Wed10172018

Last updateWed, 10 Oct 2018 4pm

Editorial

Mental Health at Monmouth

default article imageEvery student can understand the feelings of overwhelming pressure and responsibility in their daily lives. Whether it be from friends, family, an employer, or school, there are many forces that threaten the state of our mental health. However, some people are already predisposed to anxieties, depressed feelings and intrusive thoughts that make life more difficult to manage.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), 41.6 percent of college students cited anxiety as one of the top presenting concerns among college students. While trying to balance the many stressors in life, students may suffer from anxiety as well as co-occurring disorders, such as depression. 

One Editor said, “I have many people in my life who have struggled with mental health, including myself. I experienced bad depression for about half of high school, and I currently struggle with anxiety.” 

Though not everyone experiences mental health issues themselves, it is important to recognize other people’s experiences and support them. One Editor said, “I was not aware that my friend was depressed until they reached out to me. They were one of the happiest persons I knew, so I was surprised to hear that they were dealing with depression.” 

Oftentimes, it is difficult to discuss issues of mental health due to the cultural stigma that exists around these concerns. “I think it is changing for the worse,” one Editor noted. “[those with mental illness] are challenged with stereotypes and prejudice that result from misconceptions about mental illness.” 

However, with new research emerging and celebrities publicizing their struggles, it may indicate that the cultural attitude is becoming more positive. One Editor recognizes this shift, “A lot of famous athletes and celebrities have come forth with their own struggles so that has made it a bit more ‘acceptable’ nowadays.”

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The Importance of Voting

default article imageElection Day is Nov. 6, and the University has already begun getting students registered to vote with its nonpartisan “Rock the Vote” campaign, hosted by the Political Science Club on campus. As the 2018 Midterm Elections approach, The Outlook has been talking about the importance of voting, and getting involved in all levels of active citizenship. 

All of the Editors are registered to vote, except for one, who said: “I do believe that voting is important; however, politics is something that I do not pay attention to, and something I am not educated on, at my own choice.”

Evidently, these doubts are not uncommon amongst voters. Whether it be because they feel uninformed on the issues or because they are not confident in the candidates, nearly 43 percent of eligible voters abstain from voting, according to the U.S. Elections Project. 

As Americans, we are granted the right and the immense responsibility of electing others to represent us at all levels of government, from local school boards and state assemblies to the United States Congress and the presidency.

“It is important to vote because it is your way for your voice to be heard in decisions that will affect you,” one Editor said. “I am a firm believer in the idea that your one vote counts.”

“As a woman, it is particularly important to me, since we went without the right to vote for so long,” another Editor said. “The day when I registered to vote, I felt like I wasn’t just doing it for myself, but for every woman who fought for that right before me.” 

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Hawks Talk Getting Involved

default article imageCollege is a time for students to find themselves and discover their passions. Joining on-campus clubs and organizations is a way for students to broaden their horizons and make connections with other students and community members. 

The editorial staff at The Outlook shared their experiences with other clubs at Monmouth University, and gave advice to those looking to join clubs and organizations. While some of our staff are fully dedicated to the production of the paper, other editors are involved in various organizations across camps. 

One very busy editor said that they are currently involved in the Student Government Association, the Honors School Association, “...an Honors Peer Mentor, a School of Science Peer Mentor, a member of Beta Beta Beta (biology honor society), and a student researcher that works in neuroscience/cancer study and experimental design.” 

“Outside of The Outlook I am a brother of Tau Delta Phi and member of Monmouth University’s chapter of Active Minds,” said another editor.  

Some of our editors even juggle an off-campus job during the school year. One editor stated, “I am currently a hostess at Simko’s in Neptune City, as well as a babysitter.” 

Another said that they, “...currently serve at a restaurant in Hazlet and have a sports writing internship at 12 Up Sports, a branch of Minute Media.”

Some are not currently working off-campus, but have done so in the past. “I do not currently, but I have held a few on-campus jobs over the years,” said an editor. 

