Last updateFri, 08 May 2020 6pm


Volume 88 (Fall 2016) and Volume 89 (Spring 2017)

Monmouth Community Reacts to Offensive Social Media Post

An Instagram post from Oct. 20 was circulated by students and other members of the University community last week due to its allegedly racist overtones. After being reposted by a student who was offended by the photo, the image reached over 1,000 social media hits in less than one day. 

The photo featured a Monmouth junior, Dennie Augustine, holding up a cardboard sign that said, “Need $ for child support #BlackTrash.”

“I was visiting home in October and my friend’s friend had a party, and we all know the crazy themes, college students have for parties, so the theme for this party was ‘White Trash vs. High Class,’ People made signs saying stuff like, ‘Lost the keys to my trailer #whitetrash’ I thought what I should write on my sign, so I wrote something truthful,” said Augustine.

Augustine said her dad left her when she was 7 years old, so, according to her, her sign said something personal. “[Her father] has not paid a dime of child support, so I wrote that. I also am African American, so I put ‘#blacktrash’ because I wasn’t comfortable writing ‘white trash’ since I am not Caucasian.”

The post led former President Paul R. Brown, Ph.D to send a campus wide email Thursday morning. The email stated, “We have received numerous reports of a social media post shared by a student that contains offensive and racially charged language.  Monmouth has a strong commitment to diversity, and there is no place in our community for speech or actions that disparage others.  We are reviewing the matter under the Student Code of Conduct and will take action as appropriate.”

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School of Education Receives NAPDS Award

The University’s School of Education gained national recognition after being named the recipient of this year’s Exemplary Professional Development School Achievement Award from the National Association for Professional Development Schools (NAPDS) in early February. 

The award acknowledges the Monmouth University Partnership, the professional development partnership that has crafted a working relationship between the University and several local P-12 schools, including Freehold Township, Hazlet, Long Branch, Manalapan-Englishtown, Middletown, Ocean, and Eatontown. It will be presented to the Department on March 10 at the NAPDS annual conference in Washington, D.C.

The objectives for the University Partnership are to increase P-12 student learning, provide great teacher preparation, provide professional development for teachers, and to innovate new practice in teacher education, according to the NAPDS award application.

Dr. John Henning, Dean of the School of Education, explained how his department met these goals. He said, “We work with teachers and administrators on professional development, meaning we help [them] become better at what they do.”

According to Henning, many new programs are being piloted within the department. A new requisite by New Jersey state law for education majors requires that students spend an extra semester student teaching in schools, meaning they will undergo a yearlong clinical internship. The University has rolled out the program early, giving students the chance to spend more time gaining experience in the classroom.

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FBI Sends Warning to Students of Employment Scams

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) emailed a warning to the University as well as other institutions highlighting the prevalence of employment scams directly targeting college students in an email that was forwarded by Career Services on Feb. 16.

The FBI warned of scams conducted by fake companies posting administrative positions online for college students. In the message the Bureau asserts that students should be leery of any job that requires depositing checks into an account or wiring funds to other individuals or accounts. They also state that many of the scammers who send these messages are not native English speakers, therefore, students should look for incorrect grammar, capitalization, and tenses in scam emails.

The University’s Career Services Center has taken note of these scams. The office responded by sending out a mass email to students relaying information about how students can protect themselves from losing money and personal information in fake employment opportunities.

William Hill, Assistant Dean for Career Services, said, “With the anonymity that the internet allows people to operate in, it’s easier for the bad guys to create [the impression] that they are legitimate businesses when they’re not.”

According to Hill, one of the best ways for Monmouth Students to go about getting legitimate employment is to use the Hawks CareerLink. “Every job has to be approved before it goes on our job board,” said Hill, “It makes catching fraud a lot easier.”

Hill explained that his employees must make sure to get verbal confirmation from employers about openings and make sure to verify all aspects of each listing, such as the website and location of the company, before offering them to University students.

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Monmouth Recreation App Changes Gym Experience

MU Recreation AppA free Monmouth Recreation app that gives the campus community the ability to schedule workouts and view the availability of exercise equipment through their mobile devices is now available for download. The app was released on Jan. 30 through a contract between the University and fitDEGREE, a recreational software company.

The app offers live occupancy counts, and after an update on Feb. 15, the number of cardio machines occupied. It also shows whether or not the indoor track and areas of Boylan Gymnasium are being used at any given minute. Additional features include the ability to check into the fitness center, view the hours of operation, see and sign up for upcoming group classes. Users are able to interact with other users, posting on the fitFeed, and direct message.

According to Nick Dennis, CEO of fitDEGREE, the app saw over 200 downloads in the first couple of days simply by word of mouth.

