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Volume 87 (Fall 2015 - Spring 2016)

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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Republican Debate Party

The Political Science Club, and the Political Science Department sponsored their third presidential debate watch party on Oct. 28. About 30 students gathered in Magill Commons to watch the Republican candidates debate.

Catherine Bartch, a professor of the Political Science Department, has organized the debate watch parties hosted this semester. She has spearheaded three thus far, and she assumes that there will be others including one for the general elections.

At the viewing Bartch was impressed with the student turnout. “It is really refreshing to see all of these students here,” she said. “Studies keep saying that students especially millennials are just not engaged in politics or that they’re apathetic, but our debate parties really show evidence contrary to that, because the first one had about 80, the second one had about 25, and here we have over 30 students. I mean sure, we would love all four thousand or more students to show up but it is still great to see such a large crowd come out for these debates,” she continued.

Students sat with friends and classmates and food was served while a screen displayed the live stream of the debate.

Salma Hammouda, a senior political science student, said “I really liked the atmosphere of the last debate party. It was very casual and all the students could talk and eat before the debate began. Also the food was pretty good. Overall, I think it was better than any of the other debate parties that the department has held this year,” she said.

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“We Bleed Blue” Homecoming 2015

Front Cover ImageHomecoming weekend, themed “We Bleed Blue,” included events from Thursday, Oct. 22 to Saturday, Oct. 24 and was planned by the Student Government Association (SGA).

The weekend’s happenings began with the “Blue Lights” event on the residential quad Thursday night. There were live bands, free food, and an activity tent.  It was the first year for an event of this nature during homecoming. The quad was decorated with blue lights to compliment the theme.

“The lights were awesome and definitely set the tone for the spirit of homecoming. It was undoubtedly a success,” said Keith Lee, sophomore Homecoming Chair and head of the homecoming committee.

The “We Bleed Blue” theme was meant to bring out school spirit within the student body. “I wanted to connect with the core spirit of the student body and bring out the best of it, so going with a theme that appealed to the school’s colors made me think that it would do the job. I thought that “We Bleed Blue” would be a catchy and creative theme and slogan that would get everyone pumped, and I think it was a success,” said Lee.

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Are MU Grads Being Hired?

After GraduationFor recent college graduates, perhaps the most challenging aspect of entering adult life is obtaining a quality job that pertains to their degree.

For students and grads, the University’s Career Services provides information that will assist students and alumni in reaching their desired career objectives. Career Services prepares students for the job market by teaching them resume tips, interviewing skills, and job search strategies.

William Hill, Assistant Dean of Career Services, noted that upon graduation, University alumni have been successfully acquiring jobs, despite the inherent challenges of entering the job market.

 “Past surveys of University graduates with data collected between six and nine months after graduation indicate that a very small percentage of grads are still seeking full-time employment. By that time, most grads have found jobs or are planning to go to graduate or professional school,” said Hill. “Monmouth graduates face the same challenge as any other college grad in the workforce, in particular competition with graduates and alumni from other schools and a less than robust national and state economy.”

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Long Branch Boardwalk Contruction Disrupts Off-Campus Students

BoardwalkStudents who live in the University Bluffs and other off-campus residences have been complaining about the construction along the beach of Ocean Avenue throughout the duration of this fall semester.

The construction can be attributed to Superstorm Sandy, which pummeled the East Coast in 2012. The northernmost section of the Long Branch boardwalk, located in Pier Village, survived the storm The older section located further south was not as lucky.

The boardwalk construction commenced in May, just as the spring semester for the 2014 to 2015 school year ended. Not only is the boardwalk being re-erected, but other structures are currently in the building process. “Roadway, boardwalk, retaining wall, bluff, curbs, concession stand, restrooms, lights, railing, access ways down on to the beach are all involved. It’s pretty multifaceted,” said Howard Woolley, the Business Administrator for the city of Long Branch. “It goes far beyond the boardwalk.”

Regardless of the complexity, many Monmouth University students are not happy. “No one said anything about the construction when I signed the lease to my apartment last spring,” said Trevor Rawlik, a senior health studies major, who lives immediately north of the University Bluffs. “This could have possibly affected my decision to maybe live elsewhere this year.”

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Community Reacts to New Jersey Devil ‘Sighting’

Jersey DevilThe Jersey Devil might be making an appearance in time for Halloween.

Paranormal Investigator Kelly Roncace of NJ.com received an eye-opening email from an Egg Harbor man. According to the email he sent to NJ.com, Dave Black was driving home from his job as a security guard in Atlantic City when he had the encounter. “I was just driving past the golf course in Galloway on Route 9 and had to shake my head a few times when I thought I saw a llama,” Black wrote.

He then saw the llama-like creature spread out leathery wings and fly over the golf course Black spent hours looking at the photo, trying to come up with a rational explanation. Did a goat grow wings and fly? Is it just a prank?

 “A friend suggested that maybe it was an animal running and an owl grabbed it, the photo being a combination of them. That’s still not my first instinct, but I don’t know how to explain it otherwise,” Black wrote.

Black sent the photo to Roncace, lead investigator of Jersey Unique Minds Paranormal Society, for some sort of explanation. Even Roncace could not come up with a true explanation. Even so, news sources like the Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, and Good Morning America have picked up the story. It even became a trending topic on Facebook.

