Last updateSat, 28 Mar 2020 1pm


Volume 85 (Fall 2013 - Spring 2014)

Back to Class: Readjusting to Campus Life After Winter Break

In the popular movie “Billy Madison,” Adam Sandler sings, “Back to school, back to school, to prove to dad that I’m not a fool.” Many college students can relate to that, especially when they’re heading back for their second semester.

No matter what year students may be in, the second semester is the time to put their old classes in the past, reunite with friends, and attempt to bring up their GPAs. But after a month of Mom’s homemade food, sleeping in your own bed, and showering in your own shower, going back isn’t always as easy as one may think.

As a junior, I live off-campus, so I get to cook my own food and only one other person uses the same things as I do. I lived on-campus for the first two years however, so I had my fair share of dining hall food and waking up at 3 am on Wednesday mornings because people were screaming outside my dorm hall. Still, I didn’t really understand appreciation until I came home for my first Christmas break my freshman year and I could shower without sandals on. Going back to that was definatly a little rough.

Junior Stephanie Hamilton, who lives in the Great Lawn apartments, said getting readjusted to being back at school is hard. “You get so used to having your parents go food shopping for you, your laundry being done, and everything in the house always being cleaned.”

Hamilton added, “It’s also a change going from having your own space, especially your own bedroom, then going back to sharing everything with roommates.”

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University Alum Goes the Distance

On most bucket lists, there are the usual ‘go sky diving’ or ‘travel the world’ descriptions, but University alum Paul Mandala’s bucket list consisted of a 10,000 mile bike ride from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska to Panama City, Panama.

“My initial motivation started years ago in 2007 when I was asked by my best friend Luke to join him on a cross country charity bike ride working with a non-profit organization,” Mandala recalled. He explained that the organization groups together 18-25 year olds and sends them on a touring bicycle ride where they stop along the way to help build houses.

“One of the heads of the program came out to ride a few days with each of the groups and when he stayed with us one night at dinner someone asked him what his other dreams were. His response was ‘the Pan American Highway,’” Mandala said. “As what usually happens in life, I got busy with life and the idea stayed deep in the back of my mind as a dream.”

Mandala graduated from the University in 2011 with a degree in marine biology. While enrolled as a full time student, he consistently cast aside material elements as he preferred the natural environment and traveling.

“First I went to the Bahamas for a two week research class. I fell in love with travel instantly because in those two weeks I was able to explore what was in my text books, to see, feel and hear what I had learned about but also so much more in that there were new environments as well as people and culture,” Mandala continued. “My love for travel and education would only be furthered a few years later when I studied abroad in Australia, and was lucky enough to snag a humpback whale research position, take biology classes, and still have time to explore all over the different landscapes of eastern and central Australia and Fiji.”

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The Buzz About BuzzFeed: A Rising Internet Media Platform

The internet never ceases to amaze with its vast amount of, well, everything. Just one click and endless amounts of information pop up to inform, amuse or just to make you wonder what goes on in people’s heads. Popular website BuzzFeed has recently risen to internet glory by capturing things in media, news and more, and having editors and users sprinkle in humor within most pieces. If an issue is spreading like wildfire in the technology realm, then BuzzFeed is on it.

Upon visiting their website, there are various links for different stories and topics. Most links are chock full of lists to provide laughs. Previous articles have ranged from, “19 Things You Miss After Graduating College” to “The 40 Most Insane Things That Happened This Year in Florida.” Users have flocked to the variety of topics provided on BuzzFeed in millions.

Humor isn’t the only aspect to the site though. Worldwide issues strike a chord amongst the articles and readers. Poverty, war and politics are amongst the many issues compiled into the site. For younger readers who may not be as informed as older readers, this is a great way to spell out what is happening today with critical problems that affect everybody in one way or another.

The site was founded by Jonah Peretti in 2006 and is still growing in popularity. It averages about 85 million visitors each month. The site has expanded to many other countries and  makes millions of dollars each year. Talk about a budding global domination.

The question still remains however, what is the buzz with BuzzFeed?

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Less Stress for Sophomore Housing in Fall 2014

The new semester means the time has come to start thinking about housing options for the next school year. Over the break students and their families received a lengthy packet in the mail about this process.  Luckily, for rising sophomore students, things got a bit easier as they along with the incoming freshman class are also guaranteed housing for next year thanks to a new dorm that is set to open near the University library in September.

Ray Gonzalez, Associate Director of Residential Life said, “while the actual selection process is not changing, it does give us the ability to guarantee housing to all rising sophomores who are participating in the housing selection process. Prior to this year, while there was no guarantee of housing, we were able to accommodate all requests for housing over the last three years.”

Freshman Erica Villa is excited about this. “I think it is good that sophomores are also guaranteed housing. I am excited to get a suite with my friends and have another year on-campus.”