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Editors Talk Greek Suspension

default article imageMonmouth University made the decision to suspend Greek Life indefinitely on Aug. 20. In an email sent to students on Sept. 6 about the situation, University President Grey Dimenna, Esq., and Vice President of Student Life and Leadership Engagement, Mary Anne Nagy, took notice of Greek Life’s recent troubles including, “hazing, alcohol and drug use, and lack of academic focus.”

Dimenna and Nagy directed the Greek Senate to address their conduct on campus through a written plan to improve Greek Life, but the proposal came up short. These factors contributed to the University’s indefinite suspension of Greek Life. 

The University’s decision resulted in mixed emotions among students and The Outlook’s editors.

Most editors thought that the choice was justified. One editor said, “I think the Greek suspension was not only fair but justified. There’s a combination of reasons for the administrators to act. Realistically, I feel no matter what the Greek leadership councils propose, it won’t suffice to expectations. The news of this story does not shock me; I think it should’ve happened sooner.”

Another editor thought the move was justified but thought some components of Greek Life should be reinstated, such as philanthropy. For example, Greek Life has engaged with charities to “raise money and awareness towards their cause,” one editor explained. Efforts like these on behalf of Greek Life has helped to grow the Monmouth community.

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New Beginnings

default article imageFor as long as I can remember, September has been a time for me to start something new. This month marks the beginning of a new school year, providing a new chance for both students and faculty to explore opportunities for learning. 

If you are new to Monmouth, either as a freshman or as a transfer student, welcome to our family. As a new Hawk, you are joining a network of people that are helping you reach your academic goals and give you the necessary skills to engage in the world that lies beyond this campus. 

Within our small campus community, though, we are able to build strong relationships between students and faculty that can last a lifetime. No matter where you are on your journey at Monmouth, you will always be learning more about yourself. 

If you are a freshman, college is something new for you. I can remember my first week as a freshman. Transitioning to college while learning proper time management and financial responsibility, all while trying to make new friends can be overwhelming; but in the end, I became better for it. I learned how to be independent for the first time in my life, and really become confident in my abilities.

Go out and make friends, talk to new people. Remember, every freshman is as scared and as nervous as you are. 

If you are a transfer student, while college is not new to you, Monmouth is your new home. Whatever reason you came to Monmouth, either transferring from a two-year college or a four-year college, Monmouth is a good choice to finish your education and to further grow as an adult. You don’t have to be here right out of high school in order to take advantage of all that Monmouth has to offer. 

The possibilities are endless with clubs and organizations that help you hone in on your interests and advisors that help you acclimate to the campus life. No matter where you came from, we’re happy to have you. 

If you are a returning Hawk, you now have the experience and knowledge to move forward in your Monmouth career. Whether it be taking on a leadership role in a club, starting an internship or putting more focus and attention on your life after your time as an undergraduate, this is the time to move forward and start envisioning your future. With more classes focused on your area of study, you now have the chance to become more engaged in your skills and interests that will help you after your time at Monmouth. 

Now, as a senior, I get to experience college as an undergraduate one last time. Seniors, you have now completed three years. 

If you feel you didn’t get everything out of Monmouth that you were hoping, it doesn’t mean it is too late. If you want to play intramurals, go out and play.

If you want to join a club, go join. Just because you feel you didn’t do enough your first three years, doesn’t mean you can’t now. You always have a chance to rewrite your story.

For me, my final goal as a Hawk is to succeed as Editor-in-Chief of The Outlook. Since 1933, the Monmouth student-run newspaper has put out a weekly newspaper for everyone in the Monmouth community to read. Now, it’s my turn to lead a wonderful staff and put out a paper that I can be proud of.  

Each issue, I will learn from my staff, contributing writers, and  faculty advisor John Morano (a professor of journalism). After starting off as a contributing writer and staff writer my first year, then became Assistant Sports Editor my sophomore year, then Sports Editor my junior, and finally now Editor-in-Chief. I am excited to lead The Outlook this year, as I know that we will challenge ourselves to reach new heights. We always look forward to telling the stories of  Monmouth students like you, and celebrate the successes of our campus community. 

