Thu10192017

Last updateWed, 18 Oct 2017 8am

Editorial

“Major” Stereotypes

We’ve all heard them, the choruses of, “Oh you’re a history major? That means you’re going to be a teacher, right?” or, “Communication majors have it so easy.” Many students do not realize that when they declare a major they are also signing themselves up for three to four years worth of stereotyping. These falsities can not only deter students from declaring certain majors, but they can also take a toll on the self-esteem of those who already have.

The Outlook staff agreed that while the humanities tend to get the worst of it, every major is subjected to some kind of stereotyping. Psychology majors are said to be constantly analyzing everyone, business majors are said to be “in it for the money,” and political science majors who do not pursue law school are said to be bound for minimum wage jobs. One editor said, “People say to communication majors things like, ‘You know how to talk to people.’  Art majors are stereotyped as pursuing a passion rather than a career and not getting jobs, or if they do get a job, it won’t be high-paying. English majors are stereotyped as only reading for all homework assignments.  History majors are stereotyped as only being teachers or working at museums.’” Another editor noted that math majors get “hit with some tough stereotypes, such as the thick-rimmed, number-crunching nerd idea.”

Several staff members hold passionate feelings regarding the unfair stereotyping of communication majors. One editor said it is extremely irritating when they hear people saying that students who declare communication as their major do it because it is easy or because they “like to communicate.” The editor said, “People assume that communication is a joke but that could not be farther from the truth,” said a staff member. “There is a lot of work and research and time involved in being a comm major and that’s why it annoys me so much to hear people judge us in that way.”

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What Really Matters: GPA or Activities?

As spring graduation approaches and summer comes around, Monmouth University students will begin to apply for careers and internships. They will stock their resume with every job and leadership position they have ever held, but is this what companies truly look at? While a high school GPA helped colleges decide whether they were going to accept a student or give them a scholarship, the same cannot be said in the real world.

“GPA and extra-curricular activities are just two factors, in addition to other things, that employers consider when reviewing candidates for employment,” said Assistant Dean for Career Services William Hill.

He also noted that while a GPA is important, extra-curricular activities may increase the chances of getting hired. “A student who was president of a club related to their major or career might get greater consideration over another candidate with a slightly higher GPA, all things being equal. In general, which one is given more weight may very well depend on the job for which the candidate is being considered.”

Many Outlook editors agree with Hill’s statement as most believe internships and experience outweigh a GPA. 

Furthermore, The Outlook editors who have held previous internships recalled that most of these companies did not even ask for their GPA’s. These companies received an employee’s GPA through the transcript, if it was asked for; however, most editors noted that during their interview, their employer had their resume in front of them, not their transcript. Although the staff’s previous employers did not ask for their GPA’s, this does not necessarily mean that others will follow suit. 

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What’s Really “New” About Messages in the News?

Between breaking news, developing stories and exclusive interviews, there is no shortage of captivating reports in today’s news media. While some news outlets are focused on facts, others have not so subtle agendas (Fox and MSNBC, we’re looking at you.) 

Regardless of intent, the American news feed has been rife with stories both heartwarming and heartbreaking in the past six months. Members of The Outlook’s editorial board stopped to reflect on these moments, as well as think about the future and what may be in store.

“There is so much sadness and hate in this world that the news is almost always awful,” said one editor. The staffer continued, “There have been plenty of tragic news stories that have struck a chord with me, but one of the more recent ones which I feel like not a lot of people had even heard of was about the older couple who met someone from Craigslist responding to their ad for an old car.” 

The tragedy of course ended with the couple’s murder and the police’s inability to find their bodies for several days. “I feel like the more personal stories, like this one, affect me more because I tend to picture myself in the shoes of the family of the victim(s),” the editor added.

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Snow Cancellations: Better to be Safe than Sorry

The start of the semester comes hand-in-hand with the brunt of winter. After a month home, students return from winter break with a fresh semester to look forward to; but there is one problem – treacherous weather conditions are at their peak when students return to Monmouth. 

