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News

Volume 87 (Fall 2015 - Spring 2016)

Kenneth Womack Named New Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences

DeanDr. Kenneth Womack, Dean of the Wayne D. Murray School of Humanities and Social Sciences, has been cited as bringing leadership experience and creativity to his new position at Monmouth University.

Provost Laura Moriarty participated in the search to find the new dean, and feels confident in the committee’s decision, saying, “Dr. Womack has a wealth of experience serving in various administrative appointments at Penn State. He is a distinguished scholar and teacher…He is a transformative leader who will move the school forward.” 

The former dean, Dr. Stanton Green, was not part of the search for Dean Womack. “My reason for stepping down was personal, and confidential,” Green explained.

Womack’s new position follows a long administrative career, featuring positions like senior associate dean for Academic Affairs and head of the Division of Arts and Humanities at Penn State.

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MACE 2015 Award Presented to Filmmakers

Phil Lord And Chris MillerThe Monmouth Award for Communication Excellence (MACE) was presented to accomplished filmmakers Phil Lord and Chris Miller for their work on projects such as The Lego Movie, 21 & 22 Jump Street, and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs at Pollak Theater on Monday, Oct. 26 at 7:30 p.m.

Lord and Miller join previous honorees such as Asbury Park Press publisher Jules L. Plangere, White House Correspondent Helen Thomas, and CBS sports commentator Jim Nantz in the University’s list of esteemed recipients. Jim Hickey, Chair of the Communication Council and presenter at the ceremony, noted that MACE honorees must possess the following qualities: “exceptional success in their chosen career, the respect of their peers, and, most importantly, the ability to be strong role models for Monmouth University students.”

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Movements at Universities to Raise Suicide Awareness

Suicide AwarenessUniversities throughout the nation have been trying to increase suicide awareness among students, as suicide is an ever-growing problem in America.

Approximately 1,100 college students commit suicide per year. To commemorate those lost, Active Minds, a non-profit organization that raises awareness about mental health has placed 1,100 empty backpacks on campuses throughout the country.

These empty backpacks signify the students that could have still been alive and going to school.

Called “Send Silence Packing,” the movement has been implemented at the University of Michigan, the University of Notre Dame, and Michigan State University, with more schools targeted.

Having begun in 2008 at Washington D.C.’s National Mall, the organization has since visited more than 98 cities and reached more than 320,000 people.

Rather than just having a number, the empty backpacks gives each student a story and a face; therefore, students are able to connect with those that have committed suicide.

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“Into the Woods” Wilson Hall Haunted Tour

Haunted Wilson HallThe Student Activities Board and Boom Roasted Productions held their annual haunted tour of Wilson Hall on Oct 30th.

The tour’s theme this year was “Into the Woods,” a different theme than last year’s carnival theme. The groups of approximately ten students, got a battery-operated candlestick to start their journey into Wilson Hall.

The tour started outside in Erlanger Gardens with a walk down an elaborately decorated and terrifying path into Wilson Hall. On the path were students dressed as various animals who would surprise students and roar or growl loudly in their faces. Also, there were bloody students screaming for help and crawling up the stairs leading to the Hall.

Once students got through the haunted Erlanger Gardens, they were received by greeters who then directed them into the holding room (the Pompeii room) before the real tour started. The holding room had sweets and candy for students to indulge in, and some fantastic Halloween décor to enjoy before their chilling tour of Wilson Hall.

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Freshman Seminar Class Travels to Woodstock Animal Farm Sanctuary

Woodstock Animal FarmDr. Christopher Hirschler’s “Animals; Life, Death, Kindness and Sin,” freshmen seminar class took a trip to the Woodstock Animal Farm Sanctuary on Saturday, Oct. 24th. 

Eleven students from Hirschler’s class, and a few outside members, went to the sanctuary for a tour from the sanctuary’s co-founder Jenny Brown.

Hirschler’s class explores the different ways people interact with animals, and how they affect our health, emotional, and social lives. There is a service component of the class as well. During the weekend, the students volunteer at the Monmouth County SPCA as cat socializers.

One of the assigned readings is The Lucky Ones by Jenny Brown. The peer learning assistant of the class, Amanda Sanford, a sophomore nursing major, said that the book had greatly affected the class. “We read the book in class, and a student inquired about taking a trip,” she said.

The intention was for the class to be able to volunteer, but the farm had just relocated from Woodstock to High Falls, NY in order to be closer to NYC. Due to this, they were not able to handle a large group of volunteers at the time, but a tour was still possible.

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Republican Debate Party

The Political Science Club, and the Political Science Department sponsored their third presidential debate watch party on Oct. 28. About 30 students gathered in Magill Commons to watch the Republican candidates debate.

Catherine Bartch, a professor of the Political Science Department, has organized the debate watch parties hosted this semester. She has spearheaded three thus far, and she assumes that there will be others including one for the general elections.

At the viewing Bartch was impressed with the student turnout. “It is really refreshing to see all of these students here,” she said. “Studies keep saying that students especially millennials are just not engaged in politics or that they’re apathetic, but our debate parties really show evidence contrary to that, because the first one had about 80, the second one had about 25, and here we have over 30 students. I mean sure, we would love all four thousand or more students to show up but it is still great to see such a large crowd come out for these debates,” she continued.

Students sat with friends and classmates and food was served while a screen displayed the live stream of the debate.

