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News

Volume 85 (Fall 2013 - Spring 2014)

Students Learn to Identify Signs of Sexual Assault

A sexual assault prevention program called Sex Signals was hosted by the Student Activities Board (SAB) and Catharsis Productions on Saturday, Feb. 8 to discuss the signs of sexual assault as well the presence of it on college campuses.

Sex Signals used an unconventional approach to tackle the serious issue of rape through the use of humor, improvisation and audience interaction. The event featured two actors from Catharsis Productions, who are trained in sexual violence prevention. Performers Christopher Beier and Amanda Moore started the conversation by engaging the audience and asking them about the factors that contribute to sexual harassment. Beier and Moore initially got the audience involved by asking about male and female stereotypes, but eventually switched gears.

Beier and Moore performed an improvised skit titled "Not My Fault," which depicted Moore questioning Beier about an alleged rape he committed. Beier answered questions from Moore and the audience to clarify the situation and prove he was not at fault for the rape.

According to the University Guide for a Safe Campus Handbook, in 2013, there were two reported cases of sexual assault and one reported incident of sexual contact; however, there have been no cases reported so far in 2014.

William McElrath, the Chief of University Police (MUPD), said, "Sexual assault is a big issue on college campuses and society in general. I believe it is one of the most underreported crimes taking place. There is a strong culture of silence involving sexual assaults on campus."

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The Polar Vortices Cited as the Cause for Extreme Winter Conditions

PolarvortexwinterThis past January, temperatures in the Garden State dropped below freezing and on some days it was colder in New Jersey than it was in Greenland or Antarctica. The culprit? Meteorologists are blaming the polar vortex, a low pressure system affecting the Nation.

There are various explanations associated with the reoccurring weather patterns forming. One explanation for this year's surge of arctic cold weather is due to the extension of the polar vortex dipping into North America, creating below freezing temperatures throughout the nation.

A polar vortex is a semi-permanent low pressure system over the North Pole and South Pole that exists year-round, Paul Gaffney, meteorologist and former University president, said. "In this case I believe a stronger jet stream at high altitude dipped down into the Midwest and to the East Coast bringing with it cold air from northern Canada."

There is more than one polar vortex that exists. The polar vortices, according to weather.com, are low pressure weather systems that commonly remain in the Northern hemisphere, typically over Baffin Bay in Canada and Northeast Siberia.

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Plyoga Fitness Class Combines Yoga and Plyometrics

PlyogaA new fitness class called Plyoga was introduced to the University on Jan. 29. The class is a combination of intricate yoga techniques with the extremities of plyometrics that challenge the mind and body.

People are constantly searching for new and exciting ways to de-stress after a long day of school or work through exercise, which was why Jon Cascone, Director of Intramurals and Recreation, created the class, to give students that option.

The University currently provides a variety of fitness classes, each designed to appeal to both athletic and non-athletic students. Classes range from intense exercises such as Boot Camp, to more tranquil workouts, like Yoga.

Cascone emphasized, "The benefits of the classes are numerous and we want to keep it different so that the community continues to enjoy it and reap the benefits." Cascone added that providing students with a broad range of fitness classes to choose from widens the scope of potential benefits they are able to receive through participation.

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University Remembers the Kindness of Pia Deasey

piapictureUniversity employee Piedad A. Deasey, 68, passed away on Friday, Feb. 7 from a form of cancer that has not yet been confirmed.

Most commonly referred to as Pia, Deasey worked in the University's Magill Commons Dining Hall since Nov. 28, 2007.

Ever since she was hired, Pia has made an impact on the University's student body.

Jackie Chalet, a junior business marketing major, had a particularly close relationship with Deasey. "Last year, I noticed she started wearing a wig and then she told me she had cancer. I was picking up some x-rays and I ran into her at the hospital one day and I assumed she was there for chemo. She didn't have her wig on," Chalet said. "She was happy as ever though... there wasn't a negative bone in her body.

Deasey not only expressed a positive attitude to students on a daily basis, but she also inspired them to become better people.

