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Opinion

Volume 83 (Fall 2011 - Spring 2012)

Dare to Believe in Your Dreams

opinion-gina-goodbye-outlookI can remember the exact moment when I walked into The Outlook four years ago. Staring up at the masthead that frames the office door, I was meek, naïve – a completely different person than the woman I now see in the mirror. I knew the inverted pyramid and the basic elements of a news story, but really, I didn’t know anything about being a part of a newspaper – ethics, common mistakes, how to interview sources, the all hail AP style and, most importantly, the bonds you can have with your staff.

However, there was one thing I did know, and it was shortly after I first visited Monmouth University prior to fall 2008: I wanted to become Editorin- Chief of The Outlook. Little did I know, I would reach that dream just two short years later.

The shy, awkward freshman yes, “walked through the door and made the change.”

It has been an unbelievable, gratifying, insane, stressful, frazzling, educational and fulfilling two years of serving as the editor of The Outlook. I would like to think that my stressful persona and dire need to be a perfectionist subsided as my term went on, but no – they never did. Mistakes were made, but I am grateful for every single one. How would I have learned anything? You can have a boring newspaper with average content that never causes any controversy, or you can have a must-read that grabs the campus’ attention with well-written stories, great photos and an overall eye-catching design that ruffles a few feathers. I strive for the latter.

To keep in theme with Senior Goodbyes (I still can’t believe I’m writing one), I have many people I would like to thank that have made my time at Monmouth as special as possible.

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Remember When?

And to think, I never saw this day coming. The day I submit my final article as a staff writer for The Outlook.

The day college ends, and life without eCampus, drop boxes and SquirrelMail begins. The day I can matter-of-factly say, “I will never have to hand in another homework assignment and I will never take another test, unless of course it’s medical (those actually become more common with age).”

I will never have to come up with a plausible excuse, written in an e-mail, as to why I missed class this week, or anxiously await my professor’s response, which I hardly ever received.

In 48 months, which doesn’t really sound all that long, I have grown. My first day of freshman year at the University was a day I will never forget. Not because it was overwhelming or like something I had never experienced before, but instead because it was a Friday morning at 8:30 and I was miserably hung-over. I remember sitting in Plangere for the first time with my first Einstein’s everything bagel, thinking, “These are going to be the best four years of my life.” Cliché yes, but absolutely, undoubtedly true.

Four years went faster than four days, it seems. My years of college could be rolled up into a two-hour comedy about what life is like when you’re young and living among your immature, yet highly comical, carefree friends. To say I took advantage of living way beyond my parents’ roof would be an understatement and to say I remember every time I took full advantage would be a blatant lie.

“Remember when?” This is a famous phrase that we often use to reminisce through past experiences, both good and bad. But it’s hard to remember all that has taken place throughout my college career. Maybe it’s because my brain literally can’t handle it all, or maybe its because my cerebrum has become particularly selective.

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Social Networking at its Finest

Our generation has never taken a moment to breathe. Mornings are spent sifting through e-mails, text messages, news alerts, and Facebook and Twitter notifications all before our first cup of coffee. Afternoons are spent gossiping about the morning’s “he said, she said” until the next OMG moment. We let that simmer until the evening, where countless uploads and sloppy text messages foster tomorrow’s conversations.

This theory of interconnectedness since birth has forcibly caused us to tie the knot with our devices - and it’s until death do we part from our attention-seeking and self-absorbed ways.

And for what purpose? These outlets are driven more towards achieving personal vendettas than doing something without recognition.

We are obsessed with spewing every aspect of our lives onto the mainstream, looking for attention and recognition, for something, from someone. Anything. Who can blame you? It’s trendy.

That is why I decided to deviate from all of that useless information about global politics in my weekly column and discuss something that’s relatable to the University: ourselves. What better way to do that than some quick tips on how to make yourself memorable to your immediate social network.

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AC: The Place to Sightsee

opinion-atlantic-cityIMAGE TAKEN from casinoins.comWe are lucky to have a University located on the coast line of New Jersey. Students like me have a short walk to Ocean Avenue and can be on the beach in a matter of minutes. Pier Village is the closest “boardwalk atmosphere” to the University, but there are other shore towns nearby that are often visited for their entertainment on the boards, both during the day and night.

Asbury Park, Seaside Heights and Point Pleasant are just a few of the neighboring beach towns that are fi lled with fun activities. I ’m sure there are many other wonderful beaches that students visit, especially during the summer, but there is one other go-to place for the extreme nightlife experience. The world knows it as Atlantic City. I know it as the world’s greatest place to peoplewatch.

I went to Atlantic City last week with a good friend, Kevin, to have a great dinner at Carmine’s Italian Restaurant with his sister. While waiting for our seating, he decided to put five dollars in the nearest slot machine. It was a tropical island slot that looked as if it would be kind enough to let a person win a buck or two.

