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Volume 87 (Fall 2015 - Spring 2016)

Governor Cuomo Enacts $15 Minimum Wage for New Yorkers

Governor Cuomo Minimum WageGovernor Cuomo of New York signed legislation enacting a statewide $15 minimum wage plan and a 12-week paid family leave policy. The legislation was passed as a part of the 2016-17 state budget as an attempt by the governor to restore economic justice to working families in the state of New York.

Cuomo signed these two pieces of legislation prior to attending a huge victory rally, which included workers, labor leaders, along with elected officials. The rally took place at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York City. Senior communications Major Matthew Spineli said, “It may seem like a good idea, but I personally hope it doesn’t limit the amount of jobs available for people.” Then continued, “It’s overall going to cost employers a ton of money to provide that minimum wage to every single employee.” 

Professor Jennifer Shamrock, lecturer of communication, said, “The overall increase to the minimum wage has the ability to help out individuals in a positive way, and allow workers to earn a much more stable income that will hopefully help them live a more comfortable lifestyle in the near future.”

The Governor had the following to say about the overall policies, “By moving to a $15 statewide minimum wage and enacting the strongest paid family leave policy in the nation, New York is showing the way forward on economic justice, these policies will not only lift up the current generation of low-wage workers and their families, but ensure fairness for future generations and enable them to climb the ladder of opportunity.”

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Do Celebrity Endorsements Influence Political Elections?

Candidate Celebrity Endorsement 1In modern times, it isn’t surprising to see or hear many celebrities endorsing, appearing, and supporting political figures. Whether it’s at a rally, through social media sites such as twitter and Facebook, or even recognized news and magazine sites such as the New York Times coming out with articles whenever a celebrity makes a statement whether the statement is political itself or is related to political figures.

Dr. Michael Phillips Anderson, Associate professor of the Monmouth University’s Communications Department commented that “we see it more now with more media outlets and social media.” Professor Claude Taylor added that there is “Too much media saturation on celebrities and even on information sources on policy issues” and that even “Media sources are splintered into party affiliations.” Professor Taylor also mentioned that “Every day people are skeptical of celebrities endorsements.” Mostly because celebrities are not seen or considered to be experts in the political field.

The question however, is do celebrities have any pull on their fans when it comes to voting? Arguably, it was movie star and singer Al Jolson who was first used as the first celebrity to endorse Warren Harding as a presidential candidate in 1920. Ever since then, multiple candidates have attempted to use celebrities to help receive more votes.

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New Jersey Democratic Primary Preview

NJ PrimaryNew Jersey’s presidential primaries historically don’t matter because the party nominations are secured by the time the Garden State holds its contests in June.

That may change this year however, as Hillary Clinton fends off a late rally from her rival, Independent Democratic Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders from Vermont.

Sanders won the last seven contests leading up to a potentially decisive contest in New York on Tuesday April 19. With Clinton polling 51 percent to Sanders’ 39 percent in the Empire State according to the latest Monmouth University poll, it is unlikely that New York’s 247 unpledged delegates will give Clinton a decisive victory according to the state’s proportional allocation where delegates are awarded based on the percentage of the vote received by candidates.

Clinton could however, cash in on New York’s 44 superdelegates (an unelected delegate who is free to support any candidate for the presidential nomination at the party’s national convention, regardless of state vote results), at least a half dozen of which have already pledged their unwavering support for Clinton.

After New York, the next highest-stakes contest is Pennsylvania (189 delegates) on April 26, followed by California (475 delegates) and New Jersey’s “winner take all” primary (126 delegates) on June 7.

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Divide in The Republican Party Continues to Grow

GOP DivideRepublican front-runner Donald Trump shook up the GOP race for the presidential nomination in the Mar. 15 primaries by winning the states of Illinois, North Carolina, Missouri, and Florida and then Ted Cruz responded by winning the crucial state of Wisconsin. However, one factor of the race has stayed the same–the divide in the Republican Party between the “outsiders” and the “establishment.”

Chair of the Political Science  Department, Dr. Joseph Patten, said, “The rules of the party have changed were the [Republican] establishment and party elites have lost control.”

That loss of control was evident last week as Trump rolled through the primaries, winning four of five state contests with the only exception being Ohio, which was won by the state’s governor, John Kasich. Mr. Trump’s most significant win of the night was in Florida, whose winner-take-all primary awarded him all 99 of the state’s delegates and effectively knocked Florida Senator, Marco Rubio, out of the presidential race after suffering a crucial loss in his home state.

The loss of Rubio is significant to the establishment. According to Fredreka Schouten of U.S.A Today, Senator Rubio’s Super Pac raised $25 million in the month before the Mar. 15 Florida primary. Republican donors that prefer an alternative to Trump viewed Rubio as that viable alternative. For the past eleven months, Senator Rubio has tried to toe the line between establishment and anti-establishment, in hope that the voters would see him as the best alternative to Trump and someone who can unify the party.

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The Leak of a Century: The Panama Papers

Panama PapersOne of the most discussed topics in the news and overall world of politics currently is the Panama Papers. These leaked documents revealed how some of the world’s most powerful people may have used offshore bank accounts and shell companies to conceal their wealth and or avoid paying taxes.

The papers were a collection of millions of leaked confidential documents from the Mossack Fonseca law firm in Panama, since 1977 to 2015. These documents  identify business leaders, celebrities, and various international politicians.

All of the individuals mentioned were noted to be in multiple traces of suspicious financial transactions. Overall, this groundbreaking story has sparked concerns about security and corruption in the global financial system.

Some of the most well-known names that were mentioned in the leaked documents were associates of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, the father of Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain and relatives of President Xi Jinping of China. Along with King Salman of Saudi Arabia, and Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson who resigned as prime minister of Iceland. And lastly soccer superstar Lionel Messi who happens to be one of the world’s wealthiest athletes.

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How Involved are MU Students in Political Issues?

MU Politcal Involvement 1 (Front)For something so important to the country and its wellbeing, college students seem to lack the care and/or knowledge of why their democratic system is so important. They do not realize the impact of their vote and how it can make a difference. It isn’t just our vote matters, it is the message that that vote carries—it says “I am here” and “I care about our country’s future.” With the upcoming presidential election, it is a good idea to step back and reevaluate the ideals of our age group according to the US Census.

According to the Census, 46 percent of young adults vote in New Jersey elections. In 2012, the age group of 18-29 year olds voted at lower levels than any other age group nationally. That means that less than half of young are voting in any election. For such an opinionated demographic, they are not utilizing the tools available, such as voting, to get their points across.

On campus there is a lot of push to get students involved and aware of the elections, registering to vote, and pledging to vote. Monmouth holds on campus events, like Rock the Vote to keep students involved. Furthermore, the political science club hosts viewings for every debate with food and friends to have a great time and get informed on the election.

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Red Bank Hosts March For Bernie Sanders

Red Bank Bernie MarchN.J. supporters of Democratic Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders gathered in Red Bank to march on April 2. Over 400 individuals were in attendance to bring awareness about the candidate for the upcoming election.

Organizers Kate Triggiano and Boris Kofman, with the help of others, planned for about a month in advance after being inspired by the similar acts that happened in Asbury Park a couple months prior.

Pat Dunn, an avid Sanders supporter, was the inspiration behind the march in Red Bank. Marc Adamo, who is a labor activist and participated in “Occupy Wall Street”, explained how the idea of the march started. In Asbury Park, Dunn was able to bring together 200 people to come out to support Sanders on the boardwalk, on very short notice.

Dunn explained on Facebook, “I was sitting home & saw the marches happening all over, yet nothing seemed to be going on in N.J. I’m just some guy. I picked a day/place/time and threw it on Facebook. [I] didn’t know what to expect at all. Before long, people I didn’t know were responding in no small way. I received more help and enthusiasm than I could have anticipated.”

He continued, “Asbury Park was wonderful. It came from one person’s idea and 100s of folks I never met came out and yelled and marched with joyful purpose. Kate took that and followed suit and built an amazing event in Red Bank!”

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My Experience with March For Bernie Sanders

Experience in Bernie MarchBefore this event, I had never experienced being a part of a political march. So it was to my excitement to go out and experience it about 20 minutes away from campus.

Before the March

A week before the march, I added myself to the “Red Bank N.J. March for Bernie Sanders” group page on Facebook. There, I had realized that this march was being planned out for over a month. The organizers, Kate Triggiano and Boris Kofman, were very active in answering people’s questions and keeping everyone up to date.

Nights before the march, people began to post pictures of their posters and signs and others commented being supportive. They bounced ideas off of each other, and they were getting rather creative with slogans and paints.

One of the biggest reminders that was mentioned on the page was that during the march, the most important thing was to remain peaceful. The organizers wanted to make sure that the message that was being evoked was positive. They suggested not to litter or be rowdy, to shop in the local stores, and eat at the local restaurants. Most of all, support Red Bank in the best way possible.

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Debate: Capitalism vs. Democratic Socialism


BrendanGreve | Politics Co-editor

Much of America’s youth has been “feeling the Bern” and have been gravitating towards the self-described “Democratic Socialist”, Bernie Sanders. The Senator from Vermont is the first politician that has ever ran for President with the label of “Socialist” and it is shocking to me that he has made it so far. I believe that much of Mr. Sander’s youthful supporters do not understand the ideas of socialism and how dangerous they are.

Let’s start off with Merriam- Webster’s definition of socialism. It is, “a way of organizing a society in which major industries are owned and controlled by the government rather than by individual people and companies.” This is similar to th idea of communism, which is the form of government that has arguably brought the most pain and suffering to the world through terrible dictators like Joseph Stalin, Kim Jung-un, and Mao. Leftists believe that these horrible idea’s of massive government control will someohow work in America, despite failing everywhere else. Why would anyone want to implement a system that would even remotely resemble the system that has brought on the atrocities like those of the North Korean and Soviet regimes that have consistently failed and brought devastation though out the history of mankind?

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Political Science Club Hosts Rock The Vote Event

Rock The Vote EventThe Political Science Club had the honor of hosting the Rock the Vote event on Mar. 23. The event was to help promote college students to register to vote for the next presidential election.

