Last updateWed, 24 Feb 2021 1pm


Support After Hurricane Sandy

The University’s Counseling and Psychological Services Held a Support Session to Help Students

Hurricane-Sandy-aftermathAnticipating the anxiety of students and faculty after the destruction of super-storm Sandy, the University’s Counseling and Psychological Services held a support session to assist with the transition back to campus.  The session, which was held in Anacon Hall on Tuesday Nov. 13, was led by Counseling and Psychological Services’ Director, Dr. Franca Mancini.

Mancini said that the decision to hold the session was influenced by several students from the University’s Social Work Department.  “After the suggestion from those students, we decided to offer a place where students and members of the University could come together and talk about their experiences and feelings after coming through the storm,” said Mancini. 

Although the event had a light turn-out of eight people, the small group took advantage of the personal environment. 

First, a deep-breathing exercise was conducted by Mancini which was used to repose and relax the attendees.  Next, each person took turns detailing their experiences during and after the storm including how the damage from Hurricane Sandy personally effected them and their families. Because of confidentiality rights, the information that the attendees discussed cannot be shared outside of the session. 

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Task Force Created to Handle Academic Schedule and Framing System

On October 16, the first official University task force was charged with the duty of dealing with the academic schedule and framing system. The task force was created by Dr. Thomas S. Pearson, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, and Dr. Donald Smith, Faculty Council member.

Students received emails on October 17 about the start of the task force and its intended purpose. According to the task force creators, academic scheduling and framing have seen issues every year through a wide variety of complications ranging from outside groups, sporting events, issues of space and parking or even semester arrangement.  “We overtime noticed that there were a lot of things about the schedule that weren’t always ideal,” said Smith. “In terms of the calendar, many things have come up over time where we have had unusual things that happen.”  

The task force members hope to find solutions that can be beneficial to all parts of the University community. “We know that many of our students live off campus and on the shore and are unable to move in until after Labor Day so we cannot begin the semester earlier, and that of course, puts pressure on when we finish the semester,” said Pearson.

The charge, or set of instructions, includes: coming up with two or three possible solutions to the problems at hand, evaluating the pros and cons of each and if possible, reaching a consensus that is agreed upon and effective.  “We’re asking the task force to take a broad look at the calendar and make improvements,” said Pearson. “These are the University’s needs and the issues are important so we put together a task force of fifteen well-placed people.”

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Unique Paralympic Silver Medalist Visits the University

On Tuesday, October 23, in honor of National Disability Awareness Month, Matt Stutzman, “the Armless Archer” gave a presentation in Anacon Hall at 1:00 pm to talk about his dream to make history. Stutzman, although born without arms, is a Paralympic Silver Medalist.

“Matt Stutzman has taught himself how to do things with his feet such as eating, typing, and changing the diaper of his newborn son,” Heather Kelly, Assistant Director of Student Activates for Multicultural and Diversity Initiatives, said upon introducing the energetic archer onto the stage.

Stutzman, a small man with an infectious smile, told a joke or three about his armless state and the belly hanging over his belt, hurried onto the stage and admitted that he had a confession to make.

“I actually can’t change my son’s diaper,” Stutzman said, feigning embarrassment. “Or wash dishes. Or do the laundry.”

The presentation was not, however, about what Stutzman could not do but rather all that he had managed to accomplish despite his disability. Besides archery, some of these accomplishments include being able to do push ups and hold a gun. Although he is armless, Stutzman is fond of sports and has been described as having an instinct for athletics.

Born in 1982, he was put up for adoption because his parents did not believe they could raise or afford an armless child. At 13 months, he was adopted by the Stutzmans, who claimed that he had chosen them for adoption rather than the other way around. Stutzman described his experience with prosthetic arms as being not only memorable but humiliating as well.

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The Psychological Counseling Department Moves Off Campus

The Department of Psychological Counseling has moved 1.75 miles from campus to the Monmouth Park Corporate Center, according to Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, Thomas Pearson.

This year, the Edison Science Building lost both the Psychology Department and the Department of Psychological Counseling. Dr. George Kapalka, the Chair of the Psychological Counseling Department, said, “We grew as a department and of course we had more and more students, we needed to hire more and more faculty and there was just no more room on campus.”

Patti Swannack, Vice President for Administrative Services, said that the Monmouth Park Corporate Center was looked at a number of years ago. However, it was not selected until recently. She explained that they wanted to find a place that was not inconvenient for students. 

