Over 500 canned goods were collected at One C.A.N., a hunger awareness cultural arts night last Thursday. The goods collected at the event were donated to the St. John’s Bread and Life program.
This event is part of a series of events that campus ministry will be orchestrating in conjunction with Hunger awareness month. St. John’s will be reaching out to the university community for support.
Students who attended the event were asked to bring one can to support the cause. However, the purpose of One C.A.N. was held for more than just donations.
The Assistant Director of Multicultural Affairs of the Staten Island Campus, Jamaal Brown, organized the event and said “One C.A.N.” means many different things. It means “one can” could make a difference or as an individual, one person can make a difference.
C.A.N. also means Cultural Arts Night. Brown said “it was the motivation for brining different cultural performing arts from all the campuses together to stop hunger.”
The event’s audience included all three St. John’s campuses and was the first tri-campus hunger awareness event. Manhattan students were instructed to take the shuttle to the event, if they weren’t on campus already due to classes. Close to 60 students from the Staten Island campus were given the opportunity to attend the event via an exclusive shuttle bus run for the evening.
Many people at the event expressed their support for more tri-campus collaboration events so the three campuses feel more united.
Nicholas Macri, a senior of the Staten Island Campus said “I’m a senior and this is the first time all that three campuses have come together for one event. It looks pretty good I would like to see it happen more often.”
The underlying message of unity could be experienced not only through the bonding of the three campuses but also from the diversity in the music.
Contrary to most hunger awareness events, which focus on the tragedies and negatives of the global hunger crisis, this event captured attention through a music.
Ebony Lee, the Leader of the Staten Island Gospel Choir, co-hosted the event.
“While the same time we’re giving back you also could have a good time,” she said. “A lot of people use depression to try to get people to do things, where you could just have a good time and get the same results even more.”
An array of live music, performances and sweet snacks preceded the show. A professional band called Bandulous performed various hits spanning all genres to express the theme of unity. Many students also perfumed at the event.
Johnny the Thunderbird made a surprise guest appearance and passed out free Red Storm towels.
Senoir Melissa Mondesir said that the message of the night was clear.
“I feel like a lot of people here are really enjoying themselves and the people who go up and perform,” she said. “The underlying message was to get cans so that we could bring it to the soup kitchens and everybody knows that.”