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Volume 88 (Fall 2016 - Spring 2017)

Vegan Foods Meet Food Trucks: The Man Behind Try Vegan, NJ

Vincent Gulino, the owner of New Jersey food truck, Try Vegan, has made a huge splash in the mobile food industry. What started out as dream once never thought to become reality, became more than just a job. Gulino has been serving smiles and a positive, can-do attitude, oh and some of the most delicious vegan food you can get on the road, for over four years. Soon after he finished college at Rowan University, he became a manager of a Walmart, working a busy and physically trying schedule. “It is really something that wears on their soul. One week you’re handing them [employees] paychecks, the next you have to fire them” said Gulino.

After a few years at Walmart, he moved on to a job at one of the supermarket giants at a higher-paying and even more stressful and busier managerial position. Gulino found himself working six days a week with “optional” weekends that he realized weren’t as optional as they made it out to be. Again, Gulino found himself stuck at a terrible job he did not enjoy wondering why life was full of such grim and unhappy times. Was this what everyone works towards and thinks success is?

After earning himself a week-long break, Gulino was overlooked for a business positon, which was his focus of studies while at Rowan, because he was “not office trained.” He couldn’t even come close to understanding what that could even mean. “I was so torn down and broken” he said. During that time, Gulino received some advice and encouragement from a guy he had just met that will forever change his life. After telling this man about the positon he had failed to get, Gulino began to describe his idea for a vegan restaurant. It was a dream he had had many times before, but never really knew how to chase. Well, this guy motivated and inspired Gulino to stop being miserable at a job he didn’t enjoy and to chase the dream that would make him happy. That very night, Try Vegan was born.

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Here Comes... Ms. Senior America

Saturday, April 29, Specialist Professor of Management and Decision Sciences, John Buzza’s small business management class will be holding the Ms. Senior America Talent Competition for the organization Senior America, Inc. The event begins at 1:00 p.m., in Pollak Theatre, free of charge.

According to their website, Senior America Inc., is a non-profit organization that is “designed not only to enrich the lives of seniors but also to tap their energy to enrich the lives of others.” Known for their Ms. Senior Pageant, the organization emphasizes that their seniors are the foundation that helps to build a future, and supports them in the pursuit of continuing to seek personal growth.

Organizing the event was a semester-long project for members of Buzza’s class in which students are assigned an organization that they have to organize an event including everything from getting participants to planning the schedule, as well as marketing for the event itself.

“As always, I hope our students get an opportunity to grow outside of the classroom and to garner experiences that they would not get through lectures and classroom rigors. Best case would be through the connections made and the experiences gained, if it could lead to a job in this or any industry,” said Buzza.

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Puppy Protectors

Puppy ProtectorsStudents of Monmouth University’s Communication (CO 320) course – Small Group Communication under the guidance of Professor Shannon Hokanson--are taking part in Service Learning Projects to connect with diverse populations beyond the University’s campus. The students selected non-profit organizations of interest to them in which they planned, designed and executed an event to financially support their community partner.

According to Professor Hokanson, “a service-learning project links the teaching and learning strategies of the community service with the academic study so that each strengthens the other”.

“We all learn and share each other’s knowledge and experiences; every party is an equal”.

One group, “The Puppy Protectors”, selected the Monmouth County SPCA for the benefit of their fund-raising efforts. The group composed of – Jordan Bornstein, Nicole Giordano, Olivia Lipp, Eileen Jones, Michael Losasso and Hunter Rainis selected an off-campus event to reach outside of Monmouth’s community and an on-campus event for within.

The Puppy Protectors’ off-campus event was a “Paint and Sip” night at Asbury Park’s, Uncorked Wine Inspirations establishment held on Wednesday, March 29th. Those in attendance painted a beach scene entitled “Evening Stroll on the Shore”. The night was an awesome experience and a huge success, selling out with 30 attendees, and raising $300 to benefit the SPCA.

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¡Ich suis Plurilingüe! Benefits of Being Multilingual

Walking down the street, languages from every person’s homeland are heard: Spanish, Russian, Polish, French, and so many other native languages fill the air with cultural awareness. Our people are vibrant and make for a flourishing land filled with cultures all over the world.

According to The Daily Texan, “The United States is largely monolingual. In fact, only about 15-20 percent of Americans consider themselves bilingual.” This low percentage further increases the likelihood that citizens, natural born or otherwise, will end up either being shamed or feeling ashamed for speaking in their native tongue or being prideful in their cultures and nationalities.

Dr. Mirta Barrea-Marlys, Chair of the Department of World Languages and Cultures, said, “I have seen this reaction and have experienced it myself when I first came to this country from Argentina. It was hard to assimilate into a different culture, especially since I did not speak English and back then there weren’t any ESL [English as a Second Language] programs to help students in schools.”

Additionally, the fluctuation in numbers for the college track for Spanish has seen a variation in numbers, “There is always fluctuation of interest in different language fields. For example, there used to be many more Education/World Language majors, but the numbers have dropped as it has in other areas of Education,” Barrea-Marlys added.

Getting accustomed to a new environment is scary in and of itself, but, coming into a new country and having to immerse yourself in a new culture is something that cannot be imagined. Many foreign students and citizens that emigrated to another country, like the United States, experience a degree of culture shock--a sense of confusion or uncertainty that can end up having an affect on people exposed to another culture or environment without adequate preparation.

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Experiencing Post-Graduate Life

Experience Post Graduate LifeSo many of us graduating seniors are bombarded and weighted with the doom and gloom of the future—the monotonous humdrum corporate life just knocking at our doors. But, don’t fret, because we still have time to thrive.

It is not to say that our future jobs and/or possible internships won’t be amazing, but sometimes thinking about being an adult in the working world can be scary and daunting. Trying anything new is hard to think about, but not when it is something perhaps you’ve always wanted to do.

We have summer 2017 to do some of the things we have always wanted to do, but couldn’t do because of the mountains of work and school-affiliated responsibilities we had in our four years of undergraduate studies in college.

Dr. Chris Hirschler, Chair of Health and Physical Education and associate professor, said, “Life doesn’t stop after graduation. Students who worked really hard during their time at Monmouth will likely not have a lot of free time as they will be applying for graduate school or jobs and preparing for either endeavor. Other students might realize that they had much more free time in college than they do post-graduation.”

With this extra time, we can engage in activities we didn’t have the time for during our undergraduate studies. Many of us would have loved to study abroad at our time here at Monmouth, but it just wasn’t in the cards. Perhaps we couldn’t find the money, spare the time, or bring ourselves to leave home for so long. Whatever the issue may have been, we didn’t get to study abroad.

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“Springing” into Schoolwork

Springing Into SchoolworkWhen the springtime weather starts rearing its head, there is a feeling of rejuvenation and a higher level of focus on getting things done. There is a reason that there are things like spring-cleaning and the temptations of buying new wardrobes for the spring season.

This rejuvenation is either a positive or a negative in our schoolwork. On one hand, this great weather could inspire us to be more productive and really get things done.

When the semester is winding down, we have quite a bit of work to not only do, but to catch up on too.

So, when we start to feel better about ourselves and our state of mind because of warmer weather, we can accomplish all of these tasks at hand.

Dr. David Strohmetz, a professor of psychology, stated, “There is something called the good mood effect. When the weather is nice, we tend to be a better mood, which does influence our behavior. We become more willing to help another person in need and also become more generous.” 

“For example, people tend to tip their server more when not only the weather is nicer out, but even when they believe that the weather is forecasted to be nice. So, regarding spring days, we do tend to be in a good mood those first nice days when it seems that the gloom of weather is over,” he further explained.

When we are in good moods because of this weather, we are nicer and in a happier state of mind in general. This helps us focus more on our work. Victoria Howe, a senior psychology student, said, “springtime, the nice weather at least, makes us view ourselves more positively and motivates us to do better in our classes.”

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Power on, Girls: Women in the Workforce

Power on Women in WorkforceWomen holding powerful positions has often been unheard of for the majority of American history. Of course, there were revolutionaries that broke through to become successful in otherwise male dominated fields such as Sandra Day O’Connor as the first woman on the supreme court; Janet Yellen, Chair of the Federal Reserve of the United States; and Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors. More women than in the past have recently held powerful positions.

Even right here at Monmouth, women hold powerful positions, but it was not easy to get there. Dr. Johanna Foster, Director of the Sociology Program in the department of political science and sociology, teaches gender studies and discusses being a woman in the professional world of today.

Foster recalls when her gender affected other’s views on how she would manage her work. “I was eight months pregnant and the University asked how I would be a professor and a mother.” Today, this question would still have the misogynistic undertones it had back then.

Another time, Foster was asked by a chair to take on an administrative position, assuming that she would be better at multitasking because she was a mother.

The issues of biased perceptions of women put them under a negative scope within the workplace and that practice is still common today. However, Foster noted she has not experienced gender biases from faculty while working at Monmouth.

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Say Hello to Julia: Sesame Street Introduces Their Newest Autistic Muppet

Say Hello To JuliaSesame Street has always been a show that focuses on learning and inclusivity, and their new character Julia is no different. This spring, the show welcomed their first autistic cast member to the television screen. According to the Huffington Post, Julia has been included on their Digital Storybook series since 2015, but have decided to make her a regular cast member as of late.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in every 68 children in the United States is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. “The inclusion of this character is not only helping with awareness outreach, but also disability representation,” explained Dr. Stacy Lauderdale, a professor in the school of education.

“More diversity in television is always a good thing, and disabilities are a part of that diversity,” said Lauderdale. “Older children with autism who are higher functioning understand what makes them different and suffer more from depression; [with the addition of Julia] more representation can help others understand [autism],” Lauderdale said.

Chelsea Byrne, a junior education student, noticed that this representation is an increasing trend. She said, “The ABC show Switched at Birth represents the deaf community by making the leads of the show deaf. Speechless has a main character who has cerebral palsy. Society and television have come a long way with including individuals with disabilities and giving them a voice on TV.”

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Accidentally Famous: A Look into Studio 54

Accidently Famous Studio 54Studio 54 was a 70’s nightclub, also known as, “The World’s Most Famous Nightclub”. Regular visitors included Elizabeth Taylor, Andy Warhol, Mick Jagger, Michael Jackson, Calvin Klein, Truman Capote, Cher, John Travolta, Tina Turner, and Elton John, just to name a few.

June of 1978, Patrick Taylor had just graduated high school. His plans for the upcoming fall were set to play football at Seton Hall University on a full athletic scholarship. To celebrate such an accomplishment, a few of his friends and his girlfriend took the train into New York City to attend San Gennaro’s Italian Feast.

Taylor and his friends enjoyed a long day at the feast and were just about to head for the train station, but a pair of drunk twenty-something Italian men interrupted those intentions. The tall one put his arm around Taylor, “Let’s go to down to Studio 54 and check out the freak show,” he suggested. The shorter one nodded and agreed, starting to tug on Taylor’s shirt.

“I looked at my girlfriend and man, her eyes could have cut into my soul”, Taylor recalled, “but it was my night and I was a selfish 18-year-old. My friends took her home and I went with the drunks.” 

At the time, Studio 54 was one of the most inaccessible nightclubs; people would wait outside for countless hours in hopes the door attendant, Mark Benecke, would allow them entry. The owners wanted a compilation of people who were famous, rich, or beautiful. “If Mark [Benecke] did not find any of those in a person, there was no way to get in,” Taylor explained.

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Stricter is Better?: Being Raised by Strict Parents Leads to Efficient Adults

Stricter is BetterThinking back to high school, the memory of asking parents – “can I go over so & so’s house?” The answer for many was always, “do I know their parents,” or “can I speak with their parents?” etc.

Being considered ‘strict’ in ones parenting style can either have positive or negative effects on the child’s development, and how the child is integrated into the work force. On one hand, strictness instills adult-like morals and standards in children. On the other hand, strictness in child development can be negative because it makes children more rebellious or angrier.

Looking at strict parenting from a beneficial standpoint, some would say that it creates self-discipline, establishes the idea of responsibility and accountability, and also instills some sort of fear in that child to never want to disobey.

Christen Piersanti, a junior criminal justice student, explained her experience growing up, and how she believes it positively influenced her adulthood: “I was the youngest of three, so I wouldn’t say my parents were super strict, but they definitely laid the law down most times. Some examples of rules always set in place are, curfews, the people I hung out with, and my grades.”

Piersanti also stated, “My parents set expectations for me to achieve, which some people might think is absurd, but it gave me something to work towards – and something to achieve. I feel like their parenting style has affected me in such a positive way.”

“From little things, like making my bed every morning when I wake up, to bigger things like the curfew instilling in me to never be late; I think it has all prepared me for what is ahead and I hope to raise my children one day in the same type of way,” Piersanti continued.

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Jersey City Street Art: Enrique Espinal

Jersey City Street ArtAt the center of his room, the folded desk is laid out with a colorful canvas in the works. The desk itself is stained with paint marks, making it one of a kind. With the lyrics of xxxtentacion blaring through the speaker, the words are almost as overpowering as the smell of the paint markers.

Walking into his bedroom seems like stepping into an art gallery. The ‘artsy’ vibe of the room is predominant. Grey walls, with a red border rim outlining the room, glow in the dark stickers on the ceiling, and drawings by the artist are scattered on the walls. Open up his white closet door and there are various taggings of his name all over.

Canvases from various years, with different graffiti art hang in various angles. Even though each one has a different theme from one another, the canvases do not overpower each other.