Freshman Kelly Loebs is also relieved that this year there will be no worrying about getting a high number in a housing lottery or having to move off-campus.  “I feel that it decreases stress for all of my friends as well as myself and we all get to stay together another year,” said Loebs.  “We were originally thinking about getting a house off-campus, but changed our minds due to this option to avoid conflicts.”

Freshman Michelle Bacchetta also agreed that there are more benefits than disadvantages when it comes to living on-campus.  “I am excited to have another year on-campus because it is better than trying to locate an off-campus house or apartment which can be very expensive.”  

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New Year, New Goals, New Me

As the year comes to a close, we all start to look back on the last 12 months, the good and the bad. All of the accomplishments we’ve achieved and obstacles we’ve overcome. All the changes we’ve made for ourselves and all the things we still want to work on. The New Year is always a time that brings excitement to people because it’s a chance to change. But how many people really change for more than a couple weeks or months? Sure, resolutions may be easy to come up with, but why are they so hard to stick to?

Every year I promise myself that I am going to start going to the gym, eating better, working harder and procrastinating less. Some of these things don’t ever even start, but the ones that do only seem to last a few weeks. Every beginning of the year I am highly motivated to be a better person, but by the middle of the year I always realized I haven’t changed at all. I may even get worse. Maybe I like to eat more than I like to run and maybe I can only do homework when its due in a few hours and I’m severely under pressure. I cant be the only one, right?

Junior Katie Dykstra said that the most common resolutions are the hardest to stick to because they need to be done on a daily basis. “What my New Year’s resolutions are is a hard question. I don’t even tend to think about it until the New Year comes,” said Dykstra. “I would have to say it would be going to the gym and actually sticking to it as well as being able to manage my time better. I’m always doing things last minute and driving myself crazy, so I want to work on improving my study habits,” Dykstra added.

Junior Annalisa Vitale said, “This year I want to become more involved in campus activities. I normally only stick to resolutions for a few weeks but if I’m a member of a club I will almost be forced to stick with it. Having to stick with things will be a good thing though, and will ultimately help me in the future.”

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Happy Holidays Means More Than Merry Christmas

As with every year, before the last piece of turkey is carved, everyone is out shopping for the holiday season. Even though different holidays have finally made their way into the spotlight, there are still several celebrations or holiday traditions that not many people know about.

Sophomore Ashtin Brinkerhoff, for instance, who lived in the town of Rota, Spain for seven years celebrates Three Kings Day, which pays respects to the Magi who brought Jesus presents in the manager. “Anywhere you went in Spain, it would [look] the same [because of celebration] along with religious music compared to the usual American Christmas carols. There are several similarities. For example,  you can sit on the Three Kings’ laps, and instead of leaving carrots and cookies out for Santa and the reindeer, you leave out hay and water for the camels,” she explained. “We still exchange gifts of Christmas Eve, but we get our main gifts from the Three Kings on Dec. 6.”

Then there are the more popular holidays such as Chanukah, which is the festival of lights celebrated by those who practice Judaism. Each night, a candle is lit as a symbol of the eight nights that the oil burned in the temple. In modern times, some have created their own traditions based off this ancient ritual.

“When my children were little, they both went to Jewish pre-school. During Chanukah, one of the projects they did in school was making their own menorah,” said Sherry Sukienik, an adjunct communication professor. “I have four or five homemade menorahs made out of wood or clay, and we started the tradition of alternating the menorahs. My children are grown and out of the house, but I still use the ones they made as children.”

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Making Rain to Clear Smog: An Artificial Solution

Record levels of airborne pollution in Shanghai, China have passed the threshold necessary for normal outdoor activities to resume their course. Its aftereffects have manifested themselves most directly in public sectors such as education and transportation. The closing of schools and the cancellation of flights resulted from the smog infested pollution prompted the Shanghai government to issue the highest level of health warning, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

After eyeing China’s booming manufacturing industry, it is unsurprising to see why the levels of pollution are so elevated, leading industrial pollution to make cancer China’s leading cause of death, according to the Chinese Ministry of Health. The WHO recommended that the levels of particulate matter (particles found in the atmosphere such as dust, dirt, soot, and smoke) over 300 were hazardous and recommended daily levels of 20 or less.

The particles with diameters less than 2.5 micrometers, designated by the PM2.5 value, are known to produce the greatest health risk since their small size (1/30th the width of the average human hair) can allow them to lodge deeply into the lungs according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

On Friday, the “Shanghai PM2.5 value exceeded more than eight times the national limit of 75 by reaching 600 micrograms per cubic meter,” causing increased cuts on outdoor activities and prompting children and the elderly to stay indoors, said Shanghai Daily. To combat the incessant smog which has even reached California, the Chinese government has been looking at different venues, such a cloud seeding, to halt the progression of air pollution into an increasing set of domains.

