Last updateWed, 19 Feb 2020 2pm


Volume 90 (Fall 2017 - Spring 2018)

It's the Write Thing to do: Why Writing is Important

Writing ImportantWhy is it important to write?

The importance of writing is simple yet equally complex. Just one of the reasons a person might write is for personal satisfaction or fulfillment. Writing is an art form, meaning that it can be used to release and portray feelings that might go otherwise unsaid.

I am a believer in the concept of keeping a journal and documenting personal thoughts. It is healthy to make note of how you feel daily. Keeping record of these moments is important to keep an open and clear mind. 

Granted, it can be very difficult to find time for writing when we have grown accustomed to moving so fast. We, as a society, sometimes forget to take a moment and appreciate all we have, let alone document it. 

Deadlines, exams, work, studying, the list is endless. As college students, we can barely find the time to breathe. Everyone struggles with finding the time to stop and write, but taking every moment you can get makes it worth it. Whether it be scribbling down a few sentences before bed, or writing a note in my phone as I walk to class, writing down a passing thought is pacifying. 

Disclaimer, you don’t need to be a poetic genius to write! Especially if you are writing for pleasure, simply let your mind articulate your words to the page or your screen.

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Student Spotlight: Joe Johnson

Student Spotlight1We all have a million things on our plate, but, the way we handle them is always the way people will remember us.

The way Joe Johnson, a senior criminal justice student with a minor in sociology, handles his workload and still manages to give back to the Monmouth University community is how he’ll be remembered.

Johnson remembers, “I only applied to three schools, Rowan University, Montclair State University and Monmouth. As I started receiving acceptance letters, the only school who offered me the most scholarship money was Monmouth.So, I chose Monmouth to begin my journey and have loved it ever since.”

Originally from Edison, NJ, he has been an influential figure to remember at the University. He said, “The first club/organization that I got involved with at Monmouth was African American Student Union (AASU)...it was extremely difficult to look around campus and not see many people of color. In my high school, I was accustomed to people of different cultural and ethnic backgrounds, but when I came here it was hard finding people of my same race that I could connect with. So, I took it upon myself to join the club and see if there were people who had the same thoughts and interests as me.”

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The World Through a Lens

World Through LensThrough our own lens we see the continuously changing world; we see the green leaves on trees, the blue ink of a pen, the curved shape of a cloud, and the light through a clear window, but some see the way colors and shapes fill a still frame and want that moment to be captured as it is in that moment.

A junior graphic design student, Sebastian Rebelo studies photography as a minor, says he always enjoyed taking photographs. “There’s something about capturing an exact moment in time that you can’t do with other mediums, that makes photography different. My inspiration for taking photographs has always been just for the love of taking photos. Sure, my techniques have changed as I gain experience and develop a sense of style that is unique to my photos, but I always shoot things that capture my eye and make .”

Although Rebelo’s technique has shifted due to his experiences, he still feels inspired to simply capture a moment he always know what a specific moment felt like.

Art and Design Chair and Professor, Dr. Andrew Cohen explained how photography has positively affected his life. “Photography allows me to get closer, connect in a deeper manner with people.  My work focuses on transformation which I document as the mundane, unceasing human condition. I enjoy ‘street photography’ which keeps me alert to my surroundings.  It requires being inconspicuous, observing the moment, and looking for the special in the mundane unfolding of the day,” Cohen revealed. 

Cohen is also intrigued by documentary photography. “Over the years, and ongoing, I have documented some orphanages in Vietnam.  Telling their story in a creative way is a rewarding experience. Photography opens the doors to countless stories.  Telling the story is key, photographing in a creative manner, sensitive to all that is unfolding-- how light adds to the moment, the composition and movements-- makes the work enjoyable and keeps me going,” said Dr. Cohen.

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The Feminist Machine

Feminist MachineWhat is the biggest threat to feminism today?

“Complacency,” said Claude Taylor. Professor of communication and Advisor-In Residence for Academic Transition and Inclusion.  Some course topics of his include race, class, underrepresentation in the media, and gender inequality. 

The ever-shifting political landscape today has erupted with numerous advocacy movements; Black Lives Matter protests, the rise of veganism, climate change supporters, and hundreds more.  However, there is one movement that is stronger than ever before: feminism. 

Like a mighty locomotive, the supporters gather in swarms; singing alongside a choir of hundreds of voices, adorning clever slogans on T-shirts, and parading together throughout the nation.  You would think an army was invading your city. Despite the sheer number of women (and men), why should we focus on this movement now more than ever?

Dr. Corey Lee Wrenn, Director for the Gender Studies club, and published author, answered, “[Feminism is] the notion that everyone should have equal opportunity regardless of gender identification.  People should support feminism because equality is linked to better individual health as well as social stability and prosperity.”

