Thu07192018

Last updateFri, 22 Jun 2018 4am

Editorial

When it Comes to Midterm Grades, Some Professors Fail

Remember the days before college when you had to worry about report cards being sent to your house? You would get home everyday, a nervous wreck, wondering if your parents knew about the D you had in geometry. Well, those days are long gone. The only updates we get nowadays are the midterm grades halfway into the semester.

The Outlook staff thinks that midterm grades are for the most part, pointless. Some professors don’t have enough grades to give you a real idea of how you are doing in the class.

If you only have one or two grades so far in the semester, what does the midterm grade really mean? It just tells you how you did on your first exam and a paper. If the class only has one grade, does the result of a single multiple-choice test really explain how you are grasping the material?

 Midterm grades also don’t factor in attendance and participation. If you are the type of person who attends all of your classes and actively raises your hand, your final grade is going to be a lot higher than the letter you receive from WebAdvisor.

Many professors downplay the importance of these grades we receive in the middle of the semester. Some give lower grades to keep the students working hard, while others tell their students that the grade is meaningless. Other instructors have said that showing improvement throughout the semester could change the weight of our grades, having things later in the semester become more significant than originally planned. If our instructors see the grades as a joke, why shouldn’t we?

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A Fall Break From Classes...Not Campus

The days leading up to fall break are supposed to be a time for some last minute studying for midterms or finishing papers so that no work has to be done over break. Unfortunately, too many students find themselves stressing over getting everything packed in time, how they are going to get home, and accommodations they may need if they are unable to get home.

In some cases, students also find themselves worrying about how to move out at the end of the semester while still getting to their exams on time.

Under Monmouth’s current policy, students are required to vacate campus at a certain time regardless of whether or not they have class or exams, and this tends to put pressure on a lot of students. Although the university does give students the option of requesting longer stay, the required paperwork is an unnecessary hassle.

The Outlook staff suggests that students be given at least two days after all exams end to move their things out at the end of the semester. During fall break, students should have the option of staying on campus without filling out forms. Mandating students to go home for fall break is unnecessary and inconvenient in some cases. Everyone has a different work load, schedule, and priority demand. Therefore, more flexibility should be allotted to students in regards to if or when they must leave campus.

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Keep Calm and Stick Around

If you were to go the University’s main page, glide your mouse pointer over to the campus life tab and scroll on down about three quarters of the way, you would come across something called the Student Activities Calendar. This well-put-together PDF file contains enough information to keep you busy every weekend from week one of the semester all the way up into the final week of class December.

But despite the numerous events planned out for the student body, why does it still seem that majority of students go home once Friday rolls around?

A suitcase school is a term used to describe a college or university at which students frequently travel home on weekends, creating a lack of involvement and a “ghost town” like environment. Does this sound like Monmouth?

The Student Activities Board and Student Government Association are constantly organizing events around campus, but if you’ve ever gone to these events you’d notice a small turnout and an overall lack of involvement. Who is to blame for this?

More often than not, we hear students quote the famous excuse, “Well I had no idea that was going on, I would have gone if I knew.” To that there is really only one response: read your email! SAB puts up flyers around campus for events all the time, as well as e-mailing students of upcoming events for the week. How else does one expect to find out about campus events? What more effective means is there of reaching the students? Do they expect a knock on their door in their dorm and a personal escort? We, the students have to make the effort.

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Every Vote Counts...Even Ones by College Students

The Presidential Election taking place in November of 2012 is the result of events that happened almost 225 years ago. Countries around the world fight for the right to vote. This is a right, The Outlook staff, believes is taken for granted by the college student community.

Most of staff believes that voting is something every eligible person should participate in. The staff believes college students are the next generation to enter the work force and should vote for who will do the best job so that all of us have jobs once our education at the University is completed.

This election even affects some of us now. Students should be paying attention to the people who decide how much money we can have for school. College kids can absolutely affect this election, but probably not more so than any other specific group.

Candidates can get college kids attention by talking more about issues that affect us more immediately, like student loan reforms. A major issue over the summer was student loan interest rates and this problem was eventually resolved but what will stop it from coming up again. Student issues will continue to be ignored if students do not get out and vote.

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If I Could Just Find A Parking Spot...

Finding parking in the non-residential parking lots 13, 14 and 18 and lot 25 can be hard on a weekday, but so far this year the added parking valets have caused more chaos than years before.

The valets have increased traffic in the parking lots. Many of us have been commuters for several years, and believe that the parking has never been this much of a hassle, especially at early class times.

After 8:30 am classes, finding a parking spot is close to impossible. An editor said he had difficulty trying to find a space for a 10:00 am class, while in past years it was never an issue. Parking should not be filled that early in the day considering classes run from 8:30 am to 10:05 pm.

One of the editors explains that she had to drive around for 20 minutes just to find a spot. She is not the first person who had to waste that much time trying to find a place to park. Another editor said that she specifically left extra early before class to find a parking spot but still found herself driving around the lot for a longer period of time.

However, there are faculty members who also park in non-residential lots and they too have experienced difficulty parking. Robert Scott, a Communications Professor had his keys locked in his car due to a parking valet.

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Challenge Accepted

As the days are getting shorter, the weather getting cooler, and the leaves beginning to change, a new academic year is upon us. With the start of the new semester comes the promise of a fresh start and new challenges.

General George S. Patton once said “Accept the challenges so that you may feel the exhilaration of victory.” It is this feeling of success and accomplishment that we all try to reach.

Challenges are faced by everyone--from a first year student all the way to the University’s administration.

Each year, the University challenges itself to be the best university it can be. Whether it’s making meal swipes available in more buildings for students or completely remodeling academic buildings, the administration is always striving to be better.

This year is going to be President Gaffney’s last as president of the University, and now the administration has the challenge of finding a replacement to fill the big shoes he is going to leave behind.

The class of 2012 has to overcome the challenge of succeeding in their respective fields and beginning the next chapter of their lives, as the class of 2013 most likely does not want this current chapter to end.

I know I’m not ready for college to end, so instead I’ll embrace the tests and challenges that will come my way in my senior year.

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Changing Your Outlook

As 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.

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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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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