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Students Compete in Model UN

Students Compete Model UN

First Time Position Paper Award Winners

A delegation of 14 University students simulated the United Nations (UN) at the National Model United Nations Conference (NMUN) in New York from Sunday, April 9 to Thursday, April 13.

NMUN is the world’s largest international college-level experiential learning program in which participants cooperate to discuss and brainstorm solutions to global concerns faced by diplomats of the United Nations, according to their site.

For the first time the delegation from the University returned with a Position Paper Award. The award was won by Liam Coffey, a junior political science and history student.

Five thousand students from six continents participated in the 2017 NMUN conference, and 55 percent of the participants were non-U.S. residents, according to nmun.org.

Participants from the University were enrolled in Model UN Conference course, PS-383, taught by Dr. Kevin Dooley, an associate professor of political science. The delegation represented the Kingdom of Belgium.

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School of Social Work Launches New Initiative

Social Work Reveals Suicide Research 4.20.17

Suicide Prevention Research

The School of Social Work has announced its new initiative to continue their efforts in spreading awareness about suicide prevention by launching the SRF Suicide Prevention and Training Project.

“This recent development is the latest in a long line of projects the School of Social Work has undertaken, but it is only the most recent one, as well as a culmination of a lot of efforts over the years.” said Janine Vasconcelos, Assistant Director of Professional Education and Special Projects.

According to Robin Mama, Dean of the School of Social Work, the project has several aims. It seeks to establish training sessions around the issue of suicide in schools and colleges, as well as curriculum development, research, and evaluation efforts on suicide prevention, intervention, and what happens afterwards.

The goals of the project emerged through research discovered by Dr. Michelle Scott, associate professor in the school of social work, who is considered a leading expert on suicide and suicide prevention. According to Scott, about 42,000 Americans take their own lives every year; this means a suicide occurs in America every 13 seconds.

“Suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students,” said Scott. “Individuals can be at increased risk for suicide when they experience a confluence of risk factors such as depression, anxiety, substance use, as well as prior suicidal behavior and a trigger event which may be a loss or transition,” Scott added.

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The Outlook Wins National Award

Outlook Wins National AwardThe Outlook, the University’s student-run newspaper, was ranked 8th in the Nation for “Best of Show Four-Year Weekly Newspaper,” by the Associated Collegiate Press (ACP) at the Mid-winter National College Journalism Convention in San Francisco, California.

An issue of The Outlook was submitted in the “Best of Show Four- Year Weekly Newspaper” category and was reviewed by a panel of judges. Judges reviewed submissions from multiple colleges throughout the United States and established a National top ten out of all entries.

Placement was based on the number of entries and overall convention attendance. Over 750 schools attended the Convention this year. The Best of Show award does not signify a ranking of national excellence, but rather overall excellence among the attendees and entries, according to the ACP.

Danielle Schipani, senior communication student and current Editor-In-Chief of The Outlook was honored to be a part of an award-winning paper and commended the work of rest of the editorial staff and their contributions. “Every member of the editorial staff has worked tirelessly all year to ensure that we are printing a quality paper for the campus community,” she said.

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Dr. Waters Selected for Guggenheim Fellowship

Dr.Waters Selected For FellowshipDr. Michael Waters, an English professor, is amongst 173 artists and scholars selected from over 3,000 applicants for the prestigious 2017 Guggenheim Fellowship. Waters was awarded $50,000 for his longstanding poetic experience from the yearlong Fellowship that begins in January 2018.

Fellows are selected from the United States and Canada for demonstrating exceptional skill in productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts, according to gf.org.

Waters explained that the award was based on the quality of his past work, and his plans for future work. He said, “In my application I said that I would continue to write poems that would connect the old world in Eastern Europe to the new world. An example of that would be a poem about a monk at monastery blessing the engine of new car.”

“I thought that it was something I would have 40 years ago when I didn’t deserve it. Now that it has come I am just very happy for the acknowledgement,” said Waters.

University President Grey Dimenna, applauds Waters for his newfound success. “Guggenheim Fellowships are one of academia’s highest honors, and we are all proud that Dr. Waters joins the ranks of the gifted scholars, writers, and artists who have received the award in its 92-year history,” Dimenna said.

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University Plans to Redevelop Sustainability Council

University Redevelops Sustainability CouncilThe University will be redeveloping its Sustainability Council with faculty and students, and forming a detailed ten-year plan to improve Monmouth University’s green initiatives according to Patricia Swannack, Vice President for Administrative Services.

The Monmouth University Sustainability Council was formed in 2009. It originally was a group of 30 volunteers comprised of students, faculty, staff and administrators whose mission was to promote environmental awareness and encourage development of an environmentally responsible campus community, according to the University website.

However, some students recently noticed that the Sustainability Council was no longer active at the University. “Some peers and I were looking at the Monmouth website online a couple of weeks ago, at the Sustainability Council page, and noticed that the a few members of the faculty listed don’t work here anymore,” said Carly Miller a junior homeland security student. “We were so surprised how outdated our sustainability page was. Especially because it was online for the public to see. The site has since been updated, but the last notable edit on the page prior to the site removal, was around Earth Day 2015,” continued Miller.

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Underpass Will Re-open After Recent Collapse

Underpass Reopen After CollapseThe underpass tunnel that crosses over cedar avenue collapsed on Sunday April 16 and was discovered at 12:55 p.m. by a Residence Assistant (RA). There were no injuries and no one was in the underpass when the incident occurred.

The Monmouth University Police Department (MUPD) responded and notified Patricia Swannack, Vice President for Administrative Services, of the situation. Swannack was called and advised MUPD to close the underpass until they could assess the damage. The Facilities Management staff came in and removed the pieces that had fallen after its closure.

The underpass was closed from Sunday to Tuesday April 18 and during its closure the University placed a Safety Officer at the corner of Norwood and Cedar Avenue to assist pedestrians from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. The underpass is expected to reopen the morning of Wednesday April 19, according to Swannack.

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“Didn’t They Say That Only Love Will Win in the End” | Danielle Schipani's Senior Goodbye

4.19.17 D S 1They tell you that college goes by so fast. They tell you that one minute you’re a freshman and the next you’re a senior about to grace the graduation stage. They tell you to have fun and enjoy the moment, to get involved, to open up and put yourself outside of your comfort zone. But what you don’t hear about and what they don’t tell you is just how many impactful people you will meet and how hard it will be to let them go.

I walked onto this campus afraid of what it meant to leave home, afraid that I would lose connections with the people that I love, and scared of change. What I soon realized was that Monmouth had been a part of my life all along and that I was always meant to be a Monmouth Hawk. The people that I have met here and the education I have been honored with has allowed me to grow into the person that I always wanted to be but never thought I deserved. I am grateful for this experience and for everything Monmouth has given me and there are countless people I would like to thank.

My sister: Hey sisterrrr! You are the light in my life and my best friend. You are the reason that I keep going and stay motived. Thank you for always supporting me, for always listening to me, and for always being able to make me laugh. I know it was hard a lot of the time being apart during my years at Monmouth and I wish I could have been around more for you. Thank you for always being understanding when I was away and for being there for me when I needed you the most. I can honestly say that without the love and the comfort you have given me throughout my entire life I would have never made it to graduation day. I am so proud of everything you have overcome and accomplished this year. You are the strongest person I know. We are in this world together, you are never alone, and I will always be there for you. I love you.

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“Don’t Worry About a Thing, ‘Cause Every Little Thing is Gonna Be Alright” | Jamilah McMillan's Senior Goodbye

It pains me to write this because it means that I am nearing the end of a riveting installment in the series that is my life. Four years ago, my parents waved me off as I drove to class, for the first time in our families 8-passenger minivan. Any growth since that frightful day is due to the kindness and generosity of individuals who took the time to push me forward, or point me in the right direction. So please pardon me as I begin this drawn out letter of gratitude for those who deserve tremendous applause.

Mi Familia: Thank you to my dysfunctional clan who has put up with me over the last four years. Sorry for all the times that I missed a game, or a family dinner, because I was studying, doing homework, in class, at a conference, or hosting an event...or a protest. I love you all--you are my backbone.

Dr. Datta: Words cannot describe the short amount of time it took for you to make a tremendous impact in my life. You are my mentor, teacher, and friend. Thank you for helping me see my own potential for change; for helping me see the power of women and girls; and for helping me see the importance of education. Dhanyavaad.

Dr. Patten: You have always said that you are my number one fan. Thank you for always encouraging me to shoot high. I will try my best.

Professor Morano: You helped us become great editors so we could create a weekly publication that we could be proud of. Thank you for teaching and leading us.

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Plan for Payments: A Look Into Student Loan Debt

Plan For PaymentsPaying off student loans is a feat that most student loan borrowers must face just six months after graduation, as the average student loan from a 4-year college in 2016 was approximately $37,100, according to studentloanhero.com.

Upon graduation, a student must pick a particular plan to pay off their student loans, according to an article published by nerdwallet.com. There are eight different plans a student can choose from to repay their federal student loans, including four that are based on income level.

The basic payment plans include standard, graduated and extended plans. Unless a student elects otherwise, they will be placed on the standard repayment plan, which is ten years for many companies, according to the article. This would mean that the average student will pay approximately $259 per month, on a 10 year standard plan.

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‘Walk a Mile in Her Shoes’ Brings Awareness to Sexual Assault

Sexual Assault Awareness WalkNearly 100 students and faculty put on women’s shoes and walked in the ninth annual “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” event to raise awareness for sexual assault and gender violence on Wednesday, April 6.

The original event, started in 2001, was created as an opportunity for men to raise awareness in their community about the serious causes, effects and restitution to men’s sexualized violence against women, according to the organizations official site. Its intention was to create a discussion and to establish open communication on sexual violence.

Coordinated by Thomas McCarthy, Assistant Director of Counseling and Psychological Services, the event had a large presence from the Greek community, as well as Monmouth Athletics, such as the men’s basketball team.

McCarthy said, “It is absolutely important to have a strong male presence here. The event was started by men to bring awareness to show that we are here to support. Having campus leaders, like athletes and Greeks really helps to spread the message and make sexual assault a men’s issue too.”

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Jack Ford Creates Dialogue About Student-Athlete Wages

Jack Ford Athlete Wages 1The University hosted a lecture by television news personality Jack Ford in Anacon Hall that was designed as an open dialogue regarding the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the controversy regarding student athlete wages on Wednesday, April 5.

Ford began the lecture talking about his background. He and his three siblings were raised by a single mother, as their father abandoned the family when Ford was five years of age. Shortly thereafter, Ford moved into the attic of his grandparents’ home in Jersey City that had no air conditioning. However, his mother was steadfast in her commitment to youth athletics, and Ford excelled at football.  Eventually, he received a scholarship to play at Yale University, then received a law degree from Fordham Univer-sity.

Being a former college athlete himself, Ford discussed the recent NCAA college basketball tournament and his thoughts concern-ing the organizations reception.

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Monmouth University Holds Annual Career Fair

2017 Annual Career FairThe annual spring career day hosted more than 250 representatives from 130 organizations, as well as a record-breaking 680 jobseekers on Wednesday, April 5 in the OceanFirst Bank Center.

There was a wide variety of employers looking for students majoring in all fields.

 New employers included: American Standard Brands, AvalonBay Communities, Bayada, Customs and Border Protection, Dow Jones, Extensis Group, Hackensack Meridian Health, Horizion Blue Cross Blue shield, Lab Design, NJ Titans Hockey, NY Red Bulls, Two River Times, Shore Digital, Skyline Solar, Wakefern Food Corp., and Wiley Publishing. 

A total of 130 employers attended last spring. “We actually tied last year’s record breaking event, but our focus is always on the quality of our employers,” said Jeff Mass, Assistant Director of Career Services.

Mass explained that there has been a 36 percent increase in attendance from last spring as there were 500 students in attendance last year and 680+ students in attendance this year.

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Visiting Writer Series Welcomes Brooklyn Author, Colm Tóibín

Visiting Writer Colm ToibinThe Visiting Writer Series hosted acclaimed fiction writer, Colm Tóibín, on Tuesday, April 4, in Wilson Auditorium. This is the last installment of the spring 2017 season, and marks the end of the 12th season of the Visiting Writer Series.

The event opened with two introductions: Michael Thomas, Associate Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences and Director of the Visiting Writers Series and Dr. Elizabeth Gilmartin, lecturer of English, who teaches Colm Tóibín’s Brooklyn in her Irish Literature class.

Gilmartin mentioned in her introduction of Tóibín that he had previously visited the University seven years prior to this most re-cent visit, which was just after one of his most popular works, Brooklyn, was published.

One thing that Gilmartin claims that Tóibín is especially good at is his character development, especially of mother characters, and the conveyance of themes of “identity creation, grief, loss, and the family complex.”

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Local Vendors Sell Goods at ‘Made in Monmouth’

Local Venders Sell GoodsMonmouth University held  its  sixth annual Made in Monmouth event in the OceanFirst Bank Center on April 8 with over 200 local vendors.

Made in Monmouth is a seven hour, free admission event open to the public organized by the Grow Monmouth Team within the County’s Division of Economic Development.

The event is sponsored by the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders in partnership with Monmouth University. Monmouth describes their event as, “a free event for both vendors and visitors; its purpose is to encourage people to shop local.”

The event’s purpose is to gather different local vendors like Delicious Orchards and Booskerdoo Coffee and Baking Co., who set up tables at no charge to sell their products.

The FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties was also in attendance and encouraged shoppers to bring along donations of nonperishable food items to support the local food bank.

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Monmouth Talks Compensating Athletes

A controversial debate surrounds student-athletes and whether or not they should receive wages. Last year, two suits were filed against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) over compensating student-athletes.

A former University of South California football player opened a suit against the NCAA, alleging that student-athletes are employees who should be paid. In December, the NCAA asked the U.S. District Court in San Francisco to dismiss the lawsuit, stating that paying athletes “could jeopardize the long-term sustainability of college sports.” A decision by the Court has not yet been made.

In early 2016, former members of the University of Pennsylvania track and field team, opened a collective lawsuit against the NCAA and 123 of its member institutions, alleging that athletes at NCAA schools are actually “employees” of the schools for purposes of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which would entitle them to minimum wages and overtime pay for all athletic activities. The suit was dismissed on Feb. 16, 2016 by the Federal District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.

“I think that student-athletes add immeasurably to the student life component. They are the students that are always on campus, weekdays through weekends and holiday periods,” said Dr. Marilyn McNeil, Vice President and Director of Athletics.

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A Sit Down With President Grey Dimenna

The President Talks Wilson Hall, the Importance of Students, and his Future at Monmouth


President Dimenna Sit Down 1Grey J. Dimenna was named the President of the University on Feb. 28. He started his Monmouth career on Feb. 20, 1995, as Vice President and General Counsel and retired July 31, 2013. Since the transition from former President Paul R. Brown, President Dimenna has had some time to reintegrate into the University community. The Outlook sat down with him to get a deeper look into his past, present, and future.

 How long do you anticipate being the Interim President?

The trustees have said that they don’t want me using the title “Interim President.” [Rather] they want me to use the title “President,” because, as they said, I am the President and I have the full authority of the President just like any other President has had.

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Academic Affairs Staff to Receive Safe Zone Training

Safe Zone TrainingsA noticeable increase in rainbow colored stickers on office doors and desk stations may soon be observed, as nearly 30 deans, vice provosts, and other individuals within Academic Affairs will be receiving Safe Zone training on May 2.

Safe Zone training is performed at colleges and universities across the country in order to create awareness and develop allies for students in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ+) communities, according to thesafezoneproject.org.

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New Course Takes Students to Maximum-Security Prison

New Course Max Security PrisionAs part of a collaboration between the Departments of Sociology and Communication, as well as the New Jersey Department of Corrections, the University will be offering an extension to its current, Investigating the School-to-Prison Pipeline course through an additional class that will allow students to regularly visit a maximum-security prison in Trenton starting in Fall 2017.

The program currently falls under the larger umbrella of the University’s Academic Exchange Program, and aims to help students learn more about mass incarceration through direct interaction with incarcerated people, according to Dr. Johanna Foster, Assistant Professor of Sociology. Foster hopes to get students thinking about several aspects of mass incarceration, including the political dynamic, gender inequalities, and institutionalized racism of the system.

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$27,000 Raised on Giving Day

An estimated $27,000 was received in donations from alumni, students, staff, parents, and friends of the University on their third annual Giving Day – a day dedicated to raising scholarship funds for potential University students.

The first Giving Day was on March 24, 2015, which also marked the 20th anniversary of Monmouth becoming a University. “Monmouth Giving Day gives the Monmouth community a chance to come together and make a lasting impact on current and future students,” said Michele Whitlow, Director of University Engagement and Giving Day Planner.

In addition to the scholarship fund, donors also had the option of giving to a specific department, creating the opportunity for donors to give back to the department that means the most to them.

According to Whitlow there were a number of opportunities for individuals to get involved with the Day. “Giving Day was all about giving back to Monmouth and making an impact. People could have done that through our website or in person at the Rebecca Stafford Student Center - we had live music, prizes and games happening there all day. We also had ‘Phil the Pig’ happening on that day, which encouraged student involvement. Second – we loved seeing people post about it on social media. It’s always neat seeing people get excited about Monmouth,” said Whitlow.

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Town Hall Meeting Addresses Heroin Crisis in New Jersey

Town Hall NJ Heroin CrisisOver 700 attendees gathered for the Jersey Matters Town Hall: The Heroin Crisis to address the states heroin epidemic in Pollak Theatre on Mar. 16.

There are roughly 128,000 heroin users in NJ, and the epidemic claimed 918 lives in 2015, which is the highest annual death toll from heroin ever seen in NJ according to an article by the Observer published on Jan 8.

Drug overdoses in NJ jumped overall by 21 percent between 2014 and 2015 according to the article, and health experts in the state expect the data from 2016 and 2017 to be far worse than the current numbers.

The event was co-sponsored by WJLP Me-TV, the Asbury Park Press, and the Discovery Institute, and included many individuals from various backgrounds who were touched in some way by the heroin epidemic; including Attorney General Christopher Porrino, actress and former heroin addict Mackenzie Phillips, other former addicts, their family members, attorneys, and medical practitioners.

One panelist included Stephanie Oswald, the mother of Andrew Oswald III, who died of a heroin overdose at the age of 23. During the event Oswald shared why she made sure that the cause of her son’s death was explicitly made known on his obituary.

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University Dean Receives Notable Award for Writing Distinguished Book on Houston’s Astrodome

Dean Womack Awarded on Astrodome 1Kenneth Womack, Ph.D., Dean of the Wayne D. McMurray School of Humanities and Social Sciences, was honored with the Dr. Harold and Dorothy Seymour Medal from the Society of American Baseball Research (SABR) for his book “The Eighth Wonder of the World: The Life of Houston’s Iconic Astrodome,” on Mar. 4.

Womack co-authored the book with Robert C. Trumpbour, Ph.D., an associate professor of communications at Pennsylvania State University at Altoona.

SABR awards the medal to “the best book of baseball history or biography published during the previous calendar year” and must be, “the product of original research or analysis,” according to the SABR website. The website also states that the winning book must “significantly advance our knowledge of baseball and shall be characterized by understanding, factual accuracy, profound insight and distinguished writing.”

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Honors Society Inducts New Class of Freshmen Scholars

Phi Eta Sigma's Annual Induction Ceremony

Honor Society Inducts Freshman ScholarsThe University’s Phi Eta Sigma chapter held it’s annual induction ceremony of 196 new members in Pollak Theater on Friday, Mar. 24. Phi Eta Sigma, the nation’s oldest and largest honor society for first-year college and university students, encourages and rewards academic excellence among freshmen in institutions of higher learning, according to their site.

The ceremony began at 7 p.m. with opening remarks from Society President Emily Townsend, a senior business administration student. The audience consisted of inductees, their relatives, faculty, and more, who Townsend thanked for being there. She went on to introduce Phi Eta Sigma’s faculty advisor Dr. Golam Mathbor.

“You are among the select few students who have met the requirements necessary for induction into Phi Eta Sigma,” said Mathbor. “Once you have been inducted, you are a member for life.”

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London Study Abroad Students are Safe After Attack in City of Westminster

London Study Abroad Students SafeTwelve study abroad Monmouth University students were in London, UK when 52-year-old Khalid Masood killed three pedestrians and injured about 40 others as he drove through a crowd on Westminster Bridge at around 2:40 p.m. on Wednesday, Mar. 22.

Masood crashed his car into railings in front of Parliament Yard, before leaving his vehicle, and going through the gate to the Palace of Westminster, where he fatally stabbed Keith Palmer, a 48-year-old unarmed police officer. Moments later, Masood was shot dead, according to The Telegraph.

The events at the bridge took place in under 90 seconds, according to Sky News.

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Gender Inclusive Bathrooms Unaffected by Rollback of Transgender Protections

Gender Inclusive BathroomsThe Trump administration removed Obama-era federal guidelines for transgender students in public schools and as a result, students are no longer guaranteed the right under federal law to use bathrooms, locker rooms, and other facilities that match their gender identity, as of Feb. 23. However, the University’s establishment of gender-neutral bathrooms will remain unaffected, according to administration.

The protections, in place since May 2016 by former President Barack Obama, said that prohibiting transgender students from using facilities that align with their gender identity violated federal anti-discrimination laws. The White House announced the roll-back of Obama’s protection guidelines in a statement published on Feb. 22.

President Trump declared, “policy regarding transgender bathrooms should be decided at the state level...returning power to the states paves the way for an open and inclusive process to take place at the local level with input from students, parents, teachers, and administrators.”

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Communication Career Event Brings Professionals from NBC, Asbury Park Press, ESPN

Communication Career Fair 1Over 100 students, faculty, University alumni and industry professionals from Asbury Park Press, Sirius XM, NY Daily News, Star Ledger, NBC, ESPN, and more attended the Communication Career Event on Monday, Mar. 6 in Wilson Hall from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

“Events like this are beneficial to current students for networking purposes, for learning insider tips about their industries from former students who were once in the same position as them, and potentially for future internships and career advancement as well,” said Mary Harris, a specialist professor of public relations.

There were four parts of the event. The day began with a panel discussion that focused on careers in radio as well as a journalism and public relations career mentor session. This was followed by a panel discussion of careers in television and media production as well as a panel discussion on what you can do with a journalism and public relations degree.

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Hackers Can Steal Fingerprints From Online Selfies

Hackers Steal Fingerprints 1Researchers at Japan’s National Institute of Informatics found that hackers can steal a victim’s biometric data by recreating fingerprints from pictures posted on social media.

The Institute found that users could be at risk even without posting extremely high-resolution photos online. As long as the range of the photograph was about three meters and the area was well lit, hackers can steal fingerprints for later use. This means that even something as benign as putting up a peace sign in a selfie can be dangerous, since it openly exposes fingerprints to the lens.

According to an article by The Telegraph, released on Jan. 12, since an individual’s prints do not change throughout the course of his or her lifetime, and can be linked to locks on their personal information as well as bank accounts, stolen biometric data means vulnerability for a lifetime, especially if the data is sold illegally.

“[Students] shouldn’t fall into the trap of thinking that biometric security is necessarily better than traditional security mechanisms,” said Dr. Joe Chung, Unix Administrator-Teacher of the computer science and software engineering department. “An inkjet-printed fingerprint could be enough to unlock a phone. Biometric security may be more convenient than typing in a password or pin, but it’s not inherently better.”

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Students March On International Women’s Day

Women's Day Student MarchOver 50 students, faculty, administrators, and other members of the University community participated in a demonstration on International Women’s Day on March 8. The program began with a march from the Monmouth University Guggenheim Library to a rally at Wilson Hall, and ended with a movie screening of “She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry” in Pozycki auditorium.

“Women have come a long way in the ‘march’ towards gender equality. Worldwide, women and men stand in solidarity with each other to achieve equality. Despite great progress made possible by generations that came before us, we still have miles to go,” said Rekha Datta, a professor of political science and sociology.

“Worldwide, one in three women will face sexual violence in their lifetime. Gender pay gap is almost ubiquitous. These are the global causes that international women’s day reminds us about in terms of the work that is still to be done. The day is also a reminder for us to celebrate what has been accomplished by the human community,” Datta continued.

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Visiting Writer Series Welcomes Liz Moore

Writing Services Liz MooreThe Visiting Writer Series introduced its first installation for the spring semester by hosting creative nonfiction writer, Liz Moore, on Tuesday, Mar. 7 in Wilson Auditorium.

The event opened with two introductions; Michael Thomas, Associate Dean and Director of the Visiting Writers Series, who introduced assistant professor, Alex Gilvarry.

Gilvarry attended graduate school with Moore and suggested her to Thomas as a possible visiting writer. With little persuasion necessary, Thomas agreed to invite Moore to the University.

Moore currently has three published novels and has received high acclaim and recognition for the talent in these works. She is the winner of the Medici Book Club Prize and Philadelphia’s Athenaeum Literary Award, and her most recent novel, The Unseen World, which was published just this past year, was listed in “Best of 2016” lists by The New Yorker, the BBC, and multiple others.