The event was hosted on the patio of the Rebecca Stafford Student Center, with food and a music performance by music group, Band Not Scared.

The Political Science Club held a smaller Rock the Vote event, on Mar. 2, to spread awareness. In total, they had 117 student register to vote, and 138 students pledge to vote.

e patio of the Rebecca Stafford Student Center, with food and a music performance by music group, Band Not Scared.

Angela Ryan, a junior political science student, and President of the club, said, “I think the biggest success was that everyone showed up to register or pledge. Most people showed up did not care for the free t-shirt or food which is amazing it shows that our students actually care.”

Stephanie Deats, senior political science student and Secretary and Social Media Chair of the club said, “The band was really good. They did a lot of covers, and I think that’s what attracted people the most. They saw we had live music and they came over. They saw free t-shirts and food, and realized that if they hadn’t registered, they had time to do it.”

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Debate: Are Senate Republicans Wrong for Refusing to Give the President’s Supreme Court Nominee a Hearing? Affirmative

Merrick GarlandThe Republican-dominated Senate’s intractable decision not to vote or even hear the President’s nominee for the Supreme Court is obstinate and perverse.

By refusing to vote on or even hear the case for his nomination, the Senate is engaging in a zero-sum game in which the stakes will only rise with their prolonged, rigidly uncompromising position.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has invoked Vice President Biden’s own words from 1992 when George H.W. Bush was president and Biden was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, to explain why he intends to block President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court pick in an election year.

The so-called “Biden Rule,” which allegedly justifies the Senates position to not hear the nomination in an election year, does not in fact provide a precedent.

Biden presided over the nomination hearing of Clarence Thomas, a conservative judge, to the Supreme Court in 1991. Biden’s floor speech was on June 25, 1992, more than three months later in the election cycle than it is now. He said,

“Mr. President, where the nation should be treated to a consideration of constitutional philosophy, all it will get in such circumstances is a partisan bickering and political posturing from both parties and from both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue. As a result, it is my view that if a Supreme Court Justice resigns tomorrow, or within the next several weeks, or resigns at the end of the summer, President Bush should consider following the practice of a majority of his predecessors and not — and not — name a nominee until after the November election is completed.”

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Debate: Are Senate Republicans Wrong for Refusing to Give the President’s Supreme Court Nominee a Hearing? Negative

Merrick GarlandIt is a shame that both sides of the isle have turned the death of the great Supreme Court Justice, Antonin Scalia, into a political firestorm. However, with the possibility that the next Supreme Court justice can change the direction of the court and the meaning of law for the next quarter century– that firestorm is here.

Now that President Obama has made his choice in nominating Merrick Garland, the Senate will have the constitutional opportunity to deny his choice. Senate Majority leader, Mitch McConnell, and many conservatives have made it clear that they will take that opportunity. Conservatives have depended on Antonin Scalia’s constitutional decisions for many years and they do not trust Barrack Obama, who has not proven to be as fierce a defender of the Constitution as Scalia, to make such a consequential choice. That is why they have decided to take the political gamble and hold off on hearing Obama’s nomination and to let the next president in 2016— Democrat or Republican— make that decision.

Of course, Democrats are furious with the decision and are trying to shame them into submission, as if they haven’t been put in the same situation before. Democrats all over are interpreting the rules and making up precedents in their favor. President Barrack Obama said for the Republicans not to hear or vote for Judge Garland’s nomination would be “a betrayal of our best traditions and a betrayal of the vision of our founding documents.” He even said, “If you don’t, then it will not only be an abdication of the Senate’s constitutional duty– it will indicate a process for nominating and confirming judges that is beyond repair.”

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Debate Hawks Win 8 Awards At Western Championship

Debate Hawks Win 8 AwardsThe Monmouth University Debate Team won 8 team and individual awards at the Western National Debate Championship at Sacramento State University in California on the weekend of March 12-14, 2016.  Four of the six Monmouth teams competing in the tournament made it into the playoff rounds.  The MU team of Matthew Toto and Prachi Patel made it to the semi-final round (final four) and the teams of James Hawke and Sabrina Saenger with a record of 5-1 and Gregory Harpe and Emily Mastocola with a record of 4-2 made it into the quarterfinal (final 8).  Team captain Danielle Doud and Victoria Borges made it into the quarter-final round in the experienced division before losing a close decision to a University of Washington team.

The tournament included debaters from approximately 10 universities including the University of Washington, Cal State Fullerton, and Cal State Northridge to name a few.   Each year a topic is picked to be debated at every tournament.  The topic for this year is: Resolved: The United States should significantly reduce its military presence in one or more of the following: the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, the Greater Horn of Africa, Northeast Asia. The Monmouth team researched and wrote three separate cases involving each of these three strategically important regions.

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President Obama First President to Visit Cuba in 9 Decades

Obama Cuba VisitPresident Barack Obama created history on March 20, by visiting Cuba for the first time any president has in over nine decades. He arrived with First lady Michelle Obama, and their daughters Malia and Sasha.

“I have come here to bury the last remnant of the Cold War in the Americas,” Obama said in a speech at the Havana’s Grand Theater, the same building where President Calvin Coolidge spoke 88 years ago.

But many have questioned his intentions on this trip. While there, he is going to be meeting with President Raul Castro, as well as Cuban dissidents. He will also attend a baseball game against the Cuban national team and Tampa Bay Rays, as well as do a television address for Cuban citizens.

The White House said that Obama will raise the problem of Human Right violations, while speaking to President Castro and have a separate meeting with human right activists.  

This is extremely historical for many since there has been a trade embargo on Cuba for almost half a century. The Obama administration has been trying to chip away at it for over a 15-month period, with more travel leeway, have access to direct mail, and more importantly, the U.S. struck Cuba from the “State Sponsors of Terror” list.

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Divides in The Republican Party Escalates

Republican front-runner, Donald Trump, shook up the GOP race for the presidential nomination in the March 15 primaries by winning the states of Illinois, North Carolina, Missouri, and Florida. However, one factor of the race has stayed the same–the divide in the Republican Party between the “outsiders” and the “establishment.”

Chair of the Political Science department, Dr. Joseph Patten, said, “The rules of the party have changed were the [Republican] establishment and party elites have lost control.” That loss of control was evident last week as Mr. Trump rolled through the primaries, winning four of five state contests with the only exception being Ohio which was won by the state’s governor, John Kasich. Mr. Trump’s most significant win of the night was in Florida, who’s winner take all primary awarded him all 99 of the state’s delegates– and effectively knocked Florida Senator, Marco Rubio, out of the presidential race after suffering a crucial loss in his home state.

The loss of Mr. Rubio is significant to the establishment. According to Fredreka Schouten of USA Today, Senator Rubio’s Super Pac raised $25 million in the month before the March 15 Florida primary. Republican donors that prefer an alternative to Donald Trump, viewed Rubio as that viable alternative. For the past eleven months, Senator Rubio has tried to toe the line between establishment and anti-establishment, in hope that the voters would see him as the best alternative to Donald Trump and someone who can unify the party.

When he announced that he would be suspending his campaign, he said, “From a political standpoint, the easiest thing to have done in this campaign is to jump on all those anxieties I just talked about, to make people angrier, make people more frustrated. But I chose a different route and I’m proud of that” but then said, “That would have been -- in a year like this, that would have been the easiest way to win. But that is not what’s best for America. The politics of resentment against other people will not just leave us a fractured party, they are going to leave us a fractured nation.”

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Governor Chris Christie Endorses Donald Trump for Republican Nomination

Christie TrumpN.J. Gov. Chris Christie, two years removed from being selected chairman of the Republican Governors’ Association by his peers, suspended his once-promising presidential campaign and endorsed his party’s frontrunner, Donald Trump, for the 2016 presidential nomination in quick succession last month.

For those who thought that Christie’s time spent campaigning out of state would diminish with his conciliation speech, Christie’s endorsement of Donald Trump may seem like a bad dream. Critics of the Governor find a silver lining in this newest development. However, the endorsement drew fire from within Christie’s own party for being short-sighted and opportunistic. 

“Showtime is over. We are not electing an entertainer-in-chief,” said Christie during a campaign event in New Hampshire in January.

“Showmanship is fun, but it is not the kind of leadership that will truly change America,” said Christie.

While Christie is now an outspoken supporter of Trump, the entertainment factor won’t seemingly diminish as quickly as his presidential aspirations.

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Latest MU Polls of Crucial Upcoming Primary States

MU Polls 1

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In Memory of Nancy Reagan

Nancy ReaganJuly 6,1921-March 6,2016

While first lady of California from 1967 of 1975, Nancy spent many hours helping Vietnam veterans, the elderly, and the emotionally and physically handicapped. She also led the Foster Grandparents program, which paired senior citizens with special-needs children.

•As first lady of the United States, she campaigned against drug and alcohol abuse among youth, acting as a spokeswoman for the “Just Say No” campaign.

•In 1985, she hosted the first ladies of 17 countries in an international conference on youth drug abuse.

•She launched the Nancy Reagan Foundation to support after-school drug prevention program

“There’s a big, wonderful world out there for you. It belongs to you. It’s exciting and stimulating and rewarding. Don’t cheat yourselves out of this promise.”

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Former Chief Justice of New Jersey Pays Visit to MU

Chief Justice NJMonmouth University had the honor of hosting a meet-and-greet with Deborah Poritz, the former Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court, on Feb. 21. Justice Poritz is the Public Servant in Residence at the University and was asked to give a lecture for the Political Science department.

Prospective law students watched her speak, regarding her success as the first woman Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court, how her gender has impacted her decision-making, and the reputation she established for herself in a male-dominated workforce, as well as shedding some light on the evolution of the same-sex marriage case.

Originally from Brooklyn, N.Y., Justice Poritz graduated from James Madison High School in 1954 and then went on to graduate from Brooklyn College in 1958. She chose to continue her education at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Justice Poritz made New Jersey history when she became the first female Attorney General of New Jersey in 1994, where she served until 1996. Defying the odds yet again, she became the first woman Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court in 1996, where she served until 2006. Becoming the first woman to hold two of the most prestigious positions in NJ politics, she has inspired thousands of women to break the gender barrier that surrounds politics.

