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Features

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 dummies.com 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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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