Kean University's own Student Organization (the full-time undergraduate student government) hosted its annual Unity Week Kickoff Celebration to honor its yearly week celebrating unity in diversity.
On Monday, March 13, 2017, the Unity Week Kickoff, dedicated to serving the many attendees with delectable desserts and free prizes, began what plans to be a memorable Unity Week for the students of this institution.
Since the week's inception in April of 1998, Student Organization members and the Kean University student body have taken this week quite seriously for its 19 years of existence. The single and most important purpose of this week is to bring together Kean University faculty, administrators, staff and students together in seven days aimed to display the cultural diversity the school has to offer has to offer.
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From 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., vendors served the Kean community with free desserts! A massive chocolate fountain was also available for attendees to use for the get-together as students, faculty and friends were treated to an afternoon of fun and relaxation.
Kendra Clark, a senior majoring in criminal justice and the executive secretary of Student Organization, attributed the success of the opening of this week to the massive attendance of the student body.
"Of course, everyone likes free food and prizes, but we [the Student Organization] offer a variety of cultures to enjoy at this event without just focusing on one group of people," said Clark. Her classmate, Delois Blackman, senior psychology major and Student Organization executive treasurer, agreed.
"The sense of being unified is what makes people attracted to this event, especially in regards to how this country and world is progressing," Blackman said.
Tasty treats such as hot chocolate, cotton candy and chocolate fondue were served to the student body. Foods that would not normally be served at the university's eateries were available in the Miron Student Center (MSC) Alumni Atrium for the duration of this social.
"The students were able to get these snacks while going to and coming back from classes. We think it was a good idea, as the students get a chance to clear their minds," Clark said.
Another member of Student Organization, Edward Adams, who is a criminal justice major and the event coordinator of the organization, believed that the school spirit brought by the school's attendees contributed to the success of the kickoff.
"We hope, with an event like this, to fill our students with as much school pride as possible," Adams said. "The students coming out to support Unity Week helps us. The Student Organization wants to improve every year. The student body keeps us going."
The Student Organization did not disappoint with this year's beginning of Unity Week. Madelyn Hernandez, a freshman at Kean University and an attendee at Monday's kickoff, did not only enjoy the food, but the diverse population that supported the Student Organization's patented social as well.
"I like how [Kean University] is a college where all students feel welcomed to go here," Hernandez said. "We all come from different cultures, but we all share being unified as a university. After all, this is Unity Week, right?"
The 2017 installment of Unity Week started on Monday with the kickoff celebration. For the rest of the week, the Student Organization, along with different fraternities and sororities, will host fun-filled, diverse and educational events for students, friends and faculty to enjoy.
Wednesday will see events such as the "Before I Die Wall" in the MSC Alumni Atrium dedicated to students writing life aspirations on a chalk board, as well as the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity hosting its "Trap versus Hip Hop" discussion later that night in the MSC. Later that week, the famous Saturday Night Live comedian Leslie Jones will perform at Wilkins Theatre from 8 p.m to 11 p.m. Those, and a multitude of other enjoyable informational sessions will happen throughout the 19th anniversary of this week that celebrates unity in diversity.
More information about the 2017 Unity Week can be found out at the Student Organization's official Cougar Link page.