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A Nomination for the Books

Hayden PrattPresident Obama has made a nomination for a lifetime government position— not for a Supreme Court Justice— but for the Librarian of Congress. The New York Times reported that President Obama nominated Dr. Carla Hayden on Feb. 24. According to Nicholas Fandos of The New York Times, not only would she be the fourteenth person in America’s history to hold the position, but also the first woman and African American to be the Librarian of Congress.

The White House has released President Obama’s nomination, “Michelle and I have known Dr. Carla Hayden for a long time, since her days working at the Chicago Public Library, and I am proud to nominate her to lead our nation’s oldest federal institution as our 14th Librarian of Congress,” he said

“Dr. Hayden has devoted her career to modernizing libraries so that everyone can participate in today’s digital culture. She has the proven experience, dedication, and deep knowledge of our nation’s libraries to serve our country well and that’s why I look forward to working with her in the months ahead.”

Dr. Hayden still needs to go through the confirmation process, but President Obama said, “If confirmed, Dr. Hayden would be the first woman and the first African American to hold the position – both of which are long overdue.”

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What’s Coming Up After Super Tuesday?

Presidential Primary ScheduleRepublicans

March 1- Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia

March 5- Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine

March 6- Puerto Rico

March 8- Hawaii, Idaho, Michigan, Mississippi

March 12- District of Columbia

March 15- Florida, Illinoise, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Northern Mariana Islands

March 22- Arizona, Utah


March 1-8- <>Democrats Abroad

March 1- Alabama, American Samoa, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont Virginia


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MU Debaters Strive to Make a Difference

Debate Team PictureTen Monmouth debaters— who in addition to preparing for college debate tournaments— have been busy coaching Asbury Park high school students every Thursday after school and accompanying them to debate tournaments affiliated with the Urban Debate League.  On the weekend of February 8th, the MU debaters coached the Asbury debaters at a tournament at the Institute for Collaborative Education in the South Bronx and February 12th to the 14th. MU debaters took the students to a tournament at Harvard University.  The team won several individual speaking awards at both tournaments.  The Asbury debaters met with the 2015 New York City Policy debate champion Dante de Blasio, son of the city’s Mayor, Bill de Blasio.

The Asbury Park debate team gives special thanks to MU Debaters captain Danielle Doud, Angela Ryan, Kaitlin Allsopp, Prachi Patel, Abdullah Rashid, Kevin Ospina, Emely Diaz, Angel Soto, Marasia Laster, and Victoria Borges. 

In his 2012 State of the State address New Jersey Governor Chris Christie highlighted o Asbury Park High School as one of the state’s lowest performing high schools.

While New Jersey had a comparatively high graduation rate in 2014 —88.6 percent—, Asbury Park high school remained an outlier; graduating only 49 percent of its student body, making it one of the few high schools in the state that had more students’ drop-out of it rather than graduating.             

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Bernie Sanders Could Be The First Jewish President

Bernie Sanders JewishDr. Joseph Patten, Chair of the Political Science Department, said “not many people know that Bernie Sanders is Jewish.” Is this just a coincidence or is it more than that?

 It was only eight years ago when history was made in America with the election of the first African American, President Barack Obama. Now, for the upcoming 2016 presidential elections once again history can be made with either the first Female President, Hillary Clinton, or the first Jewish President, Bernie Sanders, who are both running for the democratic presidential nomination.

Both Jews and females have made giant strides politically in the U.S. throughout history, yet both have failed to get to the ultimate prize, the American presidency.

Joe Lieberman was the first Jewish person to run on a presidential ticket as Vice President for Al Gore in 2000 and then sought the presidential nomination in 2004, but failed and didn’t even end up running.

It’s important to note the role and inspiration these leaders display for African Americans and other minority groups in what they can achieve and accomplish.

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Donald Trump Threatens to Sue Ted Cruz Over Eligibility

Trump Sues CruzWith the 2016 election just around the corner, candidates from the Republican Party are suspending their campaigns and with only five candidates left, Trump has on numerous occasions gone after Ted Cruz for being born outside the United States. Trump has threatened to sue Cruz for running for President due to the issue of citizenship and eligibility. According to Trump, Cruz is automatically not a “natural born citizen”.

Considering Trumps definition of natural born citizen, Cruz would not be able to run for office due to Article two Section two of the United States Constitution.  It states “No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President.” The reason this requirement was put into the Constitution was to ensure that foreign influence would never impact or harm the American people. The debate and controversy with that part is with the term “Natural Born”.  Nowhere in the constitution does it define the exact terminology.

Professor Cathy Bartch of the Political Science Department shared some insight about the issue. She said, “As someone who has taught American Constitutional Development, I prefer to view the Constitution as a ‘living document’, one that can be interpreted according to the changing times. This does not mean the ‘original intent’ of the framers of the Constitution should be ignored, but I think their intent can be considered in the context of societal transformations and progress.”

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Beyonce Delivers Controversial Super Bowl Performance

Beyonce Super BowlOn Feb. 7, Beyoncé preformed the half time show at Superbowl 50, along side artists Coldplay and Bruno Mars. However, the performance quickly received backlash, for some thought the performance was a bit too controversial for television.

 Beyoncé preformed her new song, “Formation”, a song about being in touch with her black culture, with lyrics such as “I like my baby heir with baby hair and afros - I like my negro nose with Jackson Five nostrils” and “ I just might be a black Bill Gates in the making”.

And to go hand in hand with the lyrics, her performance included a theme of black empowerment, featuring her and her dancers dressed in honor of the Black Panther Party of the 1960’s and 1970’s.

Marni Senofonte, Beyoncé’s stylist for the halftime show, explained in an interview with Essence magazine, “It was important to her to honor the beauty of strong black women and celebrate the unity that fuels their power. One of the best examples of that is the image of the female Black Panther. The women of the Black Panther Party created a sisterhood and worked right alongside their men fighting police brutality and creating community social programs.”

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Nation Reacts to Passing of Supreme Court Justice

The nation is healing from the loss of Supreme Court Justice, Antonin Scalia, who passed away Saturday morning at the age of 79 years old.

Justice Scalia has served on the Supreme Court since he was nominated by Ronald Reagan in 1986.

President Obama addressed the nation on Saturday afternoon and said of Scalia, “He influenced a generation of judges, lawyers, and students, and profoundly shaped the legal landscape. He will no doubt be remembered as one of the most consequential judges and thinkers to serve on the Supreme Court.” He added, “Justice Scalia dedicated his life to the cornerstone of our democracy: The rule of law. Tonight, we honor his extraordinary service to our nation and remember one of the towering legal figures of our time.”

His passing was also addressed during the Republican debate in South Carolina Saturday night by the GOP presidential hopefuls. New Hampshire Primary winner, Donald Trump, said, “Justice Scalia was a remarkable person and a brilliant Supreme Court Justice, one of the best of all time. His career was defined by his reverence for the Constitution and his legacy of protecting Americans’ most cherished freedoms.” Senator Marco Rubio said, “Justice Scalia was one of the most consequential Americans in our history and a brilliant legal mind who served with only one objective: to interpret and defend the Constitution as written.”

Iowa Caucus winner, Ted Cruz, said, “Today our Nation mourns the loss of one of the greatest Justices in history - Justice Antonin Scalia. A champion of our liberties and a stalwart defender of the Constitution, he will go down as one of the few Justices who single-handedly changed the course of legal history.”

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President Obama Issues Executive Order in Response to Cyber Attacks

On Monday, February 8, the contact information of 20,000 FBI employees were published when FBI computers were hacked— according to CNN. Names, titles, email addresses, and phone numbers of the federal employees were among the information released. The hackers posted the information on Twitter, via the account of @DotGovs. It read, “FBI and DHS info is dropped and that’s all we came to do, so now it’s time to go, bye folks! #FreePalestine.” They also posted, “Well folks, it looks like @TheJusticeDept has finally realized their computer has been breached after 1 week.” The Justice Department is investigating the security breach. Justice Department Spokesperson, Peter Carr, told CNN that it does not appear to be sensitive information — such as social security numbers— that were compromised. The hackers continued their Twitter communication and posted, “When will the US government realize we won’t stop until they cut relations with Israel.”

Monmouth University’s Professor Yessir Gallagher previously worked for the State Department, and commented on the United States’ relations with Palestine, “I am most pessimistic about the long-term future of Palestine. The Israelis have allowed more than half-a-million settlers to move into Palestinian territory in the West Bank despite repeated pleas by American presidents and the United Nations that they not do so.” He continued, “I can’t imagine how they could ever peacefully move those people out of their settlements.  I have little hope for a positive resolution of this problem in the near future.  Continued violence - including more cyberattacks - is likely.”

This has become a concern for the federal government, and has prompted President Obama to take action. The White House has informed the press over the week that they are working to increase the security of federal computer systems. Last Tuesday, President Obama signed an executive order to establish a federal privacy council that will ensure all federal branches of government are using the best security practices when protecting employees’ information, in addition to classified government information– according to White House Press Secretary, Josh Earnest.

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Debate: Should the University Rename Wilson Hall?

Renaming Wilson HallAFFIRMATIVE

When analyzing the morality encapsulating the particular actions of past influencers, should the context of the era in which they exist be considered? Or are some forms of thought so outdated that they can no longer be reconciled with a modern generation?

An ongoing series of conversations “on race and inclusion” hosted by Monmouth University aims to answer these questions and more.

While not explicit in their purpose, these conversations will be used to gauge student interest in changing the name of Wilson Hall, named for President Woodrow Wilson, who rented the original Shadow Lawn Mansion and gave speeches from the front balconies during the election of 1912. 

Although Wilson was Governor of New Jersey at the time, he was born in Virginia, and later became the first President from a secessionist state in almost fifty years and the first since the end of the Reconstruction Era.

