“Hopefully, the legacy that I’ve left behind is that nothing is impossible. If you have a dream, an event, you should be able to do it, and nobody should be able to stop you,” remarked Student Association (SA) President Carmine Couloute. Couloute, a senior majoring in political science and sociology, is set to graduate this semester. She recently took the time to reflect on her senior year, the projects she takes the most pride in and the people who helped her throughout her journey.
For those who are not as familiar with the job of SA President, Couloute was happy to break it down for the readers. She explained, “Being president is simply being a liaison, someone who aims to help better the school or fix things. So really, a president is more of a fixer, as well as a really good listener.” Couloute worked with her executive cabinet and administration in order to accomplish major projects around campus.
Couloute credited the team she has worked with this year as her support system. Couloute said, “The whole SA team is my backbone, they really supported me, motivated me… I couldn’t see my year without them.” In addition to her peers, she noted that she was inspired by the Search for Education, Elevation and Knowledge (SEEK) program director, Norka Blackman-Richards, and Queens College former President Félix V. Matos Rodríguez. “Their leadership style is humble, kind,” Couloute notes. Adding, “[They’re] everything that leadership embodies. I aimed to mirror their image, and they in turn motivate me to be like them.”
Couloute also reflected on the successes she has had this year. She was able to get over $100,000 in funding for clubs, as well as accomplish several amazing projects. Couloute was proud to mention one successful project she implemented, bringing high school kids from inner-city schools to visit Queens College, called “Diversity Day.” Couloute elaborated on the importance of the project: “Diversity inclusion with inner city high school kids was definitely one of the memorable events.” She further added, “We also had one of the biggest MidKnight Breakfasts, where we incorporated more of Greek life, and it was a beautiful scene of people laughing and smiling like one big family.” In addition to these projects, Couloute wanted to emphasize the large turnout at MidKnight Madness. The event is the kickoff to the basketball season. Couloute commented, “It was an amazing experience to see all the athletes cheering each other on, to see the basketball team come out, and all the teams introduced and having a role to play in the event.” The events in particular stood out to her, as the fact that the whole campus was involved touched her.
Despite all the success, Couloute emphasized that not everything was smooth sailing. One problem in particular was keeping people motivated. She explained by saying that getting people to actively participate, and stay actively engaged and motivated on a commuter campus is tough. “That’s the beauty of student government though, to keep trying to ensure that we have projects for everyone on campus,” Couloute stated.
Couloute felt it proper to leave a message for the readers. “Thank you for an amazing year. Your patience, your kindness, your support… I loved the whole year because of Queens College. I enjoyed my 5 years here, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Thank you for your endless support!”