Last year’s spring semester started off quite similarly to this year’s. Snow hit the ground right away the second week back, leaving cancellations late Monday into Tuesday. Last week’s second snowstorm brought cancellations for late Monday classes yet again. Especially in comparison to last year, The Outlook feels the University has been proactive by making early calls for cancellations to be in the best interest of safe traveling for students and faculty.

Since the weather is changeable, one editor pointed out the reason for Monmouth to consider snow cancellations: “NJ is known for being a flat state and our school’s location is right on the shore so many people have shore cars like mustangs, PT cruisers, and VW bugs. MU has to take in the fact that we are not equipped for rough weather into consideration and also, that a lot of people will be driving over 15 minutes to school which may cause accidents during a snow fall.”

While meteorologists try their best to predict large snowstorms ahead of time, the exact weather patterns will usually remain rather uncertain. For example, the blizzard predicted the final week of January did not hit as hard as expected in many areas. “With the blizzard, the University decided to cancel before the storm arrived. This was a smart decision because it allowed students to make appropriate arrangements and for professors to adjust their classes accordingly,” another editor said.

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New “Outlook” on the Spring Semester

Following the food comas from Thanksgiving and winter breaks, students are ushered into a new year, and shortly thereafter, a new semester. In an attempt to readjust to the academic lifestyle, The Outlook assessed the benefits and disadvantages accompanying the start of the spring semester.

The Outlook was decidedly split on favoring the transition back into school from winter or summer breaks. Some editors preferred returning to school after winter break, as one editor noted, “I find coming back from winter break much easier, since we didn’t have nearly as much time off and I’m coming back to the same room and the same people, which isn’t always true for fall semester.”

Another staffer said that returning after winter break is favorable because most of the big issues are already taken care of. He said, “I don’t feel as worried [returning after winter break]. I’m not running around going ‘Do I have all my books? Did I get all the eCampus notes? Did I remember to pay my tuition? Does this coat make me look pretentious?’ All that stuff’s been taken care of by January.”

On the other side of the spectrum, some editors appreciate the return to school after summer break as it leaves them feeling refreshed, refocused and ready to begin a new academic workload. One contributor said, “The weather is also much nicer in September which makes coming back to school easier.” 

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The Holiday ‘Outlook’

As the holiday season is rapidly approaching, Monmouth students are doing their best to find Christmas cheer despite the finals that loom ahead. The Outlook agreed that while the University makes a solid attempt at spreading holiday joy, it is largely limited to certain areas on campus.

The campus’ centerpiece, Wilson Hall, is the focal point for decorations. The editors agreed that MU staff and faculty put the most time and effort into the Wilson displays, noting the variety of Christmas trees and lights throughout the building.

One editor said, “Only in Wilson Hall or in Plangere when Santa is taking pictures does the campus feel truly festive.” The ‘Christmas Sticks’ that line the entrance by the Dining Hall also add a dash of holiday festiveness. Another editor also appreciated the holiday themed drinks at Java City.

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Does MU Fall “Flat” in Cleaning Construction?

The construction of the University’s latest building, Pozycki Hall, has inconveniently stripped students of a vast majority of parking spaces – that is old news. Now, however, another problem caused by the site has come into question by The Outlook: car problems potentially caused by inadequate clean-up of the construction.

Just last week, one editor noticed she received a flat tire just after parking in the Bey Hall. After driving less than one mile from her off-campus rental through the Bey parking lot then to the Plangere lot, the flat was first noticed. After getting the car assessed, it was determined that a nail was the cause. She had to shell out an inconvenient $150 payment for a brand new tire.

The Outlook feels there is a likelihood that the nail may have come from the on-campus construction, given the short amount of time it took to get from the house to the parking lot. This occurrence was the first flat tire that the staff has considered to be a possible result of the new building’s construction.

The Outlook agreed that because the construction site’s proximity to the parking lot, it does at least have potential to cause flats. As one editor said, “The construction site is so close to the parking lot that any nail or some other type of metal can easily fly out onto the lot.” Thus, that could explain the mysterious nail that ended up popping the editor’s tire within such a short distance.

