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Politics

Volume 85 (Fall 2013 - Spring 2014)

“Every New Beginning is Some Beginning’s End” | Christopher Orlando's Senior Goodbye

My journey at The Outlook started with Casey Wolfe (whom you’ll meet later) and I deciding to go to the Involvement Fair. I was a sophomore and she was a freshman, both of us looking to get involved. I ended up talking to Dr. Patten who introduced me to Sandra and I never looked back.

Joining The Outlook gave me a feeling of belonging from the very beginning. As a contributing and staff writer, there was always someone who was willing to chat or help with a story. As the politics editor, I had to learn journalism and leadership in a very short amount of time and finally as managing editor this year. Outlook became my home away from home and my second family. I saw three different editorial staffs come and go and never quite thought I would get to that point but now I have and there are a lot of people I need to thank.

My Family

Mom and Dad: I would not be in this position without your constant love and support. I remember when I first told you I was going to start writing for the newspaper and despite never doing it before, you both told me to give it a try. As always, you both gave great advice and always had my back which I could never thank you enough for. Your best advice was to learn as much as possible while in college and I can honestly say I learned more about myself than I did out of a textbook and for that I am very grateful.

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“Here’s Looking at You Monmouth” | Jessica Roberts' Senior Goodbye

Real World, I Think This Is the Beginning of a Beautiful Friendship

Goodbye is such a bittersweet concept, especially when put in the terms of a graduation. On one hand, you are excited about the next step in life, for whatever that may be, a great unknown that you have never experienced before. Yet on the other hand you are leaving a place that has become a home to you over the years, and with the family like ties that have been formed with friends with that home. Suddenly you begin to see everything as if it is the first time, the cafeteria food suddenly tastes slightly better, the squirrels much cuter and the landscape even appears slightly greener.

My experience at Monmouth has been an excellent one. Every year brought about something different, with new faces and fun stories. However, I would not have been able to experience any of it without the support of my parents. They have been my backbone throughout my life, and always inspired me to just “do my best.” Without them I most certainly could not have had the experience I have here at Monmouth, and I am forever grateful for them for the experience.

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An Interview on the State of Argentina: Past, Present and Future

Dr. Kenneth Mitchell is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Monmouth University. Having completed a PhD in Politics at Oxford University, his extensive knowledge on Latin American Politics is evident through his instruction of PS 275 Latin American Politics and PS 398 Argentine Politics.

Outlook: Let’s begin with the crisis. The increase in crime, and most recently the violence seen in headlines about Argentina. When did this happen, and what could be to blame?

Mitchell: Well, crime in Argentina, it’s important to note, has never been at American levels of crime. There are a couple of [key] things about what’s going on right now in Argentina.

Number one - It is fairly difficult to collect accurate data on whether crime really is spiraling, because of what happened in January. See each year in Argentina police and others such as teachers negotiate a contract. Now Argentina suffers from 25 percent inflation, and contract negotiations take into account whether the inflation will get worse over the next year, if not your losing money. Now, what happened was the police negotiated hard, but the government wasn’t going to meet their demands. So the police went on strike. Imagine that, police across a country go on strike. There’s no police officers.

Outlook: Wow.

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Congresswoman Proposes Legislation to Toughen Laws Against Sexual Assult on College Campuses

A California congresswoman has announced plans to introduce federal legislation to toughen laws against what she called an epidemic of sexual assault on college campuses.

In an appearance at the University of California at Berkeley this month, Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Hillsborough, said she would press for more aggressive action against sexual assault with increased funding for federal investigators, annual campus surveys and more comprehensive data on the outcomes of cases.

She also said she would seek to require universities to interview students who file complaints of sexual misconduct, addressing widespread concerns about inadequate investigations.

“The prevalence of sexual assault on campuses is an epidemic,” Speier said in an interview. “It’s going to take money, resources, enforcement and a dramatic change in the culture” to fix.

Speier met with media along with six UC Berkeley students who have filed complaints with the federal government against the university in the last year, alleging a failure to adequately handle their cases.

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Monmouth University Poll Explains “Obamacare” and Its Impact on New Jersey

A poll from the Monmouth University Polling Institute found that 45 percent of New Jerseyans support the Affordable Care Act (ACA), while 49 percent oppose it. After compiling the data of 803 respondents between March 30 and April 1, the poll detailed the Garden State’s response to essential questions dealing with the efficacy of both governmental figures, as well as the ACA itself

But what is the Affordable Care Act? According to the American Public Health Association the program is national health reform, which seeks to “expand [health] coverage to 25 million Americans by 2023.” By providing increased coverage throughout the nation, the plan aims to rectify the high rate of uninsured Americans, of whom the Congressional Budget Office estimated there were 57 million in 2013.

Patrick Murray, Director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, said that despite the statistics, New Jersey residents are still more confident about the ACA than residents from other states.

Murray said, “You have to keep in mind that New Jerseyans are a little more positive about Obamacare than the nation as a whole. They are just not as positive as they were before the enrollment period began in October.” Much of the negativity towards the policy stemmed from the faulty launch of the ACA’s website in October 2013.

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Hobby Lobby Case: Should Contraceptives Be Covered Under Health Insurance? Pt.2

As some of you may know (or may not know) the Supreme Court is hearing a case that could potentially give corporations the right to refuse some, or even all contraceptive services, on the basis that it is against their religious rights. When the Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”) went into effect, health insurance companies were required to cover all forms of birth control. As per the law, religious non-profits were exempted from having to provide birth control through their offered health care plans. The Hobby Lobby, a for profit organization, brought the case to court because the CEOs are conservative Christians, and they object to IUDs and the morning after pill, saying that they are forms of abortion because they prevent life from forming, according to NPR. The Supreme Court is expected to reach a decision in June.

Now that you have the facts, let me state my case. I severely hope that the Supreme Court will not find in favor of The Hobby Lobby. I am not saying this because I am a liberal; I am saying this because I am a woman, and I have rights too. The HIPPA (Human Information Privacy Protocols Act) laws state that I do not have to share any health information. My doctor cannot share any health information, unless I sign a waiver that says someone like my mother, father or sister can be informed, according to HHS.gov. What The Hobby Lobby case is asking for is for me to reveal private health information. My employer does not need to know whether or not I use any form of birth control. That information is between me, my doctor, and my significant other.

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Hobby Lobby Case: Should Contraceptives Be Covered Under Health Insurance? Pt.1

Here we go again, yet another “Obamacare” controversy and another case of the federal government treating the Constitution like its toilet paper. On March 25, the Supreme Court heard its oral arguments from the owners of Hobby Lobby and the federal government. The issue is that the owners of Hobby Lobby are forced under the Obamacare mandate, to pay for contraceptives in their employees’ health insurance. The mandate includes 20 forms of government approved contraceptives. The Green family is against covering four of those forms of contraceptives because they believe that they are similar to abortion, which is against their religious beliefs. Hobby Lobby’s opposition argues that the company itself is violating the rights of its employees but that is not the case. In fact, the owners of Hobby Lobby’s rights are the ones being infringed upon and here’s why.

The first two clauses of the First Amendment state “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Clearly this law violates the Free Exercise Clause. Hobby Lobby is a privately owned business which gives the owners the right to run it how they please, as long as it goes along with federal regulations. The Obamacare mandate is, of course, a federal regulation. However, the difference between this regulation and any other regulation like minimum wage, discrimination, or child labor laws is that none of these actually require anyone to go against their religious beliefs.

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GUC Event: “I Want to Commit a Crime But in Which Nation, The USA, China or Japan”

fingerprint-through-magnifying-glassDr. Peter Lui, associate professor of criminal justice and Chair of the Criminal Justice Department hosted a Classroom Colloquium called, I Want to Commit a Crime, But in Which Nation, The USA, China,or Japan.

Lui ran it, playing it off like he was a criminal to grab the attention of the room. Lui said, "I don't want to be caught if I commit a crime. Or if I did commit the crime I don't want to be punished or severely punished." Then several crimes were brought up in depth by several different groups of students.

The first crime was brought up by a student Jenna, whose topic was drug relations. According to the presentation, the U.S. was the easiest place to commit this crime.

The U.S has such a high amount of plea bargaining that is done because of the back-up in cases, rarely anyone gets off with jail time and even less so with the death penalty.

However, it was expressed clearly that if a citizen was found carrying above a certain petty amount of a drug, their jail time was heightened by 10-20 years, more for every upgrade in amount of the drug.

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Hobby Lobby Case Could Have Impact on Contraceptives and Health Insurance

hobby-lobby-cartoonThe Supreme Court heard the oral arguments of Hobby Lobby, a national chain of crafts stores based in Oklahoma City, and its opposition. The debate started in September of 2012 when the Green family, who are the devout Christian owners of Hobby Lobby and other members of the company, filed a suit in the U.S. District Court in the Western District of Oklahoma.

According to PBS.org, the suit argued against the mandate by the Affordable Care Act and the Health and Human Services Department (HHS) which requires companies to include coverage of 20 forms of government approved contraceptives in their health insurance.

The owners of Hobby Lobby reject four of the contraceptive methods because they believe they work like forms of abortion. They also argue that their religious rights have been violated by the mandate because it forces them to take part of something that they believe goes against their faith. Steve Green, the president of Hobby Lobby said an interview with PBS that, "This is an issue of life. We cannot be a part of taking life. To be in a situation where our government is telling us we have to be is incredible."

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The Supreme Court Got it Right

McCutcheon vs. Federal Election Commission Case Debated

free_speech_cartoonCapitalism underpins the greatest freedoms in the United States. The goal of earning individual profits is inherent in a free society, with personal gain acting as a motivator in a fluid class structure. As it relates to the recent decision of McCutcheon v. Federal Election Committee, the Supreme Court opted to protect the capitalistic rights of the individual, voting against the campaign finance limits set forth by the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act. The act, according to fec.gov, sought to limit campaign contributions made by individuals so as to fight corruption within the political sphere.

However, as it was aptly reasoned by Chief Justice John Roberts, restrictions on an individual's campaign contributions immediately strikes against First Amendment protections regarding the freedom of speech. In Roberts' opinion, he elaborated that as it pertains to political speech, "The First Amendment safeguards an individual's right to participate in the public debate through political expression and public association. When an individual contributes money to a candidate, he exercises both of those rights."

By striking down campaign contribution limits, the Supreme Court is making the political world more accessible to the average person. Expressing one's political views requires an audience willing to listen. And despite the advent of the internet and social media, a captive audience is difficult to come by, considering the availability of conflicting ideas and opinions. Thus, in line with the United States' representative democracy, political campaign contributions are the best opportunity for those dedicated to political expression to convey their ideas by supporting the candidates who represent them.

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The Supreme Court Got it Wrong

McCutcheon vs. Federal Election Commission Case Debated

democracy-not-for-saleOn April 2 the Supreme Court came down with the most recent ruling on campaign finance. The outcome: an end to longstanding aggregate limits on campaign contributions. McCutcheon v. Federal Elections Commission brings the biggest change in free speech through campaign finance since the Citizens United decision in 2010. What exactly we regard as free speech has been subject to definitional expansion. First Amendment protection of ripping draft cards and protesting funerals of gay veterans has given us one of the most politically expressive societies in the modern world. The question at hand is, whether or not spending money in our political process is an act of political expression.

Our Supreme Court justices voted 5-4 that indeed it is, in an opinion written by Chief Justice Roberts. The holding was that aggregate spending contributions do not meet the "rigorous" standards of review used to rule on corruption in prior cases on campaign finance. Simply put, five justices think that putting a cap on how much someone gives overall to PACs, political parties, and directly to candidates is unconstitutional.

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The Story Behind TOMS Shoes

Various companies have been favoring the business tactic of "buy one, give one", meaning a customer buys the product, and the company donates an equivalent item to someone in need. However, there has been a split view on how much this really helps the ones in need.

TOMS Shoes has been known to be one of the very first companies to do this "for-profit" method. They call this the "One for One." While on a trip volunteering outside of Buenos Aires, Argentina, the company's founder Blake Mycoskie noticed a lack of shoes not only in Argentina but also in other developing countries and how this was a bigger problem than it seemed. He then created this company where if one consumer buys a pair of shoes, another pair of shoes is donated to a third world country. With the launch of the company in May 2006, TOMS sold more than 10,000 pairs of shoes in the first six months. The initial batch of free shoes was distributed in Oct. 2006 to Argentine children.

Since then, the canvas shoes have been given to children in 40 countries worldwide, including the U.S. and have given away over 1 million pairs. Since then, many other companies have picked up this idea such as Warby Parker. For every pair of glasses a customer buys from Warby Parker they cover the cost of sourcing and producing a second pair of glasses for partners like the social enterprise VisionSpring, and Kno Clothing, who donate articles of clothing to someone in need.

