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Last updateWed, 13 Nov 2019 12pm

Features

Volume 86 (Fall 2014 - Spring 2015)

Can College Students Really Negotiate Grades?

a or b editedA student’s Grade Point Average can be a key factor when applying for jobs in his or her chosen field. Therefore, it is imperative that students take the necessary steps to ensure quality grades. Aside from academic performance, students will need to make an extra effort in attempt to boost their grades. Often, they will approach their professors and try to negotiate with them to reach a desired GPA. There is constant debate as to whether or not this is a viable method of securing classroom success. 

Some professors feel that grades are non-negotiable, and that if a student fails, he or she earned that failing grade. However, other professors feel that grades are not black and white and should be open to discussion them with students. 

According to an article on USAToday.com published on Feb. 3, “Great Career Success Debate: Did you know you can negotiate your grades?” there is a certain criterion that the circumstance must meet in order to justify the compromising of grades. 

If a student believes a recorded grade has been entered mistakenly, author Dr. Susan Davis-Ali, noted that a student can approach the professor about the error and ask for it to be corrected. Furthermore, she said if class participation is factored into grading, students can reasonably appeal grades and assert that they have sufficiently contributed to the class. Finally, if the majority of the class involves essay writing, she added that students can approach the professor and request a second look at the paper in an attempt to raise the grade.

Co-author Patrick O’Brien noted that it is critical for a student to establish good rapport with a professor; so that future negotiations will not seem unwarranted. Additionally, he added that students need to start negotiations early. They should not wait until they are desperate to approach the professor; a student who consistently asks for extra credit opportunities will be regarded as conscientious. Finally, O’Brien said that grade negotiations must be reasonable. Students should be more cooperative with their professors and not take advantage of them.

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Why a Chipotle Burrito is a Better Valentine than Your Boyfriend

boo rito

The glory place. The holy mecca. The most visited, tourist-attracted place in the world. Even just pulling up in the parking lot and batting your eyelashes at the sight of the building’s beauty alone is enough to make your heart palpitate out of your chest. The doors swing open; welcoming you into what is essentially heaven on earth. You look up and see the letters "C-H-I-P-O-T-L-E" perched above you, and you know you have found your true home.

Any state, any town, any time you see a Chipotle restaurant, people are lined outside of it as if it its burritos store the beautiful truth of the world inside of their toasted flour shell, and people are ready to get enlightened by even just one bite. Perhaps the reason Socrates was so incredibly wise was because he found this nice, little secret Tex-Mex fast food chain, took one bite, and suddenly, every truth in the world was revealed with just the taste of guacamole dancing on his tongue.

Yes, that good. It’s almost as if, too, the Fountain of Youth is stored inside of its chicken and carnita scented walls, and people just can’t wait to dive-in head, and mouth, first.

The smiles on people’s faces are indescribable, as it seems to get painted across the face with pure joy as the smell of the brown rice simmering creeps up their nostrils. This incredibly elevating phenomenon of knowing that they are about to indulge in what is quite possibly the best chain burrito in the world, is pure bliss.

People are lining up at its doors because, really, Chipotle fills a void in not only our stomachs, but in our lives. You see, Chipotle will never let you down. That big, succulent burrito oozing with cheese and hot sauce knows you better than your very own significant other. And it knows how to treat you right, even on Valentine’s Day.

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No Valentine? How About a Hot Date with Netflix?

netflixdate When you feel like all you have to look forward to is 75 percent off chocolate the day after Valentine’s Day, it helps to remember that Valentine’s Day isn’t really all it is hyped up to be.

Everyone has had their fair share of Valentine’s Day blues, whether it’s because you just happen to be single on this "Hallmark holiday" or maybe you might have lost someone special, the real meaning of Valentine’s Day isn’t to make all the single ladies and gentlemen feel bad. In fact, many people that are in a relationship on Valentine’s Day don’t even celebrate it, and if they do, it isn’t much.

