Tue10172017

Last updateWed, 11 Oct 2017 3pm

Editorial

The Perks of Getting Involved

"Make sure to get involved!" Any student who has attended college for even a minimal amount of time has certainly heard this phrase or similar variations of it.

Whether it's parents, faculty, or peers, from the moment they commit to a school, college students are encouraged to get involved on campus by joining clubs and organizations. Enriching the college experience, meeting new people, and gaining skills or knowledge are the typical reasons to get involved. However, does this advice hold true, and are the benefits of getting involved all they're cracked up to be?

The Outlook staff overwhelmingly agrees with the importance of getting involved in extra-curricular activities, and believes the typical benefits are unquestionable.

The staff unanimously noted that they've developed life-long friendships and relationships through the clubs and organizations they're apart of on campus. One editor said, "I've made some awesome friends that I probably wouldn't have met otherwise. It allowed me to branch out and truly make relationships with people."

Gaining real life experience and skill building are also benefits mentioned by the majority of The Outlook staff. Several of the editors were quick to point out that they've gained invaluable experience in areas such as leadership and teamwork by getting involved with different groups on campus, and that this experience will help them after graduation. One editor referred to her involvement in her sorority as an example. "I've gained leadership experience from being on my sorority's executive board, and have also acquired important professional skills for my future."

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College Campuses Stress the Workload

Post-secondary education is often the first taste individuals have for assuming the roles as an adult. Whether a community college, 4-year institution or other, after high school, students are beginning to assume roles of greater significance. But, are these new roles the cause of greater stress and mental illness among students?

The Outlook believes that through the requirements and demands of colleges and universities on students, the post-secondary education system has essentially created factories tasked with creating stressed individuals. Classroom prerequisites, club and social obligations and more combine to make for higher levels of stress and mental illness among university goers than in the past.

Dr. Franca Mancini, university Director of Counseling and Psychological Services, viewed students as seemingly more stressed now than ever. She said, "College is inherently stressful, and it seems that current students are showing even more signs of poor stress management and a need to acquire better coping skills."

Mancini said, "The pressure of academics, combined with social, family and financial concerns in a very busy world makes it hard to find time to clear one's mind and relax. Learning stress management techniques is essential, and it's never too late to start."

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To “Fall” for Campus Beauty or Not?

Every week, students pour onto Monmouth's campus at all hours of the day, usually rushing into buildings in order to attend the classes that brought them to campus to begin with. But amongst the running to and from classes and meetings, some are able to stop for a moment and appreciate the campus and the special measures taken to ensure its beauty.

Several members of The Outlook note that they are often in awe of how campus looks, particularly during the fall. Whether it's because of the large and dominant trees adorning campus changing colors, or the courtyard outside of Wilson Hall with its running fountains, The Outlook finds autumn on campus to be a particularly magical time. And with the fall season supposedly predicted to be a very short one this year the staff is prepared to enjoy all of the autumn beauty on campus while they can.

However, some staff feel that campus looks good no matter which season it is, and while fall may definitely bring about the red and brown hues in the leaves, it is argued that no matter the time of year the campus maintenance crew is consistently doing a good job.

Yet some see that there is an excess in the care of campus. While it is definitely appreciated with all of the apparent labor that goes into the landscaping, the general consensus at The Outlook is that tuition should be used towards things that would really benefit students, such as more parking spaces instead of mulch and flowers.

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The Apple of My iPhone

The iPhone welcomed its newest members on Sept. 19 as Apple unveiled the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus worldwide. According to Apple's website, the new products boast a total upgrade from previous models including larger screens (4.7in for the 6 and 5.5in for the 6 Plus), an A8 processor, and support for Apple Pay, among other features.

Regarding initial sales, the iPhone 5 saw preorders of 2 million units within 24 hours according to Forbes, while the 6 and 6 Plus garnered 4 million preorders in the same time frame. Clearly the public is excited for the Apple's flagship devices.

This excitement, however, has not spread to The Outlook. Nearly every member of The Outlook editorial staff is an owner an Apple product, with the iPhone 5 5c and 5s being most common. MacBooks are also prevalent among the staff, albeit with less ownership than the iPhone.

Why is it that The Outlook can favor the iPhone without being excited for Apple's newest creation? Apple's ecosystem is the reason. While the newest iPhones add varying levels of functionality to Apple's existing lineup, Apple's previous (and still supported) products are able to offer a similar experience to current users.

The synergistic relationship Apple has created between its devices has made purchasing the newest iPhones less than desirable for The Outlook. One editor said, "I'm not that excited because I don't care to update my phone. I like the easiness of what I already have."

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Involvement ‘Faired’ In No One’s Favor

The University held its annual Involvement Fair during the first weekend of school with the intentions of helping the on-campus clubs recruit new members and for the students to become more involved.

The event was given three main alterations from previous years: Instead of being held on a Wednesday, it was held on a Friday; instead of being held during the "meetings" time block, it was held from 4-6; and finally, the fair was moved from outside the Rebecca Stafford Student Center to the front of the Guggenheim library.

While The Outlook staff appreciates the effort to make the event bigger and better, such as the addition of free food, we feel the time and date caused an unwanted effect on the various clubs' recruitment.

The Outlook itself is used to recruiting an average of 100 new members via this event. This year, The Outlook gained less than 40 interested members. As The Outlook staff began to discuss the event with other clubs' executive board members, we noticed that our numbers were not the only ones which significantly decreased from years past as well.

Our staff believes that many of the freshmen, who are usually the majority of the attendees at the Involvement Fair, went home for the weekend. It is understandable that after being away from their home for nearly a week, perhaps the longest any of them have been away without their parents, they would want to make a trip home.

Besides the fact most students may have travelled home for the weekend, the event was also held after classes on the library lawn. The time also caused trouble for those who are commuters and upperclassmen. By that point on a Friday, many commuters and upperclassman would have left campus.

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“To be Prepared is Half the Victory”

September has arrived and with it, the excitement of students getting back into an academic routine. Seniors have begun their last first day of school. Freshmen nervously begin to find their place on campus. The line for the book store is as long as our syllabi and the new faces in our classrooms start to become familiar.

In addition to working toward academic excellence, students also strive to make the most of their short time at the University. Ernest Hemingway once said, "It is good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey that matters in the end."

These words speak volumes for the college experience, and as a senior beginning my last year as an undergraduate I can say that a journey begins with getting involved. While my college career is nearing an end, this year I embark on a new journey with my entire staff as Editor-In-Chief of The Outlook.

Each semester the University sets new goals and works to improve an institution that already achieves excellence, and that is what I intend to do for The Outlook. I have had the privilege of working under three dedicated leaders during my involvement with the newspaper, each who has set a great precedent for the next to follow.

These past Editor-In-Chiefs who I am lucky enough to call my friends and mentors left behind a newspaper that maintained tradition while still progressing in the modern world of journalism. Though they held many of the same values I have seen The Outlook evolve with each new leader.

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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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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