Companies like these have given the opportunity for consumers to give back in such a simple way. "There isn't much more to it than that," Neil Blumenthal, a co-founder of Warby Parker said. "That's the beauty of it." According to a Cone Communication Public Relations & Marketing study, 80 percent of Americans are likely to switch brands, if comparable in price and quality, to one that supports a social cause.

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Formation of Collegiate Athletic Union May Take Focus Away from Academic Education

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in Chicago ruled that the Northewestern University football players have the right to unionize on Wednesday March 26th.

This movement was started back in January when the former quarterback, Kain Colter, announced that he and several other Northwestern football players would like to join the Labor Union. The NLRB approved the players request and ruled that full scholarship athletes at Northwestern are employees of the school and have the right to form a union, according to CBS Chicago.

However, the players are not necessarily looking for compensation but rather have a say in health issues and benefits for college athletes.

The NLRB’s ruling has been subject to controversial debate around the country and amongst college athletes. Sophomore football player at Monmouth University, Keone Osby, agrees with the movement saying, “I think it’s good that they’re pushing to unionize because it will allow athletes to voice their opinions and be heard.”

Tyler Saito, a sophomore baseball player for Monmouth said, “Scholarships are enough.” He continued to say that the players union will, “take away from the game.”

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McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission Decision Changes Campaign Finance Laws

The Supreme Court struck down the federal law on campaign contributions in the case, McCutcheon vs. Federal Election Commission. Only leaving a cap on donations to a single candidate on April 2nd.

Dr. Jospeh Patten, Chair of the Political Science and Sociology Department said that the case, removed the $123,000 cap on campaign contributions for individuals and corporations.

According to Patten, “That includes contributions to candidate Political Action Committee (PACs) and parties. What the decision did is removed the cap so now an individual can contribute $3.5 million if they spread it to the PACs party and candidate. Similar way to the other case. its trending toward where the court that takes away primary of general give to all my members of Congress to PACs.”

Patten said in regards to the cap of $2,600 for single candidate donations, “It’s trending to where it will be overturned. Will it actually happen? We shall see. Although this is a very controversial ruling among the people it had nowhere near the same reaction as Citizen vs. United case.”

Patten explains that, “The Citizen United case was more provocative in getting public backlash. This current case is another case about big money having a voice but I don’t think it will have the same kind reaction from the public.”

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What Does the World Think of American Politics?

An article on The Washington Post recently published a map of  “Who Loves and Hates America: A revealing map of global opinion toward the U.S.,” which broke down various countries approval rating of America.

Dr. Saliba Sarsar, professor of political science and Associate Vice President for Global Initiatives, said, “There are those who are happy to live in their own countries and who do not wish to immigrate. There are also those who are unhappy in their own countries, who wish to immigrate, but cannot for various reasons.”

Sarsar continued, “Still, there are those who feel disaffected and have a negative view of U.S. policies abroad, while they have positive views of the American people. In particular are policies that they interpret or misinterpret as biased, expansionistic, or self-serving. For instance, more than a few Middle Easterners are suspicious of U.S. policies towards authoritarian regimes, as well as U.S. actual or perceived conflict with Muslim-majority countries.”

The Washington Post article continues to discribe the countries that do have a sense of approval for the U.S. “So who seems to like America? It's a long list – longer than you might expect. America scores similar favorability ratings in a few countries we might assume, wrongly, don't like us so much: Mexico, despite U.S. immigration policies targeting Mexicans, and Russia, where President Vladimir Putin has pushed some populist anti-Americanism. We are also moderately liked in the post-Soviet state of Ukraine, in Brazil and in the United Kingdom. I thought we'd be more popular in the U.K., where politicians make a big deal out of the special relationship with Washington.”

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New Jersey State Legislature Promotes Town Mergers, Could West Long Branch Be Next?

New Jersey’s municipalities are facing pressure to consolidate as the state legislature seeks to rekindle the argument in favor of town mergers. In November 2011, the Township of Princeton and the Borough of Princeton headlined the movement towards NJ town mergers by joining to create Princeton Township.

According to the New Jersey State Legislature, New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney proposed a measure that would promote “the more effective operation of local government and the sharing of services among local units.”

The NJ Legislation, however, is not the only body advocating for town mergers. Courage to Connect NJ, a non-profit organization is also promoting the combination of municipalities through its website which details a six step process for town consolidation.

The legislation seeks to encourage town mergers largely as a response to New Jersey’s near-legendary property taxes. After the Princeton Township merger the average resident, according to the Courier Post, saw a reduction in property taxes of approximately $126/year. Additionally, the Princeton merger, which was officially implemented in 2013, projects municipal expenditure savings of three-million dollars per year over a three year implementation period.

Mergers though have been met with significant backlash from residents of New Jersey’s 565 municipalities.

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Westboro Baptist Church Founder Fred Phelps Dies

Family Members Refused to Hold Funeral for Fear of Picketers

Fred Phelps leader and founder of the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) passed away Wednesday morning at the age of 84.

Phelps founded the Church in Topeka, KS in 1955. Using the title of Baptist Preacher, he and the church have embodied the most intrusive anti-gay movement in America, protesting public events, and even picketing the funerals of gay veterans.

According to civil rights leaders in Topeka, Phelps was a prominent, and wildly successful civil rights attorney in the 1960s. He took on numerous cases for black Americans, that many attorneys would not touch.

The Phelps along with his church have received national attention for aggressively and openly opposing those of the LGBT community. According to CNN, they first made headlines in 1998 when the church picketed Matthew Shepard’s funeral.

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NJ Anti-Smoking Bill Looks to Ban Smoking on Public Beaches and Parks Across the State

NJ Bill A1080 passed the Assembly and would prohibit smoking on public beaches and in public parks. This bill would be an extension of the “New Jersey Smoke Free Air Act” and would go into effect 180 days after its enactment.

Bill sponsor, Assemblywoman Valerie Huttle, said in a press release regarding the bill, “The prohibition of smoking at public parks and beaches would better preserve the natural assets of this state by reducing litter and increasing fire safety in those areas, while lessening exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke among the public. This is the right thing to do.”

Dr. Patricia Sciscione, a specialist professor of nursing, is in favor of the bill and believes it could help public health. “Cigarette butts are a form of toxic waste since they contain many chemicals that are known carcinogens, yet they are frequently discarded into the sand or onto the ground. Immediate risks include the possibility that small children, birds, animals, and fish may ingest these butts which could be lethal for them due to the possibility of choking and/or poisoning due to the toxic chemicals they contain,” Sciscione said.

She continued, “Long-term risks exist because the filters are made of a substance that is not biodegradable and they can exist in the environment for decades causing harm to marine life, land animals, and the environment.”

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Asbury Park Beach Replenishment Program is Doing More Harm than Good

Major backlash has come from the environmental damages and dangers created from the Jersey Shore replenishment plan founded by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers developed a plan for beach replenishments along the Jersey Shore due to post-Sandy damages. From Asbury Park to Avon, beaches will be pumped with more sand in order to extend where the water meets the landline. This extension will act as a buffer to protect the beach towns from extreme storm damages. The project estimated to cost $18.3 million dollars, which was approved by Congress for Sandy Relief.

The replenishment program will last until 2048, according the Asbury Park Press, with the sand being pumped onto the beaches every six years. The Asbury Park Press also released that the project covering from Sea Bright to Manasquan will cost around $300 million dollars, with roughly $100 million of it coming from NJ taxpayers pockets.

Replenishments also bring about environmental damage to the ecosystems and the marine life within these beach areas. Protestors from environmental organizations, civic groups, surfers, anglers and residents of the beach town gathered in Asbury on Friday March 21, to rally against the project.

Dr. Michael Phillips-Anderson, assistant professor of communication said, “The beaches are obviously a huge part of the shore’s economy. The environmental concern is that what might make the beach better to sit on will hurt the overall environment and wildlife. With significant public attention and education, it is unlikely that residents will get a say in the Army Corps of Engineers’ plan.”

The group called for a change to the replenishment project, claiming that every beach has a different need for it to be repaired. For their beaches, according to the Asbury Park Sun, they were against the “groin modifications, known as notching,” a process that calls for the removal of sections of rock found, typically the jetty, closest to the beach. The town worries that this removal will cause a blockage to The Deal Lake Flume.

Blockage to the Flume will cause damages to the costal areas. Having control over the flow through the Flume is important for the towns of Asbury Park, Ocean Township, Neptune Township, Deal, Allenhurst, Interlaken, and Loch Arbour are all bordered on the Flume. If there is no control over the waterways of the Flume then it could cause a flood like the one in 1990s. The towns experienced flooding in 1990s due to, too much water during high tides and an eight-day span of rain.

Dan Roman, a junior political science major said, “We shouldn’t try to control the environment.”

Congressman Frank Pallone is a supporter of the replenishment and addressed the protestors concerns in a statement released on March 21. In his announcement he said, “I have also heard concerns regarding sand building up in the Deal Lake Flume, causing a blockage of the flow between the lake and ocean.”

Pallone continued, “I have raised this issue with the Army corps and they are planning to monitor the flume and clear any sediment buildup that occurs throughout the project. We will also look at the possibility of reconfiguring the placement of sand in the area adjacent to the flume. One long-term solution may be to extend the Deal Lake Flume to limit the amount of sand that can block its flow.”

“One of the issues that makes this difficult is the multi-jurisdictional set up in New Jersey. When so many towns share one body of water it can be hard to coordinate actions. It also makes it difficult to communicate effectively with the public. Environmental issues have been a concern following Sandy, but it seems to fail to generate much media attention,” said  Phillips-Anderson.

According to nj.com, the project has had influence over the Deal Lake Flume, which is an 85-year-old tube that flows water between the lake and the Atlantic Ocean. If the groin modification is successful then the areas around the lack have an increased risk in flooding and a decrease in fish.

If the Flume was blocked, then the fish would no longer be able to gain access to the lake. This causes an upset for the ecosystem that is developed. According to nj.com, the flume is a breeding ground for herring, which the largemouth bass has become dependent on for food, in return the bass have become popular among the town anglers.

Notching would also create dangerous environments for the blackfish, stripers, and fluke that form their habitats around the submerged areas of the jetties. Also when the modifications are made the removal of the stones would be at the jetty’s base, a take away the access to fishing off of them from the anglers.

More than just the fishing industry will be affected, however, the sand replenishment process will ultimately make the ocean more dangerous to swim in. Through filling in the shore, replenishment causes a change in where the ocean bottom and the shoreline clash, making a curt change in the ocean bottom for swimmers. According to Asbury Park Press the sand will form a sort of cliff that will trap people in during high tide, and potentially injuring swimmers, surfers, and kayakers.

Pallone commented, “Many of you in attendance have reached out to me to express your concerns with the proposed project. I understand your concerns with respect to notching the groins in this area and the impacts this may have on recreational fishing. I am discussing this issue with the Army Corps of Engineers and trying to find a resolution that does not negatively impact fisherman in the area.”

In the statement Pallone asked all concerned to express in a formal submission through e-mail to Jenifer Thalhauser of the Army Corp Engineers, with a deadline on March 26.

An anonymous senior political  science student said, “It is being hastily done, we need to examine the enviormental impacts more along with alternative methods that won’t cause such impacts.”

NJ State Senator Introduces Recreational Marijuana Bill

NJ state Sen. Nicholas Scutori recently introduced a bill that would legalize the sale as well as possession of marijuana for recreational use and allow people to grow there own.

Scutori said in a press release, “Legalizing, regulating and taxing marijuana for those who are age 21 and older could bring in considerable revenue for the state at a time when it is struggling to meet its financial obligations. The states of WA and CO have already implemented marijuana laws.”

WA State began issuing its first marijuana business licenses this month. CO began allowing recreational marijuana sales to adults on Jan. 1. CO initially expected to bring in $67 million in tax revenue from marijuana this year, but projections are now as high as $107 million due to higher-than-anticipated sales. Legalization is also expected to create thousands of jobs in sales, production and related services in that state, a result that could be duplicated in NJ.”

The Daily Caller explains, “Decriminalization simply removes criminal and monetary penalties for possessing any amount of marijuana, including the “manufacture,” transportation, or storage of the substance. It does not address in any way the actual usage of marijuana, the sale of it, taxation, quality, driving under the influence, age restrictions, etc.”

Noah Lipman, lecturer of history explained, “The bill will be controversial because many legislators are afraid of the legalization process.  Polls indicate that many voters in NJ favor decriminalization over legalization.”