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“Take Back the Night” Raises Awareness of Sexual Violence on College Campuses

Sex ViolenceThis past summer the Commuter Student Mentor (CMS) program was initiated and this fall semester, the program took shape.

The program has had a very positive impact on both the mentors and the mentees as well as the overall commuter community. Because of this program there have been new Facebook groups added that are for commuter students.

One of the mentors, English student Ally Afanador, said, “Honestly, I’ve always loved looking out for people since I can remember” she continues, “Being a CSM has given me some of the best experiences of my life.”

Not only is Ally happy with the fact that she can help other people out, she has also found great benefit of this program for herself, “I have made friends that I can hope will last me forever. Being friendly and making people smile only takes one act of kindness and that is what I hope to show people, especially my mentees,” she continued.

Spearhead of the program, Director of Off Campus and Commuter Services, Vaughn Clay is very pleased with the program’s first year, “I have been very impressed with the Commuter Student Mentors and the passion that they bring to helping the first-year commuter students make a connection to Monmouth University. Since this is a new program, we need to keep promoting its benefits to the first-year commuter students,” he said.

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Commuter Student Mentor Program Update

This past summer the Commuter Student Mentor (CMS) program was initiated and this fall semester, the program took shape.

The program has had a very positive impact on both the mentors and the mentees as well as the overall commuter community. Because of this program there have been new Facebook groups added that are for commuter students.

One of the mentors, English student Ally Afanador, said, “Honestly, I’ve always loved looking out for people since I can remember” she continues, “Being a CSM has given me some of the best experiences of my life.”

Not only is Ally happy with the fact that she can help other people out, she has also found great benefit of this program for herself, “I have made friends that I can hope will last me forever. Being friendly and making people smile only takes one act of kindness and that is what I hope to show people, especially my mentees,” she continued.

Spearhead of the program, Director of Off Campus and Commuter Services, Vaughn Clay is very pleased with the program’s first year, “I have been very impressed with the Commuter Student Mentors and the passion that they bring to helping the first-year commuter students make a connection to Monmouth University. Since this is a new program, we need to keep promoting its benefits to the first-year commuter students,” he said.

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University Holds a Sexual Misconduct Week

The  University held a ‘Hawks United Against Sexual Misconduct’ week, to spread awareness of sexual assault on college campuses through presentations and panels that took place campus-wide from Monday, Oct. 12 to Friday, Oct. 16.

The week was an effort to bring awareness to the victims of sexual assault, how to help them, and how to prevent assaults from happening in the first place.

According to statistics gathered by the New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault, it is believed that one in four college women will be assaulted in their lifetime. It is also believed that in nearly 50 percent of attacks, the perpetrators did not believe that they were committing rape, despite the fact that their act matched the legal description of it.

“We have a robust and comprehensive policy of dealing with issues of sexual misconduct [on campus],” said Mary Anne Nagy, Vice President for Student Life and Leadership Engagement at the University. “We learn all the time and make modifications and changes. In general, we are very focused on the student as the victim survivor, while we ensure that the student who may be charged as the alleged perpetrator also has their rights protected.”

Two events took place on Monday. One titled “A Call to Men” was hosted by Juan Ramos in Wilson Auditorium; the other was a presentation by the Monmouth University Police Department, held by Corporal Jeffrey Layton in Pozycki Hall.

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HOMECOMING 2015

Dear Students and Fans:

Homecoming

As we get ready to welcome friends and alumni back for Homecoming 2015 we hope to see you at the events including the annual Pep Rally that will be held on Friday, October 23 at 5:00 p.m. in the MAC. As part of this year’s Pep Rally, students will have an opportunity to cheer on the Hawks, get a Homecoming t-shirt, and find out who will be in the Homecoming court. We hope to see you there!

For those of you who planning to come to the football game on Saturday, October 24, we want to let you know that the parade will begin at parking lot 16 (behind the Plangere Center) at 12:00 pm. The Hawks will take on Coastal Carolina University at 1:00 pm on Kessler Field. The Monmouth University Police Department would also like to remind everyone who is driving to the game to pay particular attention to the no parking signs on the side streets in West Long Branch.

The University has also been informed that the West Long Branch Police Department will issue tickets to anyone who attempts to park their vehicle on Larchwood Avenue.

Common Sense and Good Decision Making

If you or your friends plan to tailgate at Homecoming we encourage you to read through the guidelines that are linked to the SGA website: www. monmouth. edu/sga

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Tailgating at Monmouth University

As a member of the Homecoming committee, SGA has taken a very active role in creating the University’s guidelines for tailgating. It is SGA’s belief that when fans tailgate in a responsible manner, it sets a positive tone, whereby promoting the tradition and privilege of tailgating at Monmouth University. We encourage all Monmouth students and fans to review the tailgating guidelines listed below before they come to campus to tailgate.

Fans may tailgate before a home game and then again for up to 2 hours once the game has ended. Fans may not tailgate during the game or at halftime. Once the game begins, fans must enter Kessler Field or vacate the parking lots. Members of the Monmouth University Police Department will walk through the commuter parking lot 30 minutes before the start of the game to remind patrons of this guideline.

For the safety of all our patrons, kegs, party balls, common source/mass quantities of alcohol, hard liquor, and glass containers are not permitted.

All University and state regulations that pertain to the legal consumption of alcohol will be enforced. Fans who wish to consume alcohol must be 21 or older and be prepared to show legal proof of age to the MUPD or a University representative when requested. Those individuals underage found drinking or in possession of alcohol or distributing to minors are subject to criminal prosecution. Drinking games and paraphernalia are not permitted, will be stopped, and will be confiscated.

