Last updateFri, 22 Jun 2018 4am


The President Is… Wait, What?

Trump PresidencyThe 2016 Presidential election has been the most controversial election in history. Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have created such strong supporters over the many months of campaigning. Argu-ments, fighting, and protests have taken up social media feeds, as well as streets all over America. It all came down to election night, Nov. 8, 2016. Everyone thought that Clinton was going to win, because that was what the polls were telling us. To many people’s surprise, however, they were wrong. Trump had won, and will be the 45th President of  the United States of America, starting in January.

Many of Monmouth University’s students and faculty members were divided over this election; stu-dents posted on Facebook and Twitter supporting one candidate over the other, causing havoc and tension. There were countless articles bashing each candidate, with new insults and dug up incidents appearing in the media every day. This election really became an example of dirty politics.

When Trump was announced as the President-elect, a huge portion of the country was shocked, stunned, and angry. People threatened to flee, and move to Canada and other countries.

Many individuals have criticized our next President  as being racist, sexist, and against the LGBTQ+ community, based on his past remarks and actions. Everyone’s feelings were so raw. Individuals felt like they no longer had a home in America and would not be able to live safely.

A senior communication student, Ayse Yasas, stated, “I’m scared to see people forgetting how to love and respect one another regardless of what our values are. I don’t want to see the lives of the black, Hispanic, LGBTQ+, female or assault victims ruined because of this election outcome. We need to love more.” That is exactly what we need— love. Our beloved country needs to come together, and be unified.

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What it’s Really Like to Work Black Friday

Working On Black FirdayI wake up from my Thanksgiving food coma at 4 a.m. to the piercing sound of my alarm. With an extra large coffee in both hands, I head off to work to greet the holiday season and its anxious shoppers with a less than enthusiastic, “Hi, welcome in! Can I help you find anything today?”

Arriving at the outlet center, I pass a long line of shivering customers waiting to shop the great deals my store has to offer. Before even stepping foot into work however, I’m faced with my first of many peculiar encounters with these Black Friday shoppers.

“She’s cutting the line! Who does she think she is?” shouts a disgruntled mother of two at the security guard, wagging her manicured nails towards me. I share a laugh with the security guard as he lets me into the store, listening to him convince her that no, I’m not getting some type of early bird special on the handbag she tried to put on hold the night before.

 In the midst of the Christmas music and holiday discounts, many forget to acknowledge that people actually work during Black Friday.

Walking into the perfectly organized, untouched store I take a minute to appreciate the silence— the calm before the storm, and the ability to hear myself think because I know that all will vanish in a matter of moments.

Black Friday shopping isn’t for everyone. Some people love waking up at the crack of dawn with friends, grabbing an espresso and heading out to take advantage of deals others decided to sleep on. But many, especially those who work during the craze, believe that it’s a socially constructed, merchandiser driven ‘holiday’ that shoppers participate in for the less than exceptional deals.

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A Groundbreaking Soundbreaking Experience

Ground Breaking Sound BreakingOn Saturday, Nov. 12, 16 Monmouth students had the unique opportunity to see an advance premiere of a documentary that is described as a “music driven celebration of the art of recording” —Soundbreaking: Stories from the Cutting Edge of Recorded Music. The trip was sponsored by the University’s affiliation with the Grammy Museum, a museum devoted to the history and winners of the Grammy Awards.

Joe Rapolla, Chair of the Music and Theatre Arts Department, said, “Soundbreaking is a great series, and this event is another great way we are leveraging the great resources and connectivity of our Grammy Museum affiliation.”

This eight-episode series, which premiered on PBS Nov. 15, was created as part of a movement to document what happens in American music and the process of creating music. The late Sir George Martin, most famous for producing The Beatles, was a big inspiration in the creation of this film, and he had said antemortem that there had never been a movie made about the importance of technology and recording.

