The Graduate and Part-time Student Council (GPSC) election has concluded. Receiving majority of votes was Hailey Cruz, who will take over the position of GPSC president.
Cruz is a graduate student pursuing her Master's in Counseling. She works as a graduate assistant (GA) in the Miron Student Center (MSC) Game Room.
She also completed her undergraduate education at Kean university in English education. In her time at Kean, she has served as a residential assistant (RA) , Student Organization (the full-time undergraduate student government) vice president of programming and the vice president and treasurer of GPSC.
All of the positions that Cruz has held throughout her education helped her become more familiar with the responsibilities of the role of president. She has always looked up to past and current student leaders serving as president of GPSC and Student Organization.
"I always said one day I want to be there, and I was timid before being an RA and before doing everything else," Cruz said. "But I feel that I was able to break outside of my shell and learn about the different forms as well as building good relationships with the professional staff."
Current GPSC President Lawrence Owens has helped her a lot to prepare for this position.
"The past presidents, as well as the professional staff working with them, see something in [me] that [I may not] see in [my]self," Cruz relayed.
When making the decision to run for president, Cruz recruited fellow students in the counseling program to join her and get involved with GPSC by running in the election with her.
"I actually have Yesse Puello, she's in the counseling program. She was a council member and she's actually the secretary," Cruz said. "Sheenaider Guillaume, again, she applied for the committee and she is in it as well."
One of Cruz's biggest goals for her term as president is to make the GPSC a more known organization.
Although she said that the executive board does a good job with reaching out to friends, she plans on going into different classrooms, not only within the counseling department.
"I feel that having a good relationship with other classes as well [as] other departments would definitely bring students involved," Cruz said, "also shedding more light on the Instagram page so that it's easier for students to follow."
Aside from making GPSC more known, she hopes that the GPSC team in general remains a family. Right now, the group has established a good relationship with not only themselves, but with the undergraduates and full-time students of Student Organization. The next step in her role as president is to begin planning ahead for the future.
"I think that planning ahead with the professional staff and with us definitely would make everything more organized and would give more time for students to know about our events," Cruz said.
From this experience, Cruz hopes to grow by allowing herself to do something she never thought she could do before. She never thought she would apply, but once she did, opportunity was waiting.
"Applying and getting into it definitely helped me realize that anything is possible if you actually do it," Cruz said.
Keeping this in mind, she hopes to break out of her shell as she works through the different duties required of her in this role.
For the future, Cruz would like to pursue a profession based on the education she gained at Kean as an undergraduate and graduate student.
"I actually want to incorporate both of them," Cruz said, "I want to do school counseling and then I also want to be an adjunct professor."
Currently, in her GA position, she has an open door policy. She plans on bringing this to her new position as well.
"I'll have my office hours listed and they can come at any time, they can email me [if] some students have questions," Cruz said.
With experience in her undergraduate and graduate education at Kean, Cruz is prepared for whatever may come her way throughout the course of her presidency.