Sun02262017

Last updateWed, 22 Feb 2017 6pm

Editorial

Hawks Talk Hybrids

Technology is always changing and developing, and it seems that finding a way to adapt to these frequent changes has become necessary. With so much of our lives being online, from our personal profiles to the way we communicate, it makes sense why technology should have a place in education as well. Hybrid and online courses at Monmouth University has given students the option to learn outside of the traditional classroom.

According to the spring 2017 course catalog, there were 138 hybrid courses offered this semester, as well as 68 completely online courses. Students are able to participate in an online class through eCampus.

Laura Moriarty, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, believes that it is the University’s responsibility to make it easier for students to be able to balance both their education and their personal lives. “Such programs meet a need for a student population that is working full time and yet sees the value in continuing their education. It’s not easy to work full time and come to campus for a 3-hour class after a long day at work. Students in hybrid and online courses have the ability to learn when they can devote time to that process,” said Moriarty.

One editor said, “I think that hybrid courses are a great asset to the University’s students. I have a friend who has a six-year-old child and tries to opt for hybrid or online courses so that she can have more time to spend with her daughter and maintain a job. I think these options expand our University’s accessibility for non-traditional students.”

Another editor said, “I am taking three hybrid courses this semester and I find them to be extremely beneficial. I commute and taking hybrid courses have allowed me to shorten my days on campus, which has allowed me to spend more time on my studies.”

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University Runs its First Super Bowl Commercial

Superb[owl] Reception


MU First Superbowl CommercialThe Super Bowl is widely known as one of the most watched events on television. An article from The Hollywood Reporter reported that 113.7 million viewers tuned in for this year’s event, which was tied for the second-most-watched Super Bowl of all-time, creating an optimal opportunity for companies to advertise. Monmouth seized this opportunity for the first time ever.

The University decided to run a 30-second advertisement in the Philadelphia market on FOX 29 WTXF right before the second half. The advertisement, which has been run by the University on their ESPN3 broadcasts throughout the year, featured men’s basketball Head Coach King Rice.

The commercial started with a flashback to the team’s defeat to Iona in last year’s Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Championship Game, with Rice’s voice saying, “They say one single moment can mean everything. They’re right.”

Rice went on to say, “A moment can test limits, measure heart, and defy expectations. It can make your legs heavy, and your lungs burn. And how you respond to it will determine who you are, and who you become.”

Tara Peters, Associate Vice President of Marketing and Communications, stated that the goals of the commercial were to “create awareness, enhance reputation, and build pride for Monmouth University.”

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Pressing Issues of the Press

We, as journalists, have studied the famous case of the Watergate scandal that happened in Richard Nixon’s time in the White House. The editorial staff has learned about the importance of checking in on government, and most obviously, the powerful role of the Press. It has been engrained into the minds of journalism students that the press would do their best to warn and protect the people if there is any form of wrongdoing in any of the branches. This goes for positive things as well – the Press is an overall information source for people everywhere.

Now, President Donald Trump is in office and has been making some waves with the media, something that he has had ups and downs with his entire campaign. Trump’s Chief Strategist, Steve Bannon, said in a press conference, “The media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for awhile.”

This begs the question, should the press do such a thing?

It’s no surprise that the President would like his privacy. For instance, one editor brought the issue of misrepresentation to light in explaining his relationship with the media. This editor said, “As Ben Parker in Spiderman would say, ‘With great power comes great responsibility.’ We, as journalists, have the power to investigate. We have the power to share stories in an unbiased manner and inform the public of key issues. But, when agendas are prevalent, we have the power to influence and wrongfully mislead, and that counteracts the core values that we as journalists should preserve. I think that is what Trump – or any appointed person in power – fears: skewed news and misrepresentation.”

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The Outlook Recognizes Influential Black Figures

Black History month in America consists of a celebratory string of events honoring Black history and culture. Currently, the African American Student Union at the University has organized a handful of events that run through the month of February to honor African American culture, including a flag ceremony on Feb 1. as well as African American Leaders Trivia on Feb. 20.

The editors of The Outlook recognize the heroism depicted by their past and present black figures:

Michelle Obama

One staffer commented on her well-spoken and overall classy composure and attitude. Michelle Obama’s accomplishments, education, and career paths are what have influenced many people. She graduated locally from Princeton University and went on to become a lawyer, and then later came to accomplish so much as first lady. The editor added, “She really is such an inspiration to me to work hard and achieve all the goals I have set for myself.” Michelle Obama has become a shining example of what girls of all ages and races can become.

Jackie Robinson

Robinson, as the first African American to play Major League Baseball, went through obstacles on and off the field. “Without his courage to ignore the hate and continue to play at a high level, there would be so many great athletes and baseball players in particular that would have never had an opportunity to play,” an editor commented.

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The “Atrium” Takes its First Beat in the 2017 Spring Semester

Monmouth’s campus is always under a constant strive for improvement, whether that be a change of branding logos and slogans, a revamp of our technological advancements, or construction on campus in order to improve the physical looks and functionality of our campus.

As of recent, there has been construction on the south side of campus in between Edison Hall and Howard Hall. In previous years, there had been a hallway-style link between the first floor of Edison Hall and the second floor of Howard Hall. In fall of 2015, construction started taking place that would remove the link and replace it with a new building complete with various rooms and offices, giving the School of Science more room to grow.

The construction took about two years to complete and at times the construction was a hassle for students to get around. Now that construction is complete, The Outlook editors discuss their views on its completion and the journey on getting to this state:

For editors who had classes and other activities regularly in Howard Hall, or simply on the south side of campus, the construction affected their daily commute. One editor said, “Sometimes the construction was a hassle to navigate around because it would cause closures on walkways on campus which made getting to some buildings a little confusing. Overall, we don’t have that big of a campus, so going a little out of my way wasn’t so bad.”

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A Year in Review at MU

A lot can change in one year, and like most years, 2016 was no different. While 2016 has brought on a little more change than some can handle, it is perhaps a year that no one will forget. At Monmouth University, 2016 has been a year of highs and lows.

Over the year, the school has made some pretty large changes, including construction efforts -such as the renovation of the Thomas A. Edison Science Hall and the Dining Hall - and the installation of Monmouth Stadium, a new football stadium which is expected to be completed in 2017. Through the course of the year, The University also faced an emergency lockdown, which challenged the school’s preparation and ability to keep their students safe. Whether it can be argued for better or worse, the University has seen change and the editors of The Outlook have taken notice.

It’s hard not to ignore the construction on campus that has been visible since the beginning of last semester. While the Edison Science Building will soon be renovated and given the polished look of the other, newer buildings on campus - such as Pozycki Hall, the construction effort has had some negative effects on students while on campus.

One editor said, “I think that it is great that the campus is trying to improve our facilities. However, the construction on campus is an eye sore and sometimes makes it more difficult to walk to class. Although they are making improvements to the University current students probably won’t reap the benefits of them since these projects will be completed after we graduate.”

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Do All Holidays Shine Equally on Campus?

There’s no place like Monmouth for the holidays—or at least for Christmas. Once the holiday season approaches, Wilson Hall is lit up in a beautiful array of trees, wreaths, and lights. Students and guests alike take time to stare in wonder at the holiday display in the building. While it’s easy to feel the Christmas spirit inside Wilson Hall, the Outlook editors have taken a step back to think—what about the other holidays? What about students who celebrate something else?

While Monmouth is not affiliated with a religion, students have definitely noticed the visible connection with Christianity when it comes to the Catholic center on campus and the Christmas transformation of Wilson Hall. A majority of the editors celebrate Christmas and in no way dismiss the celebration of the holiday, we’re just looking for more diversity.

One editor said, “I think Monmouth definitely favors Christmas. I see the occasional menorah around campus, but, while Hanukkah and Christmas are the most prominent holidays of the season, there are plenty of other holidays for other religions on campus that are not represented such as Eid and Kwanzaa.”

Monmouth is open to different opinions and expression of those opinions, shown by the variety of clubs and organizations representing different views on many things, including religion. So we believe it’s time to showcase more of that diversity during the holiday season. One editor suggested, “I would like to see Wilson Hall have decorations not just for Christmas, but for more holidays that take place during the season. It would look really awesome and make more students at Monmouth feel represented.”

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November: A Time for Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving Day is upon us, and while turkey and stuffing are usually on our lists of things to be thankful for, The Outlook editors believe that there is an important addition to be made, other than food and football. In honor of giving thanks, the editors of The Outlook would like to express their gratitude to Monmouth University. From the breathtaking campus grounds only a mile away from the beach to the dedicated faculty and staff, Monmouth provides students with an abundance of things to be thankful for.

Editors were all in consensus on their gratitude for the opportunities and resources the University offers. “Monmouth has many opportunities to get involved, travel, learn, and find independence,” said one editor.

Studying abroad, becoming involved in a club or organization and enrolling in courses that are taught by highly qualified professors are only a few of the elements that contribute to the endless educational and social opportunities available to students. The staffer said, “I’m most thankful for the plethora of resources. From free printing to writing services, there’s a great amount of help at my disposal. These resources allow me to fulfill my academic potential.”

While resources aid in the fulfillment of a student’s academic success, professors truly act as the catalyst in the uncovering of a student’s potential. “I get to go to class to professors who value my education as well as my opinions,” expressed one editor. “I am a person and not a number on a professor’s roster. Everyone seems to know everyone, which is a beautiful thing. Professors actually care about their students, and I have had so many life-changing opportunities because of those types of professors,” said another Outlook editor.

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Dear Mr. President

As you know, this election was like no other. It was the first time a woman was the presidential nominee of one of the two main parties, the first time we had a businessman with no political background as the presidential nominee of the other main party, and one of the most highly controversial elections our country has faced in years. There have been rumors of corruption, deception, and unlawful activity, but now, it’s over. You’ve won. And now we have a few things to ask of you.

As a businessman in office, please represent us well. We have now altered history by electing a leader without a political background to office, so do your best to show us that this decision was a good one. This is a great opportunity to show our nation’s youth that they can truly do anything they aspire to do as long as they work hard enough and believe in themselves. This group of children will grow up watching you lead this country, seeing firsthand that you can do anything if you work hard enough to get there. Be the model that shapes the upcoming generation to be a group of natural leaders and hard workers.

“I would like to see a true role model in the next president,” said one editor. “It may seem cliché that we need a role model in life to look up to, but I think that this next president truly needs to be morally stable in order to keep our country stable…a morally corrupt president could very well be our downfall, so this next leader must be a truly good person to be able to be a good leader.”

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Monmouth Hawks: Is the University ‘Nest’ Safe? Reflecting on the Campus-Wide Lockdown Prompted by a Gun Incident

The University entered a campus-wide lockdown at 9:52 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 1 after police received reports of a man with a gun. According to an e-mail sent by University President Paul R. Brown, Ph.D. the following day, the suspect approached two female students with a gun and demanded their cell phones; they fled and called the Monmouth University Police Department (MUPD), prompting the lockdown.

The suspect was apprehended at 10:52 p.m. and the lockdown was lifted at 12:11 a.m. after the campus was thoroughly searched for evidence. Later, information revealed that the attempted robbery was committed by a freshman football player wielding a fake gun. The student, Keith Williams, was arrested and is being held in jail on $100,000 bail with no 10 percent option.

No Monmouth students were harmed in the incident. However, it has brought back to light the issue of school shootings and campus safety.

“Typically, I feel pretty safe on campus,” said one editor. “We hear a lot about other schools, but I never really thought something like this would happen here. It’s when something like this happens where you start questioning the safety on campus.”

Several Outlook editors were in the Outlook newsroom, located in the Jules L. Plangere Communications Center, when the lockdown commenced. They were then stuck there, unable to leave, until the lockdown was lifted just past midnight.

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Midterm Madness: Grading the Importance

As the semester hits its midpoint, professors have officially assigned midterm grades to students. These grades typically signify the quality of a student’s work at this point of the semester; however, some of the assigned grades have been questionable.

“I don’t think midterm grades are really taken seriously. For a lot of my classes professors will just count an exam that’s during the week of midterms as our midterm,” said one editor.

Nonetheless, many of the editors felt that midterm grades actually were proper representations of their grades. One editor noted that it is beneficial to see the improvement made from the middle of the semester to the end, when final grades are distributed. However, the general consensus among the editors is that there are so few assignments that the grades typically only reflect a small portion of the overall grade for that respective course.

“I don’t feel that any of my midterm grades have been misaligned, but I have felt in some classes that there were not enough graded assignments to go off of by the time midterm grades were due,” said one editor. “I think it depends on the class. I have had classes before where we only had one major graded assignment when it comes time for midterm grades to come out and that was our midterm grade.”

Another editor added that professors like to keep students in-check. If a student has an A, perhaps he/she will not work as hard to maintain it, therefore an A- ensures that the student will continue to produce quality work.

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Hawks Fly Home for Homecoming

Homecoming weekend is upon us, and this is a time for our campus community to come together and feel a sense of pride.

“Homecoming to me means seeing the alumni and getting to hang out with them for the day,” one editor said. “I love tailgating with my sorority and catching up with sisters who have graduated. I love how all of Monmouth is together during the day and it feels like a big community.”

“I think it’s about school spirit and people just having fun and watching something they enjoy and getting together,” another editor said.

The homecoming events begin on Friday at 5 p.m. with the pep rally at OceanFirst Bank Center. It is an event meant to get the students ready for the football game the following day, but not everybody on campus attends the pep rally.

“I am not a huge sports fan and also since I am a commuter, it really is not an event that I would stay on campus for,” one editor said.

“I have attended the pep rally the last two years to cover it for The Outlook and freshman year I went to get a free t-shirt but I never really enjoyed it much. Not many people go and it feels pointless,” another editor said.

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We Need More Diversity at MU

Diversity is defined by The Outlook as a range of different cultures within the people we interact with. We live in a world where we have witnessed and learned about people who fought through injustices that were once a huge part of our society. These injustices were unearthed because of activists’ recognition of our society’s inability to embrace different cultures and races. Our society looks up to individuals like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who have fought for the rights of people. Even though it seems like we have progressed significantly as a country and in our views as a society, there is still a lot that we have yet to accomplish. At the University this may be due to its lack of cultural and racial diversity.