Since my first semester at The Outlook, I have learned from my peers and they have all molded me to become the writer, leader and person I am today. It’s important to try and do things that are outside of your comfort zone, because you never know how successful you’ll be at something if you don’t try. I hope that what we create inspires you to get out there, immerse yourself in the exciting world of Monmouth University, and make your time here memorable. 

Now, if you are a freshman or a senior or anything in between, let’s start off the new year right.

Do what you want to do. When you look back, rather than have it be just another year at Monmouth, make it a year that you’ll never forget. Leave your mark, and Fly Hawks.

Welcome to the Nest, Little Hawks

default article imageAs another school year draws to a close, new students will be entering Monmouth’s gates. The editorial staff at The Outlook is comprised of a diverse group of students from different graduating classes and different majors. While the editors agree that this University has a lot to offer, they all felt that there were some key pieces of advice they wish they would’ve gotten upon entering their freshman year.

Many editors commented on the campus itself. One editor commented on the campus size. The editor said, “One thing I wish I was told about Monmouth was what the difference was between a small school campus versus a big campus. I didn’t realize how small Monmouth really was until my first semester.”

One editor saw the campus size as a benefit. “I wish I was told at length how incredible the small campus size is. Everyone is always after the ‘college experience’ as if you were on a huge campus, you see new faces every class, etc. But, the beauty of going to a smaller school is that you can actually make long-lasting relationships with people that you end up seeing every single day.”

Another editor remarked that the beach was an enormous plus to attending the University. “The fact that we’re on a beach is a huge benefit that has made me love my time here; even though it’s usually too cold to really enjoy it - it’s nice to have easy access to the beach, and to have the opportunity to live there is great.”

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Safety on Self-driving Cars

default article imageAfter a self-driving Uber SUV struck and killed a woman in Tempe, AZ in March, Uber halted all of their self-driving cars in the U.S. and Canada.

This came after a self-driving Tesla car crashed and killed its driver in California a week prior. In this crash, Tesla defended the autopilot car and blamed the driver. “The driver had about five seconds and 150 meters of unobstructed view of the concrete divider with the crushed crash attenuator, but the vehicle logs show that no action was taken,” a spokesperson from Tesla said.

Most Outlook editors agree that more research needs to be done before they decide to get behind the wheel of a self-driving car. “It’s not like regular human driven cars are so safe though,” one editor said. “I think they need to be programmed to protect as many lives as possible rather than just pedestrians or just the driver. In general, I think they’re a good idea but could stand further testing.”

Another editor added, “I think that with a good amount of testing of crash response systems, airbags, and safety measures then it could be safe. More research needs to be done to ensure that the technology does not malfunction and put the passengers in danger.”

Many of the questions about the potential safety have to do with the sensors which collect all the data for the car. While specific implementations vary by vendor, most self-driving cars have a series of cameras, radar and LiDAR (a type of sensor that bounces laser light off nearby objects) built into them. These help the car “see” what is going on and allows the car to make decisions when it comes to speed and direction, among others.

With technology now expanding to where self-driving cars are now being seen on the road, and now with two fatal car crashes, some editors questioned the safety of self-driving cars.

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Hawks Talk Family Dynamics

default article imageThe U.S. divorce rate dropped for the third year in a row, reaching its lowest point in nearly 40 years, according to TIME magazine in a 2016 article.

Despite the news that divorce rates are dropping, it doesn’t negate the fact that a lot of millennials are products of divorce, or are part of families with step siblings or half siblings. The editors of The Outlook come from many different backgrounds, and agree that family structure has an incredible impact on the way people grow up and see the world.

“Today, our picture of divorce is much more complicated — it’s one that changes based on your education level, income, location, and a whole bunch of other factors. Plus, of course, your decision to divorce (and get married in the first place) is an incredibly complex and personal one.” Sarah Jacoby, a writer for Refinery29 stated.

One editor offered that it’s almost normal today to come from a divorced family. “My point isn’t avoiding divorce, it’s examining the affects. I understand that divorce and mixed families aren’t a new idea to American culture.”

