It is that time of year again for elections of the Graduate and Part-Time Student Council (GPSC) Executive Board.
Now, come meet the candidates.
Graduate student studying school counseling, Hailey Cruz is running for the GPSC position of president.
She completed her undergraduate degree in English education at Kean University. She also holds a position as a graduate assistant in the Miron Student Center (MSC).
"I always love quotes and sayings that mention how leaders should build other leaders and that I will stand by," Cruz said.
Thus far, she has recruited a few fellow students in her counseling program to be council members, as they share her passions and promote events.
"Many students just do not know about GPSC and I want to make it more known," Cruz said.
Cruz shared that the current GPSC board has helped her a lot by encouraging her to step outside of her shell.
Cruz was also very involved during her time as an undergraduate student at Kean University. She held positions as a resident assistant for two years and the Student Organization vice president of programming during her senior year. With this experience, she has learned to conduct programs and respond to crisis situations.
"As a result, I was still more 'hungry' to be more involved with this organization as well as work by the wonderful professional staff," Cruz said.
Last semester Cruz was the GPSC treasurer and this semester she is the vice president.
"Growth happens when you try something new," Cruz said. "I am ready for that growth and I am ready to work alongside the [executive] board and to apply what I know so that I make a difference and continue allowing the students to have a voice."
Robert Schiele is the current vice president of Kean Ocean Student Organization and is running for the position of GPSC vice president.
Schiele graduated from Ocean County College with his Associate's in Criminal Justice and is currently pursuing his bachelors degree from Kean University in psychology and criminal justice.
He will graduate in May of 2017 and has plans to continue attending Kean University to obtain his Master's in Forensic Psychology.
"I am running for the [GPSC] vice presidency, not only because I enjoy working with students, but also to be there when students achieve their highest potential," Schiele said.
He is involved on and off campus in a variety of events and community service initiatives, making him proficient in supporting students.
"My past experience, knowledge and understanding of all policies provide me the tools needed to successfully mentor students as they attain their end goal," Schiele said.
Yesse Puello is currently in her second semester of graduate school on the clinical mental health counseling track. She is running for the GPSC position of secretary.
She has been a member of the Kean community since she was an undergraduate student.
"I am currently running for secretary of [GPSC] because I have always been an active student and I would like to continue improving my university at a graduate level," Puello said.
During her undergraduate career, Puello was a resident assistant for three years. This helped her gain experience interacting and advocating for the needs of the general population of students.
Sarah C. Coykendall is a graduate student running for the position of student council representative. Coykendall attended SUNY Oneonta before coming to Kean University to study holocaust and genocide studies.
"I am running for this position because I believe students' voices deserve to be heard and represented by someone living the same experiences they are," Coykendall said. "As a graduate student, I understand the daily mechanisms of student life and what others like myself desire and need."
Coykendall wants to be the voice of the graduate student body; she wants students to feel confident that they have someone to go to who understands them.
"I want students to know that I am not extraordinary," Coykendall said. "I go through the same situations in life most other graduate students go through."
She has the ability to both lead her fellow graduate students and blend in with them.
"I am qualified not only because of my previous undergraduate experiences in college government positions, but because I am a regular graduate student trying to balance life," Coykendall said.
Graduate student Sheenaider Guillaume is currently studying school counseling and working toward becoming a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). Guillaume completed her undergraduate coursework at Kean University and is now running for GPSC student council representative.
Guillaume is running for the position because of her passion for helping others.
"I've actually completed 2,000 hours of service to AmeriCorp," Guillaume said. "In addition to my services, I want to be a representative because I saw Hailey Cruz do such an awesome job as vice president for GPSC."
After connecting with Cruz, she knew she wanted to work with her and represent her class.
"This means so much to me and I really want to put myself out there to represent my peers and give back what was given to me," Guillaume said.
She is a strong believer in "team work makes the dream work" and plans to fulfill the mission of GPSC in representing the entire student body by working with the board members and graduate students as a whole.
"I want students to know that I am determined and here for them, that I will try my best to address concerns that are brought to me and be a voice for them in meetings and that I will try my best to remind peers of information and get as many people involved," Guillaume said.
As a graduate from Kean University for her bachelor's degree, she feels that she can relate to any student because of her foundation that was built here at the University.
"I can relate to the struggle and I am a graduate student that resembles other graduate students," Guillaume said. "I am friendly, compassionate and understanding. I am here to help and not take away [from] what we are building."
Graduate student Cherisse Dew is running for the position of Kean Ocean student council representative. She attended Ocean County College and then transferred to Kean Ocean, where her major is public administration.
"I want to meet more people and help to make changes, that would better the student body's experience while they are at Kean University," Dew said. "I want to become more involved with my school life."
Dew has goals of representing the student body in an unbiased and professional manner, as she will do her best to think about others before herself. She hopes to have the students' voices heard, provide more activities for students and make the student government more well-known to help do as much as they can for the student body.
"I believe my two strongest qualities are my ability to get along with everyone and my work ethic," Dew said.
She has also developed her leadership and public speaking skills, which will help her in this position to represent the student body. She plans to use these skills to create new ideas that would benefit Kean University as a whole.
"I am committed to improving Kean University, the community and myself," Dew said. "My desire to make a difference is my strongest commitment."
As a member of Student Government, holding positions as a representative and a member of the Programming Board at Kean Ocean, Dew understands the level of commitment it takes to have the voice of the student body heard and properly presented. She elaborated about how Kean University continues to move forward with the ideas and concerns of the students.
"I believe I have the desire, motivation and drive to serve the students at this university," Dew said. "I am willing to put my all into this position and each task that is put in front of me."
Each student running in the GPSC election has their own unique qualities, backgrounds and experiences that they will bring to fulfill the position they are running for.
Cherisse Dew could not have said it any better: "Thank you all for your time, and I encourage all of you to exercise your right to vote in the upcoming elections."