With elections coming up on Monday April 5 to Wednesday April 7, Kean students were encouraged to join the Student Organization of Kean University in the Candidate's Meet & Greet event to hear what candidates will provide for Kean students this following academic year.
Professional Staff and Kean Ocean's Coordinator, Lawrence Owens, opened up the event welcoming everyone who joined the candidates today as everyone went around and introduced themselves.
With that, the candidate remarks section had begun. Moderators allowed students to answer questions for up to two minutes each for both the executive board and class president candidates. It began with questions towards the executive presidents. The moderator asked, "Why do you believe you are qualified for this position?"
Kierstin Mcilwrath, the first candidate, demonstrated how involved she is at Kean University. She has taken part in the organization of wellness days for the current semester showing how much she cares about the students at Kean especially given the times.
When asked the same question, Jason Pleitez, explained how he has done a number of activities that helped voice all the concerns of students. He feels he isn't only a representative of his own voice but of the entire student body regardless of department or major.
The section continued as they asked executive vice president candidates, Rhyan Almonacy and Martha Julemis to answer the following questions, "How is it important for student leaders to serve on committees?"
Almonacy says how he feels that voices are heard in committees. Students can give updates on new ideas and how to improve the campus. This can help make change happen immediately and uses the Kean mobile meal orders as an example.
Julemis speaks on how the absence of students in committees is at a disadvantage towards them. She believes decisions should be made with their input to perfect the Kean community.
Running for the position of executive vice president of special projects is Juliana Lopez. Moderators ask, "How would you reach out to recognized groups on campus letting them know about what student government funding is available to them?"
Lopez has been working hard in reaching clubs, especially during these times. The best way to do so is to communicate with the clubs through emails and meetings to let them know about funding.
For vice president of programming, Yessica Jimenez was asked, "What would you do to get students engaged/attend these programs?"
She believes that getting in touch with students through both email and social media will ensure engagement.
The next candidate for vice president at Kean Ocean, Josephine O'Grady, when asked "How would you form a relationship from the Kean Union campus for joint programming?" O'Grady mentioned how convenience is a huge factor for students. Utilizing Cougar Link and social media as features is key to get the Kean Ocean's student body involved, even after the pandemic lets up.
Running for student organization treasurer is Michael Rado. He was asked, "How do you plan to communicate with the executive board to inform them of the finances?"
He responded with the need to have regular meetings to be able to discuss both online and in-person to maximize communication, exchange information and minimize confusion.
Candidates for senior class president were asked to "Give an example of when you were a leader of a group/leadership roles and how you delegated responsibilities?"
Luis Torres Ramos mentioned how he was put in charge of teaching his fellow airman first aid. He coordinated with other people that know how to teach and opened his ears to anyone that needs help or has a suggestion.
Kevalkumar Barvaliya talks about the experience he gained in the three consecutive years he was a class monitor in his school in India. He believes he would be helpful to all students and wants to build a community with his peers.
The floor was then opened up for questions from guests to this year's candidates. This allowed students to get to know even more about the candidates and advocate for themselves as time ticks closer to election week.
The Student Organization of Kean University is committed to enhancing the growth of the student body and making sure every student's voice is heard. One can reach out through email @email@example.com, follow them on their Instagram @keanstudentgov or keep an eye out on Cougar Link.