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Criminal Justice Networking Event Coming Soon

Criminal Justice Networking EventOver 40 different organizations will be joining the Criminal Justice Department at their 5th annual networking fair on March 29 in an effort to help students of all majors build mentorships, secure internships, and establish professional relationships. The event will be held in Wilson Hall from 5 to 9 p.m.

Over 50 officials – 40 percent of which are University alumni – will represent career areas including: law enforcement; homeland security; postal inspection; secret service; the Fire Department City of New York (FDNY); and victim witness units from county prosecutor’s offices.

Nicholas Sewitch, an instructor of criminal justice and Internship Coordinator, organized the event. He said, “These presenters, being Monmouth alumni, prove that going into your career is possible, and it’s not just a dream--you can do it. They get to see them as their equals, as human beings. These are their role models; it’s good to present them with young and motivated people.”

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Brown Announces Retirement Interim President Dimenna Takes Over

Brown Announces RetirementPaul R. Brown, Ph.D, is no longer the President of the University, as of yesterday, Tuesday, Feb. 28. This was announced to members of the University community through an email and press release sent from the Board of Trustees. Former Vice President of General Counsel, Grey J. Dimenna, will be serving as the Interim President until a new president is selected.

“He [former President Brown] decided to retire under his own volition,” said Henry Mercer, Chair of the Board of Trustees. “It was something that he expressed a desire to do. There are certain aspects that, under our bylaws, are confidential, but this is something Brown wanted.”

“I didn’t come to the decision to retire lightly, and after many discussions I knew the time was right,” said Brown, in the press release.

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Copy Machine Causes Conflict In Communication Department

Copy Machine ConflictThe Department of Communication at Monmouth consists of 50 employees, 400 undergrad students and just one copy machine, which has gained a reputation for improperly functioning the past two semesters.

Most departments at Monmouth University depend on their copy machines as a way to pass information on to students for classwork and homework. The malfunction or absence of these machines can cause problems for several classes, and delay the work that needs to be done.

Dr. Marina Vujnovic, associate professor of communication, “I never imagined that something like copier could effect my classes as much as it did. I have to re-think assignments and activities and utilize ecampus more because I can’t make enough copies for handouts. Especially difficult situation is with the midterm. I like to give traditional  paper exams. I think they are psychologically less frightening for students but this time around I had to do ecampus exam. This situation has been frustrating for many faculty and quite honestly inexcusable.”

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Professor’s StayGo App Helps People Rate Relationships

StayGo App Rates RelationshipsStayGo, a free mobile app, allows users to gauge the compatibility of their relationship through science. The Android and iOS application was created by a number of psychologists including the University’s own Dr. Gary Lewandowski, Chair of the Psychology Department.

Since its release nearly a year ago, the app has had over 50,000 downloads according to Lewandowski.

While many apps and sites exist for similar tasks, StayGo is unique. “We’ve grounded every aspect of this app in science.” Dr. Lewandowski said. “There are already a bunch of websites and apps made to help people find love, but there are very few that actually help people evaluate the quality of their relationships and know which one is worth pursuing.”

Staygoapp.com, states that StayGo is “the world’s first app that combines social feedback with scientific methods to evaluate romantic relationships with stunning accuracy.”

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Monmouth Community Reacts to Offensive Social Media Post

An Instagram post from Oct. 20 was circulated by students and other members of the University community last week due to its allegedly racist overtones. After being reposted by a student who was offended by the photo, the image reached over 1,000 social media hits in less than one day. 

The photo featured a Monmouth junior, Dennie Augustine, holding up a cardboard sign that said, “Need $ for child support #BlackTrash.”

“I was visiting home in October and my friend’s friend had a party, and we all know the crazy themes, college students have for parties, so the theme for this party was ‘White Trash vs. High Class,’ People made signs saying stuff like, ‘Lost the keys to my trailer #whitetrash’ I thought what I should write on my sign, so I wrote something truthful,” said Augustine.

Augustine said her dad left her when she was 7 years old, so, according to her, her sign said something personal. “[Her father] has not paid a dime of child support, so I wrote that. I also am African American, so I put ‘#blacktrash’ because I wasn’t comfortable writing ‘white trash’ since I am not Caucasian.”

The post led former President Paul R. Brown, Ph.D to send a campus wide email Thursday morning. The email stated, “We have received numerous reports of a social media post shared by a student that contains offensive and racially charged language.  Monmouth has a strong commitment to diversity, and there is no place in our community for speech or actions that disparage others.  We are reviewing the matter under the Student Code of Conduct and will take action as appropriate.”

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School of Education Receives NAPDS Award

The University’s School of Education gained national recognition after being named the recipient of this year’s Exemplary Professional Development School Achievement Award from the National Association for Professional Development Schools (NAPDS) in early February. 

The award acknowledges the Monmouth University Partnership, the professional development partnership that has crafted a working relationship between the University and several local P-12 schools, including Freehold Township, Hazlet, Long Branch, Manalapan-Englishtown, Middletown, Ocean, and Eatontown. It will be presented to the Department on March 10 at the NAPDS annual conference in Washington, D.C.

The objectives for the University Partnership are to increase P-12 student learning, provide great teacher preparation, provide professional development for teachers, and to innovate new practice in teacher education, according to the NAPDS award application.

Dr. John Henning, Dean of the School of Education, explained how his department met these goals. He said, “We work with teachers and administrators on professional development, meaning we help [them] become better at what they do.”

According to Henning, many new programs are being piloted within the department. A new requisite by New Jersey state law for education majors requires that students spend an extra semester student teaching in schools, meaning they will undergo a yearlong clinical internship. The University has rolled out the program early, giving students the chance to spend more time gaining experience in the classroom.

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FBI Sends Warning to Students of Employment Scams

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) emailed a warning to the University as well as other institutions highlighting the prevalence of employment scams directly targeting college students in an email that was forwarded by Career Services on Feb. 16.

The FBI warned of scams conducted by fake companies posting administrative positions online for college students. In the message the Bureau asserts that students should be leery of any job that requires depositing checks into an account or wiring funds to other individuals or accounts. They also state that many of the scammers who send these messages are not native English speakers, therefore, students should look for incorrect grammar, capitalization, and tenses in scam emails.

The University’s Career Services Center has taken note of these scams. The office responded by sending out a mass email to students relaying information about how students can protect themselves from losing money and personal information in fake employment opportunities.

William Hill, Assistant Dean for Career Services, said, “With the anonymity that the internet allows people to operate in, it’s easier for the bad guys to create [the impression] that they are legitimate businesses when they’re not.”

According to Hill, one of the best ways for Monmouth Students to go about getting legitimate employment is to use the Hawks CareerLink. “Every job has to be approved before it goes on our job board,” said Hill, “It makes catching fraud a lot easier.”

Hill explained that his employees must make sure to get verbal confirmation from employers about openings and make sure to verify all aspects of each listing, such as the website and location of the company, before offering them to University students.

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Monmouth Recreation App Changes Gym Experience

MU Recreation AppA free Monmouth Recreation app that gives the campus community the ability to schedule workouts and view the availability of exercise equipment through their mobile devices is now available for download. The app was released on Jan. 30 through a contract between the University and fitDEGREE, a recreational software company.

The app offers live occupancy counts, and after an update on Feb. 15, the number of cardio machines occupied. It also shows whether or not the indoor track and areas of Boylan Gymnasium are being used at any given minute. Additional features include the ability to check into the fitness center, view the hours of operation, see and sign up for upcoming group classes. Users are able to interact with other users, posting on the fitFeed, and direct message.

According to Nick Dennis, CEO of fitDEGREE, the app saw over 200 downloads in the first couple of days simply by word of mouth.

Dennis, a former alumnus, contacted Christian Esola, the campus’ Fitness and Wellness Coordinator, during the fall semester.  “Monmouth is one of our most successful schools so far. Christian and I were pleasantly surprised at how fast the students adopted the app.”

According to Esola specific terms of the agreement, and the cost of the APP cannot be disclosed as per the request of fitDEGREE.

“Our goal was to streamline everything about how we use the fitness center[…]and make the student experience more efficient and enjoyable,” said Esola. “The fitness center gets extremely crowded; we all know that. So, being able to get a live look at just how crowded the areas are, and also an hour by hour breakdown, was something we thought students would be inclined to use.”

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What to Know if ObamaCare is Repealed

ObamaCare Repelation 1Students health coverage may soon be impacted if Republicans are successful at repealing ObamaCare (also known as the Affordable Care Act), since it allows individuals under the age of 26 to stay on their parent’s health plan. Speaker Paul Ryan presented a new policy brief for the Obamacare repeal plan last Thursday, Feb. 16.

During its initial introduction, Obamacare received tremendous backlash, and a 2014 MU poll showed that 49 percent of New Jerseyans opposed the act.

Patrick Murray, Director of the MU Polling Institute, said that most backlash was a result of glitches with the website that made a bad first impression. Despite the initial hiccups however, Obamacare has since received warmer reviews.

President Donald Trump, along with other leaders in Congress, have vowed to repeal and replace Obamacare with something “terrific.” He has called the ObamaCare a “disaster” and has criticized its ineffectiveness.

Dubbed on social media as “TrumpCare,” the President has largely kept his ultimate health care plan shrouded in mystery, and it is unclear what the final form will look like.

The provision of Obamacare that allows students to stay on their parents insurance has come in handy for a number of persons navigating through college, including Jake Marciniak, a junior business student. He said that the provision is one of the main issues that would arise for college students with a repeal, because not a lot of college students are well versed in the health insurance marketplace.

“I know that if you were to tell me to go out and find an insurance plan for myself, I would be very hesitant and confused on what I was doing. Basically, what Obamacare was proposed to do, whether or not it was one-hundred percent perfectly implemented, was to create widespread availability of health care,” said Marciniak.

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House Party Goes Awry

Three University Athletes Arrested Following Off-campus Party

House Party AwryTwo University football players have been charged with disorderly conduct, maintaining a nuisance, providing alcohol to underage persons, and littering, after a fight allegedly broke out at an off-campus house party on Atlantic Avenue on Thursday, Feb. 16. Another student, who is a member of the track and field team, was arrested the following day, on counts of disorderly conduct and obstructing the administration of law.

According to a press release provided by the Deal Police Department, the two football players, Christian Runza and Michael Christ, were said to be the hosts of the party and tenants of the home and were arrested immediately. Police said there were roughly 200 to 300 people in attendance at the party. The football players were released on a summons and are currently awaiting a future court date.

Tyrell M. Gibbs, a member of the track and field team, was not arrested during the initial incident, but was later identified by the University Police Department and a few cooperating witnesses. He was released from police headquarters and was also granted a summons for a future court date.

Police officials from Deal, Ocean Township, Long Branch, and Allenhurst arrived to the scene at approximately 12:24 a.m., after someone called in about a large fight occurring on the residence, according to a press release.

According to police the fight began after a group of approximately 30 people were denied entrance to the event. That group of individuals then allegedly began vandalizing cars in the surrounding area.

A student who attended the party but who would like to remain anonymous, said, “When we got to the party there were about 20 to 30 high school students outside of the house. Usually it’s only students from the University at those parties, so they weren’t being allowed in.”

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History of University Activism is Recognized in Mural

Out Classroom Into Streets 1On permanent display in Bey Hall is the “Out of the Classroom and Into the Streets” mural, painted by Dr. Johanna Foster, Director of the Sociology Program. The mural celebrates the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s historic visit to Monmouth University and documents the waves of student activism from 1966 to the Black Lives Matter campus rallies in 2016.

The mural, which hangs in the second floor of Bey Hall, is composed of eight 24’’ x 24’’ attached canvases. It depicts the likenesses of 25 student activists on campus, and displays a visual timeline of student demonstrations throughout the years. The building houses the Department of Political Science and Sociology, both of which tie strongly to the subject matter of the piece, which was funded entirely by a generous award from the Monmouth University Research and Creativity Grants Committee.

Although Foster was the primary painter, over 30 students from across academic disciplines participated in the creation of the piece. Ten students contributed as social history researchers and painting assistants as well.

“I was inspired to paint this, as someone who teaches about social inequality and a commitment to racial justice I wanted to find a way to honor King’s visit. I wanted to find a way to connect the gift of his visit and the spirit of his message to the school today,” said Foster.

King spoke in a crowded Boylan Gymnasium on Oct. 6 1966, by invitation from the school’s Black Student Union. According to Foster, this historic event marked an influential point in the University’s history, as well as in the lives of students to come.

University President, Paul Richard Brown Ph.D, said, “The mural is a powerful reminder of the strong commitment to social justice embraced across our campus, by students and faculty alike. We are a caring community, and I think Dr. Foster’s artwork captures that spirit of active participation in issues that affect us all,” Brown added.

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Students Win $1,500 in Software Challenge

Students Excel CompetitionStudent teams competed for a grand prize of $1,500 in a challenge to create a ‘chatbot,’ a knowledge-management software that companies implement in their customer service departments on Feb. 4, in Pozycki Auditorium. The event was hosted by the School of Science and Business School, along with Edison knowledge provider, RightAnswers, an information technology organization that’s focus is on creating accessible customer service for other companies.

The RightAnswers@ Monmouth University Chatbot Challenge demonstrated students’ collective efforts to work in a team and create a helpful and inventive ‘chatbot.’ The event included students in teams of three that were a mixture of business, software engineering, and computer science majors.

The winners of the Chatbot Challenge were the team Binary Trio, with their chatbot, “Shadow.” The team consisted of Anthony Vazzana, a senior business student, Nicole Puccio, a senior marketing student, and Giuseppe Licata, a senior computer science student.

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MU Tech Community Comments on Slow Progress Towards Workplace Diversity at Google

MU Tech Workplace DiversityWomen and minority students, faculty, and other members of the Tech industry shared their reactions to Google’s latest diversity statistics for 2016. Although white men still account for a majority of Google’s workforce, the tech-giant has made slow but steady progress towards their goal of a more inclusive company.

According to the data, 69 percent of Google’s approximately 50,000 employees worldwide were men in 2016. Of its U.S. employees, 59 percent were white, 32 percent were Asian, three percent were Hispanic, and two percent were black.

“Google is not where we want to be when it comes to diversity,” Laszio Bock, Google’s former Senior Vice-president of People Operations, wrote in a blog post. “And it’s hard to address these kinds of challenges if you’re not prepared to discuss them openly, and with the facts.”

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Monmouth’s Pollak Gallery Unveils Women in the World Exhibition

Women in World ExhibitMonmouth University’s Pollak Gallery unveiled its newest art exhibition entitled Women in the World, A Visual Perspective, and officially welcomed the gallery with an opening reception on Feb. 10. The gallery will be open until March 24.

Co-curated by New Jersey artists Gladys B. Grauer and Adrienne Wheeler obstacles women all around the world face through a series of original art pieces. Ranging from paintings to drawings to sculptures, each work has been crafted by a diverse group of New Jersey-based, female artists.

“It’s always a treat to hang a show,” said Vaune Peck, Director of Center for the Arts. “This is the first time we’ve partnered with Women in Media-Newark, but we are always trying to increase diversity.”

 

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Scholars Gather For Eminent Domain Talks At University

Eminent Domain TalkUniversity faculty and students, along with distinguished scholars from outside universities, gathered to open up a discussion on the issues surrounding eminent domain on Friday, Feb. 10 in Magill Commons. Eminent domain is the right of a government or its agent to expropriate private property for public use, with compensation.

The conference, titled “Eminent Domain and the City: Government Action, Private Rights, and Public Purpose,” was envisioned by Karen Schmelzkopf, a professor of history and anthropology, along with other professors from her department, and the political science department.

The goal of the conference was to get “people to understand how important their property rights are, and how the government is expanding its power to limit individual rights going forward,” according to Dr. Walter Greason, Dean of the Honors School.

 

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UK Parliament to Debate Trumps State Visit

Members of the UK parliament are to hold a debate on President Donald Trump’s controversial state visit. The debate, which will be held in the House of Commons on February 20, comes after a petition calling for the invite to be recalled attracted over 1.6 million signatures.

According to John Bercow, the Speaker for the House of Commons, President Donald Trump will not be welcome to address Parliament on his upcoming state visit to the United Kingdom.

Bercow cites Trump’s racism and sexism, as well as his controversial travel ban, as the reasoning behind his decision. In an interview, he said that he was “strongly opposed” to Trump speaking, saying that it was “not an automatic honor” but “an earned honor”.

Bercow then went on to say that even prior to the ban, he would have been opposed to Trump’s speaking, but said that “after the imposition of the migrant ban by President Trump I am even more strongly opposed to an address by President Trump in Westminster Hall.”

According to The Independent, parts of the Commons erupted into “rare, spontaneous applause” in support of Bercow’s statement. Bercow was supported by Dennis Skinner, a Veteran Labourer Member of Parliament, who said that although he and other members of Parliament valued the United Kingdom’s relationship with the United States, “I feel very strongly that our opposition to racism and to sexism and our support for quality before the law and an independent judiciary are hugely important considerations in the House of Commons.”

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University Community Reacts to Recent Travel Ban

MU Travel Ban Reaction 1University President Paul R. Brown Ph.D. released a statement to students and faculty on Jan. 30 in response to President Donald Trump’s travel ban. According to Brown, the University is committed towards maintaining a climate of inclusiveness despite the exclusive nature of the ban.

“In this period of immigration uncertainty, by far my biggest concern is the support and safety of our community members. Monmouth University will do everything possible within the limits of the law to protect those who will be affected by this order and to support our current students, faculty and staff regarding their immigration concerns,” said Brown.

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Students Notice Decrease in Black History Month Events on Campus

More Black History MonthThe annual commemoration of Black History Month has commenced with a noticeable decrease in events co-hosted by the African American Student Union (AASU), the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW), and the Office of Student Activities in comparison to past years.

According to a flyer released to the student body on Jan. 26, there will be four main events throughout the month of February: a flag ceremony, a forum, a trivia night, and a jeopardy game.

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Feds Sue Nations Largest Student Loan Company

Feds Sue Navient 1Navient, America’s largest student loan company, is currently embroiled in a federal lawsuit that was filed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on Jan. 18. According to the lawsuit Navient, misallocated payments, steered people into costly plans, supplied the wrong information, and ignored borrowers’ please for help.

“For years, Navient failed consumers who counted on the company to help give them a fair chance to pay back their student loans,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray in a statement. “At every stage of repayment, Navient chose to shortcut and deceive consumers to save on operating costs. Too many borrowers paid more for their loans because Navient illegally cheated them and today’s action seeks to hold them accountable.”

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Flu Spike May Be Decreasing Amongst Students

Flu Spike Decrease 2017According to a report released by the New Jersey Department of Health and Care, there were high levels of influenza activity throughout the state in January. Monmouth County is the highest flu-infected county within New Jersey with a total of 135 cases thus far.

Last year’s flu reported cases were nearly two times less with only 82 cases around this time last year according to an Influenza Laboratory Report by the New Jersey Department of Health Communicable Disease Service.

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University Welcomes New Dean of the Honors School

Dr.G New Honors Dean 1Walter Greason, Ph.D. of the History and Anthropology Department was appointed as Dean of the Honors School this semester. He hopes to use his lifetime of diverse experiences to develop the Honors School to create a more meaningful and impactful program.

Greason will be taking over for Interim Dean Stanley Blair, PhD, and is charged with the responsibility of overseeing and advancing Honors School classes and programs by harnessing resources like the University’s faculty to push students to become leaders inside and outside the classroom.

“Honors students and faculty will feel an awesome sense of wonder that will be the envy of higher education worldwide,” said Greason, who promises to dedicate his time to making sure students fully appreciate the opportunities they are given at Monmouth.

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Art and Design Faculty Show Their Talents in New Exhibit

Art Design Faculty Show 9Over 60 students, faculty, and members of the University community gathered in Rechnitz Hall’s DiMattio Gallery for the opening reception of works created by faculty of the Art and Design Department on Friday, Jan. 27.

The new exhibit showcased only faculty work and will be up until March 10. Doors opened at 7 p.m., and light refreshments were served in the Rechnitz Hall lobby.

Upon entrance to the exhibit, patrons gathered in the first and second floors of the gallery. The space was covered in pieces composed of different mediums through varying techniques.

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Millennials: Overeducated and Underpaid

Millennials make 20 percent less than Boomers did at the same stage in life, according to a report published on Jan. 13 by research advocacy group, Young Invincibles. The report titled, Measuring Generational Declines Between Baby Boomers & Millennials, used a cross-generational analysis of millennials and Baby Boomers.

Along with the 20 percent decline in earnings, the group also found that millennials have amassed a net wealth that is half that of Boomers at the same age, and that when Boomers were young adults they owned twice the amount of assets as young adults today.

According to Robert Scott, a professor of economics and finance, these findings are a result of millennials facing an economic climate that differs greatly from that of their Boomer parents. “Millennials suffered the brunt of the Great Recession, starting around 2007, more than any other group,” he said.

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Scholarship Week Returns in April

Student Scholarship Week 2017The University’s annual Student Scholarship Week will celebrate the academic accomplishments of its students from April 17-23. Throughout the week students display their scholarly contributions in various areas including research, writing, service learning, art, musical, and theater productions.

According to Dr. Laura Moriarty, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, the event is meant to be a celebration of student achievement. “The goal of Scholarship Week is to showcase and celebrate students’ academic work inside and outside of the classroom as well as highlight student-faculty collaboration, across the University,” she said.

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MU Hosts Final Winter Graduation

Graduate and Undergraduate Students Walk Together For the Last Time


MU Final Winter GraduationApproximately 430 graduate and undergraduate students were awarded degrees in the University’s last winter commencement in the OceanFirst Bank Center on Friday, Jan. 13.

The end of the mid-year ceremony marked a new tradition for the University: from now on, there will be two separate commencement ceremonies for undergraduate and graduate students respectively in the spring, instead of having both a winter and spring commencement that awards degrees to both groups at the same time.

“It is keeping very much in line with our strategic plan where we also talk about creating a very distinctive graduate student experience, and commencement is a part of that. The needs of our graduate students in terms of the kind of ceremony you hold are very different. We would still continue to focus our attention on having a primary speaker for each [ceremony],” said Mary Anne Nagy, Vice President of Student life and Leadership Engagement.

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Bruce Springsteen Comes to Monmouth to Announce Launch of Archives and Center for American Music

Springsteen Reveals Partnership With University


Springsteen MU Music 1The University has been named the official archival center for Bruce Springsteen’s works and memorabilia with plans to launch the Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music.

The announcement was made during an event on campus “A Conversation with Bruce Springsteen” where the artist came to the University to speak with students, faculty, and fans about his life and works in Pollak Theatre on Tuesday, Jan. 10.

“I am extremely excited about the partnership.  The opportunity to enhance academic programming while also attracting widespread interest from a global audience does not happen often for any academic institution, of any size,” said President Paul Brown, Ph.D.

This will benefit students and faculty, and make the University a destination for scholars studying American music. “As an incredibly popular figure, Mr. Springsteen’s influence extends far beyond scholarship, and we hope to serve his many fans with access to material and programming that only will be available at Monmouth University,” said Brown.

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New Year: New Minimum Wage

New Jersey workers experienced a $0.06 minimum wage increase on Jan. 1, 2017. NJ is one of 19 states that experienced a minimum wage increase that raised the minimum wage in the state from $8.38 to $8.44.

NJ is implementing the increase state-wide, yet some states are taking a more regional approach. For example, New York has varied the minimum wage based on location and circumstance. The wage rose to $11 in New York City, to $10.50 for small businesses in the city, $10 in its downstate suburbs and $9.70 in certain other locations. In Connecticut, the minimum hourly wage will climb to $0.50 cents, from $9.60 to $10.10.

According to Joshua Manning, senior business major, these increases have been the result of steadfast effort over previous years. Many supporters of the increase believe that the minimum wage is unlivable, and an increase is imperative for people to maintain a quality of life.

Aimee Parks, Assistant Director of Human Resources for Student Employment, said, “Even though it is only $0.06 at the moment, the increase will certainly make people happy. While students have not been necessarily clamoring for jobs, the office has remained steady. I am sure people will be more interested in attaining a job if these rates continue to increase.”

The ultimate goal of many fast-food workers and organized laborers is to increase the wage to $15, which is commonly seen as a fair, livable wage, added Manning.

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Students Make History in Women’s March

Students Demonstrate Peacefully in New York City


Women March 1Over 40 students, faculty, and other members of the University community took to the streets in the Women’s March with more than 300,000 peaceful demonstrators in a trip hosted by the Gender Studies Program and the School of Humanities and Social Sciences on Saturday, Jan. 21.

Although the original focus of the day was on the main Women’s March in Washington D.C., the focus broadened as similar “sister marches” occurred simultaneously across the U.S. and around the world. Men and women of all ages, gathered in the streets of cities like Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, Sydney, London, and Cape Town; a march was also held closer to home in Asbury Park.

According to politicususa.com the Women’s March was the largest peaceful one-day protest in U.S. history with an estimated 2.9 million participants.

