<![CDATA[Cougar's Byte Feed]]> Thu, 22 Oct 2020 14:24:36 -0400 Thu, 22 Oct 2020 14:24:36 -0400 SNworks CEO 2020 The Cougar's Byte <![CDATA[Freshman Class of 2024 Election Candidates]]>

Meet the candidates for the Student Organization Freshman Class of 2024 elections. Voting takes place from 9 a.m. on Monday, Oct.19, through 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020, in Cougar Link. All full-time undergraduate students with less than 29 credits may vote in the Class 2024 election.

Eligible voters may access the ballot directly by clicking here or by going to https://kean.campuslabs.com/engage/submitter/election/start/450428Please note, you can only access the ballot during the set election date and time and you must login before being able to vote.

Meet the Candidates

Freshman Class of 2024 President:

Siya Arora

  • I have served in the student council all throughout my school years as I am very passionate about advocating for the students and creating needful change. 

  • I was born in India, but I grew up in Dubai and both of those places have shaped me into the person I am today. 

  • When I was fourteen, I released my first song, and have been pursuing music professionally since then. 

  • Along with music, I am also really interested in theatre, sports and yoga.  

  • I hope to make a positive impact in our Kean community if you give me the chance to serve you in this position.

Martiah Fenelon

  • I am currently a full time student here at Kean University, majoring in biology. 

  • I graduated high school at BCIT with a certification in culinary arts. 

  • I have leadership skills and I like to learn many different things from anyone willing to teach me.

  • Throughout my years, I have attended events from all aspects of student life. I evaluated how these events went and always felt that need on how to get more people to join in and participate. 

  • As student body president I would make the effort to meet and widen my perspective. Any candidate can make promises, but I will follow through.

Tayahra Griffin

  • I am a Bronze Leader at Kean Leadership Institute. 

  • As we know this upcoming year will be challenging due to the pandemic and it is going to take everyone's cooperation making the best of it. I think it is best to have someone like me leading our class. I will help make our Transition to Kean seamless and make this a year we will not forget.

Luckerlme Milien

  • I am a black man who was born and raised in Haiti and Is now living in America. I speak three languages, English, French, and Creole. 

  • I am just a regular college student whose ultimate goal is to become a neurosurgeon. 

  • I am a man of character, I am a man of who abides by morals, I am a man who'd love to see change, a man who prevails, a man who perseveres, and a man who fight for what he believes in, and lastly, I am an educated man at that.

  • My ultimate goal is to see all the essential things that are in need are met in the community. 

  • I will do my very best to try to implement school dances dedicated to the class of 2024, fundraisers, donations, drives and most importantly advocate for student's rights.

Jazaan Walsh

  • I am from Bound Brook NJ and I am a Biology major on a pre-med track, aspiring to become a pediatric cardiologist. 

  • In Highschool, I involved myself in many programs within my school as well as around my towns, such as Peer Leadership and "Pathways to Success" where I held many leadership positions and involved myself in various Clubs and Community Service opportunities. 

  • As your Freshman Class President, I would love to hear your comments and concerns whether it be regarding housing, health, food services, etc. I would advocate for the freshman class as a whole and make sure I get all your concerns addressed and fixed to the best of my ability. 

  • I would conduct various programs to allow us to get to know each other better and make our college experience easier for us all.

Freshman Class of 2024 Vice President:

Lesley Avila

  • I am currently a full time manager at my job, full time mother & full time student. 

  • I would be more than happy to be your Class Vice President and make the changes and hear out your opinion on making 2024 different and unique!

David Graham

  • I served on the student government in my high school, so I am familiar with most of the duties that come with being Vice President. 

  • Throughout my life I have always been devoted to helping people, that is why I plan to enter the medical field. 

  • I hope to bring creative and insightful ideas to the student board in order to better Kean as a whole. Don't just vote for me, vote for a better future.

Syedah Younis

  • I am a biology major from Willingboro, New Jersey and I plan on going back to medical school to become an Obstetrician.

  • I consider myself to be a passionate community servant with the capacity to stimulate and energize individuals in recognizing their potential to maintain and share this passion to assist others. With this ongoing journey to give, I have been able to support meaningful, positive change in communities and individuals through advocacy, authorized by compassion. 

  • I take satisfaction in battling in a civically based approach to community building as I committed to a life long service based on personal and professional practices. 

  • As an African daughter of a Liberian household, I have grown to be familiar with a striving through struggle mindset based on a strong organization built on educational values. These small but important characteristics have consistently encouraged me to become a voice to the voiceless and a light of hope to the hopeless.

Freshman Class of 2024 Treasurer:

Devone Johnson

  • I recently migrated to the United States from Kingston, Jamaica and I'm currently living in Newark, New Jersey. 

  • I attended Wolmer's Trust High School For Girls in Jamaica for 3 and a half years and I finished high school at Orange High school in Orange, New Jersey. 

  • Throughout my high school career, I've managed to be a part of a Volleyball team, an Octagon Club, The Space program and I graduated with 4 honor rolls to show for each year. 

  • I enjoy going out, dancing, bingeing (my favorite Netflix series right now is "The Originals"), meeting new people and traveling. 

  • I'm applying to be the Freshman Class Treasurer as I would like to be a part of the committee that not only helps and improves but also gives back to the Freshman class of 2024.

Freshman Class of 2024 Secretary:

Amber Afzal

  • I am majoring in Biomedicine. 

  • I was born in Scotland and have lived there for 12 years of my life. I have also lived in Switzerland for 3 years. 

  • I am a very diverse person and have knowledge of different cultures and beliefs. I believe that everyone has their own opinion and that each and every opinion matters.

  •  I had to learn French as I was living in Switzerland for 3 years, this experience made me a better listener and a fast learner

  • I believe that the characteristics above will make me a great candidate for this position and I hope for the best for this school.

Benita Julian Robert Raj

  • I am a pre-med student, a Bharatanatyam dancer, and a hard worker who is determined to become successful. 

  • I am aspiring to become a Pediatrician or Child Neurologist thus love children. 

  • I am kind to others and believe we should work together to reach our goal. 

  • When life gets hard, I will push through the obstacle and learn from my mistakes.

Ganesh Ramcharran

  • In my years at high school, I spent a majority of my time directed towards community service and the drill team at NJROTC. Those years targeting those specific events led to me becoming the third ranked cadet amongst five-hundred other cadets, thus being named the Operations Officer. 

  • As the Operations Officer, I would take notes down during every vital meeting that was beneficial to the Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps. Given the positive feedback I had received during my time spent as the Operations Officer, I believe I would make a great Secretary and I can guarantee that I will work through any given tasks with a great amount of effort put into completion of said tasks.

Freshman Class of 2024 Senators:

Matthew Acosta

  • I am an Interior Design Major here at Kean. 

  • I am a Jersey native, born and raised in Bergen County. 

  • Some fun facts about me are that I am a musician, I love photography, and I also like to go camping. Another thing I enjoy is traveling, and I hope to travel to at least 25-30 countries before I reach the age of 50. I also want to take a whole year traveling the 50 states. 

  • It would be more than an honor to serve the Kean Freshman Class as Senator!

Erika Calle

  • I'm a biotech major and a commuter student at Kean. 

  • I'm a member of the bronze leadership program, which has shown me the importance of voicing our own ideas. 

  • My plan is to unify the class of 2024 and I'm open to any suggestions students may have for virtual events.

Uyiosa Igori

  • I understand that due to COVID, we do not have an ideal first semester at Kean. However, when/if Covid dies down, I want us to get the things that we missed out on. 

  • I want to be your voice. If you vote for me you will not regret it.

Jeremiah Monteiro

  • Representing the freshman class at Kean University would genuinely be an honor and a duty, I am willing to give my all. The class of 2024 is one of the strongest and bravest classes, and that is something I would love to represent. 

  • As we all go through this new way of life, I promise that the class of 2024 will get nothing but pure heart, dedication, and change from the other members of the board and me. 

  • As the semester rolled along, I heard your complaints and ideas and promised to address these issues. We all deserve a fair and memorable college experience that we all enjoy together. 

  • If you choose me as the freshman class senator at Kean University, all your voices as a student body will be heard and addressed. Lastly, I vow pure dedication to my peers and that I will stop at nothing to make my class satisfied now and the years to come.

Subha Nanduri

  • I am a great listener and I work very well in groups. 

  • I want to make sure that any student issue that comes up around the University is heard and properly taken care of.

Glynnis Tan

  • I am a Freshman at Kean University hoping to graduate in 2024 with a major in Global Business. 

  • I'm a very goal oriented and detailed person who's main goal is to be the best I can be.

  •  I've had many leadership roles and positions in my years and am very used to planning events, coordinating activities and leading a team. 

  • I have many ideas and can contribute in a multitude of ways. If chosen I assure you that you will not be disappointed.

Trinity Thompson

  • I am a bubbly, outspoken, energetic, compassionate person who loves to interact with my peers. 

  • I am a strong advocate for academic success, community values, diversity and resources for "safe spaces." 

  • Within my town I organized a Unity Walk against racism, in doing so, it boosted my ability to bring people together for a greater cause. 

  • Organizing and speaking at such a big event, with over 1,000 people attending, it enhanced my leadership skills, my connection to others and my vocalization of not only my own concerns but the concerns of others.

  • I promise to keep every student's best interest at heart and push for a safe Kean community where  student voices are heard clearly.

Voting Instructions

The election will take place from 9 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, until 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020, in Cougar Link, Kean University's online student involvement network. All votes must be cast by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020, to be counted in the official vote tally.

To vote in this election, please follow these steps:

  1. Go to Cougar Link through the Kean University homepage, www.kean.edu, or navigate there directly by going to https://kean.campuslabs.com/engage/
  2. Log in using your KeanGOOGLE username (without "@kean.edu") and password. The login link is located on the top right of the Cougar Link page. If you have not activated your account, you will be prompted to complete a profile upon logging in for the first-time.
  3. Click the link for for the Student Organization Freshman Class of 2024 Elections on the Cougar Link homepage.
  4. Follow the on screen instructions and make your ballot selections.
  5. Review your selections and on the last screen click "VOTE" to officially cast your ballot.

You may also access the ballot directly by clicking here or by going to https://kean.campuslabs.com/engage/submitter/election/start/450428Please note, you can only access the ballot during the set election date and time and you must login before being able to vote.

If you experience any complications voting, please contact Cougar Link support at cougarlink@kean.edu.

Voting takes place from 9 a.m. Monday, Oct. 19, through 5 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 21]]>
<![CDATA[Fall at Liberty Hall]]> The Liberty Hall Museum is located on Kean's Union campus and is a great place for students and the community alike to visit for a mix of education and entertainment. This fall, they are hosting many festive events for people to enjoy.

Some of their most popular fall festivities are their Ghost Tours. Here, attendees will go on a spooky tour where the staff members will share the paranormal activities that have happened at the museum. This is a candlelit, after hours tour of the house. Guests can even share their own personal, paranormal experiences.

The Ghost Tours will be offered on two dates: Oct. 23 and 30. There are two times available on each day, 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Guests with children are suggested to visit the tour at 7 p.m., however the event is not suggested for children under 10 years of age.

Liberty Hall is also hosting their annual Pumpkin Patch Day on Oct. 31 at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. There, there will be many activities including pumpkin picking, hayrides, pumpkin carving, pumpkin painting and other crafts.

Tickets for this event can be purchased on their website, as reservations are required this year, and are $12 for children and $8 for adults. It is also recommended to reserve the amount of pumpkins you wish to buy when getting your tickets.

During this time, Liberty Hall will also be hosting Liberty Hall Museum Guided Garden Tours, where guests will see all of their beautiful garden and learn about their history. These will be offered on Oct. 23, Oct. 25 and Oct. 30 at 11, 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. respectively. Tickets are available on their website and can be purchased for $8.

Additionally, their traditional Liberty Hall Museum tours will be held throughout the fall season as well. Guests will walk through the house and learn about the history of the hall and the people who have lived there.

Tickets are $12 for adults, $8 for seniors, children ages 3-17 and college students and $10 for Kean Alumni. Tickets are free of charge for Kean students, staff and children under the age of 3 years old. Tours will be held at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. on the following days in Oct.:

  • Friday, Oct. 23

  • Saturday, Oct. 24

  • Sunday, Oct. 25

  • Friday, Oct. 30

  • Saturday Oct. 31

Liberty Hall Museum is located at 1003 Morris Ave, Union, NJ 07083 and is a great place to be immersed in history and entertainment. Be sure to check out their website for more information on the museum as well as other events they are holding.

Home of the late Livingston and Kean families, the Liberty Hall Museum shares their stories.

<![CDATA[Kean Stage Outdoor Performances]]> Kean is a campus craving interactive events after a spring, summer and early fall conducted mostly remotely. Thankfully, Kean Stage, committed to offering exciting performing arts programming every year at Kean, has risen to the occasion, bringing a pair of innovative and compelling performances to live audiences in October as part of a new series called Kean Stage Outdoors.

On Thursday, Oct. 22, The Doo Wop Project will bring its ambitious mix of classic doo wop (in the style of: The Four Seasons, The Temptations or the Drifters) and re-imagined versions of contemporary songs and other classics to Kean Alumni Stadium. The Doo Wop Project are a talented group of Broadway performers who bring the history of doo wop and stylized adaptations to stages everywhere, a one-of-a-kind experience to study and enjoy decades of musical tradition. Their self-titled and "Merry Christmas! From The Doo Wop Project" collections, appearance details and more can be found on their website.

The show will proceed from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 for Kean students, with a two-ticket maximum. To reserve tickets, students can email ticket@kean.edu their names and student ID numbers. Guests must use the Kean Stage Outdoors Guest Contact Form to maintain the university's efforts in contact tracing to ensure the safety of all attendees. General Admission tickets are $30, and can be purchased on the Kean Stage website. In the event of rain, the show will be held on Friday, Oct. 23 at 7 p.m.

Following that, on Saturday, Oct. 24, Kean Stage presents The Acrobats of Cirque-tacular, a touring, performing troupe of circus acrobats and artists who overwhelm and ensnare audiences of all ages. The event also takes place outdoors at Kean Alumni Stadium, audiences are encouraged to attend in costume. The performance will begin at 11 a.m. Like with the earlier show, Kean students can use their names and ID numbers to email ticket@kean.edu to secure tickets for $5, with a limit of two per student.

General Admission tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for children. Again, guests are required to fill out the Kean Stage Outdoors Guest Contact Form for the safety of the whole audience. The rain date for The Acrobats of Cirque-tacular is Sunday, Oct. 25 at 1 p.m. Tickets and more about the show can be found online.

To further ensure safety for both performances, Kean Stage will require masks for all attendees, offer sanitizers throughout the event and check guests' temperatures in their vehicles when they arrive. Guests will also be asked to record their attendance through Cougar Link using either their Kean ID or their Cougar Link Event Pass.

With a pair of exciting and novel events planned and a thorough plan for safety in place, Kean's community has that much more to look forward to this fall.

Kean Stage Outdoors, courtesy Kean Stage.]]>
<![CDATA[Just Say No]]> It is important to know when to say no. Saying no is a sign of respect, and helps set healthy boundaries while maintaining relationships with others. To examine these thoughts more, the sisters of Chi Upsilon Sigma National Latin Sorority, Inc. will be hosting Unapologetically, No on Tuesday, Oct. 20 from 7:45 p.m. to 9 p.m..

People do not need to say yes to everything they encounter during their lives. Saying no is a more healthy way to approach unwanted situations in life, and can also act as a stress reliever. If everybody in the world said yes to everything being asked of them, especially if they would rather refuse, every relationship would be met with strain. From friends, family, or a significant other, sometimes the best answer to something is to just say no.

Saying no does not mean people are negative or pessimistic, or don't want to participate in anything. There are many benefits to avoid being put in uncomfortable situations. Saying no is a sign of respect, as telling the truth and being authentic lead to more healthy relationships. The reality is that people have their own schedules and intentions, and it may get overwhelming to accept every opportunity that passes by.

Self-care is extremely important in achieving total wellness. It feels satisfying to help others in need, but it is also important to prioritize the self to stay mentally healthy. Saying no helps to set those boundaries in a more appropriate way. Saying no is a sign of respect, and sets a positive example for others who may be struggling with balancing their lives between all the responsibilities of modern life.

Another benefit to saying no more often is the value of saying yes to rare experiences. Respectfully declining one option in life can open unexpected doors to other choices and opportunities. Deciding not to accept an invitation might let someone get assignments done, go to the gym, visit with family or relax and focus on mental health.

