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Last updateMon, 10 Dec 2018 4pm

Editorial

Volume 83 (Fall 2011 - Spring 2012)

Changing Your Outlook

default article imageAs a student-run newspaper, The Outlook staff serves as the University’s watchdog. Constantly, we are on the lookout for breaking news and sometimes, news that some individuals would rather us not know about. The Outlook strives to bring problems to light that the University may not even know exist. Serving as a platform for students to voice these concerns is a unique asset to have by giving the University the ability to look into where students are saying needs improvement. Once our paper comes out Wednesday mornings, our work is still ongoing, as we are midway through the following week’s articles and tracking down sources crucial to the stories.

There have been multiple occasions throughout the past academic year where stories we have published have initiated responses on campus; these have brought a mix of both positive and negative reactions. Some of these examples include editorials about improving campus technology as well as the need to extinguish Affirmative Action. Although our editorials may have been criticized by several University members, one thing is for certain: we stood up for something.

As far as news goes, we’re including just a few examples. We encouraged the administration to choose to build the new residence hall for sophomores rather than freshmen. In light of reports that a University student was assaulted earlier this semester, the University is now increasing the frequency of ‘Hawk Alerts’ to ensure safety across the campus community. When a reporter introduced the changes with Aramark that led to students’ strong disapproval, the dining service also began reforming their options.

It was moments like these that showed the effectiveness of our writing when administrators or other campus-related individuals would comment to The Outlook about our thoughts and how they would deal with our ideas.

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Outlook Responds to Provost’s E-mail

default article imageIn response to the campuswide e-mail sent by Provost Thomas Pearson last Wednesday requesting a correction to the story titled, “New Physician’s Assistant Program Underway,” The Outlookwould like to say the following.

With regard to the Provost’s charge that the “story as written is inaccurate,” the paper would agree that any impression of the program being completely approved through the proper process is inaccurate on our behalf. Our comments that the program “will be launched since approval of the University’s Graduate Studies Committee was granted last month” in the lead and “even though the program has already been approved” which ran later in the story, might have given readers the idea that the approval process had been completed. That is not the case. While everyone the paper spoke to agreed that the program would ultimately be approved and that it would likely be launched in the fall of 2014, it had technically received partial approval at the time of publication, having only been voted on by the Graduate Studies Committee, so to say that it was “approved”, suggesting fully, is in fact, inaccurate.

The Provost states that the headline to the story “should have indicated that the New Physician Assistant Program is under consideration.” The Outlook agrees that the Provost’s headline is absolutely accurate, and perhaps better than our own. However, to say that the P.A. program is “underway” could also mean that it is now officially submitted for approvals. It could mean that the process is underway. That being said, the Provost’s headline is certainly less ambiguous.

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Clubs Stand Just as Strong as Greek Society

default article imageIn the past week fraternities and sororities held activities dedicated to calling attention to the proudest and the strongest among them by competing in the University’s annual “Greek Week.” Groups of students wearing matching t-shirts with Greek symbols and large posters decorated with the same letters were present all over campus. However, aren’t these signs of Greek pride often prominently displayed throughout the University?

It can sometimes seem that other clubs fall in the shadows of fraternities and sororities. Though each club is responsible for advertising their campus involvement and recruiting new members, the attention of college students tends to gravitate more towards Greek life. However, that does not necessarily marginalize other clubs’ involvement on campus.

Club advertisements and fundraisers are constantly happening. There are numerous tables set up in and outside of the Rebecca Stafford Student Center raising money or awareness for different organizations every day. Involvement fairs also promote awareness of different clubs and spark a lot of student interest. For that reason, as well as others, it is necessary for clubs to have the same type of competition week as Greeks.

Fraternities and sororities have more in common with each other than clubs do. Having competitions between clubs would be more difficult because their objectives are more diverse. Clubs are drawn together by specific interests and do not seek to prove themselves against other clubs, whereas Greek Week is about striving to be the best fraternity or sorority.

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Raising More Than Just Awareness

default article imageSome people do charity work every day, some do it every week, some do it “when they have the time” and some have only done it in the past- some haven’t done it at all. Those of us that have may do it from the goodness of our hearts while others just do it for resume fluff.

While we can all do something individually, a business or institution can do a lot more by “putting its weight” behind a cause or organization. For example, Starbucks has been noted for its use of ethically-harvested coffee, being proud participants of National Service Month and supporting the GLBTQ community. The company has more attention-grabbing (as well as financial) power than most if not all of its employees combined. As such, we wondered if it is time for MU to step up and do something similar, since the University has made no publicly declared endorsements.

It would be great for the image of the University, saying it would be nice to see the University come out behind one major cause and push for its success. The same member pointed out that multiple causes could be supported at different times, varying the organizations to which support is given.

