Last updateWed, 19 Feb 2020 2pm


Volume 90 (Fall 2017 - Spring 2018)

University Mourns Loss of Fellow Hawk

default article imageDane Fante, a second-year business administration and communication student, passed away suddenly on Saturday, Feb. 3 at Monmouth Medical Center following an off-campus car accident.

According to a press release published by the Ocean Township Police Department, the single-car accident took place at approximately 2:40 a.m. on South Lincoln Avenue in Ocean. A preliminary investigation by the department indicates that the car, reported to be a 2006 Audi A8, struck a tree, resulting in injuries to both occupants.

The car was allegedly driven by Jose Rivera, a sophomore business administration student. According to The Asbury Park Press, Rivera was taken to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune to be treated for non-life threatening injuries.

Fante was pronounced dead at Monmouth Medical Center at 3:20 a.m. due to injuries sustained in the accident. Fante and Rivera were the only occupants of the vehicle, according to the police press release.

President Grey Dimenna, Esq., informed the campus community of the tragic incident at 1:33 p.m. Saturday afternoon.

“It is with deep sadness that I inform you of the death of one of our students,” read his e-mail. “The University mourns the tragic and untimely death of a member of our community and extends its deepest sympathies to his family and friends at this most difficult time.”

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S.P.E.C.T.R.U.M. Hosts "Expression" Music Fundraiser

S.P.E.C.T.R.U.M. Music Event Raises Funds for AFC

 Spectrum1Sexuality, Pride, Education, Community, Truth, Respect, and Unity at Monmouth (S.P.E.C.T.R.U.M.) hosted an artistic event called “Expression” in the Rebecca Stafford Student Center on Wednesday, Jan. 31.

This event raised funds for the Ali Forney Center (AFC) and promoted an inclusive community on campus.

"Expression" was open to the public and accepted donations by ticket sales for the AFC, a non-profit organization based out of New York that exists to help homeless lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) youths.

According to the AFC’s website, the mission of the organization is “to protect LGBTQ youths from the harms of homelessness and empower them with the tools needed to live independently.”

“I felt it was important to donate funds to the Ali Forney Center because being on the LGBTQ+ spectrum, as well as being out at a young age, already puts these kids/teens in jeopardy with families that may not be as accepting,” said Jane Lai, President of S.P.E.C.T.R.U.M.and junior english student.

“According to the Williams Institute [at the] UCLA School of Law, the alarming statistic shows that around 40 percent of homeless youth are LGBTQ+ identifying,” Lai continued. “The Ali Forney Center is the biggest LGBTQ+ nonprofit for homelessness in the community. LGBTQ+ youth are already in a disenfranchised group and to add on that they’re homeless because they’ve been neglected by their parents/guardians because they’ve been neglected by their parents/guardians really puts a burden on them.”

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Student Accounts Compromised Following Phishing Scam

IT Department Warns Students of E-Mail Phishing Scam

Student Account Compromised1Two waves of e-mails blasted to over 14,000 University members have been deemed a “harmful phishing scam,” according to Robert Carsey, Director of Server Operations. It is reported that at least 50 student mailboxes were compromised by the scam.

The e-mails told recipients to update their eCampus log-in information using an attached link, posing as a University-affiliated source. 

The University has since urged the campus community to delete the e-mails, report any instances of opening the scam to the IT Help Desk, and change all Monmouth-related passwords for security measures.

Carsey stated that employees began receiving the first wave of e-mails on Friday, Jan. 26 at approximately 1:15 p.m., with the first Help Desk request regarding the e-mail being submitted at 1:22 p.m.

Only minutes later, the IT team began mitigating the blast. The mitigation attempts included deleting the e-mails from users’ mailboxes, blocking the link on the University’s firewall, and notifying users. The mitigation process for the first wave of e-mails was completed by 2:00 p.m. that day.

“We didn’t give the phishing attempt much credit because the e-mail itself was rather unenticing and our employees are generally very good at not responding to such attempts,” said Carsey. “Combined with the fact that we removed the email quickly, we were satisfied this was contained. However, we took the unusual step of notifying employees because this was the first time a phisher had copied our real University login page.”

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Peace Activist Ken Nwadike Visits Campus

Peace Activist Ken NwadikeKen Nwadike, founder of the Free Hugs Project and peace activist, spoke to Monmouth University students and employees at Pollak Theare, recounting his story of becoming a motivational speaker.

The Free Hugs Project is a non-profit organization, founded by Nwadike, following his response to the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013.

“While viewing the devastation of the 2013 bombing of the Boston Marathon, I was determined to be a participant in the next race,” said Nwadike. “I failed to qualify by just 23 seconds, so I decided to attend the event in a different way. I provided free hugs to runners as encouragement along the route.”

The video was uploaded to YouTube and Nwadike made national headlines. According to the Free Hugs Project website, his videos have garnered 150 million views and he has been a guest on CNN, USA Today, BBC News, Good Morning America and Good Morning Britain. In addition, he has featured in The Huffington Post, The New York Times, and The Washington Globe.