It is also a good practice for students to start saying no because it will become essential in the future, especially after college. It's a skill of patience that leads to making better decisions, personally as well as professionally. The choice could be an internship opportunity with flexible hours or a job offer that will require more time during the week. Sometimes saying no can lead to better decisions down the line. Friends, family and coworkers respect the authenticity of saying no when you're trying to prioritize different parts of life.

Be sure to check out Unapologetically, No, hosted by Chi Upsilon Sigma National Latin Sorority, Inc., on Tuesday, Oct. 20 from 7:45 to 9 p.m. It will be held on Zoom, and students can register on Cougar Link to reserve their spots today. For more information, refer to Chi Upsilon Sigma National Latin Sorority Inc.'s page on Cougar Link, and check out all their upcoming events for the rest of the semester.

Chi Upsilon Sigma National Latin Sorority Inc will host a workshop on the importance of saying no both professionally and personally]]>
<![CDATA[In Unity There is Strength]]> It is officially LGBTQIA+ History Month. This is an annual, month-long celebration recognizing the significance and history of the LGBTQIA+ community.

Every year, October has been a month of celebration for astonishing achievements accomplished in the history of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer individuals. This tradition began in 1994, when a high school teacher in Missouri, Rodney Wilson, believed there should be a month dedicated to honoring the celebration and teaching of gay and lesbian rights.

The month was chosen due to many historic events, including the first LGBT March on Washington on Oct. 14, 1979, as well as National Coming Out Day, which takes place every Oct. 11. This celebration was endorsed by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Network (GLSEN). This is not to be confused with Pride Month, which is celebrated during June.

Since its creation, LGBTQIA+ History Month has evolved significantly, eventually including additional holidays during the month, such as Spirit Day on Oct. 15, in which people wear the color purple in support of LGBT youth, and Ally Week, from Oct. 5 to Oct. 9. Ally Week is a period during which supporters against LGBT bullying are celebrated.

In honor of this month, the sisters of Lambda Tau Omega Sorority Inc., as well as the brothers and sisters of Lambda Delta Chi Co-Ed Fraternity Inc., will be hosting a panel to discuss in further detail the importance of LGBTQIA+ history. The event will take place on Monday, Oct. 19, from 8:15 to 9:15 p.m., on Zoom.

This event is intended to educate students about pivotal moments in this month's history, as well as the importance of advocating for the community, such as the purpose of using pronouns such as he, him, his or she, her and hers, for example. The brothers and sisters of each organization will also host pride-related trivia games and explain the meanings behind the pride flags, as well as explain different sexual orientations. The Zoom event promises to make a big impact in the Kean community, so students should make sure to register on Cougar Link as soon as possible to reserve a seat. For any additional information, please refer to the contact sheet through the event on Cougar Link.

Even though this year's remote LGBTQIA+ History month will look very different from usual, students and others who participate in these festivities can celebrate in a variety of ways, such as showing support on social media and being a positive voice and role model in the community. The events may take place in October but the support of the LGBTQIA+ community should be a daily staple, promoting acceptance over adversity.

Lambda Tau Omega Sorority Inc. and Lambda Delta Chi Inc. host a panel about LGBTQIA+ History Month]]>
<![CDATA[Graduate Application Deadlines]]> Deadlines for graduate program applications are approaching, with the majority of programs due by Tuesday, Dec. 1. Students still have an ample amount of time to make preparations for the next phase of their educational journeys.

Applications are prepared online, with supplementary materials easily able to be submitted electronically, though students also have the option to send documents by mail. Placements tests are required depending on areas of study.

Students who register for nine credits or more are full-time students, with part-time students having eight credits or fewer. Many of Kean's programs accommodate part-time students.

The Nathan Weiss Graduate College offers a number of programs in a wide array of fields to help students of many interests move further in their careers and professions.

These programs range from master's degrees to doctorates and certificates, with hybrid and online options for many classes. Students will learn from and work with instructors that are renowned in their fields.

Below is a list of some programs with applications due on Dec. 1 for the Spring Term:

  • Accounting (M.S.)
  • Biotechnology Science (M.S.)
  • Communication Studies (M.A.)
  • Criminal Justice (M.A.)
  • Early Childhood Education (M.A.)
  • Fine Arts - Studio (M.A.)
  • Psychology - Psychological Services (M.A.)
  • Public Administration (M.P.A.)
  • Teaching English as a Second Language (Graduate Certificate)

The entire table of deadlines can be found here, along with information about the Nathan Weiss Graduate College. For questions or concerns, the Office of Graduate Admissions can be emailed at gradadmissions@kean.edu.

The majority of the Nathan Weiss Graduate College applications are due on Dec. 1.]]>
<![CDATA[Morales Markets in Cali]]> The importance of networking is essential during one's college career, especially when the time comes to look for a job. However, with the right connections, the best opportunities tend to come by. For students such as Jorge Morales, some opportunities tend to have exclusive perks attached to it such as doing an internship across the country in California.

Morales is a senior at Kean majoring in psychology with a minor in marketing. He is planning to graduate in May 2021. He is currently on the executive board for three clubs on campus including being the secretary for Kean Association of Marketing, a resource coordinator for Active Minds, and the vice president for Chance at Performing (CAP). Morales described getting his internship through a connection at Kean with one of his professors. This then began a story of how a summer internship turned into another big opportunity to broaden his skill set at a company known as Shield of Glory.

"[Getting] this internship was quite interesting. The company's CEO knew a professor at Kean in the business department. It was a chance to become a brand ambassador in New York. I had zero marketing experience but I still gave it a shot and applied. I got the position and the people at Shield of Glory really liked my professionalism that they invited me to work with them over the summer in California," said Morales. "It was very exciting for me because I have never traveled across the country before. It's really amazing how such a small gig can turn into something big and it can lead you to different paths in life. This shows how much of an opportunity Kean can give to students."

Morales was born in Peru and came to the United States from humble beginnings. He came with a mindset about wanting to better his life for him and his family, creating a new legacy that will last for generations to come.

"We started from the bottom but it's very important to stay close to your roots as well as your heritage because if you don't, then you will lose sight of who you really are," said Morales.

Morales also mentioned how his internship at Shield of Glory applies to his future career path and how attending an institution such as Kean provided him the necessary tools to achieve his success and eventually start his own business one day in the future. He manages the company's social media, goes over extensive marketing tactics as well as "dabbles" in customer service.

"You don't go to college to study just one major. Throughout my time in college, I have learned to maintain friendships, be a leader, how to hold an official business meeting, how to play guitar, and how to teach. You are going to come out of college a changed person. All these experiences we go through humble us and it demonstrates who you are as well as the person you want to be," said Morales.

"Never stop working on yourself because your main priority is always going to be yourself. The grind never ends. Kean provides a platform for students to discover who they want to be and as long as students network, they are already on the right path to becoming the true version of themselves," said Morales.

Morales has been able to balance his work at Kean remotely while living in California during his time there. He mentions that even though remote work is not the recommended way to learn, Kean still provides those opportunities for their students, especially during the ongoing pandemic. Morales plans on starting his own company in the near future and reminds students to follow their passions no matter what the criticism is. Jorge Morales is an inspiration and defines how cougars climb higher.

Senior Jorge Morales is marketing his way through Kean across the country.
Photo courtesy of Jorge Morales
<![CDATA[Graduate Open House]]> The Nathan Weiss Graduate College will be hosting its graduate open house virtually on Saturday, Oct. 17 at 10 a.m.

At this event, those that are interested in applying for a graduate program will be treated to information about what the university offers in its doctoral, master's and certificate programs.

Because of the nature pertaining to COVID, mass gatherings have been put on hold. In lieu of gathering, there will be live and on-demand presentations happening through the university's virtual platform.

During the event, attendees will learn about the 60+ graduate programs offered at Kean while being provided with the opportunity to meet distinguished faculty and students.

Kean's graduate programs includes internships and opportunities to research so that students can attain all the experience needed for heading into their fields.

Below is a small list of the graduate degree programs that will have a presentation:

  • Communication Studies
  • Fine Arts
  • Architecture
  • College Counseling and Student Services
  • Criminal Justice
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Nursing
  • Physical Therapy

A number of doctorate programs will also be present at the virtual open house that ranges from educational leadership to occupational therapy. Additionally, a new program for a physician assistant has been added.

To attend the event, it is required to register in advance. All attendees will receive a $75 application fee waiver code upon applying. The link to register can be found here.

For any questions, comments or concerns, the Office of Graduate Admissions is reachable via phone (908) 737-7100 and email at gradadmissions@kean.edu

<![CDATA[Kean University Presents Cheryl L. West's Fannie Lou Hamer, Speak On It!]]> From Oct. 15 to 18, Premiere Stages is back with their first live program of the Fall 2020 semester! To be hosted in an outdoor tent outside of Liberty Hall, Premiere will be putting on Cheryl L. West's new play, Fannie Lou Hamer, Speak On It!, directed by Marshall Jones III.

Premiere Stages works with Kean University to provide the Kean community with performances that help to educate students on local history as well as explore other cultures.

The play is a powerful piece that speaks to spirituality, public unrest and freedom of speech. The play centers around Fannie Lou Hamer as she leads a rally to fight for voting and racial equality.

Hamer's empowering and influential public displays have sharply affected history and had much to do with the change that began to occur during the 1960s. Her message is as relevant as ever today. Many of the issues she fought for are still being fought for, and the importance of voting and letting one's voice be heard is stronger that ever.

The mind behind this work, Cheryl L. West, has a long resume of success, her plays appearing not only on Broadway, but all over the world. Her plays include: Shout Sister, Shout!, The Watsons Go To Birmingham, 1963Fannie, Last Stop on Market Street, Akeelah and the Bee, Pullman Porter Blues, Motherhood Out Loud (co-authored); Addie, American Girl Story (21-city tour); and Jar the Floor. She has written TV and film projects at Disney, Paramount, MTV Films, Showtime, TNT, HBO and CBS, and the original web series Diary of a Single Mom.

This 60 minute experience will take place with no intermission and will run at the outdoor tent at the Liberty Hall Museum, on the Kean University Main Campus in Union. Performances will take place Thursday and Friday at 7 p.m., Saturday at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. Tickets are limited to 70 seats per performance and will cost $20 standard. There is a 4 ticket limit per transaction, and addresses for all attendees is required at the time of purchase. Tickets must be purchased in advance. No tickets will be sold at the door. All attendees are required to wear masks throughout the entire production, and seats will be arranged with social distancing guidelines in place. Only those who travel together will be able to sit together.

Premiere Stages and the Liberty Hall Museum will offer supplemental activities, including exhibits and Q & As, as part of the experience. To learn more and to purchase tickets, please visit the Premiere Stages website. Assistive listening devices and sign-interpretation are available upon request; please call (908) 737-4077 at least two weeks prior to your desired performance. 

For more information on voting, students can click the link to get registered and get notified about voting in their area. Also be sure to revisit The Cougar's Byte article on voter registration!

Premier Stages live programing returns with an empowering play on voter rights.]]>
<![CDATA[Student Organization's Upcoming Events]]> Student Organization of Kean University is a student group that promotes scholarly and social advancement among the Kean student body and acts as a voice for undergraduate students throughout the university's events and culture.

Since the transition to remote learning and events in the spring, Student Organization has continued its objectives through new online spaces, providing avenues to connect students craving the feeling of learning and socializing on campus and with their peers. The organization continues that effort throughout the fall, hosting all manners of events through online spaces, helping Kean culture thrive from a distance.

Student Organization's upcoming fall events are scheduled as follows:

On Wednesday, Oct. 14, Student Organization will host a pair of events for National Hair Day, a celebration for keeping hair healthy and stylish. First, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., is Straight from the Root: Monat Hair Products, a discussion featuring a Kean alumnus on hair products and their use, including samples and consultation. It will be followed by Straight from the Root: PsychoHairapy, a talk with Dr. Afiya Mbilishaka on the fascinating ways hair intertwines with mental health through culture, emotions and more.

Student Organization will also continue to host a series of Jackbox games, trivia and joke-writing style games via smartphone and computer, that help keep students' socializing interactive and exciting. These sessions take place on Thursdays at 8 p.m. and include the Jackbox games "Guesspionage" on Oct. 15 and Nov. 12; "Trivia Murder Party" on Oct. 22 and Nov. 19; "Fibbage" on Oct. 29; and "Quiplash" on Nov. 5.

For Future Leaders of Kean Week, from Monday, Oct. 19 to Friday, Oct. 23, the organization will host a series of discussions aimed at each area of study to answer career and academia questions for students in each respective field. Talks will take place from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. and must be RSVP'd to:

On Thursday, Nov. 5 from 7 to 8 p.m., Student Organization will host Fight Procrastination Day!, a unique gathering and discussion that offers students tips for combatting the tendency to delay overwhelming work and studies - a timely effort halfway between midterm and final exams during an already stressful semester.

Student Organization will also hold its upcoming executive board meetings every other Friday at 1:00 p.m. and its senate meetings the same Fridays at 3:30 p.m.

For more information about Student Organization of Kean University, visit their Cougar Link page or reach out via email at stuorg@kean.edu.

Student Organization has planned a variety of events for this fall semester.]]>
<![CDATA[Enhancing Spiritual Wellness]]> There are many aspects of wellness that students must balance to achieve overall wellness. One of these aspects is spiritual wellness, which is related to finding an overall meaning and purpose. While this seems very daunting, there are smaller scale things that students can do to makes steps to maintaining a positive spiritual wellness.

Many people find harmony and enhance their spiritual wellness through religion. At Kean, there is a Campus Ministry for students to utilize with recognized Catholic chaplains and ministers. They are given office space, where students can go for spiritual guidance. The current campus minister, Michael Lewon, can be contacted at michael.lewon@rcan.org and the current Chaplin priest, Fr. William Sheridan, can be contacted at wsheridan@kean.edu

There are also several religious campus groups of many different variations that students are encouraged to join. Here, students can find a group of like-minded individuals that may even begin to feel like a safe space for them.

The Muslim Student Organization is on campus and their goal is to enhance the knowledge about Islam on campus through events and meetings. Many of their members are very educated about the religion and wish to share their knowledge. They can be contacted at msa@kean.edu

Another organization on campus is Kean University Hillel, which aims to connect Jewish and non-Jewish students on campus. They want to inspire students through the religion as well as educate the practices and culture of Judaism. This organization wants to share their culture to Kean's campus and its members through education and inspiration. They can be contacted at keanhillel@kean.edu

Kean Gospel Choir is an organization that aims to spread their faith through music to the Kean community and beyond. This is a space for students to become connected through music as well as religion and can be a great outlet for students. They encourage anyone to join, regardless of their knowledge or musical background. They can be contacted at gospel@kean.edu.

Cru at Kean University has a mission of connecting students to Jesus Christ through a caring community. They are currently holding virtual meetings every Wednesday at 6 p.m. for students to partake in. For more information be sure to check out their Cougar Link page. They can be reached at keancru@kean.edu.

The Coptic Orthodox Christian Fellowship is on campus to unite students through education on topics such as Orthodoxy, the Holy Bible, Spirituality and much more. They are always looking for new members regardless of their faith, background and nationality. This organization aims to instill fellowship and love into its members through education. They can be reached at cocf3@kean.edu.

Another organization at Kean is the Catholic Newman Club, which is a space for Catholics on campus to have a positive and supportive environment. They have a goal of integrating their values into college life and educating their members on topics such as exploring faith and fellowship. They are currently holding virtual Bible Study every Thursday at 3:30 p.m. and Virtual Prayer Meetings every Friday at 11:00 a.m. For more information be sure to check out their Cougar Link page. They can be reached at catholic@kean.edu

Overall, there are many religious organizations on campus for students to find a community and grow their spirituality. These can help students improve their spiritual wellness, overall leading to them becoming more well-rounded individuals.

There are many resources on campus for students to utilize to enhance their spiritual wellness. ]]>
<![CDATA[Preparing Seniors for GREs]]> For the many Kean University senior undergraduate students seeking opportunities in graduate studies next year, performing well on the standardized Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) is a must. For many graduate programs, the GRE is a requirement, and for others, it's a strongly-encouraged addition to applications; in either case, the test is designed to show graduate schools that students are ready to perform in their rigorous programs.

Considering how challenging and comprehensive the GRE is, prospective graduate students, particularly those senior undergraduates whose class schedules are already stressful, are encouraged to strategize for their studies with their eyes on smart and efficient learning, maintaining good mental and physical health and practice, practice, practice. Whether students are preparing for the GRE General Test or a more specific GRE Subject Test, the following tactics are considered invaluable.

