Kean University - The Cougar's Byte - April 30, 2019

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A Talking Matter »Page 3

Lead, Advocate, and Develop »Page 6

VOLUMe 15 | ISSUe 13


TUeSDaY | aPRIL 30 | 2019

KDM 2019: Superheroes Unite Students poured into Harwood Arena for a successful KDM Petruce Jean-Charles


with the opportunity to partake in this creative idea. After students and guests arrived, everyone came together and formed a circle, symbolizing the beginning of KDM 2019. The Opening Ceremony transitioned to the first Minute to Win It game. Each person took a string of the yarn and threw the ball around, creating a big knot. The point of the game was to show that everyone is interconnected and through that connection the kids will have the support they need.


reek Senate hosted the annual Kean Dance Marathon (KDM) in Harwood Arena Friday, April 12 with a multitude of fundraising and activities. This 12-hour event concluded the fundraising efforts made throughout the year. Although KDM was a night of fun, everyone came to support an important cause: the children at the Children's Specialized Hospital. The KDM Committee, responsible for spearheading the event this year’s event, consisted of the following students: Gabriela Lapointe, Victor Benlice, Roshorn Shivers Jr., Emely Hernandez, Oreoluwa Awoleya, Jonathan Ibarra, Lucas Lopez, Nathaneal Jenkins, Briana Ortiz and Sofia Rodrigues. They collaborated with Graduate Intern for Greek Affairs Ashley Buchanan and Greek Life Specialist Melissa Antonio to bring about a successful KDM.

The Cougar's Byte

KDM 2019 took place in Harwood arena, raising $54,175.51, beating last year's total.

Partnering with the Children's Specialized Hospital in Mountainside, New Jersey, the Greek Senate was able to provide funds for research for children with health challenges such as autism, mobility,







Inaccordancewiththesuperherotheme,studentsflooded Harwood Arena in costumes and normal attire, excited

Down to earth

Earth Science Club hosted a fair in honor of Earth Day Abigail Anne Rafael



tudents gathered around the Miron Student Center (MSC) Patio to partake in this year's Earth Day Fair hosted by the Earth Science Club. The fair took place Tuesday, April 16 and is part of the Earth Science Club's many upcoming events to celebrate this coming Earth Day April 22.

After the opening ceremony, Jumpstart Specialist Omar Dixon taught attendees a special KDM dance that would be performed every hour as a fun, lighthearted activity to keep students moving. Next, a new Minute to Win It game was introduced by Greek Senate President Gabriella Lapointe. The game consisted of contestants placing cookies on their faces while trying to maneuver them into their mouths. It was both an entertaining and creative way to build competition and companionship and garner laughs from the crowd. Lapointe also asked contestants to show off their super


Kean University's Research Days 2019

The 11th annual Research Days was hosted April 23 and 24 to shine light on the hard work of its students and staff

The Earth Day Fair included tablings from many clubs and organizations. At each table, students could learn about the organization's mission and do an activity to earn a raffle ticket. Upon earning six raffle tickets, students were able to submit them for a chance to receive a pot to decorate and a succulent plant to take home. One of the tables had representatives from the Post Landfill Action Network (PLAN). PLAN is a national nonprofit who partners with campuses to promote zero waste efforts. Abigail Anne Rafael | Cougar's Byte Co-Director and Campus Coordinator Faye Christoforo said, "We're here today to talk about our Points of Intervention tour. So the idea of The earth Science Club hosted earth Day 2019, informing students on ways to be the tour is to talk about how no one can do everything but everyone environmentally friendly. can do something and there's all different ways to change the linear consumption economy that we live in. So, whether you're resisting pipelines or using the reusable straw or redesigning a product so it reduces waste, for more information on when it's best to pick up compost. you're helping to change that system and we're trying to encourage students to get involved in that." Professors from the School of Environmental and Sustainability Sciences also shared a table presenting their research. One of whom was Professor Joseph Sarnoski who At their table, students were able to make DIY sewing kits made out of up-cycled film taught students about the health benefits of eating crickets and invited them to give canisters and talk to the representatives about what they can do to change the world. it a try. Students interested in becoming involved with PLAN can check out their upcoming Students for Zero Waste Conference 2019 on their website. "My interest is in some of our geological work and sustainable eating. With sustainable eating we're eating crickets. Crickets are a high protein food unlike cows. Cows take Another table included representatives from the Office of Environmental Health and up a lot of water [and] cows take up a lot of land. They need a lot of nutrients to Safety. Their table included information on Kean's compost machine and storm water get them to grow as big as they are, whereas crickets need almost none of that," drains. Students could also receive bags of compost for their plants. Students are able said Sarnoski. "They need very little water, they need very little food compared to to receive more free compost from Kean's compost machine located behind Cougar's cows and they're very high in protein. They're about 70 percent Den. Students should email Ana Coyle at protein. So, they're a good high protein substitute, they reduce our impact on the environment, they're good for us and they taste delicious. So eat crickets."

Other tables providing interesting information and activities included a seed bomb making station, a canvas bag making station, parfait serving station, a plant making station and more. "People don't really know about the environment and how important it is and how you can save it. We're really here to promote education and love for the environment," said Ijeoma Akpu, the secretary of the Earth Science Club. Earth Science Club has also planned events as follows with the same mission in mind: ■ Elizabeth River Cleanup - Thursday, April 18 ■ Fossil Hunting - Saturday, May 4 Interested students can check out Earth Science Club's Cougar Link page or email them at

Abigail Anne Rafael, a sophomore communication public relations major, is a member of The Cougar's Byte staff.

a Leadership and Service Publication for the Kean University Student Community

Kieffer Braisted | The Cougar's Byte

Kean University's Research Days is an annual event that celebrates student and faculty research.

Kieffer Braisted


Staff Writer

esearch Days, held on Tuesday, April 23 and Wednesday, April 24, provided an opportunity for students, staff and alumni to display the results of their various creative or research-based works to both the campus community and general public alike. Since it's inaugural event in 2009, the participating body of the event has risen from 90 in the first rendition of the event to 485 in 2017. This year, Kean University is proud to announce a record-breaking number of 1,076 students participating. This high volume event demands the very best that students and staff have to offer in terms of presentation and research. Intricate and detailed pieces stood on display in both the STEM lobby and Downs Hall, with students and attendees both admiring and studiously taking notes


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Tuesday | aPRIL 30 | 2019

Kean University

Center for Leadership and Service

Counteracting Hunger on Campus

The new Cougar Pantry was recently opened in order to provide food to students Zoe Strozewski Miron Student Center, Room 215 1000 Morris Avenue • Union, NJ 07083 P: (908) 737-5179 • F: (908) 737-5175 • The Cougar’s Byte is a leadership and service newsletter where you will find up-to-theminute information on all things related to student life at Kean University. A student news publication that features University events and student activities and accomplishments, The Cougar’s Byte strengthens the overall experience of students by immersing them in the complete college culture. By increasing awareness of all aspects of campus life, students can utilize everything Kean has to offer, while networking and paving the path for their academic and social development. Published every other Tuesday during the regular academic year, The Cougar’s Byte can be viewed both online, at, and in print, distributed biweekly to over 15 campus locations on the Union and Ocean campuses of Kean University. The Cougar’s Byte welcomes Letters to the Editor, calendar events, event news and information, articles, story ideas, artwork and digital photo submissions. To learn more about our publishing policy visit

Caleb Lopez Senior Editor

Danielle Thomas Graphic Design & Marketing Manager

Michael Carfagno Creative Media Manager

Petruce Jean-Charles Editor

Abigail Anne Rafael Editor

Kieffer Braisted


Staff Writer

ccording to the Food Aid Foundation, 795 people in the world do not have access to enough food to live a healthy lifestyle. In New Jersey alone, 13 percent of people are food insecure, according to End Hunger NJ.