Dennis, a former alumnus, contacted Christian Esola, the campus’ Fitness and Wellness Coordinator, during the fall semester.  “Monmouth is one of our most successful schools so far. Christian and I were pleasantly surprised at how fast the students adopted the app.”

According to Esola specific terms of the agreement, and the cost of the APP cannot be disclosed as per the request of fitDEGREE.

“Our goal was to streamline everything about how we use the fitness center[…]and make the student experience more efficient and enjoyable,” said Esola. “The fitness center gets extremely crowded; we all know that. So, being able to get a live look at just how crowded the areas are, and also an hour by hour breakdown, was something we thought students would be inclined to use.”

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What to Know if ObamaCare is Repealed

ObamaCare Repelation 1Students health coverage may soon be impacted if Republicans are successful at repealing ObamaCare (also known as the Affordable Care Act), since it allows individuals under the age of 26 to stay on their parent’s health plan. Speaker Paul Ryan presented a new policy brief for the Obamacare repeal plan last Thursday, Feb. 16.

During its initial introduction, Obamacare received tremendous backlash, and a 2014 MU poll showed that 49 percent of New Jerseyans opposed the act.

Patrick Murray, Director of the MU Polling Institute, said that most backlash was a result of glitches with the website that made a bad first impression. Despite the initial hiccups however, Obamacare has since received warmer reviews.

President Donald Trump, along with other leaders in Congress, have vowed to repeal and replace Obamacare with something “terrific.” He has called the ObamaCare a “disaster” and has criticized its ineffectiveness.

Dubbed on social media as “TrumpCare,” the President has largely kept his ultimate health care plan shrouded in mystery, and it is unclear what the final form will look like.

The provision of Obamacare that allows students to stay on their parents insurance has come in handy for a number of persons navigating through college, including Jake Marciniak, a junior business student. He said that the provision is one of the main issues that would arise for college students with a repeal, because not a lot of college students are well versed in the health insurance marketplace.

“I know that if you were to tell me to go out and find an insurance plan for myself, I would be very hesitant and confused on what I was doing. Basically, what Obamacare was proposed to do, whether or not it was one-hundred percent perfectly implemented, was to create widespread availability of health care,” said Marciniak.

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House Party Goes Awry

Three University Athletes Arrested Following Off-Campus Party

House Party AwryTwo University football players have been charged with disorderly conduct, maintaining a nuisance, providing alcohol to underage persons, and littering, after a fight allegedly broke out at an off-campus house party on Atlantic Avenue on Thursday, Feb. 16. Another student, who is a member of the track and field team, was arrested the following day, on counts of disorderly conduct and obstructing the administration of law.

According to a press release provided by the Deal Police Department, the two football players, Christian Runza and Michael Christ, were said to be the hosts of the party and tenants of the home and were arrested immediately. Police said there were roughly 200 to 300 people in attendance at the party. The football players were released on a summons and are currently awaiting a future court date.

Tyrell M. Gibbs, a member of the track and field team, was not arrested during the initial incident, but was later identified by the University Police Department and a few cooperating witnesses. He was released from police headquarters and was also granted a summons for a future court date.

Police officials from Deal, Ocean Township, Long Branch, and Allenhurst arrived to the scene at approximately 12:24 a.m., after someone called in about a large fight occurring on the residence, according to a press release.

According to police the fight began after a group of approximately 30 people were denied entrance to the event. That group of individuals then allegedly began vandalizing cars in the surrounding area.

A student who attended the party but who would like to remain anonymous, said, “When we got to the party there were about 20 to 30 high school students outside of the house. Usually it’s only students from the University at those parties, so they weren’t being allowed in.”

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History of University Activism is Recognized in Mural

Out Classroom Into Streets 1On permanent display in Bey Hall is the “Out of the Classroom and Into the Streets” mural, painted by Dr. Johanna Foster, Director of the Sociology Program. The mural celebrates the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s historic visit to Monmouth University and documents the waves of student activism from 1966 to the Black Lives Matter campus rallies in 2016.

The mural, which hangs in the second floor of Bey Hall, is composed of eight 24’’ x 24’’ attached canvases. It depicts the likenesses of 25 student activists on campus, and displays a visual timeline of student demonstrations throughout the years. The building houses the Department of Political Science and Sociology, both of which tie strongly to the subject matter of the piece, which was funded entirely by a generous award from the Monmouth University Research and Creativity Grants Committee.

Although Foster was the primary painter, over 30 students from across academic disciplines participated in the creation of the piece. Ten students contributed as social history researchers and painting assistants as well.