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MU Professor Studies the Science of Relationships

valentines-dayDr. Gary Lewandowski, Chair of the Psychology Department, in collaboration with Professor Benjamin Le of Harvard College and Professor Timothy Loving of University of Texas, surveyed 1,000 adults in the US about their thoughts on relationships and Valentine's Day.

Data was collected from 49 states, excluding Alaska, through a voluntary, online questionnaire. The survey was the first to be conducted and sponsored by ScienceofRelationships.com, a website created by Lewandowski, Le and Loving.

The study found that "70 percent of those surveyed indicated both couple members should plan Valentine's Day festivities. If only one partner does the planning, it is the guy's responsibility." Along with that, "The top three gifts women want for Valentine's Day are jewelry (35 percent), flowers (24 percent), or a heartfelt card/gift (10 percent). Men want sex (44 percent), thoughtful card (9 percent), and 'other' (14 percent). And nobody wants a gag gift or a pet."

One of the most interesting findings, according to Lewandowski, involved how financial spending on a significant other contributed to love. He said that people who are in love spend less money on one another. "Often in our culture we substitute money and material things for love and affection.... when people are in love they feel less of a need to spend money," Lewandowski said.

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University Releases an All-Access Online Portal

mymuThe University launched myMU, a brand new online portal that provides one-click access to all web programs for students and faculty, on Thursday, Feb. 6.

This new website, created by the University's Information Management team and their Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system vendor, Ellucian, enables all University students, faculty and staff to log on to eCampus, WebAdvisor, and all other web-based systems and sites from one place. After students sign in using their student ID and password, the myMU homepage will display their class schedule, a monthly calendar, an update on the weekly weather, and even a countdown to Spring Break, among many other things.

"It's great to have all the websites we utilize for school be put into one place," Kelly Parks, a sophomore business administration major, said. "I am always going back and forth on tabs between eCampus, WebAdvisor and Outlook. This makes that a lot easier to access," Parks continued.

Edward Christensen, Vice President for Information Management, explained, "We've had discussions about creating an intranet for many years. Although we have various systems that contain internal content [such as eCampus and WebAdvisor], we did not have one system to link them all together."

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Knockout Game Kills Several Across Nation

knockout-gameThe Knockout Game, which involves a person approaching another individual and attempting to knock them unconscious with one hit to the head, has been reported to be the cause of multiple deaths across the country recently.

Several videos are featured on sites such as YouTube, CBS and HLNtv that demonstrate examples of the assaults taking place.

One video shows a homeless NJ man, Ralph Santiago, being attacked while walking alone in Hoboken on the night of Sept. 10, 2013. Santiago was struck from behind and knocked unconscious, according to a CNN report. He fell on a nearby fence, which impaled him, causing his death.

According to the CNN report, there is a surveillance video showing three young men fleeing the scene of the Hoboken incident. Two weeks later, police had two juveniles who were suspect for the unprovoked attack in custody. Similar attacks have been reported by authorities in NY, IL, MO, and WA.

"I think it's incredibly disgusting and I don't understand how people can think that it is okay to do that to another person," said Shannen Bick, a sophomore communication major. "I think it's like big groups of people who had one person who thought of the idea and the rest of the group went along with it. It's really a group mentality, I think, because nobody is going around doing this by themselves."

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The School of Education Partners with Toms River School District

Toms River school district passed a partnership with the University this January, that will allow education majors the opportunity to receive field experience working in the school district, Thomas Gialanella, Interim Superintendent of Toms River schools said. Students will be placed into the district as early as Sept. 2014.

Lynn Romeo, Dean of the School of Education, said that the University is currently partnered with 24 school districts, 18 of which are in Monmouth County to allow education majors the opportunity to learn outside of the classroom. According to Romeo, a partnership is explained as a collaborative relationship between the school of education and local districts, and is unique to each district's needs.

