Last updateWed, 20 Sep 2017 1pm


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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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