In a local effort to offset the hunger epidemic, Kean has recently created the Cougar Pantry. This pantry will give students in need access to a collection of non-perishable foods and products for health and hygiene. The Cougar Pantry is located in Room 211 of the Human Rights Institute (HRI), a center at Kean dedicated to bringing attention to human rights issues and inspiring others to advocate for a better world. To receive food from the Cougar Pantry, appointments can be made by contacting Any requests made to the pantry will remain completely confidential from the public.

Those looking to add to the hunger-ending efforts can bring their donations of non-perishable foods, health and hygiene products to the HRI. To give students a convenient and accessible way to supplement the contributions, there are multiple boxes adorned with the Cougar Pantry name and logo located throughout the center where any donations can be dropped off.

Presentation formats this year included oral presentations, interactive exhibits, posters/diagrams, architectural models, musical compositions and more. The diversity of the findings being presented is just part of the draw-in that brings more and more attendees flocking to Research Days year after year.

■■ NJCSTM – Graduate

Staff Writer

■■ Nursing

Shannon Sheehan

■■ Physical Therapy

■■ Psychology ■■ Sociology ■■ Therapeutic Recreation In addition to the research-based presentations, another of the aforementioned formats is oral presentations, and perhaps the most important of them all being the keynote speaker.

■■ Counseling

■■ Holocaust and Genocide Studies

Paula Gaetano Adi, MFA, who is an artist and associate professor at the Rhode Island School of Design in the Division of Experimental and Foundation Studies, proudly delivered this year’s Research Days keynote address at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, April 24 in the STEM auditorium.

■■ Occupational Therapy ■■ Psy.D. – Combined School and Clinical Psychology ■■ Public Administration ■■ Social Work ■■ Special Education ■■ Speech-Language Pathology Doctorate (SLPD)

Downs Hall:

■■ Accounting and Finance ■■ Architectural Studies

Creative Media Specialist

Mary Linen Creative Media Specialist

Martin Alonso

Graduate Assistant, The Cougar's Byte

Scott K. Snowden Jr.

■■ Asian Studies

Director, Center for Leadership and Service

■■ Biology ■■ Business ■■ Chemistry ■■ Communication, Media and Journalism ■■ Community Health Education ■■ Computer Science/Information Technology ■■ Design ■■ Earth Science ■■ Economics ■■ English Studies ■■ Environmental and Sustainability Sciences ■■ General Studies ■■ Global Studies ■■ History

Gaetano Adi spoke about her works that uniquely merge art and technology through a variety of mediums, including sculpture, performance, robotic agents and interactive installations that aim to fuse media into the artistic world. Kean Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Jeffrey H. Toney said that Adi's works should help inspire all participating to explore all their interests and foster creativity in all their endeavors. “I hope that our students and faculty will learn that research can be expressed in many ways, including the arts, and that frontiers of discovery often reside at the intersection of different fields in surprising and wonderful ways,” Toney said. "I hope that it will inspire our community to think differently about what creativity means, and possibly apply some of Prof. Gaetano Adi's ideas to their own work and research.”

■■ Athletic Training

Noah Dobson

■■ NJCSTM – Undergraduate

■■ Communication Disorders and Deafness

Brandon Gervais

Creative Media Specialist

■■ Mathematical Sciences


■■ Exercise Science

Christopher Del Prete

Noted for co-authoring a number of publications with students and even running an on-campus computer science group "Code Samurai", Dr. Huang fosters a learning environment of equality and focus, even with a bit of fun added in.

The subject areas and fields covered and displayed in the findings at Research Days is nothing short of enormous. Listed below is detailed presentation information, including locations and major concentrations covered:

■■ Counseling and Supervision (Ph.D.)

Graphic Design Specialist

of Computer Science, was proudly awarded Faculty Research Mentor of the Year for 2019 for contributions to both the general computer science field and to Kean University's student body.

or gathering information on the various findings scattered throughout.

Staff Writer


Zoe Strozewski, sophomore communication journalism major, is a member of The Cougar's Byte staff.

(continued from page 1)

Victoria Gasper

Staff Writer

For more information on the Cougar Pantry, please contact Lauretta Farrell, the director of the Human Rights Institute, at Additionally, more information on the Human Rights Institute can be found on Cougar Link.


■■ Computer Information Systems (M.S.)

Zoe Strozewski

In conjunction with the Cougar Pantry, Kean is also starting a new Food Recovery Program, which will distribute any food leftover from campus events to students. To become part of this program, interested students should text "@ keanfood" to the number 81010. Those who do so will subsequently receive a reply with instructions to complete enrollment.

There are also drop-in hours once a week when students will be able to visit the Cougar Pantry without an appointment. These hour take place every Thursday from 3 to 6 p.m.

Staff Writer

Staff Writer

Zoe Strozewski | The Cougar's Byte

The Cougar Pantry, located in the Human Rights Institute, collects donations of food and hygiene and health products for students in need.

