Campus Life prepares for its 20th annual Tarleton Round-Up

Francisco Castro, Contributor

The 20th annual Tarleton State University Round-Up date of March 24 is less than a month away.

“Tarleton Round-Up is a community service event for the City of Stephenville,” Erin Warner, Community Service Coordinator for Campus Life and the advisor for Round-Up said. “Students are able to volunteer to give back to the residents of Stephenville.”

While Round-Up is hosted for one day, there is a lot of coordination that goes into planning the all-day service event.

“We start planning in Oct.,” Warner explained. “Really, I start planning immediately after Round-Up is over. After this year’s Round-Up is over, I will have student director applications for the next year open and we’ll have a student director chosen before the end of the spring semester.”

Warner also explains that there are several people on the team responsible for various tasks that help make Round-Up possible.

“There’s an assistant director for job site recruitment,” Warner said. “There’s three people who work under him. Job site recruitment is made to recruit our job sites. That is done by making sure a job site application gets into the hands of Stephenville residents. We do that through the City of Stephenville, City of Stephenville Code Compliance and Stephenville Parks and Recreation. Another way we get applications out it going to the senior citizen center, utilizing the local news services and mailing out applications from last years list of job sites. This year we starting placing out door tags.

“Job site evaluation takes the applications and calls the people and sets up a meeting with them. He goes to the house and assesses what kind of work needs to be done. What can get done, what we can’t get done. For instance, we can’t use power tools, so having that conversation with the homeowner helps to decide what work we’re going to do and what work we cannot do. There’s also a third person in charge of tools. So, this person decides how many shovels this house needs, how many shovels we have, how many shovels we need to have donated, how many shovels we need to buy. Inventory, distribution, all of that day-of logistics.”

“For volunteers, we have a Volunteer Recruitment Assistant Director,” Warner said. “She has four student leaders that work in her area. One [student leader] is for Registered Student Organizations. That position is designed to reach out to student organizations…to tell them what Round-Up is and why they should sign up [as an organization]. This is to spread the message for what kind of impact this makes on the community, so that way students are going to want to sign up. Another [student leader] is assigned to fraternity and sorority organizations. That person is responsible for reaching out to the fraternities and sororities, attending their meetings to talk about the mission of Round-Up and getting them involved. [The third student leader] is assigned to housing. So that’s going to be all of the residential communities. So that individual attends the residential leader meetings and encourage them to have their residents’ sign-up. The goal for that is to try to engage with students who hasn’t been engaged.

“What this means is that students who aren’t a part of a student or a Greek Life organization can be reached out to through their resident halls to encourage them to sign up. The fourth [student leader] acts as a liaison for the athletic teams. So, there’s four different people and there’s an assistant director who oversees them. Overall, they are responsible for getting the word out.

“There’s another person that’s the Public Relations Chair that oversees all our sponsorship, social media and marketing. That consist of the Assistant Director of Public Relations, a chair for social media and a chair for marketing. Lastly, there is an outreach assistant director, who is responsible for reaching out to our satellite campuses to try to get them involved.”

With a committed staff at her side, Warner hopes to raise the bar for this year’s Round-Up.

“Last year, we served almost 140 job sites. This year, our goal is to serve 200 job sites,” Warner said.

Warner explains that to serve 200 job sites, there would need to be 2000 volunteers, with an average of 10 volunteers per site.

“Students who plan to participate can expect to show up the morning of Round-Up for breakfast,” Warner states. “We normally get a couple hundred breakfast burritos, so it’s first come-first served on the breakfast burritos. We always have granola bars and pop tarts, things like that. We have a welcome ceremony, where we thank the volunteers for being here, go over risk management, have a conversation of excellence and remind them to be courteous, be respectful of the homeowner. From there, we have tool distribution, so if I’m assigned a job site, I know I need to get however many tools I’ll need for the job. Then, take the team to the job site. While at the site, I ask that the volunteers be respectful to the homeowners, that they engage and make an impact on them, and complete the job to the best of their ability. After the job is done, they return the tools and if they are able, bring the brush to the dumpsters we will have at the football field. We will have hotdogs for lunch and stick around if they’d like. Overall, I expect volunteers to be willing to fully participate to give back to the community.

“Stephenville host our students most of the year. We overtake Walmart, HEB, the roads and the community. So this is the one day that we really try to give back and say thanks to Stephenville and to all those residents. I just want students to engage in the transformative learning experience that Round-Up is by giving back to their community, connecting to the residents and just being engaged in service for Stephenville.”

Residents who wish to register their house as a jobsite for Round-Up can submit their application by March 3, 2018. Students who wish to volunteer can sign up by the priority deadline of March 3, 2018 to receive a free Round-Up t-shirt. Volunteer applications will still be accepted up until the day of Round-Up.