This documentary had been underway for almost 15 years and includes interviews with over 200 artists and producers from various genres and generations of music history. Bob Santelli, Executive Director of the Grammy Museum, explained, “This series takes you behind the scenes into the creative process.” He continued, “It shows you how the role of technology has changed over time and creates a deeper connection to the music.”

Rapolla explained the importance of technology in the Industry, “Technology has always been a key driver of the music business. Using technology to create music, especially popular music, compliments the creative process.”

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Exploring the Hype Over the New Starbucks Cup

New Starbucks CupFacebook blew up with furious complaints over Starbucks’ freshly released green “unity cup.” While Starbucks’ Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz said the design’s mosaic of more than 100 people drawn together in a single stroke was meant to “create a symbol of unity as a reminder of our shared values, and the need to be good to each other,” my Facebook friends, and many people across all platforms of social media, did not feel the same.

One Facebook friend posted,

"Right before the holidays? It’s November third! People need to relax. Seriously, it's just a cup." Another said, "Please tell me what a green cup has to do with politics. People will read into anything just to find something to be angry about."

 This new cup has been causing quite a divide amongst coffee drinkers and we're all wondering why. Why are these new cups such a big deal for people?

Mirta Barrea-Marlys, Department Chair of World Languages and Cultures, said, "I actually like the cup! Starbucks is an international icon when it comes to coffee, serving millions of people across the world. It makes sense that the company would make a diverse and eclectic cup for their customers as a symbol of unity and peace.”

Our world is such a diverse place and the green cup promotes unity. Barrea-Marlys explained, "After all, what brings people together more than having a cup of coffee? Some people may complain, but after all, it is what is in the cup that matters. The packaging won't change the taste of the coffee, but it sure makes your cappuccino much more interesting to look at!"

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Service Dog Acceptance at Educational Institutions

Service Dog Educational InstitutionsThe use of service dogs in educational institutions has recently been under attack. A service dog, according to the Americans with Disability Act, is “any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability.”

Service dogs are usually thought of just for those with impaired vision of sorts, but they serve many more purposes than that. They can help with mental disabilities by keeping their human companions with severe anxiety, or other mental disabilities, calm and at ease.

Furthermore, some service dogs also aid in the detection of seizures in their human counterparts, which is a sensory skill that humans are incapable of.

Service dogs are very useful and quite essential in many humans’ lives. A venue in which service dogs are especially necessary is at a school or university. For students who attend school every day, a service dog is extremely beneficial. That’s why when the recent case of a girl who was denied the use of her service dog in school was sent to the U.S. Supreme Court, it was a mind-boggling concept for many.

While there are many concerns for service dogs in schools such as allergies and other students’ fears, schools should not be allowed to deny a student services that aid in the disability of a student. This recent case leads many to ponder the thought of service dog acceptance.

Jaime Kretsch, specialist professor and Department Chair of Computer Science and Software Engineering and proud Seeing Eye dog raiser, said, “Anyone bringing a service dog anywhere, regardless of whether it is a school or not, needs to feel that they and their dog will be allowed to function as the team that they are.”

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Shooting for Success: Justin Robinson

Justin Robinson 1Some people are simply born to excel at something, whether it be in academics, politics, art, etc. For senior communication student and point guard Justin Robinson, basketball is what he was always destined to do. It’s not easy to pinpoint the exact moment you figured out your passion, but Robinson knew when he was just a toddler.

“When I was about two years old, my mom put a blow up basketball in my crib and she said I would take it with me everywhere I went,” Robinson recalled. “She said I would take it to the mall when my mom went to get her nails done, to my grandma’s house, I always had the ball with me. So, I guess I naturally fell in love with basketball.”

This toy led Robinson to an incredibly successful basketball career- one that he’s worked diligently for his entire life. He is set to lead the men’s basketball team to a victorious MAAC conference starting Nov. 11 against Drexel. For Robinson, this has been his plan since he was dribbling on the playground as a kid. He began playing basketball as soon as he could walk. “[My mom] would take me to the park and I’d run right to the basketball court,” Robinson remembered.