Students were invited through email to reserve bus seats to the march in New York City before, and after the winter break. The bus left the University around 9:15 a.m. Saturday morning. Upon arrival into New York City the group joined other protesters on a route that began near 45th street and ended nearly two miles away at the steps of Trump Towers, on 721 5th Avenue.

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Former Hawk Chris Hogan Sets Patriots’ Record in AFC Championship Game

MU Chris Hogan PatriotsFormer Monmouth wide receiver Chris Hogan set the record for most receiving yards in a postseason game in New England Patriots history in the American Football Conference (AFC) Championship Game on Sunday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Hogan, who played one season of football as a graduate student for the blue and white in 2010 after playing three seasons of lacrosse at Penn State, caught nine passes for 180 yards and two touchdowns in New England’s 36-17 victory. He will become the first former Hawk to play in a Super Bowl when the Patriots play the Atlanta Falcons on Feb. 5 in Houston, Texas.

“We are very happy for Chris and all that he has accomplished,” Monmouth Head Coach Kevin Callahan said. “Although his time a Monmouth was limited, it was very clear that he was highly motivated to achieve big things. He is an outstanding athlete, as well as a tough, dedicated competitor.”

Hogan has spent six seasons in the National Football League (NFL). He was picked up by the San Francisco 49ers as an undrafted free agent in 2011 and spent a few weeks on their practice squad before moving on to the practice squads of the New York Giants and Miami Dolphins that same season. He signed onto the practice squad of the Buffalo Bills in 2012 and cracked their 53-man roster later that season. Hogan had his breakthrough season in 2014, when he caught 41 passes for 426 yards and four touchdowns.

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Post-Election Reactions from ABC News, POLITICO, Asbury Park Press, and Associated Press Professionals

Post Election Reactions MediaStudents and faculty gathered to discuss how traditional and social media affected the election results with professional news correspondents, reporters, and political analysts at the Post-Election Media Breakdown event. The event was hosted by the Monmouth Oral Communication Center (MOCC) on Nov. 16 at 6 p.m. in Wilson Hall Auditorium.
Panelists included Aaron Katersky who is an award-winning ABC News correspondent based in New York, Ben Moskowitz who teaches the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts,  Brian Carovillano who is the Vice President for U.S. News at The Associated Press in New York, and Hadas Gold who is a reporter at POLITICO. The moderator was Hollis R. Towns, the current Executive Editor and Vice President of the Asbury Park Press as well as the regional editor of Gannett New Jersey.

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Global Education Office Hosts International Education Week

Internation Education Week 2016Monmouth University’s 2016 International Education Week, hosted by the Global Education Office, presented a variety of programming to showcase the benefits of a global education from Monday, Nov. 14 to Friday, Nov. 18.

“International Education Week is an annual initiative of the U.S. Department of State, and its purpose is to showcase international education and highlight the benefits of the global mobility of students and scholars,” said Jon Stauff, the Vice Provost for Global Education. “Education abroad – study, work, intern, service – is a transformative experience for students from the United States, as well as international students coming to our country.”

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SAGE and The Music Alliance Collect Donations for Women in Need at PB & Jam Session

SAGE Purse Drive 1Students donated feminine hygiene products and purses to homeless women as an admissions fee for the PB & Jam Sessions co-hosted by Students Advocating Girls Education (SAGE) and The Music Alliance (TMA) on Friday, November 18 in the Rebecca Stafford Student Center.

On the Wednesday and Thursday before the event SAGE members tabled in the RSSC for donations. All of the donations acquired were collected by the Unitarian Church of Neptune to be distributed to homeless women in the local vicinity.

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Jay Josmar Discusses Professional Success After MU

Jay Jasmar Professional SuccessAlumna Jay Josmar, a lawyer, researcher, and policy analyst, visited the University on Wednesday Nov. 16. Josmar spoke with students about her global career that began with the guidance she received from the political science department at an event hosted by Students Advocating Girls’ Education and the Political Science Club.

In an informal conversation that took place with a handful of students, Josmar took students on the journey that is her life. Her global career started at Monmouth. She said she was a distracted student who could often be found filing her nails in class dressed in her pajamas. However, she very creatively found ways of keeping up in school.

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Mathbor Re-elected President of the AIBS

Mathbor President AIBSWhen the board of trustees for the American Institute of Bangladesh Studies (AIBS) was faced with the decision of electing a new president this year, they voted in favor of keeping Dr. Golam Mathbor, professor of the School of Social Work at the University, for another four year term.

AIBS is a member of the Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC), which, according to their website, “is a private nonprofit federation of independent overseas research centers (ORCs) that promote advanced research, particularly in the humanities and social sciences, with a focus on the conservation and recording of cultural heritage and the understanding and interpretation of modern societies.” Through CAORC, the AIBS maintains centers in Bangladesh, where they send scholars to conduct research in various fields.

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Over 100 Students Organize Anti-Hate Protest in Response to Election

Trump Protest 1Two days after the presidential election, over 100 students, faculty, staff and administrators, gathered in a peaceful demonstration around the steps of Woodrow Wilson Hall on Friday, Nov. 11 at 11:30 a.m.

The purpose of the protest was to unite MU students and staff as well as local community members in a show of love and support for each other, especially those who are part of marginalized groups that, overwhelmingly, are experiencing fear and anxiety in the wake of the election,” said Sydney Underhill, an organizer of the event and the president of the Gender Studies Club.

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Men’s Basketball Tickets Jump in Sales

Men Basketball Ticket Sales 1The increased popularity of the University Men’s Basketball team resulted in a jump in ticket sales by nearly 52 percent last season, and a 15.2 percent increase in merchandise sales since this time last year.

“Last season was the first time since the OceanFirst Bank Center opened in 2009 that we have seen multiple sell-out crowds, and a fully packed student section for almost every game,” said President Paul Brown, Ph.D. “A big part of the success of the team comes from a culture that values and nurtures students with the understanding that most of their maturation as young men happens off the court.”

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Rolling Stone Found Guilty of Defamation With Malice

Rolling Stone Lawsuit GuiltyA ten-person jury found Rolling Stone writer Sabrina Rubun Erdely, the magazine itself, and publisher Wenner Media guilty of defaming Nicole Eramo, an administrator at University of Virginia, with malice, in their publication of their sensationalistic 2014 article “A Rape on Campus.”

The story, while now discredited, claimed that the school botched the handling of an alleged fraternity-house gang rape. “Jackie”, the pseudonym of the student who was allegedly attacked, claimed to have been counseled by Eramo; in her testimony on Oct. 31, 2016, Eramo claimed that Erdely portrayed her as ‘the chief villain’, and as someone who discouraged victims from reporting assaults to the police. Eramo, the associate dean of students, had been in charge of the university’s sexual assault program.

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Report Finds That NJ Hometown Influences Lifespan

Living in Northern Towns Can Add Years to Your Life

Depending on where you live in the state of New Jersey, your lifespan can vary greatly. Factors such as socio-economic status have a large impact on the type of lifestyle one lives, and ultimately their overall health, according to NJ.com.

Dr. Lynne Holden, Co-founder and President of Mentoring in Medicine, said, “Many families traditionally do not eat fresh fruits and vegetables. Quality produce at an affordable price is often not available in local neighborhoods. Therefore, families are used to eating canned food or carbohydrate and fat laden foods which have longer shelf lives.”

In New Jersey there is a tremendous gap between those who are wealthy and those who are not. When analyzing the geography of New Jersey, there is a clear north-south divide, as men and women in the north are expected to live an average of five years longer than those who live in the south.

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A Letter From Our University Faculty: The Importance of Open Dialogue

As concerned educators, we are reaching out to students, faculty, administrators, staff, and the extended campus community to encourage open and respectful dialogue in this post-election period.

Monmouth University must provide a safe physical and intellectual space for all students and community members. We acknowledge the heightened sense of fear, distrust, and anger present on campus. We encourage open and respectful dialogue so that students can better understand and respect each other on campus and beyond, regardless of political affiliation. As faculty, we are committed to facilitating such conversation. We invite students to ask questions in class, visit faculty during office hours, and we call on faculty to participate in formal and informal student discussions around campus. We also urge students to both speak and act; but before doing either, to make sure that what they are saying and doing is thoughtful, respectful, and moves us toward mutual understanding, not bullying and hate. As faculty, we publicly affirm that while we welcome open discussion, we will not tolerate harassment and violence in our classrooms.

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Sexual Assault Campaign Posters Captures Students’ Attention

It Happens Because RapeTacked and taped across University bulletin boards, locker rooms, and dormitory bathroom stalls are signs from this year’s sexual assault poster campaign titled It Happens by photographer Yana Mazurkevich. The posters have been showcased since Hawks United Week in early October by the Office of Equity and Diversity, the General Council, and Student Life.

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Polling Institute Earns an A+ Rating

Polling Institute A PlusThe quality and accuracy of polls released by the Monmouth University Polling Institute has earned the University an A+ rating from Nate Silver’s widely respected news site, FiveThirtyEight.

The University ranked higher than many major media outlets and organizations such as Fox News, the Los Angeles Times, and Gallup, becoming one of only five polls to receive an A+ rating out of the 373 organizations reviewed by the site in August.

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Narcan Used an Average of 21 Times a Day In NJ

Narcan Use AverageNarcan, a drug that halts the effects of an opioid overdose, has been deployed by New Jersey emergency officials over 18,000 times since its widespread implementation in 2014, according to an article by NJ.com.

As of 2016, the drug has been deployed an average of 21.8 times per day; it is expected that it will have been utilized nearly 8,000 times by the year’s end, according to the NJ.com article. Data on opioid and heroin abuse in the state is difficult to pin down, but the use of Narcan by first responders in the field provides one of the clearest indications of how widespread it is.

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Visting Writer Series Features Poet, Gerald Stern

Poet Gerald SternMonmouth University hosted another Visiting Writers Series eventson Tuesday, Nov. 1 at 4:30 p.m. in Wilson Auditorium. The visiting poet for this installment was Gerald Stern. Stern is an immensely popular poet who has published over a dozen awards for his writings and countless books of poetry with their content being both mind-opening and sentimental as well as witty and thought-provoking.

Michael Thomas, Associate Dean of Humanities and Director of the Visiting Writers Series, explained that Stern was selected for the Visiting Writers Series because “There are very few poets like him left. Also, Gerald Stern is an American Original, a poet who integrates history, both personal and political.”

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Largest Career Day in MU History

The largest Career Day in the University’s history was held in the OceanFirst Bank Center on Wednesday, Nov. 2. Over 120 companies and over 350 students and alumni attended the event sponsored by the Career Services Office.

Jeffrey Mass, Assistant Director of Career Services, said there was a six percent increase compared to last year. “Career Services is very happy with both student and employer turnout, but we never want to stop trying to improve the event,” said Mass. “Someday I would like to see 150 employers visit the campus.”

The University had various companies attend Career Day for the first time including: Canon Solutions America; Department of Children and Families; Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories; New Jersey State Parole Board; Open Systems Technology; PNC Bank; Simon & Schuster; NJ Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services; Toll Brothers; United Methodist Communities; and USA Today.

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Where is the New 911 System?

New 911 SystemSince 2004, the state of New Jersey has collected 1.37 billion dollars in 911 fees, meant for the implementation of a new 911 system that would be more advanced and save lives according to NJ Advanced Media. However, this analysis published on Oct. 14 found that only about 15 percent of the funds have been used to pay for the system they are intended for.

The new system, called NextGen 911, would be an upgrade on the current 911 system, using updated technology and giving dispatchers and first responders more information and access. People would be able to show dispatchers text, photo, and video; information could be shared with first responders in real-time. Information could also be run through databases.

Stephen Chapman, Assistant Professor of Political Science considers the misuse of funds as a strategic political move. He said, “I think this situation is a clear example of when strategic actors behave in a manner that benefits their interests. The governors took from the tax fund because they knew balancing the budget would benefit their public approval and reelection hopes much more than 911 technology would.”

“This does happen quite often; Governor Christie is known for taking from one program to pay for another, but he is surely not the only state executive to engage in this activity. However, this situation normally happens in policy areas where most people are not paying attention.” Chapman added.

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Remembering Milt Campbell: A Champion and Humanitarian

Rembering Milt CampbellOn May 20 2008, Monmouth University gave an honorary degree of Public Service to Olympic champion and humanitarian Milt Campbell, the only university to do so.

Yesterday, Nov. 2, the anniversary of Campbells passing. He was the first African American to become an Olympic decathlon champion, who used his athletic fame to help deconstruct the negative ideologies associated with the black community. He also created more opportunities for individuals who live in underprivileged areas.

Biology professor Dr. James Mack nominated Milt for the Doctor of Public Service, honoris causa, which he received on May 20, 2008 from the University. Monmouth became the only University to give Milt Campbell an honorary degree in acknowledgment for his humanitarian efforts and his world class athletic achievements.

Paul G. Gaffney II, the University’s former President recalled the award ceremony. He said, “It was an honor to have Olympian and New Jersey resident Milt Campbell with us before a big and happy audience. Milt was not recognized enough in his life so it was particularly rewarding that Professor Mack brought him to our commencement.”

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MUPD Apprehends Alleged Gunman: No One Hurt

Gunman on Campus Is Arrested In Dorms


Monmouth University was placed on a campus lockdown after two female students reported that a man allegedly attempted to rob them with a handgun on Nov. 1 at approximately 9:17 p.m. No one was injured and the suspect and weapon were apprehended.

Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office identified the suspect as University student Keith L. Williams, 18, of Baltimore, M.D., and charged him with first degree armed robbery.

The students reported that a male, approximately 6’3” wearing a hooded black sweatshirt and stocking mask, drew what was believed to be a handgun and demanded their cell phones. The students escaped the scene. They called 911 once they were in a safe location.

Monmouth University Police Department (MUPD) was immediately notified of the incident, according to the Prosecutor’s Office.

The University personnel put a lockdown in place at 9:52 p.m. for the entire campus to ensure the safety of the students and anyone else who was potentially in danger. This decision was based upon the fact that an armed suspect was believed to be on campus, according to the Prosecutor’s Office.

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“Mighty” MU Says Goodbye to Kessler Field at Homecoming 16’

Hawks Gather At Final Homecoming on Kessler Field


Mighty Monmouth Goodbye 1Monmouth University hosted its annual homecoming weekend from Oct. 28-30 during which students partook in a series of fun-filled activities. Current and former staff, alumni, and trustees were invited to enjoy the event.

The game was the final one at Kessler field, as demolition of the aging field began on Nov. 1, with hopes to complete the new field by the 2017 season. Kessler Field was built in 1993 and opened for the Hawks’ inaugural season. On Sept. 25, 1993, the first-ever game was played at Kessler Field as the Hawks hosted Sacred Heart University. Since then, the field as been home to every Hawks home game.

 

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Media Talks with WABC Reporter

Toni Yates Visits The University


WABC Toni Yates 1Toni Yates, a news reporter and anchorwoman for WABC - TV Eyewitness News, spoke to students at the University about the relationship between news media and the criminal justice system on Thursday, Oct. 27 in Pollak Theatre.

About 70 students from various departments (including communications and criminal justice) sat in the center seats of the theatre as Yates discussed her experiences in the field of news reporting. Yates said, “some of the news of the day that we cover sounds a lot like this: An amber alert is launched, because a kid was walking to school and all of a sudden he was snatched...or a cop pulls a driver over and things go absolutely horribly wrong and the driver ends up dead. Or an angry student who was expelled from college and they return weeks later with an AK-47, or a deadly carjacking at a mall across the country somewhere.”

Yates continued, “every day, so many journalists get up and there is not a day that goes by that we don’t have to go out and cover stories like that.”

Nicholas Sewitch, a specialist professor in the criminal justice department, asked Yates if she would speak to students at the University via email. “I’m teaching a first-year seminar class about the CSI effect in relationship to popular television shows and also news media and the criminal justice system, and so I wanted to bring down a news reporter,” said Sewitch.

 

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The Outlook Update: Volume 88 Issue 7

11/4/16 8:10 PM

The site now has the online version of this week's issue uploaded. The Outlook staff thanks you for your patience.

11/3/16 1:00 PM

The Outlook staff has completed the issue for this week and it is being dispersed in print throughout the university. The issue will be available online between today and the end of Friday.

11/2/16 10:00 AM

Due to recent events on November 1 2016, The Outlook staff was unable to complete the week's issue because of the imposed lockdown that required all individuals on campus to stay indoors or enter the nearest campus building. As of now, we are currently trying our best to send out issue 7 at fast as possible. The Outlook will provide updates on when the next issue will be live in both print and online form in future updates.

 

 

New Race and Ethnicities Minor Diversifies Curriculum

New Race Ethnicities Minor 1The History and Anthropology department has created a new undergraduate Race and Ethnicities minor, focusing on race and ethnic studies. The newly established fifteen credit minor was spearheaded by lecturer Hettie Williams and lecturer Brooke Nappi, of the History and Anthropology department.

The minor will focus on “the critical study of race, ethnicity, and indigeneity with an emphasis on the perspectives of people of color,” according to a press release sent out in the department newsletter last spring. It launched this fall and, according to those involved, has been well received by students.

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College Students an At-Risk Group for Identity Theft

ID Theives and HackersAs the fall semester continues, new scams and fraud attempts have been directed at college students, making them one of the most at-risk demographics for scamming and identity theft, according to USA Today.

There are a number of reasons as to why college students are more at-risk than other groups. According to a USA Today article published on Sept. 8, there is a “growing cybersecurity threat at schools and other large institutions” since entire databases of student and faculty information are kept, similarly to how large companies or health care providers keep databases of their clients. If illegally accessed, the results can be disastrous.

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University Hosts First Monmouth Challenge Quiz Bowl

First Monmouth Quiz BowlThe first Monmouth Challenge Quiz Bowl took place as a part of implamenting the strategic plan on Oct. 21 in Pozycki 115 and 205 from 4:30-7 p.m.

Eight teams of students participated, with four to five people per team.  Seven faculty members participated and there were a few faculty, staff and administrators who attended to watch or cheer on a team.

Questions were taken from the National Academic Quiz Tournaments, LLC and some Monmouth trivia questions were developed by Professor Melissa Ziobro, a Specialist Professor of Public History. Each competition between two teams was ten minutes long. Various topics were covered including science, entertainment, literature, and history.

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Millenials Are Most Likely To Swear At Work

Millenials Likely To SwearA recent study of over 1,500 Americans by the work management platform Wrike found that 66 percent of millennials admit to swearing at work, while only 54 percent of baby boomers say they swear on the job.

Additionally, 45 percent of millennials surveyed said that using swear words at work “doesn’t matter,” while others said it makes communicating easier. Some also said they felt that swearing bolsters camaraderie among colleagues. Another, 36 percent said cursing on the job displays passion for their work. The baby boomers confessed that using swear words while on the job is classless and unprofessional.

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Monmouth Prepares for 2016 FAFSA Changes

This year the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) has undergone multiple developments. Such changes include adjusting the deadline to submit financial information to Oct. 1, as well as changes in required financial filing information.

FAFSA had a long-time submission date of Jan. 1, which allowed families to submit information about their financial situation in hopes of securing loans, grants, and scholarships from the federal government for a college-bound family member.

However, the previous date of only allowed schools a few months before they could put together a financial aid package that factors heavily into a student’s decision. The later submission date also impacted students as well.

“One of the big issues that you would run into [with the old FAFSA] was a student applying for admission in September or October of their senior year and not receiving their financial aid packet until March or April from some institutions. This change gives students and their families more time to sit down and work together to make a final decision on the school that is the best fit for them financially,” said Kamal Kornegay, Associate Director of Undergraduate Admissions. An earlier timeline means that families will have a better idea of what institutions are feasible based on financial accommodations.

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Annual Founder’s Day Convocation Commemorates Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Founders Day 2016The annual Founder’s Day Convocation was held in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s visit to Monmouth College in 1966. The ceremony was located in the OceanFirst Bank Center on Wednesday, Oct. 5.

On the day of the ceremony, nearly 300 faculty and administrators flocked toward the Center in a rainbow of academic regalia, along with students and other members of the University community.

Created in 1983 on the University’s 50th anniversary from a junior college to an established institution of higher education, Founder’s Day is an annual celebration of the University’s founding in 1933.

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Nobel Peace Prize Winner Speaks at MU

climateThe 7th Annual School of Science Dean’s Seminar featured Plymouth University professor and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Dr. Camille Parmesan, who spoke about the responses of wild plants and animals to man-made climate change on Oct. 7. Held in Wilson auditorium, the seminar welcomed students, faculty, and community members to engage in the presentation.

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A Wing and a Prayer Celebrates 25 Years

wingIn celebration of the 25th anniversary of his novel, A Wing and a Prayer, John Morano, a professor of journalism, released the sixth edition on Monday, Oct. 3. As the first book of the Eco-Adventure Series, new illustrations by Sarah Anderson and an Introduction by Mark Tercek, President and CEO of The Nature Conservancy, are now featured.

“I was dying to fix [A Wing and a Prayer] up, dying to put a new coat of paint on it… It now reads the way I have always wanted it to read,” commented Morano.

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First Ever Internship and Majors Fair Hosted at MU

internshipsA total of 30 employers, 206 students, and representatives from all majors attended the Internships and Majors Fair on Oct. 5 in Anacon Hall. This was the first time the University combined these two events in order to consolidate the similar fairs and provide an array of options for students at once.

In addition to being an event where students can meet with potential employers, the Internship and Majors Fair also gave undecided and re-deciding students a chance to explore academic majors options with faculty from each school at Monmouth,” said Jeff Mass, Assistant Director of Career Services.

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Postcards to POTUS

OringSheryl Oring, creator of the ‘I Wish to Say’ project, visited the patio of the Rebecca Stafford Student Center (RSSC) on Friday, Oct. 7 to present a glance at American public opinion on presidential politics. Dressed as a vintage secretary with a portable public office equipped with a manual typewriter, Oring gave students the opportunity to dictate letters to the president and presidential candidates.

“I was questioning if we really know what Americans think about our candidates,” artist Sheryl Oring said in an interview with TakePart. “I wanted to come up with a way of going around and talking to people who might not normally show up in a news story.”

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MU Appoints New Vice Provost of Global Learning

New Vice ProvostThis past February, the University hired a new Vice Provost for Global Education, Dr. Jon W. Stauff, who hopes to use his diverse experiences and unique world perspective to connect University students with programs that will help them become better students and leaders.

For Stauff, international programs have a special place in the future of Monmouth students.

“International experience and familiarity with the world is going to be as essential in 20 years as computers have become part of our generation... International education is going to provide students today with those essential skills for a successful career in the 21st century. Those essentials are going to include familiarity with the global marketplace, not just of products but of ideas,” he said.

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Texting Emergencies to 9-1-1 Now Available in New Jersey

911 Text 1Texting 9-1-1 has become an option for the citizens of New Jersey in an effort to allow people who cannot speak during their emergency situation to contact an emergency dispatcher. Effective Sept. 7, the texting capability will also provide people with disabilities, such as those with hearing impairments or deafness, another option for communication.

“The text to 9-1-1 will allow, in the event that the unthinkable happens in our backyard, the public to be able to text 9-1-1 to provide information to first responders arriving on the scene,” said Christopher Rodriguez, Director of New Jersey’s Office of Homeland Security in a press conference on Sept. 7.

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Run Honored Fallen University Alumnus

Fallen University Alumnus 1Over two dozen members of the University community along with family and friends of fallen military soldier and University alumnus, Lance Corporal Christopher B. Cosgrove III, participated in the New Jersey (NJ) Run For the Fallen on Sunday, Sept. 25.

NJ Run for the Fallen is an organization whose mission is to run a mile for every NJ service member killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom New Dawn, and any other conflicts. According to the official website, the first run was held in 2009.

According to his mother, Charlene Cosgrove-Bowie, Cosgrove was a Lance Corporal in the Marine Corps from Cedar Knolls, NJ. He died while serving in Iraq on Oct. 1, 2006. “Chris wanted to join the Marines when he graduated high school, but I begged him to go to college first. So he went to Monmouth University, and majored in history and double minored in anthropology and archaeology,” she said.

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Dr. Lisa Dinella Presents Research At Sesame

Dr Lisa Dinella SesameLisa Dinella, Ph.D., an associate professor of Psychology and Principal Investigator of the Gender Development Laboratory at the University, spoke at Sesame Workshop, the non-profit organization behind the TV series Sesame Street, on Sept. 13. The address, titled “The Power of Play,” focused on Dinella’s research in gender, toys, childhood media and science-based recommendations for using the tremendous influence of the media to reduce gender stereotypes.

“Speaking at the Sesame Workshop was an amazing experience,” said Dinella. “I had the opportunity to speak with so many people that are applying the science and research directly to have an impact on young children. I spoke with many of the writers and digital media people that are behind the television series.”

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University Broadens Students’ Perspectives with New Childhood Studies Minor

New Minor Piques StudentsA newly established minor in childhood studies was added to the list of University programs this fall to help students understand the stresses and the experiences of children from a global perspective, according to Robyn Holmes, a professor of psychology.

The minor was developed through the Department of Psychology, and will be spearheaded by Holmes. “If you think about the 21st Century experience, right with globalization, increase in migration, social media access, intergroup contact, and the movement of people, some voluntary, some not. Children are kind of caught up in that movement,” she said.

