Last updateWed, 30 Sep 2020 1pm


Volume 91 (Fall 2018 - Spring 2019)

Honoring the Life of Alice Paul on Constitution Day

Alice Paul Constitution DayA theatrical performance about the life of Alice Paul, a leading suffragist and women’s rights activist, was hosted in Wilson Auditorium on Monday, Sept. 17.

The event was sponsored by the Political Science Department, Office of the Provost, and “Stand Up and Be Counted,” the University’s voting campaign; and featured props to create a scene of Paul being interviewed by reporters in a nursing home, with Paul later ‘transforming’ into her younger self to tell her life’s story.

“Each year, we celebrate Constitution Day, September 17, with an event that brings students together to learn more about the U.S. Constitution. Professor Joseph Patten, proposes an event and the provost office, along with the department, sponsors it,” Laura Moriarty, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, explained. “This year we [had] a theatrical performance celebrating the life of Alice Paul. Ms. Paul and others are credited with securing for women the right to vote; a fundamental right that we must all protect and exercise regularly as we continue to fight for equal rights for all.”

Taylor Williams, Esq., has been portraying Alice Paul since the late 1980’s, when she was first approached by the woman who ran the American Historic Theatre in Philadelphia. Williams said that she was always aware of Paul, and that she was active in the Women’s Movement in the 1970’s. “I remember seeing her artifacts in a shop window on Walnut Street and thinking, ‘These have to belong to Alice Paul,’” she said. Paul’s life and work are what have inspired her to portray this role for over three decades.

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Women’s Basketball Head Coach Gets Contract Extension

W Basketball Coach ExtensionThe Monmouth University Athletic Department announced that Head Women’s Basketball Coach Jody Craig has agreed to a new three-year contract on Tuesday, Sept 11.

“It’s an honor to feel that the work that we’ve put in so far has been noticed and has been recognized that there is progress being made,” Craig said.“To just represent Dr. McNeil and this university, I’m absolutely thrilled at the opportunity. I’m looking forward to building what I believe they want, which is a championship-level program.”

“I am thrilled to extend this contract to Coach Craig,” said University Vice President and Director of Athletics Dr. Marilyn McNeil. “I have always believed in her exceptional coaching skills, and she is proving daily that she has the right enthusiasm and strategy to move our program to the elite level in the [Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference] MAAC.”

Craig assumed all Head Coach responsibilities on Dec. 8, 2017, inheriting a team with a 2-7 record. She guided them to eight wins the rest of the way, including seven in conference play. In the MAAC Tournament, she coached her team through a double-digit comeback victory versus No. 8 seed Canisius. Down by as many as 13 points towards the end of the third quarter, her team outscored the Golden Griffins 20-6 to advance to the program’s fifth straight quarterfinal appearance in the conference tournament.

“Coach Jody has done a great job making our team her own,” said senior guard McKinzee Barker. “She’s asked us to put our heads down and grind, and I think when we look up on the day of our first practice we will be extremely satisfied with where we are. The team is eager for that day to come, so we can see how our trust in coach’s system and the hard work has paid off.”

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Asbestos Found in Bluffs Apartments

Bluffs Asbestos 1Asbestos-Containing Minerals (ACMs), chemicals that can be toxic when released into the air, were discovered in small amounts at the University’s off-campus Bluffs Apartments during a renovation of the buildings this summer. 

“A minimal amount of asbestos was identified in the kitchen and hall tiles, and the spackle,” said Patricia Swannack, Vice President of Administrative Services, who is responsible for the maintenance and care of facilities at the University.

According to Swannack, the renovations included replacement of flooring, doors, kitchen cabinets, counters, and furniture as well as upgrading bathrooms.

“Before the University begins invasive work, such as removing floor tiles, sheetrock, or taping, we request that our independent environmental company perform an evaluation to determine whether any suspect material contains asbestos,” said Swannack. “Our employees have been trained to identify materials that may contain asbestos if disturbed. For example, floor tiles that contain asbestos are not harmful unless they are disturbed. We routinely test any material that we think may be suspect.”

According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), asbestos is a term referring to a class of minerals that includes amosite, chrysotile, and anthophyllite. These minerals naturally form long, thin strong fibers. The ATSDR states that individuals may be exposed to asbestos by inhaling these fibers found in the air, swallowing the fibers, or touching through contact with skin. Asbestos fibers can aggravate the lung tissue and cause scarring, which can have side effects ranging from breathing problems to lung cancer.

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The Outlook Wins Society of Professional Journalists Award

default article imageThe Outlook won The Best Overall Newspaper (non-daily publication) in the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Excellence in Journalism Competition as the newspaper that best represents its community.

