Students planning for 20th anniversary of The Big Event 

Leaders in PSU’s Student Government Association are not just juggling coursework and extracurricular activities this fall — they’re also busy planning for the milestone year of an annual community-wide event designed to give back. 

The Big Event, planned for April 1, 2023, will be in its 20th year. This year’s event is being led by President Tarynn Brenner (business management); Vice President Khadija Ceesay (English); Executive Director of Operations Hannah Eckstein (biology/Spanish major); Campus Engagement Director Bella Bertoncino (interior design); Community Engagement Director Riley Johnson (biology); and Multicultural Affairs Director Rachel Ruiz (chemistry). 

The project sends students across Pittsburg, where hundreds of students will work at more than 50 homes on simple clean-up and beautification projects such as washing windows, weeding, planting flowers, and picking up trash. 

Pre-pandemic, the event often drew upwards of 800 students. In 2021, more than 300 students turned out in support of the community. 

Johnson, the community engagement director, said the event is on track to have more than 400 students participating in the 2023 event. 

To raise funds for tools, trash bags, and other materials needed to pull it off, he and other Big Event leaders have started a campaign. 

“We’re hoping to get 20 people each month for the next few months to donate $20 in honor of us doing this for 20 years,” he said. 

To donate, visit 

Listen to the Gorilla Connection Podcast about The Big Event to learn more.