Last updateWed, 10 Oct 2018 4pm


Sustainability for Students: The Importance of Eco-Friendly Businesses

John JohnsonThe world needs to start heading down a more sustainable path for the sake of future generations. We are over-populating, overeating, overfishing, and overusing. Multibillion-dollar corporations corner the industry and put money in the pockets of those that have influence politically and have the power to make a change.

It's up to big name brands like Adidas, who are releasing a shoe made up of 95 percent ocean plastic, to make a difference and be the change. In 2017, the brand aims to produce one million pairs of the sneakers made from more than 11 million plastic bottles.

Another big name busines, IKEA, has just unveiled a furniture set made out of recycled plastic and reclaimed wood.

“We need to become better at using the planet’s resources in a smart way. Our ambition is to increase the share of recycled materials in our products," said Anna Granath, product developer at IKEA. "We are looking into new ways to re-use materials, such as paper, fibre, foam and plastic, so that we can give them a new life in a new product.”

Later in 2017, IKEA has plans to release an even more sustainable and "waste-free" line of furniture, and continue to produce more sustainably.

When Keurig came out with the single-serve coffee machine that almost instantly brews a cup of joe, it seemed like the best innovation at the time. Little did we realize how detrimental they could be to the environment and our health.

According to, " In 2014, enough K-Cups were sold that if placed end-to-end, they would circle the globe 10.5 times."

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Getting Over Mid-Semester Blues

Mid Semester BluesThe spring semester is always an interesting one, to say the least. You feel like you’re in high school again, just counting down the days to summer vacation. But you also realize that you need to “adult” and actually complete your work to finish out the semester.

This time of year is also very confusing in terms of the weather. One day there’s a snow storm, and the next day it is gorgeous and sunny. You don’t know if you should curl up in a blanket and attempt to study for all your midterms, or get ready to forget about all responsibilities and go to the beach.

Around this time in the semester when midterms are happening and soon finals will be approaching, students may have a hard time remaining focused and staying motivated to do work.

“Everyone wants to be outside in this weather and it’s important to find a balance,” Dr. Andrew Lee, the director of Counseling and Psychological Services, said. “We shouldn’t allow ourselves to lose track of everything, but we also shouldn’t restrict ourselves from going outside and enjoying the beautiful weather.”

 Not only are we distracted by the beautiful weather and our close proximity to the Jersey shore, we also have finals right around the corner. Lee said “We must know and acknowledge that stress will come. Life happens, and sometimes, life is stressful.”

Lee continued, “The best way to help with stress is to have a plan to finish your work and study efficiently.”

Lee also shared that some simple things we can do to have less focus on stress during this time is to make sure we engage in some kind of physical activity, get enough sleep every night, and also to just breathe. These tips may sound silly and simple, but can actually be very helpful in avoiding being overwhelmed by stress.

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Student-Athletes: On and Off the Field/Court

Student Athletes OnOff CampusStudent-athletes are multifaceted individuals who have passion, love, dedication, and motivation for the sport they play, and all the work that comes along with it. People often overlook the responsibilities that athletes have, on and off the court. Whether it is soccer, lacrosse, football, basketball, field hockey, golf, or bowling, each student program and team has rules and demands that athletes have to obey. These students also have the pressure of representing their team and Monmouth University.

Senior communication student, Justin Robinson, guard on the men’s basketball team, said, “We have a whole bunch of things that people don’t notice. We have to sit in the front rows of classes, or else we get in trouble. We have to carry ourselves a certain way because everything we do is watched under a microscope. Things that a regular student could get away with, we can’t because we’re athletes.” Robinson continued.

“It’s demanding, but I love it and wouldn’t change it for anything.”

Athletes are a symbol for Monmouth, and they have to strive in the classroom and on the court. There are no easy days for them. They are always asked for more than a student who is not involved in sports programs.

Lacrosse senior midfielder and communication student, Kevin Osback, said, “The team comes first, long practices followed by film sessions and lifting sessions. Applying a championship mentality to every aspect of the day from the little things to the bigger picture.”

Student-athletes are motivated to win and practice every single day to reach their goals. They have practices in the morning, during the days, and sometimes later on in the evening. Practice makes perfect, and practice puts Monmouth up on the charts against other universities.

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Technology: The Good, The Bad, and The Controlling

Tech Good Bad ControllingIt’s no wonder titans of tech are locked in an epic battle of the bots, racing furiously to produce the best virtual assistant.Their respective help-bots--Apple’s Siri, Google’s Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana--promise consumers one of the most valuable commodities in the world: free time.

Due to the sudden acceleration of artificial intelligence and advancements in speech recognition and big-data storage, the technology behind virtual assistants is rapidly spreading from phones and electronic devices to cars and homes, and the truly useful helper is approaching fast. The four companies are fighting for the biggest share of a market expected to grow to $12 billion by 2024.

“There’s a tremendous amount of promise for these agents to help and assist with many different tasks that we face every day,” said Ross Rubin, Principal Analyst at Reticle Research. “The more the agent can help you with, the more value it holds.”

