Culture, Awareness and Gratitude Themes for April Events

Galloway, N.J. – April is set to be a jam-packed month full of different celebrations and recognitions on campus. Check out what’s in store for Stockton University this month.

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Although the month is traditionally (and nationally) celebrated in May, the campus community celebrates AAPIHM in the month of April so that students can focus on finals and commencement in May. 

In celebration of AAPIHM, the following events will be hosted by student organizations and departments: 

  • Pilipino American Student Association at Stockton’s 10th Annual Barrio Fiesta – April 17
  • Indian Student Association’s Holi Celebration – April 18
  • Bengali Student Association’s Pohela Baishakh (Bengali New Year) – April 22
  • International Student Organization’s Cultural Night – April 28
  • Pakistani Student Association’s Brown Town South Asian Festival – May 17

According to Bengali Student Association president Ziaul Hoque, the newest addition to AAPIHM activities, Pohela Baishakh, promises to be a night full of fun activities and celebrations, complete with traditional Bengali dancing and authentic cuisine from a local restaurant.

“Pohela Boisakh is the biggest festival of our nation; irrespective of people's religion and class, everyone comes together to celebrate the day in a manner that ensures joy and good luck for the whole year. If any of us had to pick one festival that represents Bangladesh as a country and a nation, that would be this one. That's why it is BSA's effort to bring a piece of that to Stockton,” Hoque said.

Sexual Assault Awareness Month

The national theme for April 2024 is “Building Connected Communities.” The National Sexual Violence Resource Center, a nonprofit that provides information and tools to prevent and respond to sexual violence, shared that this year’s theme reminds us that the work and responsibility of preventing sexual abuse, assault and harassment in our communities lies with everybody.

Stockton will be hosting the following programs for SAAM:

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“Stockton University commemorates SAAM every April, but we take action throughout the year to show that sexual assault and gender-based violence affects every one of us and continues to be widespread in communities across the United States and beyond,” Teresa Barone, assistant director for the Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Center, shared.

Educational Opportunity Fund Month

The EOF program at Stockton works to ensure meaningful access to higher education for students from disadvantaged or underserved communities. According to Ana DeNise, interim director of EOF, the program provides financial assistance, academic guidance and programs such as the five-week Summer Academy, which enables recently graduated students to get acclimated to the campus before they officially become undergraduate students. 

DeNise said she hopes people recognize the excellence that EOF fosters in students. This excellence will be on display on Tuesday, April 9, during the program’s first-ever EOF Day, located in F-109. The day will include a showcase of student posters, photos from across the years, and tabling to introduce students to the program.

This is evidenced through students like Maria Lopez-Bautista, who learned invaluable lessons and gained fruitful connections with peers before taking her first class on campus.

“During the academy, I learned that I am a great writer once I put my mind to it,” Lopez Bautista said. “I also learned that I could get along really well with other people once I pass my shy phase around them: I am great at making people laugh and cringe at the same time. Lastly, I learned that I can be independent and responsible by waking up early, getting to class on time, and doing my homework.” 

The Summer Academy is only the beginning – students receive academic counseling, have access to EOF’s lounge and resource room and are provided opportunities for professional development, such as attending the annual Yale Bouchet Conference. 

“It's important to recognize our students and our scholars,” DeNise said. “The impact EOF has on our population is immeasurable, and it is lifelong: there are EOF alumni who are currently on this campus that will still speak to the importance of the EOF, so it's almost like a way of life.”

National Volunteer Month

For National Volunteer Month, follow Stockton Alumni on social media as they highlight some of our most active alumni volunteers. Sara Faurot, director of Alumni Relations, shared that alumni volunteers play a vital role in advancing Stockton’s vision. 

“Volunteering is about giving back and ensuring our current students are afforded the same chances for growth, learning and success that alumni experienced,” Faurot said. “It's a meaningful way to stay connected, build a sense of community and foster relationships. By giving students the same opportunities alumni had, they contribute to the legacy of Stockton, strengthening the bonds that unite past, present and future Ospreys."

Celebrate EOF Month with #StocktonVoices

Check out our newest Voices entries and learn about how the Educational Opportunity Fund impacts student experience here on Stockton University's campus! #ElevateYourVoiceStocktonU 

– Story by Loukaia Taylor