Salma Hammouda, a senior political science student, said “I really liked the atmosphere of the last debate party. It was very casual and all the students could talk and eat before the debate began. Also the food was pretty good. Overall, I think it was better than any of the other debate parties that the department has held this year,” she said.

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“We Bleed Blue” Homecoming 2015

Front Cover ImageHomecoming weekend, themed “We Bleed Blue,” included events from Thursday, Oct. 22 to Saturday, Oct. 24 and was planned by the Student Government Association (SGA).

The weekend’s happenings began with the “Blue Lights” event on the residential quad Thursday night. There were live bands, free food, and an activity tent.  It was the first year for an event of this nature during homecoming. The quad was decorated with blue lights to compliment the theme.

“The lights were awesome and definitely set the tone for the spirit of homecoming. It was undoubtedly a success,” said Keith Lee, sophomore Homecoming Chair and head of the homecoming committee.

The “We Bleed Blue” theme was meant to bring out school spirit within the student body. “I wanted to connect with the core spirit of the student body and bring out the best of it, so going with a theme that appealed to the school’s colors made me think that it would do the job. I thought that “We Bleed Blue” would be a catchy and creative theme and slogan that would get everyone pumped, and I think it was a success,” said Lee.

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Are MU Grads Being Hired?

After GraduationFor recent college graduates, perhaps the most challenging aspect of entering adult life is obtaining a quality job that pertains to their degree.

For students and grads, the University’s Career Services provides information that will assist students and alumni in reaching their desired career objectives. Career Services prepares students for the job market by teaching them resume tips, interviewing skills, and job search strategies.

William Hill, Assistant Dean of Career Services, noted that upon graduation, University alumni have been successfully acquiring jobs, despite the inherent challenges of entering the job market.

 “Past surveys of University graduates with data collected between six and nine months after graduation indicate that a very small percentage of grads are still seeking full-time employment. By that time, most grads have found jobs or are planning to go to graduate or professional school,” said Hill. “Monmouth graduates face the same challenge as any other college grad in the workforce, in particular competition with graduates and alumni from other schools and a less than robust national and state economy.”

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Long Branch Boardwalk Contruction Disrupts Off-Campus Students

BoardwalkStudents who live in the University Bluffs and other off-campus residences have been complaining about the construction along the beach of Ocean Avenue throughout the duration of this fall semester.

The construction can be attributed to Superstorm Sandy, which pummeled the East Coast in 2012. The northernmost section of the Long Branch boardwalk, located in Pier Village, survived the storm The older section located further south was not as lucky.

The boardwalk construction commenced in May, just as the spring semester for the 2014 to 2015 school year ended. Not only is the boardwalk being re-erected, but other structures are currently in the building process. “Roadway, boardwalk, retaining wall, bluff, curbs, concession stand, restrooms, lights, railing, access ways down on to the beach are all involved. It’s pretty multifaceted,” said Howard Woolley, the Business Administrator for the city of Long Branch. “It goes far beyond the boardwalk.”

Regardless of the complexity, many Monmouth University students are not happy. “No one said anything about the construction when I signed the lease to my apartment last spring,” said Trevor Rawlik, a senior health studies major, who lives immediately north of the University Bluffs. “This could have possibly affected my decision to maybe live elsewhere this year.”

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Community Reacts to New Jersey Devil ‘Sighting’

Jersey DevilThe Jersey Devil might be making an appearance in time for Halloween.

Paranormal Investigator Kelly Roncace of NJ.com received an eye-opening email from an Egg Harbor man. According to the email he sent to NJ.com, Dave Black was driving home from his job as a security guard in Atlantic City when he had the encounter. “I was just driving past the golf course in Galloway on Route 9 and had to shake my head a few times when I thought I saw a llama,” Black wrote.

He then saw the llama-like creature spread out leathery wings and fly over the golf course Black spent hours looking at the photo, trying to come up with a rational explanation. Did a goat grow wings and fly? Is it just a prank?

 “A friend suggested that maybe it was an animal running and an owl grabbed it, the photo being a combination of them. That’s still not my first instinct, but I don’t know how to explain it otherwise,” Black wrote.

Black sent the photo to Roncace, lead investigator of Jersey Unique Minds Paranormal Society, for some sort of explanation. Even Roncace could not come up with a true explanation. Even so, news sources like the Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, and Good Morning America have picked up the story. It even became a trending topic on Facebook.

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“Take Back the Night” Raises Awareness of Sexual Violence on College Campuses

Sex ViolenceThis past summer the Commuter Student Mentor (CMS) program was initiated and this fall semester, the program took shape.

The program has had a very positive impact on both the mentors and the mentees as well as the overall commuter community. Because of this program there have been new Facebook groups added that are for commuter students.

One of the mentors, English student Ally Afanador, said, “Honestly, I’ve always loved looking out for people since I can remember” she continues, “Being a CSM has given me some of the best experiences of my life.”

Not only is Ally happy with the fact that she can help other people out, she has also found great benefit of this program for herself, “I have made friends that I can hope will last me forever. Being friendly and making people smile only takes one act of kindness and that is what I hope to show people, especially my mentees,” she continued.

Spearhead of the program, Director of Off Campus and Commuter Services, Vaughn Clay is very pleased with the program’s first year, “I have been very impressed with the Commuter Student Mentors and the passion that they bring to helping the first-year commuter students make a connection to Monmouth University. Since this is a new program, we need to keep promoting its benefits to the first-year commuter students,” he 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