the people, along with the roots and culture of Kingsville,” she added.