Every student studies differently, but for a considerable examination like the GRE, it is recommended to devote anywhere from four to twelve weeks to preparation. Especially for seniors with busy schedules, beginning to prepare for the examinations two or three months in advance can help to spread the study process out over more time so that it's less overwhelming.

The Educational Testing Service, or ETS, who offer the GRE, also provide a variety of reviews and practice tests to help prepare in detail. These reviews cover the General Test as well as Subject Tests. The categories of study in which Subject Tests are offered are biology, chemistry, literature in English, mathematics, physics, and psychology.

Every graduate program values the GRE in its own way as they review applications, but it is commonly considered wise to plan to take the exam several months before the deadlines for graduate applications. This allows students to retake the test if they so choose.

The process of preparing begins by establishing a baseline score - or, a student's score on practice tests before they proceed with studying - then a target score, allowing the student to study towards a specific goal for improvement. This helps to focus on exactly which areas and types of questions the student needs to consider most, as well as to create a regular regiment for studying and thinking about the exam.

Studying for the GRE can include all sorts of methods, such as using flash cards, full prep books, practice questions found online and full-length practice tests. It's also useful to use an online calendar to keep oneself on track as they study, treating the process like a regular, daily regiment. The GRE is not a test to cram all the studying for into the last minute.

Like the SATs and other long, arduous standardized tests, practicing for the GRE is not just about studying the content of its prospective questions; it is also critical to prepare for the process of taking the test itself. This is why, in addition to tangible study strategies, the best preparation includes mimicking the process of taking the exam with practice tests amid a setting similar to that of the real thing. Building up the mental and physical endurance to focus deeply on challenging questions is a marathon, not a sprint.

For essay and verbal sections of the exam or Subject Tests, there's nothing like rehearsal. Reading and writing samples for prompts is an irreplaceable preparation method. This helps acclimate students to writing or performing longer responses with confidence and familiarity - and it also helps to frame the answers to other questions throughout.

There are also, of course, full GRE classes available through many online resources. These compile all sorts of study practices and sample questions to help students learn more about the content and the experience of the exam.

The GRE can be registered for at the ETS website. There, students can also find their options of many test-taking locations. Many prospective graduate applications have deadlines between November and February - though some have been moved forward with respect to the delays caused by ongoing pandemic-related circumstances. Students are encouraged to plan their practice testing and registration for the GRE and Subject Tests with their applications in mind.

With plenty of practice, a clear head and the confidence built up by getting a head start, a great performance on the GRE is on any student's horizon.

Advice for preparing for the GRE.]]>
<![CDATA[Here to Serve]]> Career Services is an available resource for students looking to jumpstart their careers.

The office can help students find internships and provides career counseling to both current students and alumni. Additionally, Career Services can help students perfect their resumes, cover letters and interview skills.

All services are currently being offered by virtually by appointment.

Their hours of service are as follows:

  • Mondays to Thursdays: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Fridays: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Early morning and late evening appoints are available by request.

Students can contact a specific representative for an appointment according to their major. The Career Services representatives are as follows:

  • Paul Casey (pacasey@kean.edu) for the Colleges of Liberal Arts, Global Business, and Management & Marketing
  • Laureen Delance (Ldelance@kean.edu) for the College of Science, Mathematics, Technology, Finance & Accounting
  • Jessica Goldsmith Barzilay (jbarzila@kean.edu) for Education majors and Alumni and Graduate Students
  • career@kean.edu for students from Michael Graves College

When making an appointment, students must include their name, ID number, major and reason for their visit. Reason for visit can include resume, mock interview, current internship, seeking internship or job and career guidance.

An important resource made available by Career Services is Kean's Online Employment and Internship Portal. The portal is a huge database of available internships and jobs, curated for Kean students. Additionally, Career Services encourages the use of resources like LinkedIn, Internships.com, Handshake, Careerbuilder and Idealist.org for job hunting.

The Career Services office also occasionally holds virtual events that can help students network, find jobs or internships, prepare their resumes or cover letters and much more.

Career Services' next upcoming event is the NJ Transit Virtual Internship Info Session on Monday, Oct. 19, from 3:15 to 4:15 p.m. More details and events are available on their Cougar Link page.

For more information on Career Services, check out their webpage and their Cougar Link.

<![CDATA[Adopt-A-Park]]> Union County Parks and the Center for Leadership and Service will be holding a series of park cleanups throughout the month of October as part of the annual Adopt-A-Park program.

Union County has 36 parks spanning over 6,200 acres. The mission of the Adopt-A-Park program is to maintain the green spaces in the community for safety and accessibility, while boosting the quality of life of the county's citizens.

The Center for Leadership and Service has worked closely with Union County Parks in the past to encourage the Kean community to partake in ensuring that all open spaces are clean.

Many volunteers and local organizations donate goods and lend support to Union County Parks which helped the state of the county's parks.

In addition to its Adopt-A-Park program, Union County Parks has another program called Adopt-A-Trail, in which adopters maintain the Watchung Reservation.

During an Adopt-A-Park session, volunteers remove litter and debris from parks. Other tasks involve planting trees, removing invasive plants and assisting with shorelines.

Below are the following dates and locations where Adopt-A-Park will be running:

  • Wednesday, Oct. 14 at Rutgers Avenue Park in Hillside, NJ from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, Oct. 24 at Warinanco Park in Roselle, NJ from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Friday, Oct. 30 at Warinanco Park in Roselle, NJ from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Volunteer space is limited and pre-registration is required.

Students that are approved will receive additional details of the service project near its scheduled date.

Because of the activity's outdoor nature, volunteers should dress accordingly.

Events are in-person, which means face coverings must be worn. Attendance will be recorded through the Event Pass. That and the form to register for Adopt-A-Park can both be found on Cougar Link.

The Center for Leadership and Service remains committed to providing opportunities for community service involvement throughout the Kean community.

For more information and questions, comments or concerns, the Center for Leadership and Service can be reached via email at serve@kean.edu.

The Center for Leadership and Service and Union County Parks will be hosting Adopt-A-Park, a program that preserves the county's parks.]]>
<![CDATA[The Health and Safety Risks of Young Adults and "Social Media Influence"]]> The Coronavirus pandemic and the advent of social distancing have made the use of social media an essential source of staying in touch with co-workers, friends and family. While there are many positive uses for these platforms, some dangerous social media sites and fads exist that can create risks to the lives and health of young adults and adolescents.

Social media has become an integral part of our day-to-day lives. It serves as a great influence on the interactions we have with the world around us. Media such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube, Tic Tok, Instagram and so on have become sources for forming and maintaining friendships. These sources also aid in the development of social circles, community building and socialization all simply by using a tablet, computer or smartphone. These devices and platforms make it easy to stay in touch with your community, learn new things, entertain, meet new people and socialize all within the privacy of your home.

The individuals that create these posts, apps, platforms and challenges, also known as social media influencers, may make some of these acts more risky in order to increase the number of viewers, likes, subscribers and followers. They also strive to make videos and sites more interesting and popular, thus appealing to the young and impressionable.

Some of the most widely attempted and well-known posts on social media include the "in my feelings" challenge, the "Tide Pod" challenge, the "cinnamon" challenge, the "choking game" and the "salt and ice" challenge, all of which have the potential to result in bodily injury or death. Recently, there have been reports of challenge participants sustaining burns to the mouth and throat, respiratory difficulties, head injuries, other severe physical trauma and death. Within the last few years, there have been several studies and reports about social media and the impact it has on adolescents' and young adults' developing brains. One report explained that the brain's prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain responsible for rational thought, is not fully developed until an individual reaches their mid-twenties. This could mean that the age group most commonly using social media is more impulsive and likely to act without thought of consequence.

The social environment and peer pressure, whether they be in person or online, play a role in young adults' and adolescents' actions, impairing their ability to think rationally about their choices and the possible consequences. An article appearing in The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists affirms that "young adulthood and adolescence is a time of significant developmental changes, during which adolescents exhibit a limited capacity for self-regulation and an increased susceptibility to peer pressure and experimentation."

Other potential risks young adults and adolescents may face can include victimization due to cyberbullying or using dating sites or apps, and exposure to dangerous pornographic material. Some of these can lead to alcohol and illegal substance abuse, internet addiction, sleep deprivation and other mental health concerns, like body image disturbance, eating disorders, depression, anxiety and possible suicide. Some young adults and adolescents who have utilized these platforms exhibit high-risk sexual behavior, and have been found to have an increased risk of developing sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, exposure to HIV and pregnancy.

For young, college-aged adults, it is important to remember that the use of social media has both positive and negative implications. Distractions from academics and responsibilities is inevitable, especially with the vast array of social media platforms available to combat boredom. However, it is important to remember to monitor, limit and self-regulate the type of information you are viewing and responding to, as well as the amount of time spent on these platforms. Physical, social, emotional health and wellbeing are essential to a safe and successful academic experience.

Any student with concerns regarding the impact of social media on their mental and physical health should seek care with a medical provider right away. Kean University Student Health Services and Kean University Counseling Services are available to assist you. You are not alone.







This article was written by Carolyn M. Smith, MSN, family nurse practitioner for Student Health Services.

For more information on Student Health Services, check out their Kean web page. For questions, contact them at hsnurses@kean.edu or (908) 737- 4880.

The following article was provided by Student Health Services.]]>
<![CDATA[#KeanBlueThinksPink]]> With October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Kean community is uniting to raise awareness and funds for those impacted.

According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 279,100 cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in 2020 alone. This is the most common form of cancer found in women aside from skin cancer. Breast cancer impacts many people, from patients to their families and communities, which is why Kean is coming together to honor them throughout the month of October.

Kean University has a Making Strides Against Breast Cancer fundraising team that students, faculty, alumni and others can donate to. These funds will help in a variety of ways, such as research, education, medical services and more.

Those posting about the Making Strides team or any Kean related efforts for Breast Cancer Awareness month are encouraged to use the hashtag #KeanBlueThinksPink to help promote those efforts.

There will be events held throughout the month to educate and inspire the students on campus.

The Center for Leadership and Service is hosting several Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Meetups for students to attend. This will be a space to learn how one can spread awareness about breast cancer. Also, participants can learn how to increase their fundraising efforts. These meetings will be held virtually as follows:

  • Tues. Oct. 13 10 to 11 a.m.

  • Thurs. Oct. 15 2 to 3p.m.

  • Tues. Oct. 20 10 to 11 a.m.

  • Tues. Oct. 22 2 to 3 p.m.

Fight Like a Girl is another supportive event, one of several to be hosted by the Office of Residential Student Services (RSS). During this event, students will participate in a game of BINGO while learning about breast cancer. This will transpire virtually on Tuesday, Oct. 13 from 5 to 6 p.m.

Another event being hosted by RSS is called Think Pink! There, students will participate in an informational game of Kahoot relating to breast cancer. It will be held virtually on Wednesday, Oct. 14 from 6 to 7 p.m.

Better Be Safe Than Sorry is also being hosted by RSS, a conversation for students about breast cancer held through a myth-versus-fact game. It will be held virtually on Friday, Oct. 16 from 6 to 7 p.m. 

Kean University is dedicated to educating its community about breast cancer awareness, as well as fundraising for the cause all throughout the month of October and beyond.

Kean University will be celebrating Breast Cancer Awareness Month through educational events and fundraising efforts. ]]>
<![CDATA[Stomp Out Bullying]]> National Bullying Prevention Month is a campaign created to combat aggressive and cruel behavior, whether it be in person or online, also known as cyberbullying.

The main focus of this campaign is to show that bullying can occur to people of all ages, cultural backgrounds or financial situations, in order to emphasize respect and inclusion to everyone across the world.

Being bullied is scary and can become dangerous, making someone feel isolated or helpless to stop it. A bully's goal is to take power away from their targets, so they can feel better about themselves. Anyone can be affected, so it is important to know the signs that someone is being bullied.

There are many ways to recognize and fight against bullying:

  • Try to stay calm
  • Tell friends, family members, and other people of authority when needed
  • Say nothing, walk away or run if necessary
  • Do not engage in conflict
  • Take a screenshot if it is cyberbullying in order to report it
  • Avoid problematic areas and travel with people, as there is safety in numbers
  • Be confident; brush it off with humor if possible
  • Do not give in to peer pressure and become a bully in retaliation
  • Recognize signs of depression, poor concentration, sleeping issues or problems in school

Even though the National Bullying campaign goes beyond the month of October, Kean University's Student Organization P.U.L.S.E Programming will be hosting a Bullying Prevention event on Oct. 21 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., in person, at the Miron Student Center basketball courts. This event will broaden students' understanding of bullying and the forms it takes, and ways to prevent it, in a series of simulated real-life scenarios. To register for this event, students can visit Student Organization on Cougar Link.

All participants will be required to register and wear face coverings while maintaining social distancing. They must also have #CampusClear, which can be downloaded for free on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

Oct. 21 is also World Unity Day. To celebrate, many wear the color orange as a supportive measure to raise awareness about bullying. The color indicates a kinder, more inclusive, and accepting world, but can be worn at different times of the year to support the movement. Wearing orange is a message of support and the hope that no one should go through bullying.

It is important to not be afraid and to speak up for those in need. Stand up for what is right even if standing alone. Be aware, be kind, support others. Spoken words cannot be erased. Don't blurt what might hurt. Stand up to bullying and continue to educate to make the world welcoming of all people.

National Bullying Prevention Month is held in October]]>
<![CDATA[Expression Through Art]]> For the majority of Kean students taking remote classes, the process has come with advantages and disadvantages. However, there isn't a shadow of a doubt that they are making the unexpected shift work for them. One student is using it to his benefit.

Meet Joseph Miranda, a freshman majoring in fine arts. Joseph's passion for photography enticed him to select the major.

"The photos I take are more unique and different from others," said Miranda. "It just caught my eye that Kean has a really good fine arts program, so that is why I picked it."

Before the pandemic, Miranda's life was that of the average college student.

"I would get a coffee and go to my classes. Then, I would have a period of free time. I worked on campus at the fine arts office, so I was there for about five hours. I wasn't on campus everyday, but after I finished what I was doing I'd stay for a little bit just to hang out with other students and socialize," Miranda continued.

The photographer has had his fair share of challenges amid remote learning, from the workload to keeping up with assignments.

"The workload was more than it was on campus, and it was a challenge finding a way to relax while in class," said Miranda. "I found myself freaking out over little things. I remember missing an assignment and I panicked, which then led me to fall off with my classes."

Though, the challenges were not enough to stop Miranda from pursuing his craft.

"Right now, I am just finding inspiration by taking my time on trying to do better with my drawings," mentioned Miranda.

In addition to his drawings, the versatile Miranda also dabbles in music.

"I have a side hobby of making music, so I am trying to become better at those two things right now," said Miranda. "Recently, I was planning on deleting all social media and begin finding inspiration through an art based platform."

Miranda feels that quarantine will help him focus more on his priorities in the arts and with schoolwork.

"By just focusing on my classes and drawings, it will help. I put the music on pause for now so I could do my classes," said Miranda.

Joseph remains confident that he will get through any challenge standing in his way.

"All I need to do is have a clear mind and find a way to relax after class," said Miranda. "I just need to have something to help me push through it."

Joseph Miranda remains persistent in making the most out of his craft and education.]]>
<![CDATA[This is Tia]]> College is a time for networking and building up a portfolio to go out into the world after graduation. Tia Epps, a senior at Kean has taken advantage of all the opportunities the university has to offer so she can become successful beyond college.

Epps is a psychology major planning to graduate in Spring 2021. She is a Residential Assistant (RA) on campus with Residential Student Services (RSS) and has also been involved in Friends for Children with Cancer Club as well as Pride RSS. When she first came to Kean, Epps described the atmosphere as welcoming and as a place to build up her network.

"Kean wasn't my first choice but when I came here, I knew I wanted to come here. It was the diversity that drew me here. When I came to an open house and saw the dorms, I was amazed and it instantly made my decision. I don't regret it at all," said Epps.

Epps wanted to get more involved when she got to campus and was inspired by one of her peers to become an RA when the time came. She reflected on how being an RA is a rewarding experience and how it teaches students life skills that are used in the real-world such as time management. Epps wanted to be a mentor for the incoming freshmen and create lifelong friendships with the students on her floor.