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NJ’s Most Expensive Budget Plan Unvield for 2014-2015 Fiscal Year

Major Costs Include: State Workers’ Pensions and $159 Million Set Aside for Higher Education Expenses

NJ Gov. Chris Christie proposed a $34.4 billion budget, the state’s most expensive budget ever, on Feb. 24.

In his Fiscal Year 2014-2015 budget proposal, there is a required $2.25 billion payment to the public worker pension funds without raising taxes, however it leaves no money left over to fund major new programs or initiatives.

Part of Christie’s spending plan for the fiscal year that starts July 1, gives slight increases in K-12 and municipal aid. The budget for some school districts has increased by five million dollars, allowing them to implement longer school hours. There is also an increase in the funding for higher education by eight percent, or $159 million.

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New Bill Could Provide $100 Textbook Relief

NJ bill, A1823, which could provide a tax credit to college students for textbook purchases, has been proposed with the intention of encouraging taxpayers and their dependents to choose NJ educational institutions over out-of-state schools.

The tax credit, introduced in the State Assembly on Jan. 16, would equal 10 percent of textbook costs and cannot exceed $100. Students may be full time or part time and must be pursuing an undergraduate education at a four-year school, county college or accredited post-secondary school in NJ. Taxpayers with a gross income of up to $150,000 would be eligible for the credit.

Douglas Stives, Specialist Professor of Accounting, said if a student pays more than half of his/her own college costs the credit would go to them rather than their family.

Alexis Morrison, a junior communication major, said this bill would be good for students. “I know, not just myself, but all of my friends spend hundreds of dollars on textbooks and we either don’t use them or we try to return them and we don’t get our money back,” said Morrison. “It would be beneficial for us to get that money back because I feel like a lot of times we waste it on textbooks.”

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Is This Search or Seizure Legal?

United States Supreme Court Rules on Two Cases This Year That Could Impact Students

The United States Supreme Court recently ruled on two search and seizure cases that involved searching an individual to avoid evidence destruction and house searches that could affect college students.

In California, there was a recent case about a robbery that turned violent. Abel Lopez was attacked and robbed near an alleyway. The cops were called and the victim identified the attacker as Walter Fernandez.

They reached the door of where bystanders saw the robber run to and Walter Fernandez answered the door refusing to let the police in. He was arrested and taken in for questioning. The police came back and preceded to search the residency because of Roxanne Rojas, the co-tenant of the home allowed the search  through both written and verbal consent Even though Walter did not approve, he was then detained and police were permitted to search the apartment, which revealed a plethora of gang weaponry.

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A Conversation About Unrest in Ukraine with Dr. Charles Cotton

Dr. Charles Cotton, an adjunct political science professor, sat down with me to explain and discuss the current situation happening in Ukraine.

Jasmine Ramos: What exactly is happening in Ukraine?

Charles Cotton: Well, there obviously was some civil dissatisfaction with the previous government that was backed by the Russian government and thus, this lead to some civil unrest in the capital, Kiev which ultimately lead to the Russian-backed leader fleeing the country.

During the whole maul of things, he was also kicked out by the parliament, from what I understand and a more pro-western government is now currently in place. The civil unrest in Kiev has for the most part subsided.

There were a few days during the Olympics where things were getting quite out of hand and things escalated out of control very quickly, but then also died down very quickly, as a result.

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A Panel Clears Christie of Involvement in “Bridgegate”

Legislative Investigation Still Ongoing and Searching for Answers

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The California Six: Petition Filed to Split CA into Six States

Proposed Split Looks to Increase Tax Revenue but Could Weaken Representation in Congress

There is a petition started by Tim Draper, founding partner of DraperFisher Jurvetso, to split California into six separate states claiming that California is too large of a state to govern.

The question is frequently asked: will the splitting of California really solve the numerous issues that are occurring? Or will the State fall into anarchy?

California’s population and diverse culture has led the state to become practically ungovernable. All the different religions, cultures, and each city having their own niche of ideals has made it a great impossibility for the government to have control, according to the Huffington Post

When Professor Gregory Bordelon, lecturer of the political science department, was asked if diversity makes a state harder to govern he responded, “Concededly yes. Every entity to go through any state shouldn’t be the driving source for a succession movement. The separate sections of the state have more things in common than separate to make a split. Californian presence in the Congress will weaken if they separate. If they lose that, they will not have a strong influence. No one will want to go to California.”

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Negative: Fracking Causes Major Environmental Issues

Political Showdown: Is Fracking an Environmental Issue or Economic Stimulus?

The Up-shot

While the positive aspects of fracking and gas-drilling may seem appealing to those searching for domestically produced and protected sources of energy, the negative impacts these practices have upon the environment, the economies, and the people who exist locally and nationally are too big to ignore. In evaluating whether or not fracking is a viable option in changing America’s energy dependence, there cannot be a unanimous decision made without seriously evaluating the negative effects fracking has.

Until legislation can be passed and practices can be perfected, fracking should be kept as a back-burner option in trying to establish energy dependence. Without a healthy environment, a successful economy and an invested population, fracking will really serve no purpose, as there will be no outlet for the fracking’s energy to flow.

Safety and Health:

The health and safety risks associated with fracking are insurmountable and should be taken seriously. Air pollution, earthquakes, global warming emissions and associated health problems arise from the process of fracking, impacting residents surrounding such areas both environmentally and medically.

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Pro- Fracking: Shale Gas is Most Effective Form of Energy

Political Showdown: Is Fracking an Environmental Issue or Economic Stimulus?

Hydraulic fracturing or “Fracking” is a process where the injection of water along with other chemicals into well boreswhich creates fractures in rock deep into the ground. The fractures can free up natural gas, petroleum, and shale gas, allowing for the creation of well used to extract the resources. Fracking has been most known for:

1) Growing the shale gas industry

2) Its connection to environmental and health concerns. With all the media attention and controversy that Hydraulic Fracturing has aroused the question remains: Is fracking a harmful and dastardly process that we should fight to end, or is it a safe and reliable way to ensure energy independence for the US now and in the future?

From protesters surrounding drill sites, to multiple documentaries, fracking has created quite a stir. But has the opposition, the likes of Matt Damon and Rolling Stone looked at the full picture when it comes to the net value of fracking.

There is no doubt that the extraction of natural gas can have negative consequences for the local environment, but this is a common hazard of any fossil fuel extraction. The most telling place to look for solid evidence is Pennsylvania.

The Marcellus Shale which runs predominantly under most of the state has been seen as a “mecca” for natural gas. The geological formation is estimated to have enough natural gas to fuel American homes for 50 years. As for the communities within Penn, there has been no evidence of chemicals seeping into the drinking water which is drilled hundreds of feet underground. The shale deposit sits thousands of feet underground, nowhere near drinking water. 

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Immigration and College Education Affordability

In his State of the Union address in January, President Barack Obama declared that it was time for Congress to pass immigration reform legislation yet Democrats and Republicans cannot seem to agree on the correct way to go about changing immigration policy. And this has caused legislation to stall including legislation that will affect college students.

Part of this indecision comes from Senate and House Republicans, who claim that they do not trust Obama to follow through on tighter border security and to enforce laws that are passed. Speaker John Boehner seemed enthusiastic to work on immigration reform, but has also expressed his concern that this bill, if put to a vote in the House, will not pass because many Republicans in the House are up for midterm elections according to The Washington Times. A recent poll showed that voters in Iowa would not vote for a Republican candidate that supported immigration reform. Like most of the legislation these past few years, the vote is being left up to the states.

One of the reforms that is being left up to the states is a bill called the Development, Relief and Education of Alien Minors (DREAM) act.

The DREAM Act gives college students, who are in the US illegally, monetary help for college tuition. Students applying for the DREAM Act must meet a list of requirements to qualify for any kind of monetary aid. Some of the requirements include having entered the US before the age of 16, living in the US five years before the bill was enacted in that state, and having completed high school, obtaining the GED or is attending college.

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Conspiracy Theories: Government Cover Ups or Fun Stories?

It’s the human want to be able to understand everything. Being able to trust the information given to us and not question it. But what if we’ve been taught was a lie. What we thought were cold stone facts was actually an elaborate government cover up.

One shot by the hand of Lee Harvey Oswald was all it took; The life of the 35th President of the United States, John F. Kennedy was taken. Others say there were two gunmen. But, what if it was neither? What if the story to be told here was a less commonly known one?

That November morning in 1963 President Kennedy knew he was going into an area of Texas where party leaders were feuding.

Nonetheless, he needed the votes to win the election of 1964 - so he went anyway. The most deterring event that led to the decreasing support of President Kennedy was the Bay of Pigs. The reasoning behind this is the government agencies known as the Central Intelligence Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigations did not think enough was being done about the leader of Cuba, Fidel Castro, which gave motive for them to send in hit men to assassinate the President of the United States.

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Sweeney’s “Sandy Bill of Rights” Could Help Victims of Storm Get Answers Regarding Aid Application

NJ Senate President Steven Seeney pushed for his Sandy Bill of Rights. This bill is supposed to help with several things including, creating a clearer explanation of what is needed to be eligible for Sandy relief programs, the right to know the status of your relief application, the right to know why your application has been rejected, and the right to appeal if your application has been rejected on Feb. 19th.

In an article from the News 12 New Jersey website, Sweeny said, “As the governor, you’re responsible for what happens here,” He continued. “He’s responsible for this program, and it is a failure.”

There are communities all over New Jersey are still rebuilding from the storm. It seems like it was only yesterday NJ Governor, Chris Christie, was working side by side with President Obama in effort to rebuild the damage that was done to the state. Volunteers from New Jersey and around the country were helping in the recovery effort and helping others in need. So what is going on now?

Across the state, there are still residents that have not been able to move back into their homes. Other residents are still awaiting relief money. So who is to blame? Could it be Governor Christie or the Federal Government? Is it FEMA or the insurance companies? No matter whose fault it is, the bottom line is that the people of New Jersey want answers.

The importance of this bill is that it focuses on the disorganization of the Sandy recover effort. Many New Jersey residents have been left unaware of their relief status.

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Budget Cuts for the Military Include Closing Bases and the Amount of Active Duty Soldiers

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel proposed budget cuts that will downsize the military to its smallest size in 74 years, closing military bases and other military-wide savings on Feb. 24.

In this plan, which Congress can change, the active-duty Army would shrink from its current 522,000 soldiers to between 440,000 to 450,000. That would be almost 100,00 soldiers gone, the smallest number just before the U.S entered World War II. This would be providing the Pentagon with $26 billion on top of the $496 billion it will be receive due to the budget deal passed two months ago.

Criminal Justice Professor John Comiskey, and a member of the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve, said “2014 does not need pre-WWII personnel numbers. Technology has reduced the need for masses of troops to defend national interest.”

Another part of this proposal is the elimination of the Air Force’s fleet of A-20 aircraft and U-2 spy planes, and reductions in the size of the Army National Guard.

There has been speculation that the money being saved from this cut, could go towards welfare across the country. Former Vice President Dick Cheney does not agree with said plan. When being interviewed on Fox New’s “Hannity”, he believes Obama “would rather spend the money on food stamps than he would on strong military or support the troops.”

Many governors from both U.S political parties plan to talk to Obama about preventing such cuts to the National Guard units.

“In downsizing the military, we want to make sure that reserve and National Guard is protected in our country,” Connecticut Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Republican Wisconsin Governor  Scott Walker very much agreed with Mallo’s take on the subject. “I think there is common agreement amongst all 50 governors that we shouldn’t go back to pre-9/11 standards when it comes to the National Guard,” he said.

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National Minimum Wage Could Be on the Rise to Keep Up with Inflation

The debate over the national minimum wage looks to raise it from $7.25 to possibly $10.10 an hour. New Jersey, along with 19 other states and the District of Columbia, have minimum wages higher than the national minimum wage.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics minimum wage, if it kept up with the rising inflation would be at $10.74. This point along with a number of testimonies and deliberation has lead the US congress to consider a bill raising the federal minimum wage. Democrats would like to see the raise reach $10.10 by 2016. T

The President has been very vocal in his support for this change. Friday in Connecticut, President Obama said that higher wages will help, lift hard-working people out of poverty, giving them more money to spend and businesses, more customers and higher profits. He called it, “a virtuous cycle we can create.”

House Republicans have fought the plan, citing the negative effects such policy would have on the unemployment. The Congressional Budget Office release a report tuesday confirming fears of job loss close to .3 percent, or 500,000. The report has been criticized on Tuesday by multiple labor economists for its lack of specificity, putting the job loss range from zero to one million, and for overstating the bill’s effect on the job market. Economist Lawrence Katz of Harvard, said that the CBO used, “a lot of off the shelf estimates”, and he believes the findings would have been more realistic adhering to some higher quality studies.

