Mon10162017

Last updateWed, 11 Oct 2017 3pm

Editorial

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.

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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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Changing Your Outlook

As a student-run newspaper, The Outlook staff serves as the University’s watchdog. Constantly, we are on the lookout for breaking news and sometimes, news that some individuals would rather us not know about. The Outlook strives to bring problems to light that the University may not even know exist. Serving as a platform for students to voice these concerns is a unique asset to have by giving the University the ability to look into where students are saying needs improvement. Once our paper comes out Wednesday mornings, our work is still ongoing, as we are midway through the following week’s articles and tracking down sources crucial to the stories.

There have been multiple occasions throughout the past academic year where stories we have published have initiated responses on campus; these have brought a mix of both positive and negative reactions. Some of these examples include editorials about improving campus technology as well as the need to extinguish Affirmative Action. Although our editorials may have been criticized by several University members, one thing is for certain: we stood up for something.

As far as news goes, we’re including just a few examples. We encouraged the administration to choose to build the new residence hall for sophomores rather than freshmen. In light of reports that a University student was assaulted earlier this semester, the University is now increasing the frequency of ‘Hawk Alerts’ to ensure safety across the campus community. When a reporter introduced the changes with Aramark that led to students’ strong disapproval, the dining service also began reforming their options.

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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