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University Polling Institute Explains Voter Doubts Over Election Outcome

Voter Doubts  Americans have observed the growth of voter distrust in the outcome of the November presidential election, including the prospect of foreign meddling, the possibility of campaign cheating, and a belief in the existence of “secret voters” who will materialize on Election Day, according to a recent poll published by the University’s Polling Institute on Sep. 10.

  The poll’s findings suggest a small but sizable number of voters could be suspicious of the election result, regardless of winner. About 6 in 10 voters are confident the November election will be conducted fairly and accurately, yet another 24 percent are not too confident and 13 percent consider themselves not confident at all in the integrity of the election.

  “Of course, most voters believed that Clinton was going to win four years ago and they accepted the different outcome,” The University Polling Institute’s Director Patrick Murray said. “But the reasons why voters think Trump will win again suggest that some may not accept this year’s result if he loses,”

  U.S. President Donald Trump recently declined to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the Nov. 3 election and said he expected the election battle to end up before the Supreme Court.

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Athlete Charge In Robbery

Athlete ChargedA player of the University varsity baseball team has been charged with robbery, accused of a pre-dawn break-in and scuffle at an Ocean Township family’s home, on Sunday Sep. 13.

“The University is aware of the situation,” Mary Anne Nagy, Vice President for Student Life said in a statement to The Outlook. “The University follows its established practices with regard to any allegation of student misconduct. Under the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, I cannot comment any student matter.”

The homeowner, his wife and their two children were asleep when the burglary occurred, Kim Gilhooly, an assistant Monmouth County prosecutor, said at a virtual detention hearing, before Superior Court Judge Paul X. Escandon.

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University Polling Institute Details Rise in COVID-19 Concerns

Details RiseConcerns related to the COVID-19 virus have risen in recent months as President Trump “continues to receive poor marks in response to the coronavirus outbreak,” along with low confidence he can guide the country to recovery, according to a recent poll published by the University’s Polling Institute on Sep. 9.

In response to campus concerns over COVID-19, University President Patrick F. Leahy Ed.D., implemented additional safety procedures including limiting dining services to takeout and socially distanced outdoor seating, moving clubs, organizations, and intramural/recreational activities online, and temporarily closing the University pool, fitness center and restricting athletic team activities to supervised individual and small group training, in an email addressed to the University community.

“To date, we have still not seen evidence of transmission from students to faculty or staff, and based on contact tracing, transmission appears to be limited to student social interactions,” Leahy wrote. “Since the majority of our staff members are already working remotely, there will be no immediate change to staffing levels. If you have questions regarding work schedules, please be in direct contact with your supervisor or area vice president, as usual.”

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COVID-19's Impact on Students' Mental Health

COVID 19The unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic is negatively affecting the well-being of young adults, according to a recent study by the University of Chicago.

According to their COVID Response Tracking Study, 56 percent of Americans aged 18-34 have sometimes felt isolated in the past month, compared to about 40 percent of older Americans. Meanwhile, 25 percent of young adults rate their mental health as fair or poor, compared to 13 percent of older adults. 39 percent of young adults rate their mental health as very good or excellent, compared to 56 percent of older adults.

Monmouth students are no exception when it comes to COVID-19’s impact on young adults. Many find their mental health declining under the weight of the coronavirus.

“I am paranoid and anxious every time I go somewhere with large groups of people. The anxiety worsens when I notice they are not following health guidelines,” said Mercedes Concepcion, a junior business administration student.

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WMCX Ranked 18th Best College Radio

default article imageWMCX, Monmouth’s student-run radio station, was recently named the number 18 Best College Radio Station by The Princeton Review in their 2021 guidebook The 386 Best Colleges.

Based on student surveys, WMCX was ranked at number 18 of the 20 best college radio stations in the country. The Princeton Review is an annual publication which ranks the best colleges in America in different categories. Unlike other publications of similar nature, The Princeton Review solely bases its rankings on student responses to positive or negative questions about their schools.

Aaron Furgason, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Chair of the Communication Department and Adviser of WMCX, said of the process, “The poll is based on Monmouth University students’ responses. Students are asked to judge the popularity of the campus radio station at their own college. That means that a significant number of students that attend Monmouth think highly of WMCX.”

WMCX normally operates within an alternative rock format, but has since grown to be known for its sports, variety, and news content as well. Additionally, specialty music shows hosted by students also air frequently, with many of them being dedicated to a particular genre of music.

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Monmouth Ranked Among the Top 25 Colleges

Monmouth Ranked

Monmouth University received its highest ranking on “U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges” roster, as No. 23 in the Regional Universities North category. It is the first time the University has ranked in the top 25, rising five spots since the 2020 issue.

Parents and students’ reference “U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges” list when evaluating their options.

“In my experience, the ‘U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges’ report is one of the most recognized resource guides for parents and students seeking the best college fit for their circumstances,” said Lisa Allocco, the Director and Owner of Inspire Communication, a college advising company, and an Adjunct Professor of Communication.

The 2021 edition assesses 1,452 universities with undergraduate programs nationwide on 17 measures of academic quality, with graduation and retention rates, academic reputation, and faculty resources accounting for 82 percent of the rankings.

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President Leahy Appoints New Chief of Staff

PresidentUniversity President Patrick F. Leahy, Ed.D. has named Emily Miller-Gonzalez, Director of Planned Giving within the Division of University Advancement, as the Chief of Staff to the Office of the President. The decision comes as a result of additional organizational changes to the President’s office over the course of this academic year.

