SSU Hispanic Heritage Month

National Hispanic Heritage Month is beginning on Saturday September 15, 2018 and SSU is ready to celebrate! The Latin American Student Organization (LASO) is one of the oldest student organizations on campus, formerly known as the Hispanic American Society. LASO promotes interest among students in Latino history and culture by sponsoring educational, cultural and social events.

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, LASO will be hosting events for our students throughout the months of September and October. There will also be surprise performances from LASO’s very own dance team CANDELA at some of these events in which you will be able to experience Latin dance through our very own students.

Meet your current and previous LASO members:

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Here is a list of all events being put together by LASO for the next month, we wouldn’t want you to miss them!

20th: Welcome Back Party: LatinX Heritage Edition LOCATION: 9pm-1am, South Campus Gym
2nd: LatinX Heritage Dinner LOCATION: 12pm-4pm, Vets Hall
10th: Movie on the Quad LOCATION: 7pm-9pm, Marsh Quad
20th: LatinX Fair LOCATION: 7pm-9pm, Marsh Quad
Here’s some insight on previous LASO general body meeting topics:


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Ken E. Nwadike Jr. & This Year’s Change Makers Conference

Open to everyone at Salem State, this year’s Change Makers Conference has a powerful speaker. Ken E. Nwadike Jr. is a video journalist, peace activist, and YouTube personality widely known as the Free Hugs Guy. Nwadike Jr. founded the Free Hugs Project, which aims to spread love, invoke change, and raise awareness of social issues. On Facebook and Youtube, his Free Hugs video has millions of views.

Within this interactive conference, Nwadike uses the framework of his Free Hugs Project to actively engage students in discussions about understanding and compassion surrounding the uprising of hatred and racism. With the use of games, props, and of course hugs, Nwadike will transcend his message of a loving atmosphere.

The Change Makers Conference at Salem State has a goal of creating a sense of unity and respect, and to lift up community values. Come to the Ellison Campus Center at 9am this Sunday, 11/19, to check in! The conference starts at 10am. 

If this sounds like something you would be interested in, please sign up using the link/QR code below!


Make sure to follow us on Twitter, Snapchat, and Facebook for more updates on this conference/all events SSU! 

Your October Bucketlist

Everyone knows that Salem is the place to be during October, but not everyone knows all the exciting events happening around town. Whether it’s on campus or downtown, October in Salem has something for everyone. Here is your October Bucketlist!

  1.  Peabody Essex Museum

The PEM has numerous exhibits with artifacts dating all the Peabody-Essex-Museumway back to 1799. With so many rooms to explore, you can easily spend a few hours here. And the best part? Admission is FREE with your Clipper Card! So get some friends, and head on down to the PEM. They have a special Halloween exhibit right now called “It’s Alive! Classic Horror and Sci-Fi Art from the Kirk Hammett Collection,” that will make a great start or end to a spooky-filled day.

     2.  Salem Witch Museum 

05_presenting the evidence

Do you believe in witches? At the Salem Witch Museum, you’ll learn about the different types of witches throughout history, and why it’s relevant to Salem even today. In addition to learning about The Witch Trials and the hysteria of 1692, they have a large gift shop with everything from jewelry to candles. Admission is also FREE with your Clipper Card!


3. Hocus Pocus House

Visit the house from the movie Hocus Pocus! The movie filmed all around Salem, so in addition to the iconic house, there are multiple locations you can check out! Max and Dani’s house specifically is located at 4 Ocean Ave, Salem. The website below details the other filming locations and their addresses around Salem!


4. Jay Pharoah at Salem State!

Saturday Night Live actor, stand-up comedian, impressionist, rapper, voice actor, and star of the new Showtime series White Famous, Jay Pharoah is coming to SSU IMG_1762on October 25th at 6:15pm in the Twohig Gym! Tickets are on sale now at the Info Desk in the Campus Center! They are $5 for SSU students and $10 for the general public. Make sure to bring your friends because you don’t want to miss this HUGE event! Don’t forget to check out his new show, White Famous, which premiered last Sunday on Showtime!






5. Haunted Happenings, a month-long event that has something new every day, launched their calendar online! Check out all the events here.






Tweet us pictures of you completing the October Bucketlist to get a shoutout!