The Outlook editors agreed that Monmouth’s campus is not wholly diverse, but aknowledges that over the past few years the population has gradually diversified. Several editors noted that they have seen a change on our campus since their first year at Monmouth.

One editor said, “I think there has been an increase in diversity since I first became a student, but I think Monmouth has a lot of catching up to do.”

When it comes to the University as a whole, editors agree that our campus is not extremely diverse but we seem to be moving forward. When it comes to the diversity of on campus social groups, it is agreed that there’s an absence of diversity.

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The Votes Have It

The presidential election is in full swing, and it has been a fiery fight to the finish line. With two final nominees, the country will be heading to the voting booths in November to select the next Chief Executive for the following four to eight years.

The Outlook editors weigh in on the madness and discuss the importance of voting in this election.

Overwhelmingly, the Outlook editors are not enthused by either of the candidates in this historical race, and some are even afraid. One editor said, “This election has been pretty scary. Different media outlets are portraying both candidates awfully.”

Another said, “It is frightening how the country is so torn between these two candidates because of how bad we think they are.”

According to an article by Catharine Rampell in the Washington Post, voter turnout of young adults has been low for decades, and the Outlook editors discussed why that might be. “I think that 18-24 year olds vote least in elections because they are the most uninformed group. There are some that do not vote because they don’t know what to make of the candidates and some that are simply just not registered,” said an editor.

A majority of the editors have been registered since they were legal. “I registered when I turned 18 in Oct. 2012 so that I could vote in the 2012 election. I am very excited and look forward to voting this November in what is sure to be one of the most historic elections in history,” said an editor.

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Hawks Soaring with Pride

With the most recent success of our men’s basketball team this past spring, students are curious to see if the immense increase in school spirit that emerged in the spring semester has carried over to this semester’s fall sports.

One editor said, “There was a surge of school spirit shot into the campus community [last semester] because of the success of our athletes. It really helped that they were doing well, and the bench was making headlines.”

The major publicity of our basketball team has led many students to question whether this surge in school spirit would benefit other sports in the upcoming year.

Well, the year has come and many editors agree that the school spirit and anticipation at the University has amplified for the upcoming basketball season; however, it isn’t as clear how the school spirit has affected this year’s fall sports.

One editor said, “I think the school spirit has carried over. The anticipation for this upcoming basketball season is higher than it probably has been before. [But,] even though Monmouth has very good soccer teams, I feel that the build-up for those seasons was the same as in past seasons.”

Unfortunately, the other editors tend to agree that the fall sports still are not getting as much love as they deserve. Our football team is doing an incredible job recently with a current record of 2-2, but it doesn’t look like attendance has risen for their student section .

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A Thank You to Jules L. Plangere, Jr.

Gone But Not Forgotten


Thank You JLP


The University community recently received the sad news that Jules L. Plangere, Jr. passed away at age 95. Plangere left an impact on the University that will live on forever. The editors at The Outlook have been reflecting on his legacy and all that his great work has done, not only for the communication department, but for the entire campus. As we walk these halls we will remember the generous man who helped shape what Monmouth is today. We want to thank him for all that he has done.

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“Today is Your Day, Your Mountain is Waiting, So Get on Your Way”

Another new school year is upon us. As September rolls in many students can’t help but think about all the changes and challenges that usually come with a fresh school year. New classes, new professors, new friends, maybe living in a new dorm or in an off-campus rental, new responsibilities, and a whole new schedule.

Since freshman year there have been several changes and challenges in my life. Yet one thing has always remained constant throughout my college career, and that would be The Outlook.

When starting the year as a freshman at Monmouth University, the first piece of advice any upperclassman will give you is to join a club. This helps you make friends, keeps you motivated and involved, and helps you grow. Often times, these clubs become like a family, a home away from home. Whether you join Hawk TV, Student Activities Board (SAB), Student Government Association (SGA), or any of the amazing clubs on campus they are sure to become your family. This is one of the things The Outlook has provided for me and I hope this always continues to be a home for new and old members of the paper.

This year I will be the Editor-in-Chief (EIC) at The Outlook. Holding this position means more to me than I feel I can properly articulate. I have grown up here and always hoped I would one day hold the position, but never honestly saw myself achieving this long term goal as it seemed almost unattainable to my young freshman eyes.

Now that it is my senior year I am both excited to take on the challenge of being EIC and saddened to see my time at The Outlook and at Monmouth come to an end. Luckily, I’ve had the opportunity to watch several editors before me graduate and go on to be successful, hardworking individuals. I have big shoes to fill but I feel confident in myself and will do my best to live up to these expectations.

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And the Grammy Goes to...

The Outlook’s Opinion on Awards Season

Grammy AwardsLights, camera, action! It’s that time of year again—awards season. Every year awards season comes around and many debate on whether or not to watch the variety of different awards shows. From movies to music, the entertainment industry set forth a wide array of shows that hope to gain the attention of a media consumer audience. The two main categories are music and movies. Usually, this would cover the interest of most everyone, but it seems to be that the hype and allure of awards shows is dying. The editors of The Outlook discuss their interest levels.

It seems as though many editors are interested more in music awards shows like the VMAs, Video Music Awards, and CMAs, Country Music Awards. It is much more accessible to be a fan for the music awards shows because one can hear music freely whenever, wherever. Another positive aspect of the music awards shows are the various musical acts. One editor said, “I like the VMAs the best because I love to see the performances.”

Many editors seem to be interested in the aftermath of the awards shows—discussion of fashion and of “uh-oh” moments. For many, the shows are all about the outfits. The excessive talk of who wore what is always a persuasion in watching at least the Red Carpet correspondence of the awards shows. Also, learning that a celebrity did something comical at an award show tends to be a favorite aspect of many people. One editor said, “They’re [awards shows] worth watching only when something funny happens by mistake. Like this year at the Golden Globes Leonardo DiCaprio was caught making a funny face at Lady GaGa.”

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Proud to be a Hawk

The Outlook Reflects on the Recent Success of University Athletics, Academics and Enrollement Numbers

Monmouth University, once an unassuming private university on the Jersey Shore, has now had the taste of the limelight. Our basketball team has garnered national attention, thanks in part to creative and humorous celebrations of the Monmouth Bench. Additionally, Monmouth University has made headlines with its polling institute.

Possibly due to this attention, Monmouth has seen a six percent increase in the number of student applications from the year prior, according to The Asbury Park Press. Has this recent attention bettered Monmouth’s reputation? Do current students feel more pride? The Outlook’s editorial board weighs in.

One editor said that he noticed Monmouth’s basketball team started getting attention once they beat big schools like UCLA and Notre Dame. Another editor noticed an increase in popularity due to the increase in attendance. She said, “I realized that this season was different when the team started getting national media coverage and also when students were required to get a voucher in order to even get into the game.”

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#PrayForBrussels #PrayForTheWorld

Pray For Brussles

The Outlook editorial staff is saddened by the news of the terrorist attacks that took place in Brussels, Belgium. We send our deepest condolences to Belgium and to all affected by this tragedy.

The Business of Saving Money

The Outlook’s Advice on how to Save Money in College

As the semester begins to wind down, and the summer plans are right around the corner, the anxiety of where our money is going becomes prevalent in our minds. How does a broke college student make ends meet when we already have the full time jobs of going to school? Well, The Outlook Staff has a couple tips that will help lessen the burden of the hole in your wallet.

One of the key words to saving money is responsibility. Since we are in the stages of becoming full grown adults, and we begin to take on more tasks, it has a more loaded meaning. One way to be responsible is be aware of what you have. One editor mentioned, “I think just being responsible and aware of your account balance and spending ratio at all times is important to managing your money.”

Now what do you do if you’re an impulsive shopper? One editor adviced, “Don’t treat yourself as much as you want to because you’ll regret it. Use your money sparingly.” However, it is easier said than done, and it happens to the best of us. If you are found guilty of this, maybe setting up a goal with how to spend your savings after a certain amount is a great motivator to get you started.

One editor mentioned, “Have a goal that you are saving for. If you feel like you’ll spend your money have someone you trust save it for you. You’ll save so much money if you don’t buy food all the time.”

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An Outlook Opinion: College Student Religious Views

College is a time to grow individualised perspectives of the world through diverse interactions we have with people and experiences. Religiousness at college can play a large, or small role in your life as a student depending on what it means to you.

While a majority of the Outlook editors were raised in Catholic households but attended public schools, a few attended religious primary or secondary schools, or regularly went to weekly services. Although many of the editors felt that they were raised with religion, others disclosed that they were not pushed to be religious. One editor said, “My mom is kind of religious, but my dad isn’t really. Neither are very strict about beliefs but my mom holds some principles like saying grace before dinner.”

For some, there is something about college that makes religious traditions more difficult to maintain. Many of the editors feel that it is hard to attend religious services while in college, however, others feel that religiosity is possible to uphold no matter the circumstance. One editor shared, “I think religion is very important to me. I still pray every day and make the conscious effort to go to mass.”

The meaning of religion can transform once you come to college. You may be raised with an understanding of religion that changes once you begin to feel more independent about making your own personal decisions. “I realized that you don’t have to go to church or any other services in order to believe in something. You can worship on your own if you choose, or just pray when you feel that you need to,” said an editor.

The more we are educated the more we learn about varying beliefs. Throughout history people have used faith to justify abhorrent acts. In recent events terrorists have used religion to to justify horrific acts.

Some feel that the decrease in religiosity in young adults is because of continuous corruption in organized religion. One editor used the analogy, “one bad apple spoils the bunch. One bad impression can leave a person turned off to the idea of any organized religion.”

For some, college is meant to be the time of our lives. A period where twenty-somethings can experiment and throw care to the wind, sometimes straying from their religion.

“Most college students just want to go crazy and disaffiliate with the beliefs their family instilled such as no drinking, no smoking, and go to church every sunday,” said an editor.

Others dislike the notion of religion completely, believing that it restricts their intellectual freedom.

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Can’t Buy Me LoveCasey

Valentine’s Day is upon us, and along with boxes of chocolates and bouquets of roses, there seems to be an air of cynicism that surrounds the holiday. Traditionally, on February 14 the love you have for your significant other is exhibited through store-bought gifts and cliché Hallmark cards. For singles this holiday is a yearly reminder that you are still alone, but for those that are in relationships it a time to flaunt how “in love” you are with one another. Many people debate that Valentine’s Day is not truly about love, but it is about a partner’s feelings of obligation to shower their partner with material gifts. Is this holiday legitimate or is it merely for the monetary gain of industries? The Outlook weighs in on this so-called “Hallmark holiday”.

Once the ball has dropped in Times Square, it seems as if the shelves at stores become an endless array of heart-shaped merchandise and stuffed teddy bears. However, if we reflect back onto the origins of Valentine’s Day it has nothing to do with Whitman’s assortment of chocolates. St. Valentine was a priest that strongly believed in love and marriage. He would secretly marry couples during the reign of Claudius, an emperor that prohibited marriages. Prior to St. Valentine’s execution, in his last letter, he signed off with the sentiment, “from your Valentine.” When touching upon the validity of this holiday many Outlook editors believe that it is a legitimate holiday, but it has been highly influenced by industries. One editor shared her thoughts, “There’s no reason not to celebrate being with someone you love once a year. It’s like Mother’s Day or Father’s Day. It has turned into a huge consumer holiday, but the original concept is nice.”

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Ctrl Alt Learn

As technological developments have rapidly increased over the last several years, teaching methods and classroom settings have gone through tremendous changes. Gone are the days of chalkboards and slide projectors; today, schools use iPads and touch screens. Many teachers and professors show videos, share articles, and have discussions online. While these innovations have certainly led to many improvements, are all of these advancements for the better? The Outlook weighs in.

One of the most common changes in the classroom has been the personal use of technology. Just about every student carries a smart phone with him or her to class, and many bring his or her laptop or MacBook to take notes. Though it is common to see someone typing away at their desk, The Outlook editors expressed an overwhelming preference for handwriting notes. “I usually opt to write my notes out on paper in class, and I find that most people do the same. I think that writing out notes helps with retaining what you’re learning,” one editor said. Others explained that they were just more used to writing notes out and have found them easier to study from.

Those that do bring laptops to class often face the struggle of being distracted by the internet. For this reason, some professors have completely banned the use of laptops in the classroom. “I’ve had a few professors ban laptops because they claim that they’re a distraction for the people using them and also to everyone who sits behind them, especially if the students using computers are spending time on Facebook,” one editor explained.

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Right Back at it Again

Returning to school from a month off may not seem like much. Weren’t we just here? However, with a new semester comes new classes, new professors and new opportunities. While we search for the familiar faces in each of our classes and around campus, we have moved on from our previous class settings and endeavor to find new experiences.

Soon I, as well as almost every senior, will be searching the real world for a job that is half as good as our time spent at the University. Other than making appearances at Homecoming next Fall, we will be leaving MU behind for a career that our professors have so adequately prepared us for.

Working on The Outlook staff is not new to me, however, taking on the role of Editor-In-Chief is. With one semester left in my Monmouth University career, I aim to make a lasting impression. For over 80 years, The Outlook has been a reliable source of University news for the entire campus and beyond, and I would like us to continue to grow our readership.

I have had the privilege of working under five incredible leaders since my involvement in The Outlook, each delivering something new and great to the publication. These leaders who I am lucky enough to call my friends have left behind a traditional news source while continuing to progress with modern journalism trends. I would like to continue their legacy by leaving behind a reputable source of information for students, faculty and the surrounding community while expanding our reach.

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Time of the Year

As the semester is coming to a close and the holidays begin to get closer, there has been a change in the air. The “Holiday Madness” season has begun, as houses are being decorated, stores are having their sales, and food is everywhere. It’s that wonderful time of the year where we can spread joy, and make our friends and family happy.

Since it only happens once a year, The Outlook editors believe people look forward to it, and become very excited when it arrives. This motivates people to go all out and truly enjoy themselves. However, it does become very intense.

Since it is the season of giving and receiving, people generally become more generous and donate to a lot of charities and like to help others. Some stores even partner up with a local charity to help with donations. However, one editor believes that “it’s hard to get donations because so many stores are asking nowadays.”

