Tue10172017

Last updateWed, 11 Oct 2017 3pm

Editorial

The Outlook Editorial Board Discusses Gun Control in the Nation

Following the Las Vegas shooting on Oct. 1, gun control legislation has once again come into the spotlight.

The mass shooting, which took place during a Jason Aldean performance at the Route 91 Harvest Festival on the Las Vegas Strip, left 58 people dead and 489 injured. The devastation occurred in a period of less than ten minutes, according to police.

The shooter, Stephen Paddock of Mesquite, NV, had fired hundreds of rounds from the 32nd floor of the nearby Mandalay Bay hotel, and allegedly had stockpiled 23 weapons, as well as attachments such as bump fire stocks which allowed him to increase the speed at which he fired.  Police also found that he had set up cameras in the hotel corridors near his room, presumably to monitor those who might be approaching.

The backlash after the shooting was immediate. However, as more details came out about the quantity of the weapons, and the types of guns – including AR-15 variants and Kalashnikov rifles – debate began to focus on the specific weaponry used, and the general broad parameters of gun laws.

“I definitely think gun control is too broad,” said one Outlook editor. “There is more that should be done, and I think that is evident in the recent tragedies in the past years that have involved guns. There should be stricter gun laws, making it difficult to obtain a gun, or at least a very extensive process to get one.”

“I think they should be stricter on the types of guns that one can purchase,” added another editor. “Sure, people have the right to have a gun for protection, but they shouldn’t need something unnecessarily powerful.”

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Has Parking Improved?

Over the years, commuter students have sometimes questioned what the University has done to improve parking, and what they have done to make sure all students are able to arrive to classes safely and in a timely manner.

While the efforts to do this have not gone unnoticed, students today are asking whether they have done enough, and some are finding it more difficult than ever to find a spot and make it to classes on time.

    “Parking has gotten worse from my first year at Monmouth to particularly this year,” said one editor. “It seems that even if you’re a half hour early to class you’re still stuck driving around the parking lot.”

 Another editor said, “This is my senior year and the parking is worse than I’ve ever seen it. I don’t know if it’s increasing class sizes or what, but its way more crowded.”

 One editor said, “In my first two years at Monmouth, the only time I had a problem finding a parking spot was on Mondays at Monmouth, but now it feels like every day is Mondays at Monmouth.”

Students who have never had any issue with attendance have now been late to their classes, despite arriving to the campus early. “For a night class last year, I was driving around the parking lot for a half hour and was a half hour late to class because of it,” said one editor.

Another said, “Several times I have been on campus half an hour before class and I ended up being half an hour late to class because of looking for a parking spot.”

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Editors Talk Title IX Changes

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has recently announced that the Department would be making significant changes to past Title IX guidelines and how schools investigate and process cases of sexual misconduct by removing the Obama-era 2011 “Dear Colleague” letter.

Editor’s at The Outlook had varying opinions on whether this change is necessary, talked of the importance of Title IX and what it means to current college students, both men and women alike, and also commented on whether the University is doing enough to protect their students from gender discrimination and sexual misconduct.

One editor spoke of the importance of Title IX in schools, and said “I think it’s important because Title IX covers more than just assault - it also assures that there will be no gender-based discrimination, which I think is really important.”

“I think that there is not enough done, generally, when it comes to sexual assault/misconduct, but that’s more than just a Title IX issue - that’s just a general part of the legal system that needs to be worked on. Overall, I think Title IX does what it is supposed to do,” the staffer continued.

Another editor felt that past Title IX guidelines should not be altered; however, it is possible that the current guidelines don’t do enough to protect the accused.

“In some cases, the accused may not be given fair trial, and while assault cases are often emotional and difficult, the accused also deserves a fair trial,” the editor said.

“Also, if the survivors can get an even better chance of being protected with new guidelines, then so be it. However, with past comments from the President himself on sexual assault and other statements from those in his administration, I don’t think that DeVos will do anything to protect survivors,” he/she continued.

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Technology in the Classroom

The use of electronics in classrooms seems to be an ever-evolving topic – whether laptops are helpful or distracting; whether students take notes better if they write or type them. If a student is distracted on their computer, is it their choice as to whether they want to waste class time, or does it distract other students?

