The Mission

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The Big Event | A History

In 1982 Joe Nussbaum, then Vice President of the Student Government Association at Texas A&M University, started The Big Event as a way for students to say “Thank You” to the surrounding community. Since its start, The Big Event has become the largest, one-day, student-run service project in the nation. Inspired by Texas A&M’s message and commitment to service, SIU is one of hundreds of universities at home and abroad, joining the mission! Teams of Salukis will complete projects for non-profit agencies and organizations in Carbondale.

Although The Big Event has become the largest one-day, student-run service project in the nation, the message and the mission remains the same – to simply say “Thank You” Carbondale.

Calling all Salukis

Are you ready to make a difference in the Carbondale community? Then join The BIG Event: A Saluki Day of Service. We need people who are kind of a BIG deal. You can...

  • Volunteer for the BIG day
  • Recruit student, faculty, and staff volunteers
  • Participate in event leadership

For a glimpse of what The Big Event at Texas A&M looks like, please watch the below video.

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Mission Statement

Through service-oriented activities, The Big Event: A Saluki Day of Service promotes campus and community unity as students, faculty, and staff come together for one day to express their gratitude for the support from the surrounding community.


Core Values

The Big Event: A Saluki Day of Service at SIU strives to uphold the ideals of unity and service. This one-day event is a way for SIU faculty, staff, and students to express gratitude to the community that supports Southern Illinois University. It is important to remember that The Big Event is not about the number of jobs completed or the number of volunteers who participate. Instead, it is the interaction between students and the community and the unity that results.

Learning Objectives

SIU strives to make every opportunity educational! The Big Event: A Saluki Day of Service is no exception. In fact, it’s often true that the deepest learning happens by interacting with, and serving, others. SIU is using the Association of American Colleges & Universities’ LEAP objectives as a foundation for our BIG day. These objectives are:

  • Civic Engagement
  • Creative Thinking
  • Ethical Reasoning
  • Intercultural Knowledge and Competence
  • Skills for Life-Long Learning
  • Teamwork

These learning objectives will be assessed at various points throughout the planning and execution of The Big Event: A Saluki Day of Service.

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