BSU is going to be celebrating what brings us together by hosting a brand-new event on April 6: Unity Day! Matthew Miller (he/him), Director of the Center for Student Engagement (CSE), spoke with The Comment to reveal the inspiration behind the day and a peak at the activities that will be offered.
Miller explained that CSE has six pillars that reflect the values of Bridgewater State: pride, unity, empower, respect, brave, and learn. According to him, these metaphorical pillars are meant to correspond with the six pillars in front of Boyden Hall. He said that CSE thinks about how it can support the university’s value statement and the “ways we activate that every day.” Unity Day is meant to highlight one of those ideas.
“The unity idea is that we’re all working together towards unity, and our common values and experiences,” said Miller. Unity Day is designed to showcase what we share, while asking “How do we also celebrate our differences and what makes us Bridgewater?”
The schedule for Unity Day is still being finalized, but it promises to be jam-packed with exciting events. The day will kick-off with the rededication of the Rondileau Student Union (RSU). “This building was renamed in the middle of COVID. And we never had an opportunity to celebrate the name change,” explained Miller. According to him, the change from Rondileau Campus Center better reflects the building’s purpose: “When you think about unity, this building is such a central piece to what brings our campus together.”
Later in the day will be the unity showcase, part of which will be an around the world food event. CSE will be collaborating with various departments and student student groups to share food representative of certain cultures. There will be tables set up in the RSU lounges, so students can “connect with other groups and departments that are also showcasing a little bit about what Unity means to them,” Miller said. Also on the day’s schedule is the Muslim Student Association’s Iftar dinner, which will celebrate the end of Ramadan.
Ahmad Somakia (he/him), Vice President of the Muslim Student Association, commented about his organization’s involvement. He explained that they wanted to participate in order to expand their outreach and to educate the campus about Muslim traditions. “We believe that understanding other cultures is very important to help us develop as a community and a school,” he said. The Iftar dinner is open to the entire student body, and Somakia hopes “that all our attendees leave with a full stomach and having learned something new about Muslim traditions/culture.”
Miller says he hopes Unity Day can become a BSU tradition. “Defining unity was a really exciting one for us to start out with,” Miller remarked, and said that CSE is looking to host events celebrating some of the other pillars in the future.
Over the next couple of weeks, interested students can look for Unity Day updates on EngageBSU, as well as on the BSU mobile app.