Winners for homecoming king and queen were announced during halftime of the football game between Kean University and William Paterson University. On Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017, everyone who attended the game found out that the two lucky winners were Kevin Macalos for homecoming king and Fatizenebu Oyibo for homecoming queen.
Macalos and Oyibo are both seniors and had the opportunity to be crowned during their last year at Kean University.
Fatizenebu Oyibo, senior public administration and psychology double major, applied to run for homecoming queen on a whim. She was looking for a way to make Muslims and black Muslim women more visible on campus.
Some may wonder how she went about taking the title for homecoming queen if she applied on a whim.
"I had initially created a flyer and posted it on all my social media platforms. I then inquired if some of my friends would help me promote and tell their friends," Oyibo said. "The outpouring of supporters was amazing to me. I had also announced in my classes that I was running. On the two election days, I went around asking people if they would like to vote for me."
Before being homecoming queen, students could see Oyibo in the New Freshman Residence Hall as a resident assistant. Otherwise, students saw her working at the information desk in the Miron Student Center. Besides being a student worker, Oyibo is a representative for the senior class student council and an active member in the Muslim Student Association here on campus.
The competition for homecoming queen was difficult for Oyibo because she knew the other women who ran for the title.
"This [completion] was obviously hard, as well as friendly," said Oyibo. "[The other girls who were running and I] helped promote each other, as well as promoted ourselves. My good friend Asa Dugger, who was also running, actually did my make-up and helped calm my nerves on homecoming day."
Oyibo was not expecting to win queen, but she was extremely surprised when she did. What she did not expect the most was the outpouring support from the crowd.
For those who want to be homecoming queen next year, she advises, "There is not really any or best way [to win]. However, some key things I would suggest is to be yourself. Also, introduce yourself to people outside of your social circle [because] you not only gain votes, but you are able to get to know more people."
As this is her last year at Kean University, Oyibo has to make plans for the future. She plans on going to a graduate school that is distant from home so she can dorm. Although, she still wants to be in the States so she can travel back home when it is vacation time. Rutgers University, The University of California, Berkeley and Emory University are just a few places she has considered. At graduate school, Oyibo aims to get her master's degree in public administration and from there, she will get a doctorate's degree in urban planning.
Although she plans on going to a different university for graduate school, Oyibo has made great memories at Kean.
"My best memory here at Kean was actually before my freshman year had officially begun. The reason being is that if I hadn't been accepted [at Kean], I wouldn't have had the amazing experiences that I have now and wouldn't have known the support of some of the people I am honored to call friends," she said.
Kevin Macalos, accounting major and finance minor, ran for homecoming king because he truly wanted to step outside his own comfort zone.
"To be honest, in all of my years at Kean University, I would never have imagined that I would one day become homecoming king," he said. "I was always one of those students who highly focused on academics, and as senior year came, I realized how little to no time I had left as a college student. With that being said, I tried getting more involved on campus and with that ended up with me running for homecoming king." .
To get word out that he was running for homecoming king, he printed out shirts that promoted him to other students.
"Because these shirts were such high in demand, I was able to pair up with a nonprofit organization to be able to have additional shirts on sale online in which all of the profits will go to aid the hurricane victims in Puerto Rico," Macalos said. "In addition to that, my group of friends who were leaders in different parts of Kean were able to help promote myself with the short campaign time I had before the elections."
Before being crowned homecoming king, students could see Macalos as a general education mentor (GEM) in the School of General Studies at Kean University, serving a leader and role model to the underclassmen. Not only that, but he was also co-captain for Relay for Life in 2016 at Kean. In addition, he is involved in multiple clubs and organizations at Kean University such as the Portuguese American Club at Kean, American Sign Language Club, Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and Lambda Alpha Sigma Honor Society.
Macalos was pretty upset when he saw that he was the only person on the ballot list during the election period. He even encouraged a couple of his close friends to run for homecoming king, but his friends did not want to run against him. At the end, Macalos felt relieved when he found out that he was the winner of homecoming king.
"The reason why I stayed as a candidate was because I wanted to show people that no matter who you are at Kean, whether you are part-time, full-time, transfer student, whether you are someone who is barely involved on campus or you are someone who just focuses on academics, as long as you set your mind into something, you will achieve it," said Macalos. "I mean that from the bottom of my heart."
After graduation, Macalos plans to go to graduate school. Between New Jersey Institute of Technology, Saint Peter's University and Marist College, he is unsure of his number one choice. No matter which school he ends up attending, he wants to get a master's in information system, become a certified public accountant and get his doctorate's degree.
Even though he will not be attending Kean during his graduate years, he has made many memories at this school.
"My best memory was definitely when I became a GEM at the School of General Studies. If it wasn't for the people and experience there, I wouldn't think that I would ever have had the motivation and courage to run for homecoming king. Being a GEM helped me opened up more to people, helped me decide on what to do career wised. I definitely wouldn't be the same person I was today if it wasn't for the people I work with," he said.
Once again, congratulations to the homecoming king and queen of 2017!