I unironically love James Madison University. Like an I bleed purple and gold kind of love. And if you are reading this there is a pretty good chance that you are part of the JMU community too. By now you know that campus is littered with flyers for upcoming events and your social media feed and email inbox are full of save the date events. Just for you, I gathered a list of April events that you’re actually going to want to go to.
JMU Culture Fest •April 2• 10am-8pm• Festival Highlands Room
Culture Fest is a celebration of culture and diversity at JMU. If you have an hour or two, I recommend you come out and float from booth to booth. You can experience different cultures through food, music, dance, tradition, and more, plus you never know what you will learn.
Transgender Day of Visibility Speaker •April 5• 5:30-6:30pm• The Union Ballroom
Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) is bringing Dezjorn Gauthier to speak on importance of transgender visibility. SOGIE always throws great events, and Gauthier will be leading a workshop after the speaker event.
Greek Life Blood Drive •April 7• 2-8pm• Festival Highlands Room
Coming off a pandemic, the Red Cross is in desperate need for donations. If you are in Greek life you can probably snag a point for giving. You can donate blood, quite literally save a life, and then get a cookie and a juice. It’s a win-win.
SUP & Clean Up: Stewardship at Switzer Lake •April 10 •1-6pm
UREC is having a paddle board and lake clean up event. Spend a day on the lake learning about how to be proactive in nature’s protection and get in some time on a paddle board. Perfect way to kickoff springtime and earth day. This sounds like a much needed mind & body reset.
D.E.E.P. Impact Dialogues •April 13 •7-8:30pm •The Union Ballroom
If you haven’t been to a D.E.E.P impact dialogue yet, this is a JMU must-experience. If you have been, go again! These presentation and group discussions are facilitated by CMSS, and a chance to share opinions and stories with other students.
Take Back the Night •April, 14 •Hartman Hall room 2021
This is an event for survivors and supporters to share stories of sexual assault. Take Back the Night TBTN has been around since the 1960s and offers you a space to speak, listen, support, and heal. This is a deeply personal and moving event that ends with a flower release on Newman Lake.
The Counseling Center offers a lot of services beyond general counseling. Upcoming workshops to be excited about include Animal Assisted Therapy, Dealing with Depression, and Imposter Syndrome. I went to a dealing with anxiety workshop and learned about strategies for living with anxiety and self-care. They are super low commitment as it can be a single session, but you can really get a lot out of it. Animal assisted therapy? I could use a puppy snuggle right about now.
Overtones Spring Concert •April 15 •7-11pm •Festival Ballroom Grand
The overtones are one of JMUs nine a cappella groups and when given the chance, definitely go see any of their shows. Closest I have ever been to living out my Pitch Perfect fantasy. Fun fact, actually really sad fact, I auditioned for a cappella my freshman year and was swiftly denied. Maybe I am bitter, but these students are talented.
Tim Miller Book Club •April 20 and April 28
Who doesn’t love Tim Miller and who doesn’t love Brene’ Brown? If you are unfamiliar with Brown’s work, take a second to check out her TedTalks on YouTube. This semester, Tim Miller is facilitating a literary discussion around Brene’ Brown’s book, Gifts of Imperfection. Kicker to this event? They will give you the book for free Mar. 30 SSC 1075 & Mar. 31 SSC 4049 both at 5:30pm.
Spring Celebration Plant Sale •Edith J. Carrier Arboretum •9am-3pm •April 22-23, April 25-29, May 2-7
There is nothing I love quite like a good house plant. I can’t say I have much of a green thumb, but I have managed to keep my snake plant alive from last year’s sale. This particular plant sale is located at the arboretum so not only does it give you an excuse to go for a walk, but you can also learn a lot about local vegetation and ask for advice on how to keep your new plant buddy alive.
This is far from a comprehensive list. Here is one. Loving JMU can be complicated sometimes. But loving means pushing for change and improvement. Part of loving JMU is loving the community and being a member of the community, and you can get a lot out of showing out and participating.