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‘Tis the Season of Papers and Exams

With just over four weeks remaining in the semester, the season of final examinations and multiple page-long research papers is amongst us.

Do students effectively utilize University resources like the library and the Writing Center to prepare for final assignments?

The Outlook editorial staff was conflicted on the effectiveness of student use of educational services, saying the library, in particular, is not used to its fullest potential, albeit for a myriad of reasons.

One staff member said, "The library is used by off-campus, older students and mandatory classes effectively, but people could use the resources more." Professors often schedule research days, which for some are the only time they are exposed to the library.

Another editor added, "I have only used the library to study or do homework a total of three times, two of them being when my professors required the class to go to learn how to use the online database."

On the contrary, one editor noted that the library "is a quiet place to go when you need to study or write a paper. Everyone around you is working too, which provides a great atmosphere to work in."

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Extra Credit Assignment: Getting to Know Your Professors

One of the many changes students experience during the transition from high school to college is the relationship between students and teachers, or sometimes, lack thereof. Students become used to the close relationships they have with teachers in high school and are suddenly thrown into the world of college, where classes tend to be so large that students become nothing more than a number. Small colleges such as the University, however, often pride themselves in offering smaller classes and deeper student-teacher relationships.

The Outlook staff feels that the University generally fulfills its promise of close, one-on-one relationships between students and their professors.

The staff unanimously agrees that due to the University's small class sizes students and professors are able to really get to know each other. "Because the University is small, it's easy to develop relationships," noted one editor. "The student isn't just a number; they can work one-on-one with the professor to get help and get to know them."

Another editor explained that he was shocked when he came to college and found that some professors even give out their personal cell phone numbers so that students can reach them if necessary.

The Outlook staff noted several ways that the close relationships they have experienced with professors at the University are beneficial. Professors have not only assisted in picking good classes, but have also helped students with internship and career advice.

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Sometimes, Size Does Matter

Hitting the gym is a respected habit among college students. Whether your dedication ranges from going every single day to just once a week, getting or staying fit is the common goal. However, what if reaching this goal is unattainable? The little spare time you do have to dedicate to a work out could be wiped out by annoying crowding at peak times.

The Outlook feels as though the Multipurpose Activity Center gym facility is not an appropriate size to accommodate all of the people at the University.

While the gym is sanitary and machines are maintained, there are less than ten treadmills and ellipticals, six bikes, and just three stair masters. There is only one of each specific weight machine . Editors have come to the consensus that the gym follows quality but unfortunately, not quantity.

Since, according to Monmouth.edu, the main gym membership is offered to outsiders for $500 a a year, open free to employees and discounted for alumni, overcrowding is pretty much unavoidable. The number of machines simply does not fit with the thousands that make up the student body, on top of these other groups.

Editors who have used the main gym have all had to wait to use a machine before. This is common, most often with the cardio machines, when there are no others open. So, you are either twiddling your thumbs waiting to catch the next elliptical, or using a machine you had not intended to. This cuts into valuable work-out time.

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MU’s Internship Program: Good or Bad?

Internships play a huge part in a college student's life. They can help you learn more about the inner workings of your desired career choice, they can help you network, and they can help you with further opportunities in your field. Whether paid or unpaid, students use internships as a stepping-stone to their future jobs.

Internships help students get a jump-start into working as well. While some internships will have students sitting at a desk the entire time, some internships will send students out and have them experience the reality of the job. This usually depends on your major. Even after students graduate, some take on another internship first, to get more of a feel for the job they will spend the rest of their lives doing. However, do college students really benefit from the internship experiences and do they believe the school helps them with this?

The Outlook staff believes internships, in general, are absolutely beneficial to students, but you must do the research on them beforehand. Multiple editors explained, though, that they were stuck in one, even two internships that did not aide to their majors at all. One editor even said he was ridiculed and insulted during his internship, and had to quit.

The staff noted that they appreciated the University sending emails and updating posts about internship opportunities. Some editors joined their department's internship group on Facebook and found internships through there. Regarding how the school and professors handle the internship program, though, the editors had split opinions.

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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