October 28, 2020 || Vol. 93, No. 6

OUTLOOK.MONMOUTH.EDU October 28, 2020 VOL. 93 No. 6 2 4 5 6 7 8 10 11 14 News Editorial Opinion Features Lifestyles Entertainment Politics Club & Greek Sports INDEX INSIDE: “Moments at Monmouth” Series Presents Climate Survey Results Pg. 6 @muoutlook @muoutlook @theoutlook Pg. 15 NEWS FEATURES SPORTS Looking Through the Lens of Karlee Sell, Photographer for Athletics How Students are Navigating Long Distance Relationships During the Pandemic Debate TeamWins Four Awards at First Virtual Competition Super-Spreader Event Leads to a Rise in COVID Cases An off-campus “super- spreader event” resulted in more than 100 positive CO - VID-19 cases and required an additional 200 students to quarantine, University contact tracers concluded. President Patrick F. Leahy, Ed.D. addressed the sudden rise in cases in an email to the University community on Friday, Oct. 9. Through “extensive” contract tracing efforts, additional details of the super-spreader’s likely origin were identified. “It appears that this increase in cases among students was tied to an off-campus event hosted two weeks ago,” Leahy wrote. “An overwhelming ma - jority of the recent cases we have seen can be traced back to this isolated super-spreader event.” Students’ symptoms in iso- lation and quarantine “have been mild,” but will be moni - tored closely for the remain - der of the 14-day period, Lea- hy wrote. Since the super-spreader event, the University has in- creased testing capacity and will now provide free testing for students and employees. On-Campus COVID Testing SPREADER cont. on pg. 2 TESTING cont. on pg. 2 The University is provid- ing free COVID-19 testing to students and employees, in collaboration with the NJ Department of Health, Monmouth County Re - gional Health Commission No. 1 and the Monmouth County Health Depart - ment. On Tuesday, Oct. 27, the testing location moved from a tent outside the Health Center to the OceanFirst Bank Center Lobby, said Kathy Maloney, Director of Health Services, in an email. Testing is available Monday to Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. No appointment is necessary. “Health Services has moved to a model where we are doing 90 percent COVID testing and 10 per - cent other medical services due to testing demand and careful screening for other services,” Maloney wrote. Approximately 100-125 people are tested daily. She continued, “We have bolstered our staff through use of per diems and utiliz - ing other university-trained personnel for testing. In addition, we have received support from other areas of campus to assist with orga - nizing and communicating lab results to students.” Testing is conducted using a PCR nasal swab which is sent to an NJ State lab in Trenton for analy - sis, with the result turn- around within the 24-72 hour range. Students and employees tested are con - tacted via email once test results are obtained, and all are encouraged to be tested. University priority test- ing is for those who are symptomatic or who have had direct contact with a COVID-positive person, Mary Anne Nagy, Vice President for Student Life and Leadership Engage - ment, wrote. “We now have a limited supply of rapid tests which will be reserved for symptomatic cases only. All rapid tests will be further confirmed with a PCR nasal swab,” Nagy said. She continued, “Upon return from fall break, we will restart the surveil - lance testing program. Each week there will be random testing of at least 14 percent of residential students in addition to 25 percent of both the on and off-campus athletic population. We will also be reaching out to differ - ent off-campus groups for voluntary participation in the community COVID-19 testing effort.” MELISSA BADAMO EDITOR-IN-CHIEF/ FEATURES EDITOR The Monmouth Debate Team won four awards at the Phyliss Schatz Invitational, hosted on Zoom by SUNY Binghamton from Oct 16-18. Four teams of Monmouth University students competed at the tournament. The team of Madison Hanrahan and Eric Machnicki made it into the playoff round on Sunday, Oct. 18 after competing in six rounds. They went on to defeat a team from the Uni- versity of Rochester in the first playoff round, which advanced them into the semi- final rounds. Three Monmouth debat - ers also won top 10 speak - ing awards—Hanrahan (4th place), Danielle Dempsey (6th place), and Machnicki (7th place). Each year, a topic is chosen to be debated at every tournament. This year’s topic is whether the U.S. should reduce its commit- ment to the NATO alliance. “I honestly didn’t even expect to win a single round, let alone get to the playoffs, make a run and win an award. I was more surprised than anything else, but it definitely felt gratifying to hear my name called out for an award,” said Machnicki. As the team’s first virtual de- bate, Hanrahan thought that it was a unique experience. She said, “Nobody knew what to ex - pect going into the tournament. But luckily we encountered very few technological issues.” Machnicki said that it was challenging to debate in a virtu - al format due to issues like audio reverb and strain on his comput - er. He said, “It felt detached and robotic, being able to see and hear but not really interact with anyone.” Hanrahan said that her expe - rience participating in Zoom classes and an online format helped her feel more comfort - able participating in a virtual debate. However, she also noted that due to the virtual format, it did not feel like she had ac - complished anything. She said, “Nothing felt different after winning the awards…Through an online format, there is a limited sense of comradery and teamwork that would typically stir up excitement.” Both Machnicki and Hanra - han said that Joseph Patten Ph.D., Professor of Political Sci - ence and Faculty Advisor of the Debate Team, helped students prepare for the competition with mock debates and virtual scrimmages, and by teaching DEBATE cont. on pg. 2 MATTHEW CUTILLO MANAGING/ NEWS/ LIFESTYLES EDITOR MATTHEW CUTILLO MANAGING/ NEWS/ LIFESTYLES EDITOR IMAGE TAKEN from Monmouth.edu The University’s COVID-19 Dashboard reported a peak of 193 active cases on Oct. 6. PHOTO COURTESY of Monmouth University Free COVID-19 testing is available in the OceanFirst Bank Center lobby Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Pg. 2