Julia Riordan-Goncalves, an assistant Spanish professor, said, "I think [Valentine’s Day] is a really nice holiday, it’s just that it could be bad timing sometimes…"

She went on to say that she and her significant other don’t really celebrate this holiday very much at all, a much different type of celebration than what she used to do when she was younger. Riordan-Goncalves explained that when she was younger she used to exchange gifts with her partner if she was in a relationship. And even if she was single at the time, she’d hang out with her friends. She also understands how it could be looked at negatively considering it is a lot of hype for something that isn’t all that fabulous.

When people hear the words "Valentine’s Day," they either go heart-eyed or start dry heaving at the thought.

Casey Chrobak, a sophomore health and physical education major said, "I’d rather spend Valentine’s Day relaxing and cuddling up with the one I love rather than obsessing over fancy stuff. It’s about the little things to me."

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Valentine’s Day: Still Special Even When You’re Single?

valentines couch As each holiday seems to be more and more commercialized, none are as much of a "Hallmark holiday" as Valentine’s Day. As soon as New Year’s comes and goes, stores and commercials will be stocked with hearts and chocolate for the big day. "Find the right gift for your significant other," and other similar quips on advertisements are spewn across the store.

But what’s the point of it all? Material gifts and signs of affection cannot possibly encapsulate love. What’s Valentine’s Day about really, and how can it be made special, for relationships or otherwise?

"To me, Valentine’s Day is very sentimental and special," said Tyler Manwarren, a freshman marketing major. "If you’re single, hang out with your friends just to be with people that you love."

Sentimentality and affection are key elements of the holiday, and should be taken into account whenever it rolls around. Valentine’s Day should be letting the people in your life know that you care, whether through gifts or displays of affection. We can so often forget about the people in our lives thanks to materialistic distractions (ironically so), and Valentine’s Day is a chance to show someone you really care.

On a holiday that is all about "love," it can be hard for those without a special someone in their lives to feel included. Expensive necklaces, earrings, and other beautiful gifts can give off more of a glare than they’re worth to the unwanted observer, and it’s easy to feel alone or left out.

All the talk of special gifts can seem an ill-fitted gift for just a normal friend. However, the key is that the materialistic side of Valentine’s Day is not the focus; the holiday can be just as well-spent with friends and loved ones as a significant other. You just have to find a way to make the day meaningful with someone you’re close to.

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Wanted: Unconditional Love for Valentine’s Day

kitty

Opening my eyes and rolling over on my mattress, I realize that I’m not crushing a pillow with my body, rather a living, breathing ball of fur. Though quite an uncomfortable position, it becomes regularity. By the luxury demands of the princess, I move with grace, making sure I do not wake the twitching feline while she dreams. I can imagine she wondered in excitement as soon as that faux fur blanket touched the bed; you put that there for me, right? But when a merciful living thing shows you nothing but love, it’s pretty hard to argue for extra leg room.

Arriving home is the big event. Where have you been? Did you miss me? I missed you. But as a college student, I can’t always be home. I attend class, work, and maintain a social life. As soon as I step foot in the door she’s lurking, her eyes beaming at me from the shadows of my living room. Her demeanor is too cool. Within minutes she is at my feet. While I can stand there annoyed by the tickle on my leg after a long day, I look on the bright side. I have love.

Even better, I have a permanent valentine. With the month of February forsaking hearts, singles everywhere pine away wondering when cupid will shoot them next. But what we covet most in humans; loyalty, friendship, and everlasting love, can all be found in a pet. Even better, I have a permanent valentine. With the month of February forsaking hearts, singles everywhere pine away wondering when cupid will shoot them next. But what we covet most in humans; loyalty, friendship, and everlasting love, can all be found in a pet.

No matter what, you are number one to your pet. To them, there is no greater human being on this planet. Perhaps it may be because you feed them on a daily basis, but isn’t it nice to think of a living thing loving you that much?