Most professors seem to have banned phones easily enough, with almost all syllabi banning them from class use, but sometimes computers, laptops, and tablets are a more complicated matter, since they can be used both positively and negatively. Further difficulties arise when every professor seems to have their own policy on the matter.

“Most of my professors this semester have banned technology,” said one editor. “Four of them are communication professors, and I think that that’s a department that is a lot stricter with electronics lately.”

Lorna Schmidt, a professor in the communication department and director of advising at the University, offered up several possible reasons as to why electronic devices may be banned. “Most of the classes are interactive, really face-to-face interactive,” she explained. “We don’t want people distracted by technology. Facebook is always there, there’s the little notifications popping up – it can be distracting.”

Schmidt’s own policies mostly ban electronic devices, unless students have a specific need for them, such as researching a topic or doing group work. She also highlighted another issue – that even when students are using computers for academic use, some students who type slowly or can’t type without looking at the keyboard can be distracted by that, and in some cases, students are irritated by the sounds of keys clacking.

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Time for Change

There’s something unnerving yet exciting about starting a new school year.

For those who are just starting out, get ready for one of the most transformative experiences of your lives…no pressure.

A new school year brings new opportunities for involvement and growth.

It is a chance to be the person you’ve always hoped you’d be, and there is something nerve-wracking but ultimately beautiful in that.

Sure, there’s always the fear of letting yourself down and realizing that maybe you weren’t as good at something as you thought you were.

But the anticipation of new experiences and the idea that maybe this year will be your year, far outweighs the negative, at least, in my opinion.

This school year, there will be challenges for many, including myself.

 I have always been enchanted with the idea that I have another year of school to improve myself.

Having another year to face new challenges, accomplish new goals, and see the growth that I had hoped I would see has been one of the highlights of my time here.

But this year is different; it is different because it is my last one.

As a senior, I am seeing that no longer will I have the same opportunities that this University has given me in the past.

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Welcome to the Family, Prospective Student…

Dear Prospective Student:

We, The Outlook Staff, want to welcome you to what could be the most incredible college experience in your lifetime. Deciding to go to Monmouth University will be the greatest life decision you make; trust us, we know from experience.

There is so much to love about being an MU student. It’s impossible to share with you every single thing that we cherish on this campus, but we can try. You’ve heard the commercials and we’re sure you have heard about how we are located right by the beach and have a to-die-for, beautiful campus (#7 on Buzzfeed’s Top 25 Most Beautiful Campuses in the World in 2015), but it doesn’t mean anything until you actually step foot on campus.

One editor claimed, “I immediately fell in love with the campus. It was close to the beach, it was beautiful, and everyone seemed so happy and nice. I knew that this was undoubtedly the place I needed to go to.”

Another editor added, “It isn’t just that you can sit on the beach and relax when it’s warm. There are a lot of good places to eat that are on the beach and you can also walk the boardwalk when it’s nice out near Pier Village and get ice cream at Strollo’s Lighthouse. There’s the typical stuff to do like most towns, but the beach as an everyday view is an added bonus.”

Besides what surrounds the campus, the campus itself is an absolute joy to be on as well. Some of our favorite buildings on campus are the OceanFirst Bank Center, Jules L. Plangere Center, and Wilson Hall. You tend to fall in love with the building you are in the most. For most editors, that means the Jules L. Plangere Center, which is the building for communication studies.

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Reporting on Sexual Assault

It is uncomfortable and almost unspeakable, but we have to talk about sexual assault on campus. According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, 1 in 5 college women and 1 in 16 college men who have likely been a victim of some form of sexual assault.

The Outlook Staff weighs in to discuss the awareness of sexual assault on campus and the impact it has had as April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. This semester the Monmouth University Police Department (MUPD) stated that they have received two reports of sexual misconduct and one report of sexual assault on campus. However, many editors believe that there are more sexual assaults and misconducts on campus and off campus that go unreported.

One editor brought up the statistic that The Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) provided: only 20 percent of sexual assault cases are reported on college campuses. According to the University site, “Many victims do not report because they are afraid of what others may say or think. They feel like what happened is their fault because they were drinking or they went someplace they had been warned could be dangerous.”