Tailgating will take place only in the commuter parking lot and in parking lot 25 for fans with reserved parking.

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MUPD Increases Campus Security As A Response to FBI Warning

The University heightened its police presence in response to a Philadelphia-area threat on Oct. 5. The FBI warned universities across the tri-state area after the threat was found on an anonymous message board.

The threat stated that a violent act would occur on a college campus near Philadelphia. According to nj.com it read, “On October 5, at 1 pm Central time, a fellow robot will take up arms at a university near Philadelphia.” 

Colleges and Universities throughout the tri-state area were notified by the FBI’s Philadelphia office on Sunday of the threatening message. Although no specific college or university was targeted the threat came less than a week after nine individuals were killed at an Oregon community college. 

On Monday Oct. 5, Patricia Swannack, Vice President for Administrative Services, released a press release notifying the community of security changes, “Members of the campus community, visitors to campus, and residents of our surrounding communities can expect an increase in police presence on and around campus that has been coordinated with our law enforcement partners in neighboring municipalities, as well as the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office and the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office,” she said.

Police and security officials were stationed at different areas around the University. Monmouth University Police Department (MUPD) vehicles actively patrolled University grounds throughout the day, and a police dog was seen near the bookstore. The University received supplemental patrols from local police departments; however, MUPD is “...unable to disclose the number of outside agencies that were involved as it is law enforcement sensitive,” said Tara Peters, Associate Vice President of Marketing and Communications.

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Internship Fair Gives Students Career Opportunities

Monmouth University welcomed over 30 companies to campus for the Office of Career Services’ annual Internship Fair in Anacon Hall from 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m on Wednesday, Oct. 7. 

The Office of Career Services urged students to attend so they could network with large companies such as Target, Nordstrom, Verizon Wireless, and Enterprise Rent A Car. The Internship Fair offers an opportunity to meet actual employees of these companies rather than browsing through their websites. This leaves students with a different impression of the company after they have left the Internship Fair. Students are able to learn the mission and values of a company and the way employers interact with one another. Face-to-face conversations at the fair also gave students a chance to ask questions regarding the company itself or advice for future professionals. 

“We had over 200 students attend which is great. It’s a very engaging smaller event, much smaller than our spring career event. Kids get a chance to learn about what opportunities are out there. They can go on the [company’s] website but here it’s a personalized touch with face-to-face interaction. It’s not just go on the website and apply, here they can get the recruiter’s contact,” said Jeff Mass, the Assistant Director of Career Services.

After the event concluded, students were asked to provide feedback to the Office of Career Services. Students were asked their year in school, major, how they heard about the event, whether it was helpful or not, the number of employers they spoke with, whether or not arrangements for the future were made, and the primary reason the student attended the fair. This feedback is crucial for the Office of Career Services. The department uses the feedback to progress each year, bringing back and gaining the types of companies students want to interact with.

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Hogwarts Comes to MU: The Class of Magic, Witchcraft and Religion

ParanormalHistory and Anthropology Lecturer Brooke Nappi is teaching a class this fall titled, “Magic, Witchcraft, and Religion” which infroms students of the religious and supernatural practices found in modern society. 

 According to the course description, the class explores the motivation of human behavior within the realm of religion and the supernatural emphasizing the role of gods and goddesses.  The class uses a cross-cultural approach to explore cultures across the globe from both the past and the present. 

Nappi began teaching the class in 2007, when it was called “Gods, Goddesses, and the Supernatural.” When she took over the class from a previous faculty member, she renamed it to its current name. 

Nappi said, “I decided to change the title because Magic, Witchcraft, and Religion more accurately reflects how the discipline of anthropology has focused on this subject area at the college level, and because this title also more accurately reflects my personal interests in the anthropology of religion.”

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Students Crew Emmy Winning TV Show

TV ShowUniversity students have gained real world experience through the Department of Communication’s Production Services, a student-run production crew that assists in the filming of outsourced projects such as WJLP’s Another Thing with Larry Mendte, the recipient of a 2015 Mid-Atlantic Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing.

Students with a foundational understanding of filming and audio techniques are offered the opportunity to work with the organization’s director, Erin Fleming, who established Production Services in 2012. Fleming noticed an influx of non-profit organizations contacting the University about using the Monty Television Film Center and Television Studio, and developed a model that would be mutually beneficial to clients and students. Some of these non-profit partners have included EarthShare and HABcore, which help to raise awareness for local environmental organizations and house-building projects.

In providing clients with access to Plangere’s studio and equipment, students are granted an outlet for practical application of the techniques they are learning in class under the mentorship of an industry professional. Crew positions include camera and audio operation, technical directing, teleprompter control, and much more, and the result is a final product that gains exposure and can be included on a student’s production reel.

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Mid-Semester SGA Update

As the middle of the semester approaches, members of the University’s Student Government Association (SGA) reflect on the year thus far and plan for the remainder of the semester.

SGA is the governing body of all the student clubs and organizations on campus; currently, there are over 100, however, more continue to be added each year. As a whole, SGA works to support university events both promotionally and financially. In total, there are seven committees that compose the SGA Senate: Academic Affairs, Advertising, Elections & Recruitment, Events Programming, Budgets & Special Event Funding/Sport Club Funding, Human & Community Relations and Student Affairs. Each committee is imperative in keeping the association thriving.

