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Monmouth Students Present During JFK Airport Shooting Scare

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

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

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

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

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

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Healthy Living Blog gets Professor on The Chew

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Welcome Back Letters 9/14/16

Welcome from the President

Welcome Back 1

Dear Hawks:

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

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

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

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

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

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University Under Federal Investigation by the Office of Civil Rights

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

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

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

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

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

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

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MAC Graduates to OceanFirst Bank Center

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

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

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

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

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

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New Diner in the Dining Hall

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

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

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

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

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International Student Mentoring Program Makes MU Debut

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

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

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

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

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

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

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MU Tuition to Increase Nearly Five Percent for 2016-2017

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

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

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

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

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MU Hosts TEDx Event

University Professor Among Speakers for TEDxNavesink Talk on Campus

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

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

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

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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