Tue10172017

Last updateWed, 11 Oct 2017 3pm

Editorial

The Importance of Graduate Assistants

As University students, most of us have come in contact with and formed friendships with the gradu­ate assistants that are employed with the departments or activities that we each choose to participate in as un­dergraduates.

In theory, these graduate students simply work at the University to help facilitate certain tasks and work to­wards their own higher education. However, does a greater purpose for these graduate assistants exist? In the midst of universities and businesses attempting to downsize their costs, how important is it for the University to employ graduate assistants?

According to The Outlook staff, graduate assistants are much more than just a face in the corner typing away at a computer or performing some mundane task. Instead, it is a give-and-take relationship in which the graduate assistant often takes the place of a teacher. Undergraduate students, who are much closer in age to the graduate students than they would be to one of their own pro­fessors, receive insight from people who were in the same position not too long ago.

It is easy to learn from a graduate student who has “been-there-done-that,” who has already entered the “real world,” has walked away from Monmouth University with a diplo­ma, and who can still be a friend and colleague.

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Rutgers Proves Money is the Root of Evil in NCAA

By now, most have surely seen the video of former Rutgers’ Men’s Bas­ketball Head Coach Mike Rice and how he would conduct his practices. Rice fired the ball at his players, pushed and shoved them, and yelled homophobic slurs at them.

The Outlook staff is disgusted by what happened. This type of behav­ior is shocking, disgraceful, inappro­priate, ridiculous and has no place in college athletics.

We can’t believe that Rutgers didn’t fire Rice when the tapes were re­viewed in December. The school knew that when this story came out it would reflect poorly on them. So all they did was give Rice a $50,000 fine and a three game sus­pension, without any explanation. In this day and age, the truth always comes out. Schools have to stop trying to sweep these things under the rug and hope they will go away.

Money has to be the explanation for the Rutgers administration refus­ing to take bigger steps. Winning and revenue appears to have taken precedence over sportsmanship and human dignity. These are student athletes, not professionals.

While yes, they are on scholarship and were some of the best basketball players in the country in high school, they are still students. College is a time to learn and grow, and that means in the classroom and on the basketball court. The players aren’t going to be able to learn and grow when they are terrified that their in­structor is going to hit them again.

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Is Constant Campus Construction a Positive or Negative?

If anyone has stepped foot onto the campus over the past year, the tall tale signs reading “Please pardon our appearance while we are under construction” signal that campus construction is still whirling in its constant motion. For most students, the pounding of hammers and blocked-off pathways have become about as customary on campus as the historic Wilson Hall. With the constant construction for the past few years, some are left wondering what there really is to improve. Even more importantly is there anything worth further correcting at this time?

Here at The Outlook, we ponder much of the same thing, and with all of us being students, the first thing brought up when the topic is presented is the matter of how will it affect costs and tuition. When The Outlook asked Patti Swannack, Vice President for Administrative Services, she assured that every year a separate construction fund is set aside in the overall budget, and that the construction, as most recently shown with the Joan and Robert Rechnitz Hall, is commonly run on donations from outside, nonstudent sources.

Although that adds a bit of security, some of us still remain a bit nervous about the possibility of spending beyond the budgeted means. All of which lead to the scare of tuition hikes, leaving some to say that the money should be withdrawn from other areas of the University in order to finish the construction.

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A New Hawk Joins the Nest

With the announcement of Pres­ident Paul Gaffney II’s retirement last year, we knew it was only a matter of time before the Univer­sity named its next president. That decision finally came on March 13, when the University named Lehigh’s current Dean of the Col­lege of Business and Economics, Dr. Paul R. Brown.

Up until this point, the only knowledge The Outlook had of Brown was based on his interac­tion with students when he visited in February. After the hiring, we were able to talk with him at great length and learn even more about him.

Our first impres­sion of him is that he is a good guy with good ambitions, but we still have a lot to learn about him.

So far, we learned that he would like to see the campus become more diverse, its space expanded, and for the school to continue to have growth in its educational programs.