Holmes continued, “It’s nice to understand that not every child gets breakfast before they go to school, some children are homeless, some children will be forced to work in horrible conditions, girls will be sold as slaves and prostitutes, and some children will be so affluent that they will be driving in sports cars and private jets before their fifth birthday.”

According to Holmes, the minor took about 18 months to create. Holmes spoke with professors at Rutgers University’s doctoral program of childhood studies to decide how it might work at the University’s undergraduate level.

Holmes then petitioned the idea to Monmouth University department chairs, received approvals from undergraduate studies, and polled students for interest. “Before the minor was approved by undergraduate studies, I began to poll students, and the student interest was very high,” she said.

Mariel Acevado, a junior psychology student, now has a minor in Childhood Studies. “I signed up for the minor literally one day after Doctor Holmes sent out the email. I’m a social work major and as a career I want to work with children, so I felt like this minor was a perfect fit and opportunity to enhance my knowledge on children. I was a psych minor and although those classes are strong and fulfilling, it was too broad of a minor,” she said.

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Bachrach Appointed as New Dean of the School of Science

New Scienece DeanSteven Bachrach, Ph.D. was appointed as the new Dean of the School of Science at the University as of Aug. 1, and is most looking forward to increasing the opportunity for students to be engaged in research.

Previously, Bachrach had worked as the Assistant Vice-President for Special Projects at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. During his time there, he was also the Department of Chemistry Chair and a Chemistry Professor. He started teaching at Northern Illinois University.  

“This was a terrific opportunity for me. This Dean position is exactly the kind of opportunity and challenge I was looking for,” said Bachrach.

He said there is already much of this occurring at the University, including the ongoing summer research project, which has been in place for nine years now. “For me, the best way for students to learn science is to do science. That means discovery, which you see in the research environment,” the Dean pointed out.

“I haven’t actually met him or gotten to hear any of his ideas and policies but I have heard from many professors that he is very laid back and friendly,” said Kristen Jezycki, a senior marine bio student. 

According to Bachrach, a current weakness in the department is that they are presently short staffed and he would like to see more faculty.

Bachrach’s long term goal is to engage with the community and increase the profile and reputation of the University, ultimately leading to a stronger student body. “I will be successful if colleges of ours in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, will look to us and say there is really good science going on and that they want to send their son or daughter to Monmouth to get a solid, modern, cutting edge science education. What I would really love to see is students applying specifically to come to Monmouth for the sciences because they know they can engage in research right away,” he explained.

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NJ Millennials Won’t Move Out

State has Highest Percentage of Young Adults in the Country Still Living at Home

NJ Mllenials 1According to recent Census data provided by NJ.com, New Jersey has the highest percentage in the country of millennials aged 18 to 34 that still live at home with their parents. While this may seem like a sign of decreasing independence for this generation, a closer look suggests that millennials might actually be making a smarter and safer choice.

Financially, avoiding mortgage and even rent might be a viable option for millennials who are overwhelmed with student loan debt. Nick VanDaley, a graduate student at the University, said, “Having to take out loans to go to a university has crippled [millennials] before we even begin our adult lives. While our parents established their credit through buying homes and cars, our credit will be built upon our student loans. This comes at a price, however, as we aren’t able to afford much else.”

NJ.com also highlighted Census data that showed how New Jersey is falling behind the nation in wage growth, and Bureau of Labor Statistics data that reported a scant 1.4 percent in job growth within the state.  VanDaley said, “Stagnating wages, New Jersey as the worst in the country, hinder [millennials] from being full consumers,” unlike generations of America’s past.

In addition, New Jersey’s high property taxes make home ownership for millennials even more intangible, especially those with student loan debt. Census data revealed that NJ has the highest property taxes in the country. With an income based on meager wages, mortgage payments won’t fit in the budget.

Mike Grant, a junior at the University, further explained the reality many millennials are facing. Grant said, “I bet if kids could move out, they would. Especially if they went to college and got the taste of living on their own. Who wants to backtrack and live with their parents? But I do not blame the millennial, who is all too often accused of being ‘lazy’, as much as I blame the unreliable job market, the crippling student debts, and the highest property taxes any state has to offer.  It would appear to be the perfect storm, keeping millennials inside, and more specifically, inside their parents’ homes.”

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Paintings From Chilean History

Chilean History 1In support of Hispanic Heritage Month, the University is hosting Memorias – Geography of a Decade: Chile 1973-1983 from Sept. 14 through Oct. 14 during the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The exhibition is held in the Guggenheim Library room 101 and displays original serigraphs, posters, and photos of Chilean art.

Chilean writer and activist Gustavo Gac-Artigras will read excerpts from his most recent novel And We Were All Actors: A Century of Light and Shadow on Oct. 3 in Monmouth University Library room 102.           

G. Gac-Artigras spent 40 years living under a strict military hand, and learned how to “distance [himself] from [his] memories in order to survive.” Although the captivity brought endless nightmares to the writer, they also taught him to be “tolerant and to listen to the other in order to be able to trust those who think differently.”

Priscilla Gac-Artigras, a professor of world languages and cultures, and wife of G. Gac-Artigas, is responsible for reviving these artworks at the University. As part of the Monmouth family, P. Gac-Artigras felt that the University was the perfect place to display the historical artifacts. “The new generations get to know those events from the past that make the human beings lose their humanity and act as enemies of their human fellows and learn a lesson from them. And the lesson is that ‘never again.’ Never again the holocaust, never again the dictatorships, never again the war, never again the massacres,” said P. Gac-Artigras.

Like these previously hidden artworks, G. Gac-Artigras is no stranger to captivity. The military coup of 1973 exiled G. Gac-Artigras along with 1,000,000 other Chileans. Living out his exile in Paris, the writer shared how the past affected him as he was forced to “get to know the limits of horror that marks your life, your dreams.”  

In Paris, G. Gac-Artigras restarted his theater group, Théâtre de la Résistance- Chili, and later established Nuevo Teatro los Comediantes. Exile also brought him to meet his wife, who was pursuing her doctorate at the time. 

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Brookdale Board Member Under Fire For Tweets

A trustee of Brookdale Community College was found posting and liking racist comments on Twitter, and now there is a petition, published through Brookdale’s student newspaper, calling for his resignation.

Board of Trustee member Joseph DiBella’s Twitter account was shown liking several tweets posted by others, and others that he wrote himself. All contained racist content, such as calling President Barack Barack Obama an “islamic black monkey” and others that contained use of severe derogative terminology and obscene suggestions.

DiBella reportedly told the Asbury Park Press that he was not responsible for the alleged behavior. He claimed that the Tweets were liked by hackers, and that Photoshop was used to alter the tweets to defame him. According to Brookdale administrators, the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office is investigating whether the account was hacked or not.

“I haven’t written anything that is racist and I haven’t liked anything that is racist,” DiBella told the Press. “If there is some electronic re-creation out there it was either altered, or my account has been hacked. Someone has clearly altered, Photoshopped and likely hacked my account to recreate or suggest that I liked things of a disgusting, racist nature that I did not. It is regrettable in this day and age that people can use technology as a weapon.”

However, students do not seem to believe DiBella’s claims, and are calling for his resignation. The student newspaper is circulating a petition asking for his resignation; according to Alex Nichols, the editor of Brookdales student newspaper, The Stall, 80 students have already signed it.

“As soon as we were made aware of his Tweets, we archived them… On Sept. 1, a friend, a Brookdale alum, posted a few screenshots of his Tweets on Facebook, and we started researching to see if they were real,” Nichols told the Middletown Patch.

“He has 7,000 followers, and has been posting and liking vitriolic content for the past two years in some form or another. Unless he’s been lost on an island for the past two years without an Internet connection, I doubt that he’s been aware of what’s being put on his Twitter account. It appears to me that he’s just trying to save face,” added Nichols.

Brookdale faculty members also claim that they do not believe that the account was hacked.

“If you had a Twitter feed, and for two years, there were these awful things in your name that were expressed in your Twitter feed, you would have not waited until someone brought it to your attention or brought it to the institute’s attention before you went and asked the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office,” said Jack Ryan, an assistant professor of English at Brookdale, to the Asbury Park Press.

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Monmouth University Mourns the Passing of Jules L. Plangere, Jr.

Jules L Plangere JrThe University Board of Trustees voted to retain the name of Woodrow Wilson Hall after months spent reconsidering the controversial legacy of former president Woodrow Wilson. The decision was made at a Board of Trustees meeting on June 23.

Similar events have occurred at universities across the nation. This year Princeton University refused student demands to change the name of Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, but agreed to remove a mural of Wilson from a dining hall. Then in May, hundreds of students at Yale protested the school’s decision to keep Calhoun College named after John C. Calhoun, an 18th century slavery supporter.

Although Wilson won a Nobel Peace Prize for his work during World War I as well as motivated the creation of the Federal Reserve, he also segregated the federal government and was a supporter of the Ku Klux Klan.

“It is impossible to disentangle his foreign policy achievements from a racism that helped to retard the development of American democracy,” said Hettie Williams, a lecturer of History and Anthropology. “Both primary and secondary sources indicate that Wilson’s attitude on race was regressive for his time, and more in line with the ideology of the new Ku Klux Klan.”

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Board Votes No to Wilson Hall Name Change

Woodrow Wilson LegacyThe University Board of Trustees voted to retain the name of Woodrow Wilson Hall after months spent reconsidering the controversial legacy of former president Woodrow Wilson. The decision was made at a Board of Trustees meeting on June 23.

Similar events have occurred at universities across the nation. This year Princeton University refused student demands to change the name of Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, but agreed to remove a mural of Wilson from a dining hall. Then in May, hundreds of students at Yale protested the school’s decision to keep Calhoun College named after John C. Calhoun, an 18th century slavery supporter.

Although Wilson won a Nobel Peace Prize for his work during World War I as well as motivated the creation of the Federal Reserve, he also segregated the federal government and was a supporter of the Ku Klux Klan.

“It is impossible to disentangle his foreign policy achievements from a racism that helped to retard the development of American democracy,” said Hettie Williams, a lecturer of History and Anthropology. “Both primary and secondary sources indicate that Wilson’s attitude on race was regressive for his time, and more in line with the ideology of the new Ku Klux Klan.”

According to Henry Mercer, Board of Trustees Chair, the conversations on Wilson are not over. In a press release he stated, “I am proud that our entire Board chose to proactively examine Wilson’s legacy with the help of faculty, students, and staff members.”  He added, “From this we know that we have a responsibility to tell Wilson’s full story, the good and bad. This provides a valuable learning opportunity for the Monmouth University community.”

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Monmouth Students Present During JFK Airport Shooting Scare

JFK Shooting ScareA shooting was reported at John F. Kennedy (JFK) Airport in New York in August. Traveling Monmouth University students were present as terminals were evacuated and passengers were fleeing for their lives, however, it was later revealed that the entire situation was a false alarm.

The ‘shooting’ began in Terminal eight of the eight-terminal airport. Just before 9:35 p.m., Usain Bolt finished his 100-meter Olympic dash, scoring a gold medal for his home country of Jamaica; those watching cheered and clapped. It was the sound of cheering and clapping that caused others in the terminal to think they were under attack.  

The situation quickly spiraled into chaos. Passengers stampeded through the terminal, and there seemed to be a lack of responding security according to New York Magazine. Passengers were not reasonably evacuated, at least in the beginning; they instead they fled onto the tarmac, into the hallways, and throughout the airport. The sounds of metal poles falling to the ground as the crowd pushed through them sounded like more gunshots, only increasing the panic.  

About forty-five minutes later, there was yet another false alarm in Terminal One, JFK’s international terminal.

In Terminal One was a handful of Monmouth University students about to depart for a three-week backpacking trip through Copenhagen. Their flight had been delayed. They were at the end of the terminal, according to junior political science student Christopher Summers, and there were no exits except for the secured gates that connected the planes to the terminal.

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Healthy Living Blog gets Professor on The Chew

Mary Harris The ChewMary Harris, a Specialist professor of communications, appeared on the Emmy-Award winning TV Show, The Chew on Friday June 3.

ABC’s talk-show The Chew is led by co-hosts Mario Batali, Michael Symon, Carla Hall, Clinton Kelly and Daphne Oz. This talk show is composed of entertaining and informative segments that capture all types of audiences. It is a spin-off of ABC’s other award-winning show, The View, however, instead of focusing on celebrity news, The Chew focuses on lifestyle tips and tricks and a variety of food-related news that can range from the innovative recipes for Nashville hot wings to classic chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes. 

Harris was approached by The Chew’s production team to be a guest star on the show about a week before it aired. The producers contacted her because of her blog on healthy living and natural recipes called SproutnBlossom. Following a phone interview with an assistant producer, she was selected to conduct a segment on the show.

“Meeting the whole cast was definitely very interesting on its own,” said Harris. Had it not been for her own segment, she never would have been able to meet the cohosts or the world class chefs otherwise. According to Harris, it was also very refreshing to speak with them as down- to-earth individuals, rather than meet them for their stage personas on the TV screen. When she was getting ready in her dressing room, she was able to speak to chefs and get to know them on a personal level.

“The segment I was on was a four-minute segment on natural cleaners,” said Harris. The producers were seeking someone who could make an effective natural cleaning solution for around the house that was not only do it yourself (DIY), but also did not utilize chemicals.

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Forbes Leaves MU off List of ‘NJ Top 10 Colleges’

The University failed to make the cut on Forbes list of “America’s Top Colleges” and their list of “Top 10 Schools of New Jersey,” released together in July. 

The list ranked 660 schools, and a number of neighboring schools snagged spots on the list, with Princeton at number 3 on “America’s Top Colleges” and number 1 on “Top 10 Schools of New Jersey.” Other NJ schools that made the Forbes list include, but are not limited to, Rutgers University, Rowan University, and Drew University.

Senior marketing student Erica Villa thought the University should have made the list. She said, “The University has great academics and the success of our alumi is high. I’ve had a lot of great professors and I feel like there are a lot of resources on campus for students to help them get jobs, like Career Services.”

On the other hand, senior health student Kegan Ellis thinks that the list has a lot to do with the retention rate. “I know a lot people who transferred, which might’ve had to do with the social aspect. A lot of kids come to school looking to party, and Monmouth just isn’t the place for that,” he said.

Forbes described the methodology behind how they establish their list. In an article titled Top Colleges Ranking 2016: The Full Methedology, Forbes staff writer Caroline Howard revealed that Forbes isn’t focusing on how student’s get into college, but what they are getting out of it.

Universities are graded on five categories: post-graduate success, student debt, student satisfaction, graduation rate, and academic success. Such information is acquired through sites such as Payscale, College Scorecard, and RateMyProfessor.

For post-grad success, Forbes combines the information from Payscale, which discloses self-reported salaries, and from College Scorecard, which reveals tax records solely from former students who took out federal loans. Together, these sites provide a reading of early and mid-career salaries, and weigh 32.5 percent on the rating scale.

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NJ Ranked Sixth In U.S. for Teen Drug Overdose

NJ Drug OverdoseIn findings reported by Trust For America's Health, the national health policy organization, New Jersey is the state with the sixth-highest teen drug overdose rate.

Despite the state’s comprehensive laws and regulations against teen substance abuse, there have been a high number of drug overdoses among New Jersey youths. For every 100,000 youths, 10.7 will overdose on drugs, which is more than three people higher than the national average of 7.3.

Additionally, a reliance on substance abuse in one’s teen years is a strong indicator for continued use in adulthood, as more than 90 percent of adult substance abusers began using before age 18. Further, New Jersey is one of 18 states where the overdose rate has doubled since the organization began in 1999-2000, according to NJ.com. At that time, the state's overdose rate was 4.8 per 100,000.

Senior psychology student Amanda Aynes said that the statistics are disturbing, and something needs to be done to combat this epidemic. “The number of overdoses due to drugs is extremely upsetting and there needs to be a stop to it,” said Aynes. “Instead of trying to figure out how to keep the drugs out of their hands creating more laws, there should be more attention towards increasing their mental health and figuring out what causes the start of the drug addiction.”

Although elementary aged students are introduced to the dangers of drug abuse, there is no school program for people 18-22.

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Welcome Back Letters 9/14/16

Welcome from the President

Welcome Back 1

Dear Hawks:

Whether you are joining our community for the first time, preparing for your final year as an undergraduate, or enrolled in a graduate degree program I hope you are energized and ready for our 2016-2017 academic year. 

Over the summer we made many campus improvements, with others still in progress.

The dining hall at Magill Commons has been completely renovated with a host of healthy new options, significant progress continues on our School of Science facilities, and construction is already underway for our new Monmouth Stadium which will be home to our track & field, lacrosse, and football programs.

These improvements are part of our commitment to providing you with an outstanding living and learning environment. At the same time, your successful collegiate experience will depend on your ability to maximize less tangible resources. 

One of our greatest strengths as a university are the close bonds we share as a supportive community. Every member of our dedicated faculty and staff is here to help you succeed. Get to know your academic advisors, your professors, coaches, and resident assistants.  Please stop me and introduce yourself.

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University Under Federal Investigation by the Office of Civil Rights

OCR InvestigationThe University was added to a list of 270 colleges under investigation by the U.S. Department of Education for allegedly failing to respond to a complaint of sexual assault made in February 2015. As a result, the student was subjected to a “sexually hostile environment.”

Recent University graduate Tara Moore, whose name has been revealed at her request, made national headlines with news organizations such as CNN, News 12 New Jersey, and the Huffington Post in the spring under the pseudonym Sarah. She filed the complaint in March.

Moore’s 87 page complaint sent to the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) recapped her sexual assault with evidence and explained why she felt the University violated her Title IX rights during their investigation that eventually led to the expulsion of her assaulter.

On April 21, OCR notified the University and Moore that a case had been opened. According to OCR, the University is under investigation for failing to appropriately respond to Moore’s report and subjecting her to a sexually hostile environment.

Since 2011, OCR has conducted 322 investigations for possibly mishandling reports of sexual violence on college campuses. Today, 52 cases have been resolved, and 270 are active.

Some of the schools with open investigations alongside the University’s are Stanford, Princeton, and Cornell. In fact, 28 of the 50 “Best Universities” in U.S. News and World Report are under investigation.

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MAC Graduates to OceanFirst Bank Center

OceanFirst BankOceanFirst Bank has landed its name on what used to be called the Multipurpose Activity Center (MAC) through a $4 million agreement between OceanFirst and the University.

The 20-year marketing agreement includes naming rights and will provide ongoing financial support for athletic and intramural facilities used by students as well as the University community.

The bank, which was founded in 1902, is described as a regional institution committed to higher education and communal relationships, and is one of the largest and oldest community banks in New Jersey. Known as a historical institution committed to growth, it mirrors the University’s antique grounds and its continual progression in both accreditation and size.

Vice President for Student Life and Leadership Engagement, Mary Anne Nagy describes OceanFirst Bank as being a “good partner that has had an interest in Monmouth.” The Bank currently holds a third floor suite in the center, which they’ve been renting out for a number of years. Companies who wish to utilize the suites for business or entertainment purposes may rent them out annually. As an original suite holder, OceanFirst has had a venerable relationship with Monmouth University and continues to show its dedication and support.

Jason Kroll, Vice President of External Affairs, is very much responsible for the name change. His role at the University is to raise revenue and philanthropic dollars for scholarship, and he saw that OceanFirst most aptly fit the bill.

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New Diner in the Dining Hall

New Dining Hall 1Over the summer the interior of the Magill Commons Dining Hall was heavily renovated, changing both the look of the dining area and the layout of the food service stations. Favorite stations remained while new ones, including a small diner, were added.

The dining hall now looks similar to the interior of the Rebecca Stafford Student Center (RSSC). White picnic tables line up next to the windows, booths line the inner walls, and the wooden chairs at the inner tables have been changed into multicolored metal ones. The seating along the back wall has been changed into a bar where students can sit. Many paintings have been removed, as well as overhanging plants, and the walls have been painted to give the dining area a fresh, modern feel. The serving area is now more open and vibrant, and the space now feels less cluttered and claustrophobic.

The renovations took about four months, according to Mary Anne Nagy, Vice President for Student Life and Leadership Engagement. Renovations began on May 9 and were completed by the time students returned for the 2016/2017 school year. According to Nagy, there are still some minor pieces left to complete, such as the addition of a few more banquettes in the south end of the dining hall on the east side.

While there are no final bills in for the cost of the renovations, Nagy estimates that the project will come in at just under three million dollars. The two most expensive pieces of the renovation were the diner and the expansion of the center island, due to the need for new plumbing, electrical, and gas lines, and the creation or change of various pieces of infrastructure. “They  were the most expensive, but they are the most important parts of the facility,” said Nagy. “I think the diner will be a huge hit with students. I think the other thing that seems to have been one of the biggest hits is the hot plate station, where students can make their own omelet; they can sautee their own vegetables and proteins and pasta and sauce; they can make their own meal. It’s another way for students to control what they consume,” added Nagy.

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International Student Mentoring Program Makes MU Debut

The University welcomes 38 international students into a new International Student Mentor Program for this academic year.

The program was designed by the Global Education Office to specifically help students from abroad. Corey Inzana, the International Student Advisor for Global Education, said, “There was a great opportunity to aid international students as they transition to life in the US and navigate the University environment at Monmouth.”

According to Barbara Nitzberg, Assistant Director of International Students and Faculty Services, this fall semester Monmouth has international students from a wide range of countries including Canada, China, Finland, Germany, India, Israel, Jamaica, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, and Scotland.

There will also be a plethora of students from countries that Monmouth has never had connections with, such as Jamaica.

The program has student mentors from all different kinds of leadership roles, and areas of campus life. “The mentors are completely volunteering and are looking to share what they love about Monmouth with new people. They are expected to aid in the navigation of the Monmouth experience: to help the international students feel like Monmouth is more than a class room, but a home away from home,” states Corey.

 The mentors and mentees will meet twice a month to discuss their acclimation to the University. The mentors will help them enjoy their classroom experiences, locate academic resources and find ways of community engagement.

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MU Tuition to Increase Nearly Five Percent for 2016-2017

Tuition RaiseFor the 2016-2017 academic school year, tuition for full-time undergraduate MU students will increase 4.95 percent. This increase now makes the total cost for tuition and fees, excluding room and board, $35,014. Tara Peters, Associate Vice President of the Marketing and Communications Department said, “Even with this year’s increase, Monmouth’s tuition remains in the lower half among private colleges and universities in New Jersey, meaning that more than half of the private colleges and universities in the state have higher tuition costs.”

 Monmouth University’s financial aid department could not be reached for comment.

According to CollegeCalc, a website that ranks schools in order based off of their current tuition reported by the U.S. Department of Education, the University lands in 9th most expensive colleges in New Jersey by in state tuition.  Based off of the tuition of the 2014/2015 school year, it fell under schools such as Seton Hall and Drew University, whose tuition was $44,232 that year.

One of the main investments with the tuition raise is an increase in full time faculty and staff. Peters explained, “For 2016-17 we are adding 22 new full-time faculty positions and nine support staff positions to enhance student learning.” In addition, the University has also created several senior administrative positions. According to the University website, over the last two years there have been more than 50 new tenure-track and full-time positions, with the support of two new deans.

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MU Hosts TEDx Event

University Professor Among Speakers for TEDxNavesink Talk on Campus

Professor Melissa FebosA TEDxNavesink event sold out Pollak Theater at Monmouth University on April 9.

TEDxNavesink is similar to other organizations with the label TED (which is an acronym for Technology, Education and Design) in that speakers take the stage and talk about ‘ideas worth spreading.’ As the largest TEDx event on the East coast, this year’s TEDxNavesink theme of ‘Makers’ attracted CEOs, renowned artists, Grammy Award winners and even just everyday people to tell their profound stories.

Perth Amboy native, Stephanie Eichmeyer, who is a Monmouth alumnus and TEDxNavesink’s Communication Team Leader, said, “TEDxNavesink is an event full of talks by society’s greatest thought leaders, but it’s so much more than that. TEDxNavesink is a challenging, thrilling and rewarding experience for everyone involved.”

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SAGE’s Retreat Brings Women Together

SAGE RetreatStudents Advocating Girls’ Education (SAGE) hosted their annual Women’s Retreat that brought together many young women of Monmouth on Wednesday, Apr. 13, 2016. From Zumba to henna, SAGE incorporated bits and pieces of culture from around the world in Anacon.

SAGE is a student run organization that was founded two years ago. The club was established in the fall of 2014 by president Jamilah McMillan and vice president Janaya Lewinski. The club host’s events and campaigns that protect women and girls’ international rights to education and gender equality.

The Women’s Retreat was broken up into stations. There was an Insecurity Wall station, a makeup guru station, a henna station, a Mean Girls station, and a Zumba station.

There were some stations that highlighted internal struggles that women face on a global level. The Insecurity Wall, for example, was a station in which young women wrote an insecurity and taped it up on the wall. At the end of the night, when all the insecurities were up, all the participants were able to realize that insecurities have no identity, as many of them were recurring.

