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Last updateWed, 16 Oct 2019 12pm

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Monmouth President Discusses Important Issues on WMCX

MU President Discusses Issues 1University President Grey Dimenna, Esq., sat down with WMCX  sophomore hosts Molly Fitcher and Noah Preschel to discuss topics such as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and the Title IX violation concerning the University in March of 2016 on Tuesday, Oct. 31.

The segment, titled “Bird’s Eye View,” was live-streamed on the University’s Facebook page and began with Dimenna describing the DACA email he sent out in early October. The DACA program, according to Fox News, allows individuals called “Dreamersdreamers,” who come to the U.S. illegally as minors, to be protected from immediate deportation.

Dimenna  said that, to the best of his knowledge, the University is not becoming a sanctuary campus. According to Dimenna, sanctuary campuses pass policies in which they refuse to cooperate with federal authorities in handling and detaining over undocumented students, not just DACA students.

“My reason for not adopting such policies is that I do not believe they are necessary given the limited number of such students attending our University.  I think we can protect those students just as well without passing such a policy,” he explained. 

“My goal in sending the email was to reassure any DACA Monmouth that we care about them and that the University will be as supportive of them as possible,” said Dimenna.  “I also wanted to reaffirm to the campus community the values of inclusion, equality and non-discrimination that I hope are, and will continue to be, the principles of our University.”  

MU President Discusses Issues 2Following the discussion on DACA, Fitcher asked Dimenna about his involvement in the Title IX “complaint” the University endured in March 2016. According to the University’s handbook, “Acts of sexual misconduct which include but are not limited to sexual assault, gender based harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, and stalking pose a serious threat to this spirit of community, and as such, Monmouth University prohibits all forms of sexual misconduct and will endeavor to address these issues in the following manner.”

In the interview, Dimenna stated that he held the title General Counsel for 20 years (while also serving as Vice President). The General Counsel, according to Dimenna, is the lawyer for the University and is responsible for providing legal advice and representation to the University, its Board and all employees.

“Any complaint filed against the University either in court or with an administrative agency (in this case the Office of Civil Rights in the US Department of Education) would require the University’s Office of the General Counsel to provide legal representation,” said the President on his handling of the matter.

Confidentiality is a term that Dimenna stressed during the discussion of Title IX. The offices of Counseling and Health are the only “individuals” on campus who do not have to report issues related to sexual harassment.

“Both of those professions have codes of conduct that prohibit them from revealing information about their patients except under very limited circumstances,” said the President.

“The rationale behind these codes of conduct is to encourage the patients to be very open and honest with their medical professional or mental health counselor.  That trust in confidentiality is necessary to successfully treat such individuals.”               

Fitcher and Dimenna proceeded to discuss the effectiveness of the University’s Code of Conduct.

“I don’t think I would change anything about the Code of Conduct system.  I believe it is set up to provide a fair process for both involved sides and is able to provide a prompt resolution to the issues involved in each matter,” said the President.

Dimenna believes that Monmouth’s Code of Conduct is much faster than the criminal justice system. He explained “…It is a much simpler system and there are very few cases. The criminal justice system is very complex and there are thousands of cases so it takes much longer for each case to be resolved.”

The last fifteen minutes of the show consisted of a conversation on “The Big Event,” a topic that Dimenna elected to discuss.

“The Big Event,” according to the University’s official website, is the single largest community service project that takes place at the University every year. According to Dimenna, 500 students showed up on Saturday, Oct. 28 to participate in school and beach clean-ups.

Ensuring that Monmouth is not just an “enclave” in the middle of New Jersey is one of the President’s major principles. “Giving back is important to me because it is a basic tenant of my beliefs,” said Dimenna. “…I also believe that colleges and universities have an obligation to serve their surrounding community, not only as a center for education but also as a place which serves the community through service projects as well as through providing arts, entertainment and other opportunities.”

The interview concluded with a quick-fire question game titled “Ask the President.” The questions were available to students, faculty, staff, administration, alumni, and family members of students.

Questions were sent in via text, tweet, and through Monmouth’s Facebook page.

Dimenna has agreed to join Fitcher and Preschel once a month on WMCX.

According to Aaron Furgason, Ph.D., Chair of the Communication Department and advisor of WMCX, “President Dimenna is the first (President) to agree to a monthly interview and the X and staff is very appreciative that he offered his time to be a part of the program.

PHOTO COURTESY of WMCX

Contact Information

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Monmouth University
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Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151
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