Enrique Espinal, or as he likes to tag his artwork with, ‘Eaze,’ is one of many graffiti artists based out of Jersey City.

A recent high school graduate, Espinal works hard in various restaurant jobs in downtown Jersey City, trying to take care of his mom. When he finds free time in his busy schedule, he tags items and paints canvases.

His hard work and dedication to the arts is prevalent in his work—the details speak for themselves. There is a level of devotion and an amount of time that needs to be spent to create pieces like this—a couple hours to 2 days to be exact—and it is evident that Espinal has been doing this for years.

Espinal has had a passion for drawing since he was 6 years old. “I always thought it was something really cool, even though that sounds weird to say.”

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April 1st is No Joke: How Students and Faculty Get in on the Pranks

April 1st No JokeApril 1st is a day that many people dread and many wait for days or hours like children on Christmas day.

Many students at Monmouth University take pride in their pranks, and prepare for weeks, and even months before, making the plot against their friends, family, and even professors thicker with each passing second.

A senior sports communication student, Toni Lynn Taranto, said, “I have two younger sisters and one younger brother, so we take tricking each other very seriously.”

“The one I am most proud of is replacing my brother’s toothpaste with horseradish; the look on his face was priceless,” Taranto remembered.

Jokes are more fun when there are a bunch of people in on them. By having a group included in a joke, it also makes the person who is getting pranked take it more seriously.

A senior communication student, Gary Mortellite, said, “In high school, it was a group of like six or seven of us who planned the joke. My friend Pete loved his Jeep. He never let anyone else drive it or really touch it. “

Mortellite continued, “On April Fool’s Day, when we were leaving during senior sign out, which he did not have that day, we texted him that someone dented the passenger’s side of the Jeep. He was in tears. We kept it going for a while, and finally told him we were kidding. I’m pretty sure he almost had a heart attack.”

Students are not the only ones in on the fun; there are many faculty members that love to play games.

Dr. Aaron Furgason, associate professor and Department Chair of the Communication Department, added to the limitless list of jokes and said, “In the days before technology infiltrated life, a part of college life was pranks. Boredom equals pranks, whether it was April 1st or not.”

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Hawks Cruise Toward Healthy Living

Hawks Crusie Health LivingIt’s no secret that parking is an issue on Monmouth’s campus, and there are several ways this problem has been attempted to be solved.

In New York City, there’s a very popular sharing system of bicycles called, Citi Bikes. There are daily passes or annual memberships, and riders are able to take and return bikes from one of the many different stations and return them to the one closest and most convenient to their destination.

In the city, there are over 10,000 bikes and 600 stations to return the bikes. The purpose of this system is to help go green, promote exercise, and have fun.

A system like this at Monmouth would be helpful, because it’s a way to help eliminate the struggles of parking on campus. There are a few locations around campus that would help give Monmouth the same benefits that Citi Bike gives to New York City.

There could be bikes located on both the academic and resident sides of campus, and also the Bluffs and Pier Village. This would allow almost all students close enough to campus to have the opportunity to skip the drive and ride a bike to get to school.

Dr. Merrily Ervin, Coordinator of School of Science General Education Courses, said, “Bicycling is an excellent form of aerobic exercise.  If this program generates interest in the use of bicycles as a mode of transportation that persists after graduation, that could have a very beneficial health impact.”

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Ball 4 A Cause Basketball

Ball 4 A Cause

Mid-Majors as Told by the Committee

Mid Majors Told by CommitteeThe 2015-16 Monmouth University Basketball team is no different than any Monmouth team in the past. They are, have been, and always will be a mid-major. What is a mid-major?

Well, we on the ever-esteemed NCAA Tournament Committee would be glad to answer that question for you, but give us a second please, Duke and Kentucky are tied up in the first half, and we cannot miss this.

Oh, that John Calipari offense is so efficient, and he is only doing it with six McDonald’s All-Americans. Wow, he just knows how to find them. Okay, where were we? Ah yes, what is a mid-major? Mid-majors always make for a fun time. These are the teams we invite to our historical arenas early on in the season, to get our top programs running before conference play.

You know how in horse racing, trainers like to have their horse mock race against a much slower horse to boost their confidence and get them into the winning groove?

This is essentially the mindset we have adopted regarding mid-majors. When our royal blues like Kentucky and Duke face off on ESPN, and any other channel that gets the gracious opportunity to broadcast us, we need our one-and-dones to be in perfect form.

While our guys benefit physically and statistically, our strong-hearted mid-majors get the great experience of playing basketball alongside them in some of the highest regarded basketball hubs of the world. Even though the high-major gets the check in the win column, really everyone wins, right?

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Post-Graduate Life

Seniors - we all know how dramatically we cringe at the thought of the g-word: graduation. With May right around the corner, the senior class is looking forward to what’s next; not picking classes for next semester like the rest of the campus population, but applying for further schooling, choosing where to travel, or even picking the right job.

So, before we walk across PNC with pomp and circumstance playing in the background, here are a few tips for life after graduation, so we can transition from a college senior to a functioning adult with ease.

 Michelle Gonzales, a Monmouth alumna with a B.A in communication, advised, “My tip for graduating seniors is to keep an open mind. When searching for a job, read deeply into what the day-to-day tasks are. What you enjoy doing may be out there, but not necessarily where you’d expect to find it.”

“You go to school for 16 years, and after you graduate, you are expected to fill a role in which you may think is out of reach. The reality is, is that you won’t know everything you’re supposed to when you start – but you’re also not supposed to,” Gonzales said.

Gonzales encourages graduating students to go into the workforce confidently. No matter you’re your sub-conscious may be telling you, you have the skills to accomplish anything. 

Casey Hanna, a senior education student, said, “I don’t necessarily know what route I want to go in after I graduate, but I know I am not solely limiting my path to my degree in education.”

Hanna continues, “My love for field hockey has led me to look for assistant coaching jobs, at various levels. The idea of giving back to the game that has meant so much to me makes me so excited.”

For students in the communication department, it is a requirement to take a Career Prep class, and to complete a resume. Since I had taken that class sophomore year, I haven’t really focused on updating it regularly.

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Taking Learning Outside of the Classroom

Outside Classroom LearningOn a campus so enriched with a plethora of diverse events, it would be a shame if students did not attend these events. For many humanities courses at the University, there is a mandatory attendance requirement for students to attend a specific event for the course.

Many students shudder at the word “mandatory” because of their busy and hectic lives. Students choose classes to fit their schedules to a T; so, hearing that there is a mandatory event outside of the class time frame that one has to attend is irksome for most.

Lucia Bailey, a sophomore English student, said, “At times I wish the attendance was not mandatory, because if I am not on campus I find myself driving 45 minutes from my house to get there to attend the event.”

Dr. Susan Starke, associate professor of English, who has required her Shakespeare classes to attend simulcasts of popular Shakespeare plays studied in class, said, “As long as the professor offers an alternative assignment for students whose prior obligations literally don’t permit attendance at a special event, I feel it’s reasonable. I put it in the syllabus so students know from the start of the course what they are getting into.”

It seems as though classes in the humanities are more likely to assign these mandatory attendance events than the sciences. Dr. Merrily Ervin, Coordinator of School of Science General Education Courses, explains why the School of Science does not require students to attend events outside of class: “Students’ schedules vary and most likely, not all students would be able to attend an event that does not coincide with class time.”

Ervin added, “Even if you just offer extra credit for attendance, it is not fair to those who are unable to attend, unless you offer them an alternative way to get extra credit.”

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First is Not the Worst: First Generation Students Take Higher Education by Storm

First Gen Not Worst 1The day your acceptance letter to college comes in the mail is a proud day for you and your family, but there is a completely new level of pride and achievement when you are the first child in your family to go to college. Although it is 2017, and college seems like a norm to everyone, we still have students who are the ‘first generation’ students.

Being a first generation student means being the first person in your entire family to earn a degree in college. Many parents of first generation students may have only gotten a high school diploma at the most. Some students graduating this May are the first in their families to be able to call themselves a college graduate.

Dr Robert McCaig, Vice President for Enrollment Management, said, “40.7% of the fall 2016 incoming freshman were first gen students.”

“One of the myths about Monmouth is that we are a rich white kid school. That is so untrue, 30% of the incoming class comes from varying ethnic backgrounds. These are facts, these are real. Our school is very rich in diversity,” according to McCaig.

Joey Affatato, a senior music industry student and first generation student said, “Going away to college and having this experience really means a lot to me especially because my parents didn’t get to have this same experience.”

“I feel the opportunity to go away to school, make lifelong friends, and learn from professionals is an amazing experience that some cane only dream of,” he continued.

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Sustainability for Students: The Importance of Eco-Friendly Businesses

John JohnsonThe world needs to start heading down a more sustainable path for the sake of future generations. We are over-populating, overeating, overfishing, and overusing. Multibillion-dollar corporations corner the industry and put money in the pockets of those that have influence politically and have the power to make a change.

It's up to big name brands like Adidas, who are releasing a shoe made up of 95 percent ocean plastic, to make a difference and be the change. In 2017, the brand aims to produce one million pairs of the sneakers made from more than 11 million plastic bottles.

Another big name busines, IKEA, has just unveiled a furniture set made out of recycled plastic and reclaimed wood.

“We need to become better at using the planet’s resources in a smart way. Our ambition is to increase the share of recycled materials in our products," said Anna Granath, product developer at IKEA. "We are looking into new ways to re-use materials, such as paper, fibre, foam and plastic, so that we can give them a new life in a new product.”

Later in 2017, IKEA has plans to release an even more sustainable and "waste-free" line of furniture, and continue to produce more sustainably.

When Keurig came out with the single-serve coffee machine that almost instantly brews a cup of joe, it seemed like the best innovation at the time. Little did we realize how detrimental they could be to the environment and our health.

According to, " In 2014, enough K-Cups were sold that if placed end-to-end, they would circle the globe 10.5 times."

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Getting Over Mid-Semester Blues

Mid Semester BluesThe spring semester is always an interesting one, to say the least. You feel like you’re in high school again, just counting down the days to summer vacation. But you also realize that you need to “adult” and actually complete your work to finish out the semester.

This time of year is also very confusing in terms of the weather. One day there’s a snow storm, and the next day it is gorgeous and sunny. You don’t know if you should curl up in a blanket and attempt to study for all your midterms, or get ready to forget about all responsibilities and go to the beach.

Around this time in the semester when midterms are happening and soon finals will be approaching, students may have a hard time remaining focused and staying motivated to do work.

“Everyone wants to be outside in this weather and it’s important to find a balance,” Dr. Andrew Lee, the director of Counseling and Psychological Services, said. “We shouldn’t allow ourselves to lose track of everything, but we also shouldn’t restrict ourselves from going outside and enjoying the beautiful weather.”

 Not only are we distracted by the beautiful weather and our close proximity to the Jersey shore, we also have finals right around the corner. Lee said “We must know and acknowledge that stress will come. Life happens, and sometimes, life is stressful.”

Lee continued, “The best way to help with stress is to have a plan to finish your work and study efficiently.”

Lee also shared that some simple things we can do to have less focus on stress during this time is to make sure we engage in some kind of physical activity, get enough sleep every night, and also to just breathe. These tips may sound silly and simple, but can actually be very helpful in avoiding being overwhelmed by stress.

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Student-Athletes: On and Off the Field/Court

Student Athletes OnOff CampusStudent-athletes are multifaceted individuals who have passion, love, dedication, and motivation for the sport they play, and all the work that comes along with it. People often overlook the responsibilities that athletes have, on and off the court. Whether it is soccer, lacrosse, football, basketball, field hockey, golf, or bowling, each student program and team has rules and demands that athletes have to obey. These students also have the pressure of representing their team and Monmouth University.

Senior communication student, Justin Robinson, guard on the men’s basketball team, said, “We have a whole bunch of things that people don’t notice. We have to sit in the front rows of classes, or else we get in trouble. We have to carry ourselves a certain way because everything we do is watched under a microscope. Things that a regular student could get away with, we can’t because we’re athletes.” Robinson continued.

“It’s demanding, but I love it and wouldn’t change it for anything.”

Athletes are a symbol for Monmouth, and they have to strive in the classroom and on the court. There are no easy days for them. They are always asked for more than a student who is not involved in sports programs.

Lacrosse senior midfielder and communication student, Kevin Osback, said, “The team comes first, long practices followed by film sessions and lifting sessions. Applying a championship mentality to every aspect of the day from the little things to the bigger picture.”

Student-athletes are motivated to win and practice every single day to reach their goals. They have practices in the morning, during the days, and sometimes later on in the evening. Practice makes perfect, and practice puts Monmouth up on the charts against other universities.

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Technology: The Good, The Bad, and The Controlling

Tech Good Bad ControllingIt’s no wonder titans of tech are locked in an epic battle of the bots, racing furiously to produce the best virtual assistant.Their respective help-bots--Apple’s Siri, Google’s Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana--promise consumers one of the most valuable commodities in the world: free time.

Due to the sudden acceleration of artificial intelligence and advancements in speech recognition and big-data storage, the technology behind virtual assistants is rapidly spreading from phones and electronic devices to cars and homes, and the truly useful helper is approaching fast. The four companies are fighting for the biggest share of a market expected to grow to $12 billion by 2024.

“There’s a tremendous amount of promise for these agents to help and assist with many different tasks that we face every day,” said Ross Rubin, Principal Analyst at Reticle Research. “The more the agent can help you with, the more value it holds.”

