Last updateWed, 19 Feb 2020 2pm


Volume 90 (Fall 2017 - Spring 2018)

Gender Studies: How it Affects Us

Gender StudiesThe definition of gender specifically can change across cultures, overtime and within individuals themselves. In Western culture, we recognize two genders: male and female. However, the distinction aspect of gender is critical. The U.S. ascribes to a gender binary, falsely imposed on a disorderly reality. But, how does gender studies relate to us directly?

Gender Socialization is the process by which individuals acquire a sense of self and identity, when they learn to be masculine or feminine. At birth, we all are assigned to a gender from the beginning. If you are a boy, your color is blue, pink for a girl. Parents will treat you differently based on your gender too, even this early on in a newborns life.

Socialization should be a lifelong process, allowing the child to fit into society on their own. In this case, the child will have to use the gender they are given at birth and are expected to uphold the certain standards and expectations that society places on them throughout their lives.

Since the topic of gender studies is filled with many opinions, it is important to get the viewpoint of those around you. Dr. Corey Wrenn, Director of Gender Studies believes she feels the influence of gender stereotyping in her life and is upheld to unfair standards and expectations based on her being a woman. She says, “Female professors are expected to do a lot more of the emotional work as well as “housework.”

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Cohabitating Before Marriage: The New Wave

Celebrating MarriageUp until recent years, it was unusual, as well as frowned upon for couples to live with one another before marriage. But, as time changes, so do societal norms and living together before marriage has grown more and more common.

The idea is that people should learn how to cohabitate before marriage to see if they could in fact eventually get married. According to a relationship expert Rachel Sussman, “It’s important to be roommates and see how that impacts your relationship.” She believes couples should learn how to handle arguments over things like finances and cleanliness around the house before getting married.

Dr. Corey Wrenn Ph.D., Director of Gender Studies, said, “The research on this phenomenon is changing. Not long ago, many states had laws on the book prohibiting cohabitation, and cohabitation was statistically infrequent. However, this is changing, and it is now becoming a relatively normal family structure."

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Take a Break from Winter Break

As the semester comes to a close, there is only one thing on everyone’s mind: winter break. Fourteen weeks of hard work and sleepless studying nights are finally over, and the holidays are around the corner.

Once the fall semester is history,that means the spring semester is just a month or so away. Similar to this semester, winter break will be over in the blink of an eye.

So, how do students and faculty utilize that beautiful break from classes? Is it a time for preparation or relaxation?

For adjunct communication professor, Kelly Harney-Furgason, winter break is more of a time to catch up instead of kicking back. Harney explained, “I’ll probably reread through a bunch of the information that’s been given to me for this class and see where I can expand on it.”

Harney continued to elaborate on how she will improve her classroom, “…perhaps add a little more in to fake news, since that needs to be more prevalent, look at what my students have said to me at the end of each semester… I ask the class what helped and what didn’t and then I try to adjust.”

On top of being a prepared professor, Harney will also take the time to focus on herself and her family. “I just basically try to get caught up on my own life, get caught up on my kid’s lives, make sure they’re on par with what they need to do get done,” she said.

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Home[body] for the Holidays

Home Holidays“I’m dreaming of a white Christmas, just like the ones I used to know, where the treetops glisten, and children listen to hear sleigh bells in the snow.”

We all wish for and dream of different things when the holidays roll around, but some simply wish they had family and the ability to enjoy the excitement that comes with the holidays. So, how do the holidays really make us feel?

As the song states, Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, but the Huffington Post explains the reasons why that is not the case for everyone. For some, the holidays are simply a painful reminder of Christmases past, as well as family that is no longer here.

Throughout the past couple of years, members of my family passed away one by one, most recently being my father. While everyone else excitedly waits for Christmas, I just look forward to it being over.

Dr. Mark Sichel LCSW, author and psychotherapist, states that unrealistic expectations also come into play during the holiday season.

Regardless of whether you have family or not, it is easy to want that picture-perfect white Christmas or New Year’s Eve kiss at midnight. But, when you don’t get that, it can lead to disappointment, anxiety, and even depression.

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Is Black Friday Shopping Just a Black Hole?

Black Friday ShoppingWhat causes you to lose sleep and stresses you out to no end? Nope it’s not college, it’s Black Friday!