Robinson’s journey to becoming the unanimous pick for MAAC Preseason Player of the Year started in Long Island, where he was first noticed by former assistant coach Brian Reese. Two weeks later, King Rice, Men’s Basketball Head Coach, noticed Robinson at a tournament in Philadelphia.

“[Rice] offered me to come down here for an official visit the week before my birthday, and I came down here and I loved it,” Robinson said. “On my way home he offered me a scholarship. I said I’d think about it. Then, on my 18th birthday, I decided I was gonna come to Monmouth.”

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No, You Don’t Look Fat in That: Overcoming Negative Body Image

Overcoming NegFirst impressions are created within the first seven seconds upon meeting someone new, ac¬cording to Forbes. So, it is no won¬der that young women hold their appearance at such a high value. With constant pressure to look ones best at all times, negative body issues are rapidly arising.

College students around the world put a massive amount of pressure on themselves to look and feel their best everyday. For many, getting ready in the morn¬ing becomes an internal struggle as negative thoughts about their bodies consume their thoughts. It’s common for many to voice negative thoughts by asking room¬mates, “Do I look fat in this?” al¬most daily.

In order to combat negative body image and fat talk, Huffing¬ton Post writer Jamie Feldman proposes a simple game:

For every bad, negative or de¬grading comment made about yourself, you must follow up with two uplifting, positive and com¬plimentary things. By doing this, you can counteract bad thoughts with positive ones. This can also create a better mindset about ones body and actively train minds to celebrate positive things, rather than dwell on the negative ones First impressions are created within the first seven seconds upon meeting someone new, ac¬cording to Forbes. So, it is no won¬der that young women hold their appearance at such a high value. With constant pressure to look ones best at all times, negative body issues are rapidly arising.

College students around the world put a massive amount of pressure on themselves to look and feel their best everyday. For many, getting ready in the morn¬ing becomes an internal struggle as negative thoughts about their bodies consume their thoughts. It’s common for many to voice negative thoughts by asking room¬mates, “Do I look fat in this?” al¬most daily.

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The Dangers of Hacking and How to Protect Yourself

Hacking 1With hacking at the forefront of the news lately, is it possible to ever truly be secure on the in¬ternet? For those unaware with hacking, it can be defined as us¬ing a computer to gain unauthor¬ized access to data in a system.

In today’s heavily dependent technological society, it is nearly impossible for hacking to cease any time soon. With websites like WikiLeaks, the Yahoo hack¬ing scandal and television series focused on hacking like “Mr. Robot” – it seems as if we can¬not escape the idea of living in an insecure cyber society.

WikiLeaks is a multinational media organization which spe¬cializes in obtaining persecuted documents. It was founded by Julian Assanger, who started his hacking career as a teen¬ager. Most recently, WikiLeaks has been a popular news topic because of the upcoming presi¬dential election. In March of 2015 it became publicly known that Hillary Clinton had been us¬ing her private email server for official communications, rather than her State Department email account.

The emails were hacked from the accounts of both Clinton and her campaign chairman, John Podesta. FBI director James Comey identified 110 emails containing classified informa¬tion, with 65 being secret, and 22 as top secret, according to USA Today.

Obviously, this came at a time which was right in the middle of her campaign for president. Now, with the upcoming elec¬tion, Clinton is asking the peo¬ple of the United States to put their trust in her, even with all of these scandals behind her.

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Matt Alonso Breaks Down Walls in the Music Industry

Matt AlonsoLast December I interviewed senior music industry student Matt Alonso about his Kickstarter for Cortex which successfully raised $5,500. It may sound cheesy, but what once was an idea has now become a reality for Alonso after nine months of dealing with the ups and downs of the industry and working four jobs to make sure his dream would come true.

The platform of Cortex is a way for musicians to connect with their fans, according to Alonso. Currently the website “” can be used for fans to download their favorite artists’ music for free. Artists that are registered with Cortex currently include current Blue Hawk Records artists Littlebear and The Ramparts Rebel. and some Monmouth alumni bands like The Bunks, Flammable Animals, and Grin & Bear. Some local bands, such as Bounder and Black Sox Scandal, are featured on the website as well.

