The month of April is a solemn time for Armenians around the world, as they come together to commemorate the Armenian Genocide. This year ASO decided that the goal would be to not only remember the Armenian Genocide, but to also honor the 1.5 million Armenians who died.
Fifteen students served as members of the Genocide Commemoration Committee—they began meeting in late January to work on making April a success. One goal was to raise awareness on campus and a second goal was to do something to honor the victims and to show the world, especially the Turkish government, that Armenians are strong and will always help each other.
The ASO designed and sold t-shirts with a Genocide theme, which were very popular with students and the community.
ASO teamed up with the Central Valley Blood Center to raise awareness to accomplish their first goal. Fresno State students who donated blood were given a brochure about the Genocide. Andrew Esguerra, who headed these efforts said “We wanted to reach as many students as possible but had fun doing it too.”
Another way to raise awareness was by hosting a series of events on campus to commemorate the Genocide. “I really liked the commemoration; it was short and sweet yet covered every aspect of the Genocide,” said Ani Grigoryan.
The activities continued on Tuesday. “We held the vigil to symbolize what we have struggled through and show that 1915 will never happen again,” said ASO Vice- President Vartush Mesropyan.
The series of activities ended on Wednesday, April 27th, with Prof. Barlow Der Mugrdechian’s lecture on “The Theme of Genocide in 20th Century Armenian- American Literature.”
ASO also hosted “Love in a Shoebox,” where people were asked to donate a shoebox full of goodies for Armenian orphans.
“We wanted to give back to our people and those who are less fortunate,” explained ASO treasurer Tatevik Hovhanissyan.
In the end, ASO was very happy to see their hard work pay off and to see the success of the events.
ASO didn’t want to just focus on the events of the past for the whole spring semester so they organized a scavenger hunt, on April 9th as well.