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Division of Student Affairs
New Brunswick

Student Clubs and Organizations Hold Capstone Events in Last Month of Spring Semester

TASA 2023 Nightmarket
The Taiwanese American Student Association's Nightmarket event from 2023
Kevin Dang

For many students at Rutgers University—New Brunswick, the spring semester of the academic year is filled with classwork, applications for summer opportunities, and much more. However, many leaders in the 700+ student clubs and organizations at Rutgers are consumed with a different type of work: planning blockbuster end-of-spring events. 

To name just a few upcoming events this week, the Rutgers Desi Intercultural Youth Association (DIYA) will be hosting their Annual Benefit Formal on April 11, the Taiwanese American Student Association (TASA) will be hosting their annual Nightmarket on April 12, and the Black Student Union will be celebrating Unity Day on April 13.

Students from Delta Sigma Theta pose at the Black Student Social in Fall 2023
Students from Delta Sigma Theta pose at the Black Student Social in Fall 2023
Luis Cambronero-Briceno

The events do not stop there—the West Indian Student Organization (WISO) will be celebrating Caribbean Day on April 20, the Rutgers Esports Club will be competing in the Scarlet Classic IX on April 20, and Rutgers Islam Awareness Week (IAW) will be holding their annual event on College Avenue Campus from April 22 – 25.  

Many organizations have also already held their capstone events, from TEDx at Rutgers to Rutgers University Dance Marathon and Association of Indians at Rutgers (AIR), while university-associated organizations like Rutgers University Programming Association (RUPA) have upcoming events like Hot Dog Day and Beats on the Banks.

While these events draw big crowds for a common cause, activity, or celebration, they also serve to spread the student organization’s mission and build meaningful community.

Students pose with Hot Dog Day hats in Spring 2022
Students pose with Hot Dog Day hats in Spring 2022
Merna Ahmed

For example, the TASA sees its Nightmarket event this year, titled “Crossing to Taiwan” and featuring Zodiac animals reimagined as Animal Crossing characters, as a key way to increase awareness of Taiwanese culture on-campus. 

“We always say that we’re a Taiwanese-interest organization, but not Taiwanese-exclusive,” said Justin Seo, the TASA’s outreach coordinator. “We average high amounts in attendance, but our event is more about reaching out to different communities and groups of people who might not otherwise go to an event like this.”

Rutgers University Dance Marathon Event 2023
Rutgers University Dance Marathon 2023
Geneva Lawson

Rehan Baig, president of IAW, shared similar thoughts regarding his organization’s events, which have a retro/arcade theme (the IAW tent will be titled BrowerCade).  

“IAW is a week-long fair held that aims to promote a true image of Islam to the rest of our community, with the greater intention of spreading interest in the religion,” Baig said.  

“Success, for us, is measured not just in the number of attendees but also in attendees’ shifts in perception. If our guests leave with a newfound appreciation for the diversity within Islam, a corrected misconception, or simply a curiosity to learn more, then we've achieved what we set out to do.” 

Additionally, for many smaller organizations connected to larger student groups, these capstone events provide a venue for them to reach a wider audience with cultural activities. 

“I think that Nightmarket has really evolved over the years to be a hub event for a lot of the Asian-American Cultural Center (AACC) organizations,” said Brian Liao, president of the TASA. “A lot of the AACC organizations prepare to perform exclusively at night market, because it is the largest public stage on campus for an APIDA organization, and giving them that hub and stage is important for us.”

Student performer at TASA Nightmarket 2023
Student performer at TASA Nightmarket 2023
Kevin Dang

Luna Lee, the president of Rutgers Esports, emphasized the gaming clubs that would be present at Scarlet Classic IX, as well as the wide variety of activities that attendees could participate in.  

“We're hoping to have Scarlet Classic IX, which will be held exclusively in the Esports Center, to be our biggest event in terms of turnout and our event offerings,” said Lee. “We currently have both Smash Melee and Smash Ultimate $1000 prize pools, will be showcasing other game clubs such as Womens Gaming League, Pokémon, Fighting Games Club, and more, and would also like to focus on community and non-gaming-related aspects such as an artist alley and opportunities to hold bunnies and chicks from a local farm.”

Student plays a game at the Rutgers Esports Center
Student plays a game at the Rutgers Esports Center
Rutgers Esports Club

Many of these capstone events are open to the student body at large, so if students haven’t yet joined an organization or just would like to experience something new, these events are a great way to enjoy the end of the year. A full calendar of student organization events and programs can be found at, and you can follow the @RUGetinvolved Instagram account for more updates.