Bellarmine’s 2023 Unity Assembly, first since pre-pandemic

by Matthew Suh ’24

San Jose, CA — On Thursday, April 20th, thousands of Bellarmine students, faculty, and staff, poured into the Patrick Wayne Valley Memorial Gymnasium to attend Bellarmine’s annual Unity Assembly. Every year, Bellarmine puts on a unique Unity Assembly to display students’ diverse cultures, faith traditions, and languages through art, dance, song, and other forms of creative expression. This year’s Unity Assembly was especially important because it was the first one since the global pandemic hit in 2019.

© Jeffrey Mu

The Latino Student Union (LSU) opened up the assembly with three creative dance pieces dressed in white shirts and black pants with blue handkerchiefs and black boots. One highlight of the LSU performance was when two students of the LSU danced to up-beat music while holding machetes in their hands. Following up the LSU was the Filipino Student Association (FSA), which performed tinikling, a traditional Phillippine folk dance. During the show, half of the FSA members held 8-foot bamboo poles on the ground and tapped them to the beat of the music. While half of the members held the bamboo poles, the other half danced to the music, weaving in and out of the poles with their feet. 

To close out the Unity Assembly, the Gay Straight Community (GSC) played a video they created along with Bellarmine Creative Studios (BCS) to inform students about Bellarmine’s first-ever Pride Week. According to an email from faculty member, Ms. Lance, “Pride Week is all about celebrating the LGBTQ+ community. During Pride Week, we are encouraged to celebrate our unique identities, learn about ways to be active allies for justice and equality, and educate ourselves about LGBTQ+ history and culture.” Throughout the week of April 24th, there will be LGBTQ+ events on campus, such as a Queer Media Viewing Party where students can watch TV shows, videos, etc., with Queer representation.

When asked about how he felt after the Unity Assembly, Bellarmine junior, Jeffrey Mu ‘24, said he felt “intrigued”. Jeffrey followed up his reflection by saying, “I think Bellarmine has come a long way from the online assemblies I had during freshman year, and the Unity Assembly was super unique!”

While the Unity Assembly may be over, Global Village will be held on April 21st, starting at 5 PM in the Bellarmine quad. This celebration, made possible by the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging department and Unity Council, is open to parents and students from Bellarmine and other schools. Global Village includes traditional foods from all over the world, fun activities organized by Bellarmine’s affinity groups, student performances, art projects, and other fun activities. There will be a stage hosting 20 different performances from Bellarmine, Presentation, Notre Dame, Mitty, St. Francis, and Cristo Rey, including a Chinese Lion Dance, Folklorico, Tae Kwon Do, and so much more! Make sure to come out to Global Village 2023!

Matthew Suh is a staff writer and contributor for The Bell Online, Fresh Coast Sports, and The Press Box. He is passionate about the intersection of sports and culture and loves to explore the stories behind the games as well as covering campus events and news. Follow Matthew on Twitter @matthewsuh.