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Wanted: Unconditional Love for Valentine’s Day

kitty

Opening my eyes and rolling over on my mattress, I realize that I’m not crushing a pillow with my body, rather a living, breathing ball of fur. Though quite an uncomfortable position, it becomes regularity. By the luxury demands of the princess, I move with grace, making sure I do not wake the twitching feline while she dreams. I can imagine she wondered in excitement as soon as that faux fur blanket touched the bed; you put that there for me, right? But when a merciful living thing shows you nothing but love, it’s pretty hard to argue for extra leg room.

Arriving home is the big event. Where have you been? Did you miss me? I missed you. But as a college student, I can’t always be home. I attend class, work, and maintain a social life. As soon as I step foot in the door she’s lurking, her eyes beaming at me from the shadows of my living room. Her demeanor is too cool. Within minutes she is at my feet. While I can stand there annoyed by the tickle on my leg after a long day, I look on the bright side. I have love.

Even better, I have a permanent valentine. With the month of February forsaking hearts, singles everywhere pine away wondering when cupid will shoot them next. But what we covet most in humans; loyalty, friendship, and everlasting love, can all be found in a pet. Even better, I have a permanent valentine. With the month of February forsaking hearts, singles everywhere pine away wondering when cupid will shoot them next. But what we covet most in humans; loyalty, friendship, and everlasting love, can all be found in a pet.

No matter what, you are number one to your pet. To them, there is no greater human being on this planet. Perhaps it may be because you feed them on a daily basis, but isn’t it nice to think of a living thing loving you that much?

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The Price is Right: The Truth about the Textbook

textbookscmyk2It’s a new year and a new semester, which for the University Bookstore, means long lines of students, tons of textbooks, and an awful lot of money in exchange for said books. This new year was shown to be very futuristic and innovative on old movies and TV shows, and time will tell how modern we will be when it comes to our book buying this year. 2015 was a year predicted to have flying cars, talking garbage cans, and hover boards (according to Back to the Future, that is,) but will it be the year that textbook sales decline?

In an age of blossoming technology and so much power at our fingertips, will students decide to find cheaper solutions to mounting textbook prices online? Services such as Amazon and Chegg provide students the opportunity to rent textbooks as well as buy them for cheap. Yet, students continue to flock the bookstore. The question here is, why? 

Textbooks are some of the most expensive things students will have to purchase in their college careers. Once they get past tuition, loans, and dues for organizations, they will have to dole out hundreds of dollars for a book they may never need. In return, they are given back anywhere from five bucks to a penny for the same book at the semester’s end. The cost of textbooks has risen over 800 percent since 1978, according to an article by USA Today called “College textbooks could be the digital age’s next victim.”

Nicki Hernandez, assistant manager of course materials at the University Bookstore, offered insight into the world of textbook sales. Hernandez explained that back in 1978, there were hundreds of small publishing companies, which allowed competition and thereby low prices for books. Today however, there are just a couple of giant cooperation’s with the power to sell books for whatever price they’d like. 

“I know people think we’re ripping them off, but we’re not. Amazon can sell a book for 75 percent off because they have thousands of them, while we have 100. We can’t compete sometimes with those places, due to natural supply and demand,” Hernandez pointed out. 

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Seniors: How Can We Really Enjoy Our Last Semester

seniors last semcmyk2No sooner did the clock strike midnight on the night before class did I see texts and tweets from seniors that read, ‘This is my last first day of school.’ This is a moment in time when we seniors stop and think, where did time go? Not only is it a time to reflect on our last three and a half years at a university, but also a time to gear up for whatever the future holds. But we can’t be certain about what the future holds. We have today and only today. So seniors take a minute and ask, “What have I done today?”

The time has finally come, class of 2015, that in just a few months we will be walking across a stage in our cap and gown. But before we do, why don’t we take advantage of all the great things that Monmouth has to offer us and really enjoy the moments spent on campus. And though it makes us sad to think these years have gone by so fast, we still have 104 days until we really have to throw in the towel and say, thanks for the memories.

