Last updateThu, 18 Jan 2018 3am


University Works to Propel Sustainability Efforts

The Sustainability Advisory Council (SAC) gathered with over 50 attendees to voice concerns, propose solutions, and plan for a greener Monmouth in the Edison Atrium on Sept. 21, 2017.

This was the first SAC meeting in over a year. Student leaders and community members who are involved with sustainable practices are invited to share their efforts and encourage support for their groups. The meeting organized a dedicated time for active members of the community leading sustainable practices at Monmouth to address the crowd and potential members.

At this time all members of the community were invited to voice their concerns of campus sustainability and propose methods to grow greener at Monmouth.

Many students and faculty members made comments on the issue of productivity and environmental hazards with single stream recycling at Monmouth.

 “I have heard from multiple professors that all of the waste gets dumped into one place, and I have also seen janitors take both trash and recycling bags and combine them,” said senior health and physical education student Alexandra Georgieff. 

“I was in the gym today and they were using the trash can to hold gym equipment and the recycling can was the only can to throw trash and recycling into,” she continued.

Various faculty also had concerns about the current sustainability practices at the University.

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Monmouth Welcomes Prospective Students at Annual Open House Event in Wilson Hall

MU Annual Open House WH 1The University held its annual Open House in order to give prospective undergraduate students and their families the college experience on Sunday, Oct. 8.

The event, which ran from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., gave these prospective students insight into the many different opportunities the University has to offer. Each department at the University was involved in welcoming these potential new students and answering any questions they, or their parents, might have had.

The day began with an opening reception at the OceanFirst Bank Center, where faculty and administrators were able to answer questions and provide advice to the potential new students. The Monmouth University alma mater was performed in front of the audience of attendees by the Sea Sharps, the student a cappella group on campus. Shortly after, University President Grey J. Dimenna, Esq. addressed the attendees with a warm welcome. 

Laura Yankowski, an undergraduate admissions counselor, explained that while the numbers are not in yet, the University counted over 1,400 registered families before the actual day of the even. Yankowski believes that that number could be much higher. “We last counted around 1,400 families who signed up originally, so it is really important that we have the available resources for all of them,” she said.

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Hawks Celebrate Intersectionality Week

Hawks Intersectionality WeekIntersectionality Week at Monmouth University, featuring various events and initiatives hosted by University clubs and organizations to promote an interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender, began on Monday, Oct. 9.

The organizations involved include: Students Advocating Girls’ Education (SAGE); the Youth Activists Group (YAG); Sexuality, Pride, Education, Community, Truth, Respect, and Unity at Monmouth (SPECTRUM); and the Gender Studies Club. All organizations involved have a shared mission of promotion equality, safety, and acceptance for all.

The week began with Indigenous People Day, a holiday celebrating the indigenous people of North America. Typically celebrated as Columbus Day, Indigenous People Day highlights a population that is seen as having been treated unfairly throughout history, especially by Christopher Columbus himself, according to Taffy Lashley, a sophomore communications student who took the lead organizing the event.

The Gender Studies Club was at the Rebecca Stafford Student Center from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. to educate the community and celebrate that indigenous culture.

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University to Create Field Station

University Field StationMonmouth University will be developing the Monmouth Marine and Environmental Field Station on the banks of the Navesink River in partnership with the Borough of Rumson.

“The Monmouth Marine Environmental Field Station will allow the School of Science to offer direct access to a coastal ecology for our students and faculty,” said Steven Bachrach, Ph.D., Dean of the School of Science and chemistry professor. “We anticipate teaching marine and coastal ecology classes at this location, exploring the neighboring islands and river, and even into the ocean.”

According to Bachrach, it is expected that the station, which will be built on Rumson town property, will include an on-site boat dock, allowing classes to launch right from the station, and a marine laboratory with water tanks. The station will focus on faculty-led research, which students will be able to assist on.

The project, which has been in the works for over two years, was celebrated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Tuesday, Sept. 26.

 “The field station will provide easy access to the Navesink-Shrewsbury rivers and the ocean – nature’s best living laboratories for our students to conduct hands-on field research,” said Tony MacDonald, the Director of the Urban Coast Institute (UCI), which was involved in the creation of the station.  “It is important to note that in addition to marine science and research, the field station presents an opportunity to expand Monmouth STEM education efforts working with local school systems and the public.”

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Monmouth Students Clean Up Asbury Park Beaches

Asbury Park Clean Up 1On Sept. 23 the Monmouth Youth Activists Group hosted a beach clean-up in Asbury Park, where they were joined by other members of the Monmouth student body.

The clean-up was attended by students of all years and majors. Each student who participated collected at least one large reusable bag full of waste.

“It was just a bunch of people who decided to show up and do something good for the community, both from the Youth Activists Group and from outside of it,” said Gowri Jagadesh, a freshman health studies student. “I think it’s great that we had such a passionate group of people volunteer to walk around in the blazing sun, picking up cigarette butts and little pieces of plastic.”