"My old RA was the best. I'm still friends with them and was really inspired by how friendly being an RA really was. I realized you are not just an RA. You are a human too. My main goal was to get involved and continue a goal from high school of being a peer mentor to the incoming class," said Epps.

In spite of the recent transition to virtual programming due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Epps still manages to put on exciting programming for her residents to enjoy. Balancing the duties of being an RA while going to classes virtually can be challenging but Epps sees it as a chance to adapt to the new environment and encourages students to make sure they are on top of their game.

"Kean has shaped me in so many ways that I cannot begin to describe. [Who I am today] compared to my freshman year, I have grown a lot, and RSS has played a big role in that development. Being an RA has helped me with critical thinking, being on my feet with different positions, and [taught me] how to balance different things at one time," said Epps. "Coming into college was a huge transition but over the years and with all the positions I have been involved with, I have my time-management down figuring out what works for me best."

Epps is currently looking into graduate programs for getting a master's degree in organizational psychology after she graduates from Kean. Epps reminds students that even though Kean is mostly remote this semester, the opportunities to get connected through networking are still there to take advantage of.

"Even though things are remote, Kean is still the same. Kean still offers so many opportunities to expand your networking. Reach out to your fellow peers, your RAs, and your professors because they may have connections to higher-ups who can help students when they need it. For getting involved, Kean offers a wide variety of organizations to join to better develop into the person you want to be. There is always something to do or join so I encourage students to take charge of all their connections because the experience Kean offers is life-changing." said Epps.

Epps is grateful to Kean for providing the platform to launch her into the world beyond college and providing the essential tools needed for success.

Tia Epps describes how her journey at Kean has shaped her leadership skills
Photo courtesy of Tia Epps
<![CDATA[Upcoming Important Academic Dates]]> While the university's event programming and face-to-face learning have been adjusted to meet the needs of the pandemic, the fall still brings many important academic deadlines that students should keep their eyes on. Even more than usual, using Cougar Link and the Kean University website can make all the difference in tracking important dates from distance while many are learning remotely.

What follows are the important dates for the fall's remaining academic calendar, as well as those specifically pertaining to first half-term and second half-term courses:

- Columbus Day, a state holiday, approaches on Monday, Oct. 12. Classes will be held.

- The last day to file for upcoming graduate comprehensive examinations will be Friday, Oct. 16. The examinations are to be held on Nov. 7.

- Sunday, Oct. 18 is the final deadline for applications for early evaluation of bachelor's degrees for May, 2021 and August, 2021.

- Following the unexpected spring and summer terms, the last day for students to begin the process of changing their grades from those sessions will be Tuesday, Oct. 27.

- Tuesday, Nov. 3 is Election Day. The university will be closed, and students are encouraged to safely cast their ballots. New Jersey's registration deadline is Oct. 13 for mail-in and online; absentee ballots must be requested by Oct. 23 and postmarked for return by Nov. 3.

- Make-up incomplete grades from summer sessions and the spring semester are due by Friday, Nov. 6. Graduating students with incomplete work should visit the university's webpage for graduation information to ensure they are on track.

- Graduate comprehensive examinations take place on Saturday, Nov. 7.

- Wednesday, Nov. 11, is the deadline to withdraw from courses to receive a grade of "W," without refund.

- Nov. 11 is also Veterans Day, a state holiday, which the university observes. Classes will be held.

- Thanksgiving recess will begin on Thursday, Nov. 26 and conclude on Sunday, Nov. 29.

- On Wednesday, Dec. 9, during the week preceding exams, classes will follow a Monday schedule.

- Exam week is scheduled from Monday, Dec. 14 through Friday, Dec. 18.

- The fall semester concludes on Friday, Dec. 18.

*For first-half term courses, which are scheduled from Sept. 1 to Oct. 26, the deadline to withdraw with a grade of "W" (without refund) is Friday, Oct. 9.

*For second-half term courses, scheduled from Oct. 26 to Dec. 18, the deadline to withdraw without a mark on your academic record, and with a full refund, is Wednesday, Nov. 4; the deadline to declare a course as an audit, or to declare or change the Pass/Fail option, is Tuesday, Nov. 10; Nov. 10 is also the last day to withdraw with a 75% refund and a grade of "W;" Nov. 17 is the last day to withdraw with a 50% refund and a grade of "W;" and Friday, Dec. 4 is the deadline to withdraw with a grade of "W" without refund.

For every detail on the university's fall schedule, visit the Office of the Registrar's academic calendar, or reach out by email at regme@kean.edu or by phone at 908-73-REGME.

Mark your calendars for these important dates!
Photo provided by Pexels.com.
<![CDATA[Virtual Social Spaces]]> In addition to their counseling services, the Counseling Center has begun hosting multiple virtual social spaces throughout the week to support students' social and emotional needs through Zoom safe spaces.

Currently, the Counseling Center hosts three types of virtual spaces:

  • Raise Your Voice: Drop in Support Hour on Mondays at 2 p.m.
  • Virtual Drop-in Support Space on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 2 p.m.
  • LGBTQ+ Drop-in Support Space on Fridays at 2 pm.

The Raise Your Voice: Drop in Support Hour Zoom calls were created to give students a safe space to discuss current events, issues and topics in a healthy manner. The Virtual Drop-in Support Spaces, held on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, are more generalized spaces where students can discuss anything they want to. The LGBTQ+ Drop-in Support Space is a space for the LGBTQ+ community and their allies.

"The spaces are really for students that need a place to go, maybe cannot wait for an appointment or had something stressful happen that day, and there will be someone trained on the other side of the Zoom call," explained the Counseling Center. "It is important to know that this is not a mental health group; mental health groups are normally run confidentially with the same members every week that have been screened by a clinician at our office. The drop-in spaces are open to all students, any day of the week, and could vary every day."

With the additions of these spaces, students can have the comfort of knowing that there is a safe space to discuss topics of interest with others, daily. These spaces are especially useful during these socially distant times, considering the limited opportunities for in-person socialization.

"The idea came from the pandemic and the social [and] emotional climate we are currently in. The counseling center felt, at this time, maybe more than any other time, students (and everyone) needed additional support," said the Counseling Center. "We understand there are tons of virtual spaces happening around campus. We encourage the spaces because even if it is through Zoom right now, connecting with others is so important."

The drop-in spaces are open to all students. Students do not need to register for any of the sessions in order to join. Zoom details for each drop in space are available on the Counseling, Disability, Alcohol and other Drug Services' Cougar Link page.

In addition to the virtual social spaces, the Counseling Center provides a variety of counseling services. For more information on the Counseling Center and their services, check out their web page. To talk to a representative, email counseling@kean.edu or call (908) 316- 8217.

Students can now utilize the Counseling Center's new Zoom drop in spaces!]]>
<![CDATA[ COVID-9]]> Welcome home Kean Cougars!  Hopefully you all have been safe and are ready for the start of the 2020-2021 academic year. Student Health Services has a few reminders on ways to help you stay healthy and safe:

Wash your hands - Excellent hand hygiene is critically important to reducing the spread of COVID-19 or any virus.  Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.  Make sure the soap foams up.  Keep your nails clean and short.  Avoid wearing jewelry, like rings or bracelets, which make it more difficult to clean your hands well.

6 feet of social distancing - Studies show when people talk, sneeze or cough respiratory droplets of various sizes are released from their nose and mouth.  A large majority of droplets fall within 6 feet of the person you may be near.

Wearing a cloth mask - Wearing a face covering is recommended by the CDC as a way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 droplets that can come from the nose and mouth through exhaling, talking, coughing or sneezing.  Make sure you wear your mask correctly, otherwise it is less effective.  The mask should completely cover the nose and mouth, fitting snugly around the face.  It should be at least two layers thick and consist of a cotton or poly cotton material blend.  This type of material should allow you to wash it daily in your regular laundry with your other laundry in hot water.  Remember do not touch the front of your face covering when removing it.  If you do, your hands are now considered contaminated.  Your hands must be washed with soap and water or an alcohol based sanitizer.

Get your flu vaccine - Reduce your risk of getting the flu.  If you are vaccinated, you drastically lower your chances of getting the flu or if you do get sick, you may have milder symptoms with less flu complications. 

Maintain your present health - make sure you monitor any health conditions that you presently have.  Make sure you have at least a three-month supply of your medications.

Quit Bad Habits - Recreational drugs and excessive alcohol weaken the immune system. Smoking in any form is shown to increase susceptibility to respiratory infections including COVID-19.  This is a good time to quit bad habits that adversely affect your body's own ability to fight illness.

Remember we are in this together.  For any questions or concerns please call Student Health Services at (908) 737-4880. 

We are here for you!

This article was written by Student Health Services.

For more information on Student Health Services, check out their Kean web page. For questions, contact them at hsnurses@kean.edu or (908) 737- 4880.

The following article was provided by Student Health Services.]]>
<![CDATA[Maskne and How to Combat it ]]> Maskne, also known as acne mechanica, is caused by friction from the mask or Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) rubbing against your skin.  You may notice that maksne is worse in the warmer months because of increased sweat, humidity, and bacteria.  The tighter or more PPE you wear, the worse your maskne can become. This is not to say you should skimp on PPE, just ramp up your face cleansing routine after a long day in your mask.

For more information on maintaing one's own personal health, maskne and more, feel free to contact Student Health Services at (908) 737-4880.

Helpful hints to keep your face looking fresh:

  1. Keep your mask clean!  Change masks daily and wash it regularly using hot water and mild detergent 
  2. Minimize makeup and facial products.  Multiple products rubbing on your mask can lead to irritation and an increase in clogged pores 
    • Focus on eye makeup and leave your cheeks and areas covered by a mask makeup free
    • Swap out your heavy foundation for a tinted moisturizer with sunscreen
  3. Wash your face twice daily using a mild, soap free cleanser and gentle face lotion.  If you notice clogged pores, add a gentle exfoliant (either mechanical or chemical) several times a week at night only 
  4. To treat maskne, dermatologists recommend using a mild benzoyl peroxide solution applied directly to the affected areas.  Use 2.5 or 5% benzoyl peroxide only.  Higher concentrations can further anger already irritated skin. 
  5. Try Cerave Acne Foaming Cream Cleanser or Neutrogena Clear Pore Cleanser/Mask - under $10 each and available at major drugstores
  6. Go easy on the sweets and dairy products.  Recent studies have shown a possible link between adult acne and increased sugary snacks and dairy intake 
  7. If you develop an itchy rash, it could be dermatitis from the mask.  Please call Kean Student Health Services at (908)737- 4880 to be evaluated by a provider 

This article was written by Marci Blaszka, adult nurse practitioner of Student Health Services.

For more information on Student Health Services, check out their Kean web page. For questions, contact them at hsnurses@kean.edu or (908) 737- 4880.

The following article was provided by Student Health Services.]]>
<![CDATA[Virtual Family Day]]> On Saturday, Oct. 10, Kean University will be hosting the 2nd annual Virtual Family Day from 10 a.m. to noon. 

This will be a fun and engaging event for the families of the Kean community to learn more about the student experience and what the university has to offer. It is also a time to celebrate each family's students and their accomplishments.

Attendees will hear from students about their experiences at Kean, and can even share their own experiences. Through this, they can learn what it is truly like to attend Kean University from a student's perspective.

There will be a lot of opportunities at Family Day to be educated about the resources available from the university, which support its students and community.

There will be various events spread throughout Family Day to partake in. For example, some of the events include virtual workshops and tours, family friendly games and an alumni reception. Additionally, attendees will be able to compete for amazing prizes.

There will also be guest speakers from various departments on campus, such as Career Services, the Learning Commons, Student Activities and Financial Aid. This way, guests can learn all about how these departments operate and how they help students.

Guests must register through an online form before attending the event. There, the participant will first be asked if they are a student or guardian. They will then be asked information about the student, such as their first and last name, student ID number, their Kean email address and their phone number.

The form then asks for the number of guests attending with the party. If anyone in the party is a Kean alumnus, make sure to select 'yes' under that question and provide their name, email and year of graduation. Finally, there is a space to address any concerns or accommodations that one may have regarding the event.

For questions regarding Virtual Family Day, be sure to reach out to success@kean.edu and they will respond to your email within 48 business hours. One can also read more information on the event on the Virtual Family Day Kean webpage.

Family Day is a great event for students, alumni and all members of the Kean community to come together to show their Kean pride and learn more about what the university has to offer.

Join Kean for their 2nd Annual Virtual Family Day.]]>
<![CDATA[Mental Health Matters]]> Being a college student can come with a lot of stressors, but it is always important to check in on one's mental wellness. There are many different methods to do so, but detailed here will be some resources and activities offered directly by Kean University for its students.

There are organizations on campus that aim to address mental health awareness as it relates to college students. 

For example, Active Minds was created to reduce the stigma around mental health disorders at a peer-to-peer level. It informs its members and the Kean community on various mental health disorders, and gives students an open space to discuss mental health as it relates to college students and beyond. Their next general body meeting is Monday, Oct. 12 at 3:30 p.m. online, for anyone who wants to join. For more information on this organization, be sure to check out their Cougar Link page.

The Counseling Center, along with the Counseling, Disability, Alcohol and other Drug Services, is also at Kean as a resource to students that are overwhelmed and experiencing stress and anxiety. They host many events, including some of the following upcoming:

  • Virtual Drop in Support every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 2 p.m. online

  • LGBTQ+ Drop In Support Space every Friday at 2 p.m. online

  • Raise Your Voice: Drop in Support Hour every Monday at 2 p.m. online

  • Outdoor Mindfulness every Thursday at the Rock Garden outside Downs Hall at 1 p.m.

For more information on these events and more, be sure to check out Counseling, Disability, Alcohol and other Drug Services' Cougar Link page. Students can also request counseling services remotely by contacting them at (908) 316-8217 or counseling@kean.edu

Another upcoming event on campus is Zen on Wednesday, on Oct. 7 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. online. This is being hosted by the National Council of Negro Women, Inc. (NCNW), who aim to lead, advocate for and empower women of African descent. This event will include a yoga session, which helps many people relieve stress and muscle tension, and helps keep calm and centered. To learn more about this event or other events hosted by the NCNW, visit their Cougar Link page.

Another yoga event transpiring soon on campus is Yoga in the Gardens. This is being held at the Liberty Hall Museum on Saturday, Oct. 10 from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. This event is $16 for Kean students and is intended for all levels of yoga experience.

Coloring is an art form that can also relieve stress. The Center for Leadership and Service is hosting Coloring for a Cause, for students that want to calm down while also helping people in need. Students can download and print the images from the computer or color them virtually, and the photos will be sent to Atria Senior Living, to bring smiles to seniors' faces and brighten their days.

Overall, it is important for students to check in and be mindful of their mental health. Through these events and organizations, students can learn more about how to boost their mindfulness and even improve their mental health.

A look into the Yoga in the Garden event that will be hosted by Liberty Hall.]]>
<![CDATA[Show Your Talent!]]> On Monday, Oct. 12, Kean's Got Talent (KGT) is hosting an Acting & Lip Singing Battle. The event will take place from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. 

This event is set to take place online, and will be a fun event for students from all over to partake in together. For information on how to access the event, be sure to reach out to KGT on their Instagram @kean.got.talent, or via email at kgt@kean.edu.

At the Acting & Lip Singing Battle, the members of KGT and attendees will be enjoying their favorite music together. Performers and other participants will sing along to music of all kinds. There will also be poetry readings from students. Additionally, there will be a lip singing battle in which students will showcase their talents to the other attendees.

This event is open to the Kean community and all students are welcomed and encouraged to come and participate or spectate.

Carolina Monteiro-Chaves, President of KGT said, "Students can look forward to this theme based meeting to have fun with other Kean University students [while] acting or lip singing to their favorite movies, songs or scripts." 

KGT is an organization at Kean University that brings students together to express themselves through different forms of art. They have members that partake in many kinds of performing, such as singing, dancing, acting and playing instruments. They also have members that are interested in photography, film and much more. 

Monteiro-Chaves said, "Our organization offers a safe environment and a place to make friends which later on become a family."

She continued, "This organization means everything to me because I wanted to create a space where talented people and non talented people can come together and be a group as a whole. Whether you like to sing, dance, write poetry, do photography, love to film, etc."

Students are encouraged to join KGT if they are looking for an open space to showcase their talents to their peers. They welcome members from all performing levels.

For more information and to learn about their other upcoming events, be sure to check out their Cougar Link page. They also have an Instagram account, @kean.got.talent, and a Facebook page, Kean Got Talent.

