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Last updateTue, 20 Jun 2017 11pm

Editorial

Volume 85 (Fall 2013 - Spring 2014)

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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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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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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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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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