“The core of gender equality needs to be stressed,” Taylor affirmed.  “As a male feminist, as an ally, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to fully understand the issue.  Practicing empathy is vital to understand.”

“Modern feminists today are fighting for access, inclusion, and recognition; not visually recognized, but being heard as a member of a culture,” she continued.

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Turn That Frown Upside Down: How to Improve Your Days

Frown Upside DownWhile living in a time where every moment is so fast paced, whether it be school, work or your personal life, there can be certain instances where happiness begins to wane. Many lose sight of what happiness actually is and how it can be achieved in even in the smallest moments.

Attending college is difficult, especially for those who find themselves consumed in an overload of work. However, there are ways to enjoy subtle, but important, times.

For example, Chibuzo Amonu, a freshman nursing student, said, “Someone taking the time to simply say hi makes me happy, even if the day was not the best.” Colleen Finnigan, office coordinator of the Department of Education always has her student workers smile and say hello to anyone who walks in the door. “You never know how someone’s day is, and if you saying hi makes them even a little bit happier, then it’s worth it,” she said.

Another way that you can turn your day into a better one yourself is by making others around you feel better. Matthew Jones, a freshman computer science student, uses this tactic in his life on a daily basis. “I find happiness in putting a smile on someone’s face because if they are happy, why shouldn’t I be,” he said.

Even though work has settled in and many students are already tired, putting in the minute or two to make someone smile may brighten up how you feel during that time.

For those who remain more concerned with self-made happiness, without the help of another person, doing a daily activity may be the route to take. Whether you find the sunrise enjoyable or even just having a cup of coffee, make it a point to continuously have it present in life.

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Super Santonastasso

Super SantonastassoFor those of you who have (somehow) not heard of Nick Santonastasso yet, I’d like you to take mental note of this statement before he becomes a household name: He is hands down the most influential young adult and will hold this title for generations to come.

Upon hearing his story, you will stop making excuses for yourself and start each day with the ambition and positivity Nick showcases each day of his life.

I first met Nick about three years ago; my mom informed me that this young man—that appeared on the screen of my phone while scrolling through videos on my Facebook feed— was a part of our family through marriage. I remember I nodded my head and said, “sweet,” as I scrolled past the footage.

Looking back on that moment, I truly had no idea that this social media figure on my screen and I would form the incredible bond that we have today.

Flash forward to last summer, My phone buzzed in my back pocket, signaling the “text message” notification.

New iMessage From: Nick.

            I opened the alert.

            Guess who’s moving to Florida???

Nick Santonastasso informed me he just made the biggest decision of his young life and career— to pack up all of his belongings and buy a one-way ticket to Florida.

I stared at my phone and reflected on every moment I had the opportunity to experience with Nick; words alone cannot begin to convey what it is like to experience the motivation that Nick exudes just by being in his presence.

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House Hunters : College Edition

House HuntersHouse or apartment hunting in West Long Branch, Oakhurst, and Deal can be exciting prospective to student renters, but once the town stipulations and costs of renting are revealed, that enthusiasm wanes.

The current Monmouth University housing policies do not guarantee juniors and seniors on-campus housing, which leads to a large population of students that reside in the neighboring towns of the University for the academic school year.

After a student’s freshman year, the Office of Residential Life utilizes a housing selection system to determine who will receive on-campus housing. According to the University’s website, this system randomly assigns upperclassmen who have submitted a housing deposit a number to determine the order of selection. Once on-campus housing options are at full capacity, a waitlist is then generated for those who wish to live on campus.

Students who are not placed in on-campus or university sponsored off-campus housing must begin their search for roommates and an apartment or house to rent for the next year. According to the University website, out of approximately 4,000 full-time undergraduate students, 2,000 students live in the surrounding communities or commute from home.

A rental in Monmouth County ranges from $1,200 to $3,600 a month depending on how many people will occupy the residence. Students with housemates typically pay individually anywhere between $450 to $700 per month without utilities. For gas, water, electric, cable, and ground maintenance each roommate pays approximately $100 or more each month. The tenant might be responsible for additional expenses to ensure that their landlord’s property is in accordance with town rules and regulations.

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Monmouth Reacts to YouTuber Logan Paul’s Video

Logan PaulWhile the national discourse is able to influence many, the bounds with which social media is confined are nearly limitless. Logan Paul is an infamous YouTuber with over 16 million subscribers and over 5 million video views daily with a fanbase reaching an audience ranging from 6-20 years old.

