With warmer weather comes a Hawaiian Luau to be hosted on campus in the Rockland Conference Center on April 7. Stevenson’s Commuter Student Association will sponsor the event from 4-7 p.m.
The Commuter Student Association decided on a luau to celebrate the coming of spring in a nontraditional way, and hopes that it will inspire a large turnout. The CSA plans programs and events year-round, in addition to being a voice for commuter concerns with university administrators.
The luau is one event in a series directed towards commuter students as an attempt to improve their college experience on campus. Though it is hosted by the CSA, the event is open to all students, residents included.
Although this luau will not feature a skewered pig, it will have pizza and hula hooping for all who attend, according to Adam Vorce, the CSA vice president of finance. The CSA also encourages Hawaiian-themed outfits for students who attend, but are not required.
According to the Polynesian Cultural Center, traditional food at a Hawaiian luau includes poi, kalua pig, sweet potatoes, rice and lomilomi salmon. The spread at Stevenson’s luau might not be as exotic, but Vorce hopes that a variety of pizza toppings can create the same effect.
The luau will also feature some sand art inspired by a collaboration of the CSA and Stevenson’s R.E.A.L. Peers. The artwork itself is a surprise for the luau, but Vorce said that the sand sculptures have been very popular in past events.
Although an unusual event, a luau is appropriate for celebrating the coming of spring. According to the Polynesian Cultural Center, traditional feasts were actually called ‘aha’aina. These celebrations marked signified special occasions such as victory at war, the launching of a great canoe or in this case, warmer weather. Over time, the term luau, which is the name of the taro leaf that was woven into mats at the feast, replaced ‘aha’aina and is the current term for such celebrations.
Another upcoming event for commuter students to get involved on campus is the annual Relay for Life event that raises awareness and research funds for cancer. The CSA is planning on having a bigger presence at this year’s event and invites all to join their team, the Commuting Stangs.