But there are those people who are just on the verge of making the naughty list during this time, and ruin the joy of others, especially when it comes to retail. Beginning with Black Friday, people seem to be very selfish with trying to get their hands on the next hot item and we forget about others. Then there are others that are naughty with the intention of being nice. They try to give gifts to their friends and loved once but will stop at nothing until they get what they want.

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You’re Hired: On Campus Jobs

As college students, it is helpful to have a job that aids in some expenses and provides extra spending money. At MU, there are a plethora of on-campus jobs available, but still some students opt to work off-campus.

The Outlook editors work in a variety of jobs including a student ambassador, writing center tutor, box office assistant, and graphic print center assistant, among others.

Here at the Outlook, the editors had differing opinions on whether it is better to work on-campus or off-campus.

One editor said, “I like working on campus because my office is relatively flexible with hours and things like that, especially because they understand that school work and classes come first. You can actually only work 20 hours a week anywhere on campus, so I think that Student Employment really knows and understands that sometimes a student’s job isn’t always their first priority.”

Many editors agreed that working on-campus is convenient for resident students, whereas those who live off-campus find it easier to work elsewhere.

“The best part of working on campus is the flexibility,” said one editor. “I tell them at the beginning of each semester what days I can work and they usually only schedule me one day a week which is great because I have so many other things going on like class, The Outlook and my off campus job. Also, the people I work with are great. They’re all super nice and everyone in the office gets along great.”

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Do Commuter and Residential Students Utilize the Library?

As the fall semester progresses students are forced to face the reality of midterms and finals. At times it can be difficult to find a nice quiet place to study. The University offers the library space for students to seek solitude when they need to cram for those final exams and complete term papers. With free printing, places to meet for group projects, and help from the reference desk, the library offers assistance to all students focusing on their studies.

However, do both commuter and residential students make their way to the library frequently? The Outlook editors weigh in.

Many editors agree that the library is a space primarily for resident students, claiming that many commuters have a space at home where they can study and do their homework. “I never go to the library now that I live off campus but when I lived at school I was in there just about every day,” said an editor.

I live on campus and I go to the library at least four times a week,” said an editor.

Another editor who lives on campus explained, “I honestly never go to the library unless I’m really struggling to get work done. I go maybe once a semester.”
Often, it is difficult to find a quiet space in the dorms to study, leading residential students to make use of the library.Resident students are sometimes subject to loud neighbors and all of the other noises that come with living in a dorm,” said one editor. “I go to the library primarily because my roommates are inconsiderate and loud, so I must have peace when I work,” added another editor.

Many commuters rent houses locally with a group of friends and often go home in-between class. This is not an option for students who live far away. Some students may find refuge in the library in between classes if they are commuting from a significant distance. “Commuters who actually commute (not live 10 minutes away renting) use the library a lot for somewhere to go in between classes,” explained an editor.

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Home Sweet Homecoming

4,591 Monmouth students, alumni, fans and more showed up to the Homecoming game this past weekend against the number one team in the FCS, Coastal Carolina. Although the football team came up just short of arguably the biggest upset in our school’s history, the story lies outside the lines of Kessler Field. The attendance at Saturday’s game along with the environment it provided was something foreign to our West Long Branch campus. Rowdy, passionate, possibly intoxicated fans packed the bleachers to support their team. Those of us that went to the game understand, but words can’t describe the atmosphere.

As you pulled into the parking lot of the Multipurpose Activity Center, the mood was different. A normal football game for the Hawks might include a decent amount of tailgating and a few devoted fans having a good time outside the field pregame. For reference, the Hawks played host to the #22 ranked Liberty Flames and managed to knock them off 20-17 two weeks ago. That was the first and currently the only win over a national ranked opponent by the Hawks; 1,734 fans showed up to the game. Now that’s not terrible, if we were talking about our high school football teams, but we’re talking about a division one college football team.

There is no arguing that as a student body and more specifically The Outlook staff would love to see the average attendance at all of our athletic events rise, so what is stopping that from happening? To be honest, that is a harder question to answer than it sounds. Homecoming is special because it is a public place for everyone to get together, have a good time, catch up with alumni and enjoy a sport that so many of us follow. But if the only difference is the presence of alumni week after week, how do we replicate the scene at Monmouth Stadium from this past Saturday at every home game.

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Back to the Present: Self- Balancing Scooter Shows Power of Technology Advancements

Years ago, many of us thought that by 2015 we would live in a world where people vacationed on the moon and everyone traveled by way of flying car. Although both of those things have yet to come to fruition as the final months of 2015 quickly approach, it seems as though we have moved one step closer to the future thanks to the creation of what many people are referring to as a “hover board.”

Although this new tech toy may be the closest thing that we currently have to a functional hover board, it has wheels. So what is it? A skateboard? A scooter? A Segway? It turns out that it’s mostly a mix of all of the above. Using your feet to guide and balance you, this gadget rides similar to a Segway without the wheels. A self-balancing scooter, if you will.

These scooters seem to have first appeared in the spotlight when Justin Bieber posted an Instagram video of himself using one to ride around in circles in his home. Not long after, they then began to show up in six-second video clips posted by “celebrities” with millions of followers on Vine. Chris Brown, Wiz Khalifa, Skrillex, and Jamie Foxx are among many of the other famous people who have been caught riding these self-balancing scooters in public.

This faux-hover board phenomenon has apparently also reached the University campus, with a number of students utilizing these scooters to make their way to and from class. “I see them around campus all the time and I don’t understand why,” said one editor. Another added, “Our campus is small and you should be able to walk.”

Prices for these self-balancing scooters range from $270 all the way to $699 on Amazon, making many editors wonder about the true necessity of this product. “I think they’re pretty cool but I don’t understand the practical use for them,” explained one editor. “They’re really expensive so I think it’s a status thing.”

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Stop Trying to Make Basic Happen

As the month of October is upon us, along with UGG boots and warm sweaters, our generation’s made up term “basic” will be seen all over social media as fast as you could say pumpkin spice latte.
According to Urban Dictionary, the term “basic” describes someone who is obscenely obvious in behavior, dress, or action. A picture of a girl dressed in fall attire with a Starbucks drink in hand, is considered basic.

Engaging in fall activities and posting about it on Instagram will have the hashtag #basic below the caption. Basic has a negative connotation and really cannot be used to describe someone’s style or choice of drink.  

The first trace of this term can be found in a comedy routine by Lil Duval in 2009, according to americanreader.com.

In the following years, the term gained popularity all over the Internet with captions and hashtags using the basic to describe people and lifestyles.

The Outlook editors are divided when it comes to the term “basic” to describe someone.

One editor said, “I think this term was coined by hipsters who want to make people feel bad about following trends.”

“Basic is the description of someone who chooses to go to Starbucks in the morning for their pumpkin spice latte, while wearing black leggings and a Pink shirt. It’s a stereotype,” said an editor.

Other editors don’t take using the term basic too seriously and just think it’s a silly word that has a huge following.

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Next Stop: Grad School

While Monmouth University is known mostly for its undergraduate programs, many students overlook the variety of Masters programs that are offered. While there are many graduate programs to choose from, The Outlook staff believes that overall a change of scenery would be beneficial to their education.  

After spending four years at the University for an Undergraduate Degree, sticking around for another two years while your former classmates have moved on into the real world doesn’t deliver the same kind of college experience. 

Many of the editors would consider attending MU for a Masters if they had more variety as well. While there are a great amount of options, one editor notes that they are mainly geared toward business and education. That is quite limiting to majors such as English, math, science and communication. Some undergraduate majors do not have next step programs for their Masters degrees. The one additional year program in communication, for example, just came out recently, making it impossible for seniors to meet the requirements.   

The University’s main focus seems to be on their undergraduate education programs. There is not as much advertisement about their graduate programs so a lack of advertisement may be one reason why students do not consider Monmouth for an education past their bachelor’s degree. 

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Dining Delight: New Service Starts Strong

As of June 1, the University welcomed Gourmet Dining LLC as its premiere food service provider, officially replacing Aramark and bringing a wide variety of changes to our campus.

According to an e-mail sent to all students last semester by Mary Anne Nagy, Vice President for Student Life and Leadership Engagement, Gourmet Dining was “selected after an exhaustive nine-month process, which included a review of proposals for the 10-year contract from Sodexo, Parkhurst Dining, and incumbent Aramark, a valued partner to the University for nearly four decades.”

Refurbishment took place throughout the summer in order to prepare for new and returning students this fall. The Rebecca Stafford Student Center interior was redone with new picnic table-style seating and updated food stations, including a new pizza kiosk and create-our-own burger and salad stations. The Student Center is also now host to a fully-functional Dunkin Donuts, which is located in the former grill station.

Other changes, according to Nagy’s e-mail, include an Au Bon Pain location coming soon and the availability of Starbucks coffee at select locations on campus, as well as an overall improvement to campus dining. “Bringing Gourmet to campus will increase the quality of the dining experience by providing more choices including fresh sushi, brick oven pizza, carving stations, organic steamed meals, fresh-baked items, and more to our residential dining program,” Nagy’s e-mail said. “Gourmet will also provide dedicated allergy and gluten-free stations in Magill Commons and a full-time registered dietician will be on campus daily to advise students, faculty, and staff about healthy eating choices.”

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Hey, Wassup, Hello: Welcome Back

Going back to school is so much more than going back to school. Students head back to the life they have known for years: hanging out with friends all day, taking classes, and joining extra circulars.

For us, this ‘going back to school’ line has much deeper meaning than it has in the past. We are going to graduate after this semester and get thrown into a different life than we have known for the past 17 years. This new life will no longer entail classes, homework, parties, or The Outlook.

Instead, we will be going to work for hardly any money and struggle to see our friends on a weekly basis. We will have to bring work home to do on the weekends and make our job our number one priority. Excuse us for this grim look on the future, but how can one possibly want to leave such a great life at Monmouth University?

Since this mentality is upon us, we plan to make this semester the best yet.

We have been given the honor of being co-Editor-in-Chiefs for a newspaper that has a long standing tradition as being one of the best in the nation. The Outlook has been in production since 1933 and we are ecstatic to be part of history. Our work is read on a national level and we receive national awards. From our extensive experience working on The Outlook for the past several years as writers and transitioning to become editors, we have learned quite a lot. We will take all that we have learned during our time at The Outlook and apply it this year as co-Editor-in-Chiefs to make this year’s paper one of the best yet.

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Single-file to the Podium, Please

Monmouth University will celebrate its Spring 2015 Commencement Ceremony at the PNC Center in Holmdel, New Jersey on Wednesday, May 20. 

While the graduating members of The Outlook are excited, nervous and every emotion in between, most of the staffers feel indifferent about the University’s choice of a speaker. 

Brad Eric Scheler, Esq., a senior partner and Chair of the bankruptcy and restructuring department of the global law firm Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson was announced as the Commencement speaker by President Brown on April 20. 

One staffer said, “I am definitely not trying to knock his credentials and successes. He has accomplished so much in his career, and we can and should not criticize him for that; however, as far as speaking at Commencement, I’m not sure he was the absolute best choice. Maybe I’m wrong and his speech will completely and utterly blow me away and inspire me to be the best graduate ever, but I really was hoping for someone a tad more relateable and inspiring to us as graduates of Monmouth University.”

Another editor said, “I’ve never heard of him, I’ve never heard of the position that he holds, nor have I ever heard of the law firm that he works for, which does not necessarily make for a memorable ceremony.”

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Monumental Perks of Monmouth

With the spring semester soon drawing to a close, marking the end of another acadamic school year, both underclassmen and graduating seniors look back on their time at the University and reflect on their decision to attend Monmouth and if it has met or exceeded their expectations. 

The Outlook editorial staff members are happy that they made the decision of attending this private, beach school. 

When deciding on a university to attend, there are various elements of a school that may capture people’s interest and sell them on attending. One editorial board member said all the facilities the school has to offer and the people they’ve met, both within the student body and administration when visiting Monmouth left an impression on them that made them decide to come here. Also, this board member said when touring the school, the quality of work produced from Monmouth students also intrigued them enough to want to be a part of this community. 

Another staff member said what helped them decide on attending Monmouth was its location. The editor said, “We are located in a prime geographic area (wedged in between Philly and NYC), so we have a vast array of internship opportunities. We are essentially located in a huge media market.” Additionally, the editor said that being a mile away from the beach was a huge selling point. The area of the school is also very safe, which made the staffer feel comfortable. 

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University Offers Forum for Global Issues

The annual Global Understanding Convention (GCU) has been a prominent campus-wide event at the University for the past 14 years. The convention lasts for a week and covers various topics relating to social injustice and inequality, global issues, and non-violence. This year’s convention is taking place during the week of April 13-17 and is sponsored by the Institute for Global Understanding. 

According to the University’s official website, the slogan for this year’s convention is “Practicing Non-Violence in a Violent World.” The schedule includes several different events such as lectures, art installations, public speakers, film screenings, and workshops. 

Dr. George Gonzalez, Chair of the Global Understanding Convention, added insight on the purpose of the convention. “Each year, the theme and the content are especially geared towards the students, which is why we insist on staying a convention rather than morphing into an academic conference. The focus on the intellectual needs and interests of the students is unique and something that we take as basic,” said Gonzalez. 

The Outlook editorial staff believes the convention covers a wide variety of topics that need to be discussed amongst students and faculty. 

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Springing into Springfest

With the end of the spring semester right around the corner, most students can’t wait for all of the exams and papers to finally come to an end. But before heading back home for the summer and forgetting about having to set any early morning alarms, there’s still one thing left on just about everyone’s mind: Springfest. 

This annual event brings University students together at the end of every year in an effort to give them a break from all of the time that they’ve spent studying and preparing for finals. Free food, games and t-shirts usually draw most students out to the event, but the main attraction is always the musical performance. At this year’s Springfest, Jordan Roseman, more commonly known as DJ Earworm, will be performing. 

In the “About DJ Earworm” section of his official website, Roseman explains, “Basically, what I do is take a bunch of songs apart and put them back together again in a different way... I also DJ with my laptop.”

The editors of The Outlook seem to have mixed feelings about the news of Roseman’s performance. One editor said, “DJ Earworm sounds like an untalented ‘artist’ who just uses other people’s songs to become famous,” while another explained, “I think it’s interesting to have an artist come who is known for his mashups of other hit songs.”

