From the moment Elon University freshman Maegan Ramos stepped foot on campus, she said she instantly felt welcome. 

As an international student, Ramos said Elon University is her home away from home. Ramos comes from the Philippines – which is located 8,675 miles away. 

Filipino American History Month was originally established in October 1992 by the Filipino American National Historical Society and was officially recognized as a national celebration by Congress in 2009.

To celebrate, Elon University's Center for Race, Ethnicity and Diversity Education hosted a variety of events to recognize the culture of many Filipino Americans on campus.

For every Tuesday in October, the CREDE hosted "Meryenda Munchies" – an event dedicated to sharing Filipino food with the community. According to CREDE, meryenda means "light snack" in Tagalog – the Philippines' national language.

Here, CREDE offered a variety of traditional Filipino snacks such as otap – a buttery, flaky cookie; boy bawang – garlic-flavored peanuts; and Oishi – spicy prawn crackers.

Ramos said she appreciated these events. 

"I really liked experiencing part of my culture on campus and being able to share it with other people," Ramos said. "Being away from home is hard enough, so having that small piece here on campus is so nice." 

As someone who has lived in the Philippines for her whole life, Ramos said she is impressed by the work Elon has put in for Filipino students. 

"I feel like a lot of effort and research was put into this celebration," Ramos said. "They clearly did their homework – they had all the popular Filipino snacks and were even playing music that's trending in the Philippines." 

Ramos said she didn't even know about National Filipino American History Month until the CREDE announced its intent to hold a celebration. 

Despite the CREDE’s efforts, Ramos said she expected more from Elon University. 

"I thought they'd have a bigger celebration for it, honestly," Ramos said. "I assumed there would be a lot more talk about it too. The Filipino population at Elon is small, but we have a lot of pride in our nationality, and I thought that'd show through more." 

According to, only 5.4% of Elon University's  population is AsianAmerican. Elon University has taken steps to make the Asian Americans on campus feel welcome, according to Elon University staff. 

In 2021, Elon University established the Asian and Pacific Islander Working Group – a group made up of students and faculty alike to offer support to Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders. APSA – Elon University's Asian Pacific Student Association – was also created in order to provide a safe space for students who identify as Asian, Asian-American and Pacific Islander. 

Ramos said she believes celebrating National Filipino American History Month is only the first step to truly making Asian Americans at Elon University feel more welcome. 

"It's really hard to say what else Elon can do for us because the Asian population here is already so small, and the Filipino population is even smaller," Ramos said. "I feel like a good thing to do would be to highlight the different cultures and heritages seen on campus and celebrate what we have here at Elon, especially when it comes to smaller ethnic groups like Filipino Americans. There can always be more." 

Ramos said she hopes next year's celebration will be more welcoming for Filipino American students.

"Bring the celebration out of CREDE. Hold it in Medallion Plaza and put it in an area where students are more likely to stop by,” Ramos said. “Besides, having it outside would remind me of the street vendors back at home too." 

Ramos said she has high hopes for next year's Filipino-American History Month festivities. 

"The whole point is to make us feel at home," Ramos said. "In order to do that, they need to make it be like home."