“I was inspired to paint this, as someone who teaches about social inequality and a commitment to racial justice I wanted to find a way to honor King’s visit. I wanted to find a way to connect the gift of his visit and the spirit of his message to the school today,” said Foster.

King spoke in a crowded Boylan Gymnasium on Oct. 6 1966, by invitation from the school’s Black Student Union. According to Foster, this historic event marked an influential point in the University’s history, as well as in the lives of students to come.

University President, Paul Richard Brown Ph.D, said, “The mural is a powerful reminder of the strong commitment to social justice embraced across our campus, by students and faculty alike. We are a caring community, and I think Dr. Foster’s artwork captures that spirit of active participation in issues that affect us all,” Brown added.

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Students Win $1,500 in Software Challenge

Students Excel CompetitionStudent teams competed for a grand prize of $1,500 in a challenge to create a ‘chatbot,’ a knowledge-management software that companies implement in their customer service departments on Feb. 4, in Pozycki Auditorium. The event was hosted by the School of Science and Business School, along with Edison knowledge provider, RightAnswers, an information technology organization that’s focus is on creating accessible customer service for other companies.

The RightAnswers@ Monmouth University Chatbot Challenge demonstrated students’ collective efforts to work in a team and create a helpful and inventive ‘chatbot.’ The event included students in teams of three that were a mixture of business, software engineering, and computer science majors.

The winners of the Chatbot Challenge were the team Binary Trio, with their chatbot, “Shadow.” The team consisted of Anthony Vazzana, a senior business student, Nicole Puccio, a senior marketing student, and Giuseppe Licata, a senior computer science student.

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MU Tech Community Comments on Slow Progress Towards Workplace Diversity at Google

MU Tech Workplace DiversityWomen and minority students, faculty, and other members of the Tech industry shared their reactions to Google’s latest diversity statistics for 2016. Although white men still account for a majority of Google’s workforce, the tech-giant has made slow but steady progress towards their goal of a more inclusive company.

According to the data, 69 percent of Google’s approximately 50,000 employees worldwide were men in 2016. Of its U.S. employees, 59 percent were white, 32 percent were Asian, three percent were Hispanic, and two percent were black.

“Google is not where we want to be when it comes to diversity,” Laszio Bock, Google’s former Senior Vice-president of People Operations, wrote in a blog post. “And it’s hard to address these kinds of challenges if you’re not prepared to discuss them openly, and with the facts.”

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Monmouth’s Pollak Gallery Unveils Women in the World Exhibition

Women in World ExhibitMonmouth University’s Pollak Gallery unveiled its newest art exhibition entitled Women in the World, A Visual Perspective, and officially welcomed the gallery with an opening reception on Feb. 10. The gallery will be open until March 24.

Co-curated by New Jersey artists Gladys B. Grauer and Adrienne Wheeler obstacles women all around the world face through a series of original art pieces. Ranging from paintings to drawings to sculptures, each work has been crafted by a diverse group of New Jersey-based, female artists.

“It’s always a treat to hang a show,” said Vaune Peck, Director of Center for the Arts. “This is the first time we’ve partnered with Women in Media-Newark, but we are always trying to increase diversity.”

Free and open to the public from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day, the gallery is presented in conjunction with Women in Media-Newark’s 8th Annual Women’s History Month Film Festival. This year, the film festival will host events at the University on April 3. As one of three galleries in an ongoing series, it joins exhibitions currently taking place at Paul Robeson Galleries at Rutgers University Newark and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center.

“I was introduced to Vaune and there was instantaneous synergy,” said, Pamela Morgan, Founder and Executive Director of Women in Media-Newark. “We knew we wanted to work together.”  

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Scholars Gather For Eminent Domain Talks At University

Eminent Domain TalkUniversity faculty and students, along with distinguished scholars from outside universities, gathered to open up a discussion on the issues surrounding eminent domain on Friday, Feb. 10 in Magill Commons. Eminent domain is the right of a government or its agent to expropriate private property for public use, with compensation.

The conference, titled “Eminent Domain and the City: Government Action, Private Rights, and Public Purpose,” was envisioned by Karen Schmelzkopf, a professor of history and anthropology, along with other professors from her department, and the political science department.

The goal of the conference was to get “people to understand how important their property rights are, and how the government is expanding its power to limit individual rights going forward,” according to Dr. Walter Greason, Dean of the Honors School.

The event opened with a talk by Peter Reinhart, Director of the Kislak Real Estate Institute. Reinhart gave a brief overview of eminent domain.

According to Reinhart, the downside to eminent domain, also called expropriation, is that private property has been transferred to private developers, who look to build luxury homes and businesses that will increase the property value of the area. This increase in value often makes the area inaccessible to its original inhabitants.

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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