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Students Participate and Observe United Nations Briefing with Speaker Jody Williams

Participation Through E-mails and Tweets Allowed Involvement During Internet Broadcast

Nobel Prize winner Jody Williams gave a speech at the United Nations that was broadcasted over the internet where students could engage with her during an informal briefing.

Jody Williams is a Nobel Peace Prize winner, grass roots activist, and has fought to ban landmines, for human rights, and against militarism. Williams said during the briefing, “I don’t care what anyone thinks about me. I don’t care if they agree with me or not. I believe what I believe for good reasons. I believe in sustainable peace, I believe in equality, I believe in justice, and if I make you uncomfortable that is your problem not mine.”

University students were able to watch the live briefing that was happening in the United Nations. The briefing began by the moderator, Ramu Damodaran declaring, “At one time the stage of history was always filled with kings and princes. And now one woman has come to change that, and her name is Jody Williams.” He continued by stating, "She has brought to the platform an individual without a platform."

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“War on Crime” Increases Security at University

MUPD has Successfully Implemented Programs to Prevent Crime on Campus

In various parts of the country, crime is an epidemic. Different types of crimes are more prevalent in different parts of the country whether it is assault, robbery, drugs and alcohol, etc.

The “War on Crime” was coined by President Richard Nixon who wanted to help law enforcement combat crime.

The bottom line is crime is everywhere. Just ask Professor John Comiskey, assistant professor of criminal justice. Comiskey is a retired lieutenant of the New York City Police Department (NYPD).

During his time with the NYPD, his assignments included patrol, narcotics, investigations, and counter terrorism operations.

Comiskey stated that robbery and crimes against property where the most common crimes that he saw during his time with the NYPD.  He also included that alcohol is a “nexus”, or connection to many of the crimes.

Comiskey said the use of a system called Comp Stat that is used to prevent crime. Comp Stat is a program that is still used today in many different areas of the country.

The Comp Stat system was used as a way of mapping crime and find crime patterns in certain areas so that the NYPD can be aware and deal with the crimes effectively.

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Congressman Frank Pallone Speaks to University about Sandy Recovery

United States Congressman Frank Pallone was the guest speaker in the class, “Sandy and the Political and Social Impact”, to discuss his personal experiences regarding Sandy recovery and the aftermath on Thursday, Feb. 20.

Patrick Murray, Director of the Polling Institute and the professor of the class said that when he designed the course, he wanted to have guest speakers from multiple angles to share their Sandy related experience with the students.

“We have been talking about the role of officials at all levels of government and the students have already heard from the New Jersey Senate President, the Monmouth County Sheriff, local mayors, and leaders from the non-profit world.  Rep. Pallone gave us the perspective of the federal official who acts a conduit between his constituents and the federal bureaucracy,” said Murray.

Timothy Tracey, research associate at the Polling Institute, worked with Pallone prior to coming to the University. In the direct aftermath, Tracey traveled with the Congressman surveying the damage and disaster response.

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Battle of the Roosevelts: FDR

Why Franklin D. Roosevelt is the better Roosevelt President

Franklin D. Roosevelt took office during the greatest crisis in American history since the Civil War. When he was inaugurated in March of 1933 at least one quarter of the United States was unemployed, factories and banks were closing, and America was losing hope. Roosevelt came in like a white knight with the confidence to slay the dragon that was the Great Depression.

His first 100 days were perhaps the most important of any in history, and set an unremarkably high standard for future presidents to come. FDR changed the political landscape through his New Deal action, bringing America and it’s people back from an economic despair that deeply crippled the country.

In FDR’s inaugural address he told the American people, “Let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.” Restoring hope and faith into a nation that had lost to so much.

Franklin D. Roosevelt’s confidence led him to act quickly with restoration of the economy. His first action, as part of the New Deal was to declare a four-day bank holiday, in order to prevent people from withdrawing money.

From there, according to History.com, Congress passed “The Emergency Banking Act” which allowed him to close down the banks that were broke. He advocated for the people to put their savings back into the open banks, through his first “Fireside Chat,” and due to this about three quarters of the banks reopened.

FDR’s Fireside Chats are one of the most important aspects of his presidency, and for the first time in history of the country it was not longer an “us” in the government but “we” the government, enforcing the very standards from the development of the country of by the people, for the people.

The Fireside Chats provided people with comfort, hearing the issues directly from the president and his course of action within their homes. The President had the means to lift their spirits, which helped them restore their faith in the government and pull out of the economically hard times. 

Within his first 100 days, Roosevelt had not only passed the Banking Act, but went on to end Prohibition, enact the National Industrial Recovery Act, funded Public Works Administration, the Agricultural Adjustment Act, the Tennessee Valley Authority Act, and the National Industrial Recovery Act.

On top of the Acts he was able to pass the Glass- Steagall Banking Bill which separated commercial banks from the spending banks, which basically dividing investment banks from savings banks so peoples money were protected from investments.

As the Great Depression continued, FDR continued his efforts through the enactment of his “Second New Deal” which tackled unemployment through a program titled Works Progress Administration (WPA).

The WPA provided jobs throughout the community that did not compete with the private industry. It gave employment through the building of roads, bridges, schools, post offices, etc.

Also he signed the Social Security Act of 1935 which established the Social Security program, in order to provide insurance for those unemployed and help care for the children and disabled of the unemployed.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt went on to be elected four more times, eventually dying in office. He comforted the country after Pearl Harbor, being able to address the nation through his Fireside Chats, providing security within his words, and then continued to take action through the Second World War.

The War eventually lead to the end of the Great Depression, however it is Roosevelt’s economic policies through Social Security, job stability, and separation of the banks that led to continuing success after he was gone.

His confidence led him to be a successful leader, and thus the better of the two Roosevelt’s. He fought for the people and helped the ones who needed him. He was not afraid to take a stance that may have no been popular to the financial stable few, embracing what the role of a leader meant.

PHOTO TAKEN from www.learnersonline.com

Feature: Sochi Olympics Fuels Many Debates in International Relations

The Olympic Games are a unique event in the operation of human society. In the alternating winter and summer renditions of this biennial spectacle, the youth of the world, hailing from diverse locales far and wide, are called to congregate and to compete on a single stage in the spirit of unity and fairness in celebration of the ability and potential of humanity.

In this year’s contest, held in Sochi, Russia, however, the spirit of the Olympic Games has come under threat from internal political factors. The threats are from Russian domestic policy as well as the strong-armed show of image politics on the part of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In the weeks and months preceding the games, the most salient story accompanying the typical pre-Olympic will-they-be-ready banter was Russia’s new anti-gay law, as it has been dubbed by much of the media.

The legislation, which is extremely vague in its wording and intent, was signed into law by Putin in June of last year. The bill prohibits the “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relationships” to minors, and builds upon pre-existing regional laws in several Russian Oblasts (provinces), which also sought to promote so-called traditional values among Russian youth.

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Battle of the Roosevelts: Theodore Roosevelt

Teddy Roosevelt was a Trust Busting Environmental Conservationist Who Helped Establish the Panama Canal

Theodore Roosevelt’s reputation as a trust buster, a major conservation figure with regards to the environment puts him in the argument as one of the best presidents. His trust busting led to monopolies being destroyed and made the American presidency a centerpiece of the morning newspapers with photos and easy interview access.

T. Roosevelt’s role as a trust buster is very famous. During his presidency, he dissolved 44 monopolies to avoid corruption in corporations and capitalism. He believed in fighting for the consumers to not pay astronomical prices that could be associated with monopolistic economy. He sought to protect the consumer and bring to the forefront labor and management issues, through the establishment of the Department of Commerce and Labor. He helped disrupt the J.P. Morgan trust with railroads and regulate rail prices for the consumer. Roosevelt’s idea of progressivism led to a working relationship between businesses and labor groups. Progressivism is based in use of expertise to identify and solve a nation’s problem while eliminating waste and corruption.

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Unemployment Cuts Affect 1.3 Million Americans

Long-Term Unemployment Helped 24 Million People During Recession

Approximately 1.3 million Americans received their last unemployment check once a federal program supplying extra weeks of benefits expired on Dec. 28, 2013. Beginning on Jan. 1, the maximum period allow for a citizen on unemployment was dropped from 73 weeks to 26 weeks.

The extended benefits program began during the Bush administration in 2008. It was in response to the long-term unemployment during the recession. It was able to help pay unemployment benefits to about 24 million Americans.

Since the expiration of the benefits, Congress has been back and forth on creating a proposal on whether to extend the benefits again.  According to The Washington Post, Democrats proposed to pay for $6 billion extension with “pension smoothing,” meaning temporarily raising taxes from employers by allowing them to pay less now into employee pension funds.

In an interview, Labor Secretary Thomas Perez said that major components of the plan that the Obama administration has for expanding the economy includes proposals for unemployment benefits, as well as to raise the minimum wage and overhaul federal immigration laws.

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Students Participate in the United Nations Remembrance of Holocaust

The Briefing Focused on Hungarian Jews affected by the Holocaust

Monmouth University’s Institute of Global Understanding (IGU) sent Youth Representatives, Meaghan Hess and Jacquelyn Corsentino, as well as Dr. Christopher Hirschler as a Faculty Representative. The Department of Public Information (DPI) hosted its first briefing of 2014 for the Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO).

The briefing focused on the 70th Anniversary of the Deportation of Hungarian Jews during the Holocaust. The panel included a scholar on the Holocaust, a survivor, and the current Hungarian Ambassador.

The first distinguished guest was Dr. Carol Ritter. Ritter is a professor of Holocaust and Genocide Studies at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. She is also the author of 17 novels regarding genocides in the 20th and 21st centuries. She provided the historical background for the audience with a short PowerPoint highlighting Hungary’s passive position during the Holocaust.

Prior to World War II, 825,000 Jews resided in Hungary. After the Holocaust, only 200,000 Jews remained in the country.

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“Today in America:” President Obama Will No Longer Wait For Congress

In the President’s Sixth State of the Union, He promises more Executive Orders

President Barack Obama delivered his sixth State of the Union Address in Washington D.C. on Tuesday January 28. During his speech the President spoke of the growth that the nation is experiencing and how he plans to continue it into his second term.

The President began his speech with an “It’s Morning in America” type tone, describing the lives of various everyday Americans and the good work that they do. Using the line “Today in America” he went on to talk about a teacher who spent a little extra time with students, an entrepreneur who created jobs through her business, an autoworker whose work helped America to become self-sufficient in oil production, a farmer who is ready to start the spring session of exports, a doctor who gave a child an affordable prescription, a man who worked a night shift so his son could have a better life, and finally a community who is thankful for its fellow citizens who have been lost to war.

Obama said, “It is you, our citizens, who make the state of our union strong. And here are the results of your efforts: the lowest unemployment rate in over five years; a rebounding housing market, a manufacturing sector that’s adding jobs for the first time since the 1990s, more oil produced at home than we buy from the rest of the world, the first time that’s happened in twenty years.”

Obama continued, “Our deficits cut by more than half, and for the first time in over a dedicated, business leaders around the world have declared that China is no longer the world’s number one place to invest; America is.”

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Editorial: What Three Things Should be Changed about American Politics?

This article addresses three things we would like to see changed in American politics. While no system is perfect and politics is a difficult profession, these topics are our observations of things that may help lead to a more productive political system. 


Presidential War Powers

The Presidential War Powers have increased too much: Can anyone tell us when the last official war the United States declared was? Most probably said the Iraq War but that is incorrect.

The last declared war was World War II. All the other conflicts that have taken place have been military actions that the president ordered. While Congress does control the funds for these conflicts, the president ordered them. According to the Constitution, the power to declare war rests with the Congress to offer checks and balances.

Presidential abuse of War Powers could be torn apart with a theory by Noam Chomsky, referred to as “Imperial Grand Strategy,” he explains that America acts under the idea that they can and will take action against any nation or organization that threatens their power, prestige, or security. The strategy depicts how the foreign policy of America often goes against the grain of international law in order to keep their country safe from any threat that they see fit.

This theory is seen, and practiced, by President George W. Bush in the declaration against Iraq in 2003. With the impending threat of weapons of mass destruction, something that will always be taken as a threat, President Bush decided to invade Iraq before the United Nations could investigate if the weapons truly existed, which they did not. 

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Gov. Christie Caught in Middle of Three Scandals; Two Involving Superstorm Sandy Related Aid

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has been involved with three scandals that may ruin his chances for a political future on the national stage and change opinions of him around the state of New Jersey.

The scandal that involves the George Washington Bridge or “Bridgegate” as it has been coined was the first scandal in which a traffic study was deemed as political retribution for Fort Lee Mayor, Mark Sokolich, a Democrat, not endorsing Gov. Christie’s re-election bid against Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Barbara Buono.