With the memory of the Civil War still prominent in American society, racial inequality was an unfortunate commonality of Wilson’s administrations. Despite the passing of the Pendleton Act in 1883, which stipulates that government jobs are to be awarded on the basis of merit and made it illegal to fire or demote an employee for political reasons, President Wilson mandated that all applicants for federal jobs be photographed before they were hired.

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Iowa Caucus Has Unusually High Turnout; Clinton and Cruz in the Running

Iowa Voter RegisitrationThe 2016 election officially kicked off on Monday, as Iowa voters went out to cast their votes in the caucus, resulting in Ted Cruz as a big winner for the GOP, and Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders ending it in a draw.

According to ABC News, more than 180,000 Republican Iowans voted in the first 2016 caucus, compared to the previous record of only 121,000 people in 2012.

Cruz won with 28% of the votes with Donald Trump right behind him with 24%, while Marco Rubio received 24%. On the Democrats side, Martin O’Malley received less than 1% of the votes.

This is the first time actual voters can weigh in in the presidential nomination. Dr. Stephen Chapman, Assistant Professor of Political Science, said, “The Iowa Caucuses are so important simply because they come first. The media plays this up mainly because it is the first taste of actual votes being counted towards the presidential nominations. This causes increased ratings for media outlets.”

However, the time consuming process of the caucuses results in a lower turnout. According to the Iowa Caucus Project, on average one out of five registered voters shows up, Democrat or Republican, which is why it was surprising to see such a huge turnout this term.

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Patterson Cop’s First Amendment Case Taken to U.S. Supreme Court

On Jan. 19, former Patterson cop, Jeffery B. Heffernan, plead at the Supreme Court. According to, the officer was tried for “overt involvement in a political election.”

In 2006, Officer Heffernan was spotted obtaining a political lawn sign supporting a mayoral candidate, Lawrence Spagnola, who was trying to unseat the current Patterson mayor, Joey Torres, by another Patterson officer. This eventually spread to the chief of police in Patterson, who was a Torres supporter himself. Heffernan was then demoted to foot patrol.  As a result, he sued the city for monetary damages. reports that Heffernan retired in 2011, but his case did not end there. The former officer has been consistent in his claim that he was in no way active in the Spagnola campaign, and that he was simply picking up the sign for his mother, who was bedridden.

 It is due to him claiming he was not exercising his right to free speech that he appeared in front of the Supreme Court last month. Heffernan had no platform to exercise his first amendment rights, therefore had no reason to sue the city for damages.

Heffernan’s attorney spoke to about the case. Attorney Mark B. Frost said, “If a police officer can constitutionally be demoted because his supervisor incorrectly believes that the officer supports a candidate for mayor, then any public employee could be demoted or even fired because her supervisor incorrectly believes that she is a Democrat or a Republican,”

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Hillary Clinton’s Email Controversy Still Lingering During Iowa Caucus

Democratic front-runner candidate for the presidential nomination, Hillary Clinton, has been dealing with an email scandal that is just not going away.

For the last year, the FBI and Department of Justice have been probing into Clinton’s emails that were on her private server during the time she was Secretary of State.

According to an article written in the New York Post last week by Jamie Schram, “Over the past year or so, investigators have flagged dozens of Clinton’s emails marked as confidential or classified — and recently it was reported that her private server contained intelligence from the government’s most highly classified programs.”

Last week, former House majority leader, Tom Delay, said, “I have friends in the FBI and theysay they’re ready to indict her.” Delay continued, “They’re ready to recommend an indictment and they also say that if the attorney general does not indict, they’re going public.”

Then on Jan. 29th, Steven Lee Myers of the New York Times wrote an article saying that, “The State Department on Friday said for the first time that “top secret” material had been sent through Hillary Clinton’s private computer server, and that it would not make public 22 of her emails because they contained highly classified information.”

Brian Fallon of the Clinton campaign said this story, “appears to be over-classification run amok.” Then said, “We understand that these emails were likely originated on the State Department’s unclassified system before they were ever shared with Secretary Clinton, and they have remained on the department’s unclassifiedsystem for years.”

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Monmouth Polls Show Surging Sanders and Indomitable Trump

A recent national survey conducted by the University’s Polling Institute that was released on Jan. 19 shows a surging Bernie Sanders cutting into Hillary Clinton’s share of the most likely liberal voters.

The poll, which questions the popular perception of Hillary Clinton as the inevitable Democratic nominee for president, was mostly completed prior to the latest Democratic Primary Debate held in Charleston, SC on Sunday January 17.

According the poll’s latest findings, Clinton has the support of 52% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters nationwide, down from 59% in December. Sanders received 37% support, which is up substantially from his 26% support level last month and narrows Clinton’s lead to 15 points.

Just last month, a Monmouth poll suggested Sanders lagged behind Clinton by 33 points nationally. In Iowa Tues., where polls reported the two in a statistical tie, Sanders asserted that he’s confident he can win.

“When we started, we were in three percent in the polls,” said Sanders. “We were fifty points behind. Today, the inevitable candidate does not look quite so inevitable as she did eight and a half months ago.”

This marks the first time Clinton’s lead has dropped below twenty points in a national Monmouth poll.

“Clinton has lost ground with nearly every major Democratic voting bloc since December,” according to a report paired with the release of the poll’s results, with her biggest drops recorded among “self-described liberals,” from a 57% – 31% advantage over Sanders one month ago to a 42% – 51% deficit in the current poll.

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Detroit Public School Teachers “Sickout” Protest

On Jan. 20, 88 schools closed in Detroit, Mi., due to a teacher “sickout” protest against the underfunding of public schools. 44,790 students were unable to attend school that day.

The first “sickout” started with the closing of five schools, led by Steve Conn, the ousted president of the Detroit Federation of Teachers Union, who was expelled in August after the local’s executive board found him guilty of internal misconducted charges.  This affected over 6,730 students ability to attend school.

Owing 3.5 billion in outstanding debt, Detroit public schools system could be insolvent, or unable to loans by April of this year. This could affect a recovering city trying to overcome bankruptcy; without a good standing education system, new families are not likely to move in and support the economy of the city.

 Enrollment numbers are down, according to the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. In 2006, only 20% of students attended charter schools, and since 2014, this number has gone up to 55%. Other parents have opted to send their children to other public schools in suburbs.

Detroit has also come last in education every year since 2012, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress Exam. 

When aware of the protest, Mayor Mike Buggan ordered district wide school inspections. He came across a dead mouse in an elementary school.

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Iran Prisoner Exchange With the U.S.

On Jan. 17, President Obama informed the nation of the return of Iranian held prisoners, in exchange for Iranians prisoners held in the U.S. With a hopefull spark to better relations with Iran through the Nuclear deal in 2015, the Obama Administration hoped to take a more diplomatic approach and this exchange was able to be negotiated in about 14 months of meetings between the U.S, and Iran.

A senior level administrator explained the situation to CNN Politics saying, “A window opened up after the nuclear deal with Iran, and we wanted to take advantage of that window.”

With the window of opportunity being small, the U.S.and Iran were able to strike a deal for an exchange.

Historically, relations have been trying between the U.S. and Iran. Nick Whittaker, a senior political science major, explains the tension between the United States and Iran saying, “The tension between Iran and the United States has loomed for over three decades. This incident has come under much scrutiny because of the nuclear arms deal that preceded it.”

The countries have not always been on the best of terms, and with countless embargos and sanctions in place as a result of a tumultuous relationship, the U.S. had Iranian prisoners being held on crimes that had to do with providing goods and services to Iran that were unavailable to them do to the embargo.

For example, an Iranian man by the name of Ali Saboonchi was being held in the U.S on seven counts of exporting manufactured products to Iran. According to CNN Politics, Saboonchi was just one of seven prisoners being held in the United States for similar crimes.

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Monmouth Revisits the Watergate Scandal

University had the honor of hearing John Dean speak about his experience and trials he experienced due to the Watergate Scandal. There was an array of people in attendance. From Deborah Portiz, former Attorney General of New Jersey to President Brown.

“There’s a cancer in the presidency and it’s growing.”  This quote stated by John Dean, has been notorious in regards to political scandals. The Watergate Scandal regarding President Nixon changed not only the Executive but also ethnics within society. Caught up in the mixed of this scandal was former white house counsel to President Nixon, John Dean.

Dr. Rekha Datta, Interim Vice Provost For Global Education, raved about the event. Along with that she expressed the courage Dean embodied. “The Watergate event was outstanding. It was engaging and had universal appeal that cut across generations and scholarly and general interest surrounding an issue that laid the foundations of many ethics reforms in American public policy. We were fortunate to hear from a key player as the Watergate Scandal unfolded, and a historian who contextualized the day to day developments as they evolved on those fateful days in the 1970’s. It also highlighted the importance of integrity.”

She continued, “As White House counsel, a young lawyer, John Dean, was a true profile in courage in standing up to the highest office in the country. He followed the courage of his conviction, and made a tremendous contribution to strengthening the institution of government; but not without backlash. An important takeaway is that as in the government, in other organizations too, this can happen.” She continued to say “John Dean demonstrated the importance of standing up when rules and processes are violated in any organization. In that sense, he was truly a ‘profile in courage.’” and that “It was a historic event that was a wonderful learning opportunity for the campus community. I thank the speakers, and Dean Moliver, Peter Reinhart, Joe Patten, and others who made this event possible.”

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U.N. Holds Conference on Climate Change in France

On Nov. 30, in Paris, France the U.N. Conference on Climate Change began, and it will conclude on Dec. 11. According to the COP21 website, this is the 21st U.N. Conference on Climate Change, and there are representatives from any and all nations that wish to take action on behalf of the environment.

Dr. Ken Mitchell, associate professor of political science,  speculated on the ability for such different countries to work together, “The Paris conference reveals the potential for global governance, as well as the challenges for global governance. The problems and challenges have been identified, but science cannot take us much further. We are now in the realm of global policy making, and this is a realm we know very little about.”

Zachary Dix, a masters student at the University of Iceland studying Environmental Sustainability, attended the conference said “The conference brings together countries of the world to create a document that is internationally binding with the United Nations.  The nations come together and used the scientific knowledge about how to mitigate and adapt to climate change and try to reach a consensus internationally on how to handle climate change.”