The ultimate goal is our own personal genie in a bottle that awakens with a word or touch to liberate us from all of our daily mundane tasks, organize our days and nights, and free us from the stress of endless days that have become so terribly busy. But that’s not going to happen quite yet.

Today, the aid these virtual assistants provide remains fairly limited. Most users of Google Home and Amazon Echo devices--which host Assistant and Alexa respectively--stream music, play audiobooks, and control smart-home devices, according to surveys by San Francisco analytics firm VoiceLabs.

Still, the virtual agent’s foundation in Artificial Intelligence (A.I) means the more it learns about a user’s preferences and behaviors, the better job it can do. So, while experts predict a handful of firms will dominate in this field, most agree that Apple, Google and Amazon will be major players, with Microsoft in a lesser role. The one thing they’re split on is whether consumers will be served best by one bot, or more.

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Student Raises Money For Syrian Refugee Children

Keychain Cause 1Carly Miller, a junior homeland security student, has raised about $40 so far in donations for the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) by creating “Keychains for Children” to directly help child refugees from Syria.

The keychains are little plastic animals painted with various metallic colors. Miller explained how she had to screw a hole into each plastic animal and attach the keychain ring to create her final product.

The homeland security student has been selling her keychains through her personal instagram and facebook accounts and also booked a few days in the Rebecca Stafford Student Center(RSSC) to sell her keychains in person a few weeks ago. Miller plans to continue selling her keychains online and booking table space across from the information booth in the RSSC to sell them for $2 each.

Miller explained how she really felt moved to dive into this craft.”It was truly the intense media coverage and intimate personal videos of the victims I saw on social media one night that really motivated me to do something,” said Miller.

Her inspiration for the project cane when she was scrolling through her facebook page and saw all of these videos of innocent civilians being shot and killed in Syria. A few months ago, government forces in Syria attacked the city of Aleppo. The attack was supposedly a search for rebels, but it was evident that they were just killing innocent civilians.

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How to Reclaim Your Life from the Stress of College

Reclaim Life From College StressCollege is a time to find yourself, figure out what you’re passionate about and explore all of life’s options, but this is something that is easier said than done.

Between going to class full time, working part time and being involved in clubs on campus, it is difficult to remember to take time for yourself.

Endless to-do lists and class assignments control the majority of our time in college, but it is important to pencil in time in our planners for ourselves in order to take control over our schedules.

By taking advantage of free time, learning our limitations, and prioritizing ourselves, we can make the most out of our college years and reclaim our lives from our busy lifestyles.

Free time can be rare for some college students; how that time is spent can really affect the rest of our day.

Most of the time students end up mindlessly scrolling through social media or binge watching a show on Netflix for hours before getting back to the limitless work that is still piled in the corner we left it.

Samantha Marella, a senior business student, said, “Being a senior is a lot of work. Between my classes, internship, part time job and sorority, I’m always on the move. Sometimes it feels like I’m just on a nonstop cycle and I need to actively make time for myself and do things that I enjoy.”

Marella shared, “Some days I like to wake up an hour earlier so I can go to the gym or cook myself breakfast. It’s the small things like that that really help break up my crazy schedule and make me feel like I’m in control of my day.” Free time can be really beneficial in helping us accomplish what we want to do, instead of what we have to do.

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Internships: A Glimpse Into Your Future

Internships Glimpse Into FutureMany students try to push off the responsibility and task of getting an internship, but that experience is more beneficial than some people think. An internship is a preview of what someone’s future career will be like in a specific field. It could be a business, a public relations firm, or student teaching.

Whatever your calling may be, it is extremely important to figure what you want to spend your life doing, and what it is like to work that job.

Some may be wondering how to go about the process of obtaining an internship. For many instances, the process depends on the company or firm itself. Students should initiate searches on Google to find businesses and companies that appeal to them.

Collect as much information that you are able to, and familiarize yourself with the work they have done in the past.

Some websites provide a phone number or email address for students to reach out and connect with employees. Other sites have information about internships explaining the time span of the internship, what the intern would be doing and learning, the skills and education they require or prefer, and so on.

It may not seem like much, but, writing a cover letter and making sure your resume is perfect, and properly sent in are crucial steps.

When going in for an interview, it is best to have questions prepared to ask the company as well. They could be simple, such as their favorite part about working in the company, how long they have worked there for, what a typical day is like for an intern, and any other information they did not touch upon.

Lexi Swatt, a Monmouth alumna who is currently a postgraduate assistant for the Young Athlete team at Bleacher Report, said, “I made bullet points of information I found out about the company and then I made a set of questions I wanted to go over. Whatever company did not fully appeal to me, I crossed it off my list, and moved on. Make sure that you intern for a company that you know you will enjoy and have the same mindset and goals as they do. It really makes a difference.”

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Hawks Lend a Helping Hand as Peer Mentors

Hawks Help Peer MentorsThe spring semester is upon us and classes are in full swing. Workloads are increasing and stress levels are rising. While you may have a knack for writing your papers and completing assignments on time, others may not. Luckily, there is a place for that.

The Center for Student Success is housed in the lower level of the Student Center and encompasses many amenities for students in need of support. One service located in the Center for Student Success is Writing Services.

If you're someone who does have a knack for writing, you can become a writing assistant within the program.

Writing Assistants work with their peers to upgrade to student’s work and skills.

Students who wish to apply as a Writing Assistant must have already completed at least 30 credits at Monmouth, have a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher, have completed both EN 101 and EN 102 with a B+ grade or higher, and must have the recommendations of two faculty members. 

Neva Lozada, the Director of Writing Services and Supplemental Instruction said, “If students build a strong foundation in academic writing during their first year, they will be able to transfer these skills to other writing assignments and courses throughout their time in college as well as to their professional life after Monmouth.”

 “Writing Services is positioned as a resource for these students to assist them throughout all stages of the writing process and serves a partner in their journey toward academic success.” Lozada added

Another service on campus aimed at helping fellow hawks is the Office of Off-Campus and Commuter Services.

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A Look into the World of Women as Sports Fans

A Peek at the Gendered World of Sports Fandom

Gender World Sports FandomAs a female sports fan (a Hawks basketball fan to be exact), I am frequently confronted with questions like, “Okay, but do you even know any statistics?” or “What does the term ‘paint’ mean?”

And if I don’t answer immediately, I get shut down and shamed for being a “fake fan,” or I get told, “You just like the sport for the players’ looks.” And, while the players’ looks don’t hurt, I really am a fan of the sport itself. It is about time that women get treated like the true, dedicated fans that they are.

Dr. Jennifer McGovern, an assistant professor of political science and sociology and current professor of the sociology course, “Sports and Society,” explained that sports, from the beginning of times, have been a way for men to prove that they are manly. It was first used as a method of training for military combat; therefore, sports were gendered because women were not able to engage in military combat.

However, nowadays, McGovern suggested, “The performance of masculinity, or just a man trying to present himself as a man to other men and to women often wants to associate himself with sports.” Since masculinity is so rooted in sports from the beginning of time, it makes it difficult for women to ‘connect’ in men’s eyes.

Girls are often socialized from birth to enjoy things like shopping, caretaking, and dressing up, but, at least in their earlier years, most girls are not encouraged to take a liking to sports. Or, worse, girls are at times discouraged from taking a liking to sports. Therefore, when a girl decides to truly get involved and invested in a sport, whether it be playing the sport or being a spectator, it seems as though a good portion of men take offense to it.

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The Dangers of Emotional and Physical Abuse

Dangers of Emotional Physical AbuseNot all relationships are what they seem to be on social media. The couple may be smiling and kissing for the camera, but what about what happens when they are not in front of the lens? Maybe the girlfriend goes through her boyfriend’s phone, or maybe he abuses her. That is an unhealthy relationship.

Emotional and physical abuse cases are much more common and damaging than we think, and are educated on.

In a relationship, one partner does feel more in control and has more power over the other. Jack Demarest, a professor of psychology, said, “Physical and emotional abuse often appear together in relationships. The mental abuse in this case reinforces the physical abuse. In fact, it’s rare to find physical abuse without the presence of emotional abuse (usually referred to as mental abuse).”

Demarest continued, “Often, when the physical abuser cannot physically abuse the victim, such as in public, they can emotionally abuse him or her.”

Emotional and mental abuse ranges from name calling, yelling, shaming, or putting one down. Demarest explained, “Some tactics of emotional abuse include dominance, humiliation, isolation, threats, intimidation, and denial and blame. Emotional abuse’s purpose is, in part, to make the victim completely dependent on the abuser.”

Demarest added that financial abuse is a subtle way of doing this, saying “Financial abuse is a form of mental abuse, it’s where the abuser severely restricts access to money, such as putting the victim on an allowance, preventing the victim from working, or taking his/her credit cards.”

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Can Hashtags Really Make A Difference?

Impact of Hashtags 1Everyone is guilty of taking time out of their day to refresh their social media feed. Lately, one of the topics of conversation is about the decisions President Donald Trump is making and how they affect every citizen. Other posts consist of cooking videos, funny memes, song lyrics, or just someone complaining about their day.

What some people fail to realize is the power that social media and all these seemingly unnecessary posts have.

People share articles, make comments and use hashtags to either get a topic trending or create attention around it so everyone can be involved.

Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing, Alex Gilvarry, said, “The hashtag compiles posts by people of like minds and a quick search could bring you in touch with those in your area who care about similar things.”

Whether you know it or not, you have probably seen and used some yourself. For example, #NoBanNoWall, #feminism, #tbt, #beatcancer, #love, the list goes on. Hashtags are a great way to get a situation trending and people’s opinions heard.

Do hashtags really make more of an impact than someone who is actively trying to make a change or speaking about an issue? Are hashtags enough for citizens to make a change?

Depending on the subject matter, and how far an individual is willing to go: yes! The help of social media does let people have a voice, and pulls people together, but sometimes, an individual behind a screen can cause more havoc than peace. It is all about how people approach an issue or discussion, and how people react.

Coral Cooper, a senior English and creative writing student, said, '#BellLetstTalk is to help spread awareness about mental illnesses. In that sense, the hashtag could offer emotional support for some and financial support if the movement behind the hashtag is sponsored. It offers connectivity to people across the globe."

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Ready, Set, Routine!

Get the Most Out of Your Mornings

Morning RoutineWhat’s the first thing you reach for the instant your eyes open in the morning? I bet it’s your smartphone. And within 105 seconds, you’ve check your inboxes, Instagram, Facebook and everything else in the digital world, right?

I used to do this too. And before 7:05 a.m., I’d already feel stressed out. My heart would race at the touch of a mailbox icon, which flooded requests, questions, comments and calendar invites into my brain all at once.

This still happens whenever I let it, but those first 10 minutes after waking are the most potent for setting the tone for your entire day. What if you spent those 10 minutes differently? Here’s how, on my best days, I set up for a badass 24 hours, feeling like a total boss:

Layout Your Clothes Before Your Shower.

I got this advice from a friend, and it feels totally glam without costing a thing. Often on my commute home the night before, I consider my plans for the next day and what I’m going to wear. This is a massive time-saver!

Then, before I hop in the shower, I lay my outfit for the day out on the bed — accessories included. I pretend a personal stylist did it for me.

Awake With Intention.

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Women Can Do it!: Making Waves in the Music Industry

Women in Music Industry 1The music industry is always changing and evolving; the women involved in the music world are seek-ing a greater change and overall acceptance. While women have come a long way since the beginning of the 20th century, the amount of women involved in music compared to men is nowhere near the same--and it’s not because women have no interest.

Though there are a number of people that feel as though there is an equal playing ground for every-one. The industry, though it may seem like many other ‘businesses’ in the sense that it is or is not equal, provides society with the opportunity to see musicians under a different light.

Marc Muller, adjunct professor in the music department and professional song writer and musician who has played with big acts in the industry from Rush to Taylor and Shania Twain, said explained women in the industry, painting them as role models to look up to.

Muller said, “Ever since Bessie Smith sang out and signed with Columbia Records in the 20s as a black woman in segregated America to Lady Gaga leaping into the Super Bowl Halftime show with Woody Guthrie’s protest song, women have earned their plave in a male dominated business without ques-tion.” 

At Monmouth University, there are many students who spend a lot of their time over at Lauren K. Woods Theatre learning music and skills to prepare them for the industry.

Most of the time, you’ll see women practicing dance, theatre, or singing, while men strum away on guitars and bang on the drums. It’s as if women aren’t allowed to enter the man world of ‘real’ hard rock.

Kelli Misenheimer, a sophomore music industry student, explained how she grew up and wanted to pursue music: people thought she was crazy, irresponsible, and everyone discouraged her from learn-ing an instrument.

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The Impact of Growing up Exposed to Disability

Impact Exposed to Disability 1“That’s so retarded.”

Every time I hear the word ‘retarded,’ I cringe; what do people really know about the use of the word and why is it used as an insult so frequently?

Growing up with a mother who worked with special needs high school students and growing up with a cousin that had severe cerebral palsy, I knew that the use of the word ‘retarded’ was completely inappropriate.

However, the word is still spewed from mouths of those who just don’t understand the connotation of it or why it is so inappropriate.

For many, disability isn’t something that is prevalent in everyday life. Furthermore, many people didn’t grow up with a stark exposure to disability and therefore, don’t know the proper way to act around those who have disabilities.