Beside the keynote address, there were presentations throughout the two days, regarding a plethora of topics featuring both students and faculty. A detailed and full list of faculty presentations and student presentations can be found by clicking their respective links. Perhaps the most exciting part of the two day event's presentation schedule was the awards ceremony. Each year, Research Days recognizes significant research achievements through the Faculty Research Mentor of the Year and Undergraduate Student Researcher of the Year awards. Additionally, there is also a contest for the cover design, which is chosen annually and changes each year. Dr. Ching-Yu Huang, assistant professor in Kean's School


As for the Undergraduate Student Researcher of the Year, Kean University senior and computer science major Isabel Morais was delighted to garner such an achievement. Isabel Morais has participated in numerous research projects with faculty and other students throughout her time as a Kean student. After attending the 2018 Research Days presentation by Dr. Marvin Andujar, Isabel was both intrigued and inspired by the brain-computer interface that Dr. Andujar had used as a student himself at Kean, and thus based a year-long research project around it. Despite receiving several scholarship offers to continue her education, Morais looks forward to beginning a career at Ford Motor Company. The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs in collaboration with the Robert Busch School of Design hosts an annual program cover design contest for Research Days and encourages all interested to participate. This year's winner was Kean University senior and interactive design major Alexus Haynes-Albert. "I wanted to basically show the brains behind the operation, showing all the major areas and schools involved," Haynes-Albert said when asked about the cover's inspiration. "I'm so shocked and happy. I didn't think I'd win!" It's this valuable combination of recognition, information and analysis in a professional forum through the various presentation mediums that draws more and more each year to Research Days. In this year's Research Days, nearly 1,100 students were able to display their tireless efforts and findings to thousands more over just a 48-hour period. This quick and continuous rush is designed to prepare all those participating for the fast-paced professional world that looms just over the college horizon. Quite literally, thousands of students, faculty and behindthe-scene individuals helped for the past year to make this year's event possible. Kean University looks forward to the 12th annual Research Days in 2020, aiming to top this year's recordbreaking showing by continuing to garner creativity and research in a professional and interactive environment for all to see.

Kieffer Braisted, junior communication major, is a member of The Cougar's Byte staff.

Tuesday | aPRIL 30 | 2019

School For The Summer

Taking Summer Sessions Accelerates Graduation Shannon Sheehan


Staff Writer

or those unaware, in addition to the Fall and Spring semesters Kean University also offers two Summer Sessions. This allows and encourages students to take more credits and ultimately complete their degree in a more efficient manner. The first Summer Session is quickly approaching, therefore this will include all of the information that students should be aware of regarding the Summer Sessions. For the Summer Sessions, students are able to enroll in no more than six credits per session, ultimately being able to take 12 credits if one enrolls in both sessions. This is the equivalence of the number of credits one can take in the Fall or Spring semesters, meaning that it can really positively impact one's credits and further excel them to completing their degree even sooner. For science courses with a lab, students can be considered for special consideration for seven to eight credits if one contacts the Office of the Registrar. Carolina Guerra, a representative from the One Stop Service Center, said, "A student can benefit from summer classes by completing a certain amount of credits in a short amount of time. This is especially beneficial for students who want to walk in May and need to complete a few more credits to graduate." There are varying week lengths for the different courses that are offered. The dates of the Summer Sessions 2019 are as follows: ■■ Summer Session I Four-Week In-Person: May 28 - June 20 ■■ Summer Session I Five-Week In-Person Courses: May 28 - June 27 ■■ Summer Session I Six-Week In-Person: May 28 July 3 ■■ Summer Session I Eight-Week Online: May 28 July 18 ■■ Summer Session II Four-Week In-Person: July 8 - Aug. 1 ■■ Summer Session II Five-Week In-Person: July 8 Aug. 8 ■■ Summer Session II Six-Week In-Person: July 8 Aug. 15 ■■ Summer Session II Eight Week Online: July 8 Aug. 29 Summer courses are usually offered Monday through Friday; however, there are some exceptions for Saturdays. Additionally, depending on the course, some of the summer courses are split into the two Summer Sessions. This means that students will take the first part in Summer I and complete the course in Summer II. Kean University also welcomes students from other institutions to register for the Summer Sessions. One must be in good academic standing and is also required to either submit official transcripts, an official enrollment verification from their current school on letterhead or provide one's diplomas. Prospective students must submit these documents to the Office of the Registrar in order for them to review one's information. Students can see when they are eligible to register for the Summer Sessions by referring to the Registration Information page, as it depends on one's credits that they have already completed. For information regarding the cost to attend the Summer Sessions, visit the Tuition and Fees Chart. The price varies based on the amount of credits one is intending to take. If one has questions regarding Financial Aid for the Summer Sessions, please contact the Office of Financial Aid at (908) 737-3190 or For general questions regarding the Summer Sessions, make sure to contact the Office of the Registrar at (908) 73-REGME (737-3463) or

Shannon Sheehan, sophomore communication journalism major, is a member of The Cougar’s Byte staff.

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Ready For The Real World

Seniors testify about how Kean has prepared them for success after graduation Victoria Gasper


helped me create a business card and website, all things I'm doing currently in my senior seminar class," Beltran said. "On top of that one of my professors helped me get in contact with a stage manager on Broadway and because of that I will be shadowing that stage manager for their 8 p.m. show May 8! The theatre department, I feel, does as muchas they can to get their students ready for graduation."

Staff Writer

ith graduation coming up faster than anyone can stop it, it's important for seniors to start thinking about what their futures hold. Some might be going to graduate school, beginning work in their respective fields or doing whatever they can to pay off student loans. Regardless of their position, an undergraduate degree provides opportunities that are limitless, as Kean provides its students with various platforms to launch off.

Communications media and film major Alexandra Loaiza, who is also pursuing a minor in marketing, would not have had the chance to flourish in her pursuit of knowledge and personal growth had it not been for her professors.

So, the question is, what comes next? Gianna Landy, a soon-to-be communications graduate with a concentration in public relations, regards Kean as being a school that makes the transition into the real world easier. "Kean has prepared me in a lot of ways for postgraduation. Mainly, my adviser, Professor Sullivan, sends out internship opportunities whether they fall under your major or not so that students will be able to expand their horizons. Also, I really like that the university treats you as an adult. Even though we're not really in the real world yet, we already have our foot in the door because there's no one here to tell you when your deadlines are. It's a kind of freedom that teaches you and empowers you," Landy said. Global fitness and wellness major Brandon Graham, who is also minoring in athletic coaching and health, is so grateful that he spent his college experience at Kean creating many important bonds with peers, professors and advisers alike. "Kean prepared me for life after graduation by providing a balance of everything. I made friends that I know I will be in contact with forever, and my adviser turned out to be my best friend since I did not only come to them during advisement time. Kean provided a humble environment that made me feel welcomed and I can 100 percent say I’m glad I decided to enroll in this university," Graham said. Nicole Diefenbacher, a journalism major, credits Dr. Fitch's class with helping her learn the basics of professional relationships, such as always shaking someone's hand and making eye contact. She also credits joining a sorority as being one of the most influential parts of her college career. "When I joined Nu Theta Chi, there were 40 active sisters," Diefenbacher said. "My sorority taught me personally how to react and mix well with different

Julia Giambrone, a psychology major with a minor in American Sign Language, presented her research during Research Days with the support of Kean University's faculty and staff. types of people, even if you're completely different."

"Kean University’s professors are what really made my college experience. I had the help of some of my professors with professional advice and information that I need to build after college. I will be having an internship this summer and hopefully it will turn into a permanent job position," Loaiza said.

Jess Stinson, a psychology major, is grateful for the psychology department and the opportunities it has provided to explore her future field.

Another communication media and film major Kyle Green was able to network with higher ups at Kean beginning his freshman year.