Though good things are done for some better-known organizations like The American Cancer Society, more could be done in the community. In addition to beach clean-ups and local food pantries, there are likely many different ways for students to help in nearby towns. If such opportunities were made known to the student body then it would be easier to do good deeds in our community. Also, this would improve the social image of the University, potentially turning this great school into a well-known and admired name across the country. Periodic emails or flyers throughout campus could be good ways of notifying students that these opportunities exist.

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Keeping Up With the Train of Technology

default article imageThroughout their years at Monmouth, there is one phrase that every student has said at least once: “I get so many emails!” However, with the new email system, upgraded from Squirrel Mail, students can hope that their email page will look so nice that they won’t mind getting blasted with tons of emails from the University every single day. We can also hope this could be the start of a positive technological infrastructure at the University.

Some students signed up to test the new email system, which visually appears very similar to Microsoft Outlook. If the test gains positive results, all students will retire from their time with Squirrel Mail and will have access to the new system, which offers a more modern appearance.

Squirrel Mail has been a frequent complaint with students, as has been other technological aspects of the University. The mail system appears outdated and juvenile, and it is time for an upgrade, especially at a distinguished school such as Monmouth University.

Graphics only appear as attachments in emails, making some messages that are meant to look classy and upbeat appear to be messy and unprofessional. When graphics are included as attachments rather than directly in an email, there is also more of a likelihood that they will be missed by the audience they are trying to reach. It is not likely that many busy students are going to bother downloading a separate attachment from an email that they do not necessarily need to see.

Also, the usernames of students appear as an impersonal set of numbers instead of an actual name, sometimes making it difficult to figure out who is sending an email in the first place. This forces students to remember a set of numbers or look up usernames from the Global Address Book instead of just knowing an address from the name of a person. It seemed to be only a matter of time before the University would be forced to switch to a sleeker and fresher form of email for their students and faculty.

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Making a Case Against Affirmative Action

default article imageAffirmative action is a program that began during World War II when President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed an executive order barring discrimination in the federal government and by war industries. This was the first step towards equality. During the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960’s, this program picked up again during the civil rights movement. This program was intended to allow equal opportunities for minority races and eventually genders. Since the Nixon administration, however, some colleges have used it to make sure there is diversity on college campuses.

There have been multiple cases about whether this is a form of racism or merely giving other races a fair shot at an education. In the landmark case, Regents v. Bakke, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that state colleges and universities could not leave a certain amount of spaces for minority applicants. This case did not solve the problem. The ruling also said that race could be used as a “positive factor” in determining whether someone should be admitted into a place of higher learning. This applied to both public and private colleges and universities.

Coming up during the Supreme Court term this year is Fisher v. University of Texas. This is the most recent affirmative action case. In this case, a white female student, Abigail Fisher, believes she was denied admission to the University of Texas based on her race. In the state of Texas, students in the top 10 percent of their high school’s class gain admission to any public university in the state. There is no race consideration with the top 10 percent. Fisher barely missed the cut off and was put into a group of general applicants where race plays a role into admission. According to Julian Williams, Director of Affirmative Action and Human Relations at the University, affirmative action standards are not used at the University. “The University uses a race blind and gender blind test where we choose our students solely based on their credentials.”

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Participate More Outside the Classroom

default article imageStudent enrichment is important in any university. However, not everyone likes to get involved. Some students will not go beyond the required work for their major. Maybe they would get more involved with their majors if they were given credit for doing work outside of standard curriculum. This is exactly what the University does with the practicum credit, but they are only for certain majors. Not every field has practicum credit as a requirement. Nevertheless, some of us at The Outlook feel like this should change.

If a student can graduate college with a deeper understanding of their major and have actual first-hand experience, that person will be more likely to get hired. Businesses today do not just want people with a degree; they want people that have real experience in the work field before they finish their education.

Communication majors at the University are required to take a one credit practicum. For the students interested in journalism, their practicum includes writing seven stories to be published in The Outlook. This gives students the experience of writing for a real newspaper and dealing with the stress of journalism like deadlines and finding reliable sources.

However, not everyone on staff feels that a practicum should be required. Some feel that there are enough clubs aimed at specific majors that can benefit students so that any further outside work is unnecessary. The students getting “forced” to participate are taking positions away from people who could potentially really want that spot.

Students should take advantage of the programs presented at the University, especially when credits can be earned.

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Hawks Should Soar Above Flames

default article imageThe sidewalk along Brighton Avenue that was covered in a pile of concrete rubble and twisted steel following last week’s fire is the same sidewalk that has been walked countless times by some of The Outlook’s editors during their weekly trips to the local establishments from their apartments along Ocean Avenue.

Prior to the fire, the sight of Brighton Avenue near its Ocean Avenue intersection were largely taken for granted. However, after finally comprehending the shock associated with viewing the damage to this familiar area, The Outlook’s editors have been reevaluating their feelings about the surrounding community.

Obviously, we are connected to the surrounding community through our education at the University. However, our bond with local neighborhoods and businesses should go further than this, especially for those of us who moved here to receive a higher education.