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2016 Springfest Preview: Featuring We The Kings

2016 Springfest We The KingsSpringfest, featuring We The Kings, will commence on Shadow Lawn on Sunday, April 24 from 12 to 5 p.m.

Springfest is an annual event hosted by the Student Government Association (SGA) that has been a staple of the University academic year for many decades. “I really love how Springfest brings everyone together at the end of the year for one big celebration. People from all over campus stop focusing on finals for one afternoon to hang out and spend time together, which I think is a great tradition,” said Brianna Merriman, a junior communication student.

This year, the American rock-band We the Kingswill be performing at Springfest. In 2007, their self-titled debut album We The Kings sold over 250,000 copies nationwide. The album included their platinum single “Check Yes Juliet.” Last year, the band released their fifth album Strange Love.

Every year, Springfest has a theme. “This year’s Springfest is themed Hawaii Luau. There will be a fire knife performance and Hawaiian Luau dancers,” said Vaughn Clay, the Director of the Office of Off-Campus and Commuter Services and the advisor for SGA.

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Monmouth Hosts Annual “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” Event

The male students of Monmouth University slipped into high heels to bring awareness to sexual assault and gender violence for the annual “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” march on Wednesday, Apr. 13.

Over 200 walked to support the international event, which occured during Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Mark Holfelder, Associate Director of Residential Life, said, “The whole purpose of ‘Walk a Mile’ is to get gentlemen to don women’s shoes and walk. It gives men the chance to put themselves in a women’s place.”

“Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” was coordinated by Counseling and Psychological Services and Residential Life, and received partnership by 180 Turning Lives Around (a non-profit organization dedicated to ending domestic and sexual violence), the  Office of Equity and Diversity, MU Athletics, and Greek Life.

The event was created by Frank Baird in 2001 with just a group of men marching around a park. Now, colleges around the world take part in bringing awareness to sexual assault and violence against women.

Thomas McCarthy, Assistant Director of Counseling and Psychological Services, said, “The event has remained an important part of the spring semester at Monmouth for the last 10 years. It’s important we have events like this.”

McCarthy feels the event’s longevity is due to its relevance and its impact. He said, “It’s an issue in society, it’s an issue on campuses, and it’s serious enough that we want to constantly bring awareness to it.”

Walk a Mile in Her Shoes began with opening remarks by speaker Tina Morgan, Assistant Coordinator for Victim Support Program of 180 Turning Lives Around.

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MU Holds First Ever Scholarship Week

The University’s first ever Scholarship Week is a week-long conference designed to showcase and celebrate the academic achievements of students both inside and outside of the classroom. Scholarship Week began Monday April 18 and will run until April 24.

Scholarship Week is an idea that came out of the strategic planning process. The main goal of the week is to give students and faculty the opportunity to see the variety of projects being organized all over campus.

“There are a number of departments and schools on campus that have students undertaking research projects or other creative projects like the annual Art and Design student show or presentations from the Music and Theatre Arts students,” said Dr. Robin Mama, Dean of the School of Social Work who helped plan Scholarship Week. “Many people thought that it was time that we showcased this wonderful work in one week, both for all of us and for the community.”

Events will be occurring throughout the week all over campus and vary from school to school. These events include highlighting students’ scholarly contributions in research, writing, service learning, musical and theater productions, art exhibits, and more. One of the most prominent events will feature Keynote Speaker, Elizabeth Ambos, the Director of the Council on Undergraduate Research in Washington D.C., taking place on April 22 in the Young Auditorium in Bey Hall. The title of her speech is “Opening the Door: The Long Term Benefits of Undergraduate Research” and RSVP is required to attend.

Erin Hughes, a senior psychology student, is involved with Scholarship Week and will be presenting her thesis at the social sciences symposium and she looks forward to sharing her research. “I am very involved in my major and the research being done in the department. I hope to get to see what other majors are doing and how that has influenced them. I think this week will give us the opportunity to see across schools what students are involved in,” said Hughes.

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Spring Career Day Hosts 130 Employers and 350 Students

2016 Spring Career DayMonmouth University Career Services held its largest Spring Career Day in the University’s history, with 130 employers in attendance on Wednesday, Apr.  6.

This year, over 350 students attended the event held in the Multipurpose Activity Center (MAC) in hopes of gaining a job, an internship, or new network connection. Some employers included Microsoft, the IRS, Wegmans Food Markets, Asbury Park Press and USA TODAY Network, Novo Nordisk Inc., iCIMS, Daiwa Capital Markets, Vanguard, and the FBI.

There were a few firsts at this year’s Spring Career Day. Employers took advantage of the MAC’s jumbotron in order to advertise their corporate logos. Jeff Mass, Assistant Director of Career Services, said, “This is a great way for employers to build their brand to MU students.”

Additionally, the University used electronic scanners for the first time to keep track of the number of students who came to the event.

Mass is responsible for planning both the Fall and Spring Career Days on campus.  He feels events like Career Day are an essential step a student seeking a job should take.

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A Sit Down With President Brown

Questions About Title IX, Wilson Hall Controversy and the Strategic Plan Answered

President Brown Interview

With many changes to the University in this past academic year alone, President Paul Brown has  had a lot on his plate. The Outlook had the chance to sit down with him and talk about his  past  and how it affected his decisions at the University this year. 

What was your childhood like?

I grew up in Lancaster, PA on a farm that was right in the middle of Amish Country. My family had been there for generations. I had a very simple upbringing. The schools that I went to had about 10 or 12 students in a class. It was rural, but I loved it. I had three older brothers and they showed me the ropes. It was fun being the youngest.

My parents were pretty stern. They were loving but they were stern. My father worked for the state of PA as a farm inspector. I would go with him sometimes when he worked and I would see how he was good, but stern particularly in that type of role as an inspector.

My embracement of diversity came from my mother. We lived in an area that was very insular; all white, methodist, and catholicism was a big deal. I loved that, but my mother would make sure that we had chances to get out of that environment. She would take us on trips to purposely have us out of Lancaster county. She was very accepting. I know that it was because she came from an incredibly stern family, and she reacted to that.

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Hawk TV Celebrates 20th Anniversary

Hawk TV 20 YearsHawk TV celebrated its 20th anniversary in the lobby of the Jules L. Plangere Center for Communication by hosting a reunion of many of its past members on Friday, Apr. 8.

The event lasted from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. and included activities such as a highlight reel of the last 20 years, speeches, and an in-studio gameshow that pitted current students against alumni. There was also a gift auction, the proceeds of which went towards Relay for Life. In total, there were about 100 people in attendance.

Many of the founding members were in attendance according to Donna Dolphin, an associate professor of communication and an advisor to Hawk TV. “One of those folks is a Vice President at Nickelodeon and now a member of the MU Board of Trustees.”

“We wanted to celebrate the 20 years that Hawk TV has been on air,” said Samantha Savona, a senior communication student and the station manager of Hawk TV. “This party was an opportunity to bring all generations together. We all shared something in common and that was our love and passion for Hawk TV. A lot of alumni discussed how nothing in their current careers would be possible without the learning experience that they first gained at this student-run television station.”

According to Alexa Burger, the promotions director of Hawk TV, one of the goals of the event was to reunite all of the past members of the organization.

“The biggest challenge of this event was to try and reach out to every past member of Hawk TV,” said Burger. “We do not have an event like this every year, but since we have reached the 20-year mark it was essential to try and bring everyone back to celebrate this amazing organization.”

 “I thought it was a great event,” said Marissa Cornford, a communication student who produces both Hawk TV News and The Save Point. “It’s amazing to see how Hawk TV has been around for 20 years and that the celebration took place while I’m a student now. It was a lot of fun, socializing and catching up… For me it was exciting to see people who graduated again, as well as meet people who didn’t go to Monmouth at the same time as me, but produced/worked on the show that I had taken over.”

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Food Recovery Network Donates 916 Pounds of Food from University Dining Services

Food Recovery MU Dining 1With hopes to feed the hungry and reduce campus food waste, the Food Recovery Network collects leftover food items and distributes them to those in need.

The Food Recovery Network is a non-profit organization that aims to decrease food waste on college campuses by collecting uneaten food from dining halls that would typically be discarded and donating it to nearby food pantries and soup kitchens.

Essentially, after the campus has finished serving food to students, members of the Food Recovery Network will work to package all of the leftover food that would otherwise be thrown away. Then, the food is brought to churches and kitchens that provide food for those in need. Therefore, less food is wasted and more people are fed.

Nationwide, the organization has almost 200 chapters and has successfully collected over one million pounds of food for donation since 2011. MU’s chapter is now officially recognized by the organization and is only the second school in New Jersey to become an official chapter.

In 2011, University of Maryland students Ben Simon, Mia Zavalij and Cam Pascual, realized that quality food from their dining hall was being thrown in the trash. Taking action, the students organized the first chapter of the Food Recovery Network, and by the end of the school year, they had recovered 30,000 meals overall.

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Italy Comes to Monmouth at “La Festa Italiana”

La Fiesta ItalianaThe Department of World Languages and Cultures and The Italian Club at Monmouth University held their annual “La Festa Italiana” or “Italian Festival” in the Wilson Hall Auditorium on Tuesday, Apr. 5. The event celebrated various aspects of Italian culture, such as food, music, poetry, and more.

The festival was attended by various language professors, students enrolled in the language classes at the university, and even some students from the neighboring Long Branch High School. It was hosted and overseen by Dr. Maria Simonelli. Simonelli, who began La Festa Italiana around ten years ago, is not only a professor of Italian and Latin at the university, but is also the Department Coordinator of the Italian Program and the advisor to the Italian Club.

“Signora Simonelli is an amazing professor and a genuinely caring person,” said freshman elementary education and history student Samantha Papa, who is also currently enrolled in Simonelli’s Italian 202 class and an active member of the Italian Club. “She lights up every room, and I wouldn’t have wanted to work with anyone else but her.”

Dr. Priscilla Gac-Artigas, a professor of Spanish for 20 years at Monmouth and the former chair of the World Languages and Cultures Department, shares a similar sentiment: “I believe that if someone needs to get credit for the success of the event, it is Professor Simonelli,” said Gac-Artigas. “Since she has been at Monmouth she has been an inspiration to all her students. Her passion for teaching and dedication to her students has been inspirational to her colleagues as well. The Italian program exists basically thanks to her hard work, and also to our present chair, Dr. Barrea-Marlys.”

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Administration Trying to Minimize Construction Disruption

Construction Disruption Spring 2016Construction has continued to take place in Edison and Howard Halls, disrupting some classes around the construction site and the flow of student traffic around campus, especially as the construction is ongoing.

According to Patti Swannack, Vice President for Administrative Services, the construction between the buildings will be completed by December 2017. However, until then, it seems like it will continue to disrupt students and classes in the area.

“For a very brief period of time [the construction will expand], to tie in lateral lines and pave the area that was disturbed,” said Swannack, referring to how the construction has expanded and cut off access to buildings from their standard entrances. This means that students have to plan alternate routes to classes. “Advance notice will be given to members of the University Community.”

The ever-expanding construction has been a sore spot for many members of the University, especially as they are told again and again that they will have to take longer, more annoying routes to get to Pollak Theatre, which is currently being used as the entrance to Howard Hall, due to the other entrances being blocked by the construction fence.

“If I want to get to any of my classes in Howard Hall, it always takes forever to get there,” said a sophomore chemistry student who wished to remain anonymous. “It was bad enough know how long it’s going to take to get to class. ”

According to Swannack, the expansions have taken place in order to install water and sewer lines that will be beneficial to the entire campus.

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Annual Phi Eta Sigma Induction Ceremony

PhI Eta Sigma Induction 2016Parents, relatives and students gathered to witness 187 Monmouth University first year students receive the honor of induction into the prestigious Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society, which took place at Pollak Theatre on Saturday, Mar. 26, 2016 and opened to a packed house.

Phi Eta Sigma faculty advisor, Dr. Golam Mathbor provided the welcoming remarks and thanked all for attending on behalf of President Paul Brown, Provost Laura Moriarty and Monmouth University. The event was organized by Lisa Henry, Pattiann Heimbuch, and Danielle Schrama from the First Year Advising office.

The history of Phi Eta Sigma dates back to 1923 and has over 370 chapters throughout the United States. Phi Eta Sigma inductees were required to earn grade point averages of at least 3.5 during their first semester at Monmouth. In her speech, Vice President Carolina Carvalho emphasized the important personal qualities which members are expected to possess. She stated, “Vigor and discipline of mind; care and respect for the body; and above all, nobility and generosity of character.”

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SGA Looks to Receive Student Votes in Coming Election

MU SGA 2016With annual elections around the corner, members of the Student Government Association (SGA) urge the student body to get on the computer and vote.

SGA is the governing body of all the student clubs and organizations on campus; currently, they are overseeing over 100, however more continue to be added each year. As a whole, SGA works to support University events both promotionally and financially. This semester, the student body will have the opportunity to vote for new members of the SGA Senate. The Senate is comprised of a President and Vice President, six Senior Senators, six Junior Senators, six Sophomore Senators, six Freshmen Senators, four Senators At-Large, and two Commuter Senators. After elections have culminated, the President and Vice President will also select Senators and students to serve on the Executive Board.

The Executive Board includes the Chief Justice, Finance, Historian, Parliamentarian, Treasurer, Attorney General, President Pro Tempore, the Vice President, and President. Executive Board members who have been appointed by the President and Vice President, but were not elected by the student body do not have voting rights on SGA.

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Students Organize Fundraiser for Organ Donation Charity ‘NJ Sharing Network’

Under the guidance of communication lecturer Shannon Hokanson, University students have organized several service learning projects, one of which involves a fundraiser at the popular Stingers Burger Bar to benefit the NJ Sharing Network.

Occurring from 9:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 14 at Stingers Burger Bar in Long Branch, the fundraiser promises to draw in both Monmouth students and casual bar-goers alike.

“There’s a lot of scholarly literature that indicates that service learning helps students grasp concepts and theories, as well as assists them by letting them put these theories into practice,” said Hokanson, who helped organize this and several other events with her CO/SO-320, small group communication class. “It also connects students with the community; it’s great because it encourages them to become citizens of the world through civic participation.”

Her goal, as the latest professor to teach the class, was to allow the concepts taught in the course to come to life so that students could better understand them. So far it has been a success. “This is the first time I’ve taught the course, and I’m excited by how the students are doing,” she said. “They’ve surpassed my expectations.”

Part of the reason why the students have been able to effectively coordinate the events has been due to the connections they’ve all made. Kate Latkovich, a senior music industry student, was the one responsible for coming up with the concept. It would have been impossible, she said, without her ties to Stingers’ DJ and promoter, Brandon Alex.

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Dr. Michael Palladino Named New Vice Provost of Graduate Studies

New Vice Provost PalladinoMonmouth University has appointed a new Vice Provost of Graduate Studies for the spring 2016 semester.

Dr. Michael Palladino, former Dean of the School of Science, is now the Interim Vice Provost of Graduate Studies. Palladino, who previously taught biology, said that the position entails numerous responsibilities geared toward providing help for students pursuing a graduate education at Monmouth University.

“This position is intended to provide strategic vision for graduate education at MU and leadership across graduate studies to grow our graduate programs and to foster excellence in all aspects of graduate education,” said Palladino. “Putting a strategic focus on all aspects of graduate studies at MU is an important part of this role.  And this will be done through working closely with Deans, Department Chairs, Graduate Program Directors and graduate faculty who are all invested in supporting great graduate programs along with collaboration and partnership with administrators and staff from many other areas including Admission and Enrollment Management, Marketing and Communication, Global Education and others.”

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MU Chemistry Research Group Receives $100,000 Scholar Award

A Monmouth University Research lab has received a substantial grant award to fund further projects.

Dr. Dmytro Kosenkov, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, and his research group have received the $100,000 Cottrell Scholar Award.

 The Cottrell Scholar (CS) program is funded by the Research Corporation for Science Advancement (RCSA).  Founded in 1912, RCSA is the second-oldest foundation in the United States and the oldest for science advancement.

According to the RCSA official website, the corporation is a foremost proponent of the academic sciences and scientific innovation and is a prominent financial provider for research projects in American colleges and universities.

As the website states, “The Cottrell Scholar program develops outstanding teacher-scholars who are recognized by their scientific communities for the quality and innovation of their research programs and their academic leadership skills.”

$100,000 is a substantial grant award and will allow Kosenkov and his group to further develop their research. Universities often are unable to fund the entirety of a research project alone, so they reach out to corporations that are willing to invest in the projects and provide funding for their completion.

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WMCX Radio Show Brings Taste of Ireland to MU

The traditional Irish proverb, “giorraionn beirt bothar,” translated as, “two people shorten a road,” means that companionship makes time fly, and is a truth that Irish Coffee Radio hosts Jamie Griffin and Elizabeth White live by. Together, the two friends spend Saturday mornings from 10 to 12 on the University’s WMCX radio station playing Irish music and chatting about all things Irish, from the poetry of William Butler Yeats to what the colors green and orange represent.

“For this particular show, you have to be into Irish culture, history and Ireland itself,” said Jamie, “otherwise, you wouldn’t know what we’re talking about, or the meanings behind certain songs.” Jamie, a senior elementary education and history student with a minor in Irish studies, has family in Ireland and even speaks the Gaelic language. “My dad’s parents only moved here in 1948, so it hasn’t been a long time since my family left Ireland. I have two aunts that still live in Ireland,” said Jamie, “but they’re nuns, so they probably don’t listen to our show,” she joked.

“Jamie’s family is a lot more connected to Ireland than my family,” conceded Elizabeth, “but we’re both Irish. My family came to America from County Cork during the Irish Potato Famine and never left.” Irish Coffee Radio not only connects Jamie and Elizabeth to their Irish heritages, but also gives them a greater appreciation of their own cultures.

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Walgreens Stocks Shelves With Heroin Antidote

Walgreens Heroin AntidoteIn an effort to help stem the tide of deaths related to the recent heroin epidemic across the country, Walgreens has announced its intent to sell the heroin antidote naloxone (also known by its brand name Narcan) over the counter. The antidote will be distributed in at least 35 states, as well as Washington D.C. by the end of this year. New Jersey is among the states in which the drug will be sold to combat the heroin epidemic statewide.

The move is greeted by concerned citizens across the nation. “I think it will help a lot, because heroin has become such a big issue not just in NJ, but across the rest of America,” said senior communication student Jimmy Fanizzi. “These attempts to sell the drug will reduce the number of deaths across the country.”

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Visiting Writer: Jane Hirshfield

Monmouth University welcomed seasoned poet, Jane Hirshfield, to campus on Mar. 22 as a part of the Visiting Writer Series. Hirshfield is recipient of The Poetry Center Book Award and a part of fellowships from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundations, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Academy of American Poets. Popular works by Hirshfield include her collections of poetry The Beauty and Come Thief as well as a multitude of other collections.

Associate Dean and Director of the Visiting Writers Series, Michael Thomas, opened the reading with remarks about Hirshfield. He stated, “Mrs. Hirshfield’s poems make the ungraspable, graspable, the imprecise then gets named, even if it’s a life experience that we won’t ever fully comprehend.” This concept of explanation and didactic poetry was a theme threaded throughout the poetry Hirshfield read.

Dean Thomas chose Hirshfield for the Visiting Writers Series because, “She presents an originality and aesthetics of poetry that is different from all the other poets that we’ve had.” Furthermore, Hirshfield is a poet who is “highly esteemed, highly recognized, highly accomplished”; she brings more experience to the Visiting Writers Series.

Hirshfield took to the podium and explained that the readings she had selected were organized from earliest to most recent, which is her newest collection of poetry, The Beauty. The first poem she read was called “The Poet” in which she uses the pronoun “she” and explains that it is a “universal” she as opposed to the usual universal “he.” She stated, “If I don’t make the universal ‘she,’ rather than the universal ‘he,’ who will?”

Hirshfield then read from a poem titled “Justice Without Passion.” She provided background for this poem stating that it was written during the Robert Bork Hearings. She suggested that justice without passion is interchangeable with justice without compassion and that sometimes it is “important to take off the blindfold [of justice] to know someone’s background.”

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Electronic Cigarettes: Do You Know What You’re Inhaling?

We all know that Monmouth’s campus flourishes in the warm weather – everybody is outside enjoying the warm weather. Imagine sitting on Wilson’s Great Lawn just trying to soak up the few minutes of sun you’re able to get before your next class and all of a sudden you have a giant cloud of vapor smoke in front of your face and poof – your peaceful and joyful experience evaporates into the air along with the vapor smoke.

Electronic cigarettes are the new fad among the United States’ population – specifically young adults aged 18 to 24 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2015). Electronic cigarettes are battery-powered devices that allow a liquid that contains nicotine among other chemicals, to be heated and inhaled in the form of vapor instead of smoke. Few studies have been conducted solely on the correlation between electronic cigarettes and college students, but our peers here at Monmouth University are in the major age cohort that is utilizing electronic cigarettes.

As a Monmouth student, I have walked around campus, especially during the warmer months, and as I walk between classes I see three out of ten students smoking electronic cigarettes. Kristen Flynn, a senior level chemistry major here at Monmouth, stated, “I see people using electronic cigarettes all the time especially in the academic buildings. It got to the point where Monmouth banned their usage Edison actually banned their usage”. According to Mary Anne Nagy, Vice President for Student Life and Leadership Engagement, “Monmouth University’s smoking policy is inclusive of e-cigarettes… you are not permitted to smoke in any University owned or sponsored building including Pier Village and the Graduate Center at Monmouth Corporate Park.

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MU Students Organize Title IX Protest

Students Organize Title IX 1Approximately 25-30 students gathered on the student center patio for a non-violent protest on March 10 to bring awareness to Title IX and to recent reports from multiple media outlets that the University has been named in a Title IX violation. The protest lasted from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Students from the clubs CommWorks, SAGE (Students Advocating Girls Education), gender studies, sociology, and political science departments, and Greek organizations came together and organized the protest, which was covered by News 12 New Jersey. This was not a gathering of just student run organizations as there were students present at the protest who just wanted to support the movement. They made signs that said “End Rape Culture” and “Know Your IX”. 

“As a sociologist, I understand how important it is to act collectively to solve social problems, so I was really heartened to see students moving beyond individual approaches to confronting the national issue of campus sexual violence,” said Dr. Johanna Foster, assistant professor of sociology. “One of our most important tasks as a university is to facilitate a climate of critical thinking and engagement in participatory democracy among our students, so I think the protests are a sign that our intellectual community is becoming increasingly informed and vibrant- which I think is a great thing.”

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MU Faculty Salaries: Chronicle of Higher-Ed Statistics Reveals Trends

MU Faculty Salary 2016Monmouth University documented an overall revenue of $200,430,546 on a return of organization exempt from income tax form 990 from the dates of July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014. The document, which is public information, and the most recent return available to The Outlook, contains information regarding the financial breakdown of the university’s spending, including salary expenses, revenue of tuition and fees, and the total expenses of the university.

With over 200 million dollars in revenue and a recent increase of 4.25 percent in tuition for the 2015-2016 school year, some students have questioned what facets of the University received the additional tuition revenue. However, in the past three years, the University has made improvements to the campus with three new buildings, including academic buildings Rechnitz Hall and Pozycki Hall, as well as a residential building, Hesse Hall.

While an adequate learning environment is necessary for a proper education, some would say professors and adjuncts play the largest role in a student’s education. Monmouth University, a school that has presented itself as a “teaching university” versus a “research university,” (although faculty do conduct research) claims to pay its faculty comparatively with those of other higher education institutions in the area. The salaries of these professors, as reported in The Chronicle of Higher Education, as well as the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), find that this is not always the case.

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NJ Bill Could Lower the Legal Drinking Age to 18

Drinking Age 18New Jersey Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll has introduced legislation that would lower the legal drinking age from 21 years old to 18 years old.

Carroll argues that it is wrong for an 18 year old American can join the military but cannot consume an alcoholic drink.

Similar efforts to lower the drinking age in NJ have been brought to Trenton since then but haven’t been considered because of the fear of losing federal money. It is unlikely that the bill will pass in the NJ State Legislator due to the federal law that any state that reduces its drinking age below 21 would lose millions of dollars in federal highway funds.

Bill McElrath, Chief of Monmouth University Police Department (MUPD), explained the effect the law would have on University campuses.

“I think it could significantly increase the amount of drinking taking place both on and off campus, with all the negative consequences associated with the abuse of alcohol,” said McElrath. “I feel that the younger one is, the less capable he is to make the proper decisions regarding alcohol use,” he added.

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MU's Sexual Misconduct Policy

Due to recent incidents at Monmouth University, there has been an ongoing discussion about the University’s policy on sexual misconduct and the definition of Title IX. According to annual public reports provided online by the University, there have been seven rapes and two acts of criminal sexual contact on campus from 2012-2014. Six of these incidents occurred in residential areas on campus.

According to the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center, “1 in 4 college women will be the victim of sexual assault during her academic career. Survivors of rape or sexual assault are four times more likely to be victimized by someone they know than by a stranger...”

