On Sept. 5, the Student Activities Board (SAB) hosted “A Pirate’s Life for Me,” a welcoming event geared towards out-of-state students and international students.
“A Pirate’s Life for Me” is an event SAB hosted as part of its “First 56 Days” campus-wide programming initiative that encourages students to experience all that Seton Hall, South Orange and the greater NYC-area has to offer,” Alison Sotolongo, director of student activities, said.
The idea for “A Pirate’s Life for Me” came after SAB met with a committee of international students and out-of-state students and learned about their experiences at Seton Hall.
“Through these conversations, we recognized that there was more that SAB could be doing with their programming to help meet the needs of these students,” Sotolongo Miller said. “The idea to host a welcome event for international and out-of-state students is just the first of many initiatives SAB is planning for the upcoming school year.”
The student committee was formed by Robin Cunningham, interim vice president of student services, and Monica Burnette, assistant vice president director of projects and planning. The committee consisted of Santiago Cabrera, Benjamin Harris, Karmen Yap and Nicholas Hernandez.
Santiago Cabrera, a sophomore economics and finance major from Caracas, Venezuela, said that the panel was formed at the end of the last academic year, and was originally meant to give feedback to Seton Hall administrators and faculty about out-ofstate and international student life. The panel then became a year-long initiative and planned the event that eventually became “A Pirate’s Life for Me.”
Cabrera also stated that his goal for the event was to avoid some of the troubles he went through from loneliness to the language boundary.
“I want international and out-of-state students to meet people that are going through the same as them and to support each other,” Cabrera said. “But this is just the first step of an initiative that is expanding.”
Cabrera also said that he encourages New Jersey residents to engage with international students and to learn about their cultures.
Students in attendance ranged from freshman to senior and New Jersey residents to students from different continents. The event featured inflatables, makeyour-own keychain stations, free popcorn and snow cones, complete with each student wearing a name tag with a button that represents where they are from.
Ruby Pasupuleti, a junior biology major from Hyderabad, India, said that she found the snow cones “refreshing” and enjoyed the make-your-own keychain station.
Various students also shared their advice as out-of-state and international students on how to adjust to college.
Esther Williamson, a freshman biology and physical therapy major from Lakeside, Montana, said her advice to other out-of-state students is to “stick to what you believe in, but don’t be afraid to try new things.”
Andi-Kaye Walters, a junior biology major from Spanish Town, St. Catherine, Jamaica, also said for international students to “make good use of your resources, don’t expect things to come easily to you. You don’t have the same advantages as people from here.”
Paul Oburu, a sophomore computer science major from Nairobi, Kenya, advised other international students to “socialize ask questions, inquire and to just dive in.”
“I believe that what SAB did is a step in the direction in making this university a home for all students,” Cabrera said. “We definitely have more work to do and I am excited to see what waits for us down the line.”
Bianca Stover can be reached at email@example.com.