Join Kean Got Talent for their Acting & Lip Singing Battle.]]>
<![CDATA[Freshman Class Elections Information Session]]> In September, the Office of Student Government and Student Organization of Kean University held their freshman class elections information sessions via Zoom to encourage students to run for the Freshman Class Executive Board and Senate. Elections will take place from Monday, Oct. 19 to Wednesday, Oct. 21, when the election announcements will be posted as a news article on Cougar Link.

During the sessions, guests were shown a presentation about everything Student Government has to offer, along the responsibilities that come with each position on the board.

The Student Organization freshman class of 2024 executive board consists of the following positions:

  • President (also serving on the Executive Board of Student Organization)
  • Vice President
  • Treasurer
  • Secretary
  • Nine freshman class senators

Applications for each position were due by 2 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 2.

Criteria for the application process included that all candidates must be full-time students at the university, and they cannot be full- or part-time professional employees of the school. Candidates must serve the entire terms of their positions and maintain student leadership criteria. Each applicant must have anywhere from 0 to 28.5 completed credits. Candidates who do not meet this criteria will be notified of their ineligibility.

Each position has its own set of responsibilities:

The class president manages the student body's areas of concern while working alongside the class executive board to meet the programming needs of their class. Presidents will also develop the executive board, delegate responsibilities to the board and representatives and set goals for the class throughout each academic year.

The vice president works with the president closely to delegate tasks on the executive board. They also ensure the class's Cougar Link information is up to date, while making sure the class recruits effectively and facilitates retention.

The treasurer fills out the paperwork associated with class programming, ensuring timeliness and thoroughness and makes it a priority to keep the board appraised of the budget at each meeting.

The class secretary updates member information on Cougar Link while assisting the president by taking minutes, or detailed notes by time, at meetings, documenting votes and maintaining structure.

Lastly, senators are the bridge between student government and the student body, as they work in conjunction with the executive board to ensure students' voices are heard. They also stay aware of everything happening within the Kean community.

Students are encouraged to utilize their vote and elect those who they wish to represent the Class of 2024.

More information about Student Government can be found on Cougar Link. For any questions, comments or concerns, they can be reached via phone by calling (908) 737-5190 or emailing stuorg@kean.edu.

The Office of Student Government held a informational session for potential Freshman Class of 2024 members.]]>
<![CDATA[Aidan Achieves]]> It is important to make the right moves to succeed in life. However, it is also important to leave an impact that generates positivity on the community and become a household name in the eyes of many. Meet Aidan Allman-Cooper. He is a person of many talents and is already creating a name for himself outside of Kean University, by authoring a book as well as owning a business.

Allman-Cooper is an incoming freshman who is triple majoring in Special Education, Psychology and Pre-Law. He chose to attend Kean because of how dedicated the university is to provide a world-class education. Allman-Cooper looked around at other universities, but none of them had the spark that he was looking for. To him, Kean was very welcoming, and he appreciated how inclusive the university and the community were. He has met so many students already and has gotten the opportunity to join the Leadership Institute to expand upon his leadership skills.

"Kean, in my opinion, is one of the best places that a kid could ever go to. There are so many amazing things about it. One of those things is inclusivity," said Allman-Cooper. " I never saw any college as inclusive and as nice as the people at Kean. There wasn't just one group dominating the scene. Everyone has a voice and it makes it easier to speak to anyone you run into. It was overall a match made in heaven."

Allman-Cooper chose his majors because he always wanted to be a teacher, psychologist, and lawyer but always felt that the system of education was not in the right frame of mind for everyone's interests. This influenced him to start his own business, SECA Organization LLC, which stands for the Special Education Committee of Advocates.

The organization was first started as a non-profit back in 2018 and the mission was to promote education by collaborating and organizing events in order to support special needs students and families. From there on out, the mission of SECA, LLC expanded becoming devoted to promoting educational advocacy and consulting for students and families struggling through the special education process.

"I represent families and students who are suffering within a school district and I help them get the rights they deserve. Through my business, I have been able to reignite my passion for advocacy and ensure that everybody has a fair shot."

Allman-Cooper had a particular vision in mind that he thought not many people would understand. So he decided to take the ideas he had to formulate his business without any strings attached to having to work a normal 9 to 5 job.

On top of opening his business, Allman-Cooper recently published a book titled This is Autism, to bring awareness to a disorder that is often overlooked especially in today's society. Allman-Cooper wanted readers to witness how it feels to live with Autism through the many different stories that are established in this book.

"I have always wanted to share some of my experiences as well as provide a platform for others to share their own. People within the Autistic community have not been taken seriously and been referred to many different stereotypes. I really wanted this book to be something where there is no filter," said Allman-Cooper.

"We want everyone to have access to this material to provide more education about the natures of Autism. The nature of Autism is so fluid and that is what I wanted to talk about when making this book... There are some struggles that I may have gone through that the person [whose testimony is] in chapter 6 might not be familiar with. I think that the people that are seen throughout the book are people that the readers can relate to all while bringing forth a topic that is not really discussed as much as it should be."

The main goal of the book is to explain to readers what Autism truly is and what it means for all of the characters in the book who go through different forms of it. Allman-Cooper's book has had a successful launch and is available for purchase on Amazon.

Allman-Cooper has had so much success within the past few years and encourages others to follow their passions no matter what they are going through. If somebody has a dream, then they should expel all the negative energy and establish their own pathway to success all while remembering where they came from.

"If you have a dream and there is this culture of saying you are not good enough, I think that should strike up the opportunity to forge your own path and be the person that you want to be. It's also about being kind to others which also helps form the path to success. I think Kean is such a great place to pursue your passions because they have such kind people with positive mindsets. There are so many resources available to help them become the person they want to be. I have never seen anything like what Kean is doing and I think it is fantastic." said Allman-Cooper.

Allman-Cooper is truly his own boss, and has dedicated his life to helping others through his actions and art. He is a force to be reckoned with and a positive role model to look up to for those who want to strive for more in their lives.

Aidan Allman-Cooper is forging his path to success by helping others
Photo courtesy of Aidan Allman-Cooper

<![CDATA[Staying Organized during Remote Learning]]> In a time of at-home remote work, whether it is school work or job-related tasks, it is important that students are able to stay organized and on track with their assignments. There are many ways in which one can stay organized at home including online resources, mobile apps and hands-on tools.

The classic strategy for staying organized is to keep some version of a planner, work journal, to-do list or agenda. Some students find it beneficial to see what they have to do and check tasks off as they go. The action of writing down the tasks helps as a reminder, as well as looking forward to getting it checked off.

Kean Ocean senior psychology major Gabrielle Cooley said, "Personally, I keep a white board with dry-erase markers in my room where I always write out my assignments and major due dates. It helps me see what I have to do, and, because it's a large board, I have to look at it every day. After I finish each assignment and due dates pass, I like to be able to erase the assignment and move forward with each class."

Kean senior journalism major Zoe Strozewski said, "I think it can be hard to visualize your days when you don't have to actually go anywhere. I've had a couple close calls with missing class just because I confused my Tuesday schedule with my Wednesday schedule or something similar. I've found that completely mapping out my days on planners has helped, so I know exactly when I have to be online and when I have to submit assignments."

A more modern take on the physical planner is utilizing organizational apps on a smart phone. This could include apps like Notes, reminders, calendars and more. Most smartphones have versions of apps that can help students make lists and create their planners that can even set reminders for due dates.

"I set repeating alarms for each day of the week, so I can get up and be ready for class every day with time to spare," Strozewski continued.

Sometimes the best way to stay organized is to establish an organized space. For remote learning, it is advised that students create a work space at home. This is simply to avoid doing assignments and attending remote classes from their beds or wherever they rest. Students should try to train themselves to associate spaces in their homes for work.

Another way to stay organized is the use of apps for text books like iBooks, Kindle and Goodreads. These are apps where students can purchase online textbooks. These apps are useful because they show how far along the reader is in the text. When reading full novels and historical texts, it is comforting to see a percentage of how far you've made it along.

There are a variety of ways to maintain a student's level of organization. It is best for students, especially now, to find their own personal practices and run with those techniques. Students should be mindful of how they learn and what makes them successful.

Best practices for remote learning. Photo provided by Pexels.com.]]>
<![CDATA[Remote Health and Fitness]]> As Kean students reclaim their routines for the fall semester, they're now faced not just with the traditional challenges of classes, jobs, social lives and so forth, but also with adapting to a largely remote world. A majority of the university's classes are being held online for safety, as well as organization events and informational sessions - but throughout all these changes, students are silently tasked with creating new routines to maintain their health and physical fitness.

Particularly at a time when health is in the forefront of everyone's concerns, finding smart ways to stay active and healthy are critical to success in academics and the rest of students' lives. Keeping the body and mind in great condition is an effort in both physical and mental exercise. What's more, as the weather shifts into the cold of fall and winter, finding ways to stay active and consistent mentally will become even more challenging.

There are a seemingly infinite variety of ways to exercise. Whether by running, walking, biking, taking up martial arts, playing recreational sports or some other practice, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends at least 75 to 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every week. Online workout classes can help to stay focused on this element of a routine - which is even easier now that so much of the world has adapted to quarantine. Further, taking the time to stand up from one's desk and walk when possible during the day, rather than staying sedentary, can help one's blood flow, one's focus and one's productivity.

The state of New Jersey allowed gyms and health clubs to re-open on Sept. 1 at 25 percent normal capacity; however, not everyone has a gym membership, and for many students, class and work schedules make it difficult to attend them. Those that ordinarily might attend their gym may not this fall because of the decrease in capacity and their own health priorities. However, these are hardly hindrances. It's easy to get a great workout without leaving one's home and without buying expensive equipment. Healthline details dozens of easy and advanced at-home exercises that require nothing more than a chair and one's choice of a workout mat for comfort, most of which use one's own bodyweight to create resistance and break a sweat. As an added bonus, these kinds of internalizing workouts can benefit one's mental health as well.

But staying healthy when it's a challenge isn't just about the ways one chooses to stay active. It's also paramount that students remember to carve out time to relax. Meditation and entertainment can help clear one's mind to stay productive, and yoga is a great way to be active, meditate and relax all at once. Many of Kean's student organizations and other communities are promoting ways for students to get active directly. The Office of Residential Student Services plans to host Virtual Yoga on Thursday, Oct. 1, and the Liberty Hall Museum will host Yoga in the Gardens on Saturday, Oct. 3 (as well as other Saturdays during the fall).

And no assessment of health could be complete without a focus on diet. A nutritious and reliable diet can help students maintain their focus in remote classes and throughout their homework, as well as throughout the rest of their days. The WHO outlines the many ways in which remotely-learning students (as well as anyone who's been working from home) can prioritize and improve their diets for great results: making a detailed plan for dieting, cooking meals, limiting salts and sugars more than usual, staying hydrated and many other tactics can help curb the effects of being less active outside and around campus and our communities than we ordinarily would be.

Students give themselves the best chance to perform well scholastically and in the community by keeping themselves healthy in a variety of ways. Whichever they choose, every method means staying focused on their bodies and minds as tools of their success. For more events focusing on wellness, visit Cougar Link for regular updates.

Staying healthy and focused on wellness.
Photo provided by Pexels.com.
<![CDATA[Same Spirit, New Format]]> On Thursday, Sept. 16, Greek Senate's annual Meet the Greeks happened virtually via Cougar Link for the first time ever, as restrictions on gatherings remain in effect due to the current health crisis. Meet the Greeks began at 7:30 p.m. and concluded at 9:30 p.m.

Meet the Greeks 2020 was a different experience in more ways than one. It usually takes place in Harwood Arena, where attendees are treated to food and refreshments, opportunities to meet the organizations, watching entertaining performances and other activities.

This year, instead of stations on the courts of Harwood's gym, organizations had Zoom and Google Meet rooms set up to welcome all members, new and old.

Those who showed interest were given presentations of their desired organizations, with open discussions to follow. Below is a list of all the Greek organizations that participated:


  • Chi Upsilon Sigma
  • Delta Phi Epsilon
  • Lambda Tau Omega
  • Mu Sigma Upsilon
  • Nu Theta Chi
  • Omega Phi Chi
  • Omega Sigma Psi
  • Sigma Beta Chi
  • Sigma Gamma Rho
  • Theta Phi Alpha
  • Zeta Phi Beta


  • Alpha Phi Alpha
  • Iota Phi Theta
  • Lambda Sigma Upsilon
  • Lambda Theta Phi
  • Lambda Upsilon Lambda
  • Nu Delta Pi
  • Nu Sigma Phi
  • Omega Psi Phi
  • Phi Beta Sigma
  • Sigma Beta Tau
  • Tau Kappa Epsilon

Co-ed organization:

  • Lambda Delta Chi

Every organization taking part in Meet the Greeks were determined to make the most of the circumstances.

"Greek Life is one of the most resilient groups that I have ever been part of," said Lydia Schustermann, president of Nu Theta Chi. "The last two semesters have been a wicked curveball thrown our way, but all of us have tackled every obstacle thus far."

Many participating groups were tenacious in their approach of achieving the same result. Francois Zebaze, a member of Alpha Phi Alpha, said that stepping helped him find his passion.

Performing with his organization at Meet the Greeks is what made the event such an exuberant experience for him.

"People want to know what you're doing and how it puts a smile on your face," Zebase remarked. "It is a challenge to not be able to have the performance aspect of Meet the Greeks. Really, we must adjust and make the most of what our organization already has."

In the face of the new norms, each organization eagerly represented their respective communities.

"The greatest thing about our organization is the support from alumni and the undergrads coming together to make this the best experience we can," said Jesmiry Martinez, president of Chi Upsilon Sigma.

Martinez enjoyed preparing for Meet the Greeks.

"Being able to prepare for everything virtual, along with the creative visuals for potential new members, has been exciting to create," she said. "It represents our organization and chapter here at Kean University."

"Meet the Greeks has been the biggest recruitment event for Greek Life," said Kiany Perez, president of Mu Sigma Upsilon. "Everyone is still adjusting to online learning. I feel like some people have other priorities to focus on, so they'd rather be doing their homework versus taking time to join an event virtually."

Kiany continued by expressing how challenging it has been to endure the troubling times.

"Being part of Greek Life, I feel like it is really sad because there has been a lot less participating. We do try to make this exciting since we want people to come and be involved," she said.

"Meet the Greeks is different, but we had some good people come in and we had wonderful conversations," said Christian Cornejo, a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon. "We're just trying to make the most out of it."

Greek Senate empowers members of Greek letter organizations to serve, lead and understand the importance of unity. Each organization strives to better the community at large in their own way. For more information about Greek Life, please visit Cougar Link or email at greeks@kean.edu.

Meet the Greeks provided students with the opportunity to learn more about Greek Life and its organizations.

<![CDATA[24-Hour Crisis Resources and Emergency Support Services]]> Due to current circumstances, it is imperative that the community stays healthy and in strong spirits to tackle the semester ahead. Fortunately, Kean provides a number of resources that support members of the community who are going through a challenging time with their physical, mental and emotional health.

The university recognizes the community's concerns being amplified by isolation and stress, due to quarantine restrictions and social distancing because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For anyone that is or knows anyone in a crisis situation or experiencing any thoughts of suicide, it is recommended to call 911.

Hotlines are also readily available, such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255 or the New Jersey Hopeline at 1 (855) 654-6735. These hotlines are open seven days a week, 24 hours a day.

Veterans are encouraged to call the Veterans Crisis 24-hour Hotline at (800) 273-8255 by pressing 1.

On the Union campus, the Kean Counseling Center offers mental health and substance use services at no additional cost for students.

The Counseling Center will be providing remote services to all students via HIPAA-compliant audio and video platforms. In-person appointments are also available on a case-by-case basis. To make an appointment, the Center can be called at (908) 316-8217 or emailed at counseling@kean.edu for mental health inquiries and aod@kean.edu for substance use issues.

The Counseling Center is located in Downs Hall, Room 127 and is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, it is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

For any urgent matters outside of scheduled appointments, the Center can be called amid regular work hours or on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

For immediate assistance, in the event the center is closed, Kean University Police can be contacted via phone at (908) 737-4800.

The university is committed to health and wellness of the community. Anyone who is struggling is urged to tap into the following resources.

Safety is a priority at Kean University. Fortunately, a multitude of resources are provided to support the community.]]>
<![CDATA[Active Minds at Kean University]]> With mental health being so prevalent in today's world, it is important for students to become educated on the topic. Active Minds is an organization that was founded at Kean to do just that.