Advice from a Graduating Senior

Hello readers! I’m Nikki Vergakes, a senior at Salem State University. I won’t be able to say that for a long time anymore, however. I’m moving on to the “real world”. I was in a similar position four years ago when I was graduating from high school and moving on to SSU. My first year was definitely very different from my senior year. Since then, I’ve become way more involved in student organizations and have turned my two friends from freshman year into many friends that I hope to stay close with after graduation. Through some life lessons learned the hard way, I’ve accumulated many pieces of advice for undergraduates navigating the tricky waters of college.

18034243_951209681649235_3394085137952661454_n.jpgI’ve been the one who has been writing these blog post for the past three years while simultaneously working with the most inspiring people, buffering my digital and social media skills, and most importantly seeing the direct positive effects of student involvement on campus. I was passed down this job after my freshman year from a graduating senior I knew from PRSSA (the organization that I’ve been President of this year) and am forever grateful to her! But enough with the sappy stuff, here’s some advice  for you that I’ve gathered through my years at Salem State.

1. Life begins at the end of your comfort zone

Okay, this is totally an Oscar Wilde quote, but it’s also my life motto. Sorry, Oscar. I began with this mantra the minute I emailed the past SSU Cross Country coach about joining the team that was here. After I had talked to a girl (who has since become one of my closest friends) at orientation and looked up the women’s team 5K times, I decided to do what I said I’d never do: NCAA cross country. This ended up being one of the best decisions of my college career. The moral of the story is: don’t knock anything until you try it, especially in college. You’d be surprised at how many extra hours are in a day when you’re not in class from 7:30 AM – 2PM daily!

2. Treat Yo Self

Once you’ve tried a bunch of things and have a productive life, it can be hard to find time for yourself. A lot of my college career was spent working on programs and initiatives to help fellow students. It can be rewarding, but draining too. So don’t forget to enjoy that “me time”. Take yourself to Chipotle. Get an ice cream from upper north. Try Candlelit Yoga at Gassett. Take a walk on the bike path. Better yet, take a nap! If you’re burnt out, you can’t be your true authentic self.

3. You can always take it a step further

In college there are a lot of deadlines that pile up at once. You also may have internships, on-campus jobs and EBoard positions. With all of these things to balance, it may seem easier to only put half of your effort into something and pass in a final assignment that wasn’t done to the best of your ability. This may just be from my writing background, but something should always be double-checked. Have a friend read your paper or article over for clearness and readability. Double-count the math problem. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!


4. Impulsivity is key

Getting stuck in humdrum routines leads to a lackluster life. You’ll get bored with your major, your job and more. Even with the craziness of college life, this is possible. If your friend asks you to go to Treadwells and you’ve been studying for five days straight, don’t say you’re too busy. Take a study break! Some of the fondest memories I have are from last-minute plans.

5. Don’t wish it away

It’s ok to turn down plans to regroup or if you’re just not feeling it. Don’t wish the days and hours away. Don’t just simply be somewhere and not be present. If you wish the days away, it’ll be four years later and you’re going to be confused as to how the black gown got on you. You’ll be thinking– wasn’t it just freshmen year? Enjoy the small and big things, and be in the moment for all of them.

6. Every challenge is a learning experience

In the moment, yes, little and big inconveniences can really be a downer. They can cloud your judgement when planning an event, they can hold you up from study time, or force you to miss a meeting or event. The show must go on, however. In that moment, you must think fast and either figure out a solution or enlist help. We can all think of a time that this has happened to us. Did it work out? With every inconvenience, we learn a lot. It’s also something that you will most definitely be asked during future job interviews!

17498650_10155902823915410_6046008454909681130_n.jpg8. Take pictures and document everything!

This is self explanatory. There’s nothing I love more than plugging in my external hard drive and looking at old pictures. I have a folder for every year of college. Save your snaps. Archive your memories. Document these moments, because you’ll never experience college again after graduation, and you’ll want to be able to remember every minute.

It’s been an honor to serve SSU and it’s been quite the four years. They’ve definitely been unforgettable. I’ll be reliving the memories on my hard drive very soon!

Study for the Spring Concert?

In case you missed it, D.R.A.M. and Cousin Stizz will be rounding out the academic year for Salem State University… quite literally. They’ll be treating us to a rockin’ spring concert on the last day of classes Wednesday, May 3 at 7:30PM in the Twohig Gym. We all may know D.R.A.M. from his hit song with Lil Yachty “Broccoli” that broke out near the beginning of this school year. We’ll be reminiscing on the end of last summer with the beginning of this one. We know he knows his vegetables… but what do we really know about him? Here are a few fun facts about each artist.

