Thu10192017

Last updateWed, 18 Oct 2017 8am

Editorial

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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Contact Information

CAMPUS LOCATION
The Outlook
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and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
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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