The sixth annual Beakat All Paws In campus-wide community service event will take place Saturday, regardless of a predicted high chance for rain.
According to Rules and Regulations Legislator for the College of Sciences, Drew Carson who is also in charge of BAPI, said that 1,300 students in 40 organizations are expected to participate in working at more than four locations in and around Huntsville, rain or shine.
“Of course there’s always one big rain on the parade, to mess up this big, extravagant adventure,” Carson said. “We are aware of rain percentages, we are very hopeful. We don’t think weathermen are wrong, but we hope they are on Saturday. We wouldn’t fault them, but we have a plan if it happens.”
That plan includes moving the initial meet-and-greet prior to dispersal which has traditionally been held in the mall area of campus, into the Lowman Student Center Kat Klub—regardless of rain. According to Carson, the first floor of the LSC is where registration and speeches will take place.
Additionally, if it rains students who are assigned to outdoor locations will be relocated to indoor locations SGA has compiled on a secondary list.
“So I do not want to lose to Saturday, I’m not going to lose BAPI,” Carson said. “We’re going to get something out of it, we’re going to do service, we’re going to do good. What level of magnitude? It all depends on the weather.”
Other than the relocation of the initial congregation, students can expect another change this year—wristbands. According to Carson, students who have preregistered will be given wristbands upon checking in which will have the location to which they are assigned and the address of said location. Carson said the premise behind the wristbands was to minimize confusion as students who get separated from their site leaders will know where to go.
“Wristbands are going to be number one because I can assure you that from my experience working big events, when I use wristbands it has made logistics so much better because it gave me a sense of validation because I knew who they were and that we’ve already checked them in,” he said. “It also gave me a great way to check whether they’ve done it yet or not so redundancy of information is minimized as well as they will show us that this person gets a t-shirt.”
According to Carson, this is the first year BAPI registration has reached maximum capacity an entire month before the event. Additionally, this is also the first year a BAPI founder was not involved in the planning.
“This is the first year that BAPI has been ran without some of the original founders so there was a little bit of reinventing the wheel—some of those people took their records with them,” Carson said. “So this year, we’re using Google Drive and collaboration software so when we have the event and a year later when we’re looking for records, we have the exact template, and it’s all online and it’s up to date because we edit it as we go.”
One of the most valued traditions of the annual Battle of the Piney Woods football game against Stephen F. Austin State University—which is a bet between the respective schools’ SGA’s, will be broken this year.
“SFA unfortunately, and this is the kicker right, will not be able to make it [to BAPI],” Carson said. “This is their spring break and they did not know that when the signed the contract. But we will be working with them to figure out something to do, they’ve messaged Spencer. We’re going to send them they’re t-shirts anyway because we want to show grace.”
Carson said that students who plan on using BAPI for community service hours will need to complete a survey afterwards either online or on paper prior to going to the SGA office to have officers sign off on hours.
“You go to Sam, students go to Sam and there’s one thing you should get out of Sam Houston and that is that ‘a measure of a life is its service’ and I can’t stress that enough,” Carson said. “I can’t stress that enough through your four years, six years, victory lap whatever you do here at Sam, is that if you leave here with anything but a piece of paper and one quote, it would be that quote.”
Carson said that any students who are not preregistered but would still like to participate Saturday are welcome to.
“Other universities have traditions, they do,” Carson said. “I don’t know very many traditions Sam has, but I know that the one tradition we do have is encompassing everyone in the university. Bearkat All Paws In welcomes everyone in this tradition and it is big. So that’s another reason—if you value tradition, this is the tradition to keep going.”
Email Drew Carson at email@example.com with questions or concerns.