by RikkiLynn Shields
The class of 2021 has voted, and Jack Kornutik and Grace Owens have been elected this year’s Freshman Vice Presidents.
Though they come from two drastically different states, Jack Kornutik from Fairfield, Conn., and Grace Owens from Tampa, Fla., the two students share a love for Manhattan College like no other.
Kornutik is an undecided business major and also a member of the men’s lacrosse team here at Manhattan.
“Since the first day I stepped foot on campus, I wanted to attend Manhattan College; it had everything I was looking for. The academic criteria met all my needs and the location of thecampus was second to none. Also, I was fortunate enough to be recruited by Coach [Drew] Kelleher and his staff to play on the Men’s Lacrosse team here. He guided me through my admissions process and helped make sure that I would be able to maintain a healthy balance between academics and athletics while still having a social life,” Kornutik said.
Owens, a biology major, has a very similar story to Kornutik. While Manhattan had everything she wanted, lacrosse brought her to the college as well.
“I chose Manhattan College because of its close proximity to New York City. I feel like the connections I will make here will help me in the future when applying for internships and jobs. Another factor that influenced my decision to attend Manhattan was the fact that I was re-cruited to play lacrosse here,” Owens said.
While the two students only have a month of college behind them, both of their experi-ences so far have been exactly what they imagined.
“I love Manhattan College. I am really looking forward to the four years that I will spend here. I am really connecting with a lot of the people here and I enjoy the fact that I have met people from so many different places and so many walks of life. I have felt a strong sense of community at this school which I hope to help keep for my class the next four years,” Owens said.
Kornutik was just as eager as Owens to meet new people when stepping foot on campus, and it’s very clear that both of them are already on the right path.
“So far, my experience here at Manhattan College has been great. Getting the opportunity to meet new people and live in a different state has been a blessing. The students at this school are truly exceptional and all have a certain way of carrying themselves that I have never witnessed before. Everybody is so kind and genuine here that it is hard to find any flaws about attending this college. My teachers have been great and although we are only a month into classes, I have learned a ton,” Kornutik said.
In a month, these two students have already made a mark. Not only are these two students now the Vice Presidents of their class, they also partake in a variety of different clubs and activities. Next to lacrosse, Owens is a part of the Relay for Life Club, as well as the Biology Club on campus. Kornutik admits that he didn’t take advantage of clubs in high school, though he wishes he did, so he set out to be as involved as possible.
“One thing that I never took advantage of in high school were the extracurricular activities or ‘clubs.’ I made it my goal to join some when I got to campus and I did just that. I am currently a member the Investment Club where I am an analyst for the Energy and Utilities sector. I’m also a member of the Economics and Finance Society, the Management Club and the Neighborhood Relations Committee,” Kornutik said.
While Kornutik regretted not joining more clubs in high school, he also regretted not getting involved in student government. When the opportunity arose at Manhattan, he knew he had to set out to make change.
“I’ve always viewed myself as a leader and capable of influencing large groups of people in a positive manner; because of this, student government is something that has always interested me. It’s something that I always regret not being a part of it in high school, so when the opportunity arose here at Manhattan College, I immediately jumped on it and haven’t looked back since,” Kornutik said.
Owens was inspired to run as freshman class vice president because she wanted to make a lasting mark during her time here.
“I wanted to […] give back to the school that will be giving me so much the next four years. I also would love to meet a lot of people in my class and help unify all of us as one,” Owens said.
To both Kornutik and Owens, Student Government is an organization that gives a voice to the students who normally are perceived to be voiceless on a college campus. The organization has the power to bring students together, to make everyone’s experience the best it can be, and Kornutik and Owens are ready to begin improving life here at Manhattan.
“I want to bring our class together united as one. I plan on organizing events with my fellow VP, Jack Kornutik, that will help facilitate the interaction between students in our class. In college, it is very important to make relationships with people from many different backgrounds in order to build a network of people who can help you in the future. I want to give students the opportunity to do that,” Owens said.
As Freshman Vice President, Kornutik and Owens are not only focused on improving interactions between students, and improving their overall experience, they’re also focused on expanding opportunities to bring everyone on campus together.
“I want to make school-wide events more attractive and bring in bigger and better vendors. Many students here look past the opportunity to meet new people, especially at their own school. Maintaining a social life and having the ability to network is something that is very important to me. I’d like each and every student here to have the ability to do so and do it while having a good time,” Kornutik said
The support system that Kornutik and Owens want to build for all students at Manhattan, whether they live near or far, is outstanding, and the first thing they plan to do is not only hear the student body out, but also plan events to bring them together.
“The goal is to be a bridge between the students and the higher powers that have the power to make changes to the way we live on campus,” said Owens. “I will always be open to hearing ideas from students in my class that I can pass up to be considered. I want to help make everyone happy so if there is anything that anyone wants to be seen done on campus, I would love for them to contact me and we can figure out how to make those things happen. I want to be the most approachable that I can [be] so that anyone who has an idea will feel like it will be valued.”
Kornutik and Owens are beginning to plan a variety of events for their freshman class, as well as working towards the goal of making the class of 2021 the best one yet.
Creating more of a community amongst their class is a common goal, and Kornutik and Owens have already began working towards it.