Another editor commented that he/she simply was not expecting a DJ to be the main event at Springfest. “I would have much preferred having an actual artist... A DJ isn’t really what I think of when I think of the outdoor concert that Springfest is supposed to be,” he/she said.

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Strategic Perks

As per the Monmouth University website, a strategic plan was set forth in October 2014, coinciding with the 81st Founder’s Day celebration. Guided by “personal learning experience, program relevance, and global and cultural awareness,” the strategic plan remains largely a mystery, as far as The Outlook is concerned.

What has been clear thus far, is the campus’s commitment to strong leadership through the process, as the Monmouth Board of Trustees recently elected four new members who will bring their talents to the strategic plan.

The Outlook editorial staff, however, believes that while the specific goals of the strategic plan have not been clearly laid out, the University does maintain a commitment to improving the “campus community,” as seen by recent changes.

Vice President for Student Life and Leadership Engagement Mary Ann Nagy said the goals of the strategic plan are: a rigorous academic agenda, external classroom experiences and life after Monmouth. 

Some editors are not sure how much students are involved in the strategic planning directives.

One staffer said, “I do not feel that students are involved when it comes to deciding on the changes that will be made to campus. We are rarely, if ever, polled regarding changes and are kept out of the loop for the most part.”

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Language Barriers

While Associated Press style writing is of the utmost importance for The Outlook’s editors, the group also finds itself prone to using some of the 21st Century’s less than academic language. John McHorter of Time wrote that despite being considered a destruction of the English language, text lingo and changes in slang are more related to spoken language than the written word. 

McHorter said, “Texting is developing its own kind of grammar. Take LOL. It doesn’t actually mean ‘laughing out loud’ in a literal sense anymore. LOL has evolved into something much subtler and sophisticated and is used even when nothing is remotely amusing.”

For the editorial staff, many of the members have their own favorite words to use in casual language. One staffer was exuberant in his/her support of the word “hella”. He/she said, “I really think more people should use that in casual conversation! I tend to use it when describing something particularly surprising, saying something like ‘that was hella crazy.’”

Other editors noted that they use more generic words such as “like” or phrases such as “you know” much too frequently. “Literally” was also among The Outlook’s list of the most overused words in casual conversation, even if it doesn’t mean what its literal definition describes.

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Raising the Bar

While today the University strictly regulates on-campus alcohol consumption, Monmouth’s policies used to be quite different; the Rebecca Stafford Student Center (RSSC) was once home to Blue Hawk Pub, an on-campus bar that was eventually turned into a cafe and has since been removed altogether.

According to Mary Anne Nagy, Vice President for Student Life and Leadership Engagement, the bar was active over ten years ago when the drinking age was still 18. “As the laws changed both from a drink age and liability perspective, it became increasingly difficult to provide financial support for a facility that 70-plus percent of our students could not have access to,” she said. 

Ultimately, the University decided to close the facility. “The pub could not sustain its operation on revenue derived from sales alone. The increased liability we assumed for operating a pub was also factored into the decision to close,” Nagy said.

Does this decision still make sense today, or should the University consider reopening the pub? The Outlook weighs in.

Firstly, the editors acknowledge that alcohol consumption can have serious consequences for college students. It is understood that the University’s “dry campus” policies are in place to ensure the safety of all students, as well as to cement Monmouth’s position as a respectable institution within the West Long Branch community. While The Outlook does not deny these policies, some editors feel that bringing a bar back to campus would yield positive results.

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“Major” Stereotypes

We’ve all heard them, the choruses of, “Oh you’re a history major? That means you’re going to be a teacher, right?” or, “Communication majors have it so easy.” Many students do not realize that when they declare a major they are also signing themselves up for three to four years worth of stereotyping. These falsities can not only deter students from declaring certain majors, but they can also take a toll on the self-esteem of those who already have.

The Outlook staff agreed that while the humanities tend to get the worst of it, every major is subjected to some kind of stereotyping. Psychology majors are said to be constantly analyzing everyone, business majors are said to be “in it for the money,” and political science majors who do not pursue law school are said to be bound for minimum wage jobs. One editor said, “People say to communication majors things like, ‘You know how to talk to people.’  Art majors are stereotyped as pursuing a passion rather than a career and not getting jobs, or if they do get a job, it won’t be high-paying. English majors are stereotyped as only reading for all homework assignments.  History majors are stereotyped as only being teachers or working at museums.’” Another editor noted that math majors get “hit with some tough stereotypes, such as the thick-rimmed, number-crunching nerd idea.”

Several staff members hold passionate feelings regarding the unfair stereotyping of communication majors. One editor said it is extremely irritating when they hear people saying that students who declare communication as their major do it because it is easy or because they “like to communicate.” The editor said, “People assume that communication is a joke but that could not be farther from the truth,” said a staff member. “There is a lot of work and research and time involved in being a comm major and that’s why it annoys me so much to hear people judge us in that way.”

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What Really Matters: GPA or Activities?

As spring graduation approaches and summer comes around, Monmouth University students will begin to apply for careers and internships. They will stock their resume with every job and leadership position they have ever held, but is this what companies truly look at? While a high school GPA helped colleges decide whether they were going to accept a student or give them a scholarship, the same cannot be said in the real world.

“GPA and extra-curricular activities are just two factors, in addition to other things, that employers consider when reviewing candidates for employment,” said Assistant Dean for Career Services William Hill.

He also noted that while a GPA is important, extra-curricular activities may increase the chances of getting hired. “A student who was president of a club related to their major or career might get greater consideration over another candidate with a slightly higher GPA, all things being equal. In general, which one is given more weight may very well depend on the job for which the candidate is being considered.”

Many Outlook editors agree with Hill’s statement as most believe internships and experience outweigh a GPA. 

Furthermore, The Outlook editors who have held previous internships recalled that most of these companies did not even ask for their GPA’s. These companies received an employee’s GPA through the transcript, if it was asked for; however, most editors noted that during their interview, their employer had their resume in front of them, not their transcript. Although the staff’s previous employers did not ask for their GPA’s, this does not necessarily mean that others will follow suit. 

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What’s Really “New” About Messages in the News?

Between breaking news, developing stories and exclusive interviews, there is no shortage of captivating reports in today’s news media. While some news outlets are focused on facts, others have not so subtle agendas (Fox and MSNBC, we’re looking at you.) 

Regardless of intent, the American news feed has been rife with stories both heartwarming and heartbreaking in the past six months. Members of The Outlook’s editorial board stopped to reflect on these moments, as well as think about the future and what may be in store.

“There is so much sadness and hate in this world that the news is almost always awful,” said one editor. The staffer continued, “There have been plenty of tragic news stories that have struck a chord with me, but one of the more recent ones which I feel like not a lot of people had even heard of was about the older couple who met someone from Craigslist responding to their ad for an old car.” 

The tragedy of course ended with the couple’s murder and the police’s inability to find their bodies for several days. “I feel like the more personal stories, like this one, affect me more because I tend to picture myself in the shoes of the family of the victim(s),” the editor added.

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Snow Cancellations: Better to be Safe than Sorry

The start of the semester comes hand-in-hand with the brunt of winter. After a month home, students return from winter break with a fresh semester to look forward to; but there is one problem – treacherous weather conditions are at their peak when students return to Monmouth. 

Last year’s spring semester started off quite similarly to this year’s. Snow hit the ground right away the second week back, leaving cancellations late Monday into Tuesday. Last week’s second snowstorm brought cancellations for late Monday classes yet again. Especially in comparison to last year, The Outlook feels the University has been proactive by making early calls for cancellations to be in the best interest of safe traveling for students and faculty.

Since the weather is changeable, one editor pointed out the reason for Monmouth to consider snow cancellations: “NJ is known for being a flat state and our school’s location is right on the shore so many people have shore cars like mustangs, PT cruisers, and VW bugs. MU has to take in the fact that we are not equipped for rough weather into consideration and also, that a lot of people will be driving over 15 minutes to school which may cause accidents during a snow fall.”

While meteorologists try their best to predict large snowstorms ahead of time, the exact weather patterns will usually remain rather uncertain. For example, the blizzard predicted the final week of January did not hit as hard as expected in many areas. “With the blizzard, the University decided to cancel before the storm arrived. This was a smart decision because it allowed students to make appropriate arrangements and for professors to adjust their classes accordingly,” another editor said.

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New “Outlook” on the Spring Semester

Following the food comas from Thanksgiving and winter breaks, students are ushered into a new year, and shortly thereafter, a new semester. In an attempt to readjust to the academic lifestyle, The Outlook assessed the benefits and disadvantages accompanying the start of the spring semester.

The Outlook was decidedly split on favoring the transition back into school from winter or summer breaks. Some editors preferred returning to school after winter break, as one editor noted, “I find coming back from winter break much easier, since we didn’t have nearly as much time off and I’m coming back to the same room and the same people, which isn’t always true for fall semester.”

Another staffer said that returning after winter break is favorable because most of the big issues are already taken care of. He said, “I don’t feel as worried [returning after winter break]. I’m not running around going ‘Do I have all my books? Did I get all the eCampus notes? Did I remember to pay my tuition? Does this coat make me look pretentious?’ All that stuff’s been taken care of by January.”

On the other side of the spectrum, some editors appreciate the return to school after summer break as it leaves them feeling refreshed, refocused and ready to begin a new academic workload. One contributor said, “The weather is also much nicer in September which makes coming back to school easier.” 

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The Holiday ‘Outlook’

As the holiday season is rapidly approaching, Monmouth students are doing their best to find Christmas cheer despite the finals that loom ahead. The Outlook agreed that while the University makes a solid attempt at spreading holiday joy, it is largely limited to certain areas on campus.

The campus’ centerpiece, Wilson Hall, is the focal point for decorations. The editors agreed that MU staff and faculty put the most time and effort into the Wilson displays, noting the variety of Christmas trees and lights throughout the building.

One editor said, “Only in Wilson Hall or in Plangere when Santa is taking pictures does the campus feel truly festive.” The ‘Christmas Sticks’ that line the entrance by the Dining Hall also add a dash of holiday festiveness. Another editor also appreciated the holiday themed drinks at Java City.

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Does MU Fall “Flat” in Cleaning Construction?

The construction of the University’s latest building, Pozycki Hall, has inconveniently stripped students of a vast majority of parking spaces – that is old news. Now, however, another problem caused by the site has come into question by The Outlook: car problems potentially caused by inadequate clean-up of the construction.

Just last week, one editor noticed she received a flat tire just after parking in the Bey Hall. After driving less than one mile from her off-campus rental through the Bey parking lot then to the Plangere lot, the flat was first noticed. After getting the car assessed, it was determined that a nail was the cause. She had to shell out an inconvenient $150 payment for a brand new tire.

The Outlook feels there is a likelihood that the nail may have come from the on-campus construction, given the short amount of time it took to get from the house to the parking lot. This occurrence was the first flat tire that the staff has considered to be a possible result of the new building’s construction.

The Outlook agreed that because the construction site’s proximity to the parking lot, it does at least have potential to cause flats. As one editor said, “The construction site is so close to the parking lot that any nail or some other type of metal can easily fly out onto the lot.” Thus, that could explain the mysterious nail that ended up popping the editor’s tire within such a short distance.

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‘Tis the Season of Papers and Exams

With just over four weeks remaining in the semester, the season of final examinations and multiple page-long research papers is amongst us.

Do students effectively utilize University resources like the library and the Writing Center to prepare for final assignments?

The Outlook editorial staff was conflicted on the effectiveness of student use of educational services, saying the library, in particular, is not used to its fullest potential, albeit for a myriad of reasons.

One staff member said, "The library is used by off-campus, older students and mandatory classes effectively, but people could use the resources more." Professors often schedule research days, which for some are the only time they are exposed to the library.

Another editor added, "I have only used the library to study or do homework a total of three times, two of them being when my professors required the class to go to learn how to use the online database."

On the contrary, one editor noted that the library "is a quiet place to go when you need to study or write a paper. Everyone around you is working too, which provides a great atmosphere to work in."

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Extra Credit Assignment: Getting to Know Your Professors

One of the many changes students experience during the transition from high school to college is the relationship between students and teachers, or sometimes, lack thereof. Students become used to the close relationships they have with teachers in high school and are suddenly thrown into the world of college, where classes tend to be so large that students become nothing more than a number. Small colleges such as the University, however, often pride themselves in offering smaller classes and deeper student-teacher relationships.

The Outlook staff feels that the University generally fulfills its promise of close, one-on-one relationships between students and their professors.

The staff unanimously agrees that due to the University's small class sizes students and professors are able to really get to know each other. "Because the University is small, it's easy to develop relationships," noted one editor. "The student isn't just a number; they can work one-on-one with the professor to get help and get to know them."

Another editor explained that he was shocked when he came to college and found that some professors even give out their personal cell phone numbers so that students can reach them if necessary.

The Outlook staff noted several ways that the close relationships they have experienced with professors at the University are beneficial. Professors have not only assisted in picking good classes, but have also helped students with internship and career advice.

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Sometimes, Size Does Matter

Hitting the gym is a respected habit among college students. Whether your dedication ranges from going every single day to just once a week, getting or staying fit is the common goal. However, what if reaching this goal is unattainable? The little spare time you do have to dedicate to a work out could be wiped out by annoying crowding at peak times.

The Outlook feels as though the Multipurpose Activity Center gym facility is not an appropriate size to accommodate all of the people at the University.

While the gym is sanitary and machines are maintained, there are less than ten treadmills and ellipticals, six bikes, and just three stair masters. There is only one of each specific weight machine . Editors have come to the consensus that the gym follows quality but unfortunately, not quantity.

Since, according to Monmouth.edu, the main gym membership is offered to outsiders for $500 a a year, open free to employees and discounted for alumni, overcrowding is pretty much unavoidable. The number of machines simply does not fit with the thousands that make up the student body, on top of these other groups.

Editors who have used the main gym have all had to wait to use a machine before. This is common, most often with the cardio machines, when there are no others open. So, you are either twiddling your thumbs waiting to catch the next elliptical, or using a machine you had not intended to. This cuts into valuable work-out time.

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The Perks of Getting Involved

"Make sure to get involved!" Any student who has attended college for even a minimal amount of time has certainly heard this phrase or similar variations of it.