"Kean has helped prepare me by offering the course field experience that allowed me to get hands-on experience in the world of psychology, which helped me decide what I want to have as my career," Stinson said.

"While at Kean I worked in the Office of Admissions for four years. This gave me a tremendous amount of office experience and communication opportunities. Through this I was able to make connections with many faculty and higher ups that have and still are helping me with my future plans after Kean," Green said.

Julia Giambrone, also a psychology major with a minor in American Sign Language, is thankful to have found affordable education that could guide her in the right direction. Like Landy, Stinson credits her adviser Dr. Conti with giving her a solid platform to launch from. "My adviser was a huge help in the preparation for applying to doctorate programs and the Career Center guided me in many ways for interviews, writing a professional resume and curriculum vitae, or CV," Giambrone said. Janis Beltran, a design and technology theatre major with a concentration in stage management, said that she would not be nearly as prepared as she is for her future without the theatre department. Also, because of Kean, she will be working right after graduation in the Disney College Program as a merchandise cast member, crediting the theatre department with helping her prepare for her interview. "The theatre department has helped me with graduation by getting my portfolio together and

Delano Smalls is a biology major with a specialty in health professions who definitely feels prepared for life after graduation. "I believe Kean has prepared individuals like myself for life after graduation through the services they offer. The career services page helped me secure a fulltime position that I will begin as soon as the semester ends. The faculty in my department also made it a priority to make us aware of the different things we might see in our careers. Advisers like Dr. Reilly even take the time to do practice interviews with her students," Smalls said. It's clear to see that there is success awaiting these seniors and their peers after they receive their diplomas at the undergraduate commencement Thursday, May 23. Victoria Gasper, sophomore psychology major, is a member of The Cougar’s Byte staff.

A Talking Matter

Kean's Public Speaking Lab prepares students for presentations, interviews and more Victoria Gasper


Staff Writer

he Public Speaking Lab, previously known as the Speech Lab, is located across from the Center for Academic Success (CAS) in the Nancy Thompson Library, Room 109. Workers in this department can range from professors to graduates, with part-time job opportunities for students starting at $10 per hour. There are currently two student workers in the lab that handle coaching, scheduling and other minimal tasks. With flexible hours varying day-by-day, but usually ranging from 8 a.m. to around 9 p.m., a part-time worker is always available to help students with whatever they need. Students typically come in for help with class presentations, but the public speaking lab also offers services to assist in using tools like PowerPoint while presenting and preparing for job interviews. Michael Canova, an academic specialist, graduated from Kean two years ago and has been working in the public speaking lab part-time since November 2018. He focuses more on promotional aspects of the lab by visiting classrooms and developing workshops, as well as making sure someone is scheduled in the lab at all times. "The most rewarding thing about working here is when a student comes back to let us know that they aced their presentation or speech," Canova says. Eric Shandroff, a communications major, has used the public speaking lab on many occasions and has attributed it to his personal success inside and outside of the classroom. "The Public Speaking Lab was very helpful to me when I was working on my business plan competition presentation. They gave great feedback on my presentation skills and helped me finish in fourth place out of 95 students [who] entered the contest. I

was [also] the only communication major to place as a finalist, and [they] helped me win $900," Shandroff said. Shandroff was one of those students who came back to tell staff such as Canova about how the lab helped him defy the odds and come in fourth place with a monetary reward. "I am so grateful for the phenomenal academic specialist Michael Canova!" said Valerie Allen, a dual major undergraduate. "He has given me the most helpful tips, tools and rebooted confidence I needed to present and speak in front of the Greek Senate Committee, FTK Color Run and Greek Rally all in Jaionna Shaw | The Cougar's Byte raising funds for the Children's The Nancy Thompson Library houses the Public Speaking Lab, Specialized Hospital, as well Tutoring and Support Services, the Writing Center and more. as standing before my class to present my portion of our Worlds of History Group Presentation with high points and remarks earned and received." For students like Shandroff and Allen who are interested in utilizing the Public Speaking Lab, email There are three main types of sessions in the lab: the at or reach out to Graduate Assistant Tala Shatila at To get a ■■ Working on an outline of the speech to collect all job with the Public Speaking Lab, students can go to of the information the front desk and set up an interview or fill out an application on Cougar Link once it becomes available. ■■ Turning the outline into a presentation and narrowing down the information into a smaller version of the outline ■■ Balancing using PowerPoint or Google Slides while presenting their speech Aside from these skills, students of all class levels have also come into the lab to conduct mock-interviews or meetings with staff members to learn the proper things to say to sound more professional in a workplace environment and to present themselves in a more sophisticated way to future employers.

A Leadership and Service Publication for the Kean University Student Community

Victoria Gasper, sophomore psychology major, is a member of The Cougar’s Byte staff.


TUESDAY | APRIL 30 | 2019

TUESDAY | APRIL 30 | 2019



(continued from page 1) suits in the next Minute to Win It game. The game consisted of five teams of five battling each other to see who could make the best superhero outfit out of rolls of toilet paper. The crowd was overflowing with eagerness for each contestant to make the best super suit. Throughout the event, guests purchased raffle tickets to try their chance at winning amazing prizes. Some of the raffle prizes included: a spa basket, study basket, girl scout cookies, game night, Greek Senate windbreaker, Children's Specialized Hospital windbreaker, New Jersey Devils swag windbreaker, painting bin, baking basket and other interesting options. Aside from the Minute to Win It games, activities like a superhero mask making station, large Connect Four, large chess, corn hole, Jenga, Twister, a photo station and henna were provided. The henna station was adorned with interesting choices for guests eager to get the temporary tattoo while the mask stations were a fun way for guests to create a memory with KDM 2019. ContinuingwiththeMinutetoWinItgames,applestackingwaschallengingyet amusing, giving the participants and audience a chance to cheer for each other. For all the active individuals at KDM, they had a chance to get fit with The Max Challenge gym in a workout challenge that tested the participants' athletic abilities. Bringing a childhood favorite back to life, musical chairs was available for people to participate in for a competitive but humorous activity while popular songs played in the background. Not only were students able to listen to good music provided by DJ Ni, but they were also able to participate in Greek sing. Greek sing allowed Greek organizations like Delta Phi Epsilon, Sigma Beta Tau, Omega Sigma Psi, Sigma Theta Chi, Theta Phi Alpha, Nu Sigma Phi, Nu Theta Chi and Nu Delta Pi to showcase their talents for a good cause. Delta Phi Epsilon sang "Cups (Pitch Perfect's 'When I'm Gone')" with a riff off skit from Pitch Perfect, Sigma Beta Tau rapped and did a rendition of "YMCA" and "Old Town Road", Omega Sigma Psi danced, Sigma Theta Chi performed renditions of "Stacy's Mom" and other songs, Theta Phi Alpha performed a dance routine and sang, Nu Sigma Phi sang and Nu Theta Chi danced. After five judges consulted among each other, Buchanan announced the winners. For sororities, the winners are as follows: ■