Asbury Park’s beach had many straws, cigarette butts, clothing, wrapping waste, bottle caps, and other non-degradable forms of waste that is hazardous to human health and marine life. The existence of many restaurants along the shore leads to direct source pollution of the neighboring beach.

“My sophomore year I took an environmental science class and it opened my eyes to the extreme dangers humans face due to the amount of trash we create and litter,” said Erica Deweever, a senior business marketing and management student.. “I learned that plastic takes over one thousand years to degrade and when it is polluting our ocean it often circles back to our own stomachs. Marine life mistakes tiny pieces of plastic for food, and then humans catch and eat these sea creatures, thus eating their own trash.”

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Debate Team Wins Award at Rutgers

Debate Team Wins Rutgers 1The Monmouth University debate team received a team award at a Rutgers University Tournament on the weekend of Sept. 22 – 24, where debaters from the University reached the playoff rounds of the competition.

The annual tournament, which featured 65 teams of two students each, included participants from Cornell University, the United States Military Academy, and New York University.

The topic of the year was “Resolved: The United States Federal Government Should Establish National Health Insurance in the United States.”

The tournament took place over the course of three days, as students went through six preliminary rounds, each lasting approximately two hours, according to Joseph Patten, Ph.D., an associate professor in the political science department and the debate team advisor.

Each team argued the affirmative side for three rounds, and then the negative side for another three. The teams that compiled a winning record then continued into the playoff rounds.

University students Phoebe Nelson and Ryan Kelly reached the playoff round, before losing in a close decision to Liberty University.

“I’m incredibly proud of our debaters for having the courage and work ethic to compete against some of the best debate teams across the nation,” said Patten. “Our team captains James Hawke, Emely Diaz, and Sabria Saenger do a terrific job leading the team, and I’m really honored to be able to work so closely with all of our debaters.”

“This tournament is challenging yet rewarding,” said Brendan Bianchi, a senior homeland security student. “Debate tournaments are a competition of critical thinking, as well as endurance.”

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Public Servant-in-Residence Named

Former New Jersey Governor Richard J. Codey was named as the Public Servant-in-Residence for the 2017-2018 academic year. Codey will be present on campus throughout the fall and spring semesters to provide insight through his lectures on the importance of public service.

The Department Chair of Political Science and Sociology, Dr. Ken Mitchell said, “Former Governor Codey has agreed to be present on campus for four days to share his honest opinion on the challenges that students will be faced with when committing to a career in law.”

The University was notified about the chosen Public Servant-in-Residence in a letter composed by University President Grey J. Dimenna, Esq. According to the letter, the former governor was sworn into the New Jersey State legislature at age 27 and has served his state since Jan. 8, 1974. Monmouth University’s Public Servant-in-Residence was New Jersey’s 53rd governor, and served from 2004 to 2006.

During his time as governor of “The Garden State,” Codey championed a bill to ban smoking from indoor spaces in the state, increased funding for stem-cell research, mental health, and sports. Codey also worked towards putting an end to steroid abuse in high school and college sports throughout the state by mandating state-funded drug tests. As one of the longest-standing assembly members, Codey has become a strong proponent of improving mental health care throughout the state.

Codey will impart his expertise and wisdom on the student body to encourage the youth of New Jersey to act as public servants for issues they are passionate about.

The Public Servant-in-Residence program was created in 2000 with this sole purpose. The University’s Department of Political Science and Sociology sponsors the initiative, and are strong proponents of the knowledge that students can acquire from civic leaders.

Dr. Mitchell believes that universities are in place to help students form new ideas by putting them in contact with people they normally would not have the opportunity to meet.

“The goal of the program is to make Monmouth students more comfortable with speaking to high power individuals by placing them in an intimate environment with these professionals,” said Dr. Mitchell.

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School of Social Work Forms Suicide Prevention Program

Social Work Suicide Prevention 1The School of Social Work at Monmouth University has launched the SRF Suicide Prevention Research and Training Project, which will expand the department’s efforts to aid in the prevention of suicide.

A conference focused on youth suicide was held as the opening event for the program.

“The SRF Suicide Prevention Research and Training Project in the School of Social Work was created in January of this year after receiving funding from a private donor,” said Michelle Scott, Ph.D., an associate professor in the school of social work, and the Director of the SRF project at Monmouth.

This is the second SRF project in the Monmouth county area, according to Scott; the second is with the Mental Health Association of Monmouth County.

“The SRF project at Monmouth is a natural extension of the work we have done on campus with suicide prevention,” said Scott, who was the director of the Promoting Wellness and Resiliency on Campus suicide prevention program from 2012 to 2016.

The PWR program, funded by the Garrett Lee Smith Suicide Prevention Grant funded by the federal government, was a suicide prevention project that focused on clinical trainings and public awareness efforts.