While Christie has not been directly linked to the scandal, members of his administration have been. His Deputy Chief of Staff, Bridget Kelly, sent an email to the Christie appointed Port Authority executive, David Wildstein, saying, “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.” Wildstein responded, “Got it.” The Governor has denied having any knowledge of the political retribution.

Dr. Christopher DeRosa, an associate professor of history, said, “The fact that his underlings created a massive traffic jam for their own or their boss’s amusement is a difficult one to shake.  It is the rare sort of the scandal that unpacks itself and tells you everything you need to know.  It doesn’t involve any complex maneuvers or gray areas.  From the outline of the story, anyone can grasp the perpetrators’ utter contempt for the ordinary citizen, and see the completely indefensible abuse of power.”

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Political Showdown: What Happned to New Jersey Gov. Christie? Part 2

Let’s face it: when it comes to politics and voting, we all come down on one of two sides: Democrat or Republican. Very rarely do we cross party lines when voting. It is just the way voters tend to be wired. Unless something drastic happens to change your mind and therefore your vote, you stick with the party you know.

I will be very, very honest with you. I am a liberal. Born and raised. That is something that is not going to change, probably, anytime soon. The few times I have voted, I have voted blue. I almost voted red in the last Governor’s race. Why? Because Gov. Chris Christie almost changed my mind.

When he first took office, uttering Gov. Christie’s name in my house was like asking for a fight. You see, Mom is a public employee. She is a librarian who felt the property tax cap at two percent. This meant no raises for her or her fellow librarians. She also felt the backlash of Gov. Christie’s negative attitude toward public workers. I cannot tell you how many times she came home from work, reeling from the hostile attitudes people would give her. “My tax dollars pay your salary,” is something she hears regularly.

There are other reasons why Gov. Christie and I do not see eye to eye, but I was willing to put all that aside after Hurricane Sandy. ber 2013, and the following months were terrifying, hard, and left permanent scars. Governor Christie conducted himself with grace and his usual “take no prisoners” attitude. And when he stood in front of Congress and told them that they should be ashamed for stalling the relief money...he had my vote.That moment changed my mind because he proved that he could be fair - that he could be bipartisan, and that he really worked for the people of New Jersey.

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Political Showdown: What Happned to New Jersey Gov. Christie? Part 1

Bridgegate, Sandy advertising, political blackmail and a presidential candidate crumbling. This is what everyone is talking about in the state of New Jersey and around the country. This is the situation that lies in front of New Jersey Republican Governor, Chris Christie. The once GOP presidential front runner has had his political armor scratched up and dented as he defends his administration in the face of three different controversies.

Gov. Christie has been such a dynamic figure in New Jersey politics. I saw him speak in Manasquan following Sandy and he was the champion that New Jersey needed post Sandy. He took the New Jersey fight to Washington over the aid bill that his own party was holding up. I go back and forth about my feelings regarding the Governor. I am fascinated with him as a politician and the role he has played in New Jersey politics. Do I agree with him on everything? Absolutely not. But he did gather my attention with his brass and sometimes rude attitude? Absolutely. Post Sandy, I was glad he was there fighting for the people of New Jersey, especially the local shore area that I love.

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University Students Experience the Politics and Culture of India Over Winter Break

Until Jan. 7, 2014 I have never left America. My 21 years of life and I had never left the country that I was born into, pretty crazy right? I have, however, been to Disney about 10 times which my bragging point was until now.

The trip was a part of a fulfillment for a course offered this semester by Dr. Rekha Datta. The class is an International Service Seminar where the students will apply the customs, politics, and various educational experiences learned from the trip into a classroom setting. This method is believed to be a strong one when trying to learn about a different country, especially one as complex as India.

Dr. Rekha Datta, professor of political science and instructor of the course said, “The goal of the trip to India was to offer an immersion experience to students and encourage community engagement through international service.”

India taught me a lot of valuable life lessons, some about travel and some about myself. I believe, however, the most important lesson that my experiences taught me is that no matter how much you read, study, and discuss a country or culture, you will never fully understand it until you experience it for yourself. There is a different type of education that comes from the actual experience of a culture, speaking with people, or working within the schools.

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Political Showdown: Is Capitalism Still Beneficial In Today’s Society? Pt.2

Affirmative - Regulated Capitalism

Capitalism is necessary to a thriving economy. Economic competition is what leads to a successful market. The three reasons why capitalism is still beneficial to society is: economic competition leads to more supply and demand, a thriving economic environment puts less people on social welfare and with a healthy capitalist society, prices can be brought down.

Supply and demand is the center piece for any economy. According to investopedia.com, the definition of supply and demand is, “The law of supply and demand defines the effect that the availability of a particular product and the desire (or demand) for that product has on price. Generally, if there is a low supply and a high demand, the price will be high. In contrast, the greater the supply and the lower the demand, the lower the price will be. At least in theory, capitalism lowers prices for the consumer.”

According to the United States Department of Agriculture in 2009, approximately 243,000 people were on Food Stamps or the SNAP program in New Jersey. In 2013, 432,000 people in New Jersey are on the program. As a country in 2009, 15 million people were on Food Stamps and in 2013; 23 million people are on the program. Capitalism gives any one of these people a chance to be innovative and be successful. In a capitalist society, it is a theory, that less people would be reliant on social welfare programs such as SNAP. Making more people reliant on government programs means higher taxes to pay for the program.

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Political Showdown: Is Capitalism Still Beneficial In Today’s Society? Pt. 1

Negative - Socialism May Not Be Such a Bad Idea

With the deepening decline in the middle class, there needs to be a better look into the economic system that is established by our government. According to an article from The Guardian, “Selfish Capitalism is bad for our Mental Health”, “Selfish Capitalism has massively increased the wealth of the wealthy, robbing the average earner to give to the rich. There was no ‘trickle-down effect’ after all.”

Take for example the corporation of Goldman Sachs, whose former executive Greg Smith wrote an editorial piece about his leave from the company that he found money to be the only driving force for the company.

Smith explained, “It makes me ill how callously people talk about ripping their clients off. Over the last 12 months I have seen five different managing directors refer to their own clients as ‘muppets,’ sometimes over inter e-mail.”

This mindset is one that is commonly found in companies like Goldman Sachs, and the many other corporations now found on Wall Street who are feeding off the continuing buffet that has become capitalism.

However, the alternative is that oh so scary term that is typically used in order to get a gasp of horror out of people: Socialism. In an article posted on Forbes, titled “3 Reasons Why Good Socialism Defeats Bad Capitalism,” discusses the misuse of capitalism and even socialism on both sides of the political realm. 

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Nelson Mandela, 1918-2013: A Tribute

The big tree has fallen

The giant has gone

A tall tree does not last in the forest

A big tree does not remain forever in the bush

We look for him

We cannot find him

We call his name

He cannot answer us

The great man has left

Khulu (the mighty one) has departed.

Born into a royal family

Died in royalty

His vision was clear

\His mission was accomplished

His time is over

His work is done

Rolihlahla, he was named

Nelson, his teacher called him

Mandela, the world called him

Born in South Africa, a Xhosa

But, a citizen, yes!

And a leader of the world

Mandela, a world hero

All hail him in life

All mourn him at death

He was a man of honor

An epitome of dignity

A spirited fighter for justice and equality

A man of peace

He preached peace and lived peace

From the beginning to the end,

he fought discrimination

Jailed for 27 years

Punished with hard labor

Lost his freedom; but never his fighting spirit!

He conquered Apartheid,

he demolished segregation

He was victorious

Released from prison; became President

Such is the power of resiliency

 

Mandela: Exemplar of forgiveness

Mandela: You are gone

We celebrate your life

As you join your ancestors…

And, we will always remember you…

Adieu Madiba

Adiós Khulu

Au revoir Tata

Kwaheri Nelson

O digba Rolihlahla

Goodbye Dalibhunga

Hamba Kakuhle Mandela

 

PHOTO TAKEN from Forbes.com

 

Affordable Textbook Bill Looks to Utilize Internet via “Open Educational Resources”

The Affordable College Textbook Act would allow universities to offer free textbooks via “Open educational resources” which would also make textbooks available to the public, according to bill sponsor Senator Richard Durbin.

According to the bill, S1704, Congress seeks to reduce the cost of college textbooks for students. William Rainey, manager of the University’s book store, said the main issue with the program would be the expense of it. “A typical textbook is multiple years of writing, editing and the important reviewing process which gives it credibility with its users.” Rainey said there have been success open source programs at some universities and states but it was very limited. Another issue Rainey mentioned is where the funding will come from.

The bill states that the average student budget for college books and supplies was $1,200, according to The College Board.  The Government Accountability Office said that textbook prices have increased 82 percent over the past ten years.

The bill cites the need for the “Open Educational Resource which is defined as “An educational resource that is licensed under an open license and made freely available online to the public.”

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Death of a Liberator: Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first democratically elected President, passed away on Thursday Dec. 5. Mandela is remembered by much more than his Presidency, including his life- long dedication to peaceful political movements against racial oppression and the fight for freedom in his nation.

Mandela’s health has been faltering for the past couple of years, with reoccurring lung infections that hospitalized him on numerous occasions. These health issues have kept him out of the political activist spotlight over these past couple of years, however he never left the spotlight through his many messages and historical acts.

According to NelsonMandela.org, Rolihlahla Mandela was born in Madiba clan in Mvezo Transkei on July 18, 1918. His father was a principal counselor to Jongintaba, the Acting King of the Thembu people. His father, Nkosi Mphakanyiswa Gadla Mandela passed away when he was just a boy, leaving him to become a ward of Jongintaba, which is how he first heard the stories of his people and their struggle for freedom.

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Affordable Health Care Website Had Glitches That May Have Discouraged Users

CNN released a poll including the Presidential approval rating indicator. Results showed a 41 percent approval rating for President Obama and a disapproval rating of 56 percent as of Thursday Nov. 21, .

These two indicators were records for the second term president, marking his lowest approval rating ever and highest disapproval. Though the executive office has seen its share of controversial issues, the recent problem is with what is Obama’s defining policy; the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The ACA, also known as Obama-Care was created to provide protections that were not always mandatory in health insurance coverages like the exclusion of those with pre-existing conditions and discrimination based upon gender. It extends the age that a child can remain under their parents Healthcare plans to the age of 26, which will directly affect college students. The act has the goal of ensuring that the approximately 47 million people, according to the census, are without coverage are provided with either cheap or even free health care.

There have been issues with the health care website. Which is where people can go to apply for healthcare under the new Affordable Care Act provisions. The website acts as a marketplace to bridge the gap between health insurance providers and costumers.

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Employment Non-Discrimination Act Would Grant Equality in the WorkplaceCNN

The Senate passed the Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA) with a majority, bipartisan vote: 64 to 32, according to CNN on Nov 7. This means the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transvestite (LGBT) community is one step closer to achieving equality in the workplace because it will be illegal for employers to discriminate based on their sexual orientation.

ENDA already makes it illegal for someone to be fired based on their skin color, their race, their religion, their sex, and their nation of origin, according to Glaad.org.

The White House reported, the new version of ENDA will put into place “federal protections” that will make it illegal for an employer to fire someone because they identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

Heather Kelly, the advisor of the group ALI (All Lifestyles Included), and Assistant Director of Student Activities for Multicultural and Diversity Initiatives, said, “I just want to preface my answers by stating that these are my opinions, and not the opinions of my office,”

Kelly continued this new law is so important because, “If you are L (lesbian), G (gay), B (bisexual) you can get fired, in. I believe it is 29 states. If you are T (transgender) it is 33. That is just if someone at your job finds out that you are dating someone else who is of the same sex. You can not be hired for the same reason, and that’s really something that is horrible, when you think about it.”

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Forum Throws Rocks at Glass Ceiling

A forum on women and  work, the wage gap, equal pay, anti-discrimination laws, and opportunities in the workforce was held on Monday, Nov. 18.

The forum included: Alitia Faccone, Governor Christine Todd Whitman, Sherrie String, Robyn Mingle, and Seena Stein. Dr. Peter Reinhart, the Director of the Kislak Real Estate Institute, helped organize the event and picked the notable speakers. Each of the speakers were given ten minutes to address their expertise on the subject.

The first distinguished speaker was Faccone. She is currently the director of Marketing for McCarter & English LLP. Faccone received her bachelor’s degree from Monmouth University.

Faccone is a strong advocate for the advancement of women in the workforce. She is chair of the Firm’s Women’s Initiative Steering Committee, co-editor-in-chief of the quarterly newsletter (Women in the kNOW), an active member of the National Association of Women Lawyers, and she serves as an Advisory Board Member to the Women in Law Empowerment Forum.