Though the University is involved in previous partnerships, this is their first with Toms River. Gialanella said, "We're exploring with Monmouth what staff development opportunities our staff would have with the faculty and the people at Monmouth."

The partnership is expected to create developments such as a novice teacher induction program, staff development on teacher evaluation programs, as well as allowing students to become student-teachers at Toms River schools, Gialanella added.

Gialanella and the School of Education previously had a working relationship prior to the Toms River partnership, according to Romeo. In 2013, Gialanella was the superintendent of the Jackson school district, one of the first districts to partner with the University.

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The Super Bowl is Speculated to be the Largest Sex Trafficking Event in the US

HookerThis year's Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ will host over 80,000 people and attract thousands more creating an enticing location for sex trafficking.

Sex trafficking, defined by the Human Trafficking Prevention Protection and Treatment Act, is the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act.

Clemmie Greenlee, a sex trafficking survivor and advocate working to prevent sex trafficking, told the Times-Picayune that during her time as a victim she was forced to work a significant amount more around the time large sporting events to meet the needs of the increased customers.

"When they come to these kinds of events, the first thing you're told is how many you're going to perform a day," Greenlee said. "You've got to go through 25 men a day, or you're going through 50 of them. When they give you that number, you better make that number."

Large sporting events, such as the Super Bowl, are known for causing an increase in sex trafficking, Chloe Contarino, Director of Development at Love-True, an organization fighting to end sex trafficking in America, said. "Unfortunately, due to the mass collection of men at one single event, there is more of a demand for purchased sex at events like the Super Bowl, the Olympics, and the World Cup," said Contarino.

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University Mourns the Loss of Brandon Fiornascente

BrandonBrandon Fiornascente, a sophomore, died unexpectedly on Monday, Jan. 20 at his home in Montclair, NJ before returning to the University from this past winter break.

Mary Anne Nagy, Vice President for Student and Community Services, sent out an email last Friday informing the campus community of the tragic news. "The University regrets the untimely death of a member of our community and extend its deep sympathies to his family and friends at this most difficult time," the email read.

Nagy explained that the University is not aware of Fiornascente's cause of death. "Out of respect for his family we're not pressing for an answer," she said.

Fiornascente was studying psychology and had Dr. Jamie Goodwin, instructor of psychology, for abnormal psychology during his spring semester last year. "I cannot claim to have known him well on a personal level, but he was an incredibly bright, hard-working student who had one of the highest final grades in a very challenging class," said Goodwin. "He had an aptitude for psychology, and both I and his classmates valued his insightful contributions to our discussions."

Fiornascente was a resident of Laurel Hall but as a freshman he lived in Elmwood Hall. His resident assistant (RA) during his freshman year was Daniel Roman, a junior political science major. Roman posted a Facebook status last week stating, "I had the privilege of being Brandon's RA but more importantly I am lucky to have also been his friend. I'm really going to miss his incredibly nice personality. Living only two doors down from him he made our floor and Elmwood a much better place. I can't remember a minute where he wasn't smiling or laughing with the rest of the floor. I know he's going to be extremely missed especially by me. Until we meet again buddy, Rest in peace."

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Construction Creates Fewer Parking Spaces in Lot 13

ConstructionConstruction of the University's newest building, Pozycki Hall, began in the field between Bey Hall and the Rebecca Stafford Student Center during winter break and will continue throughout the school year, causing construction inconveniences, Patricia Swannack, Vice President for Administrative Services, said.

In order to provide ample room for equipment and safety of the workers on the construction site, approximately 44 parking spaces in commuter parking lot 13, adjacent to Bey Hall, are fenced off along with the entrance to the lot coming from Norwood Ave.

The new traffic pattern and reduced parking spaces will likely remain in effect for the duration of the semester, according to Swannack.

Pozycki Hall will be an addition to Bey Hall to provide additional space for the Leon Hess Business School and the Kislak Real Estate Institute. It will consist of four classrooms, a 175-seat auditorium, faculty offices and a student lounge. The 20,000 square-foot structure is anticipated to be completed by summer of 2015.

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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