Whether it's parents, faculty, or peers, from the moment they commit to a school, college students are encouraged to get involved on campus by joining clubs and organizations. Enriching the college experience, meeting new people, and gaining skills or knowledge are the typical reasons to get involved. However, does this advice hold true, and are the benefits of getting involved all they're cracked up to be?

The Outlook staff overwhelmingly agrees with the importance of getting involved in extra-curricular activities, and believes the typical benefits are unquestionable.

The staff unanimously noted that they've developed life-long friendships and relationships through the clubs and organizations they're apart of on campus. One editor said, "I've made some awesome friends that I probably wouldn't have met otherwise. It allowed me to branch out and truly make relationships with people."

Gaining real life experience and skill building are also benefits mentioned by the majority of The Outlook staff. Several of the editors were quick to point out that they've gained invaluable experience in areas such as leadership and teamwork by getting involved with different groups on campus, and that this experience will help them after graduation. One editor referred to her involvement in her sorority as an example. "I've gained leadership experience from being on my sorority's executive board, and have also acquired important professional skills for my future."

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College Campuses Stress the Workload

Post-secondary education is often the first taste individuals have for assuming the roles as an adult. Whether a community college, 4-year institution or other, after high school, students are beginning to assume roles of greater significance. But, are these new roles the cause of greater stress and mental illness among students?

The Outlook believes that through the requirements and demands of colleges and universities on students, the post-secondary education system has essentially created factories tasked with creating stressed individuals. Classroom prerequisites, club and social obligations and more combine to make for higher levels of stress and mental illness among university goers than in the past.

Dr. Franca Mancini, university Director of Counseling and Psychological Services, viewed students as seemingly more stressed now than ever. She said, "College is inherently stressful, and it seems that current students are showing even more signs of poor stress management and a need to acquire better coping skills."

Mancini said, "The pressure of academics, combined with social, family and financial concerns in a very busy world makes it hard to find time to clear one's mind and relax. Learning stress management techniques is essential, and it's never too late to start."

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MU’s Internship Program: Good or Bad?

Internships play a huge part in a college student's life. They can help you learn more about the inner workings of your desired career choice, they can help you network, and they can help you with further opportunities in your field. Whether paid or unpaid, students use internships as a stepping-stone to their future jobs.

Internships help students get a jump-start into working as well. While some internships will have students sitting at a desk the entire time, some internships will send students out and have them experience the reality of the job. This usually depends on your major. Even after students graduate, some take on another internship first, to get more of a feel for the job they will spend the rest of their lives doing. However, do college students really benefit from the internship experiences and do they believe the school helps them with this?

The Outlook staff believes internships, in general, are absolutely beneficial to students, but you must do the research on them beforehand. Multiple editors explained, though, that they were stuck in one, even two internships that did not aide to their majors at all. One editor even said he was ridiculed and insulted during his internship, and had to quit.

The staff noted that they appreciated the University sending emails and updating posts about internship opportunities. Some editors joined their department's internship group on Facebook and found internships through there. Regarding how the school and professors handle the internship program, though, the editors had split opinions.

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To “Fall” for Campus Beauty or Not?

Every week, students pour onto Monmouth's campus at all hours of the day, usually rushing into buildings in order to attend the classes that brought them to campus to begin with. But amongst the running to and from classes and meetings, some are able to stop for a moment and appreciate the campus and the special measures taken to ensure its beauty.

Several members of The Outlook note that they are often in awe of how campus looks, particularly during the fall. Whether it's because of the large and dominant trees adorning campus changing colors, or the courtyard outside of Wilson Hall with its running fountains, The Outlook finds autumn on campus to be a particularly magical time. And with the fall season supposedly predicted to be a very short one this year the staff is prepared to enjoy all of the autumn beauty on campus while they can.

However, some staff feel that campus looks good no matter which season it is, and while fall may definitely bring about the red and brown hues in the leaves, it is argued that no matter the time of year the campus maintenance crew is consistently doing a good job.

Yet some see that there is an excess in the care of campus. While it is definitely appreciated with all of the apparent labor that goes into the landscaping, the general consensus at The Outlook is that tuition should be used towards things that would really benefit students, such as more parking spaces instead of mulch and flowers.

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The Apple of My iPhone

The iPhone welcomed its newest members on Sept. 19 as Apple unveiled the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus worldwide. According to Apple's website, the new products boast a total upgrade from previous models including larger screens (4.7in for the 6 and 5.5in for the 6 Plus), an A8 processor, and support for Apple Pay, among other features.

Regarding initial sales, the iPhone 5 saw preorders of 2 million units within 24 hours according to Forbes, while the 6 and 6 Plus garnered 4 million preorders in the same time frame. Clearly the public is excited for the Apple's flagship devices.

This excitement, however, has not spread to The Outlook. Nearly every member of The Outlook editorial staff is an owner an Apple product, with the iPhone 5 5c and 5s being most common. MacBooks are also prevalent among the staff, albeit with less ownership than the iPhone.

Why is it that The Outlook can favor the iPhone without being excited for Apple's newest creation? Apple's ecosystem is the reason. While the newest iPhones add varying levels of functionality to Apple's existing lineup, Apple's previous (and still supported) products are able to offer a similar experience to current users.

The synergistic relationship Apple has created between its devices has made purchasing the newest iPhones less than desirable for The Outlook. One editor said, "I'm not that excited because I don't care to update my phone. I like the easiness of what I already have."

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Involvement ‘Faired’ In No One’s Favor

The University held its annual Involvement Fair during the first weekend of school with the intentions of helping the on-campus clubs recruit new members and for the students to become more involved.

The event was given three main alterations from previous years: Instead of being held on a Wednesday, it was held on a Friday; instead of being held during the "meetings" time block, it was held from 4-6; and finally, the fair was moved from outside the Rebecca Stafford Student Center to the front of the Guggenheim library.

While The Outlook staff appreciates the effort to make the event bigger and better, such as the addition of free food, we feel the time and date caused an unwanted effect on the various clubs' recruitment.

The Outlook itself is used to recruiting an average of 100 new members via this event. This year, The Outlook gained less than 40 interested members. As The Outlook staff began to discuss the event with other clubs' executive board members, we noticed that our numbers were not the only ones which significantly decreased from years past as well.

Our staff believes that many of the freshmen, who are usually the majority of the attendees at the Involvement Fair, went home for the weekend. It is understandable that after being away from their home for nearly a week, perhaps the longest any of them have been away without their parents, they would want to make a trip home.

Besides the fact most students may have travelled home for the weekend, the event was also held after classes on the library lawn. The time also caused trouble for those who are commuters and upperclassmen. By that point on a Friday, many commuters and upperclassman would have left campus.

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“To be Prepared is Half the Victory”

September has arrived and with it, the excitement of students getting back into an academic routine. Seniors have begun their last first day of school. Freshmen nervously begin to find their place on campus. The line for the book store is as long as our syllabi and the new faces in our classrooms start to become familiar.

In addition to working toward academic excellence, students also strive to make the most of their short time at the University. Ernest Hemingway once said, "It is good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey that matters in the end."

These words speak volumes for the college experience, and as a senior beginning my last year as an undergraduate I can say that a journey begins with getting involved. While my college career is nearing an end, this year I embark on a new journey with my entire staff as Editor-In-Chief of The Outlook.

Each semester the University sets new goals and works to improve an institution that already achieves excellence, and that is what I intend to do for The Outlook. I have had the privilege of working under three dedicated leaders during my involvement with the newspaper, each who has set a great precedent for the next to follow.

These past Editor-In-Chiefs who I am lucky enough to call my friends and mentors left behind a newspaper that maintained tradition while still progressing in the modern world of journalism. Though they held many of the same values I have seen The Outlook evolve with each new leader.

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Not All Change is Bad

Change is hard. Sometimes it's scary and uncomfortable and other times it's exciting and new. Here at The Outlook, we undergo such changes every May when we're expected to transition from freshmen to sophomores, juniors to seniors, or seniors to full-time, working adults. The thought of moving on after getting comfortable in the positions we've occupied for two semesters is unsettling. No matter what we are planning to do when finals week is over, the uncertainty of those future experiences is what makes us nervous or excited to move on.

Many editors will be graduating this May, leaving the world of Monmouth altogether. Though most have grown and matured during their four years here, some editors still feel unprepared to enter the real world. We have been sheltered at the University to an extent, depending on professors, faculty and email reminders to get us through our college careers. Now, graduating seniors are tasked with managing themselves and their responsibilities without the guidance of their professors.

"I feel like Monmouth has kept me in a little bubble for four years and I don't want to leave that bubble, ever," said one editor. "Monmouth Hawks fly together so why must I fly away?"

The hardest part to take in for a lot of seniors is that they will not be returning to school in the fall. School is all we have ever known since kindergarten. To suddenly stop going is somewhat of a shellshock.

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A Love Letter to the University

Oh MU, let us count the ways that we absolutely love you. Each week The Outlook staff picks a topic we like to discuss for the editorial. The topic is usually something we would like to see changed or something we do not necessarily agree with.

For this issue, we decided to talk about what we love at the University. We like to give credit when credit is due. With this being said, the editors were asked to pick one thing we adored about the University. This is what we came up with.

1. Getting involved in departments outside of your major

Not every school would encourage students with specific majors to leave their department and branch out. The University wants us to discover what we like outside of our studies. There are several editors at The Outlook that are not communication majors and if they weren't able to branch out, the newspaper staff would be a lot less diverse.

2. The professors

The professors at the University are just so passionate about their field of study that it makes each class enjoyable. They even find time to attend events outside of class time which proves this even more. It also shows that students really do not have an excuse for not getting involved outside of the classroom. The professors' overall experience in their specific field is also admirable. Students know that they are learning skills from actual professionals, not just a person with a degree.

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MU Helps Leaders Look Forward

The University makes many events available to students throughout the year. From concerts to charity fundraisers, guest speakers and recreational activities, there is always something going on. Although many of us attend these functions, we usually do not see what goes on behind the scenes. From booking a room to ordering food, everything must be strategically planned to ensure a successful event. It is obvious that there are many steps needed to be taken in order to pull off a successful gathering. Naturally, the process can be tedious and demanding.

The University requires members of campus organizations to attend leadership conferences during the fall and the spring semesters. These conferences consist of a series of workshops that range from topics like "Grades Are Not Enough," "Group Development" and even event planning. These workshops seek to aid students in becoming more prepared to run clubs and organizations.

Megan McGowan, the assistant director of Student Activities and the Student Center said, "The leadership workshops are geared toward successful club operations."

Each club is required to have two different members attend at least three workshops in order to receive full credit for their club. The individuals who attend do not have to be E-board members; this allows responsibility of attendance to be spread throughout the entire organization. If organizations fail to complete the workshops, there are consequences such as loss of privileges and recognition on campus.

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Outlook Regrets Mistake

The Outlook prides itself on being truthful and fair. Unfortunately in our editorial last week titled "California Dreaming," we were neither of those. In that editorial, we discussed a home in CA that was generously donated to the University and presented thoughts on what the administration might do with that property.

After we published the piece, The Outlook became aware that the home was sold well over a year ago. We were also told that it was located in a gated, desert community that did not allow for occupancy of anyone under 55 years-old.

The Outlook was irresponsible for reporting this information without fully checking the facts. We regret this entirely and apologize if in any way we misled readers or caused anyone at the University distress.

We hope that the public's opinion of the newspaper is not solely based on our missteps and rather takes into account how rare moments like this are. We can assure everyone at the University that no one feels worse about this than the staff in the newsroom.

California Dreaming

When coming to Monmouth it is the common expectation that learning is going to take place. No surprise there. Yet hawks of all years and majors are often surprised to learn that the University owns one house in CA.

As the often unheard story goes the CA house was left to the University in an alumna's will after they had passed, and that's pretty much it. Since the University obtained the house some years back they have been sitting on it, not really knowing how to make use of it.

Well, The Outlook editorial staff has a few ideas and recommendations as to what the University could do with the West Coast property. While there were several ideas tossed around, one suggestion that the majority agreed upon was that the property could serve as a good place for students to travel to during the semester, like the semester at Washington D.C. program offered to students.

As one of the editors pointed out, a great advantage that this option brings is that it could be a very good resume addition for students. Even better, the experience could make the students more marketable when they go in search for a job. Another editor hypothesized that the successful effects seen in the Washington program could suggest similar achievements in CA. "Using the Washington center as an example of how important it is to have students get housing and internships out of state, there is a high success rate of students getting a job out of the program," the editor said.

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Is This on the Syllabus?

If NYC were to come to life and take the form of a human, it would be a college student. From sunrise to sunset, college students are constantly engaged in some sort of activity. Whether you're cramming for tomorrow's Advanced Abstract Algebra quiz, or listening to the sweet sounds of your unfinished chapter readings serenading you, just like city nightlife, there is always something else to do.

When a student registers for a class and is handed their syllabus, it acts as a binding contract between the student and professor. As students, we schedule internships, extracurricular activities and work around the course schedule given to us by our professors. When a professor spontaneously decides to make it mandatory for a student to attend an event outside of class, it dishevels the student's schedule and puts the student at a disadvantage if they are unable to attend an event due to a prior commitment.

The Outlook believes that students should not be required to attend events outside of scheduled class meeting times because the events tend to conflict with prior engagements. We feel that it is unnecessary for professors to force students to attend events on campus causing students to skip a class, leave early or cancel other obligations just to attend this event and not get penalized.

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Construction to be Completed by __(fill in the blank)__

Throughout the past four years, the University has gone through great lengths to expand its buildings in quantity and quality. The Outlook staff believes that the additions to campus will definitely build the integrity of the University, but that comes with a large price.

Whether you are a a science, communication or business major, there is one common nuisance in your life: the parking situation at the University.

Due to the massive amount of building projects the University has decided to forgo, the students have been forced to handle the situation in an unfavorable way.

The Outlook staff noticed a shortage in parking when the University decided turn Lot 6 into a dorm building for freshmen. While The Outlook staff understands that this dorm is necessary to accommodate incoming students, it is difficult to understand why the University must build so much all at once.