“So far this year has been great. We just brought in our new freshmen senators and it seems as though they are adjusting very well. Currently, we are focusing on planning two of our biggest events: Pep Rally/Homecoming, which is Oct. 23 and 24 and also the Big Event which is happening in November,” said Chris Walsh, a senior public relations and journalism major and the Vice President of SGA.  “Along with these events, we are also doing the Annual Giving Tree in which MU provides gifts for families in need during the holiday season.”

The Big Event, which occurs on Nov. 7, is a community-wide service project that aims to provide the residents of Monmouth with helpful community service. 

Each year, approximately 400 members of the University take part in giving back to the surrounding areas. Activities include working in food pantries, cleaning up the environment, and other services that better the Monmouth area.

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Federal Work Study Issues Resolved

As of Oct. 1, there are 1,016 students working for the 1,216 student employment jobs offered through the University. Eighty-two percent of these  placements are through federal work study (FWS) students. There are only eight students at the University that fit the requirement for federal work study job, but did not receive decided against the job opportunity.

At the start of the semester, some students reported having issues accessing their federal work study information. 

“I went to the Work Study office and they told me I didn’t qualify for work study anymore,” said Leann Burns, junior communication major. Burns later went to an advisor at the Financial Aid office on campus. She said the advisor was very helpful and her problems were resolved. 

A student’s financial aid could change for a number of reasons, according to Claire Alasio, Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management and Director of Financial Aid. “A student’s financial aid package, with work study being a part of that package, is driven by: the student’s financial need, their costs (including tuition and fees only for commuting students or tuition, fees, room, and board for resident students) and the types and amounts of other financial aid the student receives. So, as any one of those variables change, the student’s eligibility for work study at all can change, as can the amount of work study they are eligible for,” explained Alasio. 

It was Burns’s experience that she was awarded too much aid and this needed to be changed. “My parents were going to get a lot of money back and the solution was to reduce how much my parents got back. Work study is about $2,000 so my instead of $13,000 back my parents only got $11,000,” she said. 

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143 School Shootings Since 2013

Oregon Shooting Has Obama And Nation Looking For Answers

school shootings obama

On Thursday, Oct. 1, a total of ten people were killed and seven injured in Roseburg, OR after a gunman open fired on the Umpqua Community College campus. Douglas County Sherriff John Hanlin reports the shooter, 26-year-old Chris Harper Mercer, was pronounced dead after a shoot-out with the police.

While authorities had not reported a motive for the shooting, CNN reported Mercer had targeted Christians, according to student Anastasia Boylan, who had been in one of the classrooms Mercer open fired on. Boylan recalls the shooter telling Christian students to stand up, because “[They were] going to see God in just about one second.”

Following the shooting, President Barack Obama addressed the nation. Obama opened his speech showing a look of anger and disappointment across his face as he told the country, “There are more American families, mom’s, dads’, children, whose lives have been changed forever. That means there’s another community stunned with grief, and communities across the country forced to relieve their own anguish, and parents across the country who are scared because they know it might have been their families.”

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App Rewards Students for Staying Off Cell Phones

App RewardsAn application called Pocket Points, first introduced on the Apple app store in Aug. 2014, rewards students with points for not checking their phones during class – points that they can later redeem for food at participating locations.

The app was developed by Mitch Gardner and Rob Richardson, who were college students when they came up with the idea in the spring of 2014. Richardson was sitting in a 150-person lecture hall and noticed how many of his classmates were playing with their phones and not paying attention to the lecture.

“I knew there had to be some sort of incentive to get kids to put their phones away,” said Richardson, in an interview with USA Today. That incentive was a points system that could be used for free or discounted items from local vendors who participated.

The free app only works on campus and operates on a simple premise: students first open the Pocket Points app, then lock their phones. As soon as this is done, points begin to accumulate, and the longer the phone stays locked, the more points they can get. Points are also awarded based on how many people are on the app at the same time.

Richardson and Gardner orginally attempted to convince professors to reward students with extra credit for staying off their phones. However, a focus group session revealed that professors disagreed with that idea – they didn’t like the thought of rewarding students for something that, in their opinion, they should already be doing. After this focus group, the two reached out to local food companies, and found out that those companies were thrilled with the idea.

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US Census Bureau Predicts Low Voter Turnout Among Young Adults

Voter TurnoutData from the US Census Bureau predicts a low voter turnout in 18-24 year olds for the upcoming 2016 presidential elections. Less than half the population of eligible young adult voters are expected to participate in the voting process.

Janice Stapley, Associate Professor of the Department of Psychology, correlates low voter turnout in young adults as a probable effect of western culture. “Emerging adults tend to be very self-focused, especially in western cultures where individualism is highly valued. They don’t feel like it is as important as what goes on in their daily life,” she said. “Of course this is a generalization and there is a small subgroup of young people that are very politically involved, but they are the exception - not the norm,” said Stapley.

Christopher Lambiase, a graduate student earning his masters in Homeland Security, is an example of what Stapley considers “not the norm”. Lambiase deduces that it is his responsibility to take part in the voting process. “It is my way of contributing to the nation,” he said.

Giana Breucella, a junior English major, represents a large majority of potential young adult voter who are considerably disconnected from the presidential campaign. “In my age group I feel like I never hear people talking about politics. I am probably not going to vote. I feel like it’s kind of pointless. I don’t know much about politics, and I feel like in order to vote I should know more.”