Dr. Stephanie Hall, assistant professor of psychological counseling, said “We moved to Monmouth Corporate Park because space was needed on the campus and our program is self-contained our students only take classes in our program and therefore don’t need access to any other departments.” The Department of Psychological Counseling is a program for graduate students only.

Kapalka explained that it made the most sense to move this department because of how self-contained it is. “I had a number of meetings with the administration about this and we looked at various options, but there really was not any room on campus to move us,” he said.

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Students Try to See Eye to Eye

University students Christina Gonzalez and Dana Oppenheim told an audience at Bey Hall about a new program that they are starting for the University called Eye to Eye on October 24.

Eye to Eye is a not-for-profit, after school art program for kids with learning disabilities whose main goal is to teach the next generation to become advocates for themselves. The program understands that these kids know what they cannot do and set out to teach them what they can do. There are 51 chapters in 19 states so far. The chapter at the University is not yet up and running because Gonzalez and Oppenheim are waiting for the all clear from the schools in the Long Branch area.

“We are really excited about it,” said Oppenheim. “It’s a mentoring movement for different thinkers.”

When Oppenheim, who has Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), transferred to the University, she discussed the program with Disability Services and they helped her get it started. She and Gonzalez, who also has A.D.D and an auditory processing disorder, spent four days over this past summer at Brown University where they learned how to talk to younger kids about learning disorders and about the curriculum that Eye to Eye has laid out.

Oppenheim and Gonzalez learned not to push the younger students to talk about their learning disabilities. “We are supposed to talk about ourselves as much as possible so that they can make the connection,” said Oppenheim.

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President Obama Wins Re-Election

President Barack Obama defeated Republican nominee Mitt Romney to earn a second term as President of the United States by an Electoral College count of 332 to 206 on November 6.

Obama won 26 states and the D.C district while Romney won 24 states. Obama won major swing states such as Ohio, Colorado and Florida. Obama also won the popular vote by approximately three million votes.

Susan Pagano, political science major and first time voter, felt this was an exciting race. “It was the first time that I was able to vote, and I am glad that it was in such a thrilling election. I, personally, was ecstatic with the outcome because I think President Obama has the superior plans for the direction of our nation,” said Pagano.

Nicole Bizzoco, political science professor, was surprised about aspects of this race. “I think the campaign leading up to was unprecedentedly expensive, negative and plagued by small-issue debates on both sides. That being said, I did feel there were real differences between the candidates on a number of issues, social issues such as women’s rights and marriage equality in particular. I was surprised by the president’s margin of victory; I was expecting a much closer race.”

The age group of 18 to 24 accounted for 19 percent of the electorate. This has forced both parties to now deal with issues important to this age group.

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Campus Re-Opens and Lives Begin Again

Although Hurricane Sandy left miles of destruction along the shores of New Jersey, the University was fortunate enough to have minor damage.

Patti Swannack, Vice President for Administrative Services, explained that about 15 to 20 trees fell as a result of the hurricane. She continued to say, “We lost some shingles on the Alumni House, lost power for some period of time and still have some perimeter buildings that are without power but nothing critical.”

The link between Howard Hall and the Edison Science Building did have some roof penetration and damage because of the storm, according to Swannack. Therefore the solar panels had to be removed in order to fix the roof. However, Swannack said, “We were extremely lucky.”

President Paul Gaffney II reassured the community that there was no damage done to the Fountain Gardens, Pier Village apartments or the Diplomats.

The cost of the damage thus far is about $40,000, according to Swannack. This includes all of the tree work. Swannack explained that the University plans on putting a claim into Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA). However, the claim will not only include the cost for tree damage, but also how much the University put towards making the Multipurpose Activities Center (MAC) and Boylan Gymnasium operational shelters.

“I would say our claim to FEMA will probably be well over $100,000. Which, relatively speaking, is not a lot for everything that was done here,” said Swannack. According to her, during the height of the storm, the University was sheltering about 1,050 to 1,200 evacuees.

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University Closed for Classes, Open for Victims

While many students went home to avoid being on campus for the wrath of Hurricane Sandy, the University opened up its doors to the outside community and offered up the Multipurpose Activity Center (MAC) and Boylan Gymnaisum as a shelter for 1,050 people from all over the state.

“The MAC is a great facility and is the best facility in Monmouth County for getting a lot of people in shelter for a short period of time,” said President Paul Gaffney II.

Prior to Hurricane Sandy’s arrival, Gaffney and the Vice Presidents discussed the forecast of the storm and decided to close school on that Monday and Tuesday. As the storm continued to trek North, the University was contacted by the State Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness and the County Office of Emergency Management and Sheriff’