The Outlook noticed another obstacle in the commuter parking lot upon returning from winter break. With the new addition to Bey Hall, many commuter parking spaces are unable to be used.

One editor noted, "Pretty soon, the University will run out of room to build. If they keep adding buildings, there's not going to be any parking spots left."

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The Benefits of General Education Courses

At the start of every new school year, eager college freshman say goodbye to their parents and enter their new unfamiliar, uncharted territory that is college. Within the walls of their new dormitory rooms, a sense of freedom seems to creep up their nostrils and empower these freshmen to discover who they truly are deep at the roots, reveal these identities, and bring to light this new person that is ready to bloom.

The reality of finally being able to take classes that strictly pertain to their desired area of study are here. These freshmen are ready to embark on their four-year journey and immediately dive head-first into classes for their major. Or so they think.

Why is it that colleges require students to continue to enroll in general education classes that students have already touched upon in the past years of education, instead of diving head first into their field of study?

The Outlook believes general education classes are required and necessary for a college degree because they give you a well-rounded education and the opportunity to explore topics at a much deeper level than one thought. The material that you crack open again in college, and look at from a completely different scholarly perspective, will shape you into a versatile individual that has a wide array of knowledge on various topics.

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Graduation Wasn’t Always at PNC ...

Graduation is a bittersweet time of year. The college journey comes to an end but the future lies ahead for thousands of graduating students after every semester. For University students, commencement means gathering at PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel for the celebratory ceremony, yet, it wasn't always that way.

Prior to the move to PNC about 10 years ago, graduation was held on the Great Lawn where the soccer field is now. Faculty lined the walkways near classroom buildings as students said their final goodbyes. According to faculty members who attended the on-campus ceremony, it was a personal and sentimental experience. It also allowed guests to enjoy the scenic landscape the University has to offer. However, after inclement weather left people drenched, the University decided to move the ceremony to PNC, where it has remained to this day.

The Outlook editorial staff discussed what it would be like to bring graduation back to campus. Most agreed that the ceremony would be more practical and functional if it remained at PNC.

Editors recognized that there are many problems with having the ceremony on campus grounds. Amount of tickets, weather and comfort were factors that led most toward PNC. Overall, when all elements were put into consideration, the staff decided PNC would be the better option.

One editor said, "PNC just makes more sense, unfortunately. I wish we could have [graduation] on campus, but I know people who are still trying to get more tickets to graduation at PNC. I'd rather not have to tell my grandmother that she can't come because it's raining."

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Are All Textbooks Actually Required?

Buying and renting textbooks at the beginning of each semester is perhaps one of the most stressful and tedious aspects of college life. Before classes start, students are able to log on to their WebAdvisor account to view the list of books needed for each course and whether or not they are required or only recommended by the professor.

While The Outlook staff understands the educational value of text books, most feel that they are unnecessary.

Because the University encourages both students and faculty to utilize the various online outlets that are provided such as eCampus, where professors have the ability to upload assigned readings, The Outlook feels as though it would be a lot easier and cheaper if professors just posted all of their readings online. In fact, one editor expressed that the college textbook is irrelevant because of all of the web-based tools that exist today.

The University library also provides online databases such as Ebsco Host that make scholarly articles, journals and other publications available to students and faculty free of charge. Some of The Outlook staff believes that professors can find the same or similar information in these databases as they can in expensive textbooks.

Other editors explained that it is not the purchasing of textbooks that is troublesome; it is the amount of times the textbook is actually put to use. "I don't want to carry around 20 pounds of dead paper weight all semester," said one editor. "If we're going to use the book more than a few times then it might be worth it."

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There’s Snow Way You’re Missing Class

Spring semester seems to almost be a contradiction as we continue to be bombarded by a new snowstorm each week. It seems as though since the semester started we cannot go a week without looking out the window to watch the roads get covered in a new fresh layer of snow. While the ground ices over, students and faculty alike await to hear of the University closings and class cancellations that are delayed or never come. With a University student ratio of 50 percent on campus and 50 percent commuter, according to Vaughn Clay, here at the Outlook we believe these absent or late closings to be very dangerous.

Snowy school days for the 50 percent of students living on campus provide their own sets of issues. Even though our campus is fairly small, the residents at the University still have to make their way to the educational buildings.

An editor who lives on campus said, "It's so dangerous. I live on campus so I don't have to worry about the roads or anything but the walkways are never salted or shoveled properly and I always get nervous walking through the underpass because it gets really slippery."

For the 30 percent of students who live in off-campus housing there is always the danger of driving on the roads. A lot of students in the area live on back roads in various towns close to the University. These back roads are not always plowed and tend to freeze over into ice. It can take a few days for the different communities to salt or plow the roads that students live on, making it difficult for them to get to campus.

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Eenie Meenie Minor Mo?

For many students, a college degree implies that a person graduated with a major and plans to pursue a career in that respective field. On the other hand, The Outlook believes that a minor is a very valuable asset for a college student and encourages students to pursue one.

While the pursuit of a degree can be a difficult path, the University also leaves extra credits avaliable for students to elective courses. If you have the extra credits to be spent, why not focus it on a minor and put those credits to good use? Even if you have five open electives, that is enough to fulfill some minors offered by the University.

The Outlook thinks a minor can improve skill sets so greatly that a college student or recent graduate may be a step ahead of their competition, especially if it is complementary to their major. An example of this would be pairing a degree such as journalism/public relations with a creative writing minor. Since both concentrations require a substantial amount of writing, having a creative writing minor furthers the skills that this particular student has already been acquiring. Some editors believe that this tactic can be used in many different schools of study.

Another example would be pairing a criminal justive major with a political science minor. As a criminal justice major, a student is required to know an extensive amount about the judicial branch of government. A political science minor would increase the student's knowledge about the three branches of government by now becoming involved in the legislative branch.

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Study Time Cut Short

How can the students who study in the Murry and Leonie Guggenheim Memorial Library get their work done when library hours are not the most accessible? We, as students, all have different studying habits; some can study in loud environments undisturbed, while others need the quietness of the library in order to keep their focus. Some Outlook editors like listening to music when studying while others need silence.

We acknowledge that the library extended its hours for finals, and we are thankful to the library staff for putting in the extra effort to make these accommodations for the students. The library hours during finals are as follows: Monday through Thursday 8 am - 2 am, Friday 8 am - 1 am, Saturday 9 am - midnight, Sunday 11 am - 2 am.

The standard library hours are Monday through Thursday 8 am - midnight, Friday 8 am - 6 pm, Saturday 9 am - 5 pm and Sunday noon - midnight. We find that these hours clash with our already very busy schedules. Because of this, even early morning hours can be seen as a hassle to go to the library. At The Outlook we all agree that Friday and weekend hours need to be changed, by being extended another hour, at least.

Having the library close at 6 pm on Friday night is an inconvenience. Not everyone has the option to start the weekend early and some students like to study late at night or dedicate the weekend to their studies.

One editor said, "Fridays and Saturdays are homework nights for me. Closing so early on weekends makes me feel like such a loser for even trying to do my work then."

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Valuable Experience for a Price

Experiential education is a requirement for many majors at the University. For those students who have not studied abroad, this means working at an internship. In order for an internship to count toward the experiential education requirement on our academic audits, we have to pay for a three credit class involving proof of 120 internship hours and a final paper. However, if internships are generally unpaid work, how are we supposed to afford the cost of over $2,000 for a three credit class?

Many of the editors at The Outlook struggle with finding time to complete their internship hours while still making some kind of income. Working 120 hours at an unpaid job over a 15-week semester grants students far less time to work at a regular, paying job. Not only are we not generating income, but we're losing money due to the hefty price of college credits and travel expenses to and from our internship sites.

As for the class, some of the editors cannot understand what their tuition dollars are paying for. The course relies heavily on the hours spent at the internship sites. Some editors who have taken the class said that their class only met a few times during the semester, they do not use campus resources, and the only contact they kept with their professors was checking in via email.

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Black ... Thursday?

Thanksgiving Day celebrations should be about catching up with family members and friends who have traveled long distances for the special occasion, stuffing your faces with trays upon trays of food and lounging around watching football. The holiday should not be celebrated by standing in hour-long lines, fighting the bitter, ruthless blasts of cold wind, and racing for the last 40-inch plasma screen TV that is discounted at 50 percent off at your local Best Buy.

This holiday, stores like Kmart are turning Black Friday into "Black Thursday" with sales starting as early as 6 am on Thanksgiving Day. Kmart is allowing its customers to shop for 41 hours straight starting Thursday morning until 11 pm the next day. Kmart and other stores such as Sears, which are open from 8 pm on Thursday until 10 pm on Friday, are providing customers with the urge to ditch family members and friends just to go on a hectic shopping spree before the turkey is even out of the oven.

According to an article published in the Huffington Post on Nov. 12, Kmart has been open on Thanksgiving Day for 22 years and has been offering their regular and seasonal associates holiday pay; however, this is the first year that Kmart is not closing for a few hours before reopening for Black Friday.

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“Show me the Money!”

When does volunteer work turn into paid work? When is it morally correct to not pay someone who donates more hours a week to their student run organization than their actual paid job? The Outlook staff believes that serving as an e-board member for any media run student organization acts as a full time-job and should be paid like a full time-job.

The Outlook staff calculated that if we were to compare the amount of hours at our respective paid positions to the amount of hours we spend at The Outlook, our work would never be finished in time for the Tuesday night deadline.

It would seem appropriate if media student-run organizations would be paid minimum wage, but we do not think it would be proper to pay those who do not hold an e-board position.

If e-board members are not permitted to be paid the $7.25 per hour rate, than why doesn't being an e-board member count as an internship?

This idea is not as far-fetched as it may seem. In fact, other well known universities, such as Northwestern in IL, offer internship programs to their editors on their student-run newspaper.

While we understand that The Outlook, as well as other student-run media organizations give us credible work we can use in the future, we feel that our organization's work requires commitment that has not yet been acknowledged by the University.

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Hiding Behind the Wall of Technology

With the rise in technological use over the years, the way that we communicate has been altered. There is now a new form of communication among people, which has moved us away from face-to-face communication, and towards the new technology revolution. In addition to face-to-face communication, we are now able to speak to one another using text messages, emails and instant messaging, among many other forms of technologically advanced communication.

This new additional form of conversation can be both beneficial and detrimental to society in a number of ways. One downside is that some people have the ability to hide behind technology when communicating with others.

At one time or another, we have all done it. We have used technology to confront an issue or talk about a topic in an attempt to avoid the face-to-face awkwardness or fear.

Communication through technology creates a new form of confidence for people, allowing them to say things that they normally would never have the guts to say in person. The Outlook editors believe in many cases, this new-found confidence is not always a good thing. "If you cannot be a man, and yes this goes for women as well, and say it to my face, then don't say it at all," said one Outlook editor.

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“A” for Effort

Midterms are a very stressful time for college students. Between the normal hustle and bustle college life of balancing course work, internships, work, and extra-curricular activities, midterms apply that extra ounce of pressure that is just enough to really stress us out. However, the stress could be eased a bit if a student knows where they stand during midterms by having their grades available to them.

The easiest way to see where you stand in the class and having one place to reference your grades during the semester. That is why The Outlook staff would like to take the time to discuss why we feel it is important for professor's to give students their grades and academic feedback.

Most students feel more stress around midterms if they are unsure where they stand in their classes. This could be easily fixed through more academic feedback from professors, whether it be promptly returning papers and assignments or giving a layout for students to figure out their grades. Whether grades be handed back on paper, or through emails, it is always helpful for students to measure their success in their studying techniques and to learn from their mistakes on exams or in papers if they are given feedback quickly.

If professors give feedback to their students they can have a better understanding of what their professors are looking for in their work. It is important to understand a professor's grading style, so that students can improve their work to adjust for the class.

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Fall Break or Study Break?

Many students are still recovering from the misconception of fall break. While the term "break" implies a respite for students to go home and relax, most of The Outlook staff spent their two days of no classes writing papers and studying for midterms, which professors were required to submit by Tuesday, Oct. 22.

According to Dr. Franca Mancini, Director of Counseling and Psychological Services, fall break is scheduled in the academic calendar to give students a chance to physically and mentally recover from any stress caused by academics, extra-curricular activities or being away from home.

This stress is highest for college students at this time of year. Mancini said, "It is true, also, that requests for services tend to increase during this time of year, and we see another spike right after mid-terms, when students realistically assess where they stand in their classes. Overall, on our campus and nationwide, the number of students requesting mental health services is between 9 to 11 percent. Monmouth is no different."

The Outlook staff believes that having midterms the week following fall break was much more work than we were equipped to handle. We understand that professors have deadlines to meet as well, but some of the editors think that due dates for papers and exams could have been spread out so we had more time to prepare. While those few hours we spent in class on Thursday and Friday were now ours to spend, however, other obligations, such as work or internships did not offer us breaks.

One editor points out that fall break could just as well have been called reading days for midterms, like the University gives us before finals. Calling those two days a "break" deceived some of The Outlook staff into believing we had time to relax. Meanwhile, the homework piled up and we were faced with even more worries the following Monday than we had when we left campus.

Time management should not be a concern if the time we are given is supposed to be for relaxing, spending time with family and avoiding anything that may cause us to worry. However, if we do not manage our time wisely, we end up buried in assignments upon our return to the University.

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Breast Cancer Awareness Overload?

It is about halfway through the month of October and everyone has come to the realization that the color pink is everywhere.

As most of America can conclude, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. With a whole month dedicated to this type of cancer, it seems that everyone from Dunkin' Donuts to the NFL is in support of this cause.

Many believe that this month dedicated to awareness, has spiraled out of control and is a bit to the extreme. It seems that a month of trying to bring attention to this illness and raise money for the cause started off with good intentions but has been taken out of context and could sometimes be used as a business ploy.

The Outlook feels strongly about bringing awareness to the very serious issue of cancer. October is filled with breast cancer walks, fundraisers and wonderful events to try to find a cure for this horrific disease.

The Outlook recognizes how incredible it is that the public comes together for a month to support breast cancer; however, there are various other types of cancers that may not be as treatable as Breast Cancer and should be recognized and brought forward.

