Thu08172017

Last updateWed, 16 Aug 2017 8am

Editorial

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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Eenie Meenie Minor Mo?

For many students, a college degree implies that a person graduated with a major and plans to pursue a career in that respective field. On the other hand, The Outlook believes that a minor is a very valuable asset for a college student and encourages students to pursue one.

While the pursuit of a degree can be a difficult path, the University also leaves extra credits avaliable for students to elective courses. If you have the extra credits to be spent, why not focus it on a minor and put those credits to good use? Even if you have five open electives, that is enough to fulfill some minors offered by the University.

The Outlook thinks a minor can improve skill sets so greatly that a college student or recent graduate may be a step ahead of their competition, especially if it is complementary to their major. An example of this would be pairing a degree such as journalism/public relations with a creative writing minor. Since both concentrations require a substantial amount of writing, having a creative writing minor furthers the skills that this particular student has already been acquiring. Some editors believe that this tactic can be used in many different schools of study.

Another example would be pairing a criminal justive major with a political science minor. As a criminal justice major, a student is required to know an extensive amount about the judicial branch of government. A political science minor would increase the student's knowledge about the three branches of government by now becoming involved in the legislative branch.

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Study Time Cut Short

How can the students who study in the Murry and Leonie Guggenheim Memorial Library get their work done when library hours are not the most accessible? We, as students, all have different studying habits; some can study in loud environments undisturbed, while others need the quietness of the library in order to keep their focus. Some Outlook editors like listening to music when studying while others need silence.

We acknowledge that the library extended its hours for finals, and we are thankful to the library staff for putting in the extra effort to make these accommodations for the students. The library hours during finals are as follows: Monday through Thursday 8 am - 2 am, Friday 8 am - 1 am, Saturday 9 am - midnight, Sunday 11 am - 2 am.

The standard library hours are Monday through Thursday 8 am - midnight, Friday 8 am - 6 pm, Saturday 9 am - 5 pm and Sunday noon - midnight. We find that these hours clash with our already very busy schedules. Because of this, even early morning hours can be seen as a hassle to go to the library. At The Outlook we all agree that Friday and weekend hours need to be changed, by being extended another hour, at least.

Having the library close at 6 pm on Friday night is an inconvenience. Not everyone has the option to start the weekend early and some students like to study late at night or dedicate the weekend to their studies.

One editor said, "Fridays and Saturdays are homework nights for me. Closing so early on weekends makes me feel like such a loser for even trying to do my work then."

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Valuable Experience for a Price

Experiential education is a requirement for many majors at the University. For those students who have not studied abroad, this means working at an internship. In order for an internship to count toward the experiential education requirement on our academic audits, we have to pay for a three credit class involving proof of 120 internship hours and a final paper. However, if internships are generally unpaid work, how are we supposed to afford the cost of over $2,000 for a three credit class?

Many of the editors at The Outlook struggle with finding time to complete their internship hours while still making some kind of income. Working 120 hours at an unpaid job over a 15-week semester grants students far less time to work at a regular, paying job. Not only are we not generating income, but we're losing money due to the hefty price of college credits and travel expenses to and from our internship sites.

As for the class, some of the editors cannot understand what their tuition dollars are paying for. The course relies heavily on the hours spent at the internship sites. Some editors who have taken the class said that their class only met a few times during the semester, they do not use campus resources, and the only contact they kept with their professors was checking in via email.

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Black...Thursday?

Thanksgiving Day celebrations should be about catching up with family members and friends who have traveled long distances for the special occasion, stuffing your faces with trays upon trays of food and lounging around watching football. The holiday should not be celebrated by standing in hour-long lines, fighting the bitter, ruthless blasts of cold wind, and racing for the last 40-inch plasma screen TV that is discounted at 50 percent off at your local Best Buy.

This holiday, stores like Kmart are turning Black Friday into "Black Thursday" with sales starting as early as 6 am on Thanksgiving Day. Kmart is allowing its customers to shop for 41 hours straight starting Thursday morning until 11 pm the next day. Kmart and other stores such as Sears, which are open from 8 pm on Thursday until 10 pm on Friday, are providing customers with the urge to ditch family members and friends just to go on a hectic shopping spree before the turkey is even out of the oven.

According to an article published in the Huffington Post on Nov. 12, Kmart has been open on Thanksgiving Day for 22 years and has been offering their regular and seasonal associates holiday pay; however, this is the first year that Kmart is not closing for a few hours before reopening for Black Friday.

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“Show me the Money!”

When does volunteer work turn into paid work? When is it morally correct to not pay someone who donates more hours a week to their student run organization than their actual paid job? The Outlook staff believes that serving as an e-board member for any media run student organization acts as a full time-job and should be paid like a full time-job.

The Outlook staff calculated that if we were to compare the amount of hours at our respective paid positions to the amount of hours we spend at The Outlook, our work would never be finished in time for the Tuesday night deadline.

It would seem appropriate if media student-run organizations would be paid minimum wage, but we do not think it would be proper to pay those who do not hold an e-board position.

If e-board members are not permitted to be paid the $7.25 per hour rate, than why doesn't being an e-board member count as an internship?

This idea is not as far-fetched as it may seem. In fact, other well known universities, such as Northwestern in IL, offer internship programs to their editors on their student-run newspaper.

While we understand that The Outlook, as well as other student-run media organizations give us credible work we can use in the future, we feel that our organization's work requires commitment that has not yet been acknowledged by the University.