The exposure to disability at a young age, whether it is mental or physical, affects children positively because they see people with disability as equal to themselves. To them, there is no disability at all, just another possible friend.

Skip Carey, Director of Disability Services, stated, “Such exposure [at a young age] allows for an opportunity to ‘see ability, not disability’ in an atmosphere of understanding and acceptance.”

If one grows up with an understanding of disability, it makes it easier to have a more open mind to acceptance for those who are different than us.  

“Living and working with people with disabilities promotes a sense of inclusion rather than isolation, and helps to level the playing field when it comes to equal access to opportunities that should be available to everyone – including people with disabilities,” Carey continued.

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Split from the Stereotype

The Problematic Portrayal of Mental Illness in Movies

Mental Illness in MoviesThe true terror that fuels scary movies has no longer become about the suspenseful plot or the battle between good and evil, but rather the minds of the villainous characters that are made to seem so inhuman in order to partake in such terrible activity.

For decades, movie writers and producers have preyed on mental illness as a way to entice moviegoers to buy tickets for horror films. Numerous movies have leveraged mental disorders in hopes of making their main characters more complex and unique. While this may help in creating a more obscure plot, it subsequently creates a harmful notion that those who struggle with mental disorders, such as dissociative identity disorder, should be feared. This problem has come to the big screen yet again through M. Night Shyamalan’s Split.

This suspense movie centers on the persona of a mentally ill serial killer named Kevin, who also goes by Hedwig, Patricia, Jade, Barry and a handful of other personalities that come alive in the film. As seen in the trailer, Kevin kidnaps three teenage girls from inside the doors of their unlocked car. His illness is the centralized theme in the movie as he preys on these three young girls through his 243personalities. We are first introduced to the notion that the kidnapper has a mental illness when the young girls scream for help after noticing what they believe is a woman wearing high heals through the crack of a door. It’s soon revealed to the young girls that this is the same man who kidnapped him, and the first plot twist of the movie is set into action.

Filming a movie about a person with dissociative identity disorder (D.I.D) as the main villain becomes problematic to not only those who struggle with the disorder in real life, but the audience and society as well. Through the messages in this movie (that those with D.I.D. are dangerous to themselves and to others) we are subconsciously misinforming society on what we know of this mental illness.

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Why All Men Should be Feminists

Men FeministsI am a feminist. Queue the questions and judgements. Yes, you heard correctly, I am a feminist, I am not a female, and feminism isn’t a women’s issue.

Merriam-Webster defines feminism as “the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.”

Sadly, we’ve grown up in a society that color-coded infants according to gender; boys in blue, girls in pink. This socialization is something that causes a rift between the two genders rather than considering them both as equal.

This goes beyond color-coding; the toys children receive are also based on the parents and society’s views on what’s culturally appropriate per gender role.

Parents often gift male children with toy trucks, superheroes, and anything that would promote aggression and an authoritative mindset, while female children predominately receive dolls, doll houses, and dress- up kits which endorse nurturing and communal contiguity meaning they get a better understanding of “family.”

I splurge these facts solely to explain that the negative male complex is related to the years of men being raised as the superior gender. And then there’s the dilemma of how society views a female that does not suit the traditional norms their families have set forth or what society is accustomed to. I would be doing an injustice if I were to attempt to define what femininity is because that definition differs from female to female.

Regardless of the female’s family norms and how society defines what being female is, the mind is the female’s and she can determine what being a female means to her. Regardless of how they define their gender, they should always be receiving respect and equality and not yearning for it.

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Avoiding the Fallout of Fake News

Fallout of Fake NewsEver since “fake news” became a talking point of the recent presidential election, the topic seems to be increasingly prevalent in the media and on the political stage.

According to the BBC, fake news is marked by dubious sourcing, vague details, a lack of reports on the topic, and a lack of clearly sourced evidence.

Dubious sourcing can mean one of two things - firstly, it can be a news source that one has never heard of before, or it can be very closely named after a real source, in the hopes of tricking readers into believing it is a legitimate source. This was the case with the Christian Times Newspaper, which was a false publication used as a source in a fake news story. In reality, the organization does not exist, but was easily confused with the legitimate newspaper Christian Times, according to the BBC.

“I recently fell for an instance of fake news myself,” said Marina Vujnovic, Ph.D., an associate communication professor. “I believe that sometimes it’s not easy to tell right away fake news from real news. However, fake news usually appears on less credible news sites or distributors of news such as Facebook, or on news aggregation sites such as Yahoo News. They are often distributed via e-mails as well. In my experience, fake news is hyper-sensational and often not well written.”

Vague details and a lack of reports on the topic are also characteristics of fake news. The information sourced can be entirely made up, or it can be exaggerated details of something that has already gone viral.

One such story was published by fake news sites including the Boston Outlet, the Denver Guardian, and the Christian Times Newspaper, claiming that a zoo in China was about to name a gorilla Harambe McHarambeface. The story brought together two viral memes of the year - the widespread Harambe meme, and the amusing story of a public vote by the British Antarctic Survey to name a new vessel, with the winning name being Boaty McBoatface.

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How Does Global Warming Affect Students?

Global Warming on Students 1When thinking of global warming, my first thought, and maybe a few others’ are: I don’t hate it, if its 60 degrees on Christmas Day. But the reality of it is that global warming is having immense effects on the environment and its inhabitants. So, just because we appreciate when its warm in December, it doesn’t necessarily mean we should be okay with it.

In order to have life on earth, green house gasses hold the heat we need. They trap the gasses and heat that are necessary, and make earth a average of 59 degrees Fahrenheit.

An article written by Elizabeth May and Zoe Caron on states that because of our own human contribution of greenhouse gasses to the atmosphere, we have increased the amount of greenhouse gasses by almost 35%.

Plainly stated, the more greenhouse gasses we have, the warmer the temperature of earth gets. The two main gasses to worry about, that humans can produce both actively and naturally, are CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) and CH4 (Methane). The same article from May and Zoe explains that CO2 is produced through “from burning fossil fuels, such as coal and oil. It also occurs naturally as it flows in a cycle between oceans, soil, plants and animals” and that MH4 is produced “by rotting garbage and wastewater, gas from livestock, and rice crops. Swamps and anything that decomposes without air naturally creates methane.”

While most of the main changes we all can make to reduce our carbon footprint are easiest when we become homeowners, there are a few easy changes we all can make without thinking and we can save the environment at the same time. First, instead of ordering that juicy hamburger at Five Guys, or buying steaks from Wegmans – try a vegetarian option instead.

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New Semester, New You: Making the Most of Spring

Making Most Of SpringAs you prepare for new classes by memorizing your schedule, seeing who is in the course with you, and adjusting to change, do not forget to take a deep breath. Last semester could have been a bit rocky, or maybe it was smooth sailing. Either way, it is in the past. Do not put yourself down because of the marks you earned or boast yourself if you did well. Taking college courses, each with different teaching styles and workloads, is not always an easy journey.

My freshmen year came easier for me than my friends. I enjoyed my classes, really pushed myself to achieve the grades and learning I wanted to, and I was motivated. Sophomore year I lost a bit of that fire. My courses were more difficult, and I had all new professors that I had to become accustomed to. Still, I pushed myself.

In college, this happens all the time; you lose motivation and dedication. Stress and anxiety can try to take over, but do not let it. You’re not alone when you’re going through these motions. It is a part of the “college experience” and growing. Once you get through a challenging course, professor, or semester, you will realize you can do anything you put your mind to.

These four years are the best years of your life, and the years that go by the quickest. Senior business student, Alison Maoli said, “I remember moving into Pinewood Hall the first day of college, and now I have about four months left. Looking back on it, I just wish I never took time for granted and learned to enjoy life more. Also, time management was a big factor and skill that I think college students need to learn.”

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How Time Management Helps you Achieve Goals

Time Management and GoalsHow can college students make time to focus on our goals in the midst of a busy semester? The answer is simple, but often ignored: time management. Time management is simply scheduling and pacing yourself, from when you work out, to when you study, to what time you can hang out with your friends and family.

While this doesn’t sound too difficult, without practicing correct time management, there is the possibility of crumbling under pressure.

However, once you get into the momentum and find a balance, it will become habitual and carry through your entire life, not just your college or career.

College is a stressful time, but life goes on and whatever seems like a big deal now will be a distant memory soon enough-so it isn’t worth the amount of anxiety we expel on current tasks.

So rather than stress over your next move, take the time and plan how you want things to go.

Travis Spencer, a freshman computer science student, stated, “My time management is setting up a routine for my entire week, so I always have a task that needs to be completed to keep me motivated.

Every day I set aside two hours for homework and have set tasks every other day of the week, from cleaning my room to doing the laundry on certain days.”

Having goals and aspirations and being passionate about them is great; however it’s important to break down each goal you have and give it a realistic timeline.

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Following Through with New Years Resolutions

Flowing New Years ResoultionsThe idea of reinventing yourself completely might be one of the biggest clichés that ringing in the new year brings. Gym memberships are purchased, diets are started, and with each new year, resolutions are made in hopes of keeping.

There’s nothing like Jan. 1 at the gym: all the machines are taken, people come out of the woodwork just to fulfill their resolutions, when in reality the regulars know it’ll only last a week.

 Making realistic resolutions seems to be the issue for most of society, because keeping them is the tough part.

Casey Hanna, a senior history and secondary education student, shared her resolution for 2017. “With field hockey, taking care of body and my health became less of a priority then it should be. For the new year I’m prioritizing myself and my needs.

With field hockey ending for me, I’m able to take care of my body, and do yoga or exercises that make me feel good.”

Hanna continued, “Eating healthy is another one of my major resolutions. Sure, everyone says they want to ‘eat healthy.’ but then give up soon after. I want to have healthy weeks, and then indulge in things I like on the weekends. Meal prepping is also becoming such a big part of my weekly routine already, and its definitely making a difference.”

By preparing a week’s amount of lunches and dinners, you’ll have more time in the week for working out or getting work done, and you’ll be less tempted to order take out when you know you have food waiting for you at home.

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Leave Our Beaches Alone

Beach ConservationAt Monmouth University and within the surrounding community, we have a responsibility towards something much bigger than ourselves. Living where we do in New Jersey, we have an obligation to protect the ocean and the local beaches that surround us. When summer ends and tourists leave, the local community members must stand up for the rights and protection of our beloved beaches.

Living less than two miles from the coast, it is hard to believe that Monmouth students can forget about the wellbeing of our beaches. Yet as usual, winter drives us from the beaches to the warmth of our homes. Again, we prove the saying is true: out of sight and out of mind.

At the end of last semester, members of the Monmouth University Surf Club were able to leave the comfort of their homes and get back to the beach.  An organization called the Surfer’s Environmental Alliance (SEA) hosted a beach grass planting event along the beaches of Long Branch. 

“For the beach grass planting we walked along the Long Branch boardwalk putting in new bundles of sea grass in the many empty spaces that were left after construction of the boardwalk finished up,” said senior Surf Club member Zack Karvelas.

Karvelas continued, “I want to make more of an effort to participate in the preservation and protection of our precious ocean. It’s important to be aware of the issues surrounding our ocean and beaches, especially for us Monmouth students who go to school at the beach.”

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FOMO: More Than Just Missing Out

Fear Of Missing OutFOMO, or “fear of missing out,” is an anxiety that most of us brush off as a minor life speed bump, but what if it is affecting us more than we think? FOMO, according to Urban Dictionary is, “compulsive concern that one might miss an opportunity or satisfying event, often aroused by posts seen on social media websites.”

None of us can say that we haven’t experienced FOMO at some point in our lives, but now, especially being college students, the FOMO is real in everyday life. Social media is a definite factor when understanding the triggers of FOMO. Students are so engrossed in social media—checking it every spare moment they get—that it would be silly not to consider it a factor in feeling that awful left out sensation.

Anthony Papetti, a senior communication student, said, “FOMO always distracts me since I find myself on social media looking at what I miss. Occasionally, I can wrap my head around that fact that it's better that I don't go out, but for the most part I think FOMO is a big part of everyone's lives and worries because it's usually talked about non stop and then you can't join in.”

While we may consider it purely a bad feeling that eventually goes away, for many students this feeling sticks around and actually causes health problems. Papetti stated, “FOMO is a deadly disease that 60 percent of people suffer from 100 percent of the time.” FOMO is a type of social anxiety that has some of the same effects other types of anxieties cause.

Katherine Rizman, a psychological counselor for Counseling and Psychological Services, said, “FOMO can be the direct and indirect causes of anxiety and other mental health (and health) concerns for college students in many situations.”

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Combatting the Winter Break “Brain Dump”

Winter Break Brain DumpThe stretch of time between the fall and spring semesters affects us the same way each year—we get sluggish, we’re in food comas after eating lots of home cooked food again, and we have little motivation to do anything related to school or education. As easy as it is to let all the knowledge we’ve absorbed over the first semester slip away, there must be a way to keep that info in our heads. Is there a possibility that all of that loss of knowledge is somehow a psychological phenomenon we all go through?

Elizabeth Roderick, a junior psychology student who focuses on neuroscience, explained that psychologically there is a reason to lose knowledge between semesters. “When we learn new information, new neural pathways and connections are formed. As we practice that new skill of piece of information, the pathway is strengthened and we remember it more easily,” she said. “However, if we stop using the pathway it becomes weak, and could eventually die off. It’s a process called neural pruning. Over the school year, we practice using these pathways constantly, but when we are on a long break we don’t use the pathway nearly as often and it becomes weak.”

