Proud to be a Hawk

The Outlook Reflects on the Recent Success of University Athletics, Academics and Enrollement Numbers

Monmouth University, once an unassuming private university on the Jersey Shore, has now had the taste of the limelight. Our basketball team has garnered national attention, thanks in part to creative and humorous celebrations of the Monmouth Bench. Additionally, Monmouth University has made headlines with its polling institute.

Possibly due to this attention, Monmouth has seen a six percent increase in the number of student applications from the year prior, according to The Asbury Park Press. Has this recent attention bettered Monmouth’s reputation? Do current students feel more pride? The Outlook’s editorial board weighs in.

One editor said that he noticed Monmouth’s basketball team started getting attention once they beat big schools like UCLA and Notre Dame. Another editor noticed an increase in popularity due to the increase in attendance. She said, “I realized that this season was different when the team started getting national media coverage and also when students were required to get a voucher in order to even get into the game.”

An editor commented that The Monmouth Bench had become a mad hit on social media. In fact, the Monmouth Bench created a Twitter account, which now has almost 17,000 followers. The antics of the Monmouth Bench were featured on such major news outlets as USA Today, CBS News, and ESPN. Even host of The Late Late Show, James Corden (known for his popular Karaoke Carpool Series) expressed disappointment when Monmouth was left out of the NCAA March Madness tournament. He said, “My favorite team didn’t make it. That is of course, the New Jersey team, Monmouth University.” He then joked that, “I am absolutely in love with Monmouth University’s basketball team. I’ve never seen you play; I’ve just watched the bench.”

The editorial board agreed that Monmouth has become more well-known as they speak to people from other schools and outside the community. One editor commented, “I’m a tour guide on campus and so many of the prospective students who came to visit Monmouth already knew so much about the basketball team and the bench. It’s been cool to see our school get so much national recognition.”

The editorial board feels the success of the basketball team reflects well on our school’s reputation. An editor said, “They hold themselves together and are very professional. This then reflects on us as a university.”

Another editor warned that media attention can garner criticism as well. He said, “There were people who did not like what the Monmouth Bench was doing (such as the Iona head coach) and probably had not-so-nice things to say about MU because of it. Whenever you get publicity there is going to be positive and negative reactions from everyone.”

Additionally, Monmouth University has made headlines with its polling institute. According to an article by the Asbury Park Press, the polling institute has been around for 10 years and has recently committed to national polling during the presidential election cycle. The institute’s polls gained credibility quickly, and were featured in New York Times, The Huffington Post, and other news outlets. Governor Chris Christie notoriously showed discontent when Monmouth Polls found low support for Christie as a GOP nominee; which surely wasn’t incorrect.

Altogether, the editorial board feels it is an exciting time to be a Monmouth Hawk. From seeing our school on Buzzfeed’s most beautiful campuses list, to hearing our name in mainstream news, Monmouth has definitely spread its wings. As one editor said, “People are finally saying Monmouth, not mammoth,” and that’s a feat in-itself.