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Last updateWed, 18 Oct 2017 8am

Editorial

Volume 90 (Fall 2017 - Spring 2018)

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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