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College Radio Day

WMCXWMCX, the student-run radio station, participated in College Radio Day on Friday, Oct. 2. The nationwide event incorporates live music and interviews for 12 straight hours to celebrate the essence of radio.

The tradition began in 2010 and WMCX has been a part of it ever since, however, this year the e-Board decided to install a new format.

“We’ve always done College Radio Day as a 12 hour event, but this was the first year that all 12 hours were filled with live music. In previous years, the first six hours of the event were various specialty shows that we have here at The X,” said Hunter Farman, general manager of the station. Aaron Furgason, advisor for The X, noted that this year featured all local artists as well.

These 12 locals who performed were Vextion, Cranston Dean, Bobby Mahoney and the Seventh Son, Justin and Alina, Deal Casino, Remember Jones, WMCX House Band, The Mercury Brothers, Earth To Starspace, Psychotic Submarines, Flammable Animals, and Kirsten Izer.

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Bruce Springsteen Gallery Attracts Community

Bruce Springsteen 2The gallery “Bruce Springsteen: A Photographic Journey” opened on Sept. 27th in Rechnitz Hall’s Dimattio Gallery and will be on display until Dec. 22nd.

The gallery is a part of the University’s standing as an official affiliate of the GRAMMY Museum, an interactive and educational museum dedicated to artists who have won the GRAMMY Award. On display through Dec. 22 at Rechnitz Hall’s DiMattio Gallery, the work will feature photographs of Springsteen from various shows throughout the years.
Springsteen, who was born at Monmouth Medical Center,has long been an icon for aspiring musicians and a staple of the Jersey Shore culture.

The gallery opening was moderated by University alumnus, Robert Santelli, class of 1973, and the executive director of the GRAMMY Museum. After the viewing, the photographers, Frank Stefanko, Ed Gallucci and Eric Meola opened the floor to questions. However, Danny Clinch and Pamela Springsteen, who also photographed Springsteen, were not present at the Q&A.

The University’s President Paul Brown said that the gallery has been a tremendous success in attracting viewers, as the spectator turnout for the opening ceremony exceeded expectations.

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New Public Servant in Resident For MU

Kean on legal and policy matters. When Governor Kean left office in 1990, she joined the Princeton law firm of Jamieson, Moore, Peskin & Spicer, where she was a partner. She left there in 1994 to become attorney general. She served as attorney general from 1994 to 1996, when she was named chief justice. With the completion of her seven year term, Poritz was re-nominated to the Supreme Court in 2003 by Governor James McGreevey, giving her a mandate to continue as chief justice until she reached the compulsory retirement age of seventy, in October 2006.

“I am very excited to have such a notable state jurist as this year’s Public Servant in Residence,” said Professor of Political Science at Monmouth University, Gregory Bordelon, Director for the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning.

“I am particularly looking forward to the insight that Justice Poritz will provide our students on the topic of judicial decision making and how the legal and attitudinal factors of analyzing complex and controversial matters of law have impacted (and continue impact through our system of stare decisis) the state,” said Bordelon. “Her opinion-writing is comprehensive but practical and is, most importantly, pedagogical to the role of the court in our system of government.”

Despite her conservative ideologies, she authored three decisions friendly to civil rights plaintiffs.

In Green v. Jersey City (2003) and Lockley v. Dep’t of Corrections (2003), Poritz wrote opinions that helped end more than a decade of confusion by saying public bodies could be held liable for punitive damages in cases under the Law Against Discrimination and the Conscientious Employee Protection Act.

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University Improves One Spot in Annual U.S. News and World Report Ranking; 40 Spots Since 2005

MUMonmouth University has once again climbed the rankings of the U.S. News and World Report’s annual ranking of Best Colleges, which is often used as a gauge for prospective students to decide which college to attend.

The University came in 36th place for its category, Regional Universities (North), Monmouth University improved from one position last year, having risen a total of 40 spots since 2005. With its new position, Monmouth has surpassed 75 percent of the competing universities in the category. Additionally, Monmouth University was showcased in The Princeton Review’s renowned listing of “The Best 380 Colleges,” and Best Value Schools’ “30 most beautiful coastal college campus.”

Boasting a number of academic and social amenities, Monmouth is a favorite among New Jersey Students, as its 4,634 enrollment and 80.5 percent retention rate indicates.

As Best Value Schools noted, Monmouth is famous for its bustling beach area with an abundance of swimming, surfing, and sunbathing. Additionally, with New York City only 40 minutes away, it is no secret why students find it easy to have fun.

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NJ Named #1... Least Liked State

NJNJ has never received the kindest reviews. Woody Allen once said, “I believe there’s an intelligence to the universe, with the exception of certain parts of NJ.” To further his point, NJ has recently been named as the least liked state in America.

According to a survey by YouGov, the Garden State was the only state in the nation that Americans viewed unfavorably. Forty percent of subjects gave NJ a negative rating, the worst reviews of all 50 states. Second to NJ was AL which also received an unflattering review.

Caroline Shanahan, a sophomore nursing major, said she cannot understand why the general public perceives NJ so harshly. 

“I don’t know why people hate NJ,” said Shanahan. “I have lived here for most of my life and I love it here.”