Nothing is worse than having to relearn something. Gina Geletei, a junior English and education student, chimed in, “Long breaks are good for the students because it gives them a chance to debrief from the extensive learning they go through, but at the same time, the students often lose a lot of what they learned over the break.”

On the other hand, Roderick believed, “As far as long breaks go, I’m not sure that they’re as beneficial as they seem at first glance. First and foremost a lot of students experience a lapse in knowledge when they are away from school.”

Roderick added, “However, many students also experience a lot of anxiety during the school year that could be mitigated by having more short breaks and spreading the information across a longer time span rather than cramming it all in and having long breaks.”

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How Monmouth Students Get in the Holiday Spirit

MU Students Holiday SpiritIt’s that time of the year, where tinsel and lights cover front yards, Christmas trees, roofs and everything in between. Sometimes, we neglect to acknowledge that not everyone does the same things as we do for the holidays, and sometimes there are holiday traditions that some families do that we don’t even know exist. I asked a few students around campus to see how their family celebrates the holidays, and if they do any traditions within their family that are a little out of the ordinary.

Olivia Higson, a senior biology student from Manchester, England, explained that her family celebrates Boxing Day, the day after Christmas. She explained that during Boxing Day, it is the day in which they throw away all of the boxes from the presents on Christmas Day. It’s another time to see family that they hadn’t seen the last two days, and a day to indulge in more leftovers.

“We always celebrate with my dad’s side of the family because we don’t get to see them on Christmas Day,” Higson explained. “It’s like getting to celebrate Christmas for three days, and to keep eating all of the food leftover, so I can’t really complain.”

Higson also explained how a traditional Christmas dinner in England consists of turkey, stuffing, vegetables, etc. – most of which seems like our Thanksgiving meal.

Higson added, “Boxing Day really just highlights the importance of time with family and friends. Since I attend a school in a different country, I definitely miss out on a lot of important things when I’m not home. Having these three days around Christmas gives me the opportunity to see everyone, my aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents and friends.”

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More than a Fashion Fix: The Truth Behind the Safety Pin

Truth About Safety PinA loose button, a top that is too big for your body, a broken dress zipper-- all of these fashion emergencies can be fixed by a safety pin. However, since the recent Presidential election, safety pins have taken on a whole new meaning. Rather than being used as a fashion fix, they are being utilized as a political statement. They have become an actual pin of safety, symbolizing that those who wear the pin are allies to people of color, immigrants, the LGBTQ community, religious minorities, and anyone else who has experienced discrimination.

The outcome of this election has pinpointed President-Elect Donald Trump and his anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant rhetoric to be the cause of tthe safety pin trend, but could it just be that there is simply more light being shed on them? This safety pin movement is giving people a way to combat the fears and behaviors being instilled by those who are acting out.

The safety pin concept originated in the United Kingdom, following Britain’s decision to leave the Eurpean Union. After the vote, there was an increase in hate crimes against immigrants and minorities. According to Town Hall, the Southern Poverty Law Center reported over 200 incidents of “hateful harassment and intimidation” since Election Day; most incidents were labeled Anti-Black and anti-immigrant.

A junior communication student, Valentina Sanchez, said, “As a Latina woman, I feel like it is important to show my support and wear the pin as a symbol of unity and to create awareness amongst others. In my opinion, if you wear the pin and see an act of discrimination, you should do something.”

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Locking Down the Dream Job- Or at Least a Job

Getting Dream Job Or JobThere are so many questions that pop up in people’s minds when they are on the verge of making a life-changing decision. While choosing the college that fits your wants and needs is a stressful, timely task, searching for a career is even more difficult.

Most kids grow up with the financial dependence of their parents or guardians. As we grow older, we realize how thankful we were for their support because, little did we know, the real world costs a whole lot of money. Whether you have drinking habits, food necessities or relationship responsibilities, it all has a price. Once the flow of income from our loved ones stops coming, we need to get out there and fend for ourselves. A simple job just to put money in our pocket is a good first step, but when other factors like rent, utilities, and groceries come into play, a simple minimum wage job won’t cut it. Life is expensive and money doesn’t come free.

As the semester is winding down at universities across the country, students are beginning the hunt for jobs, if they haven’t started already. Despite student’s need for money, jobs and internships that give experience in their field of interest become more relevant and valuable for the future. So how are you supposed to know when to take an odd-job just to put money in your pocket, or to look for serious, more applicable jobs that’ll set you up for your future?

Some students worry about choosing the right offer. “It’s nice to know I have an option for a career right after college. There’s a lot of anxiety that comes with graduating, and knowing I have a job (If I want it) relieves a lot of that stress,” said Huascar Holguin, a senior music industry student. “However, there’s a sense of settling. There might be other great opportunities out there for me that I’ll never find, because I was eager to jump into the first offer I got.”

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Surviving the Quarter Life Crisis

Survive Quarter Life CrisisWhen you’ve spent 12 years of your life in school, the thought of a life without the structure and routine of education can be a little scary. Since pre-school, school has defined our every-day patterns. As May gets closer and closer, many students are beginning to experience something terrifying: the quarter life crisis.

A quarter life crisis can be explained as a period of time during your twenties to thirties when you begin to feel doubtful about your life, brought on by the stress of looming adulthood. George Kapalka, Ph.D., a professor of psychological counseling, has witnessed this anxiety among many students at Monmouth University. He explained, “Most students go to college right after high school, so by the time they graduate from college they have been in school for 17 years straight. When you’re 22, that’s about 2/3rds of your life.”

Kapalka continued, “So, after college will be the first time when a good degree of structure provided for you – by having classes and spending time studying and completing assignments – so when you now have to create your own structure – by getting a job, a place of your own, etc. – this is anxiety provoking because you never really had to do that.”

Students have to face the reality of the job market. We’ve been in our comfortable Monmouth bubble, but the thought of competing with students from all over the country (not just North and South Jersey) is something a lot of us sweat over. “It’s stressful at times to think about what I want to do for the rest of my life, after I get my Master’s,” said Stephanie Merlis, a senior business marketing student. “The idea of sending in hundreds of job applications and not getting a response is terrifying.”

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Continuing Education as an Educator

Continuing Education As EducatorBeing a student here at Monmouth, I’ve noticed the handful of faculty members (a general term for those who work for Monmouth in some way, shape, or form) in our classrooms right alongside the everyday students. I got the opportunity to speak to not only some of the faculty member/student duos but some of my peers who have had the experience in a number of their classrooms as well.

Margaret Checton is the Assistant to the University Librarian and doubles as a student on some days as well. Checton is currently enrolled in a Language and Linguistics class, and had a lot to share about her experiences and thoughts on faculty members of any type being a fellow Hawk. “The most important thing I learned from being a student is that we are constantly learning from you, the students, too. The Monmouth classroom has never been a one-way street from my seat.  Every class is an expedition where professors are instructing and students are adding significantly to the destination,” she explained.

Checton continued, “In other words, I am not only learning from the professors, but from the students as well. I have found that our students bring an abundance of many things to the classroom, all of which are essential to effective learning processes.”

It’s true, the Monmouth education field has never been one to discriminate or fail in the teachings of all of life’s treasures, but, we all know that being a student can be difficult at times. The pressure of exams, papers, quizzes and more could make anyone buckle underneath the weight, Checton reveals that to help in being the best student and member of the Monmouth community she could be, she will “take a certain amount of vacation days each semester to study for exams or complete a project-” this being the only stipulation to doubling as a ‘faculty member’ and a student.

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The President Is… Wait, What?

Trump PresidencyThe 2016 Presidential election has been the most controversial election in history. Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have created such strong supporters over the many months of campaigning. Argu-ments, fighting, and protests have taken up social media feeds, as well as streets all over America. It all came down to election night, Nov. 8, 2016. Everyone thought that Clinton was going to win, because that was what the polls were telling us. To many people’s surprise, however, they were wrong. Trump had won, and will be the 45th President of  the United States of America, starting in January.

Many of Monmouth University’s students and faculty members were divided over this election; stu-dents posted on Facebook and Twitter supporting one candidate over the other, causing havoc and tension. There were countless articles bashing each candidate, with new insults and dug up incidents appearing in the media every day. This election really became an example of dirty politics.

When Trump was announced as the President-elect, a huge portion of the country was shocked, stunned, and angry. People threatened to flee, and move to Canada and other countries.

Many individuals have criticized our next President  as being racist, sexist, and against the LGBTQ+ community, based on his past remarks and actions. Everyone’s feelings were so raw. Individuals felt like they no longer had a home in America and would not be able to live safely.

A senior communication student, Ayse Yasas, stated, “I’m scared to see people forgetting how to love and respect one another regardless of what our values are. I don’t want to see the lives of the black, Hispanic, LGBTQ+, female or assault victims ruined because of this election outcome. We need to love more.” That is exactly what we need— love. Our beloved country needs to come together, and be unified.

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What it’s Really Like to Work Black Friday

Working On Black FirdayI wake up from my Thanksgiving food coma at 4 a.m. to the piercing sound of my alarm. With an extra large coffee in both hands, I head off to work to greet the holiday season and its anxious shoppers with a less than enthusiastic, “Hi, welcome in! Can I help you find anything today?”

Arriving at the outlet center, I pass a long line of shivering customers waiting to shop the great deals my store has to offer. Before even stepping foot into work however, I’m faced with my first of many peculiar encounters with these Black Friday shoppers.

“She’s cutting the line! Who does she think she is?” shouts a disgruntled mother of two at the security guard, wagging her manicured nails towards me. I share a laugh with the security guard as he lets me into the store, listening to him convince her that no, I’m not getting some type of early bird special on the handbag she tried to put on hold the night before.

 In the midst of the Christmas music and holiday discounts, many forget to acknowledge that people actually work during Black Friday.

Walking into the perfectly organized, untouched store I take a minute to appreciate the silence— the calm before the storm, and the ability to hear myself think because I know that all will vanish in a matter of moments.

Black Friday shopping isn’t for everyone. Some people love waking up at the crack of dawn with friends, grabbing an espresso and heading out to take advantage of deals others decided to sleep on. But many, especially those who work during the craze, believe that it’s a socially constructed, merchandiser driven ‘holiday’ that shoppers participate in for the less than exceptional deals.

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A Groundbreaking Soundbreaking Experience

Ground Breaking Sound BreakingOn Saturday, Nov. 12, 16 Monmouth students had the unique opportunity to see an advance premiere of a documentary that is described as a “music driven celebration of the art of recording” —Soundbreaking: Stories from the Cutting Edge of Recorded Music. The trip was sponsored by the University’s affiliation with the Grammy Museum, a museum devoted to the history and winners of the Grammy Awards.

Joe Rapolla, Chair of the Music and Theatre Arts Department, said, “Soundbreaking is a great series, and this event is another great way we are leveraging the great resources and connectivity of our Grammy Museum affiliation.”

This eight-episode series, which premiered on PBS Nov. 15, was created as part of a movement to document what happens in American music and the process of creating music. The late Sir George Martin, most famous for producing The Beatles, was a big inspiration in the creation of this film, and he had said antemortem that there had never been a movie made about the importance of technology and recording.

This documentary had been underway for almost 15 years and includes interviews with over 200 artists and producers from various genres and generations of music history. Bob Santelli, Executive Director of the Grammy Museum, explained, “This series takes you behind the scenes into the creative process.” He continued, “It shows you how the role of technology has changed over time and creates a deeper connection to the music.”

Rapolla explained the importance of technology in the Industry, “Technology has always been a key driver of the music business. Using technology to create music, especially popular music, compliments the creative process.”

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Exploring the Hype Over the New Starbucks Cup

New Starbucks CupFacebook blew up with furious complaints over Starbucks’ freshly released green “unity cup.” While Starbucks’ Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz said the design’s mosaic of more than 100 people drawn together in a single stroke was meant to “create a symbol of unity as a reminder of our shared values, and the need to be good to each other,” my Facebook friends, and many people across all platforms of social media, did not feel the same.

One Facebook friend posted,

"Right before the holidays? It’s November third! People need to relax. Seriously, it's just a cup." Another said, "Please tell me what a green cup has to do with politics. People will read into anything just to find something to be angry about."

 This new cup has been causing quite a divide amongst coffee drinkers and we're all wondering why. Why are these new cups such a big deal for people?

Mirta Barrea-Marlys, Department Chair of World Languages and Cultures, said, "I actually like the cup! Starbucks is an international icon when it comes to coffee, serving millions of people across the world. It makes sense that the company would make a diverse and eclectic cup for their customers as a symbol of unity and peace.”

Our world is such a diverse place and the green cup promotes unity. Barrea-Marlys explained, "After all, what brings people together more than having a cup of coffee? Some people may complain, but after all, it is what is in the cup that matters. The packaging won't change the taste of the coffee, but it sure makes your cappuccino much more interesting to look at!"

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Service Dog Acceptance at Educational Institutions

Service Dog Educational InstitutionsThe use of service dogs in educational institutions has recently been under attack. A service dog, according to the Americans with Disability Act, is “any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability.”

Service dogs are usually thought of just for those with impaired vision of sorts, but they serve many more purposes than that. They can help with mental disabilities by keeping their human companions with severe anxiety, or other mental disabilities, calm and at ease.

Furthermore, some service dogs also aid in the detection of seizures in their human counterparts, which is a sensory skill that humans are incapable of.