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Hiding Behind the Wall of Technology

With the rise in technological use over the years, the way that we communicate has been altered. There is now a new form of communication among people, which has moved us away from face-to-face communication, and towards the new technology revolution. In addition to face-to-face communication, we are now able to speak to one another using text messages, emails and instant messaging, among many other forms of technologically advanced communication.

This new additional form of conversation can be both beneficial and detrimental to society in a number of ways. One downside is that some people have the ability to hide behind technology when communicating with others.

At one time or another, we have all done it. We have used technology to confront an issue or talk about a topic in an attempt to avoid the face-to-face awkwardness or fear.

Communication through technology creates a new form of confidence for people, allowing them to say things that they normally would never have the guts to say in person. The Outlook editors believe in many cases, this new-found confidence is not always a good thing. "If you cannot be a man, and yes this goes for women as well, and say it to my face, then don't say it at all," said one Outlook editor.

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“A” for Effort

Midterms are a very stressful time for college students. Between the normal hustle and bustle college life of balancing course work, internships, work, and extra-curricular activities, midterms apply that extra ounce of pressure that is just enough to really stress us out. However, the stress could be eased a bit if a student knows where they stand during midterms by having their grades available to them.

The easiest way to see where you stand in the class and having one place to reference your grades during the semester. That is why The Outlook staff would like to take the time to discuss why we feel it is important for professor's to give students their grades and academic feedback.

Most students feel more stress around midterms if they are unsure where they stand in their classes. This could be easily fixed through more academic feedback from professors, whether it be promptly returning papers and assignments or giving a layout for students to figure out their grades. Whether grades be handed back on paper, or through emails, it is always helpful for students to measure their success in their studying techniques and to learn from their mistakes on exams or in papers if they are given feedback quickly.

If professors give feedback to their students they can have a better understanding of what their professors are looking for in their work. It is important to understand a professor's grading style, so that students can improve their work to adjust for the class.

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Fall Break or Study Break?

Many students are still recovering from the misconception of fall break. While the term "break" implies a respite for students to go home and relax, most of The Outlook staff spent their two days of no classes writing papers and studying for midterms, which professors were required to submit by Tuesday, Oct. 22.

According to Dr. Franca Mancini, Director of Counseling and Psychological Services, fall break is scheduled in the academic calendar to give students a chance to physically and mentally recover from any stress caused by academics, extra-curricular activities or being away from home.

This stress is highest for college students at this time of year. Mancini said, "It is true, also, that requests for services tend to increase during this time of year, and we see another spike right after mid-terms, when students realistically assess where they stand in their classes. Overall, on our campus and nationwide, the number of students requesting mental health services is between 9 to 11 percent. Monmouth is no different."

The Outlook staff believes that having midterms the week following fall break was much more work than we were equipped to handle. We understand that professors have deadlines to meet as well, but some of the editors think that due dates for papers and exams could have been spread out so we had more time to prepare. While those few hours we spent in class on Thursday and Friday were now ours to spend, however, other obligations, such as work or internships did not offer us breaks.

One editor points out that fall break could just as well have been called reading days for midterms, like the University gives us before finals. Calling those two days a "break" deceived some of The Outlook staff into believing we had time to relax. Meanwhile, the homework piled up and we were faced with even more worries the following Monday than we had when we left campus.

Time management should not be a concern if the time we are given is supposed to be for relaxing, spending time with family and avoiding anything that may cause us to worry. However, if we do not manage our time wisely, we end up buried in assignments upon our return to the University.

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Breast Cancer Awareness Overload?

It is about halfway through the month of October and everyone has come to the realization that the color pink is everywhere.

As most of America can conclude, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. With a whole month dedicated to this type of cancer, it seems that everyone from Dunkin' Donuts to the NFL is in support of this cause.

Many believe that this month dedicated to awareness, has spiraled out of control and is a bit to the extreme. It seems that a month of trying to bring attention to this illness and raise money for the cause started off with good intentions but has been taken out of context and could sometimes be used as a business ploy.

The Outlook feels strongly about bringing awareness to the very serious issue of cancer. October is filled with breast cancer walks, fundraisers and wonderful events to try to find a cure for this horrific disease.

The Outlook recognizes how incredible it is that the public comes together for a month to support breast cancer; however, there are various other types of cancers that may not be as treatable as Breast Cancer and should be recognized and brought forward.

Collectively, The Outlook knows that people suffer from other cancers as well, but those forms of cancer do not receive the large amount of attention that Breast Cancer does. Another dangerous and most often terminal disease is heart disease, but it does not gain nearly the same coverage as breast cancer.

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Student Involvement? Not So Much.

Multiple clubs and organization make great efforts at hosting events on campus, but The Outlook staff believes that improvement on student attendance can be made.

We believe that one possibility can be whether the events offered on-campus are of student interest or not. This is still up for debate amongst the staff, yet we do give organizations and clubs like the Student Activities Board (SAB) credit for the way they advertise their events and push for student involvement. Email is usually the common form of how clubs and organizations reach out to students,. However, the vast majority of the student body deletes these invitations upon receiving them.

While there are certain events that occur on campus which have hosted a larger amount of students, these events usually only obtain such an audience when there is an obligation for a class or a chance for extra credit. While The Outlook staff does notice that Monmouth has a record of hosting events with large student turnouts that aren't a part of an academic commitment, like the Involvement Fair or the Fall Carnival. However most of the other events fall under the wayside with less than a couple dozen students attending.

Commuters in particular find it difficult at times to attend events on campus in their free time. Since the majority of the University's student body is made up of commuter students, we feel that events must be more commuter-friendly. With events that clash with work, class and other obligations, events on campus appear to be aimed at the small population of students already living on 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