Change Makers Conference & The Piece Project!

Open to everyone at Salem State, this year’s Change Makers Conference theme is embracing change through campus connections. We are happy to announce that the Keynote for this year is The Piece Project. The Piece Project believes that humans learn, create and collaborate better when they feel safe and connected to the people around them. The Piece Project delivers programs that create that safety and connection.

The programs that The Piece Project offer are meant to create a sense of belonging and connection between peers on campus, inspire a sense of engagement in and ownership of campus community and foster a sense of empowerment and resilience in students around achieving their goals.

To learn more about The Piece Project, please feel free to watch this video:

Make sure to join as at this year’s Change Makers Conference on Sunday November 18, 2018. The event will be taking place from 10AM-3PM in Vets Hall of the Ellison Campus Center.

Here is the link to register:

You can also use this QR code to register as well:


Here is a list of the events that are occurring on our campus during Change Makers Week leading up to the conference:

Tuesday, November 13:

  1. Colleges Against Cancer
    • Great American Smokeout, 12-2PM in the McKeown Plaza
  2. LEAD and PEAR office
    • Bystander Intervention Session, 5PM, in ECC Vets Hall

Wednesday, November 14:

  1. LASO
    • Intersectionality in the LatinX Culture, 6PM, in the Petrowski room (Marsh 210)

Thursday, November 15: 

  1. LEAD office
    • Bringing the Change, 4PM, in ECC, MLK room
  2. Program Council
    • Friends-giving, 6PM in Marsh Dining

Friday, November 16:

  1. UAT Spoken Word
    • Speak Your Truth, 7 PM in the Callan Theatre

Sunday, November 18: 

6th Annual Change Makers Conference, 10AM-3PM, ECC Vets Hall


National Coming Out Week

It’s almost that time of the year! Salem State students will be able to participate in National Coming Out Week with a series of events being hosted by our very own Salem State Alliance.

The Salem State Alliance is a student group that offers opportunities to meet socially, plan events, lobby politically and/or find support for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender students and their straight allies. The Alliance has sponsored activities for GLBT Awareness Month, Transgender Day of Remembrance, AIDS Awareness, social dances, drag shows, and more. Be sure to look for their open receptions at the beginning of each semester to meet members of the Salem State University GLBT community.

National Coming Out Week (NCOW) will be taking place on October 1, 2018-October 5, 2018. The Alliance will be hosting events throughout the entire week that will be open to Salem State students/faculty, GLBT members and their allies! These events will provide educational aspects that will give resources for queer folk within the Salem community. It will also allow members of the LGBTQIA+ community to come together and share their coming out stories in a safe space, providing a safe and welcoming environment for all involved.

Here is a list of NCOW events:

Opening ceremony
Alumni Plaza 11am-1pm
This event will be an opening ceremony with speeches from various folks on campus discussing the week and the privilege of coming out and why this week is so important. This is also when out traditional banner will be laid out for people to put their handprints on.
Rainbow Resource Fair
Alumni Plaza 11am-1pm
This is be an event where various community organizations that are a resource for queer folk will be on campus to talk to students.
Coming Out Stories
ECC Underground 4:30PM
This will be a space for students to come and share their coming out stories in a safe and open environment.
Alumni Mixer
ECC Vets Hall 6-9PM
This event will be a time for former alliance members and current alliance members to mingle and talk about how much The Alliance has changed. 
Here are some pictures of current/previous members, and previous events:
Here is the link to the NCOW flyer:
Salem State Alliance contact info:
Instagram: @ssualliance
Twitter: @ssualliance
Facebook: Salem State University Alliance
For information contact the Alliance office in Room 206 of the Ellison Campus Center at 978.542.7541.

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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Instagram: ssulaso

Snapchat: laso_ssu

Twitter: ssulaso

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!