“I am addressing that it has been so normalized that those whom are internally struggling with it may not even be aware that it’s the reason why,” the editor said.

“It’s weird to me, because, when you think about it, we are the first generation that comes from separated parents and mixed families in this widespread, high-percentage degree, but it is hardly talked about,” the editor continued. 

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Editors Talk Campus Safety

default article imageMonmouth University is working to install deadbolt-style locks on the inside of classroom doors as a protective measure against incidents on campus. Most recently installed in the Jules L. Plangere Center for Communication and the Joan and Robert Rechnitz Hall, the deadbolt-style locks are intended to keep the campus community safe in case of an emergency.

 The locks, which cost approximately $45 each, are meant to increase safety and security on campus, along with the presence of the Monmouth University Police Department (MUPD) security officers and other on-campus safety measures. While Mary Anne Nagy, the Vice President for Student Life and Leadership Engagement, said the locks were not a “direct response” to recent school shootings, she did say that violence on campus is something the University is always looking to prevent.

“I think the locks are a start to new innovations and technology that will make schools safer,” said one Outlook editor. “In the end, they are a step towards preventing random acts of violence.”

“I think this is more protective than preventative,” said one editor. “If someone is going to incite a heinous crime, they are unlikely to care about locks on the doors.”

 “There should be red flag laws and comprehensive background checks in order to prevent deranged people from obtaining guns. These deadbolts are just like putting sunblock on after you’re already sunburnt. It’s window dressing,” added another editor.

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The Outlook Talks Spirituality

default article imageWhether it is because modern society has left behind the traditional ways of the past or because younger generations are more accepting of unfamiliar ideals, religion in American society no longer holds the same influence over people as it once did. In previous generations, religion and religious morals were ubiquitous and one seldom questioned the status quo—young people attended church weekly, abstained from sex until marriage, and for the most part, keep their religion central to their daily lives. Although this is not entirely untrue today, many young people in the 21st-century rarely accept the same values that their parents or grandparents once did.

At The Outlook, we share a myriad of religions. Many editors either identified as Roman Catholic or were raised in the faith, while others instead are or were some denomination of Protestant Christianity; one editor is Muslim and another is Buddhist, and the rest identified as secular or agnostic.

Regardless of their religion, all the editors of The Outlook  discussed how their own faith shaped their lives and nevertheless appreciate the religious differences amongst their peers.

“I was raised pretty strictly Catholic,” one editor explained, “We went to church every Sunday and for Easter and Christmas, and I was confirmed, but I am not really religious now.”

Conversely, another editor said, “I am a confirmed Catholic. [However,] my family and I have never been weekly church goers, not even every holiday.” This editor explained that her mother taught her to go to church whenever one can make it or whenever they need to. “What really matters is how you act outside of church,” they said. 

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Traveling Safely

default article imageSpring break is an opportunity for many students to shed the stresses of school and embark on a journey like no other. Leisure time, either at home or away, is often rejuvenating. While some students are going abroad and traveling to far destinations, practicing safe and efficient travel is a common concern.

More often than not, editors felt that practicing safe travel methods didn’t hurt, but that it really depends where one was traveling to, and who they were traveling with. 

“When Traveling with friends or family I’m usually less worried, but when I’m traveling by myself I’m usually much more worried.  It’s usually minor concerns like theft or pickpocketing or getting lost and winding up in a dangerous area,” said one editor.

Another editor added an example. “I was at Atlantis Bahamas and, although the resort is relatively safe, if you go outside the perimeter, you’ll probably get mugged. Also, I think Americans are often naive—and natives can totally recognize that. If someone is in a country that doesn’t speak English, he/she automatically becomes a target to people who are looking to pick-pocket etc.”

Other editors were not so concerned about their safety when with others, but offered concern for women specifically. “I don’t have many concerns when traveling, because I’m always with my family and friends. However, if I were traveling by myself (which my parents probably wouldn’t let me do), I would definitely be on guard,” the editor 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