Don’t miss big picture

The QU Chronicle

Twelve hundred students. Eighty-one sites. Thirty-six hundred hours of community service. The numbers surrounding this year’s Big Event are astounding.

But the founders of the Big Event remind us not to get lost in the numbers.

“The Big Event is not about the number of jobs completed or the number of students who participate each year,” Texas A&M’s Big Event committee, who held the inaugural Big Event in 1982, say on their website. “Instead, it is the interaction between students, and residents and the unity that results throughout the community that makes The Big Event such a unique project.”

Don’t forget that. This university has a tremendous impact on the surrounding community, and the Big Event is a way to say thanks for letting us exist–it’s not just a day of community service. It’s a way to smooth the sometimes-rocky relationship between the Quinnipiac community and the town of Hamden.

Two years ago, when Hamden Mayor Scott Jackson spoke at a QU101 class, he saw friction between the school and the town.

“Hamden must recognize that Quinnipiac is an asset,” he said. “It is what brings people to this town.”

By the look on his face Saturday, the Big Event is a big step in the right direction.

But we fear the reasons behind the Big Event might get lost in the altruism of community service, so we thank you, greater New Haven. Thanks for letting our students run drunk through your towns on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. Thanks for letting us run a shuttle system throughout you. Thanks for policing us, hospitalizing us, and employing us. Thanks for delivering food to us late into the night. Thanks for providing the backdrop for many a night of grinding and fist-pumping. Thanks for selling us liquor.

Oh, and thanks for Ray & Mike’s.