Welcome back celebration: Cougar style

cougar kick off pic
Students lined up for free food and games at “Cougar Kick-off”
By Nicole Brown

New and current students were welcomed back to Kean with an annual event called ‘Cougar Kick- Off’- a series of happenings including Kean Day, Ice-cream Mix and Mingle, Cougar Country throw down and Cougar social that usually begin in early September and end in mid- September.

This year, the grand opening of Cougar Kick-Off was held on September 2 outside the patio of the University Center. As the Dis Jockey played different genres of music, students danced in the dazzling sun to the beats of Classic, Country, Reggae, Folk and Rock music.

According to one of the coordinators, Gerard Smithwrick, president of Kean’s Student, the fundamental purpose of Cougar Kick-Off is to provide a platform for students to socialize, become fully aware of the diversity of programs and services that are offered on campus, and most importantly, to gradually transition from the summer break back into the academic environment.

“Cougar Kick- Off provides a platform for students to have their quality of life better at Kean,” said Smithwrick. “It’s an opportunity to become aware and get involved.”

For the programs, services, food, or entertainment, everyone had their reasons for attending Cougar Kick- Off. Slowly riding his bicycle through the crowd of students, Ralph Papillon, a senior, said it’s an opportunity to get everything.

“You get to meet clubs, free food and its fun,” Papillon said.

Constantly smiling while picking up flyers and booklets from the Office of Intervention and Retention table, Asa Dugger, a freshman, said it is a supportive event.

“I like it, it’s really helpful,” she said.

Apart from the fun and entertainment, each organization has its individual goals and challenges.

This year, the president of the Student Organization wants the campus population to know that the executive and council meet biweekly to discuss the challenges that students encounter on campus and the strategies they will take to resolve those issues.

“Some of the main concerns right now are parking and trolley services,” said Smithwrick. “It’s all about collaborating and compromising; it takes time to resolve these issues, but we are working on them.”

Smithwrick encouraged the student population to stay on campus and enjoy the opportunities on campus.

“Don’t just go home after school,” said Smithwrick. “Enjoy the resources you paid for.”

Janice Johnston, Manager of Career Development , wanted to inform students of that office’s  primary objectives:  to help students with resume writing, prepare students for job interviews and coordinating job fairs.

“Working with students is the fun part of the job,” said Johnston.

Other sponsors of the events included Campus life Activities for Student Success (C.L.A.S.S), Kean Expedition, Kean’s Student Organization, Health Services and University Center.


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