The SPJ Keystone Pro Chapter’s Spotlight is an annual contest that has 19 other categories including Editorial Writing, Broadsheet Page Design, Feature Story, Headline, Online Breaking News, Sports Reporting, and News Photography. The most recent contest covered stories and photos published between Jan. 1, 2017 and Dec. 31, 2017 with the purpose of stimulating high standards and ethical behavior in the practice of journalism.

According to the SPJ official website, “[The contest] is not based on circulation but on quality of the profession and what it stands for, is open to all journalists from Pennsylvania and New Jersey whose work appeared in a publication in one of these two states.”

“The idea of blending the SPJ NJ and PA contests was a trial this year, but it was so successful we most likely will do it again,” said Pat Trosky, President of the Keystone Pro Chapter of SPJ. She also stated that the Oklahoma Chapter of SPJ determined the winners of the NJ and PA region. 

“We hope that awards help young journalists realize journalists of any age and experience can produce great work,” said Christine Cordial, Program Coordinator of SPJ. “We hope it gets them in the habit of submitting [to] awards in their professional careers so that their talent can be recognized as their body of work develop. Our awards program is just one of the ways we seek to equip young journalists with the tools needed to make a name for themselves as professionals.”

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Student Government Association Opens Food Pantry

SGA Food PantryThe University’s Student Government Association (SGA) is launching The Nest, a food pantry that will be open later this semester to provide non-perishable items to serve food insecure students on campus.

The food pantry is located in the lower level of Laurel Hall, which was previously a classroom space, before the proper equipment and shelving were added. Currently, The Nest is stocked with items such as rice, pasta, oatmeal and other canned goods, and is slated to officially open within the next few weeks, according to Nicholas Verzicco, a senior business administration student.

“[It was suggested by] Jihad Johnson (graduate student studying student affairs and college counseling) and current SGA President Mehdi Husaini (a junior biology student) [who] attended the Conference on Student Government Associations (COSGA),” explained Verzicco, citing that the idea came from one of the workshops at the event. “They explained that other universities have food pantries that assist their student population. I loved this idea and asked if I could take the initiative on this.”

“I think it’s very timely,” said Mary Anne Nagy, Vice President of Student Life and Leadership Engagement. “You’re starting to see [facilities] like this pop up on campuses across the country.” She emphasized that food insecurity is still a major issue at Monmouth, and often goes unaddressed, especially among members of the graduate student and international student communities, as well as students living in the apartments on campus or in off campus rentals.

“Upwards of 30 percent of all college students are food insecure,” said Vaughn Clay, Ph. D., Director of Off-Campus and Commuter Services. “In the many years that I’ve been working with students from an off-campus perspective, I’ve probably had… a dozen or two who told me they were worried about [living] costs and that was going to bleed into their ability to purchase food.”

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Residential Life Adds Gender-Neutral Housing

Residential Life Gender NeutralStudents received an e-mail on July 16 from Residential Life explaining that the staff will be conducting a pilot program for gender-neutral housing in Beechwood Hall this fall semester. 

The program marks a major move for the University in acknowledging identities that are included in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and other (LGBTQ+) communities in on-campus housing, as well as their needs that must be met while living in residence halls.  

In the message, Associate Director of Residential Life and Housing Operations Meg Jones outlines gender-neutral housing and defines it as a residence “in which two or more students mutually agree to share a multiple occupancy suite regardless of students’ sex, gender or gender identity.”

 According to Jones, not only does this allow for students that identify as male or female to potentially live together, but also allows for transgender and gender non-conforming students to feel represented in housing arrangements. “It simplifies the process for students finding roommates compatible to themselves and alleviates any assumptions of gender identity,” added Jones. 

Corey Wrenn, Ph.D., a lecturer of sociology, agrees that it is imperative for LGBTQ+ youth to have the opportunity to grow and develop amongst their peers.

“Particularly for LGBT youths, a sense of community, family, and belonging is especially important, not just for normalcy and wellbeing, but for adjustment,” said Wrenn. “The switch to college can be a stressful one, but especially for LGBT youths who report much higher levels of anxiety and depression.”

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Phishing Scam Sent in Email to Students and Staff

default article imageAn email containing a phishing scam was sent to students and faculty over the summer on July 17.

The email’s sender claimed to be a representative from Monmouth University notifying everyone of an important meeting. The phishing email read, “Dear User, this is to notify all of an important meeting which is scheduled to hold 18th July 2018.  Click here for details.”

“Phishing is the fraudulent attempt to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details for malicious reasons, by disguising as a trustworthy source in an electronic communication,” said William Reynolds, an adjunct professor of computer science and software engineering. He explained that phishing emails can include links to websites that install malware. 

“One of the most difficult things about phishing is that it is viewed as a technology problem, when it is simply age-old scams that are exploiting new technologies,” said Edward Christensen, Vice President for Information Management. According to him, the best way to avoid phishing schemes is to be informed about what red flags to look for.