Kevin pulls the lever and we both watch the patterns spin until each of them stops suddenly on a different icon. I could’ve bet money on that. He pulls it again, this time causing a high-pitched bell to ding as he wins 30 cents. I laughed, 30 cents? H e pulls again and wins two dollars, then four dollars, five dollars, then a few extra cents. He’s up about $10! I instantly thought he would cash out! Instead of pushing the little red button to retrieve his receipt for 10, he pulls the lever, continuously losing every bit of what he just won

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Skipping the Pages for the Big Screen

A few weeks ago, I went to go see The Hunger Games with some friends. At first I was a little reluctant because I did not read the books and I thought it was going to be another one of those mythical romance stories that was virtually impossible in the real world like Twilight (sorry if any of you reading this are Twilightfans).

However, I was quite surprised and delighted by the storyline and the c haracters. S till, t here w as one thing I heard while watching the movie that got me extremely annoyed. As I was sitting there, a fangirl of the books yelled out “The books are so much better!”

The craze of taking book series like Harry Potter, Twilight, Lord of the Rings and recently The Hunger Gameshave created a new form of pop culture for the younger generations.

By turning books into movies, Hollywood takes the stories into different forms of media so that those whom do not read as much or love movies can it enjoy it as well. For those who do read the series, there is something you need to understand, writing a screenplay is completely different from writing a novel.

Screenplays are roughly about 115-120 pages for longer feature films alone, and to adapt a book that i s o ver a h undred p ages, o r in the case of Harry Potter, thousand page books, is a hearty task that takes time and a lot of creativity. It is a lot harder than writing a novel. An author can make a book as long as they desire, because the reader can stop and start reading again whenever they feel like it.

When it comes to a movie, it has to be stimulating visually and there needs to be a storyline that is relevant and makes sense in a shorter amount of time, usually two hours at the most.

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Looking for a Summer Job Leaves Employees Sunburned

opinion-summer-jobsIMAGE TAKEN from collegebound.netThe time is approaching where we all need to fill out some more applications. I’m not talking college applications (thank goodness that is over with) but I’m talking about summer job applications. College students are scrambling to find summer jobs to make a little bit of cash before the next school year. But it isn’t that easy. Applying for a summer job can be incredibly stressful.

But wait, isn’t it supposed to be summer? Summer isn’t meant to be frustrating. It’s meant to be spent relaxing poolside with the warm sun beaming on our faces, people splashing in the pool, and just feeling that is there no worries at all; you know, hakuna matata.

Summer is not supposed to be stressful. However, applying for summer jobs can make the sunny break a little bit more difficult.

How come finding a summer job isn’t easy? How come it isn’t like making a cake; mix ingredients, put it in a pan, bake it, ice it and there’s a tasty cake ready to be devoured. Finding a summer job isn’t easy like cake, it’s like trying to perfect the perfect gumbo, finding all the right spices and ingredients to ultimately match everything up flawlessly; it’s a complicated process.

Applying for a summer job doesn’t just involve one application. There’s one application for a clothing store, another for a beauty supply store, then there’s one for a supermarket, also one for a summer camp counselor, oh wait let’s not forget the lifeguard application (given if you’re CPR certified) and then throw in a waiter/ waitressing job and you’ve practically applied for every summer job out there. You then find yourself neck-deep in summer job applications hoping and praying that a least two of them will call you back for an interview.

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Outlook Responds to Provost’s E-mail

In response to the campus-wide e-mail sent by Provost Thomas Pearson last Wednesday requesting a correction to the story titled, “New Physician’s Assistant Program Underway,” The Outlook would like to say the following.

With regard to the Provost’s charge that the “story as written is inaccurate,” the paper would agree that any impression of the program being completely approved through the proper process is inaccurate on our behalf. Our comments that the program “will be launched since approval of the University’s Graduate Studies Committee was granted last month” in the lead and “even though the program has already been approved” which ran later in the story, might have given readers the idea that the approval process had been completed. That is not the case. While everyone the paper spoke to agreed that the program would ultimately be approved and that it would likely be launched in the fall of 2014, it had technically received partial approval at the time of publication, having only been voted on by the Graduate Studies Committee, so to say that it was “approved,” suggesting fully, is in fact, inaccurate.

The Provost states that the headline to the story “should have indicated that the New Physician Assistant Program is under consideration.” The Outlook agrees that the Provost’s headline is absolutely accurate, and perhaps better than our own. However, to say that the P.A. program is “underway” could also mean that it is now officially submitted for approvals. It could mean that the process is underway. That being said, the Provost’s headline is certainly less ambiguous.

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Old Wives’ Tale Proves True for Social Media

opinion-twitterIMAGE COMPOSED by Victoria JordanI am a public relations major and a part of my future career will consist of monitoring social media sites. Classes and experience have helped me develop remarkably analytical ways of observing things people pos. Most of these are big-time corporations, professional athletes, celebrities and other students like me.

I follow blogs and Twitter, and Facebook accounts, mostly for personal entertainment. There are rare occasions when I do not find some kind of humor or interest in what they post. However, what isn’t so funny or intriguing but is actually quite annoying and bothersome are the posts that scream for attention.

