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News

Volume 87 (Fall 2015 - Spring 2016)

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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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