Mary Anne Nagy, Vice President of Student Life and Leadership, and Amy Arlequin, Deputy Tile IX Coordinator and Clery Compliance Officer, have provided information regarding the proper steps that are to be taken when the University is made aware of sexual misconduct. Below are these steps.

What happens once the University is made aware of an incident of sexual misconduct?

1. Once the University is made aware of an incident of sexual misconduct, including sexual assault, the victim-survivor is made aware of his or her options:

•Police Report/ Criminal: Meeting with the MUPD if the incident took place on campus or with local law enforcement if the incident took place off campus

•Student Code of Conduct: Meeting with Judicial Affairs to discuss filing charges under the Student Code of Conduct

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New Bracelet Puts Caffeine Directly into the Body

Joule BraceletA new transdermal bracelet called Joule Caffeine Bracelet  administers caffeine directly into the body and lasts for about four hours.

Joule releases caffeine into the body via the skin of the wrist. Each caffeine patch, which is placed on the bracelet that presses against the wrist, is equivalent to one cup of coffee.

The product was conceived through an Indiegogo page, an online crowdfunding site that raises money for potential projects. On the site, users can describe their product and post a goal fund, the price they wish to reach, which is typically the price needed to make the products. Then, users that are interested in the product can donate money to the cause. The bracelet already raised about $40,000, which is substantially more than the stated goal of $15,000.

Amanda Sanford, a sophomore nursing student, said that although the product is innovative and ambitious, it is important to use it responsibly. “Overall I think it’s an interesting concept because people who don’t like coffee or other sources of caffeine can benefit, but on the other hand it could be considered feeding an addiction,” said Sanford. “I think it could be potentially very dangerous if abused and I personally would not use the caffeine patch. A cup of coffee is a lot more natural and much more enjoyable than something stuck to my arm.”

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Some Students Question Howard Hall and Edison Hall Construction Project

On Friday, Feb. 26 Rock N‘ Raise annual charity event will take over the Hawk TV studio in the Jules L. Plangere Center for Communications building. Rock N’ Raise is a competition between bands who raise money and perform in hopes to win a grand prize and of course, bragging rights. This event is co-sponsored by WMCX and Hawk TV. WMCX and Hawk TV will both stream and broadcast Rock N’ Raise live.

The idea of Rock N’ Raise first came about in 2013 after Hurricane Sandy devastated the Jersey Shore. Both WMCX and Hawk TV wanted to put on an event to raise money to help those affected by Sandy, so the two organizations joined forces. Rock N’ Raise since then has become an annual live production.

While WMCX and Hawk TV co-sponsor the event, the two organizations have very different responsibilities when planning Rock N’ Raise. “Hawk TV is required to make sure we have a full crew for the event and insure the overall flow of production. Specifically as executive producer I have to make sure all the tech equipment is working and that the staff knows their role,” said Joseph M. Ruggiero, a senior communication student and executive producer of Hawk TV.

As Hawk TV focuses on the live production aspect of the event WMCX focuses on the musical aspects. “As the music producer of this year’s Rock N’ Raise the majority of my planning included getting a hold of a whole bunch of bands and artist to take part in the event,” says Larissa Trovamala, a senior communication student and an active member of both Hawk TV and WMCX. Some of the bands that Trovamala secured to perform at Rock N’ Raise are The Mercury Brothers from Red Bank and Eastbourne from Asbury Park. “Larissa [Trovamala] has done an amazing job finding four local successful bands to perform, explains Hawk TV executive producer, Ruggiero. 

While the overall concept of Rock N’ Raise remains the same the two organizations has added some new additions to this year’s event. “We decided to spruce up the lobby by putting the acoustic performances out there so people who watch from the lobby can also have a close interaction with some of the performers,” said Ruggiero.

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Ivy League Admissions Often Hinder Low Income Students

Ivy League AdmissionsLow income students get no advantage in the college admissions process for Ivy League and other top-tier institutions of higher learning, says a new report released last month by the education and poverty-focused Jack Kent Cooke Foundation.

Ivy Leagues say that they are striving for economic diversity, however, the statistics project said otherwise. “We are committed to ensuring all admitted students have the opportunity to attend Harvard, regardless of the economic obstacles they have encountered,” said Harvard.edu. However, Harvard’s incoming freshmen class of 2014 was made of more students from the top 1 percent of income earners than from the bottom 50 percent.

According to the report legacy students, underrepresented minorities and athletes get a boost in college admissions. Yet, students that are low-income are finding it nearly impossible to get an advantage due to admissions processes that systematically work against them.

Elite colleges hold a large percentage of seats for athletes. However, many poor students do not have access to sports due to economic constraints.

Johanna Foster, the director of the Sociology and Gender Studies programs, asserts that the University might indirectly be affected by classism through its own athletic recruiting. “I do think that Monmouth is one of those schools where being a student athlete is highly valued. The last time I heard, I think that one in four students at Monmouth participated in intercollegiate or intramural sports,” she said.

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University Rolls Out Hoverboard Policy

The use of hoverboards within University buildings and University-sponsored housing was banned on Jan. 7. Students and faculty were notified via email from Vice President for Student Life and Leadership Engagement Mary Anne Nagy.

Hoverboards are transportation devices. They are two wheel self-balancing scooters powered by an electric motor. They become popular last semester and were a prominent gift over the holiday season, according to USA Today.

The New Jersey Department of Fire Safety cited the hoverboards as a fire hazard while they are being charged. This was due to multiple reports which involved fires starting while the hoverboards were being charged. The boards are not permitted to be charged or utilized in any University building. Students were given until Jan. 24 to remove their hoverboards from their resident halls. However, they may be used outside in public areas and may be brought inside the buildings as long as they are not in use. 

William McElrath, Chief of the Monmouth University Police Department (MUPD), provided an example of an acceptable use of the hoverboards on campus, “An example would be that a student could use a hoverboard to travel to the library. They could then carry the hoverboard while in the library conducting their business, but they could not charge it, or use it, in the library.”

“We decided to ban the hoverboards after multiple reports came out, both in this areas as well as nationally about the fact that the hoverboards were catching fire. We considered the fact that the rooms for residential students are relatively small,” said Nagy. “Their living space, their sleeping space, and their relaxation space is all in one place. We were concerned about the safety of these students,” she said.

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Suicide Awareness Event to be Held on Great Lawn

Monmouth University’s Sigma Pi will be hosting a Suicide Awareness event on the Great Lawn of Wilson Hall at Monmouth University on Sunday, September 20 at 11:00 am. Chandler Nichols, a senior at Monmouth University and Third Counselor on the Sigma Pi Executive Board is organizing the event on behalf of the Sigma Pi Fraternity along with Sorority Alpha Sigma Tau and sponsors Dr. Lee, Director for Counseling and Psychological Services in collaboration with Amy Bellina, Director of Student Services and Student Center Operations. There will be bubbles released to show support for suicide prevention and National Suicide Prevention month which takes place in September. 

Chandler is a proud member of Sigma Pi, a fraternity on campus whose philanthropy is suicide awareness. Their goal is to increase the knowledge of mental health, improve help-seeking of students at risk for suicide, and increase the visibility of National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Hotline numbers for depression and suicide prevention.  

Information will be provided from the Department of Counseling and Psychological services and from the National Suicide Prevention Hotline. 

There will be representation from every organization in Greek Life. This event can increase awareness regarding suicide, but even more importantly, encourage help-seeking behaviors for those who may be struggling with these feelings.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students. 

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Gourmet Dining Update: The University Reacts to the New Dining Services So Far

Dining Hall 1The 2015-2016 academic year featured the debut of Gourmet Dining Services, the University’s new food provider.

In spring of 2015, the University hosted a preview of the services, which featured samples of the various food stations available to students and faculty. Although the preview received much fanfare, Gourmet Dining has received mixed reviews since its launch.

One faculty member who has dined in the dining hall, the student center and other outlets on campus said, “It’s not that the new service is doing a bad job but they advertised themselves as an absolute step above Aramark. Personally I see almost no difference between the two.”

That same faculty member recalled, “Just the other day I walked into the student center at 10:15 am and thought I would get a little breakfast. The line to Jersey Mike’s was almost to the cash register. So I saw that there were five freshly baked pizzas at the pizza station,” he said. “When I asked the man there if I could just grab a quick slice he refused to give me one and told me to wait until 11 am.”

He added, “Why those pizzas were made at 10:15 and had to sit on that counter for 45 minutes before they could be sold might be a symptom of the problem.”

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NJ is 7th Worst State at Managing Money

Money Management Last month New Jersey ranked as the 7th worst state in the nation and the District of Columbia for money management in a study released by creditcards.com which measured residents’ average credit scores relative to median household income.

“I am actually really not surprised at all by this report,” said Jesus Santos, a grad student working on his Masters in Science and Education. “The other states probably are New York, and California. The reason why I am saying that I am not surprised is because it is so expensive to live in New Jersey. With the cost of housing, and the cost of clothes, and food and pretty much everything else in between it comes to no surprise that we rank so low on the list.”

According to The Fiscal Times, Santos is correct in his assertions. NJ has the highest effective property rate tax. The state relies heavily on property tax to fund local governments and schools, among other services, and the average property tax bill climbed to $8,161 last year, according to the state’s Department of Community Affairs.

Moreover, for the seventh year a study released by the University and Asbury Park Press in 2014, found that the state’s high property tax deters many residents from living in the state indefinitely. The study revealed that 50% of NJ residents would like to eventually move out of the state. Taxes and cost of living were the driving factor, with one third of residents saying they were very concerned about their retirement savings.

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Apple Looking to Increase Security: Leads to Debate

Apple Security IncreaseAfter refusing a request from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to open a locked iPhone that was used in a terrorist-related shooting in San Bernardino, CA, Apple is said to be increasing its security measures to prevent their technology from being hacked by law enforcement.

According to experts, it is almost certain that Apple will succeed in upgrading their security. While the current security measures have caused legal fights, as seen in the San Bernardino case, increased security measures would make it even more difficult for law enforcement agencies such as the F.B.I. to hack the iPhones of suspected criminals, which could cause even more court battles.

While federal wiretapping laws do require that traditional phone carriers, such as Sprint, Verizon, and T-Mobile, make their data accessible to law enforcement agencies, those laws do not affect companies like Apple and Google. There have been attempts to pass legislation to cover the companies, but they have strongly resisted any attempts, and so far, none have been successful.

The only way out of the scenario would be for Congress to get involved. “We are in for an arms race unless and until Congress decides to clarify who has obligations in situations like this,” said Benjamin Wittes, a senior employee at the Brookings Institution, in an article with The New York Times. The Brookings Institution is a private nonprofit independent research organization based in Washington, focusing on research and education in the social sciences.

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MU Community Responds: Who is Monmouth University?

Over the past two semesters the University has been working with the consultants Dartlet in order to better understand what it means to be a student at Monmouth University. These research findings were presented throughout the last two weeks in Feb. to members of the University.

Dartlet is a company that works with universities and other clients to help them identify and define their best, authentic self.

The research included 11 workshops with 206 participants and 180 more participants online. These participants were a combination of alumni, current students, and faculty. There was a 99 percent confidence level regarding the research findings.

The research found that, “We have a caring environment, determined leaders, we are forward thinking, confident, and we are included in this concept of a refined inspirer. These are very classic, sophisticated personality traits,” said Tara Peters, Associate Vice President of University Marketing and Communications.

“One of the biggest findings was that we are caring, compassionate, and we have a sense of community,” said Mary Anne Nagy, Vice President for Student Life and Leadership Engagement.  “I think that we, as a campus, have lead with that and have talked about that for a very long time. Examples would be the hawks fly together campaign, the counseling services that are available, and the mentoring that many of our professors do. All of that is about saying you, as a student, are a critical element of this community and you will be cared for. These points were really confirmed within the research.”

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HAWK TV Benefits American Cancer Society

Rock N Raise 1The fifth annual Rock N Raise battle of the bands event, produced by Hawk TV to raise money for Relay for Life, took place in the Plangere building on Friday Feb. 27. An estimated total of $350 was raised during the event.

“The event went beyond my expectations,” said Larissa Trovamala, senior communication student and producer at Hawk TV. “I truly believe that the whole crew pulled it together as a team. There was a lot of creativity from everyone and it just worked perfectly together. The band’s were all so different but had a great dynamic all around. The host’s were hilarious and the whole event was a success.”

There were both bands and acoustic performances. The bands included The Mercury Brothers and Eastbourne. The acoustic performances included Joey Affatato, BVXK, and Avery Mandeville. The winners included The Mercury Brothers and Avery Mandeville.

“My favorite part was seeing all of the bands leaving happy with their prizes, first prize of the bands won AVID PRO TOOLS& second place won a gift car to Boathoure Bar& Grill.... The winning acoustic act won time to perform at Boathouse and the rest won gift cards,” said Trovamala.

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How Important is it for Students to Obtain Internships?

Student InternshipWhile working for free can be a financial struggle in students’ current situations, internships are required for almost all majors. This requirement is designed to help students gain employment in the long run.

“I would say that the main benefit of an internship is the fact that employers overwhelmingly favor students who have the experience of an internship on their resume,” said William Hill, the Assistant Dean of Career Services.

Career Services has helped many students prepare for post-graduation. Hill said that while a prior job is also very useful for taking a position, an internship has many benefits that a normal job would lack. “The responsibilities entrusted to an intern often have a greater resemblance to actual jobs in the professional world. In addition to the experience a normal job would provide, you would be more specialized in your work. Consider a student who interns at a bank. If they performed well and knew what was needed, they would have a much better chance of getting a paid position.”

If a student performs well in an internship they might get hired in the end, depending on the company’s open positions. Although many companies do not pay their interns, there are other benefits such as experience and connections that one gains through an internship.

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#StarttheConvo Movement Comes to Monmouth

StarttheConvoStudent organizations under partnership with Multicultural and Diversity Organization Leadership Summit (MDOLS) hosted a whiteboard project titled #StarttheConvo between Friday, Feb. 19, and Friday, Feb. 26. Each day students were invited to answer questions covering a variety of socially charged issues.

Derby Sale, a graduate intern for the Office of Student Activities and one of the coordinators of the #StarttheConvo project, said that the campaign was meant to encourage meaningful discussions on intersectionality as it encompasses all the members of MDOLS and the University.

According to geekfeminism.com, intersectionality is “a concept often used in critical theories to describe the ways in which oppressive institutions such as racism, sexism, homophobia...etc, are interconnected and cannot be examined separately from one another.”

On the first day of #StarttheConvo students were asked, “How do you identify yourself?” Participants filled in their own personalized answers after the words “I am...” on whiteboards. On the second day, the question was, “What does feminism mean to you?” On the third day participants filled in responses after the statement, “My privilege is…” On the fourth day the question was, “What does social justice mean to you?”

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Gender Neutral Bathrooms to be Added in All Academic Buildings

Monomuth University’s academic buildings will have gender-free bathrooms, meaning that they can be used by all students, be they male, female, or transgender in just a few weeks.

Previously, there had been very few gender-free or unisex bathrooms available on campus. Once this plan is completed, there will be one such bathroom in each academic building. The only construction that needs to take place is the changing of the current signage, which will be complete in a few weeks at a low cost to the University.

“Monmouth University is committed to providing a safe and secure environment for all students, staff, and visitors, regardless of race, religion, gender, ethnicity, disability, or sexual orientation,” said Associate Vice President Tara Peters. “We work to foster and support an environment on campus that is inclusive, respectful, and free from discrimination and harassment. Providing gender-inclusive restrooms allows all members of our campus community, as well as visitors, to use restrooms that best fit their identity and demonstrates that gender diversity is welcome here.”

The idea to create gender-free bathrooms was started by Kelly Ward, a social work professor at the University and the head of the MSW program. In a previous semester, she had a student who was transitioning and did not feel comfortable using a gender-specific bathroom; as a result, the third-floor men’s room in McAllen Hall was used as a gender-free bathroom. From that, she became aware of the lack of unisex or gender-free bathrooms on campus, and began reaching out to the administrators of the University to try to change that.

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Criminal Justice Department to Hold 4th Annual Networking Event

The Criminal Justice Department will invite all students to attend their fourth annual networking event at Wilson Hall on Wednesday, March 9  from 5 to 9 p.m. Students will get to explore a variety of criminal justice careers, and get the chance to network with professionals in the field.

Dr. Michele Grillo, criminal justice professor and spearhead for the networking event, created the event for students to understand what their prospective career entails and to meet, interact, and learn from professionals in the criminal justice field.

“Real life professionals can provide the insight not found in job descriptions or websites of agencies” she said.

The event will begin at 5 p.m. with networking and light refreshments. At 6 p.m., after opening remarks, students will break out into one of five concurrent breakout sessions, which will rotate every 45 minutes.

 Criminal justice instructor and advisor, Nicholas Sewitch, a former prosecutor of 29 years, said the event “is like a smorgasbord where students get to really see and sample every career in one evening.”

The five categories students can sample include:

1. Federal law enforcement (FBI, DEA, Secret Service, US Border Patrol, Office of Inspector General, etc.)

2. State, County, and Local Law Enforcement (State Police, County Prosecutor’s Offices,

    Municipal Police Departments, NJ Transit Police, Port Authority Police)

3. Homeland Security (FBI, US Coast Guard, FEMA, NJ State Police, Major for Homeland Security)

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One in Four Adults Experience Mental Illness Each Year

Mental Illness 1A recent study released by USA Today highlighted  how, while many campuses are pregressing, there is still a need for comprehensive mental healthcare on college campuses.

According to the statistics presented by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in four adults experience mental illness in a given year. Andrew Lee, director of Monmouth University’s Department of Counselling and Psychological Services, estimates that nearly all of the students he sees are dealing with anxiety, depression, or both.

“I haven’t run specific figures for last year or this year in terms of how many students might present with that issue,” he said. “At least most students coming in are presenting with either anxiety or depression, or both.”

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), anxiety disorders are one of the most common mental health problems on college campuses. Forty million U.S. adults have an anxiety disorder; 75 percent of them suffer their first anxiety episode by the age of 22.

In 2008, the Associated Press and mtvU organizations surveyed college students about their anxiety, and discovered that 80 percent of students said that they frequently or sometimes experience daily stress. 34 percent of students felt depressed at some point within the past three months, 13 percent have been formally diagnosed with anxiety or depression in the past year, and 9 percent have considered suicide in the past year.

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Google Awards $3,000 to MU Organization

Google AwardsGoogle awarded $3,000 to students in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the Association for Computing Machinery (IEEE/ACM) in Jan. The funds will be used for the creation of an Association for Computing Machinery Committee on Women in Computing (ACM-W) chapter on campus.

According to ACM.org, there are ACM-W chapters on campuses and locations around the world. Chapters advocate for the full technological engagement of women in all aspects of the computing field. At the University the chapter will aim to encourage, recruit, and empower female students interested in computing.

The award was the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) Student Seed Fund Gift. Jessica Anastasio, a senior, along with two other computer science students applied for the funding from Google.org.

“We recently applied for a scholarship to start our own ACM-W chapter at Monmouth. This chapter will be a great place for women to come and network, seek support, etc. We ended up winning $3,000 from Google to start this initiative which is really exciting,” said Anastasio.

As the advisor of the IEEE/ACM Student Chapter, Jamie Kretsch, Chair of the Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering, said that she will take part in a number of exciting initiatives that the ACM-W chapter will host. “As far as my role in ACM-W, beyond helping to recruit women to join our group to learn more about computing, I’ll be helping them offer workshops, provide educational and social opportunities for women in computing, and working with them to support each other and provide mentoring and outreach to younger women in high school and community colleges.”

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Wilson Hall Name Change Update

Wilson Hall UpdateA panel discussion was held on Feb. 17 to discuss Woodrow Wilson’s impact on the University in regard to the potential name change of Wilson Hall.

The panel consisted of  Dr. Williams, Dr. Joseph Patten, Dr. Christopher Derosa, Dr. Richard Veit and Dr. Walter Greason. Each professor explained their area of expertise about Woodrow Wilson and then opened up the floor to discussion amongst students.

The panelists were asked what they thought should happen to Wilson Hall should it be renamed.

Greason said that Wilson Hall is “not the best name for what’s going on in the building. This building is a better place for a dormitory, academic building. Celebrate his legacy in a different building, this building is our school’s identity.”

Derosa agreed that the name change is a good thing. “Not out of morality, I want us to feel like we can [change the name] because we wanted to do something positive.”

Dr. Stephen Chapman, assistant professor of political science and sociology, was not on the panel but offered some insight on the topic, …I do appreciate what the campus is doing in order to make the renaming possible. It’s these discussions that make a campus one that is quintessential to the power of choice, which it exactly how each individual should feel on campus.”

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MU Students to Present their Research in San Diego

MU Student ResearchSeniors Erin Cieslak, biology molecular cell physiology student, Jenies Grullon, Health Studies student, and biology professor Dr. James P. Mack have been working towards developing a treatment for antibiotic-resistant bacteria by exploring the inhibitory effects of several essential oils. They will be presenting their research at the American Chemical Society National Meeting in San Diego, CA.

Since the development of antibiotics in the early twentieth century, millions of lives have been saved globally. However, antibiotics have not been effective in combatting bacteria that have eventually become resistant to them. Due to the overuse and distribution of antibiotics, treatment options have become limited. The main purpose behind this research is to develop a treatment for antibiotic-resistant bacteria by looking into natural plant products and diluted essential oils. By using natural products, treatments for these ever-evolving bacteria can be produced and used by individuals everywhere, even those who live in impoverished areas.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), antibiotic resistance has become a worldwide problem. New forms of antibiotic resistant bacteria have spread between continents with ease and have posed a great threat to individuals who have acquired serious infections with bacteria that are resistant to one or more of the antibiotics used to treat them. The CDC has outlined four core actions that will help fight these infections: preventing the infections and the spread of resistance, tracking resistant bacteria, improving the use of today’s antibiotics, and promoting the development of new antibiotics and developing new diagnostic tests for resistant bacteria.

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Dangerous Drug Fentanyl has Less Legal Consequences than Heroin in NJ

New Jersey has long been a state with an overwhelming heroin problem. However, there is an even more dangerous drug that is infiltrating college campuses and threatening the lives of young adults.

Federal drug officials have declared the prescription opioid called fentanyl to be nearly 50 times more potent than heroin. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opiate analgesic similar to but more potent than morphine. It is typically used to treat patients with severe pain, or to manage pain after surgery.”

Despite its powerful strength, the legal implications in New Jersey are not as stringent as those for heroin. Since fentanyl is prescribed to patients for chronic pain, it is easier to obtain than  heroin. However, a recent bill in Trenton has aimed to increase the legal consequences of selling and using non prescribed fentanyl.

Today, the most misused drugs are not street drugs, but prescription drugs, as they are easy to find and are not criminalized.

Suanne Schaad, Substance Awareness Coordinator, expanded on the dangerous consequences of reckless fentanyl use.

“The thing with fentanyl is that it is an insanely strong opiate, 50-100 times stronger than morphine,” said Schaad. “When it is mixed with heroin, it can increase risk for overdose. “

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Tinder Adds an STD Clinic Locator to the Application

TinderPopular dating app Tinder has now agreed to provide information about local sexually transmitted disease (STD) testing clinic locations, halting a long battle with a California advocacy group.

The decision marks an end to Tinder’s battle with Los Angeles, CA based AIDS Health Foundation. In the fall of 2015, the group launched an ad campaign accusing the dating app of contributing to the spread of STDs.

Tinder has always marketed itself as a dating app, but critics argue that the app is only used for casual hook ups. Therefore, its reputation as a “hook up” app has contributed to the idea that the app is responsible for the spread of STDs.

“Hook up” is a colloquial term commonly used to refer to the act of making out and/or having sexual intercourse.

It has been said that the current generation is the “hook up” generation, as many people desire simply to have sex with others and not start a meaningful relationship. With Tinder, individuals can create a profile with a short biography explaining their interests and personality. Then, the users can upload a series of photos. Upon reading the profile and viewing the photos, the other users, many of whom are a reasonable distance away, can either swipe right, indicating that this person is attractive, or swipe left, suggesting that there is no interest in this person.

Additionally, users can super swipe, meaning that they swipe upward and have a particularly strong attraction.

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Community Colleges May be Free in the Near Future

Free CollegeLess than three months ago renovations began  to be made to Pollak Theatre to update the space in order for it to work more efficiently as a theatre. These renovations were completed on Jan. 22

Molly Huber, a sophomore theatre arts student likes the improvements. “The renovations have really taken Pollak to the next level. The theatre is absolutely beautiful and has been updated to accommodate for a much more diverse set of acts,” she said.

“The remodel has given life to the theatre and it will enable students, faculty and staff to enjoy so many more performances. Thus everyone should really care about it. Pollak opens the campus up to a variety of different cultural and artistic opportunities,” she said.

 In its original construction, Pollak was not meant to be a theatre. “Pollak Theatre was built in 1970. It was constructed to be a lecture hall, and it was built to project speaking--it wasn’t a theatre,” said Vaune Peck, the Counselor and Coordinator of Arts Programming and Promotion.

