The Student Organization will be hosting its Unity Week Kickoff March 18 at 3:30 p.m. on the Miron Student Center (MSC) Patio. This marks the beginning of an entire week of events dedicated to promoting unity and celebrating diversity at Kean.
According to Carli Hench, the managing assistant director of the Office of Student Government, Unity Week is an annual Kean tradition that was born back in the 1990s.
”It started at a leadership retreat that was sponsored by the Division of Student Affairs and Student Organization,” Hench said. “The students basically came together and wanted some kind of week full of events that just united the entire campus. Therefore, Unity Week was born.”
This year’s Unity Week starts with the kickoff and continues until March 22. When planning this particular week each year, different niches throughout the campus are invited to contribute their own events centering on diversity and inclusion to the week’s roster.
“Every year the programming board decides what events they’re going to have during that Unity Week, but it’s not just programming board; it’s everyone around the entire campus. We basically invite the entire community to a meeting and talk about the history of Unity Week and what it’s meant to do, while inviting departments and organizations all around the campus to program during that week,” Hench said.
The complete rundown of the week’s events has yet to be officially listed, but it will be compiled into a calendar once it is finalized and approved.
“Anything that’s approved the week before or two weeks before we’ll pull off Cougar Link and then make that as part of our Unity Week calendar,” Hench said.
Hench believes that the overall purpose of Unity Week is extremely important in its ability to increase interaction among groups on campus that don’t always have the means to build relationships with each other.
“A lot of the times we operate in these kind of separate silos. Unity Week was designed to bring the departments together so we’re not operating in separate silos and embracing everything that makes Kean the diverse campus that we are, while embracing the differences in each other,” Hench said.
For more information on Student Organization and its upcoming events, make sure to visit the group’s page on Cougar Link. Students can also contact Student Organization directly by phone at (908) 737-5190 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by visiting the group’s offices in MSC, Room 309 and Room 313.