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Last updateWed, 18 Apr 2018 5pm

Editorial

Volume 90 (Fall 2017 - Spring 2018)

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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Understanding Mental Health

default article imageA healthy life and body is something everybody tries to maintain. When we get a cold, we take medicine and might even see a doctor, but when people struggle with their mental health there is adverse stigma that can be detrimental to taking the first steps to get help or continue to receive help.

“Mental illness is disrespected and mistreated by those who are uneducated, unaffected, and apathetic,” one editor said.

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) notes that 75 percent of all mental health conditions begin by age 24. College students, on average, graduate from a four year college before the age of 24.

Therefore, the time spent in an undergraduate program can be crucial in diagnosing and treating mental illnesses. However, the stigma around mental health can obstruct some from admitting to needing help.

One editor noted an overall lack of knowledge about mental health. The stigma is revealed when  the illness hinders on common social expectations.

“Many mental illnesses affect people just as physical illnesses do, in the way that it affects their ability to accomplish everyday tasks, except those with mental illness are often treated poorly or without proper consideration in response to this, generally because it is a reoccurring issue due to unseen symptoms,” an editor said.

Based on the latest Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors survey of counseling center directors from the American Psychological Association (APA), anxiety is the highest mental health issue for college students, next is depression, and relationship problems.

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The Youth Vote

default article imageCollege campuses are often disparaged as “too liberal.” However, the editors agree that colleges are a place where students begin to explore and discover new ideas and political identities. One editor said that young people in college are generally more passionate about issues surrounding justice and equality; topics which are often associated with left of center political views. Another editor said, “just because a college gives a liberal education, that does not mean that they also [enforce] liberal political views.”

Many of the editors agree that here at Monmouth, the political spectrum is well represented. From students who are more conservative to those who are more progressive, and everything in between; Monmouth University fosters a myriad of political preferences. However, one editor argued, “At Monmouth, I feel we lean to be conservative, at least for the students because of the price of Monmouth which usually attracts the wealthier people, who tend to be more conservative.” Additionally, although students at Monmouth respect each other’s politics, the opportunity to express one’s political views are not reciprocated by one’s willingness to listen to political views other than his/her own, one editor noted.

According to data from the Center for Information and Research on Civil Learning and Engagement, only 21.3 percent of millennials voted in the most recent midterm elections in 2014. Additionally, the Center for American Progress found that in the 2012 general elections, there were 64 million eligible millennial voters;  however, only 26 percent actually voted. This left the editors to question why young voters have such apathy toward politics. One editor said, that many young people believe that their votes don’t count for much; “but that’s only the case if they haven’t attempted to influence their state government and worked from the ground up.” Nevertheless, most of the editors said that they have voted in every election since they turned 18—many of who are even registered with a party affiliation in order to vote in New Jersey’s closed primary elections. One editor said that they are very passionate about voting in their local elections because they want the water in their hometown to be clean; therefore, the editor votes for candidates whom they believes will pass policies to do so. “I think voting is very important and every vote matters,” another editor said. “I believe that if you don’t vote for someone, then you don’t have the right to complain about policies.” One editor noted that a lot of young people may not vote in mid-term elections or local elections because they do not know a lot about the candidates—as opposed to presidential candidates who are campaigning nation-wide. Conversely, an editor said that the 2016 election was their first time voting. “It was a really cool experience because I felt I had done my duty as an American,” she said. “As a female, even though we have come such a long way, I think about the women who fought long and hard for the right to vote; and I want to make them proud and make sure their efforts weren’t in vain.”

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The Outlook Talks #METOO

default article imageAs the #METOO and “Time’s Up” movements continue throughout awards season, celebrities are often embracing forms of advocacy in their speeches and on the red carpet.

Philanthropist and actress, Oprah Winfrey gave a rousing speech at the Golden Globe Awards in January; Big Little Lies actresses Nicole Kidman and Laura Dern spoke about the importance of speaking out and stopping harassment in the industry.

Most obvious was the red-carpet protest – almost all attendees wore black, with some celebrities donning “Time’s Up” pins.

The Grammy Awards saw similar forms of activism as stars wore white roses and the same pins. Janelle Monae spoke about the importance of undoing a culture that has created an environment for sexual harassment and assault; Kesha performed “Praying” with many other female figures in the industry.

While these advocacy efforts have been visible at awards shows, some Outlook editors have questioned whether they are the most effective form of activism, and whether they caused real change.

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Game of Loans: A Look at Student Debt

default article imageYears ago, having a college education was a rarity; today, a bachelor’s degree is almost necessary when seeking employment. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, one-third of the adult population has a bachelor’s degree or higher for the first time in decades.

However, high demand for employees with a degree has left graduates disenchanted with their education and often even unemployed, as well as in large amounts of debt from student loans. 

As more students turn their tassels and turn towards their futures, it’s difficult to launch when weighed down with such a heavy monetary burden. 

“It takes money to make money,” one editor explained, “but what happens when the money invested doesn’t match up to the money obtained?” Many believe that the student debt crisis is overwhelming and that nothing is being done to help; instead, matters are being made worse. 

Student loans can be problematic at conception, as some editors have argued that the process to apply for loans can be extremely confusing. “I think a lot of high school students are unaware of what it means to take loans; it’s something they should think carefully about before signing their souls to Free Application for Federal Student Aid  (FAFSA),” an editor explained.  Many of the editors who have student loans were not fully aware of the process and signed because they needed the loans to attend college.

One editor said that without loans they wouldn’t have the ability to attend school, and are grateful for that, but also struggle with payment. “Of course, especially because in the field that I will work in (social work), the mean salaries are not as high as other jobs, so I hope that my income can keep up with monthly payments to pay off the loans. Student debt has increased significantly, as most people have seen,” the staffer said. Americans now have more than $1.4 trillion in unpaid education debt, according to the Federal Reserve.

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Punchlines that Hurt

default article imageThe United States is said to be a nation of diversity that welcomes people of all races, ethnicities, religions, and backgrounds.

Lately, given our national discourse, the ideology of our nation is being tested, even in our own community.

A recent campus event ran on January 11th by a local non-profit, Hometown Heroes, honored four individuals, including University President Grey Dimenna, Esq., for work they have done to support people in the local community.

At the event, those people being honored were acknowledged for all the good they have done along with students and employees of the University being praised for the various ways they give back.

Among all the honors, there were numerous attempts at humor that were disrespectful of minority groups as well as various other nationalities.

Dimenna sent out an email stating that the comments made at the event were “inconsistent with the values of Monmouth University and hamper our efforts to foster an inclusive environment at Monmouth.”

One editor reacted, “I do believe that the student body, faculty and staff are consistent with values of Monmouth because I have never felt uncomfortable on campus and I feel that there is an overall inclusive atmosphere.”

In the aftermath of this event, we now question whether society has become easily offended by jokes or if overall, minority groups have too often become the punch line of a joke.

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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