Founded in the fall semester of 2018, Active Minds aims to spread mental health awareness among college students. They do this on a peer-to-peer level to create a community that accepts and understands individuals

Many people are not willing or comfortable with speaking about their mental health because they feel as if they are alone. There is still a lot of stigma surrounding this topic, which Active Minds aims to reduce. This organization is here to encourage students to be more comfortable speaking about any mental health issues they may face. 

President Sierra James said, "We want to continue the conversation of mental health at Kean, and let our Kean community know that their mental health matters and that they are not alone in their struggles."

Active Minds pride themselves on being a safe and open space for the Kean community to discuss mental health. As an organization, they educate their members on various mental illnesses and provide their members with support. 

Some of the topics that they discuss and educate their members on include suicide prevention, eating disorders, depression and bipolar disorder. In addition, they touch on topics such as schizophrenia, post traumatic stress disorder, anxiety disorders and more. 

They always remind their members that, while they are a safe space, they do not offer any clinical healthcare. They do, however, act as a liaison between the Kean community and Counseling Services, who does have the tools, resources and knowledge to clinically help.

James said, "Active Minds at Kean means the world to me. As a mental health advocate and a person with lived experience of mental illness, I am so glad that I could help provide a safe space to discuss mental health."

She continued, "Mental illness is heavily stigmatized and mental health crises have increased this year. I find it extremely important to discuss mental health, stigma, mental health resources [and more] as college students. Not everyone feels comfortable or ready to seek help for their mental health, so, if Active Minds can help others to realize that mental health treatment is absolutely okay and valid, that is one of the best things we can do."

Active Minds is hosting many virtual general body meetings this semester, all occurring at 3:30 p.m. on the following dates:

  • Monday, Oct. 12

  • Monday, Oct. 26

  • Monday, Nov. 9

  • Monday, Nov. 23

  • Monday, Dec. 7

For more information on Active Minds at Kean University and their events, be sure to check out their Cougar Link page and follow them on Instagram @activeminds.kean.

Active Minds is a dedicated to reducing the stigma of mental illness on Kean's campus.

<![CDATA[Honoring Hispanic Heritage]]> Hispanic Heritage Month is an annual celebration period that began on Sept. 15 and lasts until Oct. 15. Kean University is proud to recognize this remarkable period as it celebrates the contributions and influences of Hispanic culture throughout history.

Hispanic Heritage can be celebrated throughout many ways to honor the legacies of those who came before and contributed their culture from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. This celebratory period first started out as Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968 by former President Lyndon Johnson. That was until it was expanded into a month-long recognition by President Ronald Reagan in 1988. Sept. 15 is the independence day for Latin American countries such as Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Mexico and Chile respectively celebrate their independence days on Sept. 16 and Sept. 18.

Throughout Hispanic Heritage Month, a few of Kean's student groups and organizations will host a variety of events to engage with the rest of the community despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Events will vary either in a virtual format or in-person while maintaining the proper safety guidelines such as completing a mandatory health screening with the #Campus Clear app, wearing a face mask at all times, and practicing social distancing. Pre-registration is required at all events so it is important to register on Cougar Link beforehand.

These events kick off Thursday, Sept. 24 at 6p.m. with the Hispanic Heritage Kick-off: Latin Patio hosted by Student Organization for residential students. This will take place at the Miron Student Center Basketball Courts. Get ready to celebrate with a night full of food, games, music, giveaways, and many more. Make sure to register on Cougar Link to reserve a spot today. For more information, please contact the Office of Student Government at stuorg@kean.edu.

Kean Got Talent, another organization mostly noted for welcoming majors who wish to be involved in the arts will host their own Hispanic Heritage Month event on Monday, Sept. 28 from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. This event is virtual and open to all students who wish to participate. Join Kean Got Talent to celebrate Hispanic Heritage while enjoying songs, singing and poetry from many Spanish speaking countries. Visit their page on Cougar Link to learn more today.

Kean Latin Rhythms will be hosting many virtual Salsa and Bachata Classes on Google Meet and Instagram Live for all students to attend throughout the semester. All events start at 7 p.m. on specific dates. This organization is an open level dance group teaching Latin styles, Bachata, and Salsa for anyone who wants to learn or pursue dance culture. For more information on how to participate in the dance sessions or just want to have fun virtually, visit Kean Latin Rhythms' page on Cougar Link and follow them on Instagram (@keanlatinrhythms).

More events are added daily so be ahead of the crowd to reserve your spots today once they are available to browse. There are also other ways to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month all while being safe and healthy especially during this time. Some creative ideas may include honoring famous Hispanic people, eating authentic Hispanic food, reading Hispanic literature, listening to Hispanic music, hosting a live virtual speaker on Zoom, or just learning more about Hispanic culture to appreciate and honor Hispanic ancestors. Kean University is proud to be an institution to deliver both a world-class education as well as a world-class culture melting pot open for all no matter the distance.

Kean University recognizes Hispanic Heritage Month from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15]]>
<![CDATA[Helping Cougars Climb Higher]]> The Cougar Climb was created in an effort to help students maximize their engagement on campus while achieving a timely graduation. With this roadmap, students can reach their fullest potential and have a successful undergraduate career. 

There are many benefits to partaking in the Cougar Climb. For example, students may find themselves succeeding more in the classroom, joining meaningful organizations, growing professionally and overall becoming a more well-rounded student. If one completes the tasks in the Cougar Climb, they will also be more eligible to potential employers or graduate schools as well. 

Completed students as well as students that made significant progress are invited to the Cougar Climb Recognition Dinner where they will be recognized for their achievements. In addition, there is a raffle to win a free semester at Kean including all of the first-year students that complete the path. Other prizes throughout the year will also be given to students that complete the individual domains. 

The First-Year Experience is open to all first-year students that wish to enhance their first two semesters through involvement. This helps the students get to know the ins and outs of Kean and makes them feel more comfortable on campus. It gives students a head start to opportunities on campus.

The Upperclassmen Experience is for upperclassmen students that still have the goal to make the most of their time at Kean. This can be for students wishing to continue their First-Year Experience as well as students just starting out their path. 

There are six domains that highlight various aspects of the Kean experience which include: Academic Engagement, Career Development, Health and Wellness, Social Engagement, Civic Engagement and Global and Cultural Awareness. 

Within each domain there are tasks for students to complete as well as other elective suggestions for students that wish to complete more tasks. There are different completion requirements depending on the various domains. The students progress is tracked and monitored to make sure that they are on the right path. 

Academic Achievement includes tasks relating to helping students achieve success in the classroom. Some of the tasks such as registering and reporting credits, attending advisement and participating in academic workshops. Students can also visit and participate in sessions at the Tutoring Center, Writing Center and the Public Speaking Lab.

The Career Development domain is aimed to help students grow professionally. They will partake in activities such as attending career workshops, perfecting their resume and getting an internship. These will help prepare students for their post-graduate professional career.

The Health and Wellness Domain ensures that students are maintaining their well-being. Some of the tasks include using the on-campus fitness and recreation facilities, registering for the student health portal and visiting Student Health Services and the Office of Counseling, Disability, Alcohol and other Drugs Services

The Civic Engagement domain includes tasks such as running in a Student Organization election and voting in Student Organizations, Alternate Student Trustee, local, state or national elections. 

The Global and Cultural Awareness helps students recognize the world around them. To do so, they will participate is tasks such as attending on campus cultural events, attending a Distinguished Lecture Series even, attending a study abroad fair and visiting the Human Rights Institute or Holocaust Resource Center.

Social Engagement is for the First-Year Experience as it is a big aspect of one's college career, and new students can struggle with putting themselves out there. They will complete tasks such as participating in an NSO activity, attending major University events such as Homecoming, attending major student involvement events such as Kean day and joining a student club or organization.

Leadership and Professional Development is a domain for the Upperclassmen Experience. It helps students expand their involvement even further. It includes tasks such as maintaining a membership in an on campus organization and/or employment in an on-campus department for four semesters, serve on an executive board for a student group and partake in organizing and facilitating an on campus event. 

For more information on the First-Year Experience and the Upperclassmen Experience of The Cougar Climb, be sure to visit their Kean webpage or contact cougarclimb@kean.edu.

The Cougar Climb is a new incentive created by multiple departments at Kean to help students stay on track for graduation.]]>
<![CDATA[Tomorrow's Teachers Connecting Today]]> Kean is home to many education majors with the dream of becoming a teacher one day. Tomorrow's Teachers is an organization on campus designed to help connect these students to create a network of passionate potential educators.

This organization was formerly known as the Early Childhood Education Club, however over the summer they underwent a rebranding to expand their community on campus. They did not want their name to limit members to just students studying early childhood education, rather they are open to students studying all grades and content levels.

The mission of this organization is to help make life-long connections between future educators to provide support, resources and professional development. They also aim to provide resources to the Kean community through the programming that they host on campus or virtually this semester. 

Within the organization, there are Mentors in Education Program which was made to bridge members throughout their college career. Tomorrow's Teachers hosts Mentor Hour which focus on specific topics for the mentors and mentees to focus on such as navigating remote classes, declaring a specific major and Praxis concerns. These partnerships also connect on a specific need basis depending on the student's needs.

Those interested in becoming a part of the Mentors in Education Program are encouraged to attend the information sessions on Sept. 24 from either 2 to 2:30 p.m. or 2:30 to 3 p.m. More information can be found on the organization's Cougar Link page. 

Stephanie Plaza, president of Tomorrow's Teachers, gave her story on why she joined the organization and how it has helped her grow. She knew from a young age that she wanted to be a teacher and this organization is helping her utilize her skills to become the best educator that she can be. 

Plaza said, " Getting involved with this organization meant so much as I was able to get support from my former mentor, give support as a mentor, assist in the planning process with my executive board members and offer support for students who are in the position I once was in as a confused, freshman student."

She continued, "This organization has helped me meet some of my friends who support me and assist me in my education journey. I believe that we are always learning from each other and this organization allows me to do so with my peers."

Like Plaza, many students thrive off of being surrounded by students who have similar goals as them. It helps keep them motivated and provides them with more resources to grow. 

Tomorrow's Teachers will be hosting many virtual events this semester that anyone is welcome to join. They are as follows:

  • Thursday, Sept. 24, 2 p.m.: Mentor Meeting 
  • Thursday, Sept. 24, 2:30 p.m.: Mentor Meeting 
  • Sunday, Sept 27, 7 p.m.: Game Night!
  • Thursday, Oct. 1, 2 p.m.: Mentor Hour: Get to Know Kean
  • Friday, Oct. 9, 12:30 p.m.: Virtual Book Swap
  • Thursday, Oct 15, 2:30 p.m.:Mentor Hour: Surviving Virtual Classes
  • Wednesday, Nov. 4, 3:30 p.m.: Mentor Hours: Praxis Core Q&A
  • Thursday, Nov. 19, 2:30 p.m.: Mentor Hour: Praxis 2 Q&A
  • Thursday, Dec. 3, 2:30 p.m. Mentor Hour: Declaring Your Major

For more information on Tomorrow's Teachers, be sure to visit their Cougar Link page and follow them on Instagram @keantomorrowsteachers.

Tomorrow's Teachers helps connect aspiring educators to grow professionally during their time at Kean. ]]>
<![CDATA[A Discussion About the Black and Brown Experience]]> On Thursday, Sept. 17, Kean's Pan-African Student Union (P.A.S.U.), along with the National Pan-Hellenic Council and National Council of Negro Women, Inc., held a virtual student panel, where participants had personal conversations about racial identities from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Zoom.

Diversity Speaks: The Black and Brown Experience provided students a way to have their voices heard on issues pertaining to ethnic disparities.

This open forum gave students the confidence to speak their hearts in a comfortable space where courage was welcomed and support was given. The Diversity Speaks platform has a goal of educating the community on diversity through a series of student-led discussions.

"We want to change Kean University for the better," said Malcom Moreira, president of P.A.S.U. "This event was needed to express our thoughts and feelings."

When asked about the event's turnout, Moreira was confident of the outcome.

"It turned out well. During this event, we made all the problems on campus well known. Our organization went through the problems, spoke about them with everyone giving their opinions," continued Moreira. "Our moderator mediated the discussion correctly by letting all participants express themselves freely."

Malcom gave a bit of insight on how the forum was put together.

"The Black and Brown Experience had so much planning. Taylor Williams came up with the idea," Moreira continued. "She helped us so much. Taylor is a professional and understands the experience that comes with being a person of color in her field. It gets difficult."

Moreira mentioned that President Lamont Repollet, Ed. D., the 18th leader of the university, stopped by.

"He spoke at the event by saying that he is doing his best to make the university as great as it was," said Moreira.

Kean P.A.S.U. is doing its due diligence by fortifying the university's title of the most diverse campus in the nation.

"Our organization is working to assist students of color on campus along with showcasing black excellence," Moreira mentioned. "Exposing the student body to our history, consisting of various cultures, lets them know that we are all connected."

Moreira feels such events such as The Black and Brown Experience is crucial to student development.

"Having these events that are based on our culture and history will help students of color understand where they're going," said Moreira.

The Pan-African Student Union is a cultural organization at Kean that unites all students of African descent with the knowledge of self by providing empowerment through its programs and events.

More information about P.A.S.U. can be found on Cougar Link. For any questions, comments or concerns, P.A.S.U. can be emailed at pasu@kean.edu.

Kean's Pan-African Student Union (P.A.S.U.) held an open discussion where participants shared their stories about race and identity.]]>
<![CDATA[Election Direction]]> Interested in getting involved with Student Organization at Kean? The time to apply is now. Applications for the freshmen class of 2024 executive board and senate are now available on Cougar Link, and are due by Friday, Oct. 2 at 2 p.m.

Leadership is not just about a title, it is about impacting others with action. Getting involved in Student Government is a great way to practice leadership skills, networking, and becoming a voice for the student body of one's class. Serving as an ambassador for a class is a great opportunity to put those skills to the test, as well as a great experience to add to a résumé.

Student Organization is the full-time undergraduate student government at Kean. Their mission is to enhance the intellectual, cultural and personal growth of the student community. The student senate is the official decision-making body for the university and student classes. Members of this prestigious group serve on the organization and university committees, help plan programs and events on campus to engage with the student body and express concerns of their class to university administrators. The freshmen class of 2024 is looking for students who are highly motivated and willing to learn more about what it takes to embrace and express leadership.

The available positions for the freshmen class of 2024 are as follows:

  • Freshman Class President (also serves on the executive board of Student Organization)
  • Freshman Class Vice President
  • Freshman Class Treasurer
  • Freshman Class Secretary
  • nine Freshman Class Senators

Applications are currently available to fill out on Cougar Link for the 2020-2021 academic year. If students are interested in learning more about each position, or are unsure about the elections, they are encouraged to visit the upcoming informational sessions over the next two weeks. Information sessions welcome all interested freshmen to share and learn about Student Organization, what the position requirements are for the upcoming elections and the duties and responsibilities of each position, as well as to provide students the chance to meet current members of Student Organization while asking questions about their experiences in the group.

The informational sessions will be held on these dates:

All of these information sessions will be held on Zoom, and students are able to register for them on Cougar Link right away. Students can fill out the application on Cougar Link now by visiting the Office of Student Government's page and scrolling to the Forms section. There, they can find the 2020-2021 Freshmen Class Election application. The link to the form will also be provided under each informational session.

Class of 2024 elections will be held online from Monday, Oct. 19 at 9 a.m. through Wednesday, Oct. 21 at 5 p.m. For more information, please contact the Office of Student Government through email at stuorg@kean.edu or by calling (908) 737-5190.

Get ready for the Class of 2024 Elections.
Photo courtesy of pexels.com
<![CDATA[Kean Prepares to Vote]]> 2020 marks a century since American women's fight for suffrage brought about the 19th Amendment. 2020 also marks a century since the last election that followed a devastating pandemic, and the introduction of millions of young Americans between 18 and 22 years old into the voting population. It will be the fifty-ninth presidential election since the nation declared independence, but only be the twenty-fifth in which all Americans will be afforded the right to vote promised in the Constitution. With every election cycle, but perhaps more so this year than ever before, the right and obligation of every American to vote becomes clearer.

Many of Kean's students will be registering and voting for the first time this fall, like many students around the country. The university and its organizations are committed to promoting awareness of voting procedures and deadlines, as well as important news and candidacy information that can help first-time voters' civic awareness and involvement.

Tuesday, Sept. 22 is National Voter Registration Day - an non-partisan effort to promote registrations nationwide. The Center for Leadership and Service will host National Voter Registration Day registrations in person, outdoors from 12:00 to 5:00 p.m. Students are encouraged to visit the event to register, update their registration, get information about their local polls and any other information they need to prepare to vote.

