Last updateWed, 19 Feb 2020 2pm


Volume 87 (Fall 2015 - Spring 2016)

Some Students Question Howard Hall and Edison Hall Construction Project

On Friday, Feb. 26 Rock N‘ Raise annual charity event will take over the Hawk TV studio in the Jules L. Plangere Center for Communications building. Rock N’ Raise is a competition between bands who raise money and perform in hopes to win a grand prize and of course, bragging rights. This event is co-sponsored by WMCX and Hawk TV. WMCX and Hawk TV will both stream and broadcast Rock N’ Raise live.

The idea of Rock N’ Raise first came about in 2013 after Hurricane Sandy devastated the Jersey Shore. Both WMCX and Hawk TV wanted to put on an event to raise money to help those affected by Sandy, so the two organizations joined forces. Rock N’ Raise since then has become an annual live production.

While WMCX and Hawk TV co-sponsor the event, the two organizations have very different responsibilities when planning Rock N’ Raise. “Hawk TV is required to make sure we have a full crew for the event and insure the overall flow of production. Specifically as executive producer I have to make sure all the tech equipment is working and that the staff knows their role,” said Joseph M. Ruggiero, a senior communication student and executive producer of Hawk TV.

As Hawk TV focuses on the live production aspect of the event WMCX focuses on the musical aspects. “As the music producer of this year’s Rock N’ Raise the majority of my planning included getting a hold of a whole bunch of bands and artist to take part in the event,” says Larissa Trovamala, a senior communication student and an active member of both Hawk TV and WMCX. Some of the bands that Trovamala secured to perform at Rock N’ Raise are The Mercury Brothers from Red Bank and Eastbourne from Asbury Park. “Larissa [Trovamala] has done an amazing job finding four local successful bands to perform, explains Hawk TV executive producer, Ruggiero. 

While the overall concept of Rock N’ Raise remains the same the two organizations has added some new additions to this year’s event. “We decided to spruce up the lobby by putting the acoustic performances out there so people who watch from the lobby can also have a close interaction with some of the performers,” said Ruggiero.

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HAWK TV Benefits American Cancer Society

Rock N Raise 1The fifth annual Rock N Raise battle of the bands event, produced by Hawk TV to raise money for Relay for Life, took place in the Plangere building on Friday Feb. 27. An estimated total of $350 was raised during the event.

“The event went beyond my expectations,” said Larissa Trovamala, senior communication student and producer at Hawk TV. “I truly believe that the whole crew pulled it together as a team. There was a lot of creativity from everyone and it just worked perfectly together. The band’s were all so different but had a great dynamic all around. The host’s were hilarious and the whole event was a success.”

There were both bands and acoustic performances. The bands included The Mercury Brothers and Eastbourne. The acoustic performances included Joey Affatato, BVXK, and Avery Mandeville. The winners included The Mercury Brothers and Avery Mandeville.

“My favorite part was seeing all of the bands leaving happy with their prizes, first prize of the bands won AVID PRO TOOLS& second place won a gift car to Boathoure Bar& Grill.... The winning acoustic act won time to perform at Boathouse and the rest won gift cards,” said Trovamala.

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How Important is it for Students to Obtain Internships?

Student InternshipWhile working for free can be a financial struggle in students’ current situations, internships are required for almost all majors. This requirement is designed to help students gain employment in the long run.

“I would say that the main benefit of an internship is the fact that employers overwhelmingly favor students who have the experience of an internship on their resume,” said William Hill, the Assistant Dean of Career Services.

Career Services has helped many students prepare for post-graduation. Hill said that while a prior job is also very useful for taking a position, an internship has many benefits that a normal job would lack. “The responsibilities entrusted to an intern often have a greater resemblance to actual jobs in the professional world. In addition to the experience a normal job would provide, you would be more specialized in your work. Consider a student who interns at a bank. If they performed well and knew what was needed, they would have a much better chance of getting a paid position.”

If a student performs well in an internship they might get hired in the end, depending on the company’s open positions. Although many companies do not pay their interns, there are other benefits such as experience and connections that one gains through an internship.

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#StarttheConvo Movement Comes to Monmouth

StarttheConvoStudent organizations under partnership with Multicultural and Diversity Organization Leadership Summit (MDOLS) hosted a whiteboard project titled #StarttheConvo between Friday, Feb. 19, and Friday, Feb. 26. Each day students were invited to answer questions covering a variety of socially charged issues.

Derby Sale, a graduate intern for the Office of Student Activities and one of the coordinators of the #StarttheConvo project, said that the campaign was meant to encourage meaningful discussions on intersectionality as it encompasses all the members of MDOLS and the University.