“The SRF project will be working to further the goals of the PWR initiative by working to train and educate individuals in suicide prevention, intervention, and posttension, while expanding our scope to include program development and dissemination, advocacy, and policy, as well as well as research for original discovery,” said Scott. “The SRF project has a community-based steering committee which will help integrate university social work resources and suicide prevention expertise with community needs.”

“The end goal is to prevent suicide,” said Katie Rizman, a psychological counselor in the Counseling and Psychological Services office, which offers free counseling to University students. Rizman is also a member of the project’s steering committee. “This will hopefully be accomplished offers free counseling to University students. Rizman is also a member of the project’s steering committee. “This will hopefully be accomplished through continued research, curriculum development, and dissemination and trainings.”

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“The Boss” Comes to Pollak: Bruce Springsteen Rehearses Broadway Engagement on Campus

The Boss Pollak 1Bruce Springsteen performed rehearsals of his upcoming Broadway engagement, titled “Springsteen on Broadway,” for an invited audience at Pollak Theatre on Tuesday, Sept. 19 and Friday, Sept. 22.

The rehearsals were presented to about 200 family members and close friends, according to the Asbury Park Press; the theatre was closed down and the show was invitation-only for both shows.

The Broadway engagement is scheduled for a limited run from October to February at Broadway’s Walter Kerr Theatre, and is said to be a two-hour solo performance. The production will feature his music and spoken interludes, according to Springsteen’s website, and is based on his memoir “Born to Run.” The show will not have a band, but Springsteen has said that he will play the guitar and piano himself.

According to a leaked set list from the University concert, posted by, the Sept. 19 performance featured 11 songs, including some of his most iconic songs, such as “Born to Run,” as well as songs such as “My Father’s House,” and “The Wish.”

According to the leak, he also told stories about growing up in Freehold, tales about travelling cross-country, and other personal stories. 

“Some of the show is spoken, some of it is sung,” said Springsteen in a statement when the Broadway engagement was first announced. “It loosely follows the arc of my life and my work. All of it together is in pursuit of my constant goal to provide an entertaining evening and to communicate something of value.”

The performance was billed as a workshop, according to the Asbury Park Press.

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University Recognized as Largest Green Power User in MAAC

For the year 2016-2017, Monmouth University was recognized as the top green power user in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

This was the 11th season of the College and University Green Power Challenge and 98 schools actively participated in the competition.

“The University continues to work towards improving our sustainability efforts and continues to be recognized both regionally and nationally,” said Patricia Swannack, the University’s Vice President for Administrative Services.

According to Swannack, she is ultimately responsible for the choices the campus makes to 'go green'.

“Monmouth University was the first private institution of higher education in New Jersey to enter into a voluntary Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the (EPA), documenting our commitment as an environmental steward and pledging to reduce our carbon footprint,” Swannack added. In addition, the University was the only institution of higher education east of the Mississippi to install a solar system in 2006.

Green power is used to initially help the environment and uses electricity that is generated from renewable sources. These form of sources include wind, solar, biomass and much more to conserve the use of energy.

Deanna Dantas, a junior business administration student, stated that she takes every advantage of going green at school. “I use the recycle bins that are placed out because they have a lot of them all over campus. We should encourage others, our friends and especially the underclassmen since they are new to campus. Monmouth should continue to sty the largest green power user by perhaps looking into solar power or creating an event to help recycle items, for example bottle caps.”

The university used twelve million kilowatt-hours of green power which signified nearly 56 percent of the school’s yearly energy usage.

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Recent Severe Weather Concerns University Community

Severe Weather Concerns University CommunityA series of hurricanes, earth quakes, and wild fires within the last month have caused local concern over the vulnerability of coastal residency and the effects of climate change.

The most recent hurricane developing is Hurricane Maria. According to Dr. Thomas Herrington, Associate Director of the Urban Coast Institute, “Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico [Wednesday, Sept. 20] as a very strong Category 4 hurricane. It was really close to being a Category 5. The mountains in Puerto Rico weakened Maria down to a Category 3 hurricane.”

According to Herrington, the storm is expected to move northwest across the ocean, and be well offshore of the United States coast as a Category 1 hurricane. Hurricane Maria is unlikely to cause any severe damage to the local community in Long Branch.

“The only danger to NJ is continued high surf and rip currents that have been occurring since Jose moved passed us,” said Herrington.

Many members of the University community have families living in areas that have been severely affected by the recent hurricanes. “I started to see pictures on Facebook of the places where I grew up and they are unrecognizable. It’s hard to see these images and contemplate that this is happening to my island, and what is worse, this is not the first storm of the season for them.”

Zach Gindi, a senior music industry student, expressed concern for his family’s safety and acknowledged the increased frequency of these hurricanes.

“These hurricanes seem to be coming one after the other,” Gindi said. “My family in Miami was affected by Hurricane Irma, which lasted from Aug. 30 to Sept. 15. They had to evacuate and still have no power at our home in Miami.”

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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