“Whether you’re a club leader, traditional student, non traditional student, I hope you join Student Union, The Knight News, join clubs, be engaged, be active, it takes time but it’s worth it,” detailed Student Association President Carmine Couloute. Carmine Couloute is currently majoring in political science and international business, alongside a minor in business and liberal arts honors program (BALA). She went on to discuss her outlook on this semester, what it means to be a woman of color in a position of power, as well as her aspirations for her term.
When asked about her outlook and hopes for this semester, Couloute discussed that she is looking forward to promoting her theme of student engagement. Couloute would really like to change campus culture, and create a campus community in which bonds between one another are fostered. Secondly, Couloute is looking forward to community outreach with different high schools. “I went to John Bowne, and I had never experienced the Queens College campus to the fullest. I had stepped foot on campus once or twice briefly, which is a shame because Queens College is a gem, it’s such an incredible place” Couloute detailed. She went on to discuss a initiative she’d like to see happen wherein high school students would shadow Queens College students, to truly experience what a life in the day of those in college is really like.
Aside from her hopes for this semester, Couloute went on to discuss an event, that one might say, conveys her work ethic and style. Welcome Day is an exciting event that truly demonstrates what the Queens College campus is really like. Student life is a large part of it. Coloute stated, “ I felt that Welcome Day went pretty well this year. Instead of us choosing the artists, we did votes, and has the students tell us who they would like to see. Jay Critch, the artist, took pictures with everyone for 20 minutes, he was so kind and genuine. I admire that everyone participated in the decision,” Couloute stated as she described Welcome Day. Freshman Jessica Alexander attended Welcome Day, and commented, “ Going to Welcome Day was a really great experience for me, especially the fact that we had the option of voting for who guest-starred at the event.” Additionally, Freshman Katarzyna Lipa added, “Entering college was a bit of a daunting idea, but Welcome Day was really laid back, and the encouragement from the emcee’s to participate made me feel welcome. Even though I wasn’t aware that we could’ve voted for the guest star, I like that they gave us the option though”.
This sense of community is pivotal, as it is something that differentiates Couloute from her predecessors. Couloute detailed, “ I’d like to promote more engagement in academic senate, for students to be more aware of what’s going on. For example, just recently we reached out to S.A. members and invited them to our homecoming meeting, so that we can have a more open dialogue. This helps the campus grow, as well as the community”.
Lastly, when asked about how Coloute feels regarding the fact that she serves as an inspiration to women, as well as minorities, she had this to say; “Whoever you are, whatever you would like to pursue, you belong here. You’re going to do great here, make the best of it. Be who you would like to be, and enjoy the successes and the failures.” One can most certainly feel confident that a new, welcoming, and warm aura will be reaching the student life community here at Queens College.