According to Peck the renovation of Pollak Theatre was swift. “The theatre was completely transformed in a month and a half. They got in here on Dec. 6 and they finished on Jan. 22, the day before the snowstorm. It was amazing; I couldn’t believe it. They worked around the clock,” she said.

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Renovations for Pollak Theatre Budgeted at $800,000

Pollak RenovationsLess than three months ago renovations began  to be made to Pollak Theatre to update the space in order for it to work more efficiently as a theatre. These renovations were completed on Jan. 22

Molly Huber, a sophomore theatre arts student likes the improvements. “The renovations have really taken Pollak to the next level. The theatre is absolutely beautiful and has been updated to accommodate for a much more diverse set of acts,” she said.

“The remodel has given life to the theatre and it will enable students, faculty and staff to enjoy so many more performances. Thus everyone should really care about it. Pollak opens the campus up to a variety of different cultural and artistic opportunities,” she said.

 In its original construction, Pollak was not meant to be a theatre. “Pollak Theatre was built in 1970. It was constructed to be a lecture hall, and it was built to project speaking--it wasn’t a theatre,” said Vaune Peck, the Counselor and Coordinator of Arts Programming and Promotion.

According to Peck the renovation of Pollak Theatre was swift. “The theatre was completely transformed in a month and a half. They got in here on Dec. 6 and they finished on Jan. 22, the day before the snowstorm. It was amazing; I couldn’t believe it. They worked around the clock,” she said.

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How Does the University Combat Winter Storms?

On Friday, Feb. 26 Rock N‘ Raise annual charity event will take over the Hawk TV studio in the Jules L. Plangere Center for Communications building. Rock N’ Raise is a competition between bands who raise money and perform in hopes to win a grand prize and of course, bragging rights. This event is co-sponsored by WMCX and Hawk TV. WMCX and Hawk TV will both stream and broadcast Rock N’ Raise live.

The idea of Rock N’ Raise first came about in 2013 after Hurricane Sandy devastated the Jersey Shore. Both WMCX and Hawk TV wanted to put on an event to raise money to help those affected by Sandy, so the two organizations joined forces. Rock N’ Raise since then has become an annual live production.

While WMCX and Hawk TV co-sponsor the event, the two organizations have very different responsibilities when planning Rock N’ Raise. “Hawk TV is required to make sure we have a full crew for the event and insure the overall flow of production. Specifically as executive producer I have to make sure all the tech equipment is working and that the staff knows their role,” said Joseph M. Ruggiero, a senior communication student and executive producer of Hawk TV.

As Hawk TV focuses on the live production aspect of the event WMCX focuses on the musical aspects. “As the music producer of this year’s Rock N’ Raise the majority of my planning included getting a hold of a whole bunch of bands and artist to take part in the event,” says Larissa Trovamala, a senior communication student and an active member of both Hawk TV and WMCX. Some of the bands that Trovamala secured to perform at Rock N’ Raise are The Mercury Brothers from Red Bank and Eastbourne from Asbury Park. “Larissa [Trovamala] has done an amazing job finding four local successful bands to perform, explains Hawk TV executive producer, Ruggiero. 

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University Joins Medical Mission in Haiti

Medical Assistance Haiti (Front Page)Over winter break, 14 people, including University students and faculty, traveled to Haiti with 25 nurses and nursing students from other universities to run medical clinics throughout the country, helping about 1500 patients from Jan. 4-Jan. 10.

“We set up the clinics in the countryside and more urban areas (where the Haitian people were relocated after heir earthquake which happened six years ago). We also visited a hospital and went to an orphanage,” said Dr. Laura Jannone, Associate Professor of Nursing.

Janone went with her husband Dr. Joel Jannone a Primary Care Physician, their daughter Gina Jannone, a graduate student who helped run the pharmacy, pediatrician, Dr. Steve Miller, Carol Miller and their daughter Amanda Miller, a nurse, along with eight sophomore pre-licensure nursing students.

The students and faculty handed out hygiene kits filled with soap, washcloths, toothbrushes, toothpaste, dental floss, and hand sanitizer, to the patients they encountered. The students who attended used the skills they learned in their Individual Health Assessment course they took during the fall semester with Dr. Patricia Sciscione, specialist professor of nursing, at makeshift clinics.

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MU Celebrates World Hijab Day

World Hijab Day 2016World Hijab day at the University was located outside of the dining area of the RSSC, however, Zareen Shueib, treasurer of the MSA, believes the event was successful in reaching its goals. “It was more isolated than other years because of the renovations to the dining area, so we were located in the hallway, but it was still a great event. As a Muslim it showed me that Monmouth students are willing and open to new experiences and knowledge. They don’t let the media influence their choices and opportunities of learning new things,” she said.

“I loved how many students were interested in learning how to wear one [a hijab]. I think it was a wonderful, and humbling experience helping students who were honestly interested in learning how to wear one,” said Ayubi.

Tatiana Castro, a senior marine and environmental biology and policy student, enthusiastically described her experience. “When I first put on the hijab I simply felt beautiful. I don’t know how else to describe it, I just felt so humbled to have the opportunity to learn about the Muslim religion and to be able to put a hijab on without possibly offending anyone. I always wanted to see what it felt like, and having people around you showing you how to put it on, and encouraging you to flaunt it was such a wonderful experience. I loved every minute of it,” she said.

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University Reacts to Zika Virus Outbreak

Zika Virus OutbreakAs explained by the Pan American Health Organization, the Zika virus is an infection that is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito of the Aedes genus. This virus usually causes mild fever, exanthema (skin rash), conjunctivitis, and muscle pain.

Although the first isolated case was in the Zika forest of Uganda in 1947 with minor outbreaks in the Asian regions, the Zika virus soon became a widespread epidemic that affected individuals both asymptomatically and symptomatically. Nearly one in five people infected show symptoms that were very similar to those of the dengue or chikungunya.

However, studies show that 80 percent of infected individuals do not feel ill or show any symptoms. According to an article in The New York Times, women who live in or have visited infected areas during the beginning of their pregnancy may have experienced birth defects with their newborn such as microcephaly.

Microcephaly is a medical condition where the fetus’s head is abnormally smaller than it should be and is often associated with incomplete brain development. If an infected mosquito bites a woman during her pregnancy, the infection could make its way into the amniotic fluid that aids in the nourishment and well-being of the fetus which could ultimately make the fetus more susceptible to birth defects.

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Traditional College Admissions Process May See Changes Soon

College Admissions Change

Harvard University plans on revolutionizing the college admissions process. For decades, colleges have stressed the importanc

e of stellar grades, astronomical SAT scores, and abundant extracurricular activities. However, for many students across the country, the opportunities for a stacked resume simply are not present.

Recently, the Harvard Graduate School of Education presented its case for an admissions “revolution.” Rather than placing heavy emphasis on great test scores and extracurricular activities, the  Harvard report suggested that the admissions process should reward students who aid their families and strive to be good individuals.

Statistics on a resume do not tell the whole story of a student; often, those with picture-perfect grades and activities lack the interpersonal abilities to contribute to society. Therefore, the new process will take into consideration personal attributes and rely less on solely the numbers.

The report implies that prospective students will be able to write essays describing their experiences helping their families. Not every student has the access to community service and extracurricular activities; therefore, this new process would allow students to display their redeemable qualities in the form of a narrative. Whether it is baby-sitting or mowing the lawn, these activities would be valued just as highly as an afterschool club or internship.

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No Snow Days for Dining Hall Staff

Upon closure of the University due to inclement weather, dining hall employees must still come to work to make sure residential students are fed.

On snow days, almost all buildings are closed. The Rebecca Stafford Student Center will often be closed, or it may have a delayed opening. Other locations, such as the café in the library and the convenience store, are also shut down.

All non-essential offices are closed; many classes are cancelled so that students can stay inside. However, all students still need to eat, and since many on-campus dormitories do not have kitchens, the dining hall must stay open, even during snow storms.

While most University employees are able to stay home during dangerous weather, those who work in the dining hall still have to go to work, and accommodations must be made to make sure that they are able to arrive safely.

“Sometimes, we have employees sleep over,” said Steven Black, the resident dining director. “They can sleep over in the club rooms. I personally, and my general manager Chris Ryerson, sometimes pick them up and drive them home, but we would rather them stay here if the storm is really bad, when it’s over a foot or more.”

However, these employee sleepovers are done only in the case of emergency, such as during winter storm Jonas. The previous snow on Friday, Feb. 5, would not have qualified as such an emergency situation. According to Black, employees are compensated at an hourly rate. Typically, it is only employees who would be working night shifts that stay overnight.

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MU Valet Drives Mixed Reactions

Valet ParkingMonmouth University is one of the few universities that, for the last 20 years, has given commuters and employees the option to valet park their vehicles for free when parking has been unavailable. While the convenience of dropping your keys off before running to class seems ideal, many students find that it has become a hassle.

The parking issue at Monmouth University is no secret. Whether it is construction, snow covered parking spots, or the commotion of the commuter parking lots when classes let out, students often have a hard time finding a parking spot. Megan Eustice, a senior health studies student, gets to campus extra early just to make sure she can get a spot. “Sometimes I arrive 30 minutes early because I know I have to drive around to look for a spot. Giving myself 30 minutes sometimes isn’t even enough. I am still late to class.”

According to Usnews.com, as of 2014, 58 percent of undergraduate students at the University live off-campus. With over 4,500 undergrads, that means over 2,500 students commute to class on a regular basis. If each student drives in their own vehicle, available parking spots quickly run out. So when given the choice to valet park instead of driving around, many students take advantage.

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MU Study Suggests College Athletes More Likely to Misperceive Consent for Sex

Consent For SexA study conducted by Monmouth University’s Jennifer McGovern, assistant professor of political science and sociology, and Patrick Murray, Director of the Polling Institute found that athletes, both male and female, are more likely to misperceive consent for sex compared to non-athlete students.

The study was designed to research sexual assault prevention strategies that would be specifically tailored to student athletes. McGovern and Murray’s research determined that, without taking athleticism into account, male students are more likely to perceive when consent is being given when compared to female students. However, both male and female athletes are more likely to misperceive consent than non-athlete students.

McGovern, has a focus in understanding how sport both reflects and challenges social inequalities, including social class, race, ethnicity, gender, nationality, and sexuality.

“One of the reasons we wanted to do this on student athletes was because obviously this topic is big in the news in general, and it’s something that’s affecting many campuses, but in particular, it has affected student athletes, or at least there’s a thought that it’s male student athletes, in a sense, being troublemakers and perpetrators,” said McGovern.

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Men’s Basketball Introduces New Policy for Student Ticket Pick-Up

Basketball TicketsDue to the increase in popularity of the men’s basketball team, the University has implemented a new advanced ticket student pickup policy, effective as of Jan. 26.

All current students are welcome to pickup a voucher at the box office starting seven days before the game, held in the Multipurpose Activity Center (MAC). Students must show their Monmouth ID to attain a voucher and may only pick up one ticket at a time. To enter the game, students must show both their student ID and their voucher.

There will be 1,000 student tickets available per game. If fewer than 867 student vouchers are picked up before the game, the remaining tickets will be sold to the general public on the day of the game.

According to an email sent out to the student body from Eric Silakowski, Assistant Athletic Director of Marketing and Promotions, “The student voucher pickup system is being implemented to ensure all spectators can enjoy the game in a safe environment.”

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PEW Research Looks at How Americans View Privacy and Information Sharing

Privacy InformationIt can often be difficult determining when it would be appropriate to release personal information. A recent Pew Research Center study based on a survey of 461 U.S. adults and nine online focus groups of 80 people revealed that there are different circumstances under which Americans think it is appropriate to reveal personal information or be viewed under surveillance.

Most Americans agreed that they would compromise aspects of their privacy in return for something beneficial. For example, respondents agreed that it would be acceptable for stores to track their purchases in return for promotional discounts. The privacy of their purchases over time is sacrificed for potential deals in the future. Additionally, more than half of participants viewed it as acceptable for an employer to implement security cameras after a robbery.

There are numerous factors that determine whether or not it is safe to sacrifice privacy, but getting something valuable in return is certainly a driving force. Bill Elwell, a freshman history major, said that benefits are a prominent aspect of decision making. “If a situation seems secure and favorable, then more people are likely to give out their personal information,” he said.

 Respondents were presented with a situation in which they could save money on their energy bill by installing an advanced thermostat that would keep track of their movements around the house. Even though the returned value (saving money on the energy bill) is beneficial, participants argued that this scenario is absolutely unacceptable.

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New Hall Renamed Hesse Hall

Hesse Hall 1

New Hall was permanently named Hesse Hall on Jan. 14, which is when the name was placed onto the building. Residential students were notified before classes began of the name change.

“When we built the new residential hall two years ago at the time we did not want to just pick any name, we wanted to see if we could have someone who wanted to name that particular building,” said Mary Anne Nagy, Vice President for Student Life and Leadership Engagement. “We are now fortunate enough to name it Hesse Hall,” she said. 

The name “New Hall” was used as a placeholder since at the time the hall was built it was the newest hall.

According to Nagy, the Hesse family has been very involved with the University for a number of years. Mr. Charles Hesse was a member of our board of trustees for a long time and was head of the University buildings and grounds committee. He passed away a number of years ago and his wife continues to be connected to the university. She was elected to the University board of trustees. She has been a member of the student life committee of the board since her coming onto the board and she also is on the buildings and grounds committee.

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MU Poll: 7/10 Say Climate Change is Real

Climate Change

A recent Monmouth University Poll revealed that every seven out of ten people believe that climate change is real.

According to NASA, climate change is an alteration in the usual weather found in a place. On Earth, climate change can lead to many disastrous repercussions such as sea level rise, erosion, extreme heat, and crop destruction.

Climate change has long been a topic of great contention, as many believe the phenomenon does not exist and is simply a lie to mislead society for a variety of reasons. Contrarily the vast majority of scientists have consistently asserted that the effect is indeed real and if action is not taken, Earth will be in grave danger.

“I definitely think that people are becoming more and more aware of what is going on in regard to climate change,” said Andrew Betro, a sophomore psychology student. “Whether they are feeling it outside or reading more about it through the different forms of media, it is definitely becoming more prevalent and people are taking notice.”

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New Year, New Cyber-Threats: What to Look Out for Online

Cyber ThreatsAn epidemic of cybercrime is continuing across the world, and although multiple software companies have fought to stem the rising tide of malware, the problem shows no sign of slowing down.

“Computer security is now a national priority.” said Janice Rohn, a specialist professor and the coordinator of the University’s Information Technology program. As the program’s head, Rohn is well aware of the gravity of the situation that faces many around the world- including the University’s student body. It is a situation that is so intense that the US Department of Homeland Security has created its own plan to deal with cyber-threats.

Known as the National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace, it is an important component of the larger National Strategy for Homeland Security. The plan is meant to deal with large scale cyber-warfare, but one can easily discern that if even the United States Government is vulnerable, then so are all of us.

Americans will likely not have to worry about being hacked by any country or rogue group. However, that doesn’t mean that criminals are not after identity or money. Kim Komando, a popular talk show host who focuses on consumer technology, listed on her blog five common scams that many people will surely fall for in 2016.

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Winter Commencement: What Goes on Behind the Scenes

Winter CommencementA total of 448 students were dressed in black robes in theMultipurpose Activity Center (MAC) on the afternoon of Jan. 15 for Monmouth University’s 2016 Winter Commencement.

Mary Anne Nagy, Vice President for Student Life and Chair of the Commencement Committee, said, “It truly is a celebration of the culmination of what it takes to graduate and Monmouth wants to make that as perfect as possible.”

On the day of the event everything seems to magically just happen. However, there is a multitude of moving parts behind the scenes in order for Commencement to go as planned.

Everything from how many chairs in a row to where and when participants process is all coordinated. Facilities Management Staff builds the entire stage, sets up all seating, and makes sure electrical equipment is working efficiently.

For the Student Life Staff, the day of Commencement is the highest of their priorities. Nagy said, “There’s a certain amount of pageantry involved, such that you have to make sure the students are lined up a certain way and that their gowns are correctly worn.”

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Different Tution for Different Majors? Some Universities Look into the Possibilty

The flat rate of tuition could change if the university based tuition cost on a student’s academic major choice. Universities across the nation are adopting and exploring the idea of increasing tuition for some students, and decreasing it for others based on their major.

A survey published by the Cornell Higher Education Research Institute in 2011 found that there are 143 public academic institutions with some form of differential tuition.

Molly Huber, a history and theater arts student, responded positively to the idea.“That would be fantastic, especially since I have a double major,” she said.

Other university students however are uncomfortable with the idea.

When introduced to the concept, Patricia Toomey, a sophomore criminal justice major said, “Absolutely not--I do not like the idea of basing tuition off of someone’s major, because I think that limiting students options based on tuition prices, and raising the price of one major over another and vice versa would make higher education unequal and unfair to students.”

Huber showed concern with the way in which a university might differentiate majors from one another. She said, “My only qualm with the idea would be how the university would distinguish how much a major is worth in comparison to each other.”

Others who were interviewed brought up similar concerns.

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President Brown Plans An Open Discussion Whether to Change Name of Wilson Hall

Woodrow Wilson (Front Page)Students at Princeton University managed a 32-hour protest in the university’s president’s office on Nov. 18. Demands were made to diminish the prominence of Woodrow Wilson’s legacy on the Princeton campus due to his racial attitudes and regressive policies.

Members of Princeton’s Black Justice league demanded that the name of Woodrow Wilson, the 28th U.S. president, and a segregationist, be removed from various buildings on campus. They also demanded that his mural be “scrubbed” from the dining hall.

At the University, President Paul Brown, PhD was proactive in addressing the possible issues involved in Woodrow Wilson’s legacy on campus in a memorandum he emailed to the community last Thursday, Dec. 3.

He began, “In recent weeks the conflicted legacy of a number of prominent national historic figures including Woodrow Wilson has sparked a national conversation on racial injustice. As a university we have a special responsibility for critical self-examination and leadership on these important issues,” said Brown.

Dr. Brian Greenberg, a Professor of American Social History said, “I’ve read President Brown’s email and am glad that he has opened a campus-wide discussion of Wilson and race.

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Are Adjuncts Paid Too Little?

Underpaid at MonmouthIn fall 2015, the University hired 71 adjuncts, capping the total number of part-time faculty at 352 members. Some feel that adjuncts at the University are underpaid, and that an increase in adjunct salaries would mirror their value.

“More than most universities, Monmouth dramatically underpays their adjuncts. Our adjuncts are devoted teachers, but too many are forced by the low pay to spread their efforts across many students at other institutions and jobs to try to earn a living wage. The University should not be profiting on the backs of poorly paid colleagues to avoid hiring more full-time tenure-track faculty,” said Katherine Parkin, the President of the Faculty Association of Monmouth University (FAMCO).

According to Christine L. Benol, Vice Provost for Planning and Decision Support, “The average fall 2015 adjunct compensation at the University calculated across the entire spectrum of adjuncts is $2,637 per 3-credit course,” she said.

Adjuncts are part-time professors, lecturers or instructors that are hired by colleges and universities to teach one or more classes per semester. They usually don’t have a campus office, get few benefits and have little job security. Moreover, they are not eligible for tenure.

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Fidel Castro’s Daughter Visits MU to Speak with Students

Fidel Castro DaughterFidel Castro’s daughter, Alina Fernandez, spoke at the University for the second time about various issues regarding past and present forging policy perspectives on Wednesday, Dec. 2. Monmouth’s Student Activities Board (SAB), Students Advocating Girls Education (SAGE), and the Political Science Club, hosted the event.

Before the talk began, freshman business student, Camilla Gini had the chance to speak with Fernandez personally, and said she “picked up a down to earth vibe from someone who has been through so much. She approaches things with humor, and it was wonderful to see.” 

The actual talk was about 45 minutes. Fernandez gave a descriptive interpretation of the country where she hails from, saying, “I come from a country where revolution is endless.” She explains how she was tied to her pacifier as a child.

She described Cuba’s situation further by explaining complexities of the economy, days of the revolution, and the way that things are changing now.  Later, Castro’s daughter moved into comments that seemed to resonate with most in the room. She was unaware that she was Castro’s daughter, saying one day she found out, “Fidel was my dad.”

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New Jersey Sees the Rise of Armed College Police Patrol: MU Ahead of the Trend

Several NJ colleges, including Monmouth University, have armed police forces on campus. The number of schools with this safety feature is increasing, especially as active shooter situations become more and more common.

Monmouth University employs 20 police officers, all having been certified by the state, some with more than 25 years of experience. The University also employs 12 safety officers and seven traffic attendants. Furthermore, there is a variety of safety measures in place to benefit and protect students. Officers are available 24 hours a day, every day, to help students and others on campus.

“Monmouth University is fortunate to have a professional, well trained police department,” said William McElrath, the Monmouth University Chief of Police.

Armed Monmouth University officers must pass several levels of qualifications to be allowed to carry their firearms. All uniformed officers carry a Glock 23, 40 caliber handgun, according to McElrath; many officers are also qualified with the Colt M4 semi-automatic assault rifle that remains secured in police vehicles.

“Police officers qualify twice a year with their firearms, and must pass a ‘Use of Force’ written test twice a year as well,” said McElrath. “All sworn Monmouth University police officers are armed. Prior to becoming police officers, all officers must complete a five-month certified New Jersey Police Academy. This is a rigorous process that covers all aspects of policing, including “Use of Force” and firearms training.”

Monmouth University police officers receive the same training as municipal officers and State Troopers, and are required to follow the Attorney General Guidelines on Use of Force. The guidelines, written in 1985 and revised in 2000, say that force may only be used as a last resort, after all other methods have been attempted.

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Inmates Share their Stories at the Tenth Annual Project P.R.I.D.E. Event

PRIDE EventProject P.R.I.D.E. (Promoting Responsibility in Drug Education) came to the University’s Pollak Theatre for its 10th year, warning the community that poor choices can cause even worse outcomes, on Dec. 1.

 “I was supposed to be a marine biologist training dolphins, not be in a prison,” said Crystal, an inmate who spoke at the Project P.R.I.D.E. presentation. 

The Project P.R.I.D.E program travels up and down New Jersey three times a week to spread their message.  Five minimum-custody offenders from Edna Mahan Correctional Facility and Mountainview Correctional Facility each shared their stories, recounting how their poor choices led them to prison.  The speakers all shared how they ended up in jail, and warned the audience on how their past hopes and dreams have been shattered thanks to their prison sentence.

There was a sign on the stage that read, “The worst thing you can do is establish a criminal record.” Michael Ritter, Project P.R.I.D.E.’s coordinator for the New Jersey Department of Corrections, said a criminal record is, “like a big grey cloud, it will never go away.”

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New NJ Stalking Law to Protect Victims

A bill that increases second offense penalties for stalkers sponsored by Deputy Republican Conference Leader Mary Pat Angelini as well as Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz has been signed into law. They have been working on the bill since 2014.

The bill (A-3841) authorizes courts to order electronic monitoring of a defendant convicted of a second or subsequent stalking offense against the same victim. The bill requires the Administrative Office of the courts to work with the Attorney General to establish a program for the continuous, satellite-based monitoring of second-offense stalking defendants. The bill also upgrades second offense stalking against the same victim or a violation of an existing court order to a third degree crime.

“Approximately 7.5 million people are stalked in one year in the United States,” said Assemblywoman Angelini. “The impact on stalking victims can be devastating, as they often suffer a wide range of psychological, physical, occupational, social and general life- style effects as a result of being stalked. This bill is a positive step forward to help protect these victims from stalkers who are not deterred by a first-time conviction.”

A study performed by the National Institute of Justice in 2011 found that, “…monitoring significantly reduces the likelihood of failure under community supervision. The decline in the risk of failure is about 31 percent compared with offenders placed on other forms of community supervision.”

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Thank You Monmouth For Being You

As another Thanksgiving day comes and passes, The Outlook editors reflected on what we are thankful for at Monmouth University. There are the obvious answers such as the men’s basketball team finishing third in the Advocare Invitational in Orlando, the beautiful landscape, and the occasional sighting of a hawk on campus.

With all this said, we would like to take some time and thank the administration for their dedication to the Monmouth community. The Outlook editors never once feel threatened or nervous about publishing a story because the University lets us write what we feel is important, whether it is good press or not.

An editor said, “I feel that the University respects our right to free speech. When there are tough questions that need to be answered administrators are usually transparent and helpful. I commend the University for the respect they have for student journalists.”

Although many of the editors agree that sometimes they receive backlash for writing in the opinions section, there is never malice. “I wrote a touchy article for the opinions section and received a letter from a faculty member who did not agree with my opinion. The letter did not say that my opinion was wrong; the faculty member just wanted to get their opinion on the matter out in the open as well,” said an editor.

The Outlook is also grateful for the numerous amount of clubs offered by the University. It is not normal to find clubs that encourage membership from all majors, but the University is a rare exception. Besides The Outlook, our editors are active members in the Outdoors Club, Students Advocating Girls Education, Greek Life, PRSSA, etc. The amount of clubs at the University appears limitless; If there’s not something for you, Monmouth lets you create it. In fact, The Outlook believes that the University encourages students to be members of multiple clubs on campus and look for ways to explore beyond their major.

