NMSU students participate in 16th-annual community clean-up


The Big Event encourages NMSU students to help clean up the community. Photo Courtesy: NMSU Newscenter

he Associated the Students of New Mexico State University hosted their 16th-annual Big Event, which is their annual spring clean-up event for the city of Las Cruces on April 6.

A record number 1,156 students registered for the off-campus community service event to show their appreciation to their college town by beautifying it on the warm and sunny Saturday morning.

Different individuals, groups, and organizations at NMSU were each given a map that provided a specific work site location in Las Cruces along with job instructions for that site. Some cleaning jobs included locations such as a three-mile stretch of Sonoma Ranch Boulevard, Elephant Butte Irrigation District canals, railroads and other public areas around Las Cruces.

Along with being a community service opportunity for students, ASNMSU director of community outreach Ryan May said the Big Event also gives students the chance to give something back to the town that NMSU calls home.

“So, this event is really important to me ever since I came into ASNMSU because naturally, college students just destroy towns,” May admitted. “I mean, you can say as much as you want that they don’t, but they really take a toll on a city—when it comes to the damages, when it comes to trash and what not. I mean, it’s college time for eight months out of the year.

“It is our way of saying thank you for letting us be here and then leaving for the summer to go back to our hometowns and what not. This isn’t even our city for most of us—we move from other towns, like in the southwest, you know, and just giving back to the city really is our intention.”

The event began with students meeting up at NMSU’s Preciado Park for registration. The first 1,000 students that registered were given free t-shirts and everyone who participated was offered free breakfast at the park. Following that, everyone was sent off to their different locations across town. Jobs are designed to give students approximately four hours of community service.

Public health major Katlynn Gilmore participated in the Big Event for the first time as a part of NMSU’s Public Health Student Organization.

“It was great seeing NMSU students come together as one. Seeing everyone participate really showed how much they care about our community,” Gilmore said. She also added that her organization was given the task of picking up trash at Salopek/Stull Park.

The Big Event is similar to ASNMSU’s annual Keep State Great, which is an on-campus clean-up event that takes place in fall semesters but differs by landing during the spring and by extending service to off-campus locations.

The Big Event is one the last things that the ASNMSU department accomplishes for the school year. The next event that the department will be hosting is Splash and Dash, which is a part of ASNMSU’s 2019 Spring Fling that is taking place this week.

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