First place: Omega Sigma Psi

■ Second place: Theta Phi Alpha ■ Third place: Nu Theta Chi ■ Fourth place: Delta Phi Epsilon For fraternities the winners are as follows: ■ First place: Nu Sigma Phi ■ Second place: Sigma Theta Chi ■ Third place: Nu Delta Pi ■ Fourth place: Sigma Beta Tau Four hours in, guests were able to sing and display their vocal abilities as well. Nadya Diaz, a junior studying therapeutic recreation, was one of the guests who graced the stage, performing "Hero" by Mariah Carey. Testing the knowledge of the guests, another Minute to Win It game was introduced. Superhero Jeopardy was displayed on the screens for people to shout out the answers as well as answer via phone. Shortly afterwards, one of Kean's Zumba instructors introduced people to dance fitness. KDMwasnotjustforGreeklifebutotherdepartmentsandclubswhomadetheirpresenceknown likethePoetryClub,KeanGospelChoir,KeanDanceTheatre,AfroLatinxClubandmanymore. Beside the tables full of activities and prizes, posters and papers were printed to show the various children that would be aided because of this event. Some of the children included were Izzy, Vinny, Angie, Bryce and Abby, who had the pleasure to attend KDM along with her mother. "Abby was just like any other child that loves swimming. Then she was paralyzed, and we were crushed. When we got to the Children's Specialized Hospital, she started [off ] slowly, but when we left the hospital she could walk and we owe it all to the hospital, therapists and the help we received," said Abby's mother as the crowd applauded. To finish off the event, Louis called for the remaining guests to gather around the stage for the results while the people on stage were turned around, building suspense for the number. Everyone sang along to "Fight Song" by Rachel Platten and waved their hands in celebration of a tremendous event. Once the song was done, the papers were turned around, the numbers were shuffled and each paper fell to the ground, revealing the total amount raised. Greek Senate raised $54,175.51, beating last year's total of $53,875.52! Since the first KDM in 2014, Greek Senate has raised over $230,000 for the Children's Specialized Hospital, providing ample opportunities and enhanced care for the children there. "It was for the kids—not for me or any of us," Louis said. "You are the voices for the kids at the hospital because of your hard work and dedication. We know it's not easy, but you made it worthwhile. Thank you!" Petruce Jean-Charles, senior communication journalism major, is a member of The Cougar's Byte staff.


A Leadership and Service Publication for the Kean University Student Community

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Tuesday | aPRIL 30 | 2019

Competing on the Big Stage

The Kean Gospel Choir has once again been invited to compete at the McDonald's Gospelfest Shannon Sheehan


Staff Writer

It's Never Too Early!

Jason Pleitez uses his freshman year to be super involved in all things Kean

he Kean Gospel Choir is looking forward to their next big competition, the McDonald's Gospelfest. This will be the fourth year that the choir performs at this large fest which includes choirs from all over New York and New Jersey. The Gospelfest is taking place at the Prudential Center, a very large venue which is located in Newark, New Jersey. The fest is transpiring on Saturday, May 11 where doors open at 4 p.m., with the competition starting at 5 p.m. This year for the 37th annual Gospelfest, the theme is honoring Aretha Franklin, her work and her life as a whole as she continues to be an inspiration to many. The fest is produced and directed by A. Curtis Farrow and will feature talents such as Yolanda Adams, Hezekiah Walker, Fred Hammond, Shirley Caesar and Tamara Braxton. These performers will take the stage after the competition at 7 p.m.

Photo Courtesy of Kean Gospel Choir

The fest begins with a competition where soloists, choirs, praise dancers, singing groups, gospel poets, gospel comedians and gospel rappers will take the stage to present their talents to the crowd. People and groups that are seen as rising stars are asked to compete at the fest, meaning the audience can assure that there is a good show in store. The Kean Gospel Choir will be competing in the choir category, and has placed in the competition for the past three years consecutively.

The Kean Gospel Choir is set to compete at the upcoming McDonald's Gospelfest.

Additionally, one of the members Jorge Rivera will be competing in the soloist category.

The Kean Gospel Choir is a very prominent organization on Kean's campus as they perform often and are known for their high-quality performances. This semester, they have been teaming up with a Rutgers program title "A.Life," which gives students the opportunity to attend a night of worship and discussion.

Shakira Jackson, the Public Relations representative said, "He’s super talented and the choir is excited and knows he’ll do amazing!" Currently, the Gospel choir is diligently practicing and preparing for the competition. Jackson said, "It’s super exciting to come back for another year. We’ve had an amazing experience the past few times we’ve went, and we’re thrilled to get to see and listen to guest artists and support others participating, even in the other categories." The mission of Gospelfest is to spread love, peace and joy through

If one wants to see the talent of the Kean Gospel Choir, they will be having their annual Spring Concert this upcoming May 4 at 6 p.m. It will be held at Trinity Pentecostal Church of God in Patterson, NJ and all are welcome to attend. The overall mission of Kean Gospel Choir is to give students a place to practice their faith through music. Although they are a choir, they welcome any students that have a passion for ministry or gospel music no matter their musical ability. The choir holds rehearsals on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 to 10 p.m. in Hutchinson, Room J100 and Wilkins, Room 141, respectively. If one is interested in the Kean Gospel Choir or wants to reach out to them, be sure to contact

Shannon Sheehan, sophomore communication journalism major, is a member of The Cougar’s Byte staff.

The National Council of Negro Women seeks to elevate the lives of African American women and their communities Writer

he National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) is a non-profit organization that has been working to elevate the opportunities and quality of life for African American women since its inception in 1935 by Mary McLeod Bethune. Kean has owned its own NCNW chapter since it was chartered in the spring 2018 semester.

In accordance with their mission to elevate women of color, the NCNW tends to focus on promoting knowledge and ways of thinking that can directly benefit them in crucial facets of their lives. They also aim to give back to the communities they live in. “We focus on health, financial literacy and empowerment because, as women, sometimes we don’t uplift one another. We don’t praise one another. We’re so quick to bring one another down,” Govan-Smith said. “We’re a community service organization, so we try to do as much community service as possible.” The NCNW attempts to meet at least once or twice a month. At these meetings, they provide recaps of occurrences in their lives, discuss areas of improvement and state personal affirmations to reinforce their self-worth. They also discuss programs and close each meeting with a prayer. While the group has no further events before the end of this semester, they’ve been extremely active in planning events that would benefit not just their group but also the campus as a whole. They hosted an “NCNW Week” previously, which included a self-care program and a sexual assault and violence event in which a women told her story of taking back her power after being subjected to trauma at a young age. They also organized a financial literacy program with a



ason Pleitez knows the importance of getting involved early. In his first year at Kean, Pleitez has already accumulated over 140 service hours and been involved in numerous clubs and activities and exhibited qualities of a leader. Pleitez currently holds two executive board positions: vice president for Student Organization's Class of 2022 and treasurer for EEO Society. Student Organization is made up of full-time undergraduate students who serve as the voice for the rest of the Kean student body. As vice president, Pleitez works alongside the rest of his executive board to represent Kean's Class of 2022 and address concerns. "Serving as the Freshman Class Vice-President has impacted my time at Kean enormously. When I first ran for office, I knew some people, but, as I started campaigning, I got to meet a great number of amazing students," said Pleitez. "I've made so many great friendships and connections that have impacted me as a person. I had to break out of my shell and become more comfortable, and this position has helped me with that." Pleitez has been re-elected for office for next year and will continue to serve as vice president for the Class of 2022 his sophomore year.

