Part of the college life is identifying with a symbol, and for Kean University, that symbol is Cougar.
Stepping onto campus, the title Kean Cougar is bestowed upon the students. Students are expected to identify with being called Cougars, but what does that mean?
Most people would think that going to the bookstore and buying a stock of Kean merchandise would show their school spirit. Some think being involved in school events and activities shows their dedication. It is really all up to interpretation.
And that is why The Cougar's Byte went around asking students, "You know you are a Kean Cougar when..."
"When you get a ton of bookstore emails expressing all of their great deals and then go to check them out."
"[When] On Fridays you go into your Kean wardrobe and pick an entire outfit to wear," said Jen R., a junior majoring in business.
There are many events at Kean University in which students can win free shirts and Kean gear, which leaves students with no shortage of Kean apparel.
"When you run up to catch up with the trolley so that you are not late for a class on East Campus."
The trolleys are a great part of Kean University because they allow students to save time on looking for parking, walking to classes or even meeting new people.
"When you take Friday and Saturday classes because you want Kean Bucks specifically to buy food, instead of using your own money."
"[When] You go to Tropicana Diner...[to use your] Kean Bucks," said Socrate Exama, a sophomore studying physical education and health science.
Kean Bucks are awarded to students who are enrolled in Friday and Saturday classes. Students can earn $50 per credit for Friday classes that start after 3:30 p.m. and for Saturday or Sunday classes that start before noon. Earn $100 per credit for Saturday or Sunday classes that start after noon.
Kean Bucks have no cash value, but can be used on any on-campus eatery and selected stores around the university.
"If part of your day consists of going to Outtakes and getting a bunch of snacks."
Food seemed to be a common ground for students.
"When Cougar's Den is your favorite place to eat," said Gianna H., a freshman studying psychology.
The Cougar's Den is an eatery on campus that provides a variety of soups, salads and sandwiches, on many occasions it can be packed with many Kean students.
"If you rely on Starbucks to survive throughout the day."
Starbucks was a common answer when asking students what being at Kean University meant.
"You stand in line for Starbucks for 20 minutes because you really need coffee before your next class," said Rebecca Agnone, a freshman studying biology.
Sharon L., a freshman studying communication, said, "When you go to the library to study, and end up at the Starbucks line."
"You know you are a Kean Cougar when you join clubs and meet new people," said Jemima OJ.
Most of the answers given pertained to "hang out" spots and different places on campus to eat. Kean University has many eateries to get work done, which is noted by how consistently packed Starbucks and the library are.
"The whole essence of college is to participate and meet new people," said OJ.
There are many places on campus to have fun, be active and be productive, and the Nancy Thompson Library and Miron Student Center are these hubs on campus.
"If you make a joke about how funny being called a Cougar is."
Kean pride is not just about wearing the clothes or going to events on campus, but it is the ability to know that as a Kean student there are many outlets and opportunities available.
From the Career Services Center, Writing Center or tutoring programs, there are many educational opportunities. Having Kean pride is as simple as saying, "I am a Kean student."
As Kean Cougars, it is the duty of students to represent and to show pride whenever possible.