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The Debate is On

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Yvonne Chen

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Vice President of Administration (VPA)

Kevin Chen

Since freshman year, Kevin Chen has been involved with Senate, where he currently serves as the Biology representative. Since his arrival at NJIT, he knew he wanted to get involved on campus, and wishes to continue this trend. He’s been on the Administration Committee for the past two years and would like to improve and condense the many lines of communication between Senate and administrators, which he cites is the common cause for delays. Chen believes that serving two years on Senate has given him the experience needed to succeed over those who have not.

Alpha Jalloh, Junior Class President: How will you work with your committee?

Chen wants to appoint a secretary to help with coordination and keeping track of events, especially when events need last minute help.

Jake Campbell, VP Student Affairs: How will you apply your previous skills to the VPA position?

Chen has worked with the Student Organization Space Allocation Committee (SOSAC) and interacted with various clubs to coordinate their supplies. He has learned how to deal with people through his Senate experience and would like to set a date during the summer to help coordinate club supplies for the upcoming school year.

Rajeet Das, Civil Engineering Rep: What is the hardest part of this position?

Chen states: too many lines of communication and the length of time it takes to begin projects. He wants to improve this by breaking down tasks during step by step meetings and shortening the turn-around time on larger endeavors.

Axel: If you are elected as VPA, what is your first goal?

Chen states that a problem with the current goals is that they are too long term. He wants to subdivide them into more feasible tasks, and accomplish them through cooperation with administration.

Murat Duru

Murat Duru, a third year Mechanical Engineering major, has served on Senate for three semesters and plays an active role in the Administration Committee. He currently works for Instructional Technology and Media Services (ITMS) which has given him the same equipment management skills that are required for the VPA position, and considers his activeness on campus to round out his qualifications. Current issues Duru addressed include: the drainage area between Redwood and Cypress, furniture upgrades, and the temperature situation in campus buildings.

Alpha Jalloh, Junior Class President: How will you work with your committee?

Duru mentioned that the Administration committee currently uses the GroupMe app to stay in touch, but it is not enough. He must actively assign duties based on committee members’ schedules. Duru added that many Senators are unsure of how to use event equipment, so he wants to implement simple, quick training sessions.

Jake Campbell, VP Student Affairs: How will you apply your previous skills to the VPA position?

Duru has been responsible for ordering shirts, organizing mailboxes and office hours, and inventory for Senate. His supervisor position at ITMS and experience handling purchase orders for Verizon displays his organizational, time management and personnel management skills.

Rajeet Das, Civil Engineering Rep: What is the hardest part of this position?

Duru answered that organizing events properly is an important concern – one can plan a lot, but if one do not know the right people, or uses time and resources well, nothing can be accomplished.

Axel Kouassi

Axel Kouassi, a junior ECET and Business double major, is a leadership trainer at the Lisa A. Pierce Center for Student Leadership. As interim VPA, he has helped plan and install a crosswalk between the Honors dorm and Tiernan Alley, and would like to add crosswalks to other areas of campus (eg. one linking the athletics center with the light rail station). Kouassi also wishes to establish an online form for students to report issues and concerns and strengthen communication between Senate and on-campus organizations. Kouassi believes that universities give students a chance to be part of the change, so he wants to address and help students with their concerns.

Alpha Jalloh, Junior Class President: How will you work with your committee?

Kouassi currently communicates with his committee through the GroupMe app. He would like to maintain a whiteboard listing the Senators who are in charge of each event, to keep everyone on task and responsible for their events.

 Jake Campbell, VP Student Affairs: How will you apply your previous skills to the VPA position?

Kouassi has built up relationships with administrators, such as the VP of Facilities. He wants to ensure that all clubs have their necessary supplies, and all Senators have business cards and t-shirts so students can put a face to every Senator.

Rajeet Das, Civil Engineering Rep: What is the hardest part of this position?

Kouassi stated scheduling as a concern. There are often conflicts among Senators about when to meet. He wants to ensure that proper scheduling allows everyone to attend meetings.

Murat: As interim VPA, what have you done that’s original, not a project carried over from the previous VPA?

Kouassi has kept the office especially clean, kept inventory on supplies and ordered business cards so Senators are easily identifiable.

Kevin: What further changes will you implement?

Kouassi will start a calendar with Senators’ contact info displayed alongside the events they are responsible for, as a constant reminder of tasks.

Treasurer

Oscar Chang

Oscar Chang, a third year Information Technology major, joined Senate as the College of Computing Sciences (CCS) representative in Spring 2013 and now serves as Treasurer. He believes he has the zeal, passion and dedication to improve interaction on campus and does not take his position lightly. Chang has helped organize events such as Freshmen Weekend and Week of Fitness by working with Athletic and School Spirit Committee members. He wishes to continue strengthening relationships around campus and work with Campus Center staff on a new club ranking system. He states that “a vote for him is a vote for change you want to see.”

Axel Kouassi, Interim VPA: What do you see as the duties of Treasurer?

Chang defined the Treasurer position as being in charge of the Athletics and School Spirit Committee, and assisting the Vice President of Finance (VPF) in financial duties. As Finance Committee secretary, Chang knows what is important to note regarding finances. The Treasurer is also instrumental in running events like Casino Night, Week of Winter and Week of Fitness.\

Murat Duru, VPA Candidate: What specific activities do you want to plan?

Chang would like to extend NJIT Day into NJIT Week, perhaps as an opportunity for students to get to know their neighboring institutions, such as Rutgers-Newark, in a block-party style event. He wants to host more outdoor activities, such as skyfall jumps or an indoor paintball venue on the Green.

Charlie Bautz: Having been Treasurer, do you want to make any changes or do you think your old habits have been successful?