Last week’s fire might have bred destruction, but it also delivered an important message. The surrounding community is more than just a playground that we inhabit during our college years. The fact of the matter is that the University and its surrounding neighborhoods have become our homesaway from home. We may not have moved here until we turned 18, but by the time we graduate we will still have done a considerable amount of maturing here. During that time, we need to respect the setting in which we form our college memories.

The businesses that burned down in the fire were some of the same businesses that we took notice of when we were prospective students who were trying to get a feel for the University’s surroundings.

They also were some of the same businesses from which the University’s clubs and organizations have sought donations for fundraising purposes. Now, they will never grace the eyes of the University’s prospective students again, nor will they be able to continue contributing to the University’s students like they have in the past.

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Obsessed With Technology Much?

default article imageIt’s a bold statement, but I truly don’t think you could live without me. I may have been a recent addition to your life, but I know you consider me to be one of your closest and trusted confidants. Maybe it’s because I’m more reliable than anyone else you know. I strive to not to ever let you down.

I wake you up every morning and do my best in attempting to keep you from falling back to sleep. I remind you when you have things to do, places to go and people to see. You tell me everything and I never tell anyone else, unless you ask me to.

I’m really exceptional with researching whatever it is you need to know at incredibly rapid rate. I’m also a first-rate multitasker and make a fabulous personal assistant.

I can, without hesitation, inform you of the game updates while instructing you on how to cook a full Thanksgiving meal for your overly critical family of 15.

I’m ideal when you need to capture the moment. I take topnotch pictures and videos, and have the ability to edit, and save them for you for whenever sometime down the line you may need them again.

With me, you’ll never be behind on the latest trends. I keep you up to date with the latest music releases, and even take the time to organize them in such a way that you’ll know what playlist to choose when you’re trying to party.

With me you’ll never get lost, at least not for too long, and I have the ability to keep you in contact with even the most remote friends and family.

You might be a little obsessed with me though, if you don’t mind me saying so. If you can’t find me, even for a split second, you panic. If I’m having a slow day, you get frustrated with me, and if I do something wrong, you act as if it’s the end of the world and the mistake is irreversible.

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President Looking to Increase Hawk Alert Frequency

default article imageDear Outlook,

Last week you reported on a random criminal attack on a student very near our campus.  You had information in your story that we did not have.  You asked questions for which we had incomplete information at the time. Time and tide wait for no man [or woman]; neither does press time. Today, we all understand more about the isolated incident.  Your article was important to me in that it inspires us to press our neighboring police departments harder for information when incidents are nearby, but out of our jurisdiction.

I am eager to alert students to potential or occurring dangers. You have seen that in our messages about norovirus, shootings on other campuses, etc.   In this particular case we followed Federal Clery Act procedures, but did not issue a Hawk Alert late in the night, because it was apparent, at the time, that the threat was gone.  I spoke with your Editor and Managing Editor about the story and about Hawk Alerts. It was a very good conversation; helped me understand the perceptions of some students.  As a result, I have asked our VP (Administrative Services), General Counsel and Police Chief to re-review our procedures for Hawk Alerts as they pertain to off-campus crime, even if random.  I am aware of the “cry wolf” syndrome, too many warnings at the wrong time turn people off.  I am also concerned about safety and I will err on the side of too many warnings. So Outlook, thank you for the article and for the helpful conversation.

Paul G. Gaffney II President

MUPD Shares Thoughts on Last Week’s Assault Story

default article imageI would like to respond to the recent article in the February 15th edition of The Outlook entitled, “Student Beaten on Road Near Library. MUPD Fails to Alert Campus Community of Attack.” I would like to respond from the perspective of the Monmouth University Police department.

Although the jurisdiction of the incident was in West Long Branch, the initial call concerning a fight was placed to the University Police. The University Police immediately responded. They established control of the situation by locating the victim and witness. They further apprehended and detained two possible suspects prior to the arrival of the West Long Branch Police. MUPD Officers turned the matter over to the West Long Branch Police Officers because they have ultimate jurisdiction in this matter. Upon completing their initial investigation that evening, West Long Branch Police charged one of the individuals that MUPD turned over to them, with Simple Assault.

The article goes on to say that a witness reported to The Outlook that he was treated rudely by a Police dispatcher.  A review of the audio tapes of the incident indicated that the caller was treated professionally and was politely denied requested information as per normal police procedures. There was no mention to the police, by the caller, that he feared being recognized because the suspects saw his face, and also that he yelled at them, as the witness told Outlook reporters.

Most importantly, I would like to address the issue of not notifying the campus community. Notification of the campus community was carefully considered.   A determination was made that since it appeared to be an isolated incident, and since the subjects were apprehended that night, that it would serve no purpose.   A review of our records indicates that there have been no incidents of this type prior to, or since, this incident.

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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