“In order to help streamline communications and create efficiencies in my office, I have identified an internal candidate to serve as the Acting Chief of Staff for a term of six months,” Leahy wrote in a memo to Monmouth staff, sent on Monday, Sep. 14. “Emily Miller-Gonzalez, who currently serves as the Director of Planned Giving within the Division of University Advancement, has graciously accepted this temporary appointment.”

Miller-Gonzalez is well-positioned for the role, which includes managerial duties of special projects emanating from the President’s Office, the development of strategic presidential communications, and representing the President’s Office to internal and external audiences alike, Leahy wrote.

Closing over 5 million in gifts and pledges over the past two years, Miller-Gonzalez has introduced over 20 new members to the Shadow Lawn Society, Monmouth’s circle for recognizing donors who have included the University in their estate plans.

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COVID-19 Dashboard

default article imagePresident Leahy announced a COVID-19 Campus Dashboard on Wednesday. Sep. 16. Updated daily by 4 p.m., the dashboard tracks confirmed COVID-19 cases among employees working on campus, residential students and non-residential students, as well as the amount of University-sponsored beds occupied by students currently in isolation or quarantine.

Accessed at monmouth.edu/dashboard, the dashboard “reflects our commitment to transparency related to the health and safety of our campus community,” Leahy wrote in an email addressed to all members of the Monmouth University community. “The dashboard also reflects the number of students living off campus in the local community who may have in person or hybrid courses here on campus who are in quarantine or isolation at their homes in the community.”

After becoming aware of an employee/student who tests positive for COVID-19, one should notify Health Services by contacting Kathy Maloney at kmaloney@monmouth.edu or health@monmouth.edu, Leahy wrote. “Upon such notification, the Health Services will keep the academic area informed should students or professors miss classes due to the illness by informing Danielle Schrama from the Center for Student Success.”

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SGA Fundraises For Yemen Humanitarian Crisis

SGAOver the summer, Monmouth University’s Student Government Association (SGA) held a fundraising event for the people of Yemen, a Middle Eastern nation which has recently been affected by widespread famine and resource shortage, according to the Famine Early Warning System.

This June, the members of SGA created an online fundraiser in an effort to aid people suffering from a humanitarian crisis in Yemen, ultimately raising over $1,500. Stemming from proxy wars in the area between the Saudi-backed Yemeni government and the Iran-backed Houthi movement, routes to vital resources like food, water, and medical assistance have been either compromised or cut off, creating a subsequent humanitarian crisis that has escalated to an emergency in some parts of Yemen.

Regarding the creation and execution of the fundraiser, Jenna Lee, a sophomore health studies student and Vice President of the SGA, said, “When we recognized the humanitarian crisis occurring in Yemen, our immediate thought was to help in any way possible. As the Vice President of SGA, my goal is to make a change not only within the Monmouth community, but around us as well.”

Saliba Sarsar, Ph.D, a Professor of Political Science and Sociology at Monmouth who has studied Middle Eastern/American relations extensively, commented that “the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is well-endowed with human and natural resources. But these are not evenly or properly distributed. Yemen happens to be the poorest country in the MENA, with a total population of around 30 million and a GDP per capita of approximately $2,500.”

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New Dean of the School of Humanities

DeanRichard Veit, Ph.D., Professor of Anthropology, has been named Interim Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, succeeding Kenneth Womack, Ph.D., effective July 1, 2020.

Viet previously served as an Associate Dean with a focus on faculty affairs in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences.  When Dean Kenneth Womack stepped down, Veit decided to apply for the position. 

“I saw this as a great opportunity to serve Monmouth University and a school that I love,” Veit said. “I was thrilled to be selected for the position."

Veit was the founding director of the University’s Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, and the University’s master’s program in anthropology.

Chair of the Department of History and Anthropology since 2014, Veit is a recipient of Monmouth’s Distinguished Teaching Award and the Donald Warncke Award for his service.

Robin Sakina Mama, Ph.D., Dean of the School of Social Work, believes Veit “brings many wonderful qualities” to his new position. “Having spent the last year or so as the Associate Dean has definitely given him some idea of what the Dean’s office needs to accomplish,” Mama said.

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The Outlook Wins Fifth National Award

Outlook

The Outlook, Monmouth University’s student-run newspaper, was named “University Newspaper of the Year 2019-20,” by the American Scholastic Press Association (ASPA) earlier this month.

The ASPA holds an annual national competition for university newspapers and other publications. Papers are judged on everything from news coverage to layout and design. This is the fifth national championship The Outlook has won since their establishment in 1933.

“I was ecstatic when I heard that The Outlook received such a prestigious honor,” Melissa Badamo, Editor-in-Chief (EIC) and Features Editor, said. “This award was the result of teamwork, devotion, and hard work across the entire Outlook staff.”

“Each year, our editors emphasize coverage of campus news and events, exceptional writing and page design, and always striving to be fair and truthful,” she continued.

John Morano, a Professor of Journalism, has been the faculty advisor to The Outlook for over 30 years, and from his experience, the paper could’ve won 15 times. “The paper is consistent in their coverage of the campus and its news… There is really one main focus, bring quality news and information to the readership of Monmouth University,” he said.

“In the pursuit of that, be fair and tell the truth. Whether the paper has managed to that or not, is for the reader to decide, but certainly, judged by independent journalists against other institutions, The Outlook has distinguished itself,” Morano added.

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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