The ultimate goal is our own personal genie in a bottle that awakens with a word or touch to liberate us from all of our daily mundane tasks, organize our days and nights, and free us from the stress of endless days that have become so terribly busy. But that’s not going to happen quite yet.

Today, the aid these virtual assistants provide remains fairly limited. Most users of Google Home and Amazon Echo devices--which host Assistant and Alexa respectively--stream music, play audiobooks, and control smart-home devices, according to surveys by San Francisco analytics firm VoiceLabs.

Still, the virtual agent’s foundation in Artificial Intelligence (A.I) means the more it learns about a user’s preferences and behaviors, the better job it can do. So, while experts predict a handful of firms will dominate in this field, most agree that Apple, Google and Amazon will be major players, with Microsoft in a lesser role. The one thing they’re split on is whether consumers will be served best by one bot, or more.

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Student Raises Money For Syrian Refugee Children

Keychain Cause 1Carly Miller, a junior homeland security student, has raised about $40 so far in donations for the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) by creating “Keychains for Children” to directly help child refugees from Syria.

The keychains are little plastic animals painted with various metallic colors. Miller explained how she had to screw a hole into each plastic animal and attach the keychain ring to create her final product.

The homeland security student has been selling her keychains through her personal instagram and facebook accounts and also booked a few days in the Rebecca Stafford Student Center(RSSC) to sell her keychains in person a few weeks ago. Miller plans to continue selling her keychains online and booking table space across from the information booth in the RSSC to sell them for $2 each.

Miller explained how she really felt moved to dive into this craft.”It was truly the intense media coverage and intimate personal videos of the victims I saw on social media one night that really motivated me to do something,” said Miller.

Her inspiration for the project cane when she was scrolling through her facebook page and saw all of these videos of innocent civilians being shot and killed in Syria. A few months ago, government forces in Syria attacked the city of Aleppo. The attack was supposedly a search for rebels, but it was evident that they were just killing innocent civilians.

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How to Reclaim Your Life from the Stress of College

Reclaim Life From College StressCollege is a time to find yourself, figure out what you’re passionate about and explore all of life’s options, but this is something that is easier said than done.

Between going to class full time, working part time and being involved in clubs on campus, it is difficult to remember to take time for yourself.

Endless to-do lists and class assignments control the majority of our time in college, but it is important to pencil in time in our planners for ourselves in order to take control over our schedules.

By taking advantage of free time, learning our limitations, and prioritizing ourselves, we can make the most out of our college years and reclaim our lives from our busy lifestyles.

Free time can be rare for some college students; how that time is spent can really affect the rest of our day.

Most of the time students end up mindlessly scrolling through social media or binge watching a show on Netflix for hours before getting back to the limitless work that is still piled in the corner we left it.

Samantha Marella, a senior business student, said, “Being a senior is a lot of work. Between my classes, internship, part time job and sorority, I’m always on the move. Sometimes it feels like I’m just on a nonstop cycle and I need to actively make time for myself and do things that I enjoy.”

Marella shared, “Some days I like to wake up an hour earlier so I can go to the gym or cook myself breakfast. It’s the small things like that that really help break up my crazy schedule and make me feel like I’m in control of my day.” Free time can be really beneficial in helping us accomplish what we want to do, instead of what we have to do.

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Internships: A Glimpse Into Your Future

Internships Glimpse Into FutureMany students try to push off the responsibility and task of getting an internship, but that experience is more beneficial than some people think. An internship is a preview of what someone’s future career will be like in a specific field. It could be a business, a public relations firm, or student teaching.

Whatever your calling may be, it is extremely important to figure what you want to spend your life doing, and what it is like to work that job.

Some may be wondering how to go about the process of obtaining an internship. For many instances, the process depends on the company or firm itself. Students should initiate searches on Google to find businesses and companies that appeal to them.

Collect as much information that you are able to, and familiarize yourself with the work they have done in the past.

Some websites provide a phone number or email address for students to reach out and connect with employees. Other sites have information about internships explaining the time span of the internship, what the intern would be doing and learning, the skills and education they require or prefer, and so on.

It may not seem like much, but, writing a cover letter and making sure your resume is perfect, and properly sent in are crucial steps.

When going in for an interview, it is best to have questions prepared to ask the company as well. They could be simple, such as their favorite part about working in the company, how long they have worked there for, what a typical day is like for an intern, and any other information they did not touch upon.

Lexi Swatt, a Monmouth alumna who is currently a postgraduate assistant for the Young Athlete team at Bleacher Report, said, “I made bullet points of information I found out about the company and then I made a set of questions I wanted to go over. Whatever company did not fully appeal to me, I crossed it off my list, and moved on. Make sure that you intern for a company that you know you will enjoy and have the same mindset and goals as they do. It really makes a difference.”

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Hawks Lend a Helping Hand as Peer Mentors

Hawks Help Peer MentorsThe spring semester is upon us and classes are in full swing. Workloads are increasing and stress levels are rising. While you may have a knack for writing your papers and completing assignments on time, others may not. Luckily, there is a place for that.

The Center for Student Success is housed in the lower level of the Student Center and encompasses many amenities for students in need of support. One service located in the Center for Student Success is Writing Services.

