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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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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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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