The website had its first soft launch in mid-September. Artists pay a single payment of $50 to start connecting with their fans and making money off their music. Although this is only the beginning, Alonso has a lot in store for Cortex. Within the next year Alonso wants to “go towards streaming music for these artists’ and get them paid more than Spotify, Tidal, and Apple Music combined.”

We have seen artists like Beyoncé and Taylor Swift take a stand against the music streaming sites that only seek to take money from artists. Alonso’s goal is to “put the music industry back in the hands of the artists.”

 He explained that current CEO’s of these streaming sites have a formula they use to calculate how much money goes to the artist and how much goes to them and Alonso blatantly stated “I made up my own formula and it’s better.”

His whole platform revolves around making sure artist get paid fairly and can connect with their fans. Alonso recently celebrated his first two cents of revenue, and although that may not be much to most of us, it meant the world to him and the future of Cortex.

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Take A Step Back From Sharing So Much: How Social Media Overwhelms Our Lives

Kim Engagement 1It is a part of life, a routine rather, for an individual to share aspects of their life and their beliefs and values on social media. Instagram is for perfectly filtered images and videos, Twitter is used to rant or vent, and Snapchat allows us to capture pictures letting others know where we are, who we’re with, and what super fun thing we’re doing. Facebook, however, that has become a battlefield in the midst of this messy political election.

We are all guilty of sharing way too much on many sites. In college, students post their whereabouts, who they are with, what they are thinking, and so forth. Individuals are seen on their phones, refreshing these media vessels, tuning out of the real world, and becoming instantly educated on other people’s lives. People fail to realize that posting too much can be risky and threatening.

Tommy Foye, a senior communication student, said “People are very interested in the lives of celebrities because of what they do and the money they can spend. It’s all interesting but can sometimes be too much, being that they are revealing too much to the public and are almost wanting the attention.”

It is the guilty pleasure of many fans and followers to watch and see what their favorite celebrity is up to, doing, and thinking. At the same token, celebrities break the privacy barrier, and post things that should be for their own private knowledge and eyes.

Providing information for others to see on an Instagram page, Twitter account, Facebook profile, or Snapchat story, is dangerous. People who are seeing these things are not always friends or trusted eyes. It crosses over the line of what should be personal, not public. 

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The Importance of Music as Told by Roseanne Cash

Roseanne Cash Music ImportanceTen University students had the extraordinary opportunity to meet and talk with "one of Country's pre-eminent singer/songwriters," Roseanne Cash before her show in Pollack theatre on Friday, Oct. 21.

Joe Rapolla, Chair of the Music and Theatre Arts Department, said, "It was such a treat for Monmouth students to be able to be a private audience for sound check and have a personal conversation with such a great and gracious artist like Rosanne."

Rapolla continued, "This is a great example of how coordinated performing arts programming can be leveraged at the academic level, to the benefit of the students."

As an attendee of the workshop, I can say that this was definitely the opportunity of a lifetime and instilled a passion in me to go forward with writing music, and reflect on how important music is. While listening to WMCX last week I heard a host say, "Imagine what life would be like if there were no music at all." The hosts of the show seemed confused and upset to even think about a world without music. So we wonder, what makes music so important to us?

When I asked Cash this question, her automatic response was, "Because it's like oxygen." Many of us, especially songwriters and artists, could not imagine living without the free spirit and energy of music. Cash went on to tell us how songwriter and producer, T-Bone Burnett, breaks down music into a physics and explains how we are all made up of music. From the day we are born to the day we die, we are exposed to many different types of music. Every song has a different meaning to us, every beat hits us a different way.

Rapolla explained, "I think what the students heard from Roseanne reinforced our program philosophy, that music and the arts are part of our DNA, and how the arts enriches life, no matter what your field. There are so many ways to engage with music and the arts."

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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