Using national and local media, social media and teams of volunteers and organizations throughout the communities, campuses, businesses and elsewhere, National Voter Registration Day, a collective by the same name, has encouraged almost 3 million to register since its inception in 2012, and intends its biggest turnout yet to be this year.

Through Cougar Link, students can sign in and be immediately re-directed to TurboVote, another non-partisan site that's helping voters to get registered and stay updated on all the information they need to make sure their votes are cast. TurboVote asks for the name used on voters' IDs, then offers to help them get registered, confirm their voting address and their registration, choose between voting by mail or at the polls and redirects to the Department of State's New Jersey Division of Elections to confirm that they're ready to vote. TurboVote offers to re-direct voters further to Democracy Works' How To Vote Alerts, which helps keep them up-to-date with voting procedures and deadlines in their states.

Also on Sept. 22, the Human Rights Institute (HRI) and the Department of History will host An Inalienable Right: A National Constitution Day Conversation on Voting in the U.S. from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. via Zoom. The discussion will highlight critical historical and present matters about voting - particularly apt as National Voter Registration Day also follows Constitution Day (Sept. 17). The HRI will follow the event with Issues Night: Voter Suppression, a conversation about the presence of voting as a right or a privilege, on Wednesday, Sept. 23 from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m., also through Zoom.

Many voters are anticipated to vote by mail this fall, as COVID-19 has made health a chief concern - but with an abundance of resources available through the state and local municipalities and organizations, voting by mail is a safe, secure and convenient way to ensure every voter's choices are represented.

In an April report by the Pew Research Center, Millennials (considered those born between 1981 and 1996) have surpassed Baby Boomers as America's most populous generation. Other research shows youngest voters, members of Gen Z (born after 1996), have climbed from just 4% of eligible voters to 10% in just one election cycle. This means that more than ever, the nation's electoral results rest in the hands of young voters. However, data also shows that Millennial and Gen Z eligible voters are among the least active groups when the polls open. All of these registration efforts intend to counteract that, so that the younger generations' voices are heard.

New Jersey's voter registration deadline in-person and online is Tuesday, Oct. 13. Those registering by mail must have their registration postmarked by Oct. 13. Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 3.

For more information about National Voter Registration Day, the organization's website features resources for communication, education, and registration. Individuals and organizations are welcomed to join their get-out-the-vote efforts as well.

For more about National Voter Registration Day at Kean, and other related events, contact the Center for Leadership and Service via email at serve@kean.edu, by phone at (908) 737-5170 or in person at the Miron Student Center, Room 219 by appointment only.


Kean promotes voting registration ahead of the November elections.
Photo courtesy Pexels.com.
<![CDATA[Human Rights Institute September Preview]]> Like many of Kean's organizations, the Human Rights Institute (HRI) has grappled the unique challenges of this fall semester by utilizing online resources to conduct events remotely. That adjustment has hardly inhibited the institute's efforts to offer the Kean community events of vital importance to civic and community involvement as part of their mission to combat violations of human rights and liberties worldwide. Throughout September, the Human Rights Institute kicks off the fall with poignant and compelling events for all, provided virtually using Zoom.

On Monday, Sept. 21, the HRI hosts the "Art as Witness" Talkback, a virtual tour of the "Art as Witness" exhibit (visiting from the School of Visual Arts), hosted by curator Francis DiTommaso. The exhibit, a work of graphic art, promotes dialogue and debate amid the increased controversy of social and political issues in our time. It will run from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. and feature discussion with the curator, through Zoom.

Following Constitution Day (Sept. 17), the HRI hosts An Inalienable Right on Tuesday, Sept. 22 alongside the Department of History. It promises to be timely workshop, as the nation anticipates its presidential election, about the voting rights provided to all by the Constitution, The conversation will run from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. via Zoom.

On the same subject, the HRI will follow with Issues Night: Voter Suppression on Wednesday, Sept. 23 from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. The discussion will feature philosophical and practical questions - whether voting is a right or a privilege, and what kinds of impediments exists between citizens and the voting booth.

On Thursday, Sept. 24, the Census 101 Workshop will be held from 3:30 to 4:15 p.m. through Zoom. The HRI and participants will advocate for the critical importance of the Census, through which involved citizens can directly influence change and opinion in their communities, and encourage participants in the workshop to ensure their voices are heard. From local and wider infrastructure to issues of health and welfare or critical, cultural affairs, the Census counts the voices of everyone to update and re-frame our perspective of our local and national communities.

Finally, on Tuesday, Sept. 29, the HRI will host a Presidential Debate Party during the first of a series of debates between this season's candidates. The HRI will be following the event through Twitter, and participants are invited to share ideas and reactions to the debate through their Twitter page, @KeanHRI. Students who have not yet familiarized themselves with the issues pertinent to the election or the views of the candidates will have the perfect opportunity to do so alongside other members of the Kean community. The debate party will be live from 9:00 to 10:30 p.m.

These virtual events can be accessed through links provided by the Human Rights Institute on Cougar Link. All are encouraged to engage with the community thanks to the Human Rights Institute's continual efforts this fall and going forward.

Photo by Kean University Human Rights Institute]]>
<![CDATA[Discussing the Black and Brown Experience]]> Thursday, Sept. 17, Kean's Pan-African Student Union (PASU) in collaboration with the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) and National Pan Hellenic Council will be hosting a student led panel discussion and open forum where students will share personal experiences pertaining to racial identity. The virtual event will take place from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. via Zoom.

Diversity Speaks: The Black and Brown Experience is intended to create a safe space for students of color to tell their stories and inform peers of how their racial identity influences their academic, social and professional life.

The Pan-African Student Union is an organization on campus that works to unite students of African descent to learn about their roots, embrace their heritage and educate the community on history, activism and civil rights. With a mission to provide empowerment through knowledge of pre-colonial roots to strengthen the future, the organization is very active on campus, providing informative and uplifting lectures, flag raising events and more. The group aims to advance the university's awareness of diversity being a transformational factor through education and embellishment of openness.

This panel is part of the Diversity Speaks Platform which seeks to educate and promote diversity through a collection of forum discussions facilitated entirely by students. The Black and Brown Experience is the first of two events to create this space for students to openly express their truths surrounding their identities.

Another event will be held the following week called "Diversity Speaks: A Movement Not A Moment."

This will be a panel discussion featuring faculty and staff members bringing awareness to racial justice and unity.

Kean University celebrates diversity wholeheartedly. The Black and Brown Experience will be an event that will bring perspective and understanding to the community in efforts of creating a society where no one will have to worry about any discrepancies because of their preferences or appearance.

Those that are interested in attending the discussion must RSVP to the event via Cougar Link. Students and members of the Kean community should keep an eye on Cougar Link, as many new events regarding advocacy, awareness, and student experience continue to pop up. Kean Cougars can learn about the world around them from their fellow peers in many ways, as Kean students are diverse and come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences.

The Pan-African Student Union will be hosting a virtual panel about race and the effects it has on society and academics.]]>
<![CDATA[A Message from Student Health Services]]> Being up-to-date on your annual flu shot and other vaccines is more important than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic. Every year, the flu spreads across college campuses nationwide. Close living quarters, shared restrooms and many social activities make a college student more likely to catch the flu. Whether one is studying in the library, attending an event or hanging out with one's suitemate in the residence halls, students are in close contact with others and therefore even more susceptible to the flu.

The flu is a viral illness that is most common in the fall and winter months. This is a very contagious illness that is transmitted by droplets that are released when an infected person coughs, sneezes or even talks in close proximity to others. People can also get sick by touching their nose or mouth after coming in contact with a contaminated surface such as a doorknob, table or someone else's hand. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) most studies have shown that the flu virus can live and potentially infect a person for up to 48 hours after being deposited on a surface.

Symptoms of the flu include, but are not limited to, fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, feeling weak and tired, headache, chills, body aches, vomiting or diarrhea.  Not everyone will experience the flu the same way or have all these symptoms but most who have the flu feel unwell. You should see your Healthcare provider or call Kean University's Student Health Services (SHS) if you have a fever or other flu-like symptoms. The flu can have serious complications including shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, pain or pressure in the chest, sudden dizziness, and confusion or vomiting; these are all situations that require emergency medical care. Most healthy people recover from the flu with rest, non-caffeinated fluids and medications to control fever. The use of antiviral medications can be discussed with your healthcare provider or SHS.

If you do have the flu or flu-like symptoms, stay at home and rest. Cover your nose or mouth with a tissue or your arm when you cough or sneeze. Dispose of tissues in the trash immediately and wash your hands with soap and warm water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. To decrease your risk of acquiring the flu continue to social distance, which simply means keeping a distance of at least six feet between yourself and others.

Getting the flu vaccine every year is the best way to protect yourself and others from getting and spreading the flu. The flu vaccine is available at many retail pharmacies, primary care providers and health departments. SHS has collaborated with Community Medical Urgent Care to provide flu vaccines to the Kean community as well as other commonly required immunizations. With most health insurance plans, the vaccine is low to no cost and if you do not have health insurance, the vaccine is only $30. Community Medical Care accepts most major health insurance plans, but for more information call them at (908) 994-1500.

To attend a flu vaccine clinic, all students must register through Cougar Link and all students, faculty and staff must register for an appointment time via the doodle poll associated with the date of the event. You must pick a date that you are already on campus. All attendees will be required to wear a mask and social distancing guidelines will be enforced.

Community Medical Urgent Care will be on campus at the Kean Wellness Center located in the Downs Hall Conference center on the following dates:

Additional flu clinics may be coming soon in collaboration with Union County.  

If you have more questions, regarding policies, students can contact SHS at (908) 737-4880. Faculty and staff can contact Human Resources at (908) 737-3300. You can also receive reliable updates at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention at https://www.cdc.gov/flu/index.htm

Article courtesy of Student Health Services.

For more information on Student Health Services (SHS)check out their webpage on the Kean website.

The following article is courtesy of Student Health Services.]]>
<![CDATA[Take a Byte out of Kean]]> The first-ever virtual Kean Day event kicked off on Thursday, Sept. 10 on Cougar Link as an online interactive convention for all students to enjoy.

Every year, Kean University hosts this special event for students to learn more about how to get involved on campus. The mission of Kean Day stays the same each year. All of Kean's clubs and organizations get a chance to showcase themselves on why students should be a part of the unfolding action that is being involved. For this year, Kean has entered a new era, formatting this year's Kean Day to an online format so every student gets the benefit of participating in Kean Day despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Getting involved in college opens up the doors for all types of networking opportunities. Even though Kean Day took a virtual format this year, students still felt the positive energy-from a distance- as they looked at a plethora of clubs and organizations to become a part of.

Romario Joseph, a transfer student from Middlesex County College really enjoyed how Kean has evolved to the new virtual standards and looks forward to making the most of his college experience.

"Kean has made it an easy transition coming here," said Joseph. "Networking and memories are the key results of getting involved...Since it is my first year here at Kean, I want to make the most of my experience and do whatever I can despite our current situation."

Joseph found out about Kean Day through Cougar Link and encouraged students to utilize this while in college because of all the vast networking opportunities it has to offer from events, organizations and Kean job postings.

Leonardo Polo, treasurer and guitar instructor for Chance At Performing (CAP) looks forward to his club being interactive in this virtual environment. Polo mentioned that even though students are going through this time of being physically distant, CAP will still be able to leave a positive impact for all interested members who wish to join as well as bring people together virtually so nobody loses their connections.

"We created a hub using Linktree that takes people to everything related to this club by providing updates to what we are doing, where to follow us on social media, and providing a platform where students can express themselves through the arts," said Polo. "This organization was founded [for students] going into a major that has nothing to do with the arts so we created CAP for people that are into their chosen fields but still want to do more arts, more music."

Polo then described how his organization is going to still provide that platform for students to grow and expand upon their skillsets throughout this semester.

"I'm glad that, although all this stuff is happening right now, CAP is still going to continue on sharing their experiences and love for music and the arts all through social media and Cougar Link," said Polo.

Student Organization President Lindsey Gonzalez says the purpose of Kean Day and Student Organization is to promote student engagement and celebrate diversity, cultures, social engagement, career and personal development and global and civic programs. Gonzalez also says that students have an opportunity to make their mark and grow their skills while having a great time with their fellow classmates with events such as Kean Day.

"We take pride in having our students involved in developing and working these events so that the population here at Kean University will continue to grow and succeed in all areas with Student Organization," said Gonzalez.

Gonzalez also adds that students should not think twice when it comes to getting involved with something they are passionate about.

"My advice to Kean students, especially freshmen and sophomores, would be to not even think about it twice. Seize the opportunity and take any chance to get involved on campus. Getting involved sets you up to succeed not only on campus but also in life," said Gonzalez.

Overall, this year's Kean Day was one for the books and set in motion a fall semester full of fun, engaging, and social activities. Be sure to check out Cougar Link today to view all of Kean's organizations and upcoming events.

This year's Kean Day was hosted virtually for the first time.]]>
<![CDATA[To Greek or Not to Greek]]> This year, Meet the Greeks will take place Wednesday, Sept. 16 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. in a virtual fair format on Cougar Link. Meet the Greeks is an event hosted by the Greek Senate that brings together all the different Greek organizations for a night filled with activities, performances, and camaraderie between all of the brothers and sisters of Greek Life and those interested in getting involved with the community.

Attending this year's event is free of charge for all Kean students, though they must make sure to RSVP on Cougar Link to save their spots.

Greek Life is an exciting opportunity for students to join a community that builds bonds that will last a lifetime. Greek Life allows members to view college in a whole new light, by becoming more involved on campus and becoming a better version of themselves. Joining Greek Life also allows for more networking opportunities to be explored for membership and for future careers. Becoming a part of Greek Life allows members to connect more with the Kean Community as well as to meet members from other organizations, connecting with them through events both on and off campus.

Often, one of the first thoughts new students' minds when coming to college is Greek Life: if it is for them, and if Greek Life is the way it is portrayed in the media. Greek Life, in general, is about building bonds that are incomparable to other college experiences.

Greek Life strengthens leadership skills, develops interpersonal skills, helps new students become better oriented with college life, teaches cooperation and citizenship, promotes community service and encourages scholarship.

These organizations also provide students a platform to build up their social skills and confidence. Interested students should also know that education always comes first, and Greek organizations will help students practice their time management skills, which will be very beneficial during and after their college careers.

Joining Greek Life at Kean University helps students develop in many ways and find new groups of friends that will guide them in the right direction. Kean's Greek Life is built upon a foundation that prioritizes:

  • Leadership
  • Brotherhood/Sisterhood
  • Scholarship
  • Community Service
  • Social Life

For this year's virtual Kean Day, the interactive experience will allow interested students to learn more about each organization on campus. After Meet the Greeks, students can look forward to connecting with the organizations through their many recruitment and informational events in the fall semester.

If students would like to learn more about Kean's Greek community, they may also check out Kean's Greek 101 workshops happening from Tuesday, Sept. 29th to Friday, Oct. 2.

Come on down to this year's Meet the Greeks and learn all about Greek Life at Kean University on Wednesday, Sept. 16th from 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. For any questions regarding this year's virtual Meet the Greeks, please contact the Center for Leadership and Service at (908) 737-5170 or email greeks@kean.edu to learn more.

This year's Meet the Greeks takes on a new virtual format so students can learn more about Greek Life
Photo Courtesy of the Greek Senate
<![CDATA[Remembering 9/11]]> The chaos of 2020 could not stop Americans from taking a somber moment to remember the events of 9/11. One of the ways the Kean community memorialized the precious lives that perished that day was by participating in the annual National Day of Service and Remembrance on Sept. 11 through virtual service events.

The Center for Leadership and Service (CLS) held multiple service projects on Sept. 11 through Zoom. The projects were as follows:

  • Voter Engagement- How to Register to Vote and Help Others Register
  • Coloring for a Cause
  • Letter Writing to Veteran's Home
  • Be my Eyes
  • Blood Drive- How to Donate Blood Now!

Students were able to participate in the service projects most meaningful to them and take part in as many as they wanted. All the service projects were completely virtual, which allowed for students to safely and conveniently get involved in the projects of their choosing.

Alyssa Ramirez is a senior Biomedicine major who participated in multiple service projects, including Letter Writing for Veteran Home, Be My Eyes and Blood Drive- How to Donate Blood Now! She was inspired both by the events of 9/11 and COVID-19 to give back to those who were going through a difficult time in any ways she could.