If you're someone who does have a knack for writing, you can become a writing assistant within the program.

Writing Assistants work with their peers to upgrade to student’s work and skills.

Students who wish to apply as a Writing Assistant must have already completed at least 30 credits at Monmouth, have a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher, have completed both EN 101 and EN 102 with a B+ grade or higher, and must have the recommendations of two faculty members. 

Neva Lozada, the Director of Writing Services and Supplemental Instruction said, “If students build a strong foundation in academic writing during their first year, they will be able to transfer these skills to other writing assignments and courses throughout their time in college as well as to their professional life after Monmouth.”

 “Writing Services is positioned as a resource for these students to assist them throughout all stages of the writing process and serves a partner in their journey toward academic success.” Lozada added

Another service on campus aimed at helping fellow hawks is the Office of Off-Campus and Commuter Services.

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A Look into the World of Women as Sports Fans

A Peek at the Gendered World of Sports Fandom

Gender World Sports FandomAs a female sports fan (a Hawks basketball fan to be exact), I am frequently confronted with questions like, “Okay, but do you even know any statistics?” or “What does the term ‘paint’ mean?”

And if I don’t answer immediately, I get shut down and shamed for being a “fake fan,” or I get told, “You just like the sport for the players’ looks.” And, while the players’ looks don’t hurt, I really am a fan of the sport itself. It is about time that women get treated like the true, dedicated fans that they are.

Dr. Jennifer McGovern, an assistant professor of political science and sociology and current professor of the sociology course, “Sports and Society,” explained that sports, from the beginning of times, have been a way for men to prove that they are manly. It was first used as a method of training for military combat; therefore, sports were gendered because women were not able to engage in military combat.

However, nowadays, McGovern suggested, “The performance of masculinity, or just a man trying to present himself as a man to other men and to women often wants to associate himself with sports.” Since masculinity is so rooted in sports from the beginning of time, it makes it difficult for women to ‘connect’ in men’s eyes.

Girls are often socialized from birth to enjoy things like shopping, caretaking, and dressing up, but, at least in their earlier years, most girls are not encouraged to take a liking to sports. Or, worse, girls are at times discouraged from taking a liking to sports. Therefore, when a girl decides to truly get involved and invested in a sport, whether it be playing the sport or being a spectator, it seems as though a good portion of men take offense to it.

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The Dangers of Emotional and Physical Abuse

Dangers of Emotional Physical AbuseNot all relationships are what they seem to be on social media. The couple may be smiling and kissing for the camera, but what about what happens when they are not in front of the lens? Maybe the girlfriend goes through her boyfriend’s phone, or maybe he abuses her. That is an unhealthy relationship.

Emotional and physical abuse cases are much more common and damaging than we think, and are educated on.

In a relationship, one partner does feel more in control and has more power over the other. Jack Demarest, a professor of psychology, said, “Physical and emotional abuse often appear together in relationships. The mental abuse in this case reinforces the physical abuse. In fact, it’s rare to find physical abuse without the presence of emotional abuse (usually referred to as mental abuse).”

Demarest continued, “Often, when the physical abuser cannot physically abuse the victim, such as in public, they can emotionally abuse him or her.”

Emotional and mental abuse ranges from name calling, yelling, shaming, or putting one down. Demarest explained, “Some tactics of emotional abuse include dominance, humiliation, isolation, threats, intimidation, and denial and blame. Emotional abuse’s purpose is, in part, to make the victim completely dependent on the abuser.”

Demarest added that financial abuse is a subtle way of doing this, saying “Financial abuse is a form of mental abuse, it’s where the abuser severely restricts access to money, such as putting the victim on an allowance, preventing the victim from working, or taking his/her credit cards.”

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Can Hashtags Really Make A Difference?

Impact of Hashtags 1Everyone is guilty of taking time out of their day to refresh their social media feed. Lately, one of the topics of conversation is about the decisions President Donald Trump is making and how they affect every citizen. Other posts consist of cooking videos, funny memes, song lyrics, or just someone complaining about their day.

What some people fail to realize is the power that social media and all these seemingly unnecessary posts have.

People share articles, make comments and use hashtags to either get a topic trending or create attention around it so everyone can be involved.

Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing, Alex Gilvarry, said, “The hashtag compiles posts by people of like minds and a quick search could bring you in touch with those in your area who care about similar things.”

Whether you know it or not, you have probably seen and used some yourself. For example, #NoBanNoWall, #feminism, #tbt, #beatcancer, #love, the list goes on. Hashtags are a great way to get a situation trending and people’s opinions heard.

Do hashtags really make more of an impact than someone who is actively trying to make a change or speaking about an issue? Are hashtags enough for citizens to make a change?

Depending on the subject matter, and how far an individual is willing to go: yes! The help of social media does let people have a voice, and pulls people together, but sometimes, an individual behind a screen can cause more havoc than peace. It is all about how people approach an issue or discussion, and how people react.

Coral Cooper, a senior English and creative writing student, said, '#BellLetstTalk is to help spread awareness about mental illnesses. In that sense, the hashtag could offer emotional support for some and financial support if the movement behind the hashtag is sponsored. It offers connectivity to people across the globe."

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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