According to the YouGov report, many observers view the state as a combination of MTV’s Jersey Shore, HBO’s The Soprano’s, and the industrial landscape along the I-95 that inspired the musical works of Bruce Springsteen. 

Dr. Christopher DeRosa, an Associate Professor and the Director of the University’s History Program, noted that a number of factors may be the cause of the public perception of the state.

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University’s Professor Alex Gilvarry Opens Tenth Anniversary of the Visiting Writers Series

Alex GilvarryMonmouth University’s own Award-Winning Author Alex Gilvarry opened the tenth anniversary of the annual Visiting Writers Series on Tuesday, Sept. 22 at 4:30pm in the Wilson Hall Auditorium.  

Gilvarry discussed and read from a short story of his called “How to Be a Man,” from his most recent novel “From the Memoirs of a Non-Enemy Combatant,” winner of a 2012 New York City Book Award, and from his forthcoming novel “Eastman was Here.” 

The event opened with an introduction from Dean Michael Thomas. In this introduction, there was tribute paid to a well-known writer who has read at the University before: C.K. Williams. Williams had only just recently passed away two days prior, Sept. 20. In his honor, a sampling of his reading of “The Gaffe” was played in which Williams reads, “I’d really only wanted to know how grief ends, and when?” This question of grief was one written by Williams and now being experienced by fans for Williams. 

Dean Thomas then reiterated how Williams’ “complexity and joy in literature” was one experienced greatly in the various readings he did at Monmouth. 

After this tribute, he introduced the reader for the evening: Alex Gilvarry. Dean Thomas described Gilvarry’s work as having a tone of being “humorous, lighthearted, tenderly tragic.” 

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UCLA Study Reveals Noticable Increase in Non-Religious Young Adults Across the Nation

In 2014 the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) released a study stating that colleges and universities across the nation are showing an increase in incoming students with no religious preference. 

The report was published by UCLA’s Cooperative Institutional Research Program. The survey included results from a pool of over 150,000 full-time, and first-time students from over 200 colleges and universities around the nation. It showed that the number of freshmen from 2014 who selected “none” for religious preference increased to one in four, from one in six in 2005, according to pewresearch.org. 

If similar studies were taken at the University such a trend might be apparent. 

“My mom is Presbyterian, but I am not a religious person,” said Kristal Suriani, a junior graphic design major. “I think that some people need the hope that there is something past this life, but some people like myself just don’t. Yes, I hope that there are pearly gates at the end of life, but if there is not then there is no point sitting and praying and hoping that there is.”

Dr. Saliba Sarsar, a professor of Political Science wrote an Asbury Park Press article last year regarding the degradation of religion in America. 

“Since the early 1950s, the United States has experienced a significant decline in religiosity, as expressed by a decrease in the importance of religion in people’s lives, lower attendance at religious services and fewer memberships in religious organizations, just to name a few.”

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Fraternity Face Charges in Death Blamed on ‘Brutal’ Hazing Ritual

By the time Chun Michael Deng  (Michael to his family and friends) made it to a hospital on that cold December morning, he was struggling to breathe after being beaten and knocked unconscious while staggering blindfolded under the weight of a heavy backpack.

The 19-year-old college student, an aspiring Pi Delta Psi frat brother, died shortly afterward. Nearly two years later, a grand jury has indicted 36 people and the fraternity on charges including murder in the latest example of what prosecutors say is a case of fatal hazing.

Police in Pocono Summit, Pa., a bucolic region about 100 miles west of New York City, announced the indictments Monday, and on Tuesday they said some arrests had been made.

The fraternity was expelled from New York City’s Baruch College, where Deng and his companions were students.

Pi Delta Psi is described on its website as an Asian-American cultural fraternity founded in New York in 1994. It lists 25 campus chapters or associate chapters, most of them in the eastern United States.

The fraternity’s president did not respond immediately to a request for comment Tuesday.

Baruch imposed a lifetime ban on the fraternity after Deng’s death. It was not immediately clear if any of the people named in the indictment, most of them in their early 20s, remained at Baruch.

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Student Charged

A University student was charged with two counts of criminal sexual contact and two counts of harassment on Sept. 16 in a residential life facility, according to the Monmouth University Police Department (MUPD). Both the victim and suspect were students. 

 “At 1:10 p.m. two of our students were walking into their Residential Life Facility when another University student followed them into the building and touched one student in the buttocks while in the stairway, and touched another student in the buttocks in the room of a separate student,” said Bill McElrath, Chief of MUPD. 

At this time, no charges have been filed against the University by the victim according to Mary Anne Nagy, Vice President for Student Services. The student has withdrawn voluntarily from the University so there will be no charges filed. “Should the student accused wish to return to Monmouth in the future we will have to adjudicate the matter first before they would be considered for admission,” said Nagy.  

She added that the student was not convicted, but found in violation of the Student Code of Conduct.  

Though the incident was not categorized as sexual assault, sexual contact is defined in the student handbook as “any form of intentional touching, either directly or through clothing, of the victim’s intimate parts designed to degrade or humiliate the victim or cause sexual arousal or gratification to the actor.”

The alleged assaulter was immediately arrested in the dining hall and charged by MUPD, according to McElrath.  