Nwadike played one of the viral videos and the audience of approximately 50 attendees burst into smiles. "All that mattered was the love,” said Nwadike, as complete strangers were running up to give him hugs.

Nwadike, however, had a change of heart. He felt that running races was getting redundant. “I wanted to inspire love in a place full of hate,” he said, and decided to go to the front lines of violence during protests, riots, and political rallies to spread peace and love, including the protests in Charlottesville, Virginia.

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Financial Literacy Program for High School Students Successful

Financial Literacy High SchoolThe second semester of a high school financial literacy program, created and implemented by the Leon Hess Business School (LHBS), has been deemed a success by the University as it completes its second semester. 

The program, which is designed to augment the personal financial literacy requirement for New Jersey high school students, was created by Janeth Merkle, MBA, MM, Associate Dean of LHBS, in the 2016 fall semester. 

The program currently involves five high schools in Monmouth and Ocean counties, with more than 130 students participating after being selected through a competitive process. The selection criteria is developed by the University and the partner high schools. Seven University students also participate in the program, which is run by Merkle and Jeffrey Christakos, MBA, CPA, CFP, a specialist professor of accounting. 

“I joined [the program] this year,” said Christakos. “I have spent much of my professional life in the financial planning area, so I thought that I could add value to the program. I am very grateful for the opportunity that I have been given to make a positive impact in the lives of our participants.” 

According to information provided by Christakos, the program is designed to “empower and encourage high school students to be better prepared to control their personal finances to meet their life goals,” as well as providing University students with an opportunity to actively engage in applied learning through local community projects. 

The workshops are provided to high school students in all grades for no cost on a weekly basis. LHBS covers the cost of the workshops, as well as the transportation of students to the University campus. The program was also partially funded by the New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Group. 

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Off-Campus Incident Results in Six Charged; Damages Under Investigation

Off Campus IncidentAn off-campus party involving Monmouth University students was broken up by Deal police officers in the early morning of Jan. 17.

According to a press release provided by Deal Police Department Sergeant Brian Egan, officers were dispatched to the Neptune Avenue address at approximately 12:30 a.m. for a “fight in progress” that involved approximately 50 people.

According to the press release, many party attendees were observed fleeing the area, and two subjects were “in need of medical attention.” Deal First Aid was also dispatched to the scene, but both people refused medical attention.

A further investigation by the police department found that underage party attendees were consuming alcohol inside the residence. Six people were charged with serving/making alcohol available to underage persons, as well as maintaining a nuisance.

Those facing charges declined to comment on this story.

Vaughn Clay, Ed.D., Director of the Office of Off-campus and Commuter Services, could not comment on the specific incident due to Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) restrictions. However, he explained that the University communicates with local communities, including Long Branch, Ocean Township, West Long Branch, and Deal on a monthly basis in an effort to maintain and improve community relations between students and local residents.

“We meet with them and we talk about problems that they’re seeing, and opportunities,” Clay explained. “From an off-campus complaint incident perspective, my office will receive information from the local communities. I’ll hear from neighbors about properties, in the same respect I might hear from students, occasionally, about an issue that they’re having off-campus with their community.”

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Aspire High Youth Development Program to Inspire, Educate Students

default article imageOver 60 adolescent students will be coming to Monmouth University to receive mentorship from Lambda Theta Alpha (LTA) Latin sorority, and the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) this Feb. 3   as a part of the Aspire High Youth Development Program.

Students ranging from ten to 17 years old enrolled in program will be joining University students who are in LTA and NCNW for a Saturday of non-traditional learning. They will be learning more about the process to get to college, healthy relationships, proper health care, and financial literacy.

“This [learning] will be achieved through interactive games like jeopardy and other upbeat and exciting opportunities,” said Jaz Caban, a senior criminal justice student and social media manager of LTA. “We want the students to have fun, and we are very excited to be a part of helping them grow and move towards higher education.”

The mission of the Aspire High Youth Development Program is “to develop the physical, mental, and emotional wellness of adolescence ages 10-17 through non-traditional methods of learning that will allow them to gain a sense of social responsibility, identify their personal purpose, acquire exemplary leadership skills, all while discovering their highest potential,” according to the program mission and Lilian Perez, the founder and CEO of the Aspire High Youth Development Program.

Perez is a sister of LTA from the Alpha (meaning first) chapter of this sorority. Monmouth LTA and NCNW members work with representatives of the program, as well as various sectors at Monmouth to develop a meaningful experience for the students when they are on campus.

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Debate Team Earns Nine Awards in California Tournament

Debate Team Nine AwardsMembers of the Monmouth University Debate Team reached the final championship round and two other debaters reached the semifinal round, and in total, earned nine team and individual speaking awards, at a tournament hosted by Southwestern College from Jan. 19 – 21.