After all the turkey, stuffing, and desserts, some are willing to lose sleep and venture out into crowds of people to take advantage of the year’s best deals.

Is all of this really worth it and is Black Friday all it’s hyped up to be? states that the reason Black Friday is so popular is because it has grown into a phenomenon. It’s also important to note that it’s not all about the super low prices. In fact, most people aren’t even after anything specific.

Some people simply want to see what the hype is all about and experience it for themselves. Besides that, some companies will offer sales throughout the year that are better than Black Friday sales. A company may have a sale of 30 percent off but then offer 50 percent off either weeks or months after Christmas.  Senior communication student, Kayla Cardona, does not go Black Friday shopping and prefers to enjoy the holidays with family. She said, “I don’t go shopping since there isn’t anything I desperately need to be waiting in lines for or being surrounded by crowds.”

“I think it’s worth it if someone really needs something and it’s a huge deal they’re getting. But if not, I think it’s best to just stay home and enjoy the holiday,” Cardona continued. 

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Behind the Scenes Heroes: Theatre's Backstage Production

Behind Scenes HeroesNot everything is what it seems, especially on the stage. In theatre, the actors may be front and center, but without a dedicated crew behind the scenes, the show could not go on.

Microphones for the performers to be heard and spotlights for them to shine bright like stars are a couple of aspects, among many more, that are controlled by the technical and artistic staff of a production.

Although they are not seen physically, the crew puts in the same amount of hard work and passion into their roles of the show as the cast and should receive a standing ovation as well.

In honor of the sold-out run of the Monmouth University Theatre Department’s production of Hair, it is time to give credit where credit is due to those who helped this production become a huge success.

Anthony DeFilippo, a freshman criminal justice student, played a large part of the production team by operating the spotlight throughout each performance. Hair is an extremely audience interactive show; being on spotlight is already a challenging job, but having to chase around the actors as they bounce around the entire theatre takes talent and patience.

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Everybody's Crying Wolfe! Graduate Student Spotlight on Danielle Wolfe

Everybody's Crying Wolfe 1Upon starting her college career, Danielle Wolfe, now a Monmouth graduate student, always had a pretty clear idea on what she wanted to do inside the classroom. But, as the years flew by, her experiences outside of the classroom are what truly influenced her decision to continue her college career at Monmouth and to choose her program.

“I graduated with my Bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in childhood studies. I knew since around 4th grade that I wanted to be a counselor--I know it sounds crazy. Initially, I thought I’d want to become a child psychologist. Once I became more involved on campus, everything changed,” Wolfe said.

Wolfe, a graduate student who is earning her Masters of Science in Education (M.S.Ed.), is in the Student Affairs and College Counseling program on campus. But, before coming to Monmouth, her undergraduate career was spent at Stockton University in Galloway, NJ.

“I chose Monmouth [to continue my college career] because the minute I stepped on campus, I felt at home. The campus environment was so warm and friendly, which made me feel as though I could really thrive in this community. It had a similar feeling to where I went for my Bachelor’s degree, Stockton. If it felt like home and I could envision myself loving where I learn every day, then that’s where I’ll be glad to stay,” she said.

Her time at Stockton brought about many newfound passions, “I worked as a Student Assistant in the Tutoring Center, I was a Resident Assistant (RA) for upperclassmen and freshmen, I was on several executive boards, I volunteered for anything and everything that I could. The most impactful part was being an RA and having my then supervisor and now mentor show me the world of Student Affairs and I knew that this is where I was meant to be,” Wolfe said.

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Contagious Senioritis: How to Push Through Until the Finish Line

Contagious SenioritisSenior year of college certainly is an exciting time as you prepare to start the next chapter of your life. However, with senior year comes good old senioritis. Senioritis kicks in when you’ve lost all motivation and you’re in what seems to be a slump. All you want to do is cross that finish line, but not do all the work that will get you there.

According to U.S. News, here are some of the best ways to overcome senioritis.

First, do not let senioritis get the best of you. Classes still need to be attended and assignments still need to get done. So, set aside some time to relax and take care of yourself. If you eat breakfast to nourish your brain and find time to hit the gym, you will mentally stay on track.