"My biggest takeaway from the day was to always remember to give back to those around you," said Ramirez. "Right now, everyone is going through different things, such as loss, anxiety and just trying to get through the day. It is nice to take some time and forget about everything around us and focus on something bigger, like a person who may be isolated in a nursing home, or to remember the veterans who fought and risked their lives for us.  Even the little things you do to give back can be meaningful and change someone's day!"

The Voter Engagement- How to Register to Vote and Help Others Register and Blood Drive- How to Donate Blood Now! service projects helped to inform students about how to become active and involved citizens outside of Kean. Students were given the information they needed to take action and affect the lives of others.

Be My Eyes was also an informational service event that informed students about the app, Be My Eyes. Be My Eyes allows sighted volunteers to "lend" their eyes to help blind and low-vision individuals through live video calls. Students were then encouraged to download the app and take part in the unique service opportunity.

"My favorite service event was learning about the Be My Eyes app," said Ramirez. "It provided me with useful information on how to help someone with just a tap of my phone. It is very easy and simple, and it gives me a way to help someone...If I had a family member with a visual disability I would love to know that there are people out there volunteering their time to help my family member through their daily activities." 

The Coloring for a Cause and Letter Writing to Veteran's Home service projects required real-time participation from students. For Coloring for a Cause, students colored pictures that were then sent to Atria Senior Living Home, to bring a smile to others who are also feeling the socially isolating consequences of the pandemic. Letter Writing to Veteran's Home allowed students to write letters to veterans residing in the NJ Veterans Memorial Home in Menlo Park, to contribute something positive to their days.

"Even though Covid-19 has led to a lot of things becoming virtual, this does not mean that there are no opportunities out there. Kean is doing their best to provide virtual opportunities, especially in volunteering. Although it may not be the same as in-person [volunteering], do not let this deter you from volunteering. You can still make a difference in someone else's life," said Ramirez.

To find more service projects, students can check out Cougar Volunteers on Cougar Link.

One of the virtual service projects students could participate in was the Letter Writing to Veteran's Home.]]>
<![CDATA[Online Instruction: How to Learn Remotely]]> Due to the ongoing health crisis, Kean has moved much instruction to Blackboard. Though this method is helping to save health and lives, it does add a bit of frustration and stress, as there are students and faculty members who are having trouble navigating remote learning. Fortunately, it isn't too difficult to work through Blackboard, once properly learned.

In order to access Blackboard, users will have to make their way to Kean's homepage and click "Quick Links" on the top right of the webpage

There, a drop-down menu will appear and students can click "Blackboard" to access their remote classes.

After clicking "Blackboard," the user will be taken to the sign-in page, where they will be prompted to fill in their login information.

After signing in, users will be taken to the main page of Blackboard.

Once there, users will be able to access courses, view announcements, access grades, view their assignment calendars and contact support if needed.

The course page is the most crucial component to Blackboard, as it is where assignments are submitted, and where course content and live sessions can be accessed.

Users can click on any course to see this information. The name of the class, along with the year and semester, will be shown in bolded letters.

Below that will be the menu with a list of titles. They are as follows:

Announcements are notifications about the course sent by the instructor. Students should always check this, as instructors frequently send out information pertaining to the course.

Getting Started links to two sub-folders: "Course Information" and "Course Content."

Course Information presents the course syllabus along with related content pertaining to the course's background.

Course Content features information about assignments and often the space to submit them.

Live Sessions is where lectures are held. Students should refer to their schedules for session times and dates. Some courses may use a different platform to hold these however, such as Zoom or Google Meet.

Discussion Board is where discussion questions are posted. Students can go there to answer questions and submit replies to peers.

My Grades is where students can view their graded assignments.

Send Email is a messaging service students can use to contact others enrolled in the class. Messages functions the same way, but is built directly into Blackboard instead.

Library, Tutoring, and Technical Support are all interconnected, as users can access databases, request coursework help and receive assistance from the Office of Computer and Information Services (OCIS) if any technical issues occur.

To upload an assignment, users will click their "Course Content" tab and navigate to the desired page or folder. Upon entering, the assignment's title must be selected and a separate page will appear.

Users will scroll to the bottom, where they'll find several different options for submission.

Text Submission opens a message box. There, users can write out their assignment. Users are free to change font, size and spacing.

Attach Files is used for submissions not written in Blackboard. This is particularly useful for PowerPoint, Word, or PDF submissions.

Users can pull files from their computer, the Cloud or Dropbox, another cloud storage service.

SafeAssign proofs files for plagiarism and is cross checked through numbers of resources across a vast database.

This is in compliance with the university's Academic Intergrity policy. Checking the box is required to turn in an assignment. Users can either cancel the submission, save it as a draft or submit.

To submit a discussion post, users will click the "Discussion Board" tab. On that page, users will click the desired discussion thread and reply to the initial post at the top of the page.

A box will appear where the user can modify the subject title as they please and type their message. Files can also be attached to a discussion post.

Replying to a user's post functions in the same manner by clicking the post and selecting "Reply."

Students should have an easier time navigating Blackboard after a little practice. For additional questions, comments or concerns, the OCIS Help Desk can be contacted via email at support@kean.edu.

With so many students doing their instruction remotely, the learning curve can be overwhelming.]]>
<![CDATA[Staying In Touch]]> With many students learning remotely, it has been a struggle for some to find quality social interaction. As the university gears up to begin hybrid and face-to-face instruction, students are looking for ways to remain in contact with their friends, family and colleagues. Fortunately, there is an array of apps that students could choose from to fulfill this purpose.

GroupMe is a messaging service where users can create their own groups to share videos, photos and direct messages.

GroupMe is completely free for use and is downloadable for Android, iOS and Windows.

It can also be used via SMS and web clients for those that either do not wish to download the app or cannot access it on a smartphone.

The app is particularly useful for study groups, classes and extracurricular clubs to stay up to date with their assignments and to connect with other peers.

Instagram is a photo and video sharing service where users can share content, like, comment on posts, chat with peers privately and give a glimpse of their lives to the world.

Instagram is available for download on Android, iOS and in a web browser.

The service was bought by Facebook in 2012 and has over 500 million daily users. It is tremendously popular among college students.

Creators have made themselves at home with many of Instagram's features, such as IGTV, where users can post their own full-length videos, and Reels, which is similar to the app TikTok. On Reels, users can post up to fifteen seconds of video clips within a single submission.

Snapchat is a multimedia messaging service where users are able to exchange pictures and videos called "snaps" that disappear upon viewing.

The app is known for its variety of filters and lenses for users to send to their friends.

Users can post a snap onto their story that is viewable by anyone they are friends with. It disappears within 24 hours. Snapchat also offers news and a section where creators can share their work with their audiences.

Groups can also be created on Snapchat. Another notable feature of Snapchat is the Snapcode, a scanned image akin to a QR code, which can be read by a smartphone's camera and used to connect with friends on the platform.

Wildfire is an app that keeps college students informed of important events and helps to get the word out quickly.

The app is downloadable on Android and iOS. Wildfire is a fairly new app, but already used by 350,000 students across over 200 college campuses in the nation, Kean being one of them.

The app's name is derived from the metaphor "spreading like wildfire." Its concept came about in 2015, when one of Wildfire's founders was mugged at UC Berkeley.

He made a post about it on Facebook but realized the post didn't go out to enough people, so the individual got together with other founders to create an app which would find an effective way to spread news in real time.

Wildfire was featured in the Huffington Post, Forbes and in The Daily Texan. The app shows alerts based on a user's location and isn't limited to friends and family.

With this selection of apps, students should not have to worry about any shortage of communication options.

Amid the ongoing health crisis, social networking is one of many ways for the Kean community to keep in touch with each other.]]>
<![CDATA[Virtual Greek Senate Conference 2020]]> On Saturday, Sept.14, the Greek Senate hosted their annual Greek Senate Conference. Members from every fraternity and sorority attended, as well as guest speakers from the Kean Community. Typically this would be an in-person event, however this year it transpired from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. via Zoom. 

The Greek Senate is composed of members from different Greek letter organizations on campus. They come together for many purposes, from uniting the Greek community on campus to continuing to uphold the legacies of their organizations as well as the Greek Senate at large. They organize programming for the Greeks on campus and provide resources to help the members succeed in their personal endeavors. The Greek Senate hosts this conference every year to further instill the ideals of the Greek Senate into its members, which include scholarship, service, leadership, campus involvement, and brotherhood and sisterhood.

The event began with welcoming addresses from Scott Snowden, assistant director of Student Affairs, Alex Louis, assistant director of the Center for Leadership and Service and Roshorn Shivers Jr., the current Greek Senate president. They offered a warm welcome to the attendees and gave a glimpse of what was to come during the event. They emphasized the impact that members of the Greek community have on campus, as they are known to be outstanding students from academics to involvement.

The first breakout presentation was given by Robin Mansfield, the Director of Student Health Services. She spoke to the attendees about COVID-19 updates and the new protocol that people must follow when they visit campus. She also explained information about the virus to keep everyone safe, up-to-date and informed. 

The second presentation was a collaboration between the Office of Student Conduct and the Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs Task Force (AToD). The presenters were Nicole Rodriguez, director of the Office of Community Standards and Student Conduct, and Kim Quinn from the Office of Counseling, Disability, Alcohol and Other Drugs Services. They expanded on community standards and core values, which include integrity, fairness, community, respect and responsibility, and explained how the attendees can uphold these values. 

Following a virtual lunch break, the Greeks joined a session titled Social Media Etiquette, which was hosted by Leadership Coordinator and Kean Alumni Stephanie Martinez. She gave advice and tips for the Greeks to use on their organization's social media platforms.

Martinez focused on the importance of understanding one's audience, as well as branding and identity. Students participated in an activity where they were partnered up in breakout rooms with members from different organizations. There, they gave compliments and constructive feedback on everyone's organizations' social media platforms, which was a very interactive activity.

The final presentation of the day, titled Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and was given by Joy L. Smith, Ed. D, an alumnus of the Rutgers Graduate School of Education. There, she educated the attendees on the history and current issues of stereotypes, biases and derogatory terms, and how they can relate to the Greek community. She also focused on language and the importance that words can hold. Students were able to participate in an open discussion to offer their views and ask any questions they had.

Smith said, "This [presentation is] about a reflective space, and you can kind of figure out what your next steps will be in making sure that [we are] culturally competent, that we're aware of what's happening around us and that we're doing our part as leaders to make sure that we're not letting certain things perpetuate."

Overall, the Greek Senate Conference was a great means to bring together the Greek community and discuss a multitude of important topics that pertain to campus leaders.

The 2020 Greek Senate Conference was held virtually this past Sept. 12.]]>
<![CDATA[Safe Campus Printing Procedures]]> As Kean restarts for a fall semester with health and safety a chief concern, the university has made appropriate changes to many student resources around campus. Between Sept. 21 and Thanksgiving, when nearly a quarter of classes will return in face-to-face and hybrid settings, the adjustments made to printing services within the campus computer labs will be invaluable.

The university remains committed to conservation and environmentally conscious goals, and has maintained the policy introduced in the fall of 2019 that budgets 300 pages (or $30 worth of printing) to each student throughout the semester, with each page costing 10 cents. Students can, however, add to their accounts to continue printing if need be, by contacting the university's support team by email at support@kean.edu.

Printing is available at each of the university's computer labs, located at the Nancy Thompson Learning Commons (NTLC), the Miron Student Center (MSC), Room 105 and the New Upper Class Computer Lab. Each computer lab has expanded and refined their hours of operation and guidelines for safe and efficient use by students to meet the challenges of the semester, including social distancing, limits on simultaneous users per area, the use of hand sanitizer and explicit procedures for entering, exiting and using stations.

The NTLC has made reserving study space and computer usage easy, and has also reserved Room 115 for safe studying and research for anyone considered at high-risk. The building features in excess of 40 computer stations without a reservation necessary between its three floors, including the quiet study sections. The NTLC's adjusted hours offer in-person services on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., with services available online on Wednesdays.

The MSC Computer Lab will be restricted to only 12 students at a time, who will be asked to use hand sanitizer upon entering and exiting the lab. As always, students will swipe their IDs to enter. The lab will exclude its first row of stations to be used as a walkway, and the emergency door will be used for exiting to keep students moving in one direction. Tables and computers will be sterilized between every use, and the lab will provide gloves to users; wearing masks will be required at all times.

The MSC Computer Lab's hours of operation are as follows:

Mondays through Thursdays: 9 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Fridays: 9 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Saturdays: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Sundays: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

The New Upper Class Computer Lab will allow 5 students admission at a time. They will follow the same safety procedures and its hours of operation are as follows:

Mondays through Thursdays: 12 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Fridays: 12 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Saturdays: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. 
Sundays: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

At both the MSC and New Upper Class Computer Lab, high-risk students will also be given priority for the first hour of operation. Additionally, the option to e-Print documents will be encouraged to keep lab time efficient and safe. Social distancing will be reinforced at all times.

However many students are working on campus, their need to work and print at any of these locations is paramount and, thanks to these new procedures, can continue during the return to campus safely and without interruption.

<![CDATA[We Are One Global Kean Family]]> Monday, Aug. 31, new Kean University president, Lamont O. Repollet, Ed.D., introduced himself to the Kean community at his first Opening Day Address. Livestreamed for the community, the address was an opportunity to hear Repollet speak to both the incoming new student class as well as returning students, staff and faculty alike.

The event opened in the Enlow Recital Hall with chair of the Kean Board of Trustees, Ada Morell, who welcomed the Kean community and acknowledged the latest hardships and her gratitudes to the Kean community for everything they are doing to make the 2020-2021 year healthy and successful. She then introduced President Repollet.

Within Repollet's address he outlines his three pillars or three guiding principles for moving the University forward. The first being safety. The president has put together a COVID-19 task force to help create guidelines and plans for the universities safe and promising return to campus and the new academic year.

"This diverse group of stake holders has been working to craft and operationalize a plan that allows us to feel some of the vibrance of campus life again while keeping us all safe," said Repollet.

The taskforce was able to use the results of the summer return to campus survey, which received more than 3000 responses, to conduct their decisions about the state of the fall 2020 semester. From this survey it is clear the Kean community is eager to return to the vibrance of campus life and in person interactions but there is still a great concern for well-being, health and safety. Repollet acknowledges all that COVID-19 has taken from us including Kean's own J. Barry Mascari, associate professor and chair of the counseling education program.

"I carry the weight of these trying times every single day and it guides all of my decisions. I know it is my job to ensure every member of our Kean community feels safe and secure as possible in the midst of this pandemic," said Repollet.

In an effort to assist students during this time, 1 million dollars of the emergency funds Kean has received from the state are being put toward social-emotional support for students, staff and faculty of Kean University. These funds go toward expanding mental health and counseling services to the community.

The next pillar discussed was academic excellence. Repollet took time to honor some of Kean's recent accomplishments in academic excellence including: the growth in enrollment in the College of Business and Public Management, Kean graduate Eric Cruz's recent appearance on Shark Tank and reception of a $200,000 deal for his business idea, and marketing major, Dhruva Patel's designation as a Forbes 30 under 30 Scholar. The College of Business and Public Management has also expanded its international outreach and connections.These are only a few of the excellent achievements Kean graduates and current Kean students, faculty and staff are achieving.

Repollet also went on to speak on the partnership between Union County's testing center to help expedite results, maintain safety and security, and work toward controlling and containing outbreaks.

The final pillar discussed was equity which was led with the statement, "No matter how a student enters the university, we are going to receive them where they are and take them where they want to be."

Repollet is looking to expand the One Stop Student Center to further ensure the university is meeting the needs of students, which now includes the new, Division of Student Success and Retention, to serve as a connecter to ensure the seamless of services and support to students.

As a part of his goals for the year, Repollet is looking to create a campus environment that welcomes and celebrates diverse groups of people. With a student-centered approach, Repollet and the Division of Student Success and Retention looks to create opportunities, shift mindsets from outputs to outcomes and focus on what students are experiencing.

All members of the Kean community can go back and watch the president's Opening Day Address, as it was recorded and posted online on the Kean website. There, members of the community can hear more about the topics discussed and get to know the approach and goals of President Repollet. Also, the community is encouraged to keep an eye on their respecive Kean email accounts as the president has been sending out announcements with updates for the university. You can see previous announcements on the Kean website.

Monday, Aug. 31, new Kean University president, Lamont O. Repollet, Ed.D., introduced himself to the Kean community at his Opening Day Address.]]>