Landon Myers, a sophomore political science student, and Eric Schwartz, a freshman political science student, reached the final championship round as they debated whether the federal government should establish national health insurance in the United States, the topic of the 2017-2018 National Debate Tournament/Cross Examination Debate Association (NDT/CEDA) season. They lost the round to a team from the University of Nevada Las Vegas. Both Myers and Schwartz also received individual speaking awards.

"The topic for this year is about National Health Insurance, but that topic is as broad as you choose to make it,” Myers said. “For example, one of the arguments I run is about Accountable Health Communities, which are federally run programs that address people’s social needs, like housing and food insecurity, to better their health.”

“It was extremely exciting to advance as far as we did, especially because I’m a freshman with no debate experience prior to this year,” said Schwartz.

 “We went up against an incredibly strong team from UNLV in the finals and lost. I knew I would most likely break into the playoffs because of the tournament’s size and my success in larger tournaments, but I didn’t expect to go as far as we did.”

 Alexis Vasquez, a sophomore political science student, and Chris Diolosa, a senior political science student, went 5-1 in the preliminary rounds and reached the semifinal round.

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Health Services Warns Campus of Increased Influenza Cases

Health Services Influenza IncreaseThe current flu season is particularly severe, causing increases in hospitalizations and cases of pneumonia across the United States, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Monmouth University has started to see cases of both Influenza A and B on campus, with approximately two dozen cases reported this year. 

The University’s Health Services released an alert to the student body regarding the observed increase in cases of influenza on campus on Mon., Jan. 22. The e-mail alert was forwarded to employees and the University student body by Mary Anne Nagy, Vice President for Student Life and Leadership Engagement. 

“Periodically, the University will communicate with the campus when [administrators] believe there is information that is important for them to have for their personal safety and well-being,” said Nagy. “People of all ages are getting the flu…there are some folks that are unfortunately losing their lives because the cases of the flu they have are so intense.” 

Monmouth University Health Services is working with New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services (NJDOHSS) to identify, track, and monitor flu strains and activity on campus, according to the e-mail alert. 

Kathy Maloney, Director of Health Services, said that personnel in the Health Center are sending patient nasal swabs to the NJDOHSS for full confirmation regarding influenza strains. So far, she says, 24 cases have been seen on campus. 

“We are also sending samples of patients with influenza-like illness (ILI) who test negative for influenza so those samples can be further tested for other respiratory viruses,” said Maloney, "In fall 2017 we had a rare strain of Adenovirus B-7 that caused severe respiratory symptoms in several students. We are actively working with NJDOHSS to see if that strain is also still circulating."

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Monmouth University Recognized as Top Green Power User

MU Top Green PowerMonmouth University was recently recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a top green power user in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) for 2016-2017. The University is also encouraging and working for increased sustainability efforts for 2018.

The University received this award in April of 2017, and continues to produce upwards of 12 million kilowatt-hours annually, which equates to 12 million hours of energy. According to Patricia Swannack, the Vice President of Administrative Services, Monmouth University has been able to sell additional solar energy harvested on campus.

The campus began harvesting solar energy in 2006 beginning with four buildings, and had grown to seven buildings in 2011.

“Sustainability efforts are good for everyone and the entire planet. We are proud of our efforts to be green and are always looking for ways to do more,” said Swannack. “Other things we do throughout campus daily [include]: Water-saving devices used in all campus rest rooms, showers, and new plumbing purchases [and] energy consciousness in the purchase of lighting and electrical devices.”

Buildings throughout the campus, including the OceanFirst Bank Center, Bey Hall, and Plangere use retro-fit LED lighting. These lights are also present in 90 percent of the lights in the parking lot. According to Swannack, these lights result in an annual reduction of 594,524 kilowatt-hours of electricity.

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Welcome Back From President Grey Dimenna

default article imageDear students –

Best wishes, and a warm welcome back to campus following our winter break. I hope your break was restful and reinvigorating.  I also hope that you are already fully engaged with your studies and campus activities as we enter the second week of classes.  If you are a new student, there is no time like the beginning of the semester to meet new friends, explore new clubs and organizations, and make a deliberate effort to get to know your professors.

While some of you may be new to Monmouth, I also know that many of you are entering the “home stretch” in your undergraduate or graduate education.  May will be here before you know it, and I encourage you to take advantage of every opportunity on campus, or in our area, before you take your next steps.

Cheer on our athletic teams, visit our gallery exhibitions, attend a performance or participate in one of our many opportunities to meet with artists and thought leaders this semester.  With longer days and the promise of warmer weather, I hope you will also take time to visit the beach, travel to Sandy Hook, and enjoy the unique cultural resources available in nearby Long Branch, Red Bank, and Asbury Park.

I look forward to seeing you on campus and hearing about the experiences that are making your semester a memorable one.

Grey J. Dimenna, Esq.


Contact Information

The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey

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