According to Dix and the COP21 website, a large aspect of the negotiations is how many degrees Celsius the world temperature my increase. Dix explained, “A lot of the previous agreements have aimed to increase no more than 2 degrees Celsius from pre industrial levels.” He said, “However the recent increases in intense weather events and the severity of sea level rise is displacing nations such as Micronesia as we speak; these islands are literally sinking and the people are being forced to relocate almost immediately. Consequently, now the majorities of countries are feeling as though 2 degrees Celsius is insufficient and need to move it to a 1.5 degree goal.  Scientists have been studying the global temperature, and in their latest report they started degree scenarios where they emit different amount of greenhouse gasses to create global temperature scenarios. Right now the big thing they’re pushing for is a scenario of no more than a global temperature increase of 1.5 degrees Celsius.”

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Should There be More Study of Philosophy, Religion, and Interdisciplinary Studies at Monmouth?

According to the United States Census Bureau, there are over 322 million people living in the United States and over seven billion in the world. This is remarkable but there is one issue, how can all of these people get along? Humans have been at war with each other for as far back as history can trace. This is evident in the current terrorist attacks in San Bernardino, CA and  in Paris in which the Islamic extremist group, ISIS, has taken credit for. Today, the challenge for Americans is to quell threats like ISIS, while still being open and tolerant to those who hold different ideological, political, religious, and cultural beliefs. There is not a simple answer to this problem but according to multiple University professors, learning more about interdisciplinary studies which include ideological, political, religious, and cultural beliefs.

Professor and Chair of the Department of Philosophy, Religion, and Interdisciplinary Studies, Dr. Golam Mathbor, who is from Bangladesh, said “The number one problem in the world is ignorance. The core point of interdisciplinary studies is to learn about each other.” Unfortunately, Monmouth University students cannot major or even minor in interdisciplinary studies. According to Mathbor, there are only seven or eight courses available in his department during a given semester. He said, “We need a strong interdisciplinary or global studies program.” This could help quell tension between different groups because it would help students to develop “holistic thinking” and to “see what is happening in the grassroots.” However, most of these interdisciplinary topic can only be found in other majors and is not a program itself.

Professor of Political Science Saliba Sarsar, who teaches various classes on Islam and the Middle East said, “As global citizens, we have an obligation to learn as much as possible about the world around us” and “By learning about others, we can learn more about ourselves.” Sarsar’s interesting background has especially allowed him to see various perspectives. According to Elaine Durbach of New Jersey Jewish News, Sarsar spoke in front of the Jewish Community Campus (JCC) on April 29 of this year and said, “My father was a White Russian prince” and his mother was Greek. Born and raised as a Christian in Jerusalem, which was under Jordanian control at the time, Sarsar “grew up caught between the Jewish and Muslim communities, and with memories of fleeing during one of the periodic eruptions of violence.” Sarsar explained in front of the JCC that it wasn’t until the six day war in 1967 where he realized that Jews were not the enemy like he was taught, and that “they were just like us.”

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Monmouth Debate Hawks Won Team and Individual Awards at University of Rochester this Weekend

Debate HawksThe Monmouth University Debate Team won a team and an individual speaking award at the University of Rochester’s Debate Tournament this weekend (Nov 21-22). Payal Patel and Matthew Toto made it into the playoff rounds and Sabrina Saenger won an individual speaking award.  MU had 24 debaters (12 teams of two) compete at the tournament this weekend.

When asked about how she felt about making the playoff rounds, Patel said, “It was my last debate tournament so I was really nervous going in. But I had a good partner (Toto) and we made it through five rounds and into the playoffs, By the end of the tournament I was really happy because it was a good way to end my Monmouth debate year.”

Matthew Toto adds that the tournament was a learning experience. “We fought hard against schools like New York University, and Cornell and succeeded so that’s pretty cool. It is cool to show the younger debaters that what school you go to does not matter. Anybody can succeed if you work hard enough.”

Team Captain Danielle Doud and partner Victoria Borges competed in the varsity division that includes debaters on debate scholarships.  Monmouth debaters competed against other debate teams from teams from New York University, Cornell University, the West Point Military Academy, the New School and other teams from the tri-state area.

Doud said, “Overall, the Rochester Tournament was a great experience. Bringing twelve teams, we had the largest showing, meaning that pretty much every round in the Novice Divison involved one of our teams. It was great to see the new kids, and  the ones enrolled in the class taught by Dr. Patten, hold their own against students from big schools like Cornell, NYU, Binghamton, and Rochester.”


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Obama Administration to bring in 10,000 Syrian Refugees

After the Paris Attacks three weeks ago, The White House has released to the press and on their website that President Obama is going to welcome 10,000 Syrian Refugees into our country within the next fiscal year. This has sparked debates throughout the country on if this is the right way to go.

Some say no, because they could be radicals and pose a threat to our country, and that we need to first take care of our own citizens before taking care of those from other nations. Others say yes and are sympathetic to the situation the refugees are coming from.

Not all states are as welcoming as President Obama. CNN reported in Nov. that 31 states are not allowing refugees into the country. These leaders mainly oppose allowing refugees to enter the country because they believe they will be security threats.

Dr. Saliba Sarsar, professor of political science, also had thoughts on whether or not we should allow refugees into the United States. He said, “We have millions of refugees who find themselves in this tragic condition because of a civil war or conflict that has been going on for years. Many have found a temporary home in the Middle East or Europe. This is a tragic and humanitarian issue. I am very supportive of helping refugees find a permanent home. Many refugees say that if peace comes, they want to return back home. They lose loved ones and property because of war so I am very sympathetic. There is a fear that within these refugees, in these numbers, there may be a few radicals posing as refugees and that they may be members of the Islamic State. This is something that concerns me and all of us.”

He continues, “But what I want to explain is that the U.S., with President Obama indicating taking about 10,000 refugees, requires potential refugees to go through organizations such as the CIA or FBI. At the end of the day, there is no guarantee. But we need to trust the system and welcome them with open arms. It is mostly women and children that are looking for a new home and it is our moral obligation and human response to give them one.”

There is a very complicated process that anyone must go through before becoming a refugee. A video on the website “attn.” narrated by Secretary of Defense Jeh Johnson describes the situation step by step.

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What’s Next for France After Friday’s Deadly Attacks?

Paris 2According to BBC, over 129 lay dead and many more injured in Paris after the latest and most devastating attacks to be attributed to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria to date.

Compounding this shocking attack were the string of bombings in Baghdad, Iraq and Beirut, Lebanon, once known as the “Paris of the Middle East,” which killed and injured hundreds last week just prior to the Paris attacks.

 According to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the downing of the Russian airliner over the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt last month could be easily forgotten in this maelstrom, but was also an unequivocal act of terrorism,

Twin explosions that killed nearly 100 in the Turkish capital Ankara on October 10 during a rally for peace were never claimed by IS, however it is speculated their complicity resulted in this massacre as well.

“They’re becoming bold in their outward attacks against any civilization they perceive as un-Islamic,” said Monmouth University graduate student, Bryan Larco. “It’s time to strike back lest they believe they can attack again with impunity.”

   In a similar retaliatory act to that of the U.S. in the aftermath of 9/11, France, already an active participant in the war on terror, unleashed air strikes on the ISIS capital of Raqqa, Syria.

Although the efficacy of the airstrikes has yet to be determined, it has been postulated that this unilateral action taken by France may be used later to invoke a multilateral European response through Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), according to The Washington Post.

This deterrent allows any attack on a NATO member to be perceived by all as an attack on the whole, which may prompt certain member states that have not yet been overt in the global fight against terrorism (like Germany) to step up their involvement. Our own strategy for dealing with IS will admittedly undergo “intensification,” said President Obama during a conference in Turkey on Monday. 

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GOP Candidates Spar Over Issues That Surface After Paris Attacks

GOP Rand PaulGOP candidates sparred over numerous issues last week in the Milwaukee debate hosted by the Fox Business Channel and hosted by the Wall Street Journal. Do to new debate rules, two candidates– Former Arkansas Governor, Mike Huckabee, and Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie– did not make the cut for the main stage debate.

Governor Christie seems to be frustrated with his lack of progress in the polls. A week before the debate, he referred to the Director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, Patrick Murray, as a “political weatherman” in an interview with NJ 101.5. According to an editorial in the Asbury Park Press, this is the second time the Governor has taken shots at the pollster since July when he said of Murray and his poll, “there couldn’t be a less objective pollster about Chris Christie in America” and that the poll was created just to “aggravate me.”

Chair the Political Science Department, Dr. Joseph Patten, said about Christie, “He is being upstaged by Trump and he doesn’t have a lane.” Patten referring to Trump because Christie is known for his straight forward and brutally honest ways discussing issues is hidden beneath the flash of the billionaire celebrity real estate mogul and television personality, Donald Trump.

Assistant Professor of Political Science at Monmouth University, Stephen Chapman said, “Context is everything. In 2012 ,people were begging him to get into the race but after Bridgegate, he really sunk his chances.”

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Quentin Tarantino Under Fire About Police Brutality

Quentin TarantinoControversy is still in the air over the famous film maker, Quentin Tarantino’s, statements last month at an anti-police brutality protest.

The original controversy was reported after Tarantino allegedy referred to cops as “murderers” during the event on Oct. 24 of last month— just four days after the fourth New York City police officer this year, Randolph Holder, was shot and killed while on duty. 

Tarantino’s exact words according to The Washington Times were, “When I see murders, I do not stand by. I have to call a murder a murder, and I have to call the murderers the murderers.”

Tarantino has faced backlash over those comments being accused of instigation and worsening an already tense situation between police officers and the general public.

In particular, police officers have been the most outraged by his statements. In an interview with the WNYM- 970 AM radio station, New York City Police Commissioner, Bill Bratton said of Tarantino, “Shame on him, particularly at this time when we are grieving the murder of a New York City police officer.” Bratton also said in the interview, “There are no words to describe the contempt I have for him and his comments.”