Faccone decided to talk extensively on the wage gap, the major court case revolving around gender, and anti-discrimination laws that has been proposed over the years.

The wage gap is when women are not paid the same rate as their male counterparts. It is hard to deny the statistics that women are making less in their wages than men.

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Seton Hall Law Professor Shows Students What a Law School Class Looks Like

Seton Hall Law professor, Ronald Riccio ran a mock law class for University students interested in learning how a class would be run on Tuesday, Nov. 19 in Young Auditorium.

Riccio is a law professor at Seton Hall and is a practicing lawyer from the law firm McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney and Carpenter.

Dylan Hankinson, a senior political science major attended the event and was impressed by Riccio. “After taking Dr. Bordelon’s class and being exposed to this seminar I feel ready to go off to law school, and a weight has been lifted.”

He also said that another reason he felt ready for law school, was because of Bordelon’s Media Law class, in which you go over almost all these cases, learn how to draft case dockets, and cover other types of law.

Dr. Gregory Bordelon, lecturer for the Political Science and Sociology Department said,“I wanted the students at Monmouth University to be exposed to the legal education which is different than an undergraduate experience, and Monmouth University has always had a good relationship with Seton Hall, Seton Hall’s strongest graduates have been from Monmouth University,” said Bordelon.

Hankinson said, “I expected Mr. Riccio to start throwing complicated terms at us, however everything he said for the most part I knew about and was able to follow on with the seminar, which was about First Amendment rights.”

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Univeristy Students Participate in United Nations Academic Impact Discussion Panel

The Political Science and Sociology Department sponsored a day trip to a United Nations Conference in New York City on Monday, November 18. Students and faculty were able to participate in a discussion with other universities for the third anniversary of the United Nations Academic Impact, an organization dedicated towards making a difference in education throughout the world.

The United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) is dedicated to sharing a culture of intellectual social responsibility and provides a forum for young academics to come together to discuss their ideas and share personal experiences. The Conference was held in celebration of UNAI efforts over the past three years and promoting their future successes. Representing the University on the panel was Dr. Rekha Datta, an associate professor of political science and Daniel Roman, a junior political science major.

In an effort to introduce the various individuals who have been working to make a difference through the youth forum, Datta, along with several other scholars, discussed how far the UNAI has come since its creation in November of 2010. Each scholar, in their professional capacities, discussed the organizations that they are involved in and how they are directly related to the organization.

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“Cao Goes to Washington” Shows Battle Between Citizens and Party Lines

“Cao Goes to Washington” is a documentary about former Congressman Joseph Cao that was shown in the Pollack Theater on Nov. 12, directed by political documentarian, S. Leo Chiang, regarding Cao’s battle between the Affordable Care Act  and the Republican Party.

Chiang took those in attendance on a personal journey into Cao’s election into office in New Orleans, as a Republican Asian Congressman, from a place where a majority are Democratic, as well as African American. Views saw his struggle for reelection after voting “nay” for the Affordable Health Care Act (ACA) during the second voting for the House of Representatives.

Cao’s initially voted for the ACA, which he explained, “The people down here need it, my people need it, and the needs of the people for outweigh the party.”

While the people of New Orleans supported him, Republicans were disgruntled, and the Democrat’s claimed he was in the wrong party.

However, as the documentary unfolds, the audience learns that Cao is a Republican because he is conservative especially about pro-life issues. When the second round of voting commenced, Cao realized that the provisions for abortion were not changed and he took to the podium, to exclaim why he would not support the ACA and cast his vote “nay.”

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JFK Killed 50 Years Ago: What Actually Happened? Depends on Who You Ask

Conspiracy theories began swirling almost immediately after President John F. Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963, and have never really stopped.

A spate of new books re-examining that moment in anticipation of the 50th anniversary has revived some theories, tried to squelch others and found intriguing new details of botched investigations or deliberate concealment by authorities.

There’s a ready audience: 61 percent of the American people believe that Lee Harvey Oswald did not act alone in killing the president, according to the most recent Gallup poll, released Friday. While the percentage of those who believe in a conspiracy is the lowest since the late 1960s, it confirms the public’s ongoing doubts about the “lone gunman” theory.

The likely conspirators?

The poll found that 13 percent believe the Mafia and 13 percent think the federal government was involved; seven percent named the CIA; five percent each believe Cuban leader Fidel Castro, “special interests” and political groups were responsible; the Ku Klux Klan, then-Vice President Lyndon Johnson and the Soviet Union each drew three percent.

The belief in a conspiracy hasn’t diminished in nearly 50 years of polling. Doubts also persist about the findings of the Warren Commission, which was created by Johnson, after he became president, to investigate the assassination and was led by Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren.

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National Security Agency: What Information Do They Keep and What are They Looking For?

Ever since details of the surveillance programs enacted by the National Security Agency (NSA) surfaced in June, the revelations of the United States electronic data gathering initiatives, domestically and internationally, have dominated global headlines and have raised new questions concerning individuals’ expectations of privacy in the 21st century digital age.

Information regarding what has been referred to as, domestic spying program by much of the American media, was leaked by former NSA data analyst, Edward Snowden. He revealed scores of documents to the world’s press regarding the existence of several NSA data mining initiatives, such as the now infamous PRISM program, aimed at combating the organization efforts of global terrorist groups via the monitoring of internet and cellular traffic - that is, the frequency, points of origin, and, in some cases, the content of the personal communications of potentially millions of electronics users around the world, American citizens included.

Perhaps the most scathing revelation leaked from Russia by Snowden is the aforementioned PRISM program. From formerly classified presentation slides, now available for the viewing of the general public on Wikipedia, it has been learned that the U.S. government has been working to collect the internet browsing habits of American citizens since at least 2007. This was also the year that, according to the leaked documents, Microsoft began to provide the NSA with their users’ data.

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Bus Trip Goes to Asbury Park Convention Hall to see Christie Accept Second Term as Governor

The Political Science Club sponsored a bus trip to the winning candidate of the Governor’s Race’s victory party and speech, last Tuesday night. A mixed group of graduate students, undergraduates, and members of the community gathered on the bus that left at 8 pm to go to Asbury Park Convention Hall where Governor Elect Chris Christie’s victory party was held.

The bus picked up everyone who reserved a seat behind the Rebecca Stanford Student Center. Students and people of the community were able to get their tickets online for free.

Upon arrival to the Convention Hall, students had to present their tickets and go through a short security tent set up out front of the entrance. Once inside on the main floor was a stage set up where Christie was going to give his acceptance speech on the main floor. Food and drinks were offered in a separate hall connected to the main floor.

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My Night at Governor Chris Christie’s Victory Party

Every state and federal election my University’s Political Science Club takes a bus to the campaigning headquarters of the two different parties. This year I decided to jump on the board and get the full on experience. However, this year the professor in charge could not leave until 8 pm, so we could only go to the winning campaigns victory party.

The Bus

The bus was outside of our University’s student center, waiting for all the political science junkies to get excited to go to the Headquarters of non-other than the Governor Re-Elect Chris Christie. It was large and in charge (fitting I know), with comfy seats and TV screens pulled down, reminding me of what real political journalist ride on following their assigned candidate. We figured, as the political science group, that there would really only be other fellow members. What we did not expect was not know the majority of the people on the bus. There were graduate students, undergradrautes and people from the community alike all on board to have a night of political nerdiness. While on the bus waiting for the official call that we all knew was coming, I got the tweet that we were heading to the right party to hear the right Candidate give his acceptance speech.

Getting into the Party

When entering the Asbury Park Convention Hall we all had tickets and ID’s in hand. While waiting a woman working for staff went around informing all the women in the group they could not have a bag bigger than the size of a wallet for security reasons. This my friends is to make sure that no one was carrying in any weapons to such an event as the  Governor’s accepting his speech to be a Governor again. Luckily I did not have a bag much bigger than the size of a fist, in preparation for such and ideal, and got in without a problem. 

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Voters Raise Minimum Wage

New Jersey voters passed a constitutional amendment to raise the state’s minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.25 and to tie future minimum wage increases to inflation. This raise will affect businesses and workers alike.

The amendment passed 60 percent to 40 percent, according to USA Today.com. Before the vote, Gov. Chris Christie had vetoed the bill (A2162) passed by the New Jersey Legislature in 2012. The Legislature voted to have it placed on the ballot where it passed on Nov. 5.

Christie said that raising the minimum wage was not a good idea.  He said it was, “Just an irresponsible thing to do.” He has also called it “a truly ridiculous idea” to write the minimum wage increases into the state constitution, according to a USA Today article.

“The money doesn’t come off a magic money tree. The money comes from the pockets and the hard work of the small-business owners,” Christie said.

Aimee Parks, Assistant Director of Human Resources for Student Employment said that there are 1,048 Federal Work Study (FWS) placement students. Parks said that there will be meetings regarding the effects of the new wage. She also said this will make student positions more competitive. “Our office expects more students will want to work on campus and on campus [jobs] will be even more competitive. It will be a good motivator for students to sign up for their job in advance next fall,” said Parks.

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Five Years Since the Economic Crisis: Where Are We Now?

President Obama announced the five-year anniversary of the financial crisis at his address to the nation last month, reminding Americans that we have yet to fully recover from the economic collapse of the 2008.

The 2008 financial crisis, known worldwide as the Global Financial Crisis, has had immediate and long-term effects on our nation’s economy that we are still recovering from today and most likely will be for many years to come.

According to an article from CNN, the economic crisis resulted in the failure of hundreds of large and small businesses and contributed to a vast decline in consumer wealth estimated in trillions of U.S. dollars.

The downturn in American economic activity also led to the 2008-2012 recession; argued by many economists to be the worst recession our country has seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

It has been five years since the crisis began and thousands of U.S. citizens and their families, small and large corporations, investment banks, as well as our national government are still struggling to recuperate.

Despite government attempts to remedy the economy after the financial collapse, there has been minimal economic recovery, an article from CNN explains. For example , the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 attempted to save and create jobs as well as provide temporary relief for those impacted by the recession, but has not had worked as anticipated according to the article.

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Special New Jersey Senatorial Election Voter Turnout at All Time Low

On Oct. 17, Democrat Cory Booker won the special election to be U.S Senator for New Jersey against Republican Steve Lonegan. They both ran for an aggressive two months to finish Sen. Frank Lautenberg term after he passed away while in office last June at age 89. Unfortunately, the turnout was extremely low for this election.

“Voter turnout in the special election was about 24 percent of registered voters. That’s the lowest turnout for a statewide election since at least 1920, which is as far back as state records go.

“That even includes elections in off-years when there is no statewide office, such as Governor or U.S. Senator on the ballot,” said Patrick Murray, Director of Monmouth University Polling Institute.

One reason to explain what happened during the special election is that many people were unaware of said election, according to Murray.

Murray continues, “Part of this had to do with the fact that New Jersey has never had a special election, let alone one that was so close to the regular election – and on a Wednesday to boot.

Monmouth University Polling Institute found that even among voters who almost always go out to vote, about 1-in-10 were still unaware of the special election just days before it occurred.”

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Is Lobbying Good for Politics?

The Effects on Lobbying in the American Political System

We know that Congressmen are not all math wizzes who can foresee all outcomes when it comes to economic theory; they are not seasoned scientists who can cite the effects every decision has on the environment. Apart from hearings, advisors, and constituents like you and me, who really informs politicians and government officials?

Thomas Boggs is a 72-year-old resident. He has practiced law, worked as a coordinator in the White House, and found success in these fields.

He is also a certified lobbyist. Lobbying is something anyone can do. Lobbying requires a five  minute conversation with your local member of Congress on any topic or issue.

Every major company hires lobbyist ranging from pharmaceuticals to automobiles business hire lobbying firms to have someone promoting their interests, to law makers. Top lobbying firms like the one Boggs is a senior partner for make from $20 to $40 million a year.

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Monmouth Debate Team Attended West Point Military AcademyTournament

The Monmouth University Debate Team competed at the West Point Military Academy tournament on October 18-19, 2013.  The tournament included approximately 90 teams from 17 universities including Cornell, Vanderbilt University, The U.S. Naval Academy, Boston College and NYU to name a few.  Each year, a topic is picked to be debated throughout the year.

The topic for this year is RESOLVED: THE UNITED STATES FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SHOULD SUBSTANTIALLY INCREASE STATUTORY AND/OR JUDICIAL RESTRICTIONS ON THE WAR POWERS AUTHORITY OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES IN ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING AREAS: TARGETED KILLING, INDEFINITE DETENTION, OFFENSIVE CYBER OPERATIONS, OR INTRODUCING U.S. ARMED FORCES INTO HOSTILITIES.

