Tue10172017

Last updateWed, 11 Oct 2017 3pm

Editorial

Is This on the Syllabus?

If NYC were to come to life and take the form of a human, it would be a college student. From sunrise to sunset, college students are constantly engaged in some sort of activity. Whether you're cramming for tomorrow's Advanced Abstract Algebra quiz, or listening to the sweet sounds of your unfinished chapter readings serenading you, just like city nightlife, there is always something else to do.

When a student registers for a class and is handed their syllabus, it acts as a binding contract between the student and professor. As students, we schedule internships, extracurricular activities and work around the course schedule given to us by our professors. When a professor spontaneously decides to make it mandatory for a student to attend an event outside of class, it dishevels the student's schedule and puts the student at a disadvantage if they are unable to attend an event due to a prior commitment.

The Outlook believes that students should not be required to attend events outside of scheduled class meeting times because the events tend to conflict with prior engagements. We feel that it is unnecessary for professors to force students to attend events on campus causing students to skip a class, leave early or cancel other obligations just to attend this event and not get penalized.

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The Benefits of General Education Courses

At the start of every new school year, eager college freshman say goodbye to their parents and enter their new unfamiliar, uncharted territory that is college. Within the walls of their new dormitory rooms, a sense of freedom seems to creep up their nostrils and empower these freshmen to discover who they truly are deep at the roots, reveal these identities, and bring to light this new person that is ready to bloom.

The reality of finally being able to take classes that strictly pertain to their desired area of study are here. These freshmen are ready to embark on their four-year journey and immediately dive head-first into classes for their major. Or so they think.

Why is it that colleges require students to continue to enroll in general education classes that students have already touched upon in the past years of education, instead of diving head first into their field of study?

The Outlook believes general education classes are required and necessary for a college degree because they give you a well-rounded education and the opportunity to explore topics at a much deeper level than one thought. The material that you crack open again in college, and look at from a completely different scholarly perspective, will shape you into a versatile individual that has a wide array of knowledge on various topics.

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Construction to be Completed by __(fill in the blank)__

Throughout the past four years, the University has gone through great lengths to expand its buildings in quantity and quality. The Outlook staff believes that the additions to campus will definitely build the integrity of the University, but that comes with a large price.

Whether you are a a science, communication or business major, there is one common nuisance in your life: the parking situation at the University.

Due to the massive amount of building projects the University has decided to forgo, the students have been forced to handle the situation in an unfavorable way.

The Outlook staff noticed a shortage in parking when the University decided turn Lot 6 into a dorm building for freshmen. While The Outlook staff understands that this dorm is necessary to accommodate incoming students, it is difficult to understand why the University must build so much all at once.

The Outlook noticed another obstacle in the commuter parking lot upon returning from winter break. With the new addition to Bey Hall, many commuter parking spaces are unable to be used.

One editor noted, "Pretty soon, the University will run out of room to build. If they keep adding buildings, there's not going to be any parking spots left."

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Graduation Wasn’t Always at PNC...

Graduation is a bittersweet time of year. The college journey comes to an end but the future lies ahead for thousands of graduating students after every semester. For University students, commencement means gathering at PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel for the celebratory ceremony, yet, it wasn't always that way.

Prior to the move to PNC about 10 years ago, graduation was held on the Great Lawn where the soccer field is now. Faculty lined the walkways near classroom buildings as students said their final goodbyes. According to faculty members who attended the on-campus ceremony, it was a personal and sentimental experience. It also allowed guests to enjoy the scenic landscape the University has to offer. However, after inclement weather left people drenched, the University decided to move the ceremony to PNC, where it has remained to this day.

The Outlook editorial staff discussed what it would be like to bring graduation back to campus. Most agreed that the ceremony would be more practical and functional if it remained at PNC.

Editors recognized that there are many problems with having the ceremony on campus grounds. Amount of tickets, weather and comfort were factors that led most toward PNC. Overall, when all elements were put into consideration, the staff decided PNC would be the better option.

One editor said, "PNC just makes more sense, unfortunately. I wish we could have [graduation] on campus, but I know people who are still trying to get more tickets to graduation at PNC. I'd rather not have to tell my grandmother that she can't come because it's raining."

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Are All Textbooks Actually Required?

Buying and renting textbooks at the beginning of each semester is perhaps one of the most stressful and tedious aspects of college life. Before classes start, students are able to log on to their WebAdvisor account to view the list of books needed for each course and whether or not they are required or only recommended by the professor.

While The Outlook staff understands the educational value of text books, most feel that they are unnecessary.

Because the University encourages both students and faculty to utilize the various online outlets that are provided such as eCampus, where professors have the ability to upload assigned readings, The Outlook feels as though it would be a lot easier and cheaper if professors just posted all of their readings online. In fact, one editor expressed that the college textbook is irrelevant because of all of the web-based tools that exist today.

The University library also provides online databases such as Ebsco Host that make scholarly articles, journals and other publications available to students and faculty free of charge. Some of The Outlook staff believes that professors can find the same or similar information in these databases as they can in expensive textbooks.

Other editors explained that it is not the purchasing of textbooks that is troublesome; it is the amount of times the textbook is actually put to use. "I don't want to carry around 20 pounds of dead paper weight all semester," said one editor. "If we're going to use the book more than a few times then it might be worth it."

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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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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