Cousin Stizz


1. He did a song with the up-and-coming rapper Kyle called “Want me Bad”:

2. He’s from Boston!

3. His debut project  was called “Suffolk County” and was released June 2015.

4. He’s currently on tour with Kyle, the artist he did the song “Want Me Bad” with.

5. He has 437,428 monthly listeners on Spotify.



  1. D.R.A.M. stands for “Does Real A** Music”.
  2. Another meaning for “dram”, with no periods means a small drink of alcohol or spirits.
  3. His birth name is Shelley Marshaun Massenburg-Smith.
  4. He was born in Germany and was raised in Hampton, Virginia.
  5. He has appeared on songs and albums with Chance the Rapper, Rem Bank, Elle Varner and more.

Haven’t scored tickets yet? Grab them here. See you then!

Want Change? Take the Campus Climate Survey

The campus climate survey, why does it matter?

A diverse, inclusive and safe campus is an enriching and educational space. SSU prides itself on being diverse, but there is always room for improvement. The priority of the university  is that students feel safe, seen and included on campus. The need for more diversity in administration, faculty and staff and more programming about diversity and more are needs that have been brought up by students recently. There is now a clear pathway to SSU prioritizing these needs as well as expediting the programs that may put these needs in place.

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This pathway to more diversity is an ever-important, 20-30 minute Campus Climate Study. Great initiatives that have come from other schools that have done campus climate studies include gender-inclusive bathrooms, more diverse faculty, more classes about diversity and social justice and funds for more programming to enhance sense of belonging for all community members. Some of these initiatives already happen at Salem State but some that the community could benefit from do not happen on campus yet. They very well could given you take the short 20 minutes to complete the survey.

The survey is not just a diversity initiative, it is for all community members to voice their experiences in order to reach a better campus climate. Climate can be described as:

Lived experiences, cultural attitudes and perceptions.

How does it work?

Administrators have committed to making the changes that appear as needed from the survey results. It’s up to you to take the survey and let them know what we need. They’re willing to help the student body, they just need to know what we need to change in order for this campus to feel safe and inclusive.

“This is a chance for your experiences to be quantified into important data that will help improve the climate and overall experience of students” – Rebecca Comage, director of Diversity & Multicultural Affairs.

The study needs at least 30% student participation for the study to be statistically significant. There is currently only 7.8% student participation. Participating will help stop uncomfortableness from impeding your educational and extracurricular experience.

What’s in it for you besides a better campus climate? Once you take the survey, you’re entered in a raffle to win either:  a credit for an undergrad and grad course, up to $100 for any entertainment ticket, $50 clippercash, a $100 book voucher, a free meal plan, grad school app waiver and more.

How to get involved:


  • Survey parties in residence halls this week (March 8th)
  • Spring Break Part 2: Survey Party in the Center for Diversity & Cultural Enrichment: FREE FOOD and information about the survey!

Take the 20 minutes to take the survey here, for a better campus climate.

Take the survey here and if you post about it anywhere, use the hashtag #wecandobetter.

Rising Up to Make #HERstory

She climbed the ranks from a campaign assistant in 2007 to a top aide to former President Barack Obama in 2016. She’s an inspirational woman who has been on the frontline of history for years. Talk about HERstory! Now, she’s going to be at the frontline of the 2017 Women’s Leadership Conference as the keynote speaker.

She is an Iranian-American woman who will bring her intersectionality into the conversation regarding women’s rights. In her life, she has faced many tests to her will, but in the end that is what’s gotten her to where she is today. She now helps other women succeed through her work with the Iranian American Women Foundation (IAWF). This organization is mentorship-based and strives for the empowerment of Iranian-American women through conferences. Here is their mission statement:




The Vision of the Iranian-American Women’s Leadership Conference is to inspire and empower Iranian-American women to achieve their maximum potential. Join us to celebrate the achievements of your Iranian-American colleagues. credit

In a political climate where times are tough for women, LGBTQ, and minorities, she is an example of rising above no matter the circumstances. She will serve as an inspiration for many individuals at the conference who have big dreams as well. We can’t wait for her to inspire students through her life experiences while on the road to becoming successful.

After Govashiri’s address, enjoy lunch and help us build the HERstory timeline. Following that will be a panel of even more inspiring women telling their own stories. There will also be a day-long pop-up shop featuring goods from women business owners from around the North Shore. Finally, join us at 7 PM for the body-positive dance group Pretty Big Movement. Check out their work here:

Video credit: The Scene