Pleitez is also a general body member of the Rotaract Action Club and is a Bronze Leader for the Leadership Institute. Pleitez balances his extracurricular activities with his job as a desk service representative for Residential Student Services (RSS). He looks forward to working as a residential assistant for next year.

Sade Govan-Smith, a senior majoring in communication studies, is currently the group’s president and was one of the founding members of Kean’s chapter. Initially elected as the group’s first vice president, she was inspired to become part of the NCNW due to its passion for the advancement of African American women.

Apart from Govan-Smith, the executive board is as multi-faceted and rich as the national organization’s history. It consists of First Vice President Tierra Hooker, Second Vice President Dazhane Gordon, Third Vice President Erica Allen, Corresponding Secretary Biasia Young, Treasurer Janayla Brown, Chaplain Jenell Boykins, Historian Chelsea Leon, Parliamentarian Amber Burnett and Recording Secretary Glenn De Gonzague.

Abigail Anne Rafael

EEO Society's mission is to build up scholars and the Kean community. Along with his role as treasurer, Pleitez organizes community service projects.

Zoe Strozewski

“This organization is just so rich and I guess I fell in love with the mission, which is to lead, advocate and develop. They stand firm and strong in trying to uplift African American women and trying to uplift the community and bringing awareness to things that we don’t talk about outside of our culture,” Govan-Smith said.

Jason Pleitez was uber involved in his freshman year!

the means of music. Attendees can expect to feel uplifted from the gospel music that provides inspiration and light to many of the listeners.

Lead, Advocate and Develop


Zoe Stroewski | Cougar's Byte

Despite his many extracurricular activities, Pleitez still makes time to volunteer frequently with Kean. With over 140 service hours completed, Pleitez exhibits his love for the community and time management skills.

Photo courtesy of the National Council of Negro Women

The National Council of Negro Women was chartered at Kean in spring 2018. guest who spoke on ways to offset the common mistakes college students make. “As college students and as African Americans, we don’t really care about our money. We splurge. We don’t think about the longevity of things. She taught us how to build our credit and maintain our credit, to learn how to save, credit cards, debit cards and so forth,” said Govan-Smith. While Govan-Smith is finishing up her final semester at Kean and, consequently, her final semester as the NCNW’s president, she’s leaving the group in good hands with the remaining members who’ve already began brainstorming events that will allow members and non-members alike to flourish. “Fortunately, I’m graduating, but of course I’ll be here to support. I know the ladies who are still going to be here on campus have a ton of programs that the Kean community can benefit from—not just African Americans, but the community in general,” said Govan-Smith.

He enjoys service projects that allow him to interact with those impacted by his service. He particularly enjoys Habitat for Humanity and Atria Living Senior Home. "Many times for Habitat for Humanity we actually get to meet the family that will be receiving the house. They tell us their stories and we connect on another level, and it makes you feel good about yourself because you know you're helping that family. For service projects such as Atria Living Senior Home, we connect with them and they share their lives with us, and they always seem to give us the best advice," said Pleitez. Pleitez balances his academics with his many activities and is currently a business management major with a minor in marketing. He hopes to one day be a marketing manager for large companies such as Johnson & Johnson or Amazon. With all his involvement, Pleitez shares advice to other students looking to do the same.

To learn more about the National Council of Negro Women, please visit the group’s page on Cougar Link. Additionally, further information can be sought by contacting the group at (202) 737-0120 and, respectively.

"The best advice I can give to someone is to never let anyone determine or limit their happiness. You determine your future and life. Do not let yourself or others bring you down. You have to take risks in life," said Pleitez. "As Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, 'The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.'"

Zoe Strozewski, sophomore communication journalism major, is a member of The Cougar's Byte staff.

Abigail Anne Rafael, a sophomore communication public relations major, is a member of The Cougar's Byte staff.


Tuesday | aPRIL 30 | 2019

Page 7

A Celebration of Leadership

This year's annual Leadership Dinner honored the achievements of student leaders Victoria Gasper


Staff Writer

he 2019 Leadership Institute Dinner was held at Galloping Hill Hall April 23 from 6 to 10 p.m. This event celebrated a year of hard work performed by members of the various leadership groups which include Transition to Kean (T2K) Bronze Leadership, Silver Leadership, Gold Leadership and Platinum Leadership, as well as the L.E.A.D. Program, which stands for Leadership, Education and Development. This event also recognized those graduating this year and those with GPAs over 3.45 with distinguished awards and various accolades. The night began with a welcome from Sandra Espinal, the coordinator of Student Leadership Programs. Espinal introduced members of the Leadership Institute staff, beginning with Graduate Assistant Beyanka Wheatley, who is also the Platinum Leadership and Co-L.E.A.D. Program coordinator. Next was Gold Leadership, Leader 2 Leader and Co-L.E.A.D. Program coordinator as well as graduating scholar for this year, Tibian Hassan. Then, T2K Bronze Leadership Program coordinators, Tiffany Anele and Breanna Hernandez, were introduced. Finally, Silver Leadership Program coordinators Catarina Cordeiro and Anthony Sanchez, who is also a Leader 2 Leader mentor. Espinal also acknowledged some of the guests in the room, including Alex Louis, keynote speaker Patricia C. Bridges and Scott Snowden, director of the Center for Leadership and Service. Espinal thanked Snowden profusely for all he does for the Leadership Program, crediting him with approving all of the events that the Leadership Programs participate in and host. "It's so easy to say yes because it's always for you," Snowden said to the students, "It's always for the bigger picture and the greater benefit, and it's never an unreasonable request." Snowden told a story of how the Leadership Institute began ten years ago with a small group called Hunger for Art, which planned to raise $200 by selling the students' art but ended up raising over $1,100. He also remarked that this is the largest year for the program so far with over 134 students completing the program, reminiscing on how the very first Bronze celebration was in the Greek Lounge and how now the amount of students barely fit into a main hall of Galloping Hill. "True leaders know that you don't stop being a leader. You must empower others to be great leaders, too," Snowden said. "You have to make sure that there is a lifeline of leaders after you leave. Nothing will destroy an organization more than a leader who does not empower others." After Snowden spoke, Bridges took the stage to give her keynote speech. Bridges, a school counselor at Union High School, has very personal ties to Kean University. She began here as a freshman in 1981 and ended up transferring to the School of the Arts in North Carolina. However, she came back four years after leaving to work in Kean's Admission's Office. In her keynote speech, she urged students to be the person for the younger generation who reaches back for them and pulls them forward to make them leaders as well. "All my life, I wanted to be in the back," Bridges said. "I wanted people to see me and acknowledge me, but at the same time teachers and leaders would always pull me to the front. They would always see something and pull me out from among the crowd to give me the start I needed to have in leadership."