All of these things sound great and would be very good improve­ments to campus. However, when we asked him what he would elim­inate he said that nothing came to mind. The Outlook would love to see him eliminate one prob­lem that has been prevalent at the University in recent years. This problem is of course the parking situation.

When he arrives, we recom­mend that he try finding a park­ing space in one of the commuter parking lots around 1:00 pm. It should make for an eye opening experience.

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Has Spring Break Calmed Down Since the Early 2000s?

Legend has it that when spring break happens, everyone gets wild and crazy. We’re supposed to travel to exotic locales with beaches and a lower legal drinking age. We’re sup­posed to spend the nights out on the town and spend our days sleeping off hangovers. That’s what MTV taught us.

The weird thing is, for most of us, spring break involves more sweat­pants than it does wet t-shirt con­tests. We’ve strayed away from the stereotypical MTV spring break for something more relaxed.

Spring break is in the middle of the semester, meaning our responsibili­ties don’t just go away. Many stu­dents have jobs that don’t follow the University’s schedule. Plenty of professors assign papers to do over break. Even when papers aren’t assigned, there is still a great deal of reading to do because professors know that we have a week off. Who has time to do keg stands when there are three papers due the week we get back?

Relaxation is what spring break is about for most of The Outlook staff. Midterms will finally be over and we can relax. Will we be sleeping in? Definitely. Wearing sweatpants? Yes, please. Watching “Boy Meets World” marathons? Absolutely. That isn’t to say that we’re all homebodies. Some of us will definitely be going out, but we’ll be going to local hang­outs to catch up with friends from our hometowns.

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Think Outside Your Major

“Get involved;” next to “you’re late,” those are arguably the two most common words for a student to hear on a college campus. We spend much of our high school career being told to get involved in order to spice up our college applications and then, once in college, we’re further told to get involved to spice up our job résumé.

We believe most students by their second year or so, can finally understand the vast importance of getting involved. But is getting involved in your own department enough? After all, we’re all Monmouth students, regardless of major.

The Communication Department offers seven different platforms for students to get involved with. All of these organizations are student-run and give students an opportunity to get hands on experience in their field before stepping foot into the dreaded ‘real world.’

Of course, the Communication Department isn’t the only department which offers hands on experience. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to find a major that doesn’t have a coinciding club, organization or extra-curricular aspect to get involved with.

Here at The Outlook, we acknowledge all the hard work our fellow students put into their fields and the passion shown for respective clubs and organizations. Bringing the news to this campus each week has pushed most of us to step outside of this sanctuary we call Plangere and take a look at what other departments are doing.

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What Does the Football Team’s Move to the Big South Mean?

Two weeks ago, the University football team split with 16 year affiliate, the Northeast Confer­ence. Now, they will head to the Big South. Overall, The Outlook is happy that the football team will now be accepted into the Big South Conference but the switch raises certain questions amongst the staff.

Although there is currently no concrete evidence to support it, The Outlook is con­cerned that the move to the Big South Conference will jeopardize the price of tuition. It is to our knowl­edge that the Big South Conference is composed of seven teams including MU. This means we would play three away games in the conference located in North Carolina, South Caro­lina, or Virginia. Geographically, the schools in the Big South Con­ference are a farther distance than the schools in the Northeast Con­ference are. It’s possible that the football team will be traveling a farther distance for an away game than they have in the past. The Outlook wonders how the Univer­sity will cover the cost of travel for away games.

Currently, the University‘s football team roster has nearly 100 student athletes. The cost to either fly or drive all of these ath­letes, as well as the coaches and other staff members, could total a large amount of money. Whether it is by plane or bus, the financial situation will be an impending is­sue.

Another factor to keep in mind when counting the numbers will be lodging. How will the Univer­sity afford lodging for all those affiliated with the football team? The Outlook a lso w onders i f t he move to The Big South will cause the University to offer more ath­letic scholarships. And if so, we are curious as to where this mon­ey will come from. We believe that we will not be able to tell how the move to the Big South Confer­ence will impact the University financially until the fall of 2014.