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30 Percent Of College Students Use Non-Medical Stimulants

Students and StimulantsAlong with the numerous benefits of gaining a higher education comes an influx of responsibilities. Often, a student can be overrun by homework, studying, and extracurricular activities, as there simply is not enough time to complete all these tasks. Therefore, according to a CNN report, more students are turning toward stimulants in order to stay awake this year.

A new report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, which reviewed data from the annual Natural Survey on Drug Use and Health, discovered that many college students are beginning to experiment with stimulant medications such as Ritalin and Adderall. A stimulant is defined as any substance that raises levels of physiological or nervous activity in the body.

Typically, these drugs are used to treat Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Narcolepsy, and other disorders that affect one’s attention span. However, students often misuse the drug to gain that same increased focus.

Suanne Schaad, Substance Awareness Coordinator at the University, said that the use of stimulant drugs only provides temporary effects, and the aftermath may not be beneficial.

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Students Turn to CrowdFunding To Pay For College

CrowdfundingWhile a higher education provides numerous career opportunities after graduation, a majority of students are often discouraged by the massive amounts of debt that they accrue.

As paying tuition grows increasingly difficult, many NJ students have turned to online crowdfunding for assistance. Crowdfunding, or the practice of funding a project by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people, is typically used by those who are unable to afford the entire sum by themselves. Websites such as GoFundMe, YouCaring, GiveForward, and Fundly provide a platform for users to tell their story to the masses; people who read their story can then donate to the cause.

Thus far, tens of thousands of education-based crowdfunding accounts have reportedly been created this year, and the trend continues to grow. Currently, over $20 million has been raised for students in the Garden State alone.

At the University, many students were divided on the topic of crowdfunding, as it may seem like an innovative idea, but it can potentially spiral out of control.

Connor Orr, a sophomore psychology student, said that the use of crowdfunding is an interesting way of acquiring tuition money, so long as students are reasonable with their requests.

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Potential Legalization of Marijuana in New Jersey Grabs the Attention of the University Community

Marijuana Legal StatusNew Jersey lawmakers held a hearing to consider the potential legalization of recreational marijuana on Monday, Nov. 16th. If legalized, New Jersey will be the 5th state in America to do so.

 Presently, New Jersey allows marijuana usage  strictly for medicinal use. According to the Asbury Park Press, NJ lawmakers will begin to consider whether or not marijuana should be taxed and regulated for citizens 21 years and older. In a poll administered by the Monmouth University Polling Institute, in 2014 the percentage of New Jersey voters for and against the legalization of marijuana was nearly equal.

If marijuana were legalized and allowed on campus, Suanne Schaad, the Substance Awareness Coordinator, said that the campus would be a ‘sh-t show.’ “It would eventually become the norm to see students high, and smoking weed on the quad. In class students would be day dreaming, and not as present. Marijuana is a substance that alters our state of mind. The effects of it are truly not going to assist our society,” said Schaad.

William McElrath, Chief of the Monmouth University Police Department (MUPD), thinks similarly that the legalization of marijuana would have a detrimental impact. “The legalization of marijuana would greatly increase its use. I also fear that it could possibly lead to an increase in injuries and deaths as a result of people driving their vehicles while under the influence of marijuana,” he said.

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Visiting Writer’s Series Welcomes Award Winning Writer Edward Hirsch

Edward Hirsch WriterThe Visiting Writers Series hosted their second event of the semester with writer Edward Hirsch as guest on Nov. 17.

Hirsch is the recipient of the National Book Critics Circle Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Literature. He currently serves as president of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

Associate Dean and Director of the Visiting Writers Series, Michael Thomas, opened the event with words from the Shakespeare play, The Tempest. He quoted the character Miranda from the play: “O, I have suffered/ with those I saw suffer.” This was a prelude to the introduction of a genre of grief and sadness, which is a genre of one of Hirsch’s most popular books of poetry.

This poetry book is titled, Gabriel: A Poem, after Hirsch’s 22-year-old son, Gabriel, who died of cardiac arrest after taking a club drug at a party. Hirsch has experienced extreme grief, but he chose to channel that grief into a book of poetry that is about his lost son.

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Strong Job Market for 2016 Grads

A recent report from the National Association of Colleges and Employers estimates that in 2016 employers will hire 11 percent more college graduates than the class of 2015.

“The perception of the job market among employers is also climbing. This year, 42 percent of employers that participated in the survey characterized the job market for Class of 2016 graduates as very good or excellent,” states the study. “Just two years ago, only 18 percent of responding employers had the same lofty view of the job market for Class of 2014 graduates.”

Jeffrey Mass, Assistant Director of Career Services, explained that he has seen this increase in employment opportunity as a trend over the last five years. Five years ago the annual Career Fair had about 60 to 70 employers and this year there were over 120 employers who attended the Career Day on campus. 

Aimee Parks, Assistant Director of Human Resources for Student Employment, pointed out that there is no set reason for the increase in employments rates and that the reason for this increase could be due to an increase in jobs overall or there could be more people retiring.

“It is encouraging to hear that there is an 11 percent increase in hiring, so that eases my mind a bit more,” said Brittany Lamb, a senior business administration student graduating May 2016. “It also gives me hope that the job market will continue to grow over time, and more jobs will be available for college graduates.”

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University Alumni Discuss their Experiences with Drugs at the “What Life is Like in Recovery?” Event

Two former drug addicts, who now identify themselves as being in long term recovery, spoke to about 70 Monmouth University students and faculty members at the third annual “What is Life Like in Recovery?” event in Magill Commons on Tuesday Nov. 17 at 7:30 p.m.

These individuals, who are both university alumni, spoke openly about their experiences with substance abuse. The first speaker, Lauren, discussed how she started drinking alcohol and smoking pot in high school and by age 19 she was a dependent heroin IV user. She explained how her addiction altered her life and rid her of her morals and values. “In the midst of my addiction everything fell to the wayside. I dropped out of high school, I stole from everyone I was around, and my family kicked me out of the house,” she said.

She was able to start her path to recovery through a 12 step fellowship program that she is still a member of today and has now been sober for three years. “Today I can tell you that my life is much better and that I am now able to be a member of society,” said Lauren.

Lauren explained how she chose to share her story in hopes that it will reduce the negative stigma that is often associated with substance abuse. She also pointed out how it is important for people who are recovering from addiction to come together and to never isolate themselves.

David was the next speaker and he has been sober for six years. He emphasized how addiction is a mental illness. “I had a lot of anxiety and drugs made me feel ok. Drugs are not my problem, they help me feel better, they fix me,” he said.

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The Best Ways to De-stress

Finals are ComingBetween school, work, homework, and trying to maintain some type of social life, life can get very stressful and a little hectic. Our body has a process when responding to stress. When the body feels stressed, the hormone cortisol floods our systems, producing a “fight response” in which our heart rate goes up, we breathe more heavily (requiring more oxygen) and our blood vessels constrict. The feeling of your heart rate excelling or a pounding in the back of your head is enough to let you know you’re getting stressed or overwhelmed.

Although that anxious feeling can come upon us quickly, there are many ways to control that feeling and de-stress. Just as the body produces a stress response, the body also has a relaxation response, during which your breathing slows, and your body starts to calm itself down. Here are a few ways to de-stress:

Exercise – during a workout the body releases endorphins which can help release stress. Just 20 minutes can get you to a relaxation point. “Working out has always been my go-to de-stress activity. When I am working out, I become very focused on the activity I’m doing, which helps me forget all about what I was stressed out in the first place. My body throws that negative energy right into exercising,” said Madison Dorn, a junior communication major.

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Six Monmouth Students In Paris During Terrorism Attack

Terror Attack ParisA total of 132 people were killed and 352 people were injured in Paris, France during a series of coordinated terrorist attacks that took place in eight locations throughout the city on Nov. 13th. The Islamic State (ISIS) later took responsibility for the attacks.

Locations included three stadiums, four restaurants, and the Bataclan, a music hall where 89 of the total victims were killed. These attacks included both suicide bombs and shootings.

There were six Monmouth University students in Paris during the time of the attacks. All the students are accounted for. The students spent part of the day at the Louvre Museum but were back at their hotel, Ibis, at the time of the attacks, which is within an estimated 2-5 miles of one of the attack locations.

These students were studying abroad at Regent’s University in London and were on an organized trip to Paris for the weekend. Students returned to Regent’s University campus on Sunday, Nov. 15 at 11 a.m. eastern time.

The students stayed in their hotel for the remainder of their trip as it was deemed the safest option at the time. Robyn Asaro, assistant director of study abroad and Dr. Rekha Datta, Interim Vice President for Global Education connected with these six students via FaceTime on Saturday Nov. 14. The students assured them of their safety.

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MU Participates in Racial Protest

Racial Protest 1Nearly 100 students at Monmouth University peacefully protested in the wake of the events at University of Missouri on Thursday, Nov. 12.

The protest began around 10:30 a.m., on the steps of Wilson Hall. It turned into a march that made its way around campus, past both academic and residential buildings, and going through the student center food court and the dining hall. The protest went on throughout the day with several more marches taking place and going around the campus.

Students held banners and signs with phrases such as “An injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” “black lives matter,” and “we will not tolerate racial injustice.” Other signs had hashtags that have become popular in the last few days, such as “#concernedstudent1950” and “#FireTimWolfe.” Students and professors alike marched together, chanting phrases such as “Black lives matter,” and “MU For Mizzou.” A third chant called for an end to racial inequality.            

Solidarity marches such as these have been taking place all over the country in protest to the racial biases and tensions at  the University of Missouri. Black students at the college believe that the university leaders are failing to address the acts of racial bias and intimidation. On Monday, the president of the university, Tim Wolfe, resigned after members of the school football team refused to practice or play, and students threatened to boycott classes. Other schools, such as Yale University and Ithaca College, staged marches and walkouts.

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Founders’ Day Celebrates the 82nd Anniversary of MU

Founders Day 2015The Founders’ Day Convocation Ceremony took place on Veterans Day. Members of the community gathered to celebrate the University’s 82nd anniversary, as well as the dedication of Pozycki Hall.

Due to inclement weather the event was moved into the Multipurpose Activity Center (MAC) and was followed by a reception in Pozycki Hall. During the ceremony full-time faculty in an array of academic robes sat in rows closest to the stage. Students from the choir, and the orchestra performed from both sides of the podium where President Paul  Brown, PhD presided.

In recognition of Veterans Day, Dr. Brown opened the ceremony with a moment of silence for those who had risked their lives to preserve our country. “Veterans Day honors all American veterans both living and dead, and for their dedicated and loyal service to our country. Today is the day that we ensure that veterans know how deeply appreciative we are for the sacrifices that they have made in their lives to keep our country free,” said Dr. Brown.

This year’s Founders’ Day acknowledged Elaine, and Steven J. Pozycki, an alumni from ‘73. The Hall was dedicated in their names due to their generous contributions to the University, and Pozycki Hall. Steven Pozycki is the Founder and Chairman of SJP Properties, a New York based developing agency of large scale commercial and residential real estate. Elaine Pozycki is a founding partner, and manager of SJP Properties philanthropic efforts. Together they have been active supporters of the university. In 1973 Steven J. Pozycki graduated from Monmouth College with a BS in business administration, and less than a decade later he and his wife founded SJP Properties.

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Students Network with iCIMS Executives at Information Session

ICMS 2015Career Services and Alpha Kappa Psi hosted a networking and information session featuring Erinn Tarpey, the Vice President of Marketing for iCIMS, a talent acquisition agency located in Matawan, NJ on Thursday, Nov. 12.

“Last year we invited Colin Day [CEO of iCIMS] and he presented in the spring. Every year we try to get an executive from iCIMS. I approached the recruiting team and we planned about two months in advance for Erinn to speak. The topic was going to be for marketing management students to see a day in the life of iCIMS and see the corporate culture,” said Jeff Mass, the Assistant Director of Career Services.

Tarpey is a graduate of Lehigh University with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Public Relations. She began her career at iCIMS in Sept. 2011 with a goal of scaling the business and deploying growth equity investments in marketing operations. Tarpey went on to become the first female Vice President of the company, under the leadership of her female Chief Marketing Officer (CMO).

 During the session, Tarpey mentioned that there are 43 Monmouth alumnae who work at iCIMS, some of which began with internship positions and became full time employees. She explained to the students and alumnae who attended that CEO Colin Day are passionate about growing his company from within, starting with schools in the area such as Monmouth University, Rutgers, and The College of New Jersey.

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Student Employment E-mail Thread Spams about 1,800 Students

Email NotificationsAn email was sent from the Student Employment Office to all federal work-study students about available jobs on campus and one student accidentally clicked “Reply All,” which started a chain of emails to all federal work-study students on Nov. 12.

Someone kindly responded to the student who accidentally clicked “Reply All” that she made a mistake. From there the emails took off. This accident caused a thread of over 140 emails.

The recipients of this email thread included all federal work-study students, which, according to Aimee Parks, Assistant Director of Human Resources for Student Employees, includes approximately 1,800 students. Parks says that in her 15 years working at Monmouth, she has never had an instance such as this.

“In general, reply all is dangerous when you don’t know who the addresses are. Especially if you don’t know when that address is an alias for thousands, even hundreds of thousands of people,” said Dr. Edward Christensen, Vice President of Information Management.

The email responses after the initial reply varied from people trying to be comedians to people looking for something to do or trying to gain followers on social media. At one point students received over 100 emails within one hour.

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Enrollment Falling at Many Private Colleges and Universities Across the State: But not Monmouth

According to information published on NJ.com, enrollment is falling across the state at many private colleges, although Monmouth does not seem to be one of the schools affected.

At schools nationwide, enrollment has been plummeting, especially at small and mid-size private schools. Many small private colleges are unable to offer the financial aid packages and academic perks that larger schools have; they also lack name recognition and may not have the national rankings that their larger competitors have been awarded.

According to an analysis done by NJ Advance Media, most of the traditional, private, four-year colleges and universities in New Jersey have lost students since 2009, while the public schools in the state have grown larger.

The highest-hit school was the College of Saint Elizabeth in Morristown. Between 2009 and 2014, data compiled by the state’s Office of the Secretary of Higher Education showed that their enrollment rate had plummeted by nearly 35 percent.

Other hard-hit schools included Georgian Court University, which lost 24 percent of enrolling students, Centenary College and Drew University, which both saw a drop of 21 percent, and Rider University, which saw a loss of 12 percent. Rider had recently cut 13 majors, which could be a possible cause as to what led to the drop in enrollment. These are all mid-to-small sized schools – some of the larger private colleges, such as Seton Hall University, Fairleigh Dickinson, and Monmouth either had only small decreases or kept their enrollment rates the same.

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Bill Introduced in Hopes of Preventing Campus Sexual Assault

Sexual Assault Front PageA bill, currently awaiting a response from NJ governor Chris Christie, will create a task force devoted to solving the problem of on-campus sexual assault if it is passed.

The bill, currently known as ‘A4156’, would establish a 12 member panel made up of representatives from both state and private colleges and universities, the attorney general, and various other stakeholders.

The bill also requires that at least one member of the panel must have been a victim of an on-campus sexual assault. The group would then have one year to come up with a final report. That report would have recommendations on how to prevent sexual assault on campuses. It would also offer information as to what college campuses could do to increase awareness and understanding.

“It [the bill] was created to the growing number of sexual assaults on college campuses,” said Valerie Huttle, an assemblywoman who was one of the bill’s sponsors. “This is something that unfortunately continues to occur and I couldn’t ignore. I want to make sure that young girls feel protected when they attend school, because they are there for education and self-development. They shouldn’t have to fear something like that happening to them. The statistics say that one in five women will be sexually assaulted on college campus, and even one is too many. I sponsored the bill to promote change on college campuses and to involve institutions of higher education, the state, and leading agencies in this cause to find solutions to this problem. I hope that it will improve how colleges respond to sexual assault cases, and eventually change the culture on campus so that it doesn’t happen.”

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Fall Career Day Brings Opportunities For Monmouth Students

Fall Carrer Day Front Page

Career Services hosted its annual Fall Career Day which gave students the opportunity to meet employers from a variety of job industries on Nov. 4 in the MAC (Multipurpose Activity Center).

In total, 114 employers visited the University, setting a new fall record. Employers from the healthcare, communication, social services, retail, government, non-profit, corporate, technology, and business industries gathered to meet hopeful students. The event was open to all students and alumni, and employers offered on-the-spot interviews to those seeking jobs or internships. Additionally, the event offered a free LinkedIn photo service by which students could take professional photos for their online profiles.

First held in Nov. of 1989, the event has evolved into a meeting ground for students and employers alike. The event featured local, regional, and national employers seeking new employees and interns. The employers offered part-time jobs, full-time jobs, or internships to students seeking a position.

Jeffrey Mass, the Assistant Dean of MU’s Career Services and coordinator of Fall Career Day, said that the event offered great opportunities to students. “Employers are able to meet with a very large and diverse number of students and potential job candidates in one place and time,” said Mass. “This is a very efficient hiring strategy. It also gives the employers a chance to advertise their ‘brand’ to the students.”

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Free Cab Service

Cab ServiceFree taxi rides are available for local young adults ages 18-27 through the use of the D Squared mobile app. Launched in 2014, the app aims at providing safe driving alternatives for youth in the Jersey Shore community.

D Squared is a non-profit organization that was founded in March 2014 by Stephan and Karen Dushnick. Through the D Squared app, 18-27 year olds can receive rides home at no cost. Drivers are available between 8 p.m. and 3 a.m. Currently D Squared will pickup and transport riders to locations between Asbury Park and Point Pleasant. Eligible users are allowed a maximum of two free rides per month, and the service can only be used for at home drop off.

In 2013, a sudden tragedy became the catalyst that eventually spurred Paul and Karen Dushnick into creating D Squared. Their two sons, Michael Dushnick, 22, and Stephan Dushnick, 24, died in a vehicular accident yards away from their home. One year after their deaths Paul and Karen Dushnick sought to spare other families from similar atrocities through the foundation of D Squared.

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BuzzFeed Ranks the University as One of the Most Beautiful in the World

Wilson Hall 1The University was named the seventh most beautiful college campus in the world by online news source, BuzzFeed, on Oct. 27, because of its appealing landscapes, historic buildings like Wilson Hall and the Guggenheim Library, and its modern facilities.

Mary Anne Nagy, Vice President for Student Life, said, “It’s actually quite an honor for the University to be considered not just for something nationally, but internationally. I think this recognition is a wonderful way to recognize and acknowledge the work of our grounds and our custodial staff at this institution.”

This ranking placed Monmouth just below campuses such as the University of Cape Town in Cape Town, South Africa and Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. The campus at number one is Berry College in Mount Berry, Georgia. Members of the BuzzFeed community voted to compile the results.

The groundskeepers, custodial staff, fire and safety personnel, and mechanics at MU all work together to ensure the maintenance of the University’s campus. Patricia Swannack, Vice President of Administrative Services, said there are approximately 100 employees in facilities, most being custodians, who are responsible for 158 acres.

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Rowan University Discovers Breakthrough in Parkinson’s Disease Research

Parkinson DiseaseA team of researchers at Rowan University may have discovered a blood test that can detect symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, a neurodegenerative illness, before the symptoms become fatal in patients.

Researchers from the Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine, working with Durin Technologies, a company based in New Brunswick, believe that they have found a simple blood test that would detect early stages of the disease.

If they are correct, having the results of the blood test could potentially give notice of symptoms years before the appearance of any physical signs. In most cases, by the time the physical signs are noticeable, 50 percent of the involved brain tissue has deteriorated and the disease is past the point of treatment.

The test was developed during the course of a year-long study, led by Dr. Robert Naegle, who is the Director of the Biomarker Discovery Center at Rowan University’s New Jersey Institute for Successful Aging. Naegle had a team made up of mostly medical students. The researchers used human protein microarrays, and were able to identify a panel of antibodies that act as markers to detect the early stages of Parkinson’s disease.

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Students Celebrated Sukkot at the University

SukkahIn Oct., a simple structure with outer walls clothed in a light blue tarp took residence in front of the Rebecca Stafford Student Center (RSSC). This makeshift edifice was a sukkah, and it was built in celebration of the Sukkot holiday by members of the Jewish Chabad.

Sukkot began on Sunday, Sept. 27 and lasted through Sunday, Oct. 4. Annually, this holiday recognizes the plights of Jewish ancestry. “The Jews were slaves in Egypt, and when they were freed they wandered in the desert for 40 years. When they were in the desert, God made a few miracles happen for them,” said Yaakov Greenberg, a Rabii in the Monmouth County Jewish community.

“There were three main miracles; one was the manna, where they had special food from heaven while they were in the desert. Second was the water, which came from Mariam, who was Moses’s sister. And third was the Clouds of Glory, that protected the Jews from enemies who wanted to attack them,” he continued.

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Kenneth Womack Named New Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences

DeanDr. Kenneth Womack, Dean of the Wayne D. Murray School of Humanities and Social Sciences, has been cited as bringing leadership experience and creativity to his new position at Monmouth University.

Provost Laura Moriarty participated in the search to find the new dean, and feels confident in the committee’s decision, saying, “Dr. Womack has a wealth of experience serving in various administrative appointments at Penn State. He is a distinguished scholar and teacher…He is a transformative leader who will move the school forward.” 

The former dean, Dr. Stanton Green, was not part of the search for Dean Womack. “My reason for stepping down was personal, and confidential,” Green explained.

Womack’s new position follows a long administrative career, featuring positions like senior associate dean for Academic Affairs and head of the Division of Arts and Humanities at Penn State.

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MACE 2015 Award Presented to Filmmakers

Phil Lord And Chris MillerThe Monmouth Award for Communication Excellence (MACE) was presented to accomplished filmmakers Phil Lord and Chris Miller for their work on projects such as The Lego Movie, 21 & 22 Jump Street, and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs at Pollak Theater on Monday, Oct. 26 at 7:30 p.m.

Lord and Miller join previous honorees such as Asbury Park Press publisher Jules L. Plangere, White House Correspondent Helen Thomas, and CBS sports commentator Jim Nantz in the University’s list of esteemed recipients. Jim Hickey, Chair of the Communication Council and presenter at the ceremony, noted that MACE honorees must possess the following qualities: “exceptional success in their chosen career, the respect of their peers, and, most importantly, the ability to be strong role models for Monmouth University students.”

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Movements at Universities to Raise Suicide Awareness

Suicide AwarenessUniversities throughout the nation have been trying to increase suicide awareness among students, as suicide is an ever-growing problem in America.

Approximately 1,100 college students commit suicide per year. To commemorate those lost, Active Minds, a non-profit organization that raises awareness about mental health has placed 1,100 empty backpacks on campuses throughout the country.

These empty backpacks signify the students that could have still been alive and going to school.

Called “Send Silence Packing,” the movement has been implemented at the University of Michigan, the University of Notre Dame, and Michigan State University, with more schools targeted.

Having begun in 2008 at Washington D.C.’s National Mall, the organization has since visited more than 98 cities and reached more than 320,000 people.

Rather than just having a number, the empty backpacks gives each student a story and a face; therefore, students are able to connect with those that have committed suicide.

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“Into the Woods” Wilson Hall Haunted Tour

Haunted Wilson HallThe Student Activities Board and Boom Roasted Productions held their annual haunted tour of Wilson Hall on Oct 30th.

The tour’s theme this year was “Into the Woods,” a different theme than last year’s carnival theme. The groups of approximately ten students, got a battery-operated candlestick to start their journey into Wilson Hall.

The tour started outside in Erlanger Gardens with a walk down an elaborately decorated and terrifying path into Wilson Hall. On the path were students dressed as various animals who would surprise students and roar or growl loudly in their faces. Also, there were bloody students screaming for help and crawling up the stairs leading to the Hall.

Once students got through the haunted Erlanger Gardens, they were received by greeters who then directed them into the holding room (the Pompeii room) before the real tour started. The holding room had sweets and candy for students to indulge in, and some fantastic Halloween décor to enjoy before their chilling tour of Wilson Hall.

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Freshman Seminar Class Travels to Woodstock Animal Farm Sanctuary

Woodstock Animal FarmDr. Christopher Hirschler’s “Animals; Life, Death, Kindness and Sin,” freshmen seminar class took a trip to the Woodstock Animal Farm Sanctuary on Saturday, Oct. 24th. 

Eleven students from Hirschler’s class, and a few outside members, went to the sanctuary for a tour from the sanctuary’s co-founder Jenny Brown.

Hirschler’s class explores the different ways people interact with animals, and how they affect our health, emotional, and social lives. There is a service component of the class as well. During the weekend, the students volunteer at the Monmouth County SPCA as cat socializers.

One of the assigned readings is The Lucky Ones by Jenny Brown. The peer learning assistant of the class, Amanda Sanford, a sophomore nursing major, said that the book had greatly affected the class. “We read the book in class, and a student inquired about taking a trip,” she said.

The intention was for the class to be able to volunteer, but the farm had just relocated from Woodstock to High Falls, NY in order to be closer to NYC. Due to this, they were not able to handle a large group of volunteers at the time, but a tour was still possible.

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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