"Being a great leader is all about having a genuine willingness and a true commitment to leading others to achieve a common vision and goals that they have through positive influence," Bridges said, quoting John C. Maxwell. Bridges called upon students to work against those who have a negative influence on all that people say and do in service and volunteerism for others to bring more positivity to the world. "Leaders are not born," Bridges said. "Leaders are made, but it needs to be a seed in us that someone else plants." Agreeing with what Snowden said, Bridges charged students to "sew into others' lives." "Go spend time and impart to them what you have learned over the years," said Bridges. Bridges calls students to be unafraid of chasing after tasks, to be transparent about who one truly is and to fail and to do what others have failed at. She mentioned the students at Union High School in the leadership department there and how they often look to her for guidance, but also how they are beginning to look to each other to gain expertise and to be enriched. "Passion is what you need," Bridge said. "Passion to do, passion to go, passion to follow even as you are leading. Following is part of leadership, and we need you to continue to be selfish in a selfless world, to see people and be radical in your compassion for them. We especially need you to continue to reach back and find someone that you can pull up and believe in the same way someone once believed in you."

Martin Alonso | The Cougar's Byte

The 2019 Leadership Institute Dinner celebrated a year of hard work recognized those graduating this year with distinguished awards and various accolades. After a short dinner break, the awards ceremony commenced with the recognition of scholars, those with a GPA between 3.45 and 3.84 or 3.85 and 4.0, presented by Snowden. Espinal then presented a few gifts to students who will be graduating this year with either a medal, a cord, and/or a stole for their academic and leadership success. Next was the Star Awards recognizing one member of each leadership level for their spirits of excellence, including Bronze Leadership award winner Jenia Vega, Silver Leadership award winner Desiree Lucas, Gold Leadership award winner Larry Bonaparte, Platinum Leadership award winner Lucero Lopez and Leader 2 Leader Mentor award winner Angelica Prysak. After this, Espinal came up to acknowledge two Platinum Leadership student scholars who have been with the program for all four years of their college career and will be graduating this year, Leader 2 Leader Mentor Dawn Demarco and Hassan. Later, one representative from each Leadership Program came up to the podium to present what each group had been working on for the past year, such as Silver Leadership's Fashion Show which raised $1,830.70 for the Children's Specialized Hospital, Gold Leadership's work with Ricky's Compass which raised over $1,282 for those struggling with severe mental illnesses and Platinum Leadership's Youth Leadership Conference with. Bridges and the Leadership students at Union High School. Colette Lausier, a representative from L.E.A.D., then came up to talk about the community service work that the group had done, which included raising $186 for the American Humane Society of Newark, raising $150 for the Somerset Regional Animal Shelter and volunteering at Christine's Kitchen in Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, all of which where done to enrich the five realms of the students' emotional intelligence. After the presentation of more certificates and photos, Espinal closed the event by thanking everyone for coming to celebrate the Leadership family that has been made over the past year. "Leadership to me really has been a family and a bond that's unbreakable where you can be sure that everyone will be there for each other regardless of where life takes us or what our circumstances become," said Evrim Akman, Platinum Program member, scholar, Leader 2 Leader Mentor and soon-to-be graduate majoring in K-8 Math and Special Education. Victoria Gasper, sophomore psychology major, is a member of The Cougar’s Byte staff.

A Leadership and Service Publication for the Kean University Student Community

Page 8

Tuesday | aPRIL 30 | 2019

The Future Starts Here

2019 Internship Fair brought students and employers together in Downs Hall Victoria Gasper


Staff Writer

he Internship and Job Fair was held in Downs Hall Wednesday, April 10 from noon to 4 p.m., featuring businesses and organizations perfect for those with an interest in social work, accounting, health care and more. The event was hosted by Kean University's Career Services, a program available to students and alumni as well as employers looking to recruit students at Kean. Through this department, students and alumni can search for jobs and internships posted by approved employers. The types of tables featured at the event were for businesses such as insurance companies, day care centers, sects of the U.S. government, teaching positions for tutors and those focusing in special education, nursing and health care facilities, summer camps and many more. "I've watched people invest significant amounts of their own money to start a business. Paul Revere provided training, development opportunities, marketing materials and more to help me get started," said Helen DizHatton, district sales manager at The Paul Revere Life Insurance Company Colonial Life on Morris Avenue. Diz-Hatton found a flexible, rewarding career as a bilingual professional with the company. They offer internships to students of all levels, working to empower independent sales managers and representatives to build their own businesses one day. To contact her for a job or internship opportunity, send her an email at helen., or call the office at (732) 994-6895. MassMutual is a company located in Warren, New Jersey that is currently looking for financial advisers. The company has intern programs and graduate career options available. They are looking for sharp, dedicated and socially conscious workers who want to make a difference and help others with financial issues and those seeking to find stability. If interested, contact David Blaha at (908) 252-2395 or visit their website. Plymouth Rock Assurance, founded in 1982 in Boston, Massachusetts, is a company with a location in Woodbridge, New Jersey that is currently looking for graduate students interested in becoming claims trainees, inside sales representatives and customer care representatives. A claims trainee must have at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited fouryear college or university, which is perfect for students graduating in the spring. Inside sales representatives and customer care representatives must have a four-year degree as well, but must also obtain an New Jersey Property and Casualty Insurance provider license, with training covered by Plymouth Rock. Students should contact Human Resources Recruiter Meagan Donovan at (732) 978-6191 or email her at mdonovan@ SHI International Corporation is looking for students interested in building rewarding careers in sales, services, marketing, human resources, software licensing, hardware, accounting, warehouse, configuration, IT and operations. Founded in 1989, SHI is based in Somerset, New Jersey, with over 4,000 employees and 35 locations. Feel free to contact Brianna Jack, talent acquisition specialist and human resources manager, at (732) 584-8362 or email her at Students can also visit the company's website to start their career with SHI. To start a career in the judiciary system, students should look into New Jersey Judiciary, the Administrative Office of the Courts. Currently, New Jersey court systems are looking for interpreters and translators with an acute need for those who speak Arabic, Bengali, Cantonese, Gujarati,