The Monmouth team created a case limiting the President’s authority in the area of drone strikes.  Monmouth debater Sana Rashid received a 10th place speaker award at the tournament.  Monmouth entered seven two person teams in the tournament, including team captain Dan Roman and Michelle Grushko, who debated in the experienced division, and Jessica Roberts and Kyle Tucker, Ryan Kelly and Saliha Younas, Danielle Doud and Monica Santos, Rafael Gonzalez and Michael Hamilton, Amanda Kontor and Luis Reyes,  and Sana Rashid and Irma Pinos. Ten Monmouth debaters made their debating debut at this tournament and every team secured at least one victory.  Jessica Roberts and Kyle Tucker fell just short of making the playoff rounds with a 3-3 record.

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Mock Trial Team Won First Award at Coast Guard Academy Invitational

Team B (our novice team) cut their teeth on their first invitational at the Coast Guard Academy this weekend, winning 1 ballot (out of a possible eight).  They were nervous, but prepared and professional. All of the students are eager to compete in more invitational this semester before the regional placements in the spring. This is a mirror image of the current Team A from their very first invitational ever last December at Temple.

Team A placed 9th out of a field of 20 teams, moving up consistently as the tournament went on, finishing with a record of 5 winning ballots, 3 losses.  In only a year of having a team, this is a remarkable achievement particularly the improvement from last year!  Anthony Giannopolous, new to the team this year, was told by a round judge (who is also a fulltime faculty member at the USCGA) that he gave the best cross-examination he’d ever seen in any of these competitions.

Our first award happened at this invitational – Cara Turcich won an individual award for best witness performance.  These awards are determined by the judges in each round deciding which competitors gave strong performances as both attorney roles and witness roles.

PHOTO COURTESY of Gregory Bordelon

Phone Operators Dealing with Obamacare may Have Caused Confusion due to Lack of Training

An elderly man calls to ask if the land he owns will count as income to qualify for health coverage through Medicaid. A legal immigrant asks if she can sign up for a health plan through the state’s online insurance marketplace. A broker wants help to become certified to start selling coverage.

It’s 10 a.m. Monday inside the call center of Connecticut’s new insurance exchange established under the Affordable Care Act, the federal health law. On the 21st floor of the downtown Prudential Building, about 25 operators in blue shaded cubicles are talking on telephone headsets while a dozen more callers wait on hold.

“It’s controlled chaos,” said David Lynch, the call center manager for the marketplace.

Centers like these were touted by President Barack Obama this week as one of several alternatives for consumers having trouble shopping and enrolling in plans through healthcare.gov, the bug-ridden website run by the federal government for residents of 36 states.

“The call centers are available,” he said, reciting the telephone number _ 1-800-318-2596. “You can talk to somebody directly and they can walk you through the application process. . . . Once you get on the phone with a trained representative, it usually takes about 25 minutes for an individual to apply for coverage, about 45 minutes for a family.”

But consumer advocates say the centers were never meant to be an alternative to the insurance exchange website. They were conceived of as a supplement _ a way to offer some consumers more help to understand their options.

“The telephone call center is not a realistic alternative to the website,” said Adam Linker, a health policy analyst for the North Carolina Justice Center, a consumer advocacy group. “The marketplace was billed as a place to easily shop and compare plans, but on the phone there is no real way to do that.”

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Political Superstorm: Sandy and the Government’s Role

Stronger Than the Storm: Superstorm Sandy One Year Later

Superstorm Sandy hit and government agencies and personnel were expected to serve the citizens and communities affected by the storm. Issues such as easements, dune replenishment and insurance claims have been a large part of the recovery effort.

According to a Monmouth University polling institute poll, Gov. Christie is leading over State Senator Barbara Buono by 24 points. Christie’s popularity soared after Superstorm Sandy to 69 percent approval rating.

Dr. Joseph Patten, Chair of the Political Science and Sociology Department, said, “Polls show that New Jersey residents admire the way he took charge during the crisis, and his willingness to work across the political aisle with Democrats to solve problems in our state.”

Patten continued, “This is especially appealing to residents since Washington has been bogged down in partisan politics in recent years.  Generally, Governors and Mayors are less partisan than legislators because as executives they are responsible for solving problems, they actually run the government, and usually prefer not to waste as much time with partisan bickering.”

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Same-Sex Marriage Now Legal in NJ

SSMarriageGov. Chris Christie has stopped his lawsuit to prevent same-sex couples from being married in the state of NJ. Same-sex couples can begin getting married starting Monday, Oct. 21 according to the New Jersey Supreme Court.

Christie's attempted to prevent same-sex marriages from taking place until the appeal is settled in January. Following the announcement from the NJ Supreme Court, Christie stopped his lawsuit.

According to politico.com's statement from Christie's office, "Although the Governor strongly disagrees with the Court substituting its judgment for the constitutional process of the elected branches or a vote of the people, the Court has now spoken clearly as to their view of the New Jersey Constitution and, therefore, same-sex marriage is the law. The Governor will do his constitutional duty and ensure his Administration enforces the law as dictated by the New Jersey Supreme Court."

The New Jersey State Legislature had voted to allow same-sex marriages in 2012 but the Governor had vetoed the bill saying that he believes the issue should be left up to the voters via referendum Nov. 2013. Same-sex marriage is currently legal in 13 states including: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington as well as the District of Columbia.

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May Dictate Where You Go to Law School

The LSAT Exam is One of the Main Components that Law Schools Examine for Acceptance

LSAT101In a 2011 survey, 12,9925 students took the law school Admission Test, better known as the LSAT, every year. Although there has been a decline in the amount of students taking the LSAT each year, the LSAT attracted close to 250,000 million students a year.

In 2009, 171,514 students took the LSAT and in 2010, 15,5050 students took the exam.

However, due to the recession and international competition from competing oversea law schools, the U.S. numbers have dropped substantially over the years. However, getting into law school did not always require the LSAT test. At one point, a students GPA alone was the determining factor of getting into law school until 1945 when the following schools created a board to structure what would be called the Law School Admission Test.

The idea for a test that would filter out prospective students, who could actually survive the intense curriculum of law school was developed by a Columbia law school teacher, Frank Bowles.

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Should Newspapers Endorse Political Candidates?

A newspaper's job is to report a story based on the facts and what the pulse of the community is. However, more and more newspapers are beginning to endorse political candidates. Does this affect their credibility?

This past New Jersey campaign season, the Star Ledger made two different endorsements. The endorsement for the Senatorial Special Election was made for Cory Booker, whom now we refer to as Senator Booker. With overwhelming support for the success that Booker has had with his mayor career, according to the Editorial Board at the Star Ledger felt he would be the best candidate to represent New Jersey in the Senate.

They refer to his "economic development, reducing violent crime, building affordable house and parks" to a list of credibility that made Booker the best candidate for the Senate.

They also stressed his ability to "cross party lines" which is something they felt important for people in the government to be able to do successfully. Referring to him as sensible deals, hoping that with a candidate like Booker there could be some real discussion within the Senate on progressive change that would not have to be so highly influenced and rejected by political ideology.

However, the Star Ledger was not the only one to endorse Booker. During the election there were also endorsements for Booker from the Philadelphia Inquirer, Courier Post, and Asbury Park Press.

John Morano, Professor of Journalism and Advisor The Outlook, said, "There has certainly been a long tradition of newspapers endorsing political candidates. In fact, The Outlook has on occasion endorsed candidates for the University presidency. So, the short answer to your question is yes, it can be a useful practice, depending on a few conditions."

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New Jersey Special Election Results

Democratic Candidate Cory Booker won NJ Speical Election by 10 points

corybooker

Booker: 54.6%

Lonegan: 44.4%

According to: Politico

U.S. and Iran Working Towards Diplomacy

For the first time in over 30 years, the leaders of two countries; the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran, have spoken. President Barack Obama and President Hassan Rouhani, have broken the deafening silence which has been the trademark of the relationship with a phone call, according to NPR.com. Such steps forward has many spectators asking the same the question: is this a fresh start for the countries?

In 1953, the CIA supported a coup that overthrew the democratically elected leader of Iran for one friendlier to the US. This all changed in 1979 when, after over twenty years, Iranian leader Shah Mohammad Mossadeq was ousted and replaced by Ayatollah Khomeini. In a matter of days, the Kingdom of Iran transformed into the Islamic Republic of Iran. Weeks later, after Iranians stormed the American embassy, the workers were held hostage and America entered into the Iranian Hostage Crisis. After 444 days, when all the hostages were released, the U.S. formally cut all ties to Iran, according to BBC.com.

For over 30 years, the silence between the two have dominated any possible dialogue the countries could have.  The situation only became more tense when allegations of Uranium enrichment and the building of nuclear facilities came to light in 2002. Most recently it has become apparent that Iran is propping up one of it’s staunchest allies in the region, Bashar Al-Assad’ s government in the Syrian Civil War, according to CS Monitor.com..

Dr. Saliba Sarsar, Associate Vice President for Global Initiatives, explained “Behind-the-scenes preparatory talks probably made the call possible.  It comes at a crucial time:  Iran has nuclear ambitions but suffers from major UN and non-UN-mandated sanctions.” He went on to say “The call is meant ‘to break the ice’ and defuse some of the tense conditions in the Middle East.

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Christie and Buono Step into the Ring for their First Gubernatorial Debate

Christie in the Lead; Buono Looks to Gain Ground Before Election on Nov. 5

According to the latest Quinnipiac University poll, Republican Governor Chris Christie has 62 percent of the votes over his Democrat opponent, Barbara Buono. Not even the debate on Tuesday, October 8, was able to change much of the direction in which the polls were going.

At their first debate, both candidates were clear to show that  they had opposite views, ranging  from education to gay marriage. Christie seemed to have walked away with victory, making him a possible candidate for the Republican nomination for president, while Buono used her time to get her points across.

“[The] debate was really the entire campaign encapsulated into 60 minutes,” explained Patrick Murray, Director of Monmouth University Polling Institute.  “Barbara Buono threw out a whole host of issues where she disagrees with Gov. Christie, but never fully developed a clear line of attack that would appeal to independent voters. Christie demonstrated how he is a master of turning attacks to his advantage.  In the end, this debate did nothing to change the race’s dynamics,” said Murray.

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Former President Jimmy Carter Hosts the 30th Annual “Carter Work Project”

MU Community Volunteers in Helping Hurricane Sandy Victims in Union Beach

Former President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn showed their humanitarian efforts in Union Beach during a joint effort with Habitat for Humanity and the 30th annual Carter Work Project, to help build and repair homes ravaged by Superstorm Sandy almost one year ago.

Union Beach, like many other towns along New Jersey’s coastline, suffered significant damage as a result of the storm, the Habitat for Humanity website explains. Over 80 percent of the town’s homes were affected by flooding, while more than 50 were completely washed away during the storm and another 200 were leveled in the months that followed.

Today, 500 families still remain displaced and the entire town continues to struggle to move past the disaster, according to the website. The Carter’s involvement with Habitat for Humanity International, a non-governmental and non-profit organization, began in 1984 when the 39th president led a work group to New York City to help renovate a six-story building with 19 families in need of decent, affordable shelter.

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New Jersey State Superior Court Rules in Favor of Same-Sex Marriage Starting Oct. 21

The Superior Court of New Jersey, located in Mercer County, made a “historic” decision in the case, Garden State Equality v. Dow where Head Judge Mary Jacobson ordered state officials to begin officiating same-sex marriages as of Oct. 21, 2013.

This decision was 10 years in the making. Lamda Legal and Garden State Equality, New Jersey’s statewide LGBT advocacy organization, represented six same-sex couples and their children. Lamda Legal and Garden State Equality claimed that their clients were harmed because of the unequal civil union system. They claimed that civil unions violate both the NJ Constitution and the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

After the landmark decision this past summer in U.S. v. Windsor, the Supreme Court declared the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) as unconstitutional. DOMA, a federal law, defined marriage as a union strictly between one man and one woman.

Judge Jacobson declared that the state government is violating New Jersey’s Constitution by denying federal benefits to the couples by not allowing them marry.

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Booker in the Lead of New Jersey Special Election

Only one week remains until the people of New Jersey head to the polls on Wednesday, Oct. 16 for a special election, to select the state's next U.S. Senator, filling the seat left vacant by the death of former Senator Frank Lautenberg.

Newark Mayor Cory Booker is representing the Democratic Party and former Gubernatorial Candidate Steve Lonegan is the Republican candidate.

As of October 1, a Monmouth University poll showed Booker maintaining a 13 percentage point lead over Lonegan.

Booker’s presence on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook has increased. He also entered a burning home to rescue a woman who had been trapped amid flames and acrid smoke have gained him popularity over the last few years.