According to The New York Post, the president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association (PBA), Patrick Lynch said, “It’s no surprise that someone who makes a living glorifying crime and violence is a cop-hater, too”

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Free Education: A Popular Topic of Presidential Race

With the release of Bernie Sanders’ free education plan the topic of free higher education has become one of the most discussed topics of the race for the White House in 2016.

According to Sanders’ website,, the plan starts by making tuition free at public colleges and universities. One thing regarding this is if Sanders were to be elected president and his plan were to pass through congress, Monmouth University would not be free.

Right now, according to Sanders’ website graduates are forced to pay five to seven percent on their loans, when an average car loan is 2.5 percent. According to the Monmouth University website a current student is paying $33,028 for tuition.  If they are taking loans, with interest it might cost them an extra $2,312 annually. This could be an extra $9,249 over four years.  If a rate like Sanders purposes was in effect,  that number might drop to, roughly $3,302, saving a typical Monmouth student $6,000 in interest.

Another thing Sanders would execute in his plan is increasing federal work study. He would increase it almost three times of what it is now. Federal Work Study is a plan that services lower income students based on their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA) that allows students to work on campus jobs and has universities only pay a portion of the wage, and the federal government covers the rest.

Hilary Clinton, currently is the democratic front-runner, also has a plan in order to make higher education more affordable, the New College Compact. Her plan does not take the full cost out of college education.

According to Clinton’s website,, she is proposing that no student should have to borrow money for books, tuition, and any other fee associated with higher education.

In the New College Compact, Clinton also proposes the students will work ten hours a week in order to help finance their college education. Also the federal government will help to fund more universities.

John Henning, Dean of the School of Education at Monmouth University, feels education should be a national priority. Henning said, “In a global economy that is highly competitive, where knowledge is king your human resources are the best thing this country has, so if we have a significant amount of our population not having the opportunity (education) it actually hurts everyone.”

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What’s In A Name? A Look at the Washington Redskins

Native American mascots have been a wildly debated topic for years; the most prominent mascot being the Washington Redskins.

The term ‘red skin’ can be considered a racial slur toward Native Americans. Yet, it is being chanted at football games and being sold as a logo. The use of Native American mascots is a form of cultural appropriation.

According to The Washington Post, cultural appropriation is the practice of one culture taking control over aspects of another culture and using them in an inappropriate manner.

In the case of mascots, the dominant culture in question is making a monetary gain because of the Native American race. 

However, Heidi Bludau, lecturer of Anthropology at the University, said, “Not all Native American tribes agree on everything, including the issue of mascots.  Some are against it and some are able to capitalize on it.”

Some sports fans believe that the Native American mascots are not mocking the Native American race and culture, but are exemplifying their fighting spirit.     

Journalist Naomi Riley wrote an article in The Wall Street Journal and said that they are an, “exciting addition to football games.”

When asked if there are currently any laws against Native American mascots, Professor Gregory Bordelon, professor of Political Science at the  University said,“To my knowledge, there are none. But any time that you pass any law that restricts a mascot, to the extent a mascot is an expressive statement (pride, team spirit, etc.) you possibly are treading on first amendment grounds.”

However, some Native Americans believe that teams parading around their mascot is demeaning to them and their culture.

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The Reality of Drone Warfare by the U.S. Military

Drone“I’m going to repeat one more time,” said President Barack Obama in a lengthy 2013 speech at the National Defense University in Washington D.C.

“As a matter of policy, the preference of the United States is to capture terrorist suspects. When we do detain a suspect, we interrogate them. And if the suspect can be prosecuted, we decide whether to try him in a civilian court or a military commission,” said the President.

According to the Monmouth University Polling Institute, 76 percent of American say law enforcement agencies should be required to obtain a warrant from a judge before using drones.

New documents leaked to The Intercept reveal that the President’s claims were at best intentionally misleading and at worst patently false.

The Intercept is an online start-up news site launched in Feb. 2014 by First Look Media— the news organization created and funded by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar. The magazine serves as a platform for the documents leaked by former NSA cyber security contractor, Edward Snowden, and employs journalist Glenn Greenwald, filmmaker Laura Poitras, and author Jeremy Scahill as editors.

The response to the latest leak of classified military documents has been largely restrained but has provoked some outspoken critics, such as the Qataristate-funded media network, Al Jazeera, which said, “the U.S. drone program is imprecise and arbitrary and a grave risk to civilians everywhere. It is also a program over which the president exercises little control.”

The American-based Foreign Policy Magazine published that The Intercept’s reporting “is less one big ‘bombshell’ and more of a synthesis of over a decade’s worth of reporting and analysis, bolstered by troubling new revelations about what has become routine.”

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Presidential Candidates Take On College Affordability

As the national student debt plan continues to rise above $1.2 trillion, according to The Washington Post, many young voters have turned to the Presidential Candidates for the best solution when coming into office in 2016.

A couple of the candidates, such as Jeb Bush and Ben Carson, have said that tuition prices have doubled under President Obama’s two terms. Tuition prices have gone up 86 percent since he took office.

However, after the 2008 recession and the high amount of job loss, more and more students enrolled into college to ensure work. And with the rise of enrollment, comes the rise in tuition prices, according to Donald Heller, the Dean of the College of Education at Michigan State University.

Former Governor Jeb Bush wants to see students use for-profit and online schools be used more. He also wants more responsibility from the schools to ensure that students graduate in four years, and not see them as money suppliers.

When asked about this in an interview on C-SPAN, he said, “If kids can’t graduate with a four year degree in four years, there ought to be some pay back to them or their family. Or have some support for the loans they have taken out. We have to make sure a four year degree can be done in four years.”

Former Hewlitt- Packard CEO Carly Fiorina also believes that if the technology is available, online classes would help the debt situation. She wants the idea of government involvement to be non-existent to help college affordability.

When asked she said in a speech, “I would return the free market to the student loan industry. Secondly, I would enable as much choice and competition in higher education as possible. For-profit university do a very good job of educating a lot of people at a lower cost.”

Many have turned to see what Former U.S Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has in plan for college affordability, since she has years of political experience. Her plan would not make college completely free for student, like her opponent Bernie Sanders plan, but would highly rely on federal state partnership. And for students who choice to stay in-state, they will not have to borrow loan money for in state college.

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Monmouth Debate Team Wins Team and Individual Awards at West Point Military Academy this Weekend

MU DebateThe Monmouth University Debate Team won a team and two individual speaking awards at the West Point Military Academy tournament this weekend (October 23-25).  Christopher D’Elia and Kevin Ospina made it into the playoff round before losing to a team from West Virginia University.  Victoria Esler also received the first place individual speaking award and Allison Ferraro received the second place speaking award in their division of 70 debaters.  They all received their awards in front of approximately 250 debaters and coaches from across the nation.  The awards banquet was held in West Point’s historic Officer’s Club that cradles and sits above the picturesque Hudson River. (see photo below).

Team Captain Michelle Grushko and Saliha Younas scored victories in the experienced division that includes debaters on debate scholarships.  Monmouth first year student James Hawke and Sabrina Saenger went 3-3 in the six round tournament, and narrowly missed making it into the playoff rounds.  The two person teams of Kaitlin Allsopp and Prachi Patel and Abdullah Rashid and Omar Moustafa also scored impressive victories in their debating debut.

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Presidential Candidate Jeb Bush Offers Alternative to Affordable Care Act

Jeb BushWith the upcoming Presidential election in 2016, candidates from both the Republican and Democratic side are taking a stance on current issues affecting the American people. In particular, Republican candidate Jeb Bush has taken a stance on an alternative to President Obama’s healthcare plan.

Recently, Bush has released a plan to replace Affordable Care Act if he is elected President in 2016. According to CNN, the plan entails having the individuals choose coverage with high deductible with less coverage, which will then lead to increasing the contribution to health savings account.

A big aspect of Bush’s plan involves reduction of government involvement. He believes healthcare can be improved if private sectors were the source of health IT systems.

Another component of the plan includes, full disclosure for the patient. The patient at any time has the right to take ownership of his or her own records.

This would then go on to force Medicare and Medicaid centers to publicly release claims data.  Bush claims he would like to go beyond the idea of just expanding health coverage. He would like to increase medical technology usage in order to provide more efficiency within the health care process.

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Social Security, Medicare and the Affordable Care Act Among Topics Discussed in Budget Deal

Obama and BoehnerA two-year budget deal in the nation’s capital foreshadows the uncertain future for retirees as lawmakers face choosing between benefits promised to the elderly and a shortfall in funding.

If approved by Congress, the deal hammered out between the White House and departing House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, would raise federal government spending by $80 billion over the next two years. It would offset some of that spending with tweaks to Social Security, Medicare and the Affordable Care Act.

While the deal would avert a showdown over the federal debt ceiling by raising it enough to last past the 2016 elections, it punts on long-term fixes for the biggest drivers of government spending, the entitlement programs such as Medicare and Social Security. Consequently, tens of millions of current workers face an uncertain retirement.

A key part of the deal involved Medicare and the Social Security Disability Insurance program, which provides income to workers who have suffered injury or illness before the official retirement age of 65.

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Debate: Is the Benghazi Controversy Still Relevant?

HillaryAfter getting through a tough eleven hours in front of the Benghazi panel without any disastrous gaff’s, Clinton supporters everywhere are claiming that Hillary has emerged victorious.  After months of uncertainty about the former Secretary of State, Democrats everywhere are eager to chalk up Mrs. Clinton’s performance in front of the Benghazi Panel as one in the win column. However, they should not get ahead of themselves and declare that Mrs. Clinton is out of the woods just yet.

One little detail that most media outlets are failing to report on is that it was that Hillary admitted to telling an outright lie. The biggest controversy over the Benghazi attacks in 2012 was not the lack of security or the tragic deaths of four Americans. Although the attacks were a horrific tragedy, this is not the first time an American embassy was attacked. What made this attack a scandal was the fact that the White House and the State Department– led by Hillary Clinton at the time– spread the lie that these attacks were a result of spontaneous protest over an anti-Mohammed video that surfaced on the internet.