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Welcome Back Letters 9/23/15

Welcome Back from The Department of Music

BandThe summer theatre, Shadow Lawn Stage professional production of BIG just recently concluded a very successful run and experienced our largest attendance ever.  We have expanded our partnership with Lakehouse Music Academy & Studios, where production courses are taught, students intern and Blue Hawk Record projects are recorded. We have upgraded the sound systems in our classrooms, installed an outstanding new dance floor and enhanced the student lounge by adding a new student work center. Work has also continued on completing our own, in house, recording studio at Woods Theatre.   We’ve had many new and prospective students visit over the summer; our faculty has been busy performing, presenting at various venues, taking workshops or enjoying international travel and…now suddenly here it is…time for new classes, auditions and new shows! 

Check out our Department of Music and Theatre’s Facebook page and follow us on twitter @MonmouthUMusic to learn about the outstanding activities and productions that will be available for you.   We have music, we have dance, we have one on one private instruction, we have our own record label and we have theatre – and everyone can be involved.  Sometimes we have karaoke, jams and pizza parties just for fun! Stop by and visit, sign up and be part of our productions in the cast or crew or join in as an enthusiastic member of our audiences.  Clearly, Something Is Happening Here! Come Join Us!

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University Named One of the “Most Beautiful Coastal College Campuses”

Wilson Hall Cover


In June 2015, the University was named one of the “most beautiful coastal college campuses,” by Best Value Schools. It was ranked number 27 on a list of 30 coastal universities from around the nation, and was the only university listed from the state of New Jersey.

According to bestvalueschools.com location and other factors influenced individual rankings. The highest rated school was Pepperdine University, from Malibu California with a total of 17 points. Monmouth University at 27th place had nine points. Points were given to universities with national awards or honors. Schools with the latest and largest honors acquired the most points in this category. Campuses were also rated on outdoor features that students could utilize. The more features the more points. Another criteria was based off the number of celebrated buildings on campuses. Lastly, points were given for notable characteristics, such as a campuses environmental friendliness or the historical significance.

“Being on this list makes me feel special to be a student at a school that has been nationally recognized for its refinement,” said Dominique Williams, a sophomore and political science major.

Vice President of Student Life and Leadership Engagement, Mary Anne Nagy, affirms that it is great that the University has been recognised among many notable universities. “I think anytime the university appears in any ranking nationally it’s great news for us because it demonstrates that the University is becoming better known outside of the state and outside of the region. Certainly to be in the company of Pepperdine, and the University of Rhode Island, and some of the places in Florida that’s good company be kept with,” said Nagy.

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National Sexual Assult Conference in LA Draws Crowd and Major Sponsors Like NFL

Sexual Assult GraphWhen Kristen Houser joined a rally against sexual violence at Pennsylvania State University two decades ago, the women encountered jeers from male students to “go back to the kitchen” and limited support from campus officials.

But as she surveyed the scene at a national sexual assault conference in Los Angeles earlier this month, she was floored by the progress activists have made.

More than 1,500 participants flocked to the sold-out conference. Officials representing the White House, the U.S. Department of Justice and California Gov. Jerry Brown touted new programs to fight domestic and sexual violence.

The NFL pledged an initial $2.5 million in what activists said was the first major corporate funding of the issue.

“I would never have dreamed this could happen,” said Houser, of the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, one of the event’s sponsors. “It’s a little bit surreal.”

The conference showcased both pioneers and the new generation of leaders on the issue.

Beckie Masaki, who founded San Francisco’s first Asian women’s shelter in the mid-1980s, shared the stage with Kamilah Willingham, a Harvard Law School graduate who works on the issue at the California Women’s Law Center.

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Dean Kenneth Womack’s Beatles Encyclopedia Named One of the Best Indie Books of the Year

The BeatlesKenneth Womack, the Dean of Monmouth University’s School of Humanities and Social Sciences, was honored by Foreword Reveiws’ annual INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards as having written one of the best indie books of 2014. 

There were more than 1,500 entries in 63 different categories. Gold, Silver, Bronze, and Honorable Mention awards were given out, with the winners determined by a panel of librarians and booksellers. 

The selections were made after months of deliberation, and the winners were announced on June 26, in a special program during the American Library Association Annual Conference in San Francisco. 

Womack’s The Beatles Encyclopedia was honored with a silver medal in the Reference (Adult Nonfiction) Category.

 “There are literally thousands of books available about the Beatles,” said Womack. “Many of them suffer from inaccuracies and wholesale myths about the Fab Four. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to set the record straight, while at the same time providing readers with a one-stop encyclopedia for learning more about the Fab Four’s lives, works, and associates.”

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Aaron Furgason Appointed as New Chair of Communication Department

Dr. Aaron Furgason was elected as the chair of the communication department by his colleagues in July of 2015. 

“My goal is to continue the excellent work and communication in the department while meeting the needs of the digital native students,” explained Furgason.  

Furgason grew up in Edison, NJ and has been at the University since the fall of 2000. Furgason started as an adjunct professor and he attended Monmouth College as an undergraduate. He later received his masters at Emerson College and his doctorate at Rutgers University in Communication and Media Studies. He went on to work at Atlantic Records before becoming a professor at the University. 

“Aaron has been an excellent faculty member for a number of years, providing students with opportunities to work at the university radio station,” said Laura Moriarty, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. “As he takes on the chair’s role, he will expand such opportunities for communication students providing learning experiences that are both high impact and immersive – which aligns very nicely with our strategic plan and our commitment to transformative learning,”

Furgason has a wide variety of responsibilities as the Chair but plans to focus on the students. “My responsibilities are to be the spokesperson for the department and be the go to person for students,” said the chair. 

