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Speakeasy Night in the Student Center

On Wednesday, Feb. 7, music and mocktails were the highlight of the Intercultural Center and Black Student Union’s collaboration on Speakeasy Night. The night was full of snazzy jazz hits played by the Robert Ruffi Experience. With a password to enter, dim atmospheric lighting, and standing tables set up to groove to live music, it felt like an out-of-Monmouth experience as if students were brought into a classy bar during the Harlem Renaissance.

Jeff Gonzalez, a communication student, as well as videographer and storytelling coordinator for the event, noted how the night was unlike other experiences previously offered on campus. “It was a great experience, I really felt like it went back in time. I’m glad the Intercultural Center made this event come to life because it is very unique compared to some of the events I’ve been to on campus. I’m glad I went,” he explained.

Students arrived dressed in fancy outfits and sipped on a variety of delicious mocktails including “The Fizzy Flapper,” “The Rosemary Mule,” and “The Shirly Temple.” The band played multiple jazz hits with ease, with each member receiving their own round of applause for their individual solos on the keyboard, the guitar, the saxophone, and the drums, respectively. Students and faculty swayed along to the music, and others took photos and videos to remember the night.

“Speakeasy Night was certainly one of my favorite events this school year,” said Jihad Johnson, Assistant Director for the Intercultural Center. “We had over 80 students come dressed for the occasion and brought great energy. The Intercultural Center Team is always looking for great ways to bring our Monmouth community together.”

The Intercultural Center team is directed by Zaneta Rago-Craft, Ph.D., who also serves as the Advisor to the President on Diversity and inclusion, in addition to Mufrad Ahmed, the Program Coordinator. This event was in celebration of Black History Month, which derived from Carter Woodson’s efforts to expand the public’s knowledge on black history since 1920. His efforts allowed for a one-week dedication to black history, which eventually became Black History Month in the 1960s. Nevertheless, Monmouth University has the opportunity to celebrate these efforts and the culture, traditions, and achievements of African Americans in the United States.

“This was just one event featured for Black History Monmouth; be sure to check out the rest of the Black History Month Calendar,” said Johnson.