Before I begin my spiel, I’d like to mention that I care very little for unnecessary and often unintelligent Facebook, Twitter, and blog posts. I usually find myself “un-friending” and “unfollowing” these people. I understand if someone is thrilled about their long workout at the gym and the protein shake they had afterwards, but what is the reason to let everyone in your social network of friends aware of this information?

To top it off, they often post a picture of their accomplishment, tagging not only themselves but the shake as well. I’m a healthnut myself, but I find no desire to let everyone on the web know that my workout and choice of food is better than theirs.

I follow blogs and Twitter, and Facebook accounts, mostly for personal entertainment. There are rare occasions when I do not find some kind of humor or interest in what they post. However, what isn’t so funny or intriguing but is actually quite annoying and bothersome are the posts that scream for attention.

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Live Life With Absolutely No Regrets

“Regrets are the natural property of grey hairs,” Charles Dickens once said. What does that mean? The more you regret, the greyer you’ll be? Maybe, but one thing is for sure, everyone regrets something they have done, or didn’t do when they had the chance to. Life is about making choices, and taking chances, and sometimes we don’t do what we wanted in the long run and wish we would have. College is a four year period with a high probability for regret.

When you’ve taken every class you needed to take, and you realize that you’re so close to graduation, and the real world, and that partying on a Tuesday will soon be frowned upon-do you regret anything?

Have these four years at the University been fully taken advantage of? Have you done it all or are there things that you now wish you would have taken the opportunity to do?

There are so many aspects of going away to school. There’s the whole living-on-your-own-without- your-parents thing, which for many takes a lot of adjustment. There’s the option for night classes for those who cannot get out of bed until at least after noon.

There’s the freedom of doing whatever you want, whenever you want, which can be considered a college freshman’s biggest downfall. And then there’s knowing that after this, society expects you to grow up, put on your big kid pants and join the working world.

For those who still have some time left at the University, you are the lucky ones. As seniors, we can’t change the choices we made and the chances we took. We can only learn from them and apply them to the rest of our lives.

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Can You Trust Your Roommate?

An essential part of living away at college is having to live with a roommate. In many cases, one can wind up being great friends with that person. On the other hand it could be a complete disaster. The moneymaker of this situation is built on trust. If you trust your roommate and get along with them then you will not have a hard time at all, but if you don’t it could make the situation a little hectic.

An extreme example of this was seen in the case of Rutgers student Tyler Clementi. Clementi lived with Dharun Ravi and it appeared that Clementi trusted him. Clementi was a homosexual student who kept his sexuality private from everyone else. Little did he know, Ravi was well aware of this and thought it would be smart to turn the webcam on his computer on to broadcast his roommate over the Internet when Clementi had someone over. When Clementi became aware of this he decided to take his own life by jumping off the George Washington Bridge. This raises the question of do you trust your roommate?

Currently, most of The Outlook staff trust their roommates, but in a way we are a poor sample. Most of us are juniors and seniors who are currently rooming with some of our best friends, which is the case with most upperclassmen. However, many problems can occur during the first and second years of college. A part of this is because when you first come to college everything is new and most people aren’t used to sharing a room or a bathroom with several other people. Before people get used to this, it is very easy for conflicts to arise between roommates and suitemates.

To avoid situations like this, the University has a roommate contract called a Shared Living Agreement that all first year students complete with Residential Life as a proactive measure. According t o E ric M ochnacz A rea Cordinator for Residential Life, this agreement is always the first step in Residential Life’s response to a roommate conflict, because they feel a large number of roommate conflicts stem from a lack of communication between the students in the living space. By moderating the conversation, they may be able to help the roommate’s address and outline issues they were uncomfortable talking about.

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Spice Up Your Life: Embracing Diversity

Diversity is a dominant aspect in everyone’s daily lives. However, it is also one of the most misunderstood concepts, one that many people do not take the time to recognize and appreciate. Embracing ideological diversity improves one’s social and professional life, while also having the power to teach individuals something about themselves.

Merriam-Webster defines diversity as “the condition of having or being composed of differing elements.” Considering the simplicity of the definition, why are there so many misconceptions surrounding the topic and idea of diversity?

“When people think of diversity, they automatically think of skin color,” said Dr. Franca Mancini, Director of Counseling and Psychological services at the University.

Is race a part of diversity? Yes. However, it is not the foundation. Age, gender, social class, education levels and religion are just some broad ways which make everyone diverse.

Mancini prefers to dissect the essential themes that reside within the word diversity. “Understanding,” “similarities and differences,” “inclusion,” “cooperation,” “community” and “sensitivity” are just a few of the single-word definitions Mancini uses to explain diversity. “I like to use one word definitions, it makes people think,” said Mancini.

Mancini encourages all students to comprehend the importance of diversity. “Diversity is a part of everyday,” said Mancini. “Whether you are accepting another culture, or you are a male in an all-female class there is diversity occurring.”

Similar to Mancini’s example of the different situations of diversity, a junior Amy Cancillier recently experienced classroom diversity while studying abroad during the 2011 fall semester in Florence, Italy.

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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