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Finally Time for Finals Week: Are You Prepared?

Winter break is coming, but before the much needed relaxation comes, the daunting task of taking and successfully passing final exams. These tests vary in format from covering the material at the end of a course, to projects, to covering an entire course.  Formats also vary from multiple choice based tests to essays.

Kaitlyn Mazzeo, a junior English and elementary education major, said that she is going to try and wing it this year. “I don’t really prepare. I have four cumulative [exams] and two are what we did after midterms,” she said.

This is not a good idea because studying is very crucial for success on these exams which in turn determines the final course grade. Usually finals count for 15 to 30 percent of a student’s grade, but for some classes they can be as much as half the course grade.  Therefore, effective note taking is very important for success.

Junior Krista Varanyak said, “I always make flash cards and note sheets to prepare for  exams.  It helps me retain all of the information that I need to know.”  Grades can be determined significantly based on a final exam mark.

Senior psychology major Shannen Wilson knows, “This can be especially important when one’s grade is on the borderline of one mark to the next.”  This is especially important for maintaining a strong GPA.

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What Not to Wear: College Edition

There comes a time in every student’s life when they have to make their way into the working world. Maybe you’re looking for your first job to get you off the ground towards your career goals. Maybe you’re looking for the job you plan to stay in for the rest of your life. Regardless, this is a scary time for everyone. Sure, you might have a great GPA. You might have been a part of Greek life. You might have all the experience and credentials the world has to offer. But what if you don’t look the part? That’s when you really need to worry.

Considering most of my knowledge of fashion comes from my years as a retail worker, as well as watching countless hours of “Sex And The City,” I figured some of my choices could probably be a little questionable. Sure, my retail work might be able to carry me a little, but working in boutiques and working in a corporate office are different.

For both men and women, solid colors are the safest bet and conservative suits are the runner up. Men should wear a coordinated tie, dark colored socks, and dress shoes. Women should also wear a coordinated shirt, have neatly manicured hands, limited jewelry and makeup, and sensible shoes. Of course, not every job has the same dress code, so if you have any questions about what the office wear is, ask the person interviewing you. If anything, this will show that you are serious about making a good impression.

Michelle Levash, a junior education major said, “It’s important to dress in a professional way because you only get one chance to make a first impression. It’s also always better to be overdressed rather than underdressed and dressing professionally sets the stage, showing that you take care of yourself and take your career seriously.”

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The Harmful Effects of E-Waste Around the Globe

As college students, we use electronic devices for just about everything we do. We watch our favorite shows on television every day; we hop on our laptop every few hours to work on assignments, and just about every one of us uses a cell phone. But when items become outdated or damaged and new items are purchased, where do they go?

When we throw these items in the garbage, we rarely think about how we are impacting other people and the environment. In millions of cases, the poorest parts of Africa and South Asia get the brunt of our neglect and unawareness as it pertains to the harms of electronic waste.

Electronic waste, or e-waste, consists of any electronic device, either new or old, that has been thrown away. According to the Journal of Environmental Health Perspectives, items considered to be e-waste include televisions, desktop computers, laptops, monitors, cell phones, keyboards, computer mice, printers, copiers, chargers, and other items of this nature.

When we think about how much technology has grown in the past decade and how many people have several of these items, we forget that when it is thrown away it all has to go somewhere. The Journal of Environmental Health Perspectives also estimates that over 250,000 metric tons of e-waste illegally enters African countries every year.

You, me, and everyone around us have been individually contributing to this issue and we don’t even know it. When e-waste is transported into countries such as Lagos and cities such as Bengaluru, and Guiyu, these e-waste products are dumped onto beaches and remote areas to be picked apart by teenage workers, sometimes even small children.

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To Italy and Back: A Study Abroad Experience

These words have been my response to every single person that has asked me about my trip to Italy, “Amazing, I loved it.” They sit there, and wait for a better answer, but how can someone possibly sum up the most remarkable month of his or her entire life?

When people told me I would want to go back the second I got home, it was an understatement. Even my dreams when I got home were taking place in Florence. It truly became our home while we were there, and it was only for a month.

I never thought I could adapt to a lifestyle so easily and love every second of it. From the hottest nights trying to sleep, to catching lizards in our room, to hanging our clothes out to dry, it was all worth the view of Piazza del Mercato and the Duomo in the distance from our window.

I don’t think anybody knows what it means to appreciate the world until you’re on top of it. In the peak of my life I hiked the tallest mountains in Cinque Terre, dangled in a chair to the top of Anacapri, bussed to the highest roads in Croatia, climbed to the top of the tower in Florence, and overlooked the city at Piazza Michelangelo.

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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