Whether it be dilly-dallying in the Student Center or sitting in your car in the parking lot, we all have moments in between classes that are free from obligation. Ranging anywhere from 15 minutes to four hours, free time should most definitely be used to our advantage. Remember all of those friends from freshman year you promised you’d keep in touch with? Give them a ring! And yes, I’m talking about a phone call.

 Catching up with an old friend just might make your day a little bit brighter. Having the audacity to reach out to someone is both empowering and emotionally fulfilling. Speaking with someone who you don’t converse with daily is an easy way to take your mind elsewhere for a while. By allowing yourself to focus solely on one person, you’ll strengthen a connection between you and your long lost friend. 

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“Cheers to a New Year and Another Chance for Us to Get it Right”

new year rezcmyk2New Year’s resolutions have been a part of holiday culture for as long as I can remember. Numerous people make goals about bettering themselves, but the real question here is how many people actually stick with their goals? Of course sticking to a plan is not always an easy task. I am sure we all know what I am taking about.

I personally have been pretty good at keeping certain New Year’s resolutions. I suppose I just have a lot of determination. Each year is a fresh start and should be taken advantage of. Of course, certain goals are extremely challenging to achieve such as breaking bad habits or giving up something you are crazy about. 

This year my New Year’s resolution was to try to give up chocolate and everything chocolate flavored since I am simply addicted to it. This goal was a bust and I failed my goal in three days. I know, it’s pretty pathetic and ridiculous. That itself is proof that chocolate addiction is very real. Breaking habits really are tough. I may try to give it another shot, but let’s face it, probably not anytime soon. I simply love it too much.

There are a myriad of methods to stick to a New Year’s resolution. One way could be trying to visualize the long-term effects of your goal. For example, a lot of people choose losing weight as their New Year’s resolution goal. The long-term effects of completing that goal would be overall better health and lifestyle. Other methods on sticking to New Year’s resolutions are taking change slow, realizing that making a resolution on New Year’s Day is no different than any other day, making realistic goals, and having a positive attitude. 

College is full of motivated students and wise faculty, so I am sure some interesting New Year’s resolutions are around here somewhere.

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Winter Break Blues: What Do Students Miss About College?

Alive in the Fire Sarah Rhoads 2For some people, winter break is a wonderful time to catch up with friends, to spend time with their families, and to just generally take a break from the rush and the work of college. However, for some people, these few weeks are a long break from the friends that they have made at college.

Being at home always has its advantages. It’s nice to be able to have a home-cooked meal over dining hall food, and in some cases it’s refreshing to have one’s own room, without having to worry about a roommate or their friends always coming over. Being on break also means a break from classes, which means a break from homework and papers and a constant stream of assignments. 

David Strohmetz, a psychology professor, believes that this is the biggest relief that comes out of break, for a brief month, students can avoid “the stress of balancing academic work with the other pressures of living on one’s own.”

Being home is a chance to reconnect with family and friends, to spend holidays together, to see people who you haven’t seen for weeks or even months. For some people, winter break was a time of travelling, whether it be on a trip to visit family for the holidays, or a weekend trip with friends.

Erica Walsh, a freshman elementary education major spent a large chunk of her break in Florida. “I also went on a road trip to Connecticut,” she said. “Both of them were great, and being on break gave me the chance to go out and do things that I wouldn’t usually have time to do during the semester.”

Elizabeth Roderick, a freshman psychology major, said being home is nice because, “I get a lot more sleep than I usually do. I also get to cuddle with my dog literally every day.” Reasons as small as these can be why people enjoy going home.

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The Gray-test Ending EVER

Alright, I’ve put this off long enough. I really, really did not want to do this, because now the reality is setting in.

To say Monmouth has been the most insane roller coaster ride I’ve ever been on would be the understatement of the century. In the past three and a half years I cannot count how many laughs, tears, friends, and all-nighters that have been pulled in the pure namesake of the college experience.

However, there is no way that I would have been able to make it through everything, or even fully enjoyed college, without the help of all of the amazing people in my life. With that being said, there are some important people I need to thank.

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Contact Information

CAMPUS LOCATION
The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

MAILING ADDRESS
The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey
07764

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