If elected to the Senate,  Booker vows to fight for continued improvements to the healthcare system, to bolster education, to continue advancing the causes of women's rights, to ensure marriage equality for same-sex couples, and to safeguard the long term health of the environment.

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“Essential” Government Employees Being Paid During Government Shutdown

As the shutdown of our government continues, now on its ninth day since congress failed to pass a budget on September 1st, 2013. Eight-hundred thousand federal workers have been furloughed, and the economic repercussions are still unknown, mostly depending on how long this shutdown lasts.

During the shutdown what our government calls, “non-essential” services are no longer funded. There are also “essential” government jobs that will be affected, like active duty servicemen, Department of Labor mine inspectors, and Secret Service agents but most will not receive pay. The constitution dictates that certain people must be paid, even during a shutdown.

As it stands our president and our legislators in the house and senate will still be receiving their paychecks. Congress’s salaries fall under what is called “mandatory funds”. Their paychecks do not fall under the umbrella of discretionary spending that is affected by an un-passed budget.

It has raised some eyebrows and created a few headlines as to why the Congress and President are paid when they are the ones who have resulted in the government shutdown.

As of Friday, September 27, one hundred and forty-four members of Congress have decided to give or refuse to take their earnings during the shutdown.

Questions of motive and ingenuousness followed congressional announcements of what they would do with their pay. Are they just making a political move or is this an honest decision that congress feels will relieve the burden of the government shutdown off the American people.

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What Are the Effects of the Government Shutdown?

Many Services Offered by the Federal Government Will Not Be Reinstated Until Deal is Made

On Tuesday October 1, 2013 at 12:01, the federal government could not reach an agreement on a budget and as a result, led to a government shutdown.

This is not a new thing the US Federal Government shut down in 1995 and 1996. It lasted 28 days and included putting non-essential government workers on furlough and the suspension of non-essential services. We should expect a similar result this time.

Professor of economics and finance, Dr. Steven Pressman, said that a shutdown could result in slower economic growth, “but it should not lead to any major economic catastrophe (assuming that the situation ends shortly after Oct. 1 because people are so upset with Congress).”

When the day came for the shutdown, there was not one major event but a chain of events. Most essential federally funded operations will remain untouched, like post offices, military personnel and coastal services. National Parks, Museums, and monuments will close, along with major delays the acquiring of federal loans, permits, and passports due to the shutdown.

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Dr. Aditi Dey Visits University from India

Dey Will be Guest Lecturer in Politics in India Classes at Undergraduate and Graduate Level

This month, the University welcomed a visiting international scholar, Dr. Aditi Dey, from Calcutta, India. Dey will be guest lecturing in the undergraduate course Politics in India, and the graduate course Public Policy in India.  She will be at the University until October 9.

Dr. Rekha Datta, professor of political science was the one to nominate to have Dr Dey come to campus. “I have known Dr. Aditi Dey for over three decades. I always knew that she loves teaching and has a wonderful rapport with her students. When I nominated Dr. Dey for the position of Visiting International Scholar, my hope was that she would interact with students, faculty, and campus constituents in such a way that there is a vibrant exchange of ideas and thoughts,” Datta said.

Dey received her Ph.D on Indira Gandhi’s leadership in India’s Democracy at Calcutta University. She has been teaching Politics in India, Public Administration, and Political Theory for 29 years at Shri Shikshyatan College.

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How Will Obamacare Affect Students?

The Affordable Health Care law, better known as Obamacare, will require everyone in America to have health care coverage or be faced with a fine by Jan. 1, 2014. The enrollment process for Obamacare will be provided on Oct. 2 until Mar. 31, 2014.

Kathy Maloney, Director of Health Services, said that 80 to 85 percent of the student population has health insurance through their parents or employment so this law will only affect “15 to 20 percent of the student population tops.”

Maloney said having access to health insurance is important for many reasons. According to Maloney, it allows access to care without paying out of pocket. “Young adults never think they are going to get sick. They are at that age and stuff happens and it can be catastrophic and it can quickly bankrupt you.”

Mary Anne Nagy, Vice President of Student and Community Services, said that healthier students lead to an overall better college experience. “The healthier students are and the healthier they stay, they are more likely to be successful in the classroom and anything else they do and if they are sick and can’t afford to pay out of pocket because they don’t have insurance, it forces them to miss class or miss work or involvement because they are sick; it’s not good.”

Nagy continued, “Whereas, if they are healthy, they can go to class, get their work done, do internships, and get involved, which is important for them being successful.”

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Sarin Gas Attack on Syrian Citizens Sparks Debate on How World Should React

The United Nations Security Council reported an attack on a suburb of Damascus, the capital of Syria on August 21. According to the UN, the victims of the violence experienced “shortness of breath, disorientation, extreme eye irritation, blurred vision, vomiting, weakness and loss of consciousness.”

Thirty-five days later, the whole world’s attention has been focused on Syria and its President, Omar Assad. The words “nerve gas” and “chemical weapons” have grabbed the attention of everyone from United Nation officials to citizens in the United States.

It was suspected that the chemical weapon used was sarin gas, a dangerous nerve agent that usually leads to fatalities when it comes into contact with humans.

According to the Center for Disease Control, nerve gas is a man-made substance that once inhaled, or ingested, causes overstimulation of neurons, leading to bodily functions slowing or stoping. With sarin, it can take seconds for the body to start reacting, typically with the victim having trouble moving, breathing and dying.

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President Obama Talks About the Rising Costs of Colleges Around the East Coast

President Barack Obama went on a two day college bus tour in August to promote his new plans on how to make college more affordable. The tour went through the states of Pennsylvania and New York, stopping at the University of Buffalo, Henninger High School, Bingham University, and ending in at Lackawanna College.

The President spoke about the rising cost of higher education. The President spoke about how the cost of higher education has raised 260 percent whereas the income of families has only gone up about 18. He claimed this to be the reason that college has “become out of reach for too many people, or young people are being loaded up with more and more debt.”

Kim Shepherd, a senior communication major, agreed that affordability is an issue. Shepherd said, “Someone like me who has taken a little longer throughout college to figure out what I like and want to pursue and am now looking graduation in the face. I want to pursue this further but the one and only thing that’s stopping me is the money. You can’t put a price on happiness but I don’t want to be paying loans and never be able to get ahead because of the debt it would put me in.”

This is not the first time the administration has addressed the need for college tuition to be reformed. They have previously made it so that the student loan program was no longer run through the banks (who the President claimed were making “billions of dollars on”) and instead the money is now given straight to the students. This system has been able to provide assistance for more students to have a chance to get grants and loans.

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9/11 Memorial Located in Front of Edison Hall Honors Heroes

Students were able to pay their respect at the new memorial, a piece of the World Trade Center that is placed in front of Edison Hall in honor of the victims of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11. The memorial was donated two years ago but was put on display at the beginning of the school year.

The University came together to commemorate the tragic loss that occurred 12 years ago, which began with the scheduled ringing of the bells that called for a moment of silence throughout the University in honor of the lives lost.

The University’s September 11 Veteran Memorial is created from a piece of steel that was pulled directly from the World Trade Center wreckage site. On the podium, the message “Here stands once more a symbol to 9/11 Heroes and America’s Military Veterans” is engraved.

Luis and Judith Eisenberg donated the memorial two years ago as the current trustees of the University’s Student Veterans Association. During the time of Sept. 11, Luis Eisenberg was the Chairman to the Port Authorities of New Jersey and New York, which owned part of the World Trade Center. The  Port Authority had an office within one of the Twin Towers, and according to a New York 1 story, lost 84 employees in the attack, 34 of them being Authority Police.

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University Student Elected to Young Democrats of America College Caucus Executive Board

Junior political science major Daniel Roman was elected as the Vice Chair of Political Affairs at the Young Democrats of America College Caucus, a nationwide organization that engages young people throughout the country in the political process last month.

This new position includes Roman’s membership in YDA’s College Caucus Executive Board which he shares with five young Democrats and students from Missouri, Arizona, Minnesota, and New Jersey.

According to their website, Young Democrats of America is the largest youth-led partisan political organization in the country and has since its creation mobilized young people under the age of 36 to participate in the electoral process.

Influenced by the ideals and values of the Democratic Party, the organization continues to help develop the skills of the youth generation to serve as leaders at local and national levels, their website explains.

Since 2002, YDA has operated independently of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) as a non-federal 527 political organization. The programs and campaigns are aimed at building sustainable youth movement by providing training, hands-on campaign experience and leadership opportunities, according to the YDA website.

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“Leaders Look Forward” at the Eagleton Institute of Women in Politics

The Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers hosted a program called “The Center for Woman in Politics” where students Jacquielyn Corsentino and Leonor Torres represented the University from June 6 to June 11.

Corsentino, a junior political science major, was selected by Dr. Joseph Patten, chair of the Political Science and Sociology Department. Torres, a senior political science major, was selected by Counselor Christopher McKittrick of the Psychology Department.

Corsentino and Torres both said how they were honored to be picked for a program with over 2000 applicants and only 37 were chosen to attend.

The program itself started in 1991 when Debbie Walsh, the founder, and Sasha Petterson, the program liaison, both realized that New Jersey needed to have more women involved with the government in the Garden State.

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Former Governor Christine Todd Whitman is Introduced as MU’s Public Servant in Residence

Former New Jersey governor, Christine Todd Whitman was introduced as the University’s Public Servant in Residence during a round table discussion with students and faculty in Wilson Auditorium on Thursday, September 12.

Whitman was introduced by Provost Thomas Pearson and Student Government Association President (SGA) Kelly Craig. Pearson explained that the Public Servant in Residence program began in 2002 and has had people from the New Jersey Legislature, executive branch, judicial branch, freeholders and political action committees.

Pearson said that it is great to have someone on campus who understands “the art of governing.” He referenced how this was not Whitman’s first appearance on campus. She was the commencement speaker in 1994 while she was still governor.

Craig continued commending Whitman’s role as the first female governor of New Jersey and how she appointed women to the positions of Attorney General, Chief of Staff and Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court.

Craig said, “Meeting with Governor Whitman was an experience I will never forget.  As a woman going into politics, there is so much I feel I can learn from her and use in my own life.”

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Remembering September 11, 2001

University Remembers the Tragedy with Memorial

“Time is passing, yet for the United States of America, there will be no forgetting September 11th. We will remember every rescuer who died in honor. We will remember every family that lives in greif. We will remember the fire and ash, the last phone calls, the funerals of the children.”

- President George W. Bush

In front of Edison Hall, there is a memorial to the victims of September 11, 2001 and miltary veterans.

PHOTO TAKEN by Jessica Roberts

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University Debate Hawks Take on Arizona Debate Institute

Daniel Roman, Kelly Craig, and Jessica Roberts attended the Arizona Debate Institute this August, which included seminars and guest speakers to prepare the team for the upcoming debate season.

The Institute was held at Arizona State Univeristy where debate teams came from all over the United States to enhance their skills,  techniques  and participate in collecting evidence for the upcoming debate year. Universities such as West Point, West Virginia, University of Dallas, CUNY and many others attended.

Daniel Roman, the University’s veteran captain, attended the ADI last summer. Roman is a junior at the University studying political science. He became the captain as a sophomore and spent the last year debating at the Junior Varsity level.

Joining Roman as captain this year is Kelly Craig. Craig is a senior at the University, SGA President and studies political science.

Last year Craig won the Western Novice Debate Championship with partner, Michelle Grushko in Sacramento, Calif. last March.

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SGA President Kelly Craig Welcomes Hawks New and Old

Welcome Back!

I would first like to welcome all new and old Hawks back to campus for the start of another great year! My name is Kelly Craig and I am the 2013-2014 Student Government Association President.

I have been a member of SGA since I was a freshman.  I am now heading into my senior year as a Political Science major. In addition to being SGA President, I am also Head Resident Assistant of Elmwood Hall, Co-Captain of the Debate Team, and President of the Political Science Honor Society.  I cannot believe that this will be my last year as a Monmouth University undergrad, but I am so excited to work with the SGA Senators, General Members, and the administration to improve the campus experience for all students.

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New Classes and Concentration Headline Changes in Political Science Department

The University’s Department of Political Science and Sociology has shone some light on this upcoming semester with new changes for students and faculty alike.

Through offering a variety of courses and programs, the department has recognized the need for keeping students interested and engaged at the start of each semester.

Starting this month, former New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman will be the University’s 2013-2014 Public Servant in Residence, the department recently announced in a newsletter.

Now students will be able to attend campus events with the former governor and can receive mentoring in their classes during fall and spring semesters by an established leader in our state’s history.

According to the University’s website, Gov. Whitman served as the state’s Governor from 1994 to 2001. She was New Jersey’s first female governor, the second female Republican chief executive in any state and the thirteenth female governor in American history.

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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