Collectively, The Outlook knows that people suffer from other cancers as well, but those forms of cancer do not receive the large amount of attention that Breast Cancer does. Another dangerous and most often terminal disease is heart disease, but it does not gain nearly the same coverage as breast cancer.

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Student Involvement? Not So Much.

Multiple clubs and organization make great efforts at hosting events on campus, but The Outlook staff believes that improvement on student attendance can be made.

We believe that one possibility can be whether the events offered on-campus are of student interest or not. This is still up for debate amongst the staff, yet we do give organizations and clubs like the Student Activities Board (SAB) credit for the way they advertise their events and push for student involvement. Email is usually the common form of how clubs and organizations reach out to students,. However, the vast majority of the student body deletes these invitations upon receiving them.

While there are certain events that occur on campus which have hosted a larger amount of students, these events usually only obtain such an audience when there is an obligation for a class or a chance for extra credit. While The Outlook staff does notice that Monmouth has a record of hosting events with large student turnouts that aren't a part of an academic commitment, like the Involvement Fair or the Fall Carnival. However most of the other events fall under the wayside with less than a couple dozen students attending.

Commuters in particular find it difficult at times to attend events on campus in their free time. Since the majority of the University's student body is made up of commuter students, we feel that events must be more commuter-friendly. With events that clash with work, class and other obligations, events on campus appear to be aimed at the small population of students already living on campus.

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Student Center Offers New Cuisine Options

Once again, the Rebecca Stafford Student Center has attempted to make changes to its dining services in hopes for more pleasurable feedback from those who visit the area. The Student Center now offers a few new options, along with a new look, and although these changes are a step in the right direction, there will always be room for improvement.

This year the Student Center brought Jersey Mike’s and Greens to Go as a few new stations to offer to the students and professional staff. While some people really enjoy these food choices, many find problems with certain aspects of the changes.

The Outlook staff favors the new station, Greens to Go because of the variety of options offered in the ‘Build it for you’ salads. In addition, the staff enjoys Jersey Mikes overall but is conscious when making a decision to buy a sub from there based on its high pricing.

One editor said, “We don’t need big name companies like Jersey Mike’s, just affordable, good food.”

Another mentioned, “...[ARAMARK] should have kept the Panini station and gotten rid of adding Jersey Mike’s because it’s overpriced.”

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iPhone Software Update iOS7: Loading...........

Three letters and one number are everywhere right now: iOS7. Oh yes, Apple released a new upgrade which has seems to have shaken our Facebook friends to the core. Yet The Outlook staff is a little skeptical about downloading the latest big thing in technology.

Sure, Apple should definitely send out upgrades every so often. They have to keep up with customers’ needs and improve their products. Yet we aren’t so sure that Apple made that many changes.

The most obvious changes are aesthetic. The layout now looks like it went to a rave and dropped some acid with a Windows phone. They changed their font, there are so many colors everywhere and the icons now appear to look flatter. Seriously, did someone take a poll where most users thought Windows or Android phones were prettier? Other aesthetic changes were made to standard apps, such as Voice Memo, Calendar and Calculator. It just seems so unnecessary.

Then we have to wonder what functions actually changed in iOS7. We have easier access to settings such as Bluetooth and WiFi via the new Control Center, which is much appreciated. The search feature was moved from pressing the home button to a downward swipe. Again, unnecessary. The iTunes Radio feature is cool, but if you have Pandora or Spotify, it wasn’t really needed. 

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New MU Website: Beauty Without the Brains

The University launched the new website in late August. Students have had mixed reactions regarding the layout and accessibility. Members of The Outlook love the layout of the website and think it has modernized the way people look at the University’s technology. The major downside that The Outlook sees with the website is accessibility.

One issue The Outlook saw was that for current students, finding common resources such as WebStudent and eCampus are very difficult. One Outlook editor said that it appeared the University tried to do too many things at once and it can be overwhelming. The Outlook staff agrees that the website will be effective in bringing in prospective students but may end up frustrating current students.

Some Outlook staff members do point out that there will be a learning curve for everyone and are sure that the campus will adjust to them in short order. Students just need to acclimate and soon enough, it will be as simple to navigate as the old site. 

One staff member does ask, “Why the sudden change?” Another editor points out that the website has a great visual appeal and could help attract more students to the University.

While there are simple tabs at the bottom, especially for current students, even under that tab it is difficult to find some of the most used programs such as eCampus.

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“With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility”

September has finally ar­rived; A month hated by some and praised by others. The smell of fresh school supplies and the ocean is in the air. Freshmen can be found everywhere on campus smiling from ear to ear, excited to start their journey while se­niors give envious stares remem­bering their first move-in day. I am guilty of being one of those envious seniors.

This month is bittersweet to me. It marks the beginning of the end but it also marks me taking over as Editor-in- Chief of The Outlook. That is the sweet part to me.

During this school year we will be welcoming our new Uni­versity President, Dr. Paul R. Brown. We will also be celebrat­ing the 80th anniversary of The Outlook. With that being said, there is much to look forward to this year.

Over my past four years at­tending the University, I have had the honor of working with a truly amazing staff that has won many prestigious awards with the most recent award being the American Scholastic Press As­sociation’s Most Outstanding Newspaper of 2013. The previ­ous staffs of The Outlook have left not big, but giant shoes for us to fill. This is something that may intimidate people and scare them away from the challenge. As for me, I am determined to make those before me proud and to make those after me remem­ber what I accomplished.

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Since When Did the Holidays Become so Expensive?

Christmas as a child used to involve Santa Claus and snow forts. At our current ages, Christmas has come to mean purchasing the most expensive present, most likely a technology-based gift, in order to show we care. The typical Christmas present is no longer a handmade craft which we give to our parents, but instead range anywhere from the iPhone to the Kindle. So what has caused the standard price for holiday gifts to raise in recent years?

There are various reasons as to why the price we spend on those we care about has increased. One thought is perhaps the price is too heavily enforced, especially in the media. Commercialism has put too much emphasis on cost and has many believing they not only want, but need, all these luxurious items.

The media also enforces the notion that quality reigns supreme. A prime example of this marketing strategy can be seen amongst jewelers nationwide. They make sure to include in commercials and advertisements that if you truly love someone, then you will buy their product as a sign of that love. It is a true shame such a special holiday has been so overtaken by commercialism.

There is another economic force at work increasing our holiday spending. The financial scapegoat is inflation, which has been affecting Americans for years. It happens every year and we as consumers cannot stop it but only contribute to it. Thus, the increased cost of a present could simply be inflation.

The theory of inflation goes handin- hand with why Cyber Monday and Black Friday have gained so much attention and marketing in these past years. When prices have been raised, but you still are on a budget, these commercially marketed days are the only ways you can stay on budget and purchase gifts your family and friends really want.

Along with these two big market days, things such as lay-away have become commonly used. Lay-away no longer creates the mindset to have money immediately but instead can be paid over a period of time.

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Thank You For Everything President Gaffney

As the school year comes to a close, some of us say goodbye to the University for good, while others simply say “see ya later.” However, this concluding school year is not only bittersweet for graduating seniors but at the end of May, President Gaffney will also be saying his final goodbye.

Even though he will be missed, he will not be forgotten. Gaffney has truly left a lasting impression during his 10 years as President. Here at The Outlook we f eel t hat he did a great job at making stu­dents feel they were important. He likes to keep the students’ best interests in mind. One ex­ample is when he chose to cancel classes before Superstorm Sandy even got close to New Jersey. He knew that students, along with the other members of the MU com­munity, had to travel to all differ­ent places to be home with their families. One editor said, “He al­ways put the students first above all else, which is rare to see in a President.”

President Gaffney was sure to make himself visible, whether it was just walking around cam­pus or an athletic event. Many of us at The Outlook remember seeing him at a football game, a basketball game or even a track meet that was three hours away in Maryland. Another editor said he met Gaffney while he was wan­dering around Bey Hall. Gaffney told him that he had just been sit­ting in the back of a random class­room observing.

Any time he passed a student organization having a fundraiser, he was sure to donate what he had in his pocket. Students could find Gaffney absolutely anywhere. A President being so present is not always common when it comes to other schools, but our University was fortunate enough to have this experience.

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The Outlook Reflects on Boston Bombing

Boston_Marathon_bombingEvery so often in our lifetime, an unspeakable tragedy strikes and impacts all of our lives in ways we never could have imagined. On Monday, April 15, 2013, several explosions occurred near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Many of us at The Outlook immediately suspected it to be a terrorist attack, but little did we know that the search for the terrorists would put the city of Boston on lockdown for a day while the heroic officers of law en­forcement worked to catch the living suspect.

Although we are all very grate­ful that the suspects were found, we at The Outlook, as well as those around the world can’t help but ask why? Why would anyone want to cause this much harm to innocent people taking part in a wonderful tradition?

It was a horrific sight to watch the videos of the explosion. See­ing people running in fear, crying out in pain and frantically search­ing for loved ones made those of us miles away want to hold our loved ones a little closer than usual. Three lives were claimed by this tragedy, including that of an 8 year-old boy that had just finished congratulating his father on completing the race. Sean Collier, a police officer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technol­ogy, also lost his life when he was gunned down late Thursday night by the two bombing suspects.

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The Importance of Graduate Assistants

As University students, most of us have come in contact with and formed friendships with the gradu­ate assistants that are employed with the departments or activities that we each choose to participate in as un­dergraduates.

In theory, these graduate students simply work at the University to help facilitate certain tasks and work to­wards their own higher education. However, does a greater purpose for these graduate assistants exist? In the midst of universities and businesses attempting to downsize their costs, how important is it for the University to employ graduate assistants?

According to The Outlook staff, graduate assistants are much more than just a face in the corner typing away at a computer or performing some mundane task. Instead, it is a give-and-take relationship in which the graduate assistant often takes the place of a teacher. Undergraduate students, who are much closer in age to the graduate students than they would be to one of their own pro­fessors, receive insight from people who were in the same position not too long ago.

It is easy to learn from a graduate student who has “been-there-done-that,” who has already entered the “real world,” has walked away from Monmouth University with a diplo­ma, and who can still be a friend and colleague.

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Rutgers Proves Money is the Root of Evil in NCAA

By now, most have surely seen the video of former Rutgers’ Men’s Bas­ketball Head Coach Mike Rice and how he would conduct his practices. Rice fired the ball at his players, pushed and shoved them, and yelled homophobic slurs at them.

The Outlook staff is disgusted by what happened. This type of behav­ior is shocking, disgraceful, inappro­priate, ridiculous and has no place in college athletics.

We can’t believe that Rutgers didn’t fire Rice when the tapes were re­viewed in December. The school knew that when this story came out it would reflect poorly on them. So all they did was give Rice a $50,000 fine and a three game sus­pension, without any explanation. In this day and age, the truth always comes out. Schools have to stop trying to sweep these things under the rug and hope they will go away.

Money has to be the explanation for the Rutgers administration refus­ing to take bigger steps. Winning and revenue appears to have taken precedence over sportsmanship and human dignity. These are student athletes, not professionals.

While yes, they are on scholarship and were some of the best basketball players in the country in high school, they are still students. College is a time to learn and grow, and that means in the classroom and on the basketball court. The players aren’t going to be able to learn and grow when they are terrified that their in­structor is going to hit them again.

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Is Constant Campus Construction a Positive or Negative?

If anyone has stepped foot onto the campus over the past year, the tall tale signs reading “Please pardon our appearance while we are under construction” signal that campus construction is still whirling in its constant motion. For most students, the pounding of hammers and blocked-off pathways have become about as customary on campus as the historic Wilson Hall. With the constant construction for the past few years, some are left wondering what there really is to improve. Even more importantly is there anything worth further correcting at this time?

Here at The Outlook, we ponder much of the same thing, and with all of us being students, the first thing brought up when the topic is presented is the matter of how will it affect costs and tuition. When The Outlook asked Patti Swannack, Vice President for Administrative Services, she assured that every year a separate construction fund is set aside in the overall budget, and that the construction, as most recently shown with the Joan and Robert Rechnitz Hall, is commonly run on donations from outside, nonstudent sources.

Although that adds a bit of security, some of us still remain a bit nervous about the possibility of spending beyond the budgeted means. All of which lead to the scare of tuition hikes, leaving some to say that the money should be withdrawn from other areas of the University in order to finish the construction.

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A New Hawk Joins the Nest

With the announcement of Pres­ident Paul Gaffney II’s retirement last year, we knew it was only a matter of time before the Univer­sity named its next president. That decision finally came on March 13, when the University named Lehigh’s current Dean of the Col­lege of Business and Economics, Dr. Paul R. Brown.

Up until this point, the only knowledge The Outlook had of Brown was based on his interac­tion with students when he visited in February. After the hiring, we were able to talk with him at great length and learn even more about him.

Our first impres­sion of him is that he is a good guy with good ambitions, but we still have a lot to learn about him.

So far, we learned that he would like to see the campus become more diverse, its space expanded, and for the school to continue to have growth in its educational programs.

All of these things sound great and would be very good improve­ments to campus. However, when we asked him what he would elim­inate he said that nothing came to mind. The Outlook would love to see him eliminate one prob­lem that has been prevalent at the University in recent years. This problem is of course the parking situation.

When he arrives, we recom­mend that he try finding a park­ing space in one of the commuter parking lots around 1:00 pm. It should make for an eye opening experience.

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Has Spring Break Calmed Down Since the Early 2000s?

Legend has it that when spring break happens, everyone gets wild and crazy. We’re supposed to travel to exotic locales with beaches and a lower legal drinking age. We’re sup­posed to spend the nights out on the town and spend our days sleeping off hangovers. That’s what MTV taught us.

The weird thing is, for most of us, spring break involves more sweat­pants than it does wet t-shirt con­tests. We’ve strayed away from the stereotypical MTV spring break for something more relaxed.

Spring break is in the middle of the semester, meaning our responsibili­ties don’t just go away. Many stu­dents have jobs that don’t follow the University’s schedule. Plenty of professors assign papers to do over break. Even when papers aren’t assigned, there is still a great deal of reading to do because professors know that we have a week off. Who has time to do keg stands when there are three papers due the week we get back?