According to, intersectionality is “a concept often used in critical theories to describe the ways in which oppressive institutions such as racism, sexism, homophobia...etc, are interconnected and cannot be examined separately from one another.”

On the first day of #StarttheConvo students were asked, “How do you identify yourself?” Participants filled in their own personalized answers after the words “I am...” on whiteboards. On the second day, the question was, “What does feminism mean to you?” On the third day participants filled in responses after the statement, “My privilege is…” On the fourth day the question was, “What does social justice mean to you?”

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Gender Neutral Bathrooms to be Added in All Academic Buildings

Monomuth University’s academic buildings will have gender-free bathrooms, meaning that they can be used by all students, be they male, female, or transgender in just a few weeks.

Previously, there had been very few gender-free or unisex bathrooms available on campus. Once this plan is completed, there will be one such bathroom in each academic building. The only construction that needs to take place is the changing of the current signage, which will be complete in a few weeks at a low cost to the University.

“Monmouth University is committed to providing a safe and secure environment for all students, staff, and visitors, regardless of race, religion, gender, ethnicity, disability, or sexual orientation,” said Associate Vice President Tara Peters. “We work to foster and support an environment on campus that is inclusive, respectful, and free from discrimination and harassment. Providing gender-inclusive restrooms allows all members of our campus community, as well as visitors, to use restrooms that best fit their identity and demonstrates that gender diversity is welcome here.”

The idea to create gender-free bathrooms was started by Kelly Ward, a social work professor at the University and the head of the MSW program. In a previous semester, she had a student who was transitioning and did not feel comfortable using a gender-specific bathroom; as a result, the third-floor men’s room in McAllen Hall was used as a gender-free bathroom. From that, she became aware of the lack of unisex or gender-free bathrooms on campus, and began reaching out to the administrators of the University to try to change that.

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Criminal Justice Department to Hold 4th Annual Networking Event

The Criminal Justice Department will invite all students to attend their fourth annual networking event at Wilson Hall on Wednesday, March 9  from 5 to 9 p.m. Students will get to explore a variety of criminal justice careers, and get the chance to network with professionals in the field.

Dr. Michele Grillo, criminal justice professor and spearhead for the networking event, created the event for students to understand what their prospective career entails and to meet, interact, and learn from professionals in the criminal justice field.

“Real life professionals can provide the insight not found in job descriptions or websites of agencies” she said.

The event will begin at 5 p.m. with networking and light refreshments. At 6 p.m., after opening remarks, students will break out into one of five concurrent breakout sessions, which will rotate every 45 minutes.

 Criminal justice instructor and advisor, Nicholas Sewitch, a former prosecutor of 29 years, said the event “is like a smorgasbord where students get to really see and sample every career in one evening.”

The five categories students can sample include:

1. Federal law enforcement (FBI, DEA, Secret Service, US Border Patrol, Office of Inspector General, etc.)

2. State, County, and Local Law Enforcement (State Police, County Prosecutor’s Offices,

    Municipal Police Departments, NJ Transit Police, Port Authority Police)

3. Homeland Security (FBI, US Coast Guard, FEMA, NJ State Police, Major for Homeland Security)

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One in Four Adults Experience Mental Illness Each Year

Mental Illness 1A recent study released by USA Today highlighted  how, while many campuses are pregressing, there is still a need for comprehensive mental healthcare on college campuses.

According to the statistics presented by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in four adults experience mental illness in a given year. Andrew Lee, director of Monmouth University’s Department of Counselling and Psychological Services, estimates that nearly all of the students he sees are dealing with anxiety, depression, or both.

“I haven’t run specific figures for last year or this year in terms of how many students might present with that issue,” he said. “At least most students coming in are presenting with either anxiety or depression, or both.”

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), anxiety disorders are one of the most common mental health problems on college campuses. Forty million U.S. adults have an anxiety disorder; 75 percent of them suffer their first anxiety episode by the age of 22.

In 2008, the Associated Press and mtvU organizations surveyed college students about their anxiety, and discovered that 80 percent of students said that they frequently or sometimes experience daily stress. 34 percent of students felt depressed at some point within the past three months, 13 percent have been formally diagnosed with anxiety or depression in the past year, and 9 percent have considered suicide in the past year.

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Google Awards $3,000 to MU Organization

Google AwardsGoogle awarded $3,000 to students in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the Association for Computing Machinery (IEEE/ACM) in Jan. The funds will be used for the creation of an Association for Computing Machinery Committee on Women in Computing (ACM-W) chapter on campus.