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A Challenge For More Faculty to Participate in The Outlook

Every week, students from a vari­ety of majors attempt to come up with story ideas, mold them into topics of interest and finally collect comments from professionals as expert sources. On top of other commitments includ­ing homework, other clubs and em­ployment, these students regularly get it done.

One of the most frustrating things for a writer is being ignored when asking a professor or staff member of the University for a comment or an interview. Here at The Outlook, we understand a busy schedule as well as anyone, but is it really that hard to email the writer back either stating you are not the best source for com­ment (It is always appreciated when someone suggests who would be.) or that you do not have the time to share your thoughts?

The Outlook does not reach out to faculty and staff members haphaz­ardly. Our writers take time to look at course selections and professor profile pages to find the best sources to par­ticipate in our articles.

One might feel it is, actually, an obligation of staff members, profes­sors in particular, to share their schol­arly knowledge with the University community and the paper. Our job as journalists is to publish facts and opinions surrounding situations and concerns that are important to our readers.

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And They Say That A HERO Could Save Us

Every year since 2007, the Uni­versity has held its Designated HERO of the Year Award Ceremo­ny, a national movement to prevent drunk driving accidents that came as a result of the death of Ensign Elliott, a May 2000 graduate of the United States Naval Academy who was killed in a head-on collision with a drunken driver on July 22, 2000.

In this ceremony, students nomi­nate themselves or someone they know and the HERO Cam­paign Group at the University chooses a win­ner. The purpose of this ceremony is to prevent tragedies that come as a result of drunk driving by awarding the usage of sober designated driv­ers.

However, is this definition of a “hero” one that is universal to those outside of a university com­munity? According to some of The Outlook staff, the meaning of a “hero” as being someone who serves as a designated driver is one that belongs to the University but could also be considered a stretch for the world at large.

To many college students, a “hero” is someone who saves girls from waiting in the cold in the Cedar parking lot as they wait for their cabs or volunteers to “take one for the team” by being the designated driver. They step up in times of need, sometimes sacrific­ing their own fun, to ensure that their friends get home safely. Rare­ly are they thanked or recognized.

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All Students Should Participate in Picking New President

Later this year, the University will be announcing the presidential candidate that will be taking President Paul G. Gaffney II’s place after 10 years. But before the next president is hired, the students are able to get to know the four candidates running for the opening position.

Is it important that the students of the University get to know their new potential president before he is chosen? Here at The Outlook we tried to answer that question.

A special committee has been created to help with the process of the presidential search, and although students are not able to make the final decision, The Outlook believes it is essential for students to be involved in the process.

The University has been holding information sessions for each candidate where students can ask any question they wish. This gives students the opportunity to speak to the candidates on a more personal level before any decision is made.

An email was sent to students with a link to an electronic form to be filled out after attending the sessions for the candidates. The form consists of five simple questions. The first two are multiple-choice asking to pick the candidate you liked best and then what your position at the University is. The next three are short answer asking about the candidate’s strengths, the concerns you have with this specific candidate and your name, which is optional.

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Textbooks Expand Your Knowledge and Shrink Your Wallet

With the arrival of a new semester comes the promise of new experiences and different classes as we begin a new chapter in our college lives. However, one thing that will not be different is the high prices we students pay each semester for the cost of textbooks.

Book prices are not only an issue here at MU, but it is something many college students around the country face at the beginning of each semester.

According to an article in USA Today, students at four year colleges spend nearly $600 on textbooks per semester. The sad thing about this is that most of the time these books sit in rooms and collect dust for 16 weeks, as sometimes books that are “required reading” are never even opened.

One of the issues we have with the bookstore on campus is that it seems they overprice on some books and then under cut you when you go to sell them back. We have even seen cases where used books at the bookstore are more expensive than if you were to buy that same book online in new condition.

There’s also the idea of certain books being available only in the bookstore and they cannot be found online. This forces students to use the University bookstore if they wish to purchase the book.

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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