Relaxation is what spring break is about for most of The Outlook staff. Midterms will finally be over and we can relax. Will we be sleeping in? Definitely. Wearing sweatpants? Yes, please. Watching “Boy Meets World” marathons? Absolutely. That isn’t to say that we’re all homebodies. Some of us will definitely be going out, but we’ll be going to local hang­outs to catch up with friends from our hometowns.

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Think Outside Your Major

“Get involved;” next to “you’re late,” those are arguably the two most common words for a student to hear on a college campus. We spend much of our high school career being told to get involved in order to spice up our college applications and then, once in college, we’re further told to get involved to spice up our job résumé.

We believe most students by their second year or so, can finally understand the vast importance of getting involved. But is getting involved in your own department enough? After all, we’re all Monmouth students, regardless of major.

The Communication Department offers seven different platforms for students to get involved with. All of these organizations are student-run and give students an opportunity to get hands on experience in their field before stepping foot into the dreaded ‘real world.’

Of course, the Communication Department isn’t the only department which offers hands on experience. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to find a major that doesn’t have a coinciding club, organization or extra-curricular aspect to get involved with.

Here at The Outlook, we acknowledge all the hard work our fellow students put into their fields and the passion shown for respective clubs and organizations. Bringing the news to this campus each week has pushed most of us to step outside of this sanctuary we call Plangere and take a look at what other departments are doing.

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What Does the Football Team’s Move to the Big South Mean?

Two weeks ago, the University football team split with 16 year affiliate, the Northeast Confer­ence. Now, they will head to the Big South. Overall, The Outlook is happy that the football team will now be accepted into the Big South Conference but the switch raises certain questions amongst the staff.

Although there is currently no concrete evidence to support it, The Outlook is con­cerned that the move to the Big South Conference will jeopardize the price of tuition. It is to our knowl­edge that the Big South Conference is composed of seven teams including MU. This means we would play three away games in the conference located in North Carolina, South Caro­lina, or Virginia. Geographically, the schools in the Big South Con­ference are a farther distance than the schools in the Northeast Con­ference are. It’s possible that the football team will be traveling a farther distance for an away game than they have in the past. The Outlook wonders how the Univer­sity will cover the cost of travel for away games.

Currently, the University‘s football team roster has nearly 100 student athletes. The cost to either fly or drive all of these ath­letes, as well as the coaches and other staff members, could total a large amount of money. Whether it is by plane or bus, the financial situation will be an impending is­sue.

Another factor to keep in mind when counting the numbers will be lodging. How will the Univer­sity afford lodging for all those affiliated with the football team? The Outlook a lso w onders i f t he move to The Big South will cause the University to offer more ath­letic scholarships. And if so, we are curious as to where this mon­ey will come from. We believe that we will not be able to tell how the move to the Big South Confer­ence will impact the University financially until the fall of 2014.

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A Challenge For More Faculty to Participate in The Outlook

Every week, students from a vari­ety of majors attempt to come up with story ideas, mold them into topics of interest and finally collect comments from professionals as expert sources. On top of other commitments includ­ing homework, other clubs and em­ployment, these students regularly get it done.

One of the most frustrating things for a writer is being ignored when asking a professor or staff member of the University for a comment or an interview. Here at The Outlook, we understand a busy schedule as well as anyone, but is it really that hard to email the writer back either stating you are not the best source for com­ment (It is always appreciated when someone suggests who would be.) or that you do not have the time to share your thoughts?

The Outlook does not reach out to faculty and staff members haphaz­ardly. Our writers take time to look at course selections and professor profile pages to find the best sources to par­ticipate in our articles.

One might feel it is, actually, an obligation of staff members, profes­sors in particular, to share their schol­arly knowledge with the University community and the paper. Our job as journalists is to publish facts and opinions surrounding situations and concerns that are important to our readers.

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And They Say That A HERO Could Save Us

Every year since 2007, the Uni­versity has held its Designated HERO of the Year Award Ceremo­ny, a national movement to prevent drunk driving accidents that came as a result of the death of Ensign Elliott, a May 2000 graduate of the United States Naval Academy who was killed in a head-on collision with a drunken driver on July 22, 2000.

In this ceremony, students nomi­nate themselves or someone they know and the HERO Cam­paign Group at the University chooses a win­ner. The purpose of this ceremony is to prevent tragedies that come as a result of drunk driving by awarding the usage of sober designated driv­ers.

However, is this definition of a “hero” one that is universal to those outside of a university com­munity? According to some of The Outlook staff, the meaning of a “hero” as being someone who serves as a designated driver is one that belongs to the University but could also be considered a stretch for the world at large.

To many college students, a “hero” is someone who saves girls from waiting in the cold in the Cedar parking lot as they wait for their cabs or volunteers to “take one for the team” by being the designated driver. They step up in times of need, sometimes sacrific­ing their own fun, to ensure that their friends get home safely. Rare­ly are they thanked or recognized.

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More Rooms For Residents, Less Parking for Commuters

As students, there are many things we have to deal with. Some primarily face the battle of getting work submitted on time, while others adapt to lifestyle changes the most and must bear the harsh reality of becoming an adult. However, one issue that all of us are familiar with is whether it is better to be a resident or a commuter. The University has obviously made that decision for us by choosing to build a new dorm in Parking Lot Six near the library.

Current residents may not care about this, but it does affect all of us. After all, who among us doesn’t at least have a friend who has said, “I’m late to class because I can’t park!” Beginning this spring, we’ll have 200 less parking spaces. In return, the University promises to have more bedrooms some time during 2014.

Several editors pointed out that it might be a very serious problem for students looking to use the library late at night. If library parking is deferred to the Woods Theater lot, then, if students are at the library late at night, it could be a daunting experience to walk that distance at that hour.

Moreover, this could cause serious overcrowding of the Woods Theater lot during the day, meaning students who have class in there may have to park far away and race across the entire campus.

In addition to Lot Six being one of the few commuter lots on the north end of campus, students have been complaining almost non-stop throughout the entire semester about a lack of parking during certain times. Despite the valet parking service, many students find themselves consistently running late, due to the inability to find places to park. One editor points out that if it weren’t for being an honors student and thus having the ability to park in the honors lot, he might have needed to rearrange his schedule.

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Hurricane Sandy Causes Professors to Revamp Finals

Since the closing of the University due to Hurricane Sandy, students have been running around like well-educated chickens with their heads cut off to figure out what assignments are due and how to catch up on over a week’s worth of course work. To further add to the disorganization of the revised syllabi and new due dates, students now have to deal with a change in the schedule for finals week.

President Gaffney sent a campus-wide email saying faculty members must schedule exams or examlike exercises before the semester ends on December 21. He also said that if take home final exams are used classes still must be held during the final examination week. This last week thereby meets the 15 week federal requirement.

The opinion of most of The Outlook editors is that the course work they were given at the beginning of the semester is not going to change. Very few professors altered the content of their syllabi due to the storm. Most due dates were adjusted accordingly, but most likely there will still be as many exams as there would have been without the storm.

Overall, the amount of work has not changed, but some students are confused as to what they have to do for their individual classes. Students are used to basing whether or not they have to go to class the last week of the semester on the exams they have to take. This year, both students and faculty members will have to adjust accordingly in order to be prepared for finals week.

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Hawks Mend A Broken Wing

It has now been two weeks since Hurricane Sandy made her way through the tri-state area, leaving nothing but a trail of destruction in her path.

The high winds caused trees to fall and power to go out while the ocean surged and made its way onto land.

A week and a half of classes and many other campus happenings, were cancelled due to the storm, including two issues of the weekly Outlook. In this time, many Jersey shore communities were changed forever. Never before has a storm of Sandy’s magnitude shaken the foundation of so many different towns.

 The Long Branch boardwalk and Pier Village was greatly damaged, parts of the Seaside Heights boardwalk are now in the Atlantic Ocean, huge trees fell, and the ocean met the bay down in Long Beach Island.

There are students and faculty members whose lives were directly affected by this storm. Some may not even be back to classes for a while depending on their situation.

In these hard times, it is important that we all remember one message, a message President Gaffney constantly passes on to the students; take care of each other.

While students were gone, the University served its community the best way it could. The MAC was offered as a shelter and it went on to be the biggest shelter in the area. Now that we are all back on campus, it’s time that we do our best to serve and look after everyone involved in the campus community.

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When it Comes to Midterm Grades, Some Professors Fail

Remember the days before college when you had to worry about report cards being sent to your house? You would get home everyday, a nervous wreck, wondering if your parents knew about the D you had in geometry. Well, those days are long gone. The only updates we get nowadays are the midterm grades halfway into the semester.

The Outlook staff thinks that midterm grades are for the most part, pointless. Some professors don’t have enough grades to give you a real idea of how you are doing in the class.

If you only have one or two grades so far in the semester, what does the midterm grade really mean? It just tells you how you did on your first exam and a paper. If the class only has one grade, does the result of a single multiple-choice test really explain how you are grasping the material?

 Midterm grades also don’t factor in attendance and participation. If you are the type of person who attends all of your classes and actively raises your hand, your final grade is going to be a lot higher than the letter you receive from WebAdvisor.

Many professors downplay the importance of these grades we receive in the middle of the semester. Some give lower grades to keep the students working hard, while others tell their students that the grade is meaningless. Other instructors have said that showing improvement throughout the semester could change the weight of our grades, having things later in the semester become more significant than originally planned. If our instructors see the grades as a joke, why shouldn’t we?

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A Fall Break From Classes...Not Campus

The days leading up to fall break are supposed to be a time for some last minute studying for midterms or finishing papers so that no work has to be done over break. Unfortunately, too many students find themselves stressing over getting everything packed in time, how they are going to get home, and accommodations they may need if they are unable to get home.

In some cases, students also find themselves worrying about how to move out at the end of the semester while still getting to their exams on time.

Under Monmouth’s current policy, students are required to vacate campus at a certain time regardless of whether or not they have class or exams, and this tends to put pressure on a lot of students. Although the university does give students the option of requesting longer stay, the required paperwork is an unnecessary hassle.

The Outlook staff suggests that students be given at least two days after all exams end to move their things out at the end of the semester. During fall break, students should have the option of staying on campus without filling out forms. Mandating students to go home for fall break is unnecessary and inconvenient in some cases. Everyone has a different work load, schedule, and priority demand. Therefore, more flexibility should be allotted to students in regards to if or when they must leave campus.

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Keep Calm and Stick Around

If you were to go the University’s main page, glide your mouse pointer over to the campus life tab and scroll on down about three quarters of the way, you would come across something called the Student Activities Calendar. This well-put-together PDF file contains enough information to keep you busy every weekend from week one of the semester all the way up into the final week of class December.

But despite the numerous events planned out for the student body, why does it still seem that majority of students go home once Friday rolls around?

A suitcase school is a term used to describe a college or university at which students frequently travel home on weekends, creating a lack of involvement and a “ghost town” like environment. Does this sound like Monmouth?

The Student Activities Board and Student Government Association are constantly organizing events around campus, but if you’ve ever gone to these events you’d notice a small turnout and an overall lack of involvement. Who is to blame for this?

More often than not, we hear students quote the famous excuse, “Well I had no idea that was going on, I would have gone if I knew.” To that there is really only one response: read your email! SAB puts up flyers around campus for events all the time, as well as e-mailing students of upcoming events for the week. How else does one expect to find out about campus events? What more effective means is there of reaching the students? Do they expect a knock on their door in their dorm and a personal escort? We, the students have to make the effort.

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Every Vote Counts...Even Ones by College Students

The Presidential Election taking place in November of 2012 is the result of events that happened almost 225 years ago. Countries around the world fight for the right to vote. This is a right, The Outlook staff, believes is taken for granted by the college student community.

Most of staff believes that voting is something every eligible person should participate in. The staff believes college students are the next generation to enter the work force and should vote for who will do the best job so that all of us have jobs once our education at the University is completed.

This election even affects some of us now. Students should be paying attention to the people who decide how much money we can have for school. College kids can absolutely affect this election, but probably not more so than any other specific group.

Candidates can get college kids attention by talking more about issues that affect us more immediately, like student loan reforms. A major issue over the summer was student loan interest rates and this problem was eventually resolved but what will stop it from coming up again. Student issues will continue to be ignored if students do not get out and vote.

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If I Could Just Find A Parking Spot...

Finding parking in the non-residential parking lots 13, 14 and 18 and lot 25 can be hard on a weekday, but so far this year the added parking valets have caused more chaos than years before.

The valets have increased traffic in the parking lots. Many of us have been commuters for several years, and believe that the parking has never been this much of a hassle, especially at early class times.

After 8:30 am classes, finding a parking spot is close to impossible. An editor said he had difficulty trying to find a space for a 10:00 am class, while in past years it was never an issue. Parking should not be filled that early in the day considering classes run from 8:30 am to 10:05 pm.

One of the editors explains that she had to drive around for 20 minutes just to find a spot. She is not the first person who had to waste that much time trying to find a place to park. Another editor said that she specifically left extra early before class to find a parking spot but still found herself driving around the lot for a longer period of time.

However, there are faculty members who also park in non-residential lots and they too have experienced difficulty parking. Robert Scott, a Communications Professor had his keys locked in his car due to a parking valet.

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Challenge Accepted

As the days are getting shorter, the weather getting cooler, and the leaves beginning to change, a new academic year is upon us. With the start of the new semester comes the promise of a fresh start and new challenges.

General George S. Patton once said “Accept the challenges so that you may feel the exhilaration of victory.” It is this feeling of success and accomplishment that we all try to reach.

Challenges are faced by everyone--from a first year student all the way to the University’s administration.

Each year, the University challenges itself to be the best university it can be. Whether it’s making meal swipes available in more buildings for students or completely remodeling academic buildings, the administration is always striving to be better.

This year is going to be President Gaffney’s last as president of the University, and now the administration has the challenge of finding a replacement to fill the big shoes he is going to leave behind.

The class of 2012 has to overcome the challenge of succeeding in their respective fields and beginning the next chapter of their lives, as the class of 2013 most likely does not want this current chapter to end.

I know I’m not ready for college to end, so instead I’ll embrace the tests and challenges that will come my way in my senior year.

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Outlook Responds to Provost’s E-mail

In response to the campuswide e-mail sent by Provost Thomas Pearson last Wednesday requesting a correction to the story titled, “New Physician’s Assistant Program Underway,” The Outlookwould 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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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