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Is the Library of Congress in Need of Updating?

Library CongressContrary to the depiction of the Library of Congress in “National Treasure: Book of Secrets” with large secret compartments and elaborate designs– the library is actually on the decline. There is no question that the library has every book a political science major could ask for, but are they living in the past? 

According to Politico Magazine, the current Librarian of Congress, James Billington, has given the library a reputation for being behind the times in terms of technology. It is so far behind, that the library could not even calculate how many computers they have. 

Politico reports that Billington is stepping down, and the library is looking for a replacement to bring them to the 21st century. If the library fails to make this shift, collections could potentially become inaccessible, according to Library of Congress employee Daniel Schuman.

According to American Libraries Magazine, as time goes on and the Library of Congress continues to fall behind in the Internet Revolution, will become less relevant and not nearly as useful as it needs to be. 

Professor of English, Noel Bellinski said, “The Library of Congress needs to remain relevant in the digital age. It is not only important to preserve documents, but also to make them accessible as technology advances.” 

She continued, “Mr. Billington has been the Librarian of Congress since before the advent of the Internet. The Librarian of Congress should at least be comfortable and familiar with technology.” 

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Russia and Syria: Conflict Turned Into a Proxy War

Syria RussiaRecently, much controversy has been made over Russia’s air strikes in Syria. The target of these air strikes has been the Islamist extremist group, the Islamic State. 

According to Reuters, Russia’s planes had flown 64 stories, striking 63 targets, and destroying 53 fortified positions on Sunday Oct. 11. 

Professor of Political Science, Dr. Saliba Sarsar said, “Russia’s military activities and buildup in Syria are designed to prop up the embattled Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad, fight against Islamic extremists, including ISIL and the al-Nusra Front, and protect its assets that consist of, among others things, an air base near Latakia and a naval supply and maintenance base at Tartus.”

He continues, “This enhanced Russian presence comes at a time when the United States is shying away from a deeper involvement in the Syria crisis, limiting its actions to air strikes against ISIL, funding and arming elements of the Syrian opposition, and assisting Syria’s refugees.”  

According to Reuters, the strategy of the Obama Administration, which has led a separate bombing campaign against the Islamic state for a year, failed to establish strong ties with the fighters on the ground. Washington, and Moscow have the same enemy in the Islamic State, but have differing viewpoints on where the conflict should see an end. 

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Debate: Have We Become An Armed Society?


In the wake of several campus shootings, the most deadly being the 2007 shooting at Virginia Tech University, states are increasingly considering legislation about whether or not to permit guns on college campuses. 

For some, these events point to a need to ease existing firearm regulations and allow concealed weapons on campuses. Others see the solution in tightening restrictions to keep guns off campuses.

In 2013, at least 19 states introduced legislation to allow concealed carry on campus in some regard and in the 2014 legislative session, at least 14 states followed up and introduced similar legislation. 

In 2013, two bills passed, one in Kansas that allows concealed carry generally and one in Arkansas that allows faculty to carry.  

At the University of Colorado at Boulder, a dormitory was commissioned for students who wished to covertly carry their guns around on campus by day and safely tuck them into a safe in their room at night. 

In 2015, Texas became the most recent state to allow concealed carry weapons on college campuses. 

On the other hand, recent shootings also have encouraged some legislators to strengthen existing firearm regulations. 

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The Daily Show 2.0: Trevor Noah Takes Over

Daily ShowComedian Trevor Noah took over the infamous seat of Jon Stewart, as the host of The Daily Show on Sept. 28.  The anticipation of his arrival as host started shortly after Stewart decided it was time to give up his position after hosting for 14 years. 

Noah opened his first episode by talking about the other people who were asked to host the show by saying, “Comedy Central tried and those people declined. And so once more, a job Americans rejected is now being done by an immigrant.” 

Noah has been a comic for about a decade now, but did not make his political vocal on screen debut until he became a political correspondent on The Daily Show in 2014. With this, Comedy Central had many reasons on why to choose him as the new host. 

Michele Ganeless, President of Comedy Central said, “He is a student of our culture. But he looks at it from a very different perspective. [Noah] really understands our audience, because he is one of them.” 

Noah comes from a different background than the audience is use to, which could really impact the show greatly, but he does not lack experience.  Growing up in South Africa, Noah was able to host different events such as the South African Film and Television Awards, and had his own stand- up special. 

GQ describes Noah as a “quick-minded South African guy marveling at American culture and being astounded by what he finds.” 

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Will the Clinton Email Controversy Effect Her Campaign?

Hillary ClintonIn the heat of the 2016 presidential race, Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton has been involved in an email controversy involving the use of a private email accounts. It was first brought to attention in 2011 by Ann-Marie Slaughter, the State Department’s Director of Policy Planning.

Slaughter suggested Clinton release a statement regarding how the, “State’s technology is so antiquated that no one uses a State-issued laptop and even high officials routinely end up using their home email accounts to be able to get their work done quickly and effectively.”

According to The New York Times, Clinton had used her personal email account, “,” to contact General David H. Petraeus and the commander of the United States Central Command. These emails were said to have been sent in January and February of 2009, the first two months of her term as Secretary of State.

According to CNN, it seems the emails between Clinton and Petraeus do not contain any classified information, but an official decision has not yet been made. Clinton told NBC that, “There was a transition period. You know, I wasn’t that focused on my email.”

The New York Times has stated that thirty thousand emails have been deleted, and 30,000 have been sent to the State Department for archiving. CNN gathered that Clinton willingly turned over her work related emails but kept the ones she deemed private, however the FBI has been able to recover the personal emails from Clinton’s private server. The FBI is currently working to recover the emails that have been deleted to determine whether or not classified information was put at risk.

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Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives John Boehner Resigns Effective End of October

John BoehnerJohn Boehner resigned from the House of Representatives in a press conference on September 25th, 2015. He will step down at the end of October.  

Freshman student at the University, Sierra Jordan said, “I look at it as a weakness because they (the Republicans) lost one of their big name leaders.”

In his tenure as Speaker of the House of Representatives he was able to lead his party to a majority in the House during the  2010 Congressional elections. As a whole, according to CNN politics, The Ohio Republican’s tenure as Speaker has been marked by clashes with conservatives -- especially when it comes to fiscal policy.”

According to CNN, he struggled to push through legislation to increase the debt ceiling and was facing another showdown next week to keep the government open. The Speaker has often relied on Democratic votes during these moments, a strategy that has infuriated conservatives.

Often subject to criticism by his own party, with him choosing to leave at the end of October he is paving the way for someone more conservative to take the lead in the house. Associate Professor of Political Science, Dr. Steven Chapman, said, “With Bohner leaving the speakership there will be a more conservative stance taken by the party,” and during his tenure “he was attempting to corral the party and was unable to do so.”

According to Dr. Joseph Patten, Chair of the Political Science Department said, “The primary reason Speaker Boehner is stepping down is because of tensions in the House Republican caucus.  The conservative wing of the party has been dissatisfied with Speaker Boehner’s leadership over the last couple of years.  One of the issues centers on Speaker Boehner’s reluctance to shut the government down in the upcoming budget debt ceiling battle if Democrats refuse to cut federal funding of Planned Parenthood.” All of these are contributing factors in a departure from the House.

According to a CNN article capturing multiple reactions to John Boehner’s resignition,the Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell said, “When some said Republicans could never recover, he never gave up. When some gave in to defeatism, he kept up the fight. Because he did, Speaker Boehner was able to transform a broken and dispirited Republican minority into the largest Republican majority since the 1920s. That’s a legacy few can match.”

Boehner’s resignation received mixed reviews from conservatives. Presidential Candidate for the Republican Party and current Governor of Ohio, John Kasich, said of the critics of Boehner, “A lot of the people who are doing the complaining and saying, ‘Why isn’t anything getting done, maybe they ought to look in the mirror.’”

Republican Presidential Candidate and Senator from Florida, Marco Rubio said, “I’m not here today to bash anyone– But the time has come to turn the page and allow a new generation of leadership in this country.”

With the party shifting to a different stance, there is also going to be a focus on finding someone to take the place of Speaker Boehner.

Patten said, “The expectation is that his replacement will be House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California, though some Republicans are now angry with McCarthy because of his recent gaffe that suggested the House Benghazi investigation has been successful in hurting Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers.”

He continued “This statement strengthened Democratic suspicions that the Benghazi committee was primarily serving a Republican partisan agenda against Clinton, rather than primarily investigating whether security lapses contributed to the deaths of US diplomats in Libya.  Other Republicans are now stepping up to challenge McCarthy’s candidacy for Speaker.”

According to CNN this leaves the party scrambling to find a successor. Big republican names like Paul Ryan, Paul Labrador, and Jason Chaffetz are being tossed around.

Image taken from

Students Gather for Republican Debate

GOP Debate

University students gathered at the GOP Debate viewing party in Wilson Hall last week to watch the pack of presidential hopefuls battle for their shot at winning the nomination for the Republican Party. 

The viewing party was organized by first year instructor of political science at Monmouth University, Cathy Bartch. Dr. Joseph Patten, Chair of the Political Science Department said, “I would like to give thanks to Professor Cathy Bartch for organizing the event. It is her first year here and she is already making a big splash.” Dr. Stephen Chapman, assistant professor of political science said, “I thought it was great to see that many students attending the event this early in the process. It was impressive.” 

According to the Huffington Post, the debate which was aired on CNN attracted an estimated 22.6 million viewers which made it the most viewed program in CNN’s 35 year history. Patten said, “A lot of those rating are because people want to see Donald Trump. He brings a celebrity factor to it” Chapman said, “I think CNN was really motivated by ratings. You could see it in the debate.” 

The debate which was moderated by Jake Tapper and Dana Bash from CNN, and Conservative Radio Host, Hugh Hewitt, consisted of many questions that encouraged the candidates to clash with each other. A senior political science student, Tyler Vandegrift, said, “The CNN debate was less about getting candidate’s names out there than the Fox debate, but instead they chose to focus on personal attacks and Donald Trump. It is nice, however, that some of the better candidates are getting the attention they deserve.” Most notable were the clashes between Donald Trump and numerous other candidates like Carly Florina and Jeb Bush. 

