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Last updateThu, 14 Sep 2017 4am

Features

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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Contact Information

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

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

Phone:(732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151
Email: outlook@monmouth.edu