Kean elects first female Student Org president

Emily Cubilete, our first elected female Student Organization President. Photo: Emily Cubilete

Emily Cubilete, our first elected female Student Organization President. Photo: Emily Cubilete

By: Gail Fredricks | Published April 29, 2016

Student Organization failed to field candidates for some key positions in the recent election, but despite the low voter turnout history was made: Emily Cubilete was elected as Kean’s first female president.

Just nine percent of the student body voted in the election, but missing from the ballot were candidates for the Senior Class Executive Board, as well as seats for major positions on the Graduate and Part-Time Student Council, including Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer.

As a result, those vacant seats, are still open, and students who meet GPA and other standards can still apply for the positions, according to election rules posted online.

Meanwhile, Cubilete, a public administration major in her junior year of college, is celebrating her win. A member of the Leadership Institute for three years, she is also a sister of Omega Sigma Psi Sorority and was a Lead Student Ambassador for two years.

“Running for Student Organization President was never a part of my plan,” said Cubilete. “I always excelled at anything I put my mind to and the opportunity was offered to me so I went with it. Becoming the first female President for the Department of Student Organization is something I would have never thought could happen.”

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Since Kean gained university status and changed its name from Kean College to Kean University in 1997, a female has not been elected as president, according to documentation from the Student Org.

It’s unclear if there was ever a female Student Organization president before then, since yearbook information and listed names in the Student Org. offices are ambiguous in terms of gender.

Carminda Bandeira served as interim Student Organization president in 2009, but was not elected into office.

Cubilete’s main goals are to enhance career and development opportunities for students in their field. She also wants to begin making commuter students feel included, making sure the university is a home for them as well.

“Getting involved is a major key to a successful college journey,” Cubilete said. “I want to bring back pride into Kean students because when anyone has pride either it being in a classroom, at work or any hobby, people tend to work harder to make something greater of themselves.”

As for the open seats still unfilled in Student Org, there is an election process in place.

For the Executive Board for Student Organization and Graduate and Part-time Student Council positions, the president and director review the qualifications of the applicants and decided who is most qualified. They then present these applicants to the Executive Board for a vote. Although rare, if no one applies for these positions, the position would remain vacant.

In regards to Class Executive Boards, the vice president, director, and class president review the applicant’s qualifications and decide who is most qualified. The president then presents it to the Executive Board for a vote, then to the class council to vote. If the position remains vacant, the other Executive Board officers need to fulfill those responsibilities.

When Funded Groups Executive Boards have a vacant spot, the position is then offered to the next highest ranking officer, then to the general body to apply. The Vice President of Funded Groups, Director, or designee, and President review the applicant’s qualifications, decide who is most qualified, and present it to the Executive Board for a vote. Should the position remain vacant, the Executive Board officers would need to fulfill those responsibilities.

Any student who is interested in becoming a representative or fulfill a position should contact Student Organization’s Managing Assistant Director Carli Hench, Student Organization/ Graduate & Part-Time Council, at cahench@kean.edu.

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