Haitian Creole, Korean, Mandarin, Turkish and Vietnamese. They offer two types of positions: full-time staff interpreters who are employees of the court and contract freelance interpreters who are independent contractors. Working as a full-time interpreter can have many benefits, such as being able to have a flexible schedule and making between $192 and $331 per day. If qualified and interested, students can visit their website, go to the "Quick Site Index" at the bottom of the page and click on either "Interpreting Services" or "Language Services." Moreover, there are many opportunities available for those looking to work with adults and children with special needs. Places such as the Lakeview School in Edison, New Jersey, is a school of choice for children ages three to 21 with multiple developmental disabilities. They are currently looking for teachers and aides, but they also have positions for people with clinical and technological backgrounds. For more information, please contact Principal Lynn Sikorski at, or call her at (732) 549-5580, extension 126. Friends of Cyrus is looking for part-time Various organizations and companies workers for their in-home services branch, presented internship opportunites for as well as workers in their corporate office in students. Piscataway, N.J. The in-home service position includes 12 hours per week with wages up to $24 per hour. If interested, please call them at (732) 759-7922, or send a resume to reception desk work. If interested in joining A Friendly Face Autism Treatment Services is inviting college students their team, students majoring in psychology, applied behavioral analysis (ABA), special can send a copy of their resume to or call education or related fields, college graduates and other individuals (732) 525-2900 for more information. interested in working with the special needs population. Their clinical staff, comprised of Registered Behavioral Therapists and Board Certified For students looking for a fun internship or job over the summer, Behavior Analysts, travel across the five boroughs to the homes consider becoming a member of the summer camp staff at Oak Crest Day and schools of children on the Autism Spectrum to use ABA. They have Camp. This camp, voted best in Morris County for the past five years, is specially designed Autism Treatment Centers in Staten Island, Bayonne, currently hiring counselors, athletic specialists, ropes specialists, creative and Brooklyn which hold Social Skills Groups, Individual ABA sessions, specialists and lifeguards for their 2019 season. This year's camp dates are Family Training, Sibling Support Groups and ASD Teen Groups. At these from June 27 to August 23 from Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. If centers, they also offer music therapy, arts therapy, arts therapy and yoga. students are interested in improving their oral communication, critical To begin a career with A Friendly Face, contact Marketing Director Janna thinking and problem solving, interpersonal, leadership, collaborative or Feiguinova at, or by phone at (917) 770-7293. creativity skills, contact Assistant Director Scott Rothchild at (732) 2972000 or email him at Health Care specialists such as BrightStar Care, JDT Rehabilitation, Jewish Family Services of Central New Jersey and more were also at If students are not interested in any of these, Kean's Employment & the Internship Fair. Fitness and Wellness Professional Services, located Internship Portal is available to help with searching for jobs, and one can in ten locations across central New Jersey, works in conjunction with contact the Kean University Career Services Team at or places such as Robert Wood Johnson to build healthy atmospheres for (908) 737-0320 if they have any questions. professionals and members alike. At every location, they have positions including general manager, sales manager, management trainee and sales Victoria Gasper, sophomore psychology major, is a member of The counselor, personal trainers, group fitness and aquatics instructors, with Cougar’s Byte staff. other positions available in nursing, customer service, childcare and

LGBTQ+Kean= A PRISM Effect

One of Kean's newest clubs hopes to create a safe space for the LGBTQ+ population on campus Brandon Gervais


Staff Writer

n being a hub for cultural and individual diversity, Kean University has a wide range of cultural organizations, including one of the newest organizations, PRISM. PRISM is a group for members and allies of the LGBTQ+ community to come together and feel they have a safe space and are represented on campus. Kean University PRISM was recently established this semester by its executive board that includes junior sociology major with a minor in women and gender studies, Patrick McEachern, who decided to create the organization in hopes to see the representation of his

community he felt Kean was missing. "Being queer and LGBTQ+ as well as a transfer coming to Kean, I didn't see the community and representation that I wanted. So I wanted to be able to bring that sense of community and representation and create a group where people can feel like they are represented on campus," said McEachern. The goals of PRISM range from short term to long term. In the short term, they hope to inform the Kean community about who they are and what they stand for. They are passionate in their efforts to be a haven for the Kean queer population. In the long term, their ultimate goal is to establish an LGBTQ+ resource center on campus to remove misconceptions and provide resources to members of the community. "Through queer representation we can make Kean a safe place for LGBTQ+ people and community. Proper representation also helps to educate within the community and outside of it as far as common misconceptions and safety," said Matthew Skibniewski, junior biology major and director of public relations for PRISM.

PRISM was established to give students a part of the LGBTQ+ and ally community a place to come together, raise representation and awareness of such a large part of the Kean community.

"We as a club want to give people of the community a voice. Every other organization and community has

recognition and can be seen from far away. You can spot a Greek or an athlete, but you cannot spot a member of the LGBTQ+ community. We can gain that recognition and do community service and hold events as well," said Ashley Macias, junior psychology and psychiatric rehab major with minor in social media and vice president of PRISM. "With Kean, you can see clusters of people, and this is so important. People need to be talking about the community, people need to know this exists on their campus. It can be a great asset to Kean for queer people who want to come here and can see they are represented." Kean University recognizes over 160 different clubs and organizations. These organizations are separated into the following eight categories: professional, service, cultural, recreational, religious, performance, governmental and special interest. All of the organizations are unique and have strong goals to better their community, themselves or personal skills. "Especially for Kean, a school that is 30 minutes outside New York City, a city that has a large queer population, its good we have this representation because it shows we are here. Without representation, we don't get the resources and services we need. People forget about us," said McEachern. Macias wants the Kean community to know that PRISM is a welcoming space. "We are super open and super friendly. Most importantly we are a safe space, everything said at meetings is kept at our meetings. You can come and talk about anything, and we accept everyone," said Macias. For students interested in joining or getting more information on Kean University PRISM, contact them


at or stop by one of their general body meetings Tuesdays noon to 1 p.m. in the Human Rights Institute (HRI), Room 207. PRISM is an inclusive environment open to new ideas and members. There is no long application process, so just come by. "Our agenda is to create an environment that is not only educational, but also comfortable and fun. You are coming into this club not to get lectured on something or feel like someone is just talking at you. We want people to bring ideas and have a voice in this club. At meetings we talk about new events coming up that the club is going to [host] and we work to help build a foundation for the club, while getting more advertisement for the club," said Darius Smith, junior biology major and secretary for PRISM. PRISM is an organization that exemplifies the impact each student can make. Patrick McEachern, the organization's president, came to Kean and felt their was not an organization that represented what he values and represents, so he made one for himself. Students interested in creating their own clubs on campus can do so by visiting the Involvement Center, located in the Miron Student Center (MSC), Room 303. When starting a new organization, the group should have at least 10 interested members, a president, a secretary, a club constitution and a full-time faculty/ staff adviser. For more information about the clubs and organizations on campus and how to start one, contact the Involvement Center by calling (908) 737-5270 or by visiting their website. Brandon Gervais, sophomore English education double major, is a member of The Cougar's Byte staff.

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