Category Archives: student involvement

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

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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.

D.R.A.M.

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  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!

What it means to be a university

There’s much more to the difference between a university and a college than just the title. That’s why we celebrate so fervently during #OrangeCrushWeek, and especially #UNITE!

To celebrate #UNITE this year, we stayed true to the theme of Salem: Halloween. All over campus there were treats including BBQ food, fried carnival food, lemonade and more. At night, there were tricks. There was a murder mystery party at night. We celebrated 6 years of university status with tricks and treats.

Becker College’s website offers a great description of the difference between the two. They are essentially the same in the way that a student is still earning a degree either way, and they both can be either privately or publicly operated. The quality of your degree really depends on the program, and how much the student applies themselves.

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What’s interesting is that Becker states that colleges are more hands-on and classroom settings are more intimate. That’s not the case with SSU, however. Salem State University prides itself on its intimate classroom settings where barriers between students and professors do not exist. Most classes are between 20-30 people on average here, so that the professors can pay close attention to each student’s needs.

Further, professors are not only educators, but also mentors to their students. Students and professors can build a strong and mutually beneficial relationship. Professors can be advisors to student organizations and can give access into their Rolodex of powerful connections. Students can give professors insights on the live and interests of millennials. These insights can benefit research and projects that they need the help of students for.

For Salem State, however, being a University is more than just the prestige. It’s about community. Students will be more inclined to stay on a campus where they feel there is a community that they feel welcome. Being a university is a mindset of an accepting culture where everyone wants to see everyone else succeed.

Thank you for all of this last week with us! The more events we come together for as a student body, the more we foster the sense of community on our university’s campus. With such a diverse and inclusive campus, being a university unites (pun intended) us even more!

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We were in the Halloween spirit!

Guest Post: Raspberry Swirl Does it Again

by Patrick Braley, Raspberry Swirl co-host and Alliance Member

Raspberry Swirl is an annual charity event run by the Gender and Sexuality Alliance (the LGBTQIA+ focused group here at SSU that promotes acceptance and understanding of all identities). Raspberry Swirl has been a long-time tradition here at Salem State University. With 2016 marking its 15th year, it is always something to hotly anticipate for both SSU students and those in the broader community alike. With each passing year, attendance seems to be increasing, with this year marking the first year with over 100 show goers. The trend in recent years for Swirl has been bringing in a famous drag queen from the hit show, RuPaul’s Drag Race to headline the show. The person booked to headline the show will typically perform about 3 to 4 song/dance routines and may even host a mini-game which requires and encourages audience participation. This year, the Alliance was very fortunate to have Pearl (real name Matthew James Lent), breakout star of season 7 of Drag Race, as the headline act.

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Pearl, the headliner and a host for the Alliance’s “Raspberry Swirl”. 2016. Courtesy photo.

Pearl was a graceful presence both on stage and off. She was dressed in some fierce outfits ranging from a futuristic-looking multicolored jumpsuit to an all black evening gown (which went perfectly with the spooky vibes of Salem). She sang and moved with expert precision and her passion for performing really showed through. In addition, Pearl also helped to host a mini-game titled “Fiercest Walk” in which members from the audience were chosen to strut their stuff down the length of the center isle. The winner won the right to brag to all their friends that they had the fiercest walk in the whole place.

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Performer at Friday’s Raspberry Swirl. 2016. Courtesy photo.

There were also two other mini-games during Raspberry Swirl that were hosted by the event’s two hosts Patrick Braley and Eric Donnovan (better known by their drag names Ophelia Oats and Chamele, respectively). One of the most memorable mini-games was titled “Lip Sync For Your Life.” This game was inspired by the iconic last chance challenge at the end of every Drag Race episode in which the two lowest ranked queens are pitted against each other in a lip sync battle to determine who is able to stay on the show. During Raspberry Swirl, four audience members (two vs. two) went head-to-head to claim the title of lip sync champion. The first round had two audience members belting out Adele’s “Hello.” Although everybody sang their hearts out, there was only one winner in the end.

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Local drag queens at Raspberry Swirl. 2016. Courtesy photo.

In addition to having Pearl perform, the Alliance was able to gather several kind, local drag queens and kings from the Salem State, North Shore and Boston drag scenes. Our stage was graced with so many talented acts! The crowd witnessed everything from sickening death drops to glitter flying everywhere. Audience members clapped, hollered and “YAAASSS”-ed in approval of all of the performances. After the show ended some folks had the opportunity to take a picture with Pearl herself during the meet and greet portion.

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Salem State studen showing off their stuff at Raspberry Swirl 2016. Courtesy photo.

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Local drag queens at Raspberry Swirl. 2016. Courtesy photo.

At the end of the day, however, Raspberry Swirl is about much more than dancing queens or who has the best look; when it comes down to it, Raspberry Swirl is and always has been all about fostering a sense of community, donating to local charities, and above all having a lit, lit, lit time.       

 

What could Ellison be? #EllisonCouldBe

The cat is out of the bag, and is all over twitter. Within a few years, the Ellison Campus Center will be receiving the expansion it and the SSU community deserves. However, before Ellison goes under the knife, the architects Dimella Shaffer wants to know what we students really want to see in the campus center. Twitter has been exploding with the hashtag #ellisoncouldbe. Students have been sporting #ellisoncouldbe T shirts, and have been voting via stickers on poster boards for what they want to see. The excitement is growing. Let’s take a look at examples of other campus centers first, to get a feel of what we really could have.

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The Dudley H. Davis Campus Center on the University of Vermont campus has so many resources. The gorgeous building has a game room, a book nook, green roof and terrace, a diversity and equality lounge, fireplace lounge and gallery, art exhibition, Ben & Jerry’s, a farmers market, a bookstore, and more.

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The UC Irvine Campus Center has study places, two food courts with a Jamba Juice, Wendy’s, Panda Express, etc. They also have SGA, student media services, UPS, a pub and more.

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The Reynolds Campus Center at Babson College has an ATM, local merchant carts, a resource room including art supplies for poster-making, coffee and food, printing services, a lounge, and more.

So, what have people been asking for on twitter?

#EllisonCouldBe

Tweet us your ideas with the hashtag #ellisoncouldbe!