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‘Tech’ Your Gadgets at the Door

Particles of chalk dust in the air and textbooks covered with Book Sox’s on rows of desks have become a distant memory of the typical classroom for many college students. Chalkboards have been replaced by projectors and the need for lugging heavy textbooks across campus is no longer necessary with the endless information available on smartphones and tablets. The ubiquitous nature of technology has begun to spark much debate on the integration of these devices within the classroom.

Both educators and students are torn between the restrictions and benefits that device usage will bring to the classroom experience. Technology has impacted every facet of our everyday lives including the ways in which we gain and process knowledge.

The use of PowerPoint presentations, conducting research online about course material, efficient note taking, and the ability to connect and collaborate with fellow classmates on assignments outside of the classroom were seen as beneficial aspects of technology use within the classroom by editors.

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Hawks Should Soar Beyond the Classroom Door

Getting involved on campus is a phrase that has been drilled into our minds since orientation, but it can truly make a huge difference in your college experience. Joining organizations that coincide with your major provide hands on experiences, one-on-one mentorship, and networking opportunities.

As college students, we all wonder what we can do to stand out in our resume in the hopes of being hired for an internship or career. Increasing our education outside of the classroom is an effective way to expand networks, gain new skills and experiences, and learn from others, whether it be attending events on campus or venturing out to a conference.

One editor reflected on a time that The Outlook provided him with an opportunity to write an article to be printed in a newspaper in another state. After interning for the Asbury Park Press over the summer, a journalist recognized him from his attendance at every Monmouth football and basketball game. This journalist reached out to the editor and gave him the opportunity to cover a game in Mississippi.

“He was looking for a story around 400 words focusing on Ole Miss by 10 p.m. EST. I told him that I would make it happen,” said the editor. “This was a really good experience that would not have happened if all I did was go to class.”

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A Welcome Letter to Our President

Dear President Grey Dimenna,

As you know, Monmouth University is a wonderful place. The University itself has been thriving recently and we feel that you are returning at an ideal time to continue that legacy. Your previous 21 years of experience and your familiarity with the school will certainly be beneficial in your new role and we look forward to working with you during your time as Interim President.

Monmouth’s campus is constantly improving with various new initiatives, and we have faith that you will continue to help us on our path to success. We are hopeful that you will continue to lead Monmouth in the right direction and aid in the growth of the University.

While there are certainly positives about the current state of the University, there are is always room for improvement. We hope that you listen to student voices and ensure that any pertinent issues are addressed ethically.

We hope that you will put your best foot forward in leading Monmouth in the right direction as far as quality of education, community interactions, and fostering creativity for every single student.

We hope that you continue to promote inclusiveness of all ethnicities, races, and genders represented throughout the student body on campus, and we think that you will do a wonderful job since you are no stranger to Monmouth University and our evolving campus culture.

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How Green is MU?

As more and more universities pledge to ‘go green’ in an attempt to save the environment, not much is known about Monmouth’s eco-friendly initiatives.

While sustainability on campus is not usually a major deciding factor when it comes to incoming students, people certainly desire a college that puts forth an effort with regard to recycling and conservation. Much like investing in a quality education, eco-friendly initiatives show prospective and current students, alumni, and parents that the University is making an investment in the Earth’s future.

The Outlook staff believes that MU’s green initiatives are rather mysterious, and no one really understands the process.

“I don’t really know that much about the recycling process at Monmouth, because I haven’t asked or really ever heard anyone talk about it,” said one editor.

Many editors recall seeing the trash and recycling bins being thrown into the same bag when the janitors arrive to discard it.

“It’s obvious that we have different places to throw trash and recycling because they’re usually labeled,” another editor said. “But when the trash is being taken out, I’ve seen both garbage and recycling cans be dumped into the same larger garbage can. So, basically, it’s undoing the purpose of having somewhere to throw trash and somewhere to recycle.”

Other universities around the nation are introducing new initiatives such as campus-wide bans on plastic bags, community gardens, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified buildings, and green cleaning programs.

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Contact Information

CAMPUS LOCATION
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and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

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The Outlook
Monmouth University
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07764

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151
Email: outlook@monmouth.edu