The students of Kean University should strive to make their college careers memorable. While maintaining their academics as well as getting involved in clubs/organizations on campus, student leaders should always remember that the impact they leave can open the doors to beneficial opportunities. The Kean community has spoken and they have chosen Chris Sclafani to represent the students as the next Alternate Student Trustee.
The Alternate Student Trustee is a position that is appointed to eligible students to serve on the Board of Trustees. In order to be qualified for the position, candidates must be a full-time Kean student in good standing and fulfill the two-year term commitment serving as the alternate trustee for the first year then a voting member during their second year.
Sclafani is a sophomore majoring in forensic psychology and is heavily involved on campus being a silver leader for the Leadership Institute as well as rushing in his fraternity, Nu Sigma Phi. Sclafani instantly fell in love with Kean after seeing what the university had to offer. During one of his early tours of the campus, Sclafani noticed the Kean Hall building and the president's office. Sclafani wants to deliver the same experience he witnessed first-hand as a student and become a voice for the students working with higher administration.
"I remember going on a campus tour and seeing the president's office in Kean Hall. I said to myself that I wanted to be in there one day. To be able to now go there and make a change at the university and sit with higher administration is an honor. I feel like Kean has offered me so many things as a student, a person and a leader. This is now my time to pay it forward to everyone else," said Sclafani.
Although Kean has been operating remotely due to the current health crisis, Sclafani's ultimate goal in his new role is to re-establish the connections with current students as well as incoming students so they can return to a sense of normalcy by the time the fall 2021 semester begins. Sclafani is aware that students may be feeling a disconnect from the university since remote learning began. He is prepared to take on this challenge so Kean can once again feel like a home away from home.
"We have many students who have not set foot on campus or haven't even been on a campus tour which is disheartening. Even with all of the current health precautions the university has in place such as wearing a face mask, physical distancing and hand sanitizing stations all over, there is still a way that we can all enjoy being back on campus. My plan as the trustee is to connect with our students and return to an active campus community with students walking around, making new friends, going to classes and expanding their networks," said Sclafani.
Campaigning for Sclafani was entirely done throughout social media in order to put his name out there for students. Virtual campaigning can be difficult but Sclafani was able to make it very interactive by creating flyers and markets on why he should be elected the new Alternate Student Trustee.
"I have had great friends through my organizations that helped spread the word about my campaign and I through it, I was able to make new friends as well as connect with the other trustee candidates. The process was both fun and nerve-racking but it was very heart-warming to have a support system that wants to see me do great things," said Sclafani.
Sclafani goes on to explain that Kean offers so many different opportunities to be discovered for students so he just wants to make sure that they have all the right tools for them to use in their professional and personal lives.
"I think there are so many opportunities at Kean where you just can't find anywhere else which sets us above the rest. It really does go with the slogan 'Cougars Climb Higher.' A year ago, I never thought I could see myself in a higher position but now I can make my voice and the students' voices heard which really humbles me. Kean is like a diamond in the rough and I do hope once we fully return to campus that students can continue to thrive for their goals," said Sclafani.
Sclafani looks forward to serving as the next Student Trustee once his term begins and wishes the Kean community the best of luck as they head into the final weeks of the semester. He is an excellent example of why Kean Cougars Climb Higher.
To get to know Sclafani and his journey at Kean, check out his previous feature article, "Collectively Chris!"