“Aaron leads the Department of Communication. He has oversight responsibility for the faculty, students, and staff in the unit,” described Moriarty. 

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Welcome Back Letters 2015

Welcome from the President

President BrownDear Students:

As you make your way to class this year, you will see evidence of exciting changes on campus, including a remodeled dining area in the Rebecca Stafford Student Center, finishing touches outside our newest academic space, Pozycki Hall, and major renovations underway at the Science Building. These improvements are part of our commitment to providing you with an outstanding living and learning environment. 

Every member of our dedicated faculty and staff is here to help you succeed. Don’t be shy about asking for help along the way, especially if you are new to campus as a first-year or transfer student. Take time to get to know your academic advisors, your professors, coaches, resident assistant, and, your fellow students.  

One of the best ways to experience a well-rounded education is to get involved with clubs and organizations.  I also encourage you to attend as many events as you can —we have everything from exciting Division I sports to the best of the Metropolitan Opera, all right here on campus.  Or, take a break from your studies and enjoy the benefits of our coastal campus with a relaxing walk on the beach. 

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126 Students Forced into Crowded Housing

Dorm Triple A total of 126 first year students are living in forced triples and quads in the residential halls as of Sept 8. This includes 30 triples and nine quads throughout Cedar, Laurel, Elmwood, Pinewood, and Mullaney Halls. 

There are currently 1,138 students in the freshman class and 934 of these students are living on campus, according to Raymond Gonzalez, Associate Director of Residential Life and Housing Operations. This is the largest number of first year students to live on campus in the history of The University. 

“We are making every effort to accommodate resident students, especially freshmen,” said Tara Peters, Associate Vice President for University Marketing and Communications. “It is great that so many people are interested in Monmouth University. When you combine that with the number of students who want to stay on campus, we had to make some accommodations.” 

Accommodations such as the forced living arrangements were mandatory to fit the number of requests to live on campus. The forced housing is causing three students to fit in a double or four students to live in a triple. 

“There is an unprecedented demand to live on campus,” said Mary Anne Nagy, Vice President for Student Life and Leadership Engagement. “If a student is accepted and their housing deposit is in by May 1 we guarantee first year student housing. We have to honor what we committed to.”  

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Pozycki Hall Opens for 2015-2016 Academic Year

Pozycki Hall OutsidePozycki Hall was opened to the Monmouth community at the start of Fall 2015 semester as an addition to the Leon Hess Business School (LHBS) and the Kislak Real Estate Institute (KREI). The 2,000 square foot facility will provide increased academic and social space for the growing University community. 

According to Patricia Swannack, Vice President for Administrative Services, the hall has various features beneficial to the entire University. Pozycki Hall holds three large classrooms, and one computer lab. It exhibits two video conferencing rooms, and multiple open student lounges. It features a 175-seat auditorium, eight faculty offices, and four restrooms.

“Really lovely,” said Vice President Mary Anne Nagy, in regards to Pozycki Hall. “The building is beautiful and blends in exceptionally well with the rest of the architecture of the campus.” 

According Momna Ayub, a senior chemistry major, Pozycki Hall is a foot in the right direction for the LHBS. “Pozycki Hall is perfect for the business school. It has a corporate atmosphere. The windows provide natural lighting, so the building’s design resembles a modern corporation,” said Ayub.

Singh Multani, a first year earning his Masters in Business Administration, shared similar thoughts. 

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New Website Design Gives Monmouth A Fresh Look

Monmouth WebsiteStudents and faculty were greeted with a complete Monmouth.edu website revamp on the first day of classes, Sept. 8. 

This is the second website change within three years that the University has experienced. The website has taken shape in a form quite similar to a Windows 8 type of “tile” structure. 

The homepage is scattered with different articles and as one scrolls down the page, they would come into contact with a calendar of events. This calendar of events is much more prominent than the sidebar or scroll bar that the website previously had. 

Social media also has its own tiles in the new website design including the social media handles as well as recent posts. Social media has a very large presence, especially in prospective students’ lives. 

Sophomore english major, Ally Afanador said, “I think the new site is very nifty. It gives our university more character. It definitely suits us because we have been changing and renovating on even just the campus itself. I think that it is a great way to start off a new year at Monmouth.”

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Newly Appointed Honors School Assistant Dean Revises Mentor Program

Monmouth University’s Honors School has appointed Dr. Stanley Blair, an associate professor of the University’s English Department as the new Assistant Dean for the 2015-2016 academic year.

As Assistant Dean, Blair will be responsible for coordinating the peer-mentoring program, assisting with extracurricular programming, advising Honors students who are preparing for their thesis experience, and expanding the core Honors curriculum.

The Honors Peer Mentoring Program, comprised of two team leaders and approximately 35 student mentors, is designed to ease the transition from high school to university for the incoming freshmen. 

The mentors will maintain contact with their mentees to build relationships and address any questions or concerns the students may find troubling. Blair will oversee the program and make changes that benefit the incoming freshmen.

“Dr. Blair was needed to take the peer mentoring program to the next level and to continue to provide the extraordinary first year experience that students in the Honors School have,” said Kevin Dooley, Dean of the Honors School. 

Blair’s revisions to the mentoring program were showcased during the Honor’s School Retreat on Sept. 5, in which incoming freshmen were given an opportunity to grow closer to their mentors.

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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