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Bernie Sanders: College for All Act

Political Showdown: College Tuition Crisis

Presidential Candidates Edition

As the nation’s student-debt tab has raised to $1.2 trillion, according to The Washington Post, students are eager to find a solution to the tuition crisis in an era where it is required to get a college diploma to land a stable job. 

The average student in the class of 2015 would be paying back $35,000 in loans (not including graduate school!), making them the most indebted class ever. Six months after graduating, many will have to start paying their debt back, in an economy where about 8.5 percent of college graduates between 21 and 24 are unemployed, according to the Economic Policy Institute. 

To work hard for four years, graduate, and automatically feel stressed about how you are going to pay off your loans can be a huge burden on someone. The luxury of trying to save up money for that white picket fence is no longer there. Instead, the life after college is living pay check to pay check.

With this, stagnant wages, declining federal and state funding to schools, and rising tuitions, many families only have the choice to either borrow money or send their children to a cheaper schools. Why should a person’s education be based on their monetary funds and not on their quality of work? 

Many presidential hopefuls have mentioned lessening the burden of college education debt, but Bernie Sanders has brought up a detailed plan to his objectives.  

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Planned Parenthood Discussion Could Lead to Potential Goverment Shutdown

AMSDAn undercover video from The Center for Medical Progress, surfaced recently, raising questions about the biggest women’s healthcare provider, Planned Parenthood. This has caused tensions to rise between different party members stance on the organization.

In the video, Deborah Nucatola, Senior Director of Medical Services of Planned Parenthood, had a conversation with a co-worker about selling and donating organ tissue to be used for research. 

Within four minutes of the video, Dr. Nucatola begins to discuss issues dealing with donating and selling organ tissue. 

“I don’t think it is a reservation issue so as much as a perception issue because I think every provider who want to donate their tissue, they just want to do it in a way that is not perceived as ‘this clinic is selling tissue, this clinic is making money off of this’. They need to [...] .they want to come to a number that is a reasonable number.” 

Later on in the video she admits that organizations are having these conversations behind closed doors, in order to promote stem cell research. 

Although the video with Dr. Nucatola is what started the outrage, there are several other videos that The Center for Medical Progress have submitted on to their website. Most of their videos have several different directors who were associated with Planned Parenthood discussing prices of organs. 

In order to preserve the organs the unborn child provides, what most clinics do is perform a partial birth abortion.

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Marco Rubio: Student Right Before You Go Act

Political Showdown: College Tuition Crisis

Presidential Candidates Edition

Marco RubioAmong the many topics that will be hot button issues during the 2016 Presidential Campaign, higher education and student loan debt should be the forefront of important issues for college students at Monmouth University and around the country. 

According to, the total amount of student debt in America is 1.2 trillion dollars. Also according to, $3,000 dollars of student loan debt is accrued by students in this country every second (Yes, every second!) and the average amount of debt for 2014 graduates is a whopping thirty three thousand dollars. For 2015 graduates, that total will only grow if the current broken system of higher education is left unchanged. 

Speaking for myself, my vote in the 2016 election will go to the candidate with the best solution to this problem– as a student at Monmouth University, my life after graduation will be directly affected by student loan debt. 

Many young Americans have flocked to the side of Bernie Sanders. This attraction is due to his proposal of the “College for All Act,” which will attempt to make all public four year colleges and universities tuition free. Although this plan sounds good in theory– and in a perfect world, of course I would love my college education to be free– in reality this plan will never work. 

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Sanders Leads Clinton in Latest Monmouth Poll, Biden Identifies as Potential Sleeper in 2016 Election

Joe BidenBernie Sanders leads Hillary Clinton in support among likely Democratic Party voters in New Hampshire, according to the latest Monmouth University poll that surveys candidates for the 2016 presidential primary. 

The poll, conducted from September 10 to 13, 2015, may come to a surprise for some as the longtime but still longshot Independent Senator from Vermont leads Hillary Clinton overall (43 percent to 36 percent); as well as among both men (44 percent to 34 percent) and women (42 percent to 38 percent). Sanders leads Clinton among voters under 50 years old by 46 percent to 35 percent and voters age 50 to 64 by 44 percent to 34 percent, while Clinton only edges Sanders by 42 percent to 35 percent among those age 65 and older.

Just 19 percent of Democrats say they would be very unhappy if someone other than their chosen candidate won the party’s nomination. 

“Either way, it looks like most Democratic voters will be able to live with however this nomination contest turns out,” wrote Patrick Murray, Director of the Monmouth Polling Institute. 

The biggest shock however, may have been delivered by the performance of Vice-President Joe Biden (13 percent), who as of last weekend, had not publicly announced his candidacy.

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Syrian Refugee Crisis: 11 Million People Displaced

Syriaian CrysisThe civil war occurring in Syria since 2011 has caused over 220,000 deaths, and it is suspected that over half of these people are innocent civilians according to Mercy Corps. Eleven million people are displaced, causing Syrian citizens to flee the country for refuge in other countries.

There are currently 3.8 million Syrian refugees, and the United Nations believes that by the end of the year, the number will rise to over 4 million; this is the worst exodus since the Rwandan genocide. 

Monmouth student Mary Fitzgerald believes there should be more media coverage of this. “More people need to pay attention to the tragedies in the world.” The refugees are trying to enter Europe, but the European Union is only distributing 160,000 throughout the region. The UN believes that over half of the refugees are children. 

Some countries, such as Germany, are eager to welcome refugees. According to The Washington Post, hundreds of German citizens recently held up signs welcoming refugees into the country. The reason is simple: population: Germany has an elderly population; therefore they need new citizens in order to fill the working class. 

The head of a car manufacturer in Germany recently said that refugees are often young, educated, and highly motivated. This will benefit Germany’s economy significantly; retirees are being financed by welfare, which is funded by very few working citizens. 

Great Britain on the other hand, is expected to become Europe’s most populated country by 2060. Britain is concerned that there will be competition over jobs between citizens with the population influx; the exact opposite concern of Germany. 

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US Cities Prepare for Pope Francis’ Six-Day Visit

Pope FrancisPope Francis’ arrival in the United States this week will drive politicians and interest groups on each side of America’s political divide to claim him as one of their own.

They may well discover that nobody puts the pontiff in a political corner.

That’s not to say political Washington won’t try.

“This pope is a very independent figure and we know from his previous travels that we don’t know what he’s going to say until he says it,” said Charles Kupchan, senior director for European Affairs at the White House National Security Council. “In that respect, we are fully expecting that there are some messages with which we may respectfully disagree or have differences.”

The Roman Catholic leader arrives at a particularly political moment, when issues of concern to the church cut through policy debates in American politics, including abortion, the climate, immigration into the U.S., refugees pouring out of Syria and a nuclear deal with Iran, a pact that the Vatican welcomes. His views defy conventional political labeling and appeal to or put off each side depending on the issue.

At first at least, Washington’s political problems will give way to pomp and ceremony at the White House and on Capitol Hill for the popular pope.

President Barack Obama is so excited about his visit that he’s personally greeting the leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics at Joint Base Andrews on Tuesday, a departure from the usual protocol.

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The Electorate’s Attraction to “Political Outsiders”

Political outsidersWith the 2016 Presidential Race in full swing, and the primary elections being five months away starting with the Iowa Caucuses on Feb. 1, it seems that this summer the voters have been attracted to “political outsiders”, or non-establishment picks. 

According to the most recent presidential polls from the Monmouth University Polling Institute, real estate mogul and T.V. personality Donald Trump holds first place among Republican candidates with 30 percent of GOP support. Neurosurgeon Ben Carson is in second with 18 percent in a national poll conducted on Sept. 3. 

GOP Candidate and former Hewlett- Packard CEO Carly Florina Carly Florina, another candidate that has built up her presidential résumé from outside the political realm– has gained some recent recognition by working her way up from the “Junior Varsity” debate to the main stage for the second GOP debate tonight. 

The original GOP front- runner, Jeb Bush, has dropped to third place garnering 8 percent of the vote– which is four points less than he had in August, according to the most recent Monmouth University GOP poll. 

Much of the summer GOP polls and news coverage have surprisingly been dominated by the non-traditional candidate, Donald Trump. It is too early to tell where Trump will be in the polls when the Iowa caucuses come around, but many people did not expect him to have the success that he’s had so far. It seems as though the more noise he makes, the more popularity he gains. 

The Republican candidate that seems to be negatively affected by Trump the most is former front-runner Jeb Bush, who went down in the polls after stepping into some back and forth with Trump this summer. 

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Christie Takes Jab at Monmouth University Poll

chartOn July 28, when asked about a poll released by Monmouth University’s own Polling Institute, Chris Christie held a very strong opinion about the results.

 The poll showed that Chris Christie had the support of only 4 percent of the voters asked in New Hampshire, while Donald Trump led with 24 percent and Jeb Bush  took second with 12 percent.  

“The Monmouth University poll was created just to aggravate me,” Christie said.  

“I’ve never paid attention to a Monmouth University poll. And, by the way, it’s a Monmouth University poll. Anybody really care? You think nationally, people are waiting on the edge of their seat waiting for the Monmouth University poll to come out? Stop.” 

Patrick Murray, Director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, said when asked for his reaction, “I am very proud of the work of our Polling Institute team.  Politicians being critical of your work simply means you are having an impact.” 

In 2010, Murray was named Pollster of the Year by and number 43 of its New Jersey Power List of 100 “Most Politically Influential People” in the state. 

“I think the fact that the governor, who is down in every presidential poll, took special notice of Monmouth’s poll is a sign of the influence we have in New Jersey’s political world.  We intend to make that same kind of impact nationwide.”

According to their website, Monmouth University Polling Institute’s mission is to “foster greater public accountability by ensuring that the voice of the public is part of the policy discourse.” 

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Contact Information

The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication 
and Instructional Technology (CCIT) Room 260, 2nd floor

The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey 07764

Phone:(732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151