In most recent weeks, the Kean community gained a new student representative, and her name is Kristen Failla. Acting as the new Alternate Student Trustee, Failla is going to be the person to generate growth in the university.
Failla is a sophomore who is focusing her studies in sociology while simultaneously pursuing a minor in psychology.
Running in an election is a major decision to make, not one to take lightly. Failla thought about it, decided she was ready for the added responsibility and put her name on the ballot not once, but twice in as many years.
“I previously ran for Alternate Student Trustee last year and despite my loss, I was motivated to put my name on the ballot again,” she said.
What can the Kean community learn about Failla from this experience? She does not give up. If Failla had to pinpoint when she took her determination to the next level, she would say her freshman year in college.
“...[A]s I started my involvement at Kean University with the Bronze level of the Leadership Institute, the director and coordinator, Sandra Espinal, gave me the advice of avoiding heading [straight] back to the residence halls after class,” Failla said. “Instead, she told us to become involved in every way possible and this mentality immediately inspired me.”
A common perplexity for college students is how to become more involved while also reserving time for school work. During her coming time as Alternate Student Trustee, she aims to guide students as they figure out all that is made available to them.
“I want to help students utilize this advice [given to me] by taking advantage of the various resources, organizations and events Kean University has while also continuously improving on them.”
Getting rid of any remnants of disconnect between students and administration, the voices of the Kean community are going to be heard, and it is not going to end there. Failla will take what she hears and take steps in creating the changes the student body asks for.
“As Kean University’s Alternate Student Trustee, I plan on serving as a voice connecting students to the university board and in doing so, also providing students with an opportunity to speak their minds,” she said. “Ultimately, I would like to dedicate the next two years to helping students have their thoughts and concerns not only be heard, but recognized on campus in a professional environment where changes are made.”
Failla’s aspirations for this position span across various topics. An avid volunteer, a priority of hers is to advocate community involvement and service.
“Another accomplishment I hope to make as Alternate Student Trustee is to encourage and instill a desire to participate in community service in students,” she said. “I believe that all students should love the university they attend and if anything disrupts that, students should have the opportunity to share their opinions, and I plan on giving students an outlet to do exactly that.”
In closing comments, Failla shared her gratitude for receiving this two-year moment.
Failla said, “I am honored and thankful for the opportunity to be a part of the progressive changes Kean University is constantly making.”