“I did happen to encounter the phishing scam email... The average user does not think twice about phishing emails,” said Kyle Frankenbush, a junior computer science major. “If a user does fall for a phishing scam important information like credit card information, social security numbers, and passwords can be taken and then exploited by the source of the phishing scam.”

Christensen said that the University systems currently utilize several anti-spam and malware detection services to identify and delete phishing emails before they make it to their intended recipients.

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Communication Department Holds First Ever Kickoff

Comm Department KickoffThe Department of Communications and its student-run clubs held its first “Communication Kickoff” event in the lobby of the Jules Plangere Center on Wednesday, Sept. 5.

“I thought it was a great job by the leaders of the clubs to get the word out with their organization,” said Lorna Schmidt, a professor of Communication and Director of Advising. “The goal was for people to see what the Communication Department had to offer in a laid back, no pressure environment.”

The event included student-run organizations from WMCX, the on-campus University radio station;  Hawk TV, the television network; Comm Works, a program committed to performance as a means to transform, educate, entertain, and empower both performers and audiences; Monmouth Oral Communication Center (MOCC), which promotes helping students with their communication skills; Monmouth University’s Chapter of Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), which hopes to provide public relations advice to the University and local Community; and The Outlook, the student-run newspaper.

The event was targeted at rising sophomores and transferring students not in the communication field, as well as anyone around campus who was looking to join a club within the Department. The event allowed students to interact with professors and faculty members outside of an academic setting. Students were able to walk around, eat snacks, play games, and individually meet the leaders and members of the organizations.

“I wanted to know how to get involved in the newspaper and in PRSSA and this event was great for me,” said Tara Vecchio, a freshman communication student. “It was a fun environment and it was nice to meet everyone.”

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EZ Ride Shutdown

EZ RideThe free EZ Ride Shuttle service at Monmouth University will be discontinued due to budget concerns and a lack of riders on Sept. 30.

This shuttle was provided by the city of Long Branch which received a grant to run the shuttle for three years. It was accessible to both students and faculty for free several times a day, allowing them to travel to locations in the surrounding area, stopping at residential areas and the beach.

“The city was successful in getting an extension for two more years and Monmouth put in a relatively small amount of money towards the grant,” said Mary Anne Nagy, Vice President of Student Life and Leadership Engagement. The lack of an extension to the grant resulted in the announcement on Aug. 14 that the service would be terminated. The University has been the beneficiary of this transportation system for five years.

 “Both Monmouth [University] and Long Branch could not justify the expense based on the small number of people riding the shuttle,” said Nagy. Since the cost of keeping the shuttle running was high compared to the small ridership size, both parties decided to discontinue future funding.

Teniya Manu, a sophomore accounting student, said, “I used the shuttle to go to CVS since I don’t have a car or anyone to drive me around. Although only a few people took advantage of the shuttle, it was very convenient to have since there is no time or wait schedule like most other shuttles.”

The University staff is working on finding transportation alternatives. “There is nothing right now to replicate the EZ Shuttle that would take students and faculty all day, every day,” said Nagy. However, there have always been other shuttles available to students for different locations such as Red Bank, Monmouth Mall, and Target, among others. The Office of Student Activities has created a calendar with five different dates that will have shuttles available for students to get an opportunity to visit places and explore resources outside of campus.

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University Holds First Summer Commencement

Commencement 1

Students walked in the University’s first Summer Commencement ceremony on Aug. 28 to receive their graduate and undergraduate degrees.

The ceremony itself was much smaller and more intimate than the traditional Spring Commencement held at PNC Bank Arts Center, with only 97 students being honored. At 3:00 p.m., students walked to the graduation hymn in Pollak Theater to receive their diplomas on stage, a first for the University as well. A full house welcomed the new-found graduates, including 60 faculty members and 14 members of the Board of Trustees.

“[Because] the ceremony was held in Pollak Theater, it really made it feel more personal and all eyes were strictly on you. I felt there was more of an appreciation for each individual graduate both undergrad and graduate students,” said Joseph Firetto, now an MBA student from the Leon Hess School of Business.

Firetto was one of the students who participated in the ceremony, received his B.S. in accounting. Like most of his peers, his previous plan was to walk in winter graduation before it was discontinued.

“I was originally supposed to graduate in the winter, then they got rid of winter commencement,” said Firetto. “When I enrolled in my final two undergraduate classes over the summer, I was told in mid-May that the summer commencement was happening, and I was ecstatic to find out that I will be walking and receiving my diploma months before I expected. It was a pleasant surprise.”

Summer commencement allowed Firetto to graduate a year early, and at the top of his summer accounting class.

While the ceremony itself is new, the idea has been considered for quite some time.

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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