Paul uploaded a video reacting to a man who had just committed suicide in Aokigahara, also known as the Sea of Trees, located in Japan’s Mount Fuji. The forest is also known as the “Suicide Forest” to a lesser degree.

In the video that was taken down 24 hours after it was originally uploaded on 31 Dec. in 2017, Paul decided to travel to Japan to ring in the new year in a ‘non-traditional’ way by visiting what he called ‘the Japanese Suicide Forest.’

The video featured a feeble attempt at blurring a suicide victim that they stumbled upon in the forest as well as numerous opportunities for Paul to discontinue filming. Other than the weak attempt at telling his followers to ‘reach out if you need help,’ Paul continued laughing and cracking jokes.

“First off, when it comes to his ‘disrespect’ of the Japanese culture: I find this to be part of a much larger issue at hand and that revolves around the idea of American ethnocentrism. Simply based on the fact that citizens of the United States often have expectations of other people and places compared the culture and lifestyle of America, the words that come out of his mouth shouldn’t be entirely surprising. Our population, from what I’ve personally observed during my own travels and through my reading, is generally disconnected from the idea that (wait for it.... it’s shocking) other countries are not the United States in historic or contemporary fashion!” Nicholas Messina, an instructor of communication, said.

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Travel Tips That Won't Break the Bank: How to Explore on a Budget

Traveo Tips 1We’ve all been there: dreaming about a nice, warm beach vacation while sitting in your 8:30 a.m. class. You go on your phone (after class, of course) and start to look up the quickest flight to the warmest destination, to find that the prices are way too high for your college student budget. This is a dilemma that many students face when the topic of vacationing arise.

While vacationing is a fun and culturally immersive experiment, it may seem like traveling to another destination may be too much for those looking to save. However, there are many tips and tricks that could benefit anyone looking to see the world but not break the bank.

First step in deciding where to travel is establishing budget, and how much you want to allocate for a certain thing. For example, like staying in an AirBNB as opposed to a hotel, going on walking tours instead of expensive private tours, and cooking for yourself instead of eating out for every meal could save you hundreds of dollars.

“Students should travel because it’ll help them realize how immense and different the rest of the world can be. This will make them culturally competent and globally aware, which will help them as people in everyday life, and, practically, will help them as they prepare for the working world. Being more open and well-rounded because of travel will give them an edge when searching for jobs,” office coordinator for Study Abroad Samantha Falvey said.

Heidi Bludau, Ph.D., a lecturer of history and anthropology offered two places where people can save the most money is on food and accommodations.

“On food, don’t be afraid to eat where the locals eat and even go to a grocery store. Hostels often provide kitchen facilities and you can cook for yourself,” Bludau said. “Also, bring your own food on trains - pick something up from the grocery store, like sandwiches.”

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Gender Inclusiveness in the Classroom

Gender InclusivenessIn an essay titled, “Towards a Revolutionary Pedagogy,” bell hooks, a renowned author and social activist, proposes the idea of creating a revolutionary feminist pedagogy, or in other words, a method of inclusive teaching in the educational environment. By not supporting the neutrality of ideas and by treating knowledge as a transaction between the teacher and the student, education will be able to move away from an oppressive structure.

In order for or students to understand the definition of intersectionality, questions were posed on how a student’s race, gender, sexuality, socio-economic class, and other factors contribute to how they fit within a society.

This type of intersectional education should be a place where there’s a push and pull; a place of thinking where there is a sense of struggle, questioning and discomfort.

Students should be engaging in theory and practice while the professor works with the student to break away from parochial perspectives. Teachers have the power to enrich their students, provide and lead them through discussion and encourage them to discover their own voice in order to feel empowered.

By bringing the words “gender” and “inclusive” into a classroom in which students are able to respond and parse the material effectively requires a methodology different from just teaching the content alone. To teach content that encompasses these two, the professor and student are required to work together and find an outlet that is both engaging and efficient.

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Is Technology Controlling Our Lives?

Technology Controlling LivesYears and years ago, the internet was an escape from the world. Now, the world is our escape from the internet and the abundance of technology.

While technology can be very beneficial, it can control our lives without us even knowing it. Yes, it is nice having the ability to access anything and anyone at any time, but can we go five minutes without our phones?

Eddy Occhipinti, Associate Athletics Director/Marketing & Sponsorships believes that technology has greatly impacted our daily lives and society as a whole.

“In some respects, technology is incredibly helpful and has made many aspects of people’s lives easier and more convenient. In other ways, and depending on what and how, technological advances can be seen as harmful, depending on your perception and point of view. Like anything, if we allow it to control us, it will. I do think technology and its convenience has made us all very dependent on it, for better or worse,” he said.

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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

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151
Email: outlook@monmouth.edu