No more staying up all night either. If you have a lot to do or an important exam, get things done throughout the day. Homework can easily be done between classes or while you eat lunch.

Plan on going to the gym? Bring something to study, like notes or your textbook. If you know you are going to be on the elliptical for 30 minutes, use that time to learn and memorize things. And if you don’t, stay on that machine until you do.

Joseph Coyle PhD., Department Chair of Mathematics, said,  “I think that senioritis is difficult to overcome mainly because you are typically surrounded by others that have it as well.”

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How Does She Do it All? Student Spotlight on Julianna Emilio, President of Phi Sigma Sigma

How Does She Do It AllHave you ever wondered what it might be like to hold a position, such as President, in a Greek organization? Julianna Emilio, a senior nursing student, offers an inside look on what her role as President of a sorority entails. Julianna even gives suggestions to those seeking a leadership position in any organization on campus.

In the eyes of many Greek life students, several commitments come along with joining a sorority, it means whole-hearted dedication and the willingness to give back. It means giving back to a community larger than oneself and always striving for greatness.

Emilio has been a sister of Phi Sigma Sigma for almost two years now, and she has held the position as President for seven months. Her sisters know her as kind-hearted, enthusiastic, reliable, and extremely dedicated.

On top of that, she believes her past leadership positions like being on the board of the Panhellenic Council and President of the Panhellenic Council have helped her fully prepare to uphold the duties as President of Phi Sigma Sigma.

Monmouth University offers a total of 14 individually unique Greek organizations on campus. The fraternity and sorority community encompasses a diverse group of individuals, which is just one of the reasons as to why it is so great.

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Random Hacks of Kindness Jr.: Kids Coding for a Cause Comes to Monmouth

Random Hacks KindnessThe Monmouth University Department of Computer Science & Software Engineering, in conjunction with Random Hacks of Kindness Junior (RHoKJr), a non-profit that encourages a positive impact for technology use in other non-profits, hosted its first “Kids Coding for a Cause” event on Oct. 28.

This event welcomed over 50 young girls to the University to work on various projects. The point of the event was for these young girls, ranging from 4th-8th grade, to design, create, and test app prototypes for local non-profits.

The girls were given the opportunity not only to gain experience using the open source coding tool, MIT App Inventor, but they were also given the opportunity to learn how to effectively communicate with a client (the non-profit) and deduce project requirements. This is an invaluable experience that these girls will move forward with in their future careers having learned at such a young age.

Allowing budding female students to experience the immeasurable opportunities that the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) field has to offer is pivotal in the era that we live in. STEM is a hugely important part of our society and there is a massive shortage of women in this field.

Megan Rapach, a senior software engineering student, said, “I had no exposure to coding before college. If I did, I feel like I would have had more confidence going into my freshman year at Monmouth.”

According to the National Center for Women and Information Technology, 1.1 million U.S. computing-related job openings are expected by the year 2024 and, as of 2016, women held only 26 percent of professional computing occupations. This number is abysmal and Monmouth University’s Computer Science & Software Engineering Department is facing this issue head-on.

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Pink, Blue, and Gender-Neutral?

Pink Blue Gender NeutralPink is for girls and blue is for boys. Boys play with trucks and girls play with dolls. That may be true for some parents, but not for gender-neutral parents.

According to Forbes, enforcing gender stereotypes have negative effects on both adults and children. So, gender-neutral parenting is the way to go.

Forbes emphasizes that gender should be of little importance. It is common to impose gender roles and stereotypes on children, but it should be avoided. Instead of saying, “You’re such a strong little boy,” say, “You are so strong!” The same applies to girls. Girls are more than just a pretty face, so focus on other characteristics and qualities, like their intelligence or athleticism. Say, “You are really good at math,” rather than, “You’re good at math for a girl.”

As early as nine months, girls and boys gravitate to toys of their gender. The reason it occurs so early is because of their parents.

If a couple is having a boy, it’s blue everything. Something as simple as that can shape a child’s development, so gender must not be imposed like that.

It is also important to note that toys do not have a gender. If a girl plays with only dolls and makeup, and a boy plays with only trucks and action figures, it limits the skills they develop. For example, if a little boy plays with dolls, he will learn how to be caring and nurturing.

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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