Chang wants to continue building and strengthening relationships with administrators. He also wants to ask students for suggestions to improve campus life, which he will take into account for his plans next semester. Chang states that some campus organizations, particularly those in the basement, feel overlooked or out of place and plans to assist them with funding and other needs.

Vivian: How have you promoted school spirit?

Chang puts himself out there by telling students about events. Responses have been receptive; those he speak to seem excited about NJIT sporting events.

Sarika: How can you improve unsuccessful events?

Chang mentioned a need for more emphasis on marketing and promotion, which he does by actively reaching out to students.

Vivian Hawn

Vivian Hawn, a second year Biochemistry major, has a variety of experiences such as Resident Representative and a secretarial job at a dental office. She wants to promote school spirit by engaging a wider spectrum of students and stated that her connections with athletics, the Honors College and Senate will help her. Hawn believes she relates well to all students and that her experience and approachability will make her a good Treasurer.

Axel Kouassi, Interim VPA: What do you see as the duties of Treasurer?

Hawn defined the Treasurer as chairperson of the Athletics and School Spirit Committee. She believes her amiable demeanor will help accomplish the committee’s goals, and that her experience as dental office receptionist and secretary will help with the role as secretary to the Finance Committee.

Murat Duru, VPA Candidate: What specific activities do you want to plan?

Hawn believes that SAC and Senate have hosted smaller yearly events. She would like to plan a larger event that brings in a band, turning NJIT into a concert venue and enticing more students to stay on campus for the event.

Charlie Bautz: You have a major, minor and many other activites; how will you juggle them along with the Treasurer position?

Hawn believes she works best when she has many responsibilities and becomes less productive when she is not constantly working on something.

Oscar: What do you want to do as Treasurer?

Hawn wants to hold larger events for the entire student body. She wants to eliminate some Movie on the Green nights, especially during inclement weather. Vivian plans to reach out and speak to many students on campus and promote school spirit through events.

Sarika Munir

With three years of Senate experience, Sarika Munir has worked with both the Public Relations and Finance Commitees. This year, Munir organized the Zumba party event and believes she has the qualities necessary to host a successful event. As current captain of the NJIT Hype team and former president of NJIT’s American Chemical Society chapter, which she resigned from to focus on a future Treasurer position, Munir believes her organizational skills are best known through her Senate experience. She aims to be social with students on campus and to ask them what they want.

Axel Kouassi, Interim VPA: What do you see as the duties of Treasurer?

Munir defined the Treasurer as being responsible for events that promote school spirit. As secretary to the VPF, the Treasurer acts as Finance Committee chair in their absence and handles petty cash related to Senate activities.

Murat Duru, VPA Candidate: What specific activities do you want to plan?

Munir’s experience hosting the Zumba party event, she observed that many students enjoy dancing. She would like to host a music venue event with free giveaways and celebrity appearances to get students excited and engaged.

Sophomore Class President

Monica Ghabour

Monica Ghabour is currently the Commuter Representative and has worked with Public Safety and Gourmet Dining Services on projects such as the Honors-Tiernan crosswalk. Ghabour states that 75% of NJIT freshmen are commuters which believes qualifies her to speak on their behalf. Coming from a high school with a lot of school spirit, Ghabour wants to bring that over to NJIT and believes community service is one way to bring the class together.

Jake Campbell, VP Student Affairs: You have to represent your entire class in all their walks of life. How will you reach out?

Ghabour talks to students in class and at events to understand their problems.

Axel Kouassi, Interim VPA: How will you bring awareness of your position to sophomores on campus?

Ghabour will interact with students to put a face to her name. She will reach out to students during her classes, getting feedback and letting them know that they can speak to her about any problems.

Lenerson Pyrrhus

Lenerson Pyrrhus, a biomedical engineering student, is currently the Freshman Resident Representative for Cypress Hall and works closely with the Resident Hall Association (RHA). He wishes to use the skills acquired through Senate to help improve the NJIT experience, especially for upcoming sophomores. Through the Sophomore Class President position, Pyrrhus believes he can make a key impact in helping to create the best experience possible.

Jake Campbell, VP Student Affairs: You have to represent your entire class in all their walks of life. How will you reach out?

Pyrrhus mentioned that as Freshman Resident Rep, he notices that most freshmen who attend campus events are residents. It is hard to reach out to commuters. He wishes to work with clubs and reach out to students through that channel, since many are involved with campus organizations.

Axel Kouassi, Interim VPA: How will you bring awareness of your position to sophomores on campus?

Pyrrhus will work with the Public Relations Committee, creating papers and fliers. He will talk to students about what it means to be a senator, telling them who he is and what his position can do.

Anthony Cordero

Anthony Cordero, a chemical engineering student, is running for the Sophomore Class President position for two reasons. First, he wants to focus on opportunities, like internships, that are not usually targeted to sophomores. Second, he wants to host more events that bring students out to bond as a class. Anthony asked, “over the year, can you name one thing your commuter or resident representative has done for you? If not, vote for me.”

Anthony Samaha, CoAD Rep: The other two candidates are current Senators. What have you done on campus?

Cordero was president of the National Art Society in high school and is currently a leadership trainer at the Lisa A. Pierce Center for Student Leadership. He believes a record is not something you stand on, but build on. He asks to trust in his ideas that he can translate into action.

Jake Campbell, VP Student Affairs: You have to represent your entire class in all their walks of life. How will you reach out?

Cordero states that events are important to reach out to a wide range of students. He has joined SAC for this purpose, helping to host many successful events, but improvements could be made.

Axel Kouassi, Interim VPA: How will you bring awareness of your position to sophomores on campus?

Cordero shows his care for students by reaching out, and attending events aimed towards students from other majors.

Yvonne Chen

Disclaimer: Answers and profiles have been crafted from the candidate’s own words. If you believe someone has been misrepresented, please contact us.