Service dogs are very useful and quite essential in many humans’ lives. A venue in which service dogs are especially necessary is at a school or university. For students who attend school every day, a service dog is extremely beneficial. That’s why when the recent case of a girl who was denied the use of her service dog in school was sent to the U.S. Supreme Court, it was a mind-boggling concept for many.

While there are many concerns for service dogs in schools such as allergies and other students’ fears, schools should not be allowed to deny a student services that aid in the disability of a student. This recent case leads many to ponder the thought of service dog acceptance.

Jaime Kretsch, specialist professor and Department Chair of Computer Science and Software Engineering and proud Seeing Eye dog raiser, said, “Anyone bringing a service dog anywhere, regardless of whether it is a school or not, needs to feel that they and their dog will be allowed to function as the team that they are.”

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Shooting for Success: Justin Robinson

Justin Robinson 1Some people are simply born to excel at something, whether it be in academics, politics, art, etc. For senior communication student and point guard Justin Robinson, basketball is what he was always destined to do. It’s not easy to pinpoint the exact moment you figured out your passion, but Robinson knew when he was just a toddler.

“When I was about two years old, my mom put a blow up basketball in my crib and she said I would take it with me everywhere I went,” Robinson recalled. “She said I would take it to the mall when my mom went to get her nails done, to my grandma’s house, I always had the ball with me. So, I guess I naturally fell in love with basketball.”

This toy led Robinson to an incredibly successful basketball career- one that he’s worked diligently for his entire life. He is set to lead the men’s basketball team to a victorious MAAC conference starting Nov. 11 against Drexel. For Robinson, this has been his plan since he was dribbling on the playground as a kid. He began playing basketball as soon as he could walk. “[My mom] would take me to the park and I’d run right to the basketball court,” Robinson remembered.

Robinson’s journey to becoming the unanimous pick for MAAC Preseason Player of the Year started in Long Island, where he was first noticed by former assistant coach Brian Reese. Two weeks later, King Rice, Men’s Basketball Head Coach, noticed Robinson at a tournament in Philadelphia.

“[Rice] offered me to come down here for an official visit the week before my birthday, and I came down here and I loved it,” Robinson said. “On my way home he offered me a scholarship. I said I’d think about it. Then, on my 18th birthday, I decided I was gonna come to Monmouth.”

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No, You Don’t Look Fat in That: Overcoming Negative Body Image

Overcoming NegFirst impressions are created within the first seven seconds upon meeting someone new, ac¬cording to Forbes. So, it is no won¬der that young women hold their appearance at such a high value. With constant pressure to look ones best at all times, negative body issues are rapidly arising.

College students around the world put a massive amount of pressure on themselves to look and feel their best everyday. For many, getting ready in the morn¬ing becomes an internal struggle as negative thoughts about their bodies consume their thoughts. It’s common for many to voice negative thoughts by asking room¬mates, “Do I look fat in this?” al¬most daily.

In order to combat negative body image and fat talk, Huffing¬ton Post writer Jamie Feldman proposes a simple game:

For every bad, negative or de¬grading comment made about yourself, you must follow up with two uplifting, positive and com¬plimentary things. By doing this, you can counteract bad thoughts with positive ones. This can also create a better mindset about ones body and actively train minds to celebrate positive things, rather than dwell on the negative ones First impressions are created within the first seven seconds upon meeting someone new, ac¬cording to Forbes. So, it is no won¬der that young women hold their appearance at such a high value. With constant pressure to look ones best at all times, negative body issues are rapidly arising.

College students around the world put a massive amount of pressure on themselves to look and feel their best everyday. For many, getting ready in the morn¬ing becomes an internal struggle as negative thoughts about their bodies consume their thoughts. It’s common for many to voice negative thoughts by asking room¬mates, “Do I look fat in this?” al¬most daily.

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The Dangers of Hacking and How to Protect Yourself

Hacking 1With hacking at the forefront of the news lately, is it possible to ever truly be secure on the in¬ternet? For those unaware with hacking, it can be defined as us¬ing a computer to gain unauthor¬ized access to data in a system.

In today’s heavily dependent technological society, it is nearly impossible for hacking to cease any time soon. With websites like WikiLeaks, the Yahoo hack¬ing scandal and television series focused on hacking like “Mr. Robot” – it seems as if we can¬not escape the idea of living in an insecure cyber society.

WikiLeaks is a multinational media organization which spe¬cializes in obtaining persecuted documents. It was founded by Julian Assanger, who started his hacking career as a teen¬ager. Most recently, WikiLeaks has been a popular news topic because of the upcoming presi¬dential election. In March of 2015 it became publicly known that Hillary Clinton had been us¬ing her private email server for official communications, rather than her State Department email account.

The emails were hacked from the accounts of both Clinton and her campaign chairman, John Podesta. FBI director James Comey identified 110 emails containing classified informa¬tion, with 65 being secret, and 22 as top secret, according to USA Today.

Obviously, this came at a time which was right in the middle of her campaign for president. Now, with the upcoming elec¬tion, Clinton is asking the peo¬ple of the United States to put their trust in her, even with all of these scandals behind her.

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Matt Alonso Breaks Down Walls in the Music Industry

Matt AlonsoLast December I interviewed senior music industry student Matt Alonso about his Kickstarter for Cortex which successfully raised $5,500. It may sound cheesy, but what once was an idea has now become a reality for Alonso after nine months of dealing with the ups and downs of the industry and working four jobs to make sure his dream would come true.

The platform of Cortex is a way for musicians to connect with their fans, according to Alonso. Currently the website “” can be used for fans to download their favorite artists’ music for free. Artists that are registered with Cortex currently include current Blue Hawk Records artists Littlebear and The Ramparts Rebel. and some Monmouth alumni bands like The Bunks, Flammable Animals, and Grin & Bear. Some local bands, such as Bounder and Black Sox Scandal, are featured on the website as well.

The website had its first soft launch in mid-September. Artists pay a single payment of $50 to start connecting with their fans and making money off their music. Although this is only the beginning, Alonso has a lot in store for Cortex. Within the next year Alonso wants to “go towards streaming music for these artists’ and get them paid more than Spotify, Tidal, and Apple Music combined.”

We have seen artists like Beyoncé and Taylor Swift take a stand against the music streaming sites that only seek to take money from artists. Alonso’s goal is to “put the music industry back in the hands of the artists.”

 He explained that current CEO’s of these streaming sites have a formula they use to calculate how much money goes to the artist and how much goes to them and Alonso blatantly stated “I made up my own formula and it’s better.”

His whole platform revolves around making sure artist get paid fairly and can connect with their fans. Alonso recently celebrated his first two cents of revenue, and although that may not be much to most of us, it meant the world to him and the future of Cortex.

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Take A Step Back From Sharing So Much: How Social Media Overwhelms Our Lives

Kim Engagement 1It is a part of life, a routine rather, for an individual to share aspects of their life and their beliefs and values on social media. Instagram is for perfectly filtered images and videos, Twitter is used to rant or vent, and Snapchat allows us to capture pictures letting others know where we are, who we’re with, and what super fun thing we’re doing. Facebook, however, that has become a battlefield in the midst of this messy political election.

We are all guilty of sharing way too much on many sites. In college, students post their whereabouts, who they are with, what they are thinking, and so forth. Individuals are seen on their phones, refreshing these media vessels, tuning out of the real world, and becoming instantly educated on other people’s lives. People fail to realize that posting too much can be risky and threatening.

Tommy Foye, a senior communication student, said “People are very interested in the lives of celebrities because of what they do and the money they can spend. It’s all interesting but can sometimes be too much, being that they are revealing too much to the public and are almost wanting the attention.”

It is the guilty pleasure of many fans and followers to watch and see what their favorite celebrity is up to, doing, and thinking. At the same token, celebrities break the privacy barrier, and post things that should be for their own private knowledge and eyes.

Providing information for others to see on an Instagram page, Twitter account, Facebook profile, or Snapchat story, is dangerous. People who are seeing these things are not always friends or trusted eyes. It crosses over the line of what should be personal, not public. 

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The Importance of Music as Told by Roseanne Cash

Roseanne Cash Music ImportanceTen University students had the extraordinary opportunity to meet and talk with "one of Country's pre-eminent singer/songwriters," Roseanne Cash before her show in Pollack theatre on Friday, Oct. 21.

Joe Rapolla, Chair of the Music and Theatre Arts Department, said, "It was such a treat for Monmouth students to be able to be a private audience for sound check and have a personal conversation with such a great and gracious artist like Rosanne."

Rapolla continued, "This is a great example of how coordinated performing arts programming can be leveraged at the academic level, to the benefit of the students."

As an attendee of the workshop, I can say that this was definitely the opportunity of a lifetime and instilled a passion in me to go forward with writing music, and reflect on how important music is. While listening to WMCX last week I heard a host say, "Imagine what life would be like if there were no music at all." The hosts of the show seemed confused and upset to even think about a world without music. So we wonder, what makes music so important to us?

When I asked Cash this question, her automatic response was, "Because it's like oxygen." Many of us, especially songwriters and artists, could not imagine living without the free spirit and energy of music. Cash went on to tell us how songwriter and producer, T-Bone Burnett, breaks down music into a physics and explains how we are all made up of music. From the day we are born to the day we die, we are exposed to many different types of music. Every song has a different meaning to us, every beat hits us a different way.

Rapolla explained, "I think what the students heard from Roseanne reinforced our program philosophy, that music and the arts are part of our DNA, and how the arts enriches life, no matter what your field. There are so many ways to engage with music and the arts."

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Why You Should be Taking More Time for Yourself

More Time for YourselfBright-eyed and smiling young adults decked out in college apparel walking off to class is a picturesque scene of college to many high-school seniors and hopeful parents when thinking about future collegiate years. On the surface, higher education looks as fun and easy as sitting in lecture halls, dining in the student center and hanging out in cinderblock dorms.

However, there’s more to the story than what tour guides and college pamphlets will let you in on. Amongst all the club meetings, Greek events and sports games, students are met with an underlying sense of stress, anxiety and depression, as self-care isn’t at the top of everyone’s daily to-do lists.

While being in college gives young adults the opportunity to meet new people and discover life passions, it can also be a vulnerable and unstable period. Students find themselves overwhelmed with stress as the pressure to study, write papers, and accomplish numerous daily tasks becomes exhausting.

College students are more involved than ever; being a full-time student, working part time and being involved in clubs on campus creates insane amounts of stress and pressure, and for many it is difficult to find the right balance.

With heavy involvement and busy workloads, many college students are neglecting necessary self-care precautions to maintain their mental health. As mental health issues and concerns are on the rise for college campuses, it is important for students to put self-care on their priority list and take action to ensure they aren’t letting their busy schedules consume their lives.

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Is the Media Biased?

How to Stay Media Literate During the Election

Media Biased“Is there a bias in the media? Yes. Is the media biased against Donald Trump? No,” stated Matthew Lawrence, a specialist professor of communication.

Trump, on the other hand, told the audience at a rally in Pennsylvania earlier this month, “This crooked media. They are worse than [Hillary Clinton] is. I’m letting you, they are so dishonest.” Is the media biased? And how much of an effect does the media have on our perception of this presidential election? The key to this question lies in becoming media literate, or learning the ability to access, analyze, and evaluate media and employ critical thinking abilities towards media consumption.

The job of the press is to report the news, and to avoid bias. This gets muddled when publications endorse a candidate. As I write this article, Clinton has been endorsed by 178 newspapers, and Trump has been endorsed by 4. “In this ongoing election the media has been completely biased,” stated John Maurer, a junior communication student. “Reporters are biased and are giving their opinions instead of doing their job.”

Eleanor Novek, a professor of communication, pointed out that journalists have always been sharing their opinions on elections. “Some journalists try to be as objective as they can be, other news organizations take a position so they let you know right from the start that they are biased,” Novek explained. “Political humor and political satire goes back to the origin of newspapers. People made fun of leaders, rulers, or anybody who was running for office… This is nothing new.”

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Lions, Tigers and Clowns, Oh My: Inside the Clown Phenomenen

penn state clown huntWhat can only be described as a bad scene from an overrated horror film has begun taking the stage in neighborhoods throughout the U.S., causing commotion and resurfacing childhood fears for many. Clowns are sweeping the nation and causing mass hysteria for concerned parents, college campuses and those with a fear of clowns.

Menacing clowns have been terrorizing the streets in dozens of cities throughout the past couple of weeks, and as Halloween approaches, this frenzy has skyrocketed.

While this phenomenon seems to have ignited overnight, the clown that started this national craze was from Greenville, SC as he gained the presses attention trying to lure a child into the woods. The buzz this unsettling story created led to many following in the footsteps of the South Carolina predator, with hopes to get their own sixty seconds of fame.

Claude Taylor, professor of communication and transformative learning, shared his opinion on how this bizarre incident snowballed into a nationwide trend. “Sometimes what happens with contagions like this one, is that people see something on TV that gets attention and they want to emulate it themselves,” Taylor explained. “For me, what I’m seeing is an extension of the prank phenomenon where people want to get in on a rush. Teenagers are tired of watching others do it online, and want to up the ante and do it for themselves. Unfortunately, people are not thinking about the consequences of their actions in the heat of this trend, and its extraordinarily dangerous.”

The frequent clown sightings have instilled such a strong fear in college students that pepper spray sales have gone through the roof, and many are ready to fight back. With clowns roaming the streets at night, some residential college students are taking precautions to a whole new level. Penn State University recently bombarded the streets on a “clown hunt” in hopes to scare away the clowns seen on their campus.