According to, there are ACM-W chapters on campuses and locations around the world. Chapters advocate for the full technological engagement of women in all aspects of the computing field. At the University the chapter will aim to encourage, recruit, and empower female students interested in computing.

The award was the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) Student Seed Fund Gift. Jessica Anastasio, a senior, along with two other computer science students applied for the funding from

“We recently applied for a scholarship to start our own ACM-W chapter at Monmouth. This chapter will be a great place for women to come and network, seek support, etc. We ended up winning $3,000 from Google to start this initiative which is really exciting,” said Anastasio.

As the advisor of the IEEE/ACM Student Chapter, Jamie Kretsch, Chair of the Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering, said that she will take part in a number of exciting initiatives that the ACM-W chapter will host. “As far as my role in ACM-W, beyond helping to recruit women to join our group to learn more about computing, I’ll be helping them offer workshops, provide educational and social opportunities for women in computing, and working with them to support each other and provide mentoring and outreach to younger women in high school and community colleges.”

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Wilson Hall Name Change Update

Wilson Hall UpdateA panel discussion was held on Feb. 17 to discuss Woodrow Wilson’s impact on the University in regard to the potential name change of Wilson Hall.

The panel consisted of  Dr. Williams, Dr. Joseph Patten, Dr. Christopher Derosa, Dr. Richard Veit and Dr. Walter Greason. Each professor explained their area of expertise about Woodrow Wilson and then opened up the floor to discussion amongst students.

The panelists were asked what they thought should happen to Wilson Hall should it be renamed.

Greason said that Wilson Hall is “not the best name for what’s going on in the building. This building is a better place for a dormitory, academic building. Celebrate his legacy in a different building, this building is our school’s identity.”

Derosa agreed that the name change is a good thing. “Not out of morality, I want us to feel like we can [change the name] because we wanted to do something positive.”

Dr. Stephen Chapman, assistant professor of political science and sociology, was not on the panel but offered some insight on the topic, …I do appreciate what the campus is doing in order to make the renaming possible. It’s these discussions that make a campus one that is quintessential to the power of choice, which it exactly how each individual should feel on campus.”

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MU Students to Present their Research in San Diego

MU Student ResearchSeniors Erin Cieslak, biology molecular cell physiology student, Jenies Grullon, Health Studies student, and biology professor Dr. James P. Mack have been working towards developing a treatment for antibiotic-resistant bacteria by exploring the inhibitory effects of several essential oils. They will be presenting their research at the American Chemical Society National Meeting in San Diego, CA.

Since the development of antibiotics in the early twentieth century, millions of lives have been saved globally. However, antibiotics have not been effective in combatting bacteria that have eventually become resistant to them. Due to the overuse and distribution of antibiotics, treatment options have become limited. The main purpose behind this research is to develop a treatment for antibiotic-resistant bacteria by looking into natural plant products and diluted essential oils. By using natural products, treatments for these ever-evolving bacteria can be produced and used by individuals everywhere, even those who live in impoverished areas.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), antibiotic resistance has become a worldwide problem. New forms of antibiotic resistant bacteria have spread between continents with ease and have posed a great threat to individuals who have acquired serious infections with bacteria that are resistant to one or more of the antibiotics used to treat them. The CDC has outlined four core actions that will help fight these infections: preventing the infections and the spread of resistance, tracking resistant bacteria, improving the use of today’s antibiotics, and promoting the development of new antibiotics and developing new diagnostic tests for resistant bacteria.

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Dangerous Drug Fentanyl has Less Legal Consequences than Heroin in NJ

New Jersey has long been a state with an overwhelming heroin problem. However, there is an even more dangerous drug that is infiltrating college campuses and threatening the lives of young adults.

Federal drug officials have declared the prescription opioid called fentanyl to be nearly 50 times more potent than heroin. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opiate analgesic similar to but more potent than morphine. It is typically used to treat patients with severe pain, or to manage pain after surgery.”

Despite its powerful strength, the legal implications in New Jersey are not as stringent as those for heroin. Since fentanyl is prescribed to patients for chronic pain, it is easier to obtain than  heroin. However, a recent bill in Trenton has aimed to increase the legal consequences of selling and using non prescribed fentanyl.

Today, the most misused drugs are not street drugs, but prescription drugs, as they are easy to find and are not criminalized.

Suanne Schaad, Substance Awareness Coordinator, expanded on the dangerous consequences of reckless fentanyl use.

“The thing with fentanyl is that it is an insanely strong opiate, 50-100 times stronger than morphine,” said Schaad. “When it is mixed with heroin, it can increase risk for overdose. “

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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