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The Power of Celebrities and Social MediaKAITLYN

anti Trump campaignSocial media is more prevalent than ever, with apps like Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook being refreshed constantly on everyone’s phones. These apps offer breaking news and a quick way to skim through what’s going on in the world— and also a huge focus on celebrities, which gives them a vessel for them to voice their opinions. We’re seeing a lot of this now with the upcoming elections; celebrities are voicing their opinions in hopes to influence their audiences to vote for one candidate or another. Just because someone is famous, does that give them the right to influence people, especially Monmouth students? This is a question many students have trouble answering. Fame puts someone in the spotlight, but not because of their insights on politics or social issues. Just because they have a platform and a widespread audience, they are not necessarily the most informed source. The control and power they have over people can be either positive or negative; it is up to the individuals to decide how they perceive what they hear.

When a celebrity talks about their views on a certain topic or situation, their fans can be biased, and follow their favorite singer, athlete, or actor blindly. Shannon Newby, a senior sociology student, said, “I think when celebrities voice their opinion and promote specific things it persuades us more to either buy what they’re trying to sell, or believe what they say, rather than coming from someone who isn’t very well known.”

Newby continued, “Someone who is more famous I feel like we assume they have lots of experience that has clearly made them very successful making them influential on us.” Because these public figures are in magazines, get paid millions, and have huge fan followings, people tend to think celebrities, actors, and actresses are reliable sources.

Angelo Sceppaguercio, a senior finance and real estate student, said, “Celebrities are icons, and the way they are portraying themselves has a lot to do with what students say and believe. They influence the minds of young adults who listen to social media and not the truth. Half of the student population can’t even name what parties are fighting for what.”

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From the Battlefield to the Classroom: Being a Student in the Military

cesarMost college students feel like they have enough problems to warrant all the stress in the world—balancing classes, activities, jobs, and maintaining relationships; however, there is a population of Monmouth students who balance more than the average student could imagine: serving our country at the same time.

Cesar Monterroso, a sophomore criminal justice student, is a prime example of someone leading a life of schoolwork, and a life in the military. He is a member of the United States Reserve, as a Flying Chief for the KC-10A Extender at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in South New Jersey. “I wanted to join and serve my country, but I also wanted the flexibility of being in the reserves to attend college at the same time,” explained Monterroso. “I joined with the mentality of eventually bettering myself down the road. I also loved being around aircrafts growing up, and even today I am still mesmerized when I walk up to the [aircraft], so it was a win-win situation.”

Another student involved in the military is Samuel Herrara, a senior computer science student, who is also a United States Marine. “My dad was in the Navy when I was young, so I was raised on a Naval Base in South Carolina. My dad is my hero and my greatest influence to be in the military,” Herrara said. “He raised me in a strict military manner, so the military lifestyle is all I ever knew. I specifically chose the Marine Corps because I remember as a young boy I would read about the legacy of the Corps, and I just knew I belonged in the greatest fighting force in the world.”

Being a college student and a member of a military branch are two extremely different ways of life. George M. Kapalka, Ph.D., a professor of professional counseling, explained the differences in the lifestyles, “It is a different mindset. In the military, direction is given ‘from the top’ – it is expected that the commanding officers have most (if not all) the answers and give instructions to those under their directions, and those commands are to be followed precisely and completely,”

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Why You Shouldn’t Underestimate Women’s Magazines

obamaWith the current election cycle, everything and everyone seems to be focused on politics. The candidates cover the front pages of newspapers, fill radio broadcasts and news programs, and dominate social media feeds. Now, even women’s magazines – typically seen as ‘fluff’ news – are coming into the political field.

Women’s magazines are now filled with political content, usually interviews with important figures in the election such as Ivanka Trump, Chelsea Clinton, and Hillary Clinton herself.

“I think it’s an important outlet that typically gets ignored,” said Christina Caliendo, a junior music student. “I don’t read a lot of women’s magazines but when there’s a particularly interesting interview I’ll pick it up.”

Those involved in the elections have also been publishing their own words in women’s magazines. Hillary Clinton herself wrote a piece for The Toast, a publication that closed in July. She focused on the importance of women’s spaces in media and in other fields. Katy Tur, a reporter who covered Donald Trump’s campaign for NBC, wrote in Marie Claire about her experience working with him – which often included harassment.

“Trump called me naïve,” she wrote. “He told me I didn’t know what I was talking about. He shamed me when I stumbled on a question. And when the cameras shut off, he was furious. He didn’t like my questions, which were direct, or my tone, which was conversational.”

Trump also insulted and shamed Tur on national television, called her names during interviews, and announced on Twitter that she “should be fired for dishonest reporting”. All of this, and more, was covered in her piece for Marie Claire. It was shared about 30,500 times via Facebook and Twitter, according to the site; it received much less attention than typical election coverage.

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The Pumpkin Spice Phenomenon: Do You Really Love it?

starbucks coffee flickr urban bohemianIt’s that time of year again. The leaves are changing, the air has grown crisp, and the days keep getting shorter – yes, the pumpkin spice season is upon us. Every year, when September strikes, the notorious spice makes its debut to once again provide warm, comforting flavors to the masses. Though it may seem like no human being on the planet can resist this autumnal favorite, it might actually be the media who harbors the true obsession. Do people truly love pumpkin spice, or is the media just telling us we do?

While some may choose to parade their love of pumpkin with pride, others prefer to quietly give in to the overarching trend. Toting his own warm cup of pumpkin spice coffee, senior English student, Michael Mottola said, “I don't get super hype about pumpkin spice's inevitable arrival in fall, it's just like any other seasonal event, but I always do like pumpkin spice stuff when it comes around.”

Others at Monmouth have yet to hop on the pumpkin spice train. Senior communication student Emma Gepner admitted she doesn’t quite understand all of the pumpkin hysteria. She said, “Personally, I'm not a fan of pumpkin spice coffee. I'm all for the traditional pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving, but other than that, I could really do without it in my food.”

When it comes to pumpkin spice, we’re paying for much more than flavor alone. Deanna Shoemaker, Ph.D., an associate professor of communication, said, “Whether people love or hate all things pumpkin spice, I think marketers know how tap our desires and perceived needs to sell, sell, sell. We as consumers buy into a feeling generated by cultural traditions that advertisers amplify in order to sell products. Pumpkin spice as a flavor, a color, or a smell is framed as an expression of the beauty of the fall season, the coziness of hot drinks and sweaters, a fire, so on.  That association generates profits.”

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The Importance of Classes that Think Outside the Box: Creating a Culture of Peace

class in circle small wide picStudents do not really know what to expect on the first day of classes, or throughout the semester. Everyone has experienced the typical routine: write a few papers, be up all hours of the night to study for exams, and stay at desk in the classroom, barely raising your hand and participating. How sad is that— not learning, not growing, and not becoming involved. Well, surprise; there is a course that can change your life for the better, for years to come.

Creating A Culture of Peace is a course that is the exact opposite of many classes that a student has taken here at Monmouth University, which makes it extremely unique and life-altering. Eleanor Novek, a professor of communication, teaches this class, which has received positive results and relationships after the students have completed these credits. "The class was developed out of my volunteer work with the Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP)," Novek explained. "AVP is a nonprofit group that offers conflict resolution programs in community groups and prisons. Through games, exercises, and shared experiences, it develops the communication skills and attitudes people need to solve conflicts peacefully.

 It is a class that is set up in a circle, having the students and Novek looking at each other, and interacting on a conversational level, so anyone can speak about any topic at any given time. Each individual is given a name for the class, making it more friendly and comfortable. The student has to use an adjective that describes them that starts with the same letter as their name.  Novek recalled, " In the class, everything we do builds a community of trust and sharing. Students journal about topics as far-reaching as early experiences of violence, holding grudges, and random acts of kindness. Each one chooses a positive name they use all semester. At the end of the semester we didn't want to leave!"

Ayse Yasas, a senior communication student who went by Amazing Ayse, said “This class wasn’t like any other class I’ve ever taken in the best way possible, and it’s probably one of my favorites of all time. It felt like a small community of peace and togetherness, and I became friends with people that I would never normally talk to. It’s also the only class that taught lessons that I could use in everyday life and genuinely made me think about my actions everyday to actively be a better person and keep the peace with people.” How amazing is that? A class that really makes an individual think about their everyday life, and change.

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The Trophy Generation is #Adulting

adultingEvery so often, a new catchy phrase or saying will enter the vocabulary of hundreds of millennials, college students and teenagers nationwide. Words like “yolo” find their way into daily conversations without a second thought. Recently, “adulting” has become the new thing to say when talking about responsibilities like going to work, paying bills or simply growing up. This generation of college students and recent grads have begun glorifying everyday tasks and occurrences that come with growing up by using the term “adulting.” This notion and the ideas associated with it allude to the idea that everyday responsibilities are trendy, and that college students want to be celebrated for going about everyday tasks.

Many people use the term jokingly to talk about their daily tasks to give them a fun spin on something otherwise boring and commonplace. While the word has struck up some controversy, many twenty-something’s enjoy using it in a laughable manner. Senior business student Stephanie Merlis explained why she enjoys using this word: “It’s a fun word to use because it’s almost comical in the sense that seniors in college are ‘adulting’ as we begin to search for paid internships and full time jobs, but really we aren’t in the adult world yet.” 

Perhaps college students and recent grads use this idea to help distance them from those who are fully immersed in the adult world. Merlis continued, “I have an internship now but I’m still working towards getting my degree, so in a sense I’m not an adult. I don’t work 9-5 or have benefits and 2 weeks of paid vacation time. So I like using the term because I can connect with those in the real world, without actually becoming a part of it myself.” 

While some find the phrase to be comical and harmless, others blatantly disagree. Junior nursing student, Shaheen Grajeda rejects this notion of adulting, having stated “I really dislike hearing people use this term all the time, especially over stupid things. My friends will go grocery shopping or pay bills and say ‘I hate adulting,’ or ‘I can’t adult today,’ and it’s frustrating because these are just everyday occurrences. She continued, “I think in a sense it glorifies the idea of growing up, because people use it as to show off that they can do things on their own.”

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How Businesses Get Away with Lying to Us

brands top global brands v3There are 10 corporations that control just about every product you own. Kraft, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Nestle, Proctor and Gamble, General Mills, Kellogg’s, Mars, Unilever, and Johnson & Johnson are the sole organizations responsible for marketing and distributing what the general public views as the products of hundreds of other companies. These 10 corporations basically run the entire market—and we blindly allow them to, without doubting the ethics of these huge businesses swallowing up everything in their paths.

Recently, a study from JAMA International Medicine revealed one of the secrets of a group aligned with big sugary drink and candy businesses, the Sugar Research Foundation (SRF). Dr. Cristin Kearns dug through boxes of letters in Harvard library’s basement to reveal that two of Harvard’s researchers were paid off by a group called the SRF to counter research that linked sugar to coronary disease. This unethical incident may have occurred 40 years ago, but this is not a trend that is buried in the past. John Maurer, junior communication student, said “Businesses that have been around for a while and have a lot of money can be suspicious. Having money means you can do powerful things.”

In 2012, Coca Cola provided $1.5 million dollars to Global Energy Balance Network, a group aiming to spread the message that people should focus less on counting calories, and focus solely on exercise. Another big corporation, Nestle, saw this donation as a way to take a dig at the competition, telling the New York Times that the agenda of Coca-Cola was clearly to get researchers to deflect attention from dietary intake by confusing the science to the public.

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The Truth About Following Your Passion

Following Your PassionEveryone has heard the phrase "If you love what you do, you never have to work a day in your life." We all want a life filled with doing what we love, but we also want a life where our wallets are filled with money.  Unfortunately for the current generation of college graduates, the fear of not being able to afford to live on your own and start your own family is very real, and plays a big role in what these students major in and how they plan their future.

People tend to be worried that they will be miserable if they are stuck working a job that they do not love, but they are also worried that what they love will not be able to provide a steady living for them.

Ryan Tetro, an instructor of political science and sociology, just began his full-time position as a professor this fall, after working as an adjunct professor and a full time attorney. Tetro is a Monmouth graduate and always believed during his time here that law was something he wanted to practice as a career. Tetro reached out to his old advisor Dr. Joseph Patten,an associate professor of political science and sociology.

"I emailed him [Patten] in the fall of 2014 and told him I didn't love what I was doing and asked him if there was anything else I could do,” Tetro explained.  "He had always given me great advice when I was a student here, and told me I should consider teaching."

Tetro began teaching as an adjunct professor here at Monmouth in the fall of 2015. He still worked at his firm, but was always excited to come to class and see his american government students. "I had a Tuesday and Friday morning class that fall and I swear I was never more excited for the weekend to end so I could go back to my class on Tuesday!" Tetro remembered.

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Starting a Business as a College Student

Business As College Student 1Starting your own business and being a college student sounds nearly impossible. Who has time for that when it's a struggle finding time to grab Rook iced coffee between classes? For me, I had to start finding time, because I came up with a small business idea in June that blew up more than I ever anticipated.

One day over the summer, I was browsing online for necklaces when I noticed everything I liked was totally overpriced. I didn’t want to buy a piece of string with a gem on it for $30. Then, I realized that I could easily make my own necklaces and accessories.

ABC's hit TV show "Shark Tank" is a show I watch constantly, which subconsciously taught me a lot about how to succeed as an entrepreneur. It can be challenging starting a business as a college student, but with hard work and creativity, anyone could do it.

Finding the courage to begin is a tough part for many young adults with a big idea. Alan Fazzari, Instructor of Management and Decision Sciences, offered the following advice to budding businessmen and women: “Follow your passion, don’t be afraid, because fear is not a part of being an entrepreneur,”

The first step is testing the market. I went to the arts and craft store and bought a small amount of jewelry supplies. With trial and error, I made a few chokers and a few necklace wraps, then advertised them on my personal Twitter account. If no one showed interest, I would have just kept the necklaces for myself. But luckily, I had a lot of responses of people asking where they could get one and for how much.

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Uber Everywhere (Without a Driver)

Uber No Driver 1When many of us think about the future of technology, innovation and the year 3000, we paint a picture with cars flying sky high above the ground. But even in the most elaborate visions of future technologies, most people also picture a driver operating those sky-high vehicles. While neither Google nor Uber are trying their hand at creating a flying car, they are coming up with the next best thing – a driverless one.

Uber is currently test-driving self-operating vehicles in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and are inviting passengers to come along for the ride. For many, the idea of getting into a car without a licensed driver is worrisome, but others believe this is the next big step for our society and will revolutionize the way we get around. John Morano,a professor of communication, isn’t planning on hopping into a driverless car anytime soon. “I’m not sure I would trust this technology just yet; rather than be a Guiana pig, I’ll stick with driving myself around,” Morano explained. “But when I’m in my 80’s and when this technology isn’t so new, I’ll be thrilled to be in a self-driving car so I can still go places and do things when I can’t drive myself.”

Although the creation of self-driving cars is controversial, there are many benefits for both the passengers and companies taking advantage of this advanced technology. Driverless cars and robots will help to reduce congestion on roadways as the “Domino’s Robotic Unit” operates only on sidewalks and bicycle paths to deliver contents and reach its destination. This four-wheeled robot navigates its way through bustling towns and cities using GPS and lasers, while maintaining a steady speed of twelve miles an hour. This bot is also equipped with cameras to keep vandals and pizza thieves away from stealing its costumer’s food and beverage. Upon arrival, the robotic unit will stop in front of the designated address and wait as the hungry customer enters a four-digit code to gain access to their lunch, dinner or late night snack. Through the use of domino’s pizza bot, we can cut down on the amount of cars on the road and reduce traffic in suburban areas.

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Have We Become Numb to the Homeless?

Numb To The Homeless 1Over the summer I was frequently in and out of cities all across the country. As I walked through the hustle and bustle of each city, a common pattern came to mind. We, as a society, have turned a blind eye to the homeless. I decided to test this “pattern” out. Last week while I was in New York City I walked to Bryant park and sat. I people watched, you could say. On each corner of Bryant park there are a few homeless men, women, children and dogs just laying with cardboard signs explaining how they got there. Some say veterans, some are business men beaten down by this economy and some are mothers. Person after person passed by without a blink of an eye.

 I liked to call this the numbing bystander effect (NBE). Thousands of people walk by each of these homeless men, women and children every day and they are aware of these people, but we walk by. We all take part in the NBE—you look at your phone, at your shoes, you talk to the person next to you just to avoid that split second of eye contact with a destitute beggar on the ground. The NBE is a social psychological phenomenon where people will refuse to provide aid to a victim when other people are present. The less people there are, the more likely you are to jump in and help.

In urban areas, there are so many people around, that we all think “Oh, I’m sure someone else is helping them, they have to be, right?” The answer is no. We need to break the cycle. We cannot turn away. We cannot look down. We are the problem. People love to ask the question, “What is wrong with the world?” Well I am, we are. The problem will not disappear without us. We cannot merely dream of the solution. We must be the solution.

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Pageants: The Importance of Beauty and Brains

Pageants 1When people think of beauty pageants, the first thing that comes to mind is girls up on stage, decked out in their best attire with their makeup and hair expertly styled. On the other hand, some people take notice of the hard work, dedication, and preparation that goes into these events. The talk about pageants is so intriguing due to the multiple views associated with them—do they objectify women and showcase them as just pretty objects? Or, do they pro-vide women a platform for empowerment?

Eleanor Novek, Professor of Communication, points out that a big aspect of beauty pageants comes from the name itself: beauty. “Unfortunately, the primary emphasis of a beauty pageant is physical beauty,” she explains. “So young women who might otherwise spend time excelling in sports, or doing science experiments, or writing a novel, or becoming a musician, or traveling and learning about other languages and cultures, or developing their talents through other ways, instead spend the majority of their spare time and energy on their outward appear-ance.” Beauty pageants have been shown to lower young women’s self-esteem, which can lead to plastic surgery and eating disorders.

A big issue in our society is the notion of physical appearance, especially that of women and their femininity. Women and young girls care more about their looks, how skinny and fit they are, and what their hair and makeup look like. The pressure to look like the girls on stage when you’re watching Miss America on TV can affect a lot of girls negatively. However, there are positive aspects to these pageants that viewers might not realize.

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From the Runway to Real Life

AXID STG 1J.Crew made a bold statement at this years New York Fashion Week as their models stole the spotlight from the clothing everyone was there to see. This New York brand decided to ditch the pro-fessional models and use the everyday woman, man and child to present its new line to the public. Staffers, friends and family members of J.Crew were featured on the runway to model the clothing in an attempt to create an effortless, relatable and relaxed feel for J.Crew as a fashion company.

A diverse group of non-professional models were seen walking up and down the runway in J.Crew’s latest apparel. The everyday models were a diverse group of people with different skin tones, body shapes and sizes. This “normal people” notion created a brand so relat-able that people watching were able to picture themselves in the clothes, as there wasn’t one standard of unrealistic beauty. Jennifer Shamrock, a Lecturer in the Communication department, comments on the use of real models during this runway: “This is really a move in the right direc-tion for our society. It’s great to hear that the fashion industry is becoming more inclusive and appreciative of different body types in their runways. I think as a society we need to move away from one unrealistic body standard and this is really where it’s going to begin.”

By using everyday people to model their clothes, J.Crew empowered their audience to embrace their uniqueness and helped bridge the gap between the runway and the checkout line. J.Crew sent New York Fashion Week viewers a powerful message that we shouldn’t conform to one stand-ard of beauty and everyone should be celebrated. Stephanie Merlis, a senior business student, re-marks “I think it’s great that J.Crew didn’t use professional models in their run-way during Fashion Week. It helps create a more personable brand and typical beauty stand-ards.”

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Robbie Panasuk: On and Off the Court

Robbie PanasukWhen you’re sitting in the stands for a basketball game, cheering and screaming for the Hawks to destroy the other team (especially Iona) you’ve probably seen Robbie Panasuk standing on the sidelines. Or, maybe you recognize him from the HERO Designated Driving Campaign billboard on Route 35, or you saw him and other members of the basketball team on stage last spring in Zeta Tau Alpha’s philanthropy event, Big Man on Campus. But who is the manager of the basketball team, really? Is he actually 30 years old like everyone says he is? Today, we’ll find out more about the guy with the Minions backpack who sometimes is referred to as “Ruber.”

After attending one year of college in Virginia, Robbie took a semester off before his family decid-ed to move back to New Jersey. “I stayed behind which was not a good choice on my part,” Robbie remembered.  “I thought I was ready to be an adult; I wasn’t.” So, he moved back to New Jersey, put in one semester at Ocean County Community College, and then applied to Monmouth, thanks to the recommendation of his uncle, a former Monmouth football coach. When he told me this, I squinted in suspicion. “Didn’t you drop out of Princeton,” I ask him? He laughed at me. “I bought a Princeton sweater at TJ Maxx and wear it around and tell people I transferred from there because I am a liar and that’s what I do.”

Robbie is definitely someone who doesn’t paint himself in a serious light. He’s ea-ger to joke around, whether it be around his friends or onstage in Greek events. He participated in Big Man on Campus twice, and ended up winning his second time around. “I like to believe that I can be decently funny,” he says when asked about his winning strategy. “And making people laugh is something I like to do as often as possible.”

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Confessions of a Broke College Student

Broke College StudentWhen we start college, we are excited to make new friends and have a good time in a new place; however, you slowly start to realize when you get to college you have to start “adulting,”. Our parents are not around anymore to do our laundry, cook meals for us, or buy us what we need. These college years often challenge young people and really put their “adulting” skills to the test. Finances are one of the hardest things for a college student to maintain and get a real grasp of. Many students are taking a full class load and do not have time for a job.

Or, even if they have a job, they cannot work as many hours since they’re juggling a million responsibilities. Often college students have to decide between buying textbooks, purchasing food, or having a social life. While it may seem obvious to choose food, college students want to experience college to the fullest while still getting acceptable grades and not collapsing of starvation.

The classic joke is that the college student’s diet consists of only Ramen noodles. While that may not exactly be the case, there is some truth to it. Andrew Jackle, a senior music industry student, said “Freshman and sophomore year especially, I ate so many microwavable meals because I would just get tired of the dining hall sometimes.” Students cannot afford and often do not even have the resources to make good quality meals.

Kelly Currie, and senior art student advised, “Whenever I can, I try to go home and get leftovers from my mom just so I can have a good meal.” We all know that at one point or another, we have gone to an event on-campus just because they offered free food. Currie continued, “I remember last year I really wanted to go to the ‘Paint Night’ on campus in the Rebecca Stratford Student Center, but I wasn’t sure if I could make it… until I heard there was free food, then I was totally in!”

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The Importance of Excelling at Your Internship

Internship ImportanceInternships give students an opportunity to experience what a job in their career field would be like. They provide the individual with a taste of their future, enabling them to see if they enjoy what that major has to offer, and if not, internships can lead to students changing their minds about a career field. Internships are a great thing to have on a resume as well, showing employers what you projects you have accomplished and skills you have honed.

Toni Taranto, a senior sports communication student, had an internship with the New York Jets football team. A few days after Taranto submitted her application, she received a phone call and was invited to a group interview at the Jets facility. “Being involved with a group interview was a different, yet cool experience. I have never been to a group interview before, but it gave an insight to other people, their opinions, and what they had to say,” she said. 

Taranto is a huge sports fan with a passion for football, making her internship more enjoyable. She worked in the training camps alongside the NFL players. Every Sunday home game, Taranto would be on the sidelines, working the game, getting the crowd hyped, and assisting the team with anything they needed.

Yazmin Rodriguez, a senior communication student, also had a valuable internship this summer working for "The Chew".

“I think that internships are a great thing to complete. I enjoyed my internship, but at the same time, I learned things about myself,” Rodriguez pointed out. “I discovered that there are some aspects of the field that I just do not enjoy. I am happy that I figured that out and had the chance to, sooner rather than lat-er.”

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How to Make the Most of Your Freshman Year

Freshman YearThe transition into college is a tough one for a lot of new students. High school doesn’t teach you a lot about the balance of a college workload and maintaining the trifecta of mental health, good grades, and a fulfilling so-cial life. College is a whole new world where suddenly a new independence is thrust upon you, and you can handle that freedom in whichever way you desire. While you may enter Monmouth afraid of making friends, managing your time, or fitting in in this big sea of new people, every other student has been there before. If you are a new student reading this article, then get ready for some weight to be lifted off your shoulders. A range of upperclassmen are here to provide their insights into the freshmen year struggle and how to make the most of your new beginning.

One of the biggest things freshmen stress out about is managing their time. Justin Robinson, a senior communica-tion student, recalls being nervous about the balance of homework and other commitments. “The biggest thing I was stressed out about was definitely time management,” he said. “Understand that your parents aren’t here, and you’re completely responsible for everything. Its all on you now.”

While the workload can seem overwhelming at first, there are many ways to utilize your time effectively and stay on track. “Have a calendar with you at all times!” recommended Bianca DiPreta, a sophomore health studies student. Maintaining a day planner, setting aside certain hours each week for focusing on studying, and meet-ing up with classmates to work together are just a few tactics to keep up with assignments without getting in over your head.

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Truths About Moving to the Other Side of the World

Australia KoalaWith my passport in one hand and my GoPro in the other, I walked on the plane with the mindset that four months abroad would be the best time of my 20-year-old life. I had never been out of the country before, so why not begin with being 10,000 miles away from my comfort zone? After years of dreaming, months of packing, and weeks stressing, I finally embarked on my journey across the world to Sydney, Australia with my best friend by my side.

First impressions are crucial, and to be frank, my first impression of Sydney was awful. Not because of the scenery or the culture, but because adjusting to living in a new country and the fourteen-hour time difference was a form of torture that I never knew existed. Homesickness formed like a cloud over my head and rained on me everywhere I went. To say I felt like an outcast was an understatement. While everyone went out to explore our new home, I was on the phone with my mom making arrangements to go back to my home. My family supported my feelings and said I could back, but coaxed me to give it a “real” try. Meanwhile, I had already decided that I was heading back to America as soon as humanly possible.

I contacted Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) Director Colleen Johnson, who is also my advisor, rationalizing on why I wanted—needed— to come back so badly. She told me, “You are in Australia – learning a new culture, seeing new sights, growing as a person. Think about it and be thankful.” She was the one person who was stern with me and really pushed me to stay. Looking back, I didn’t know how badly I needed that push.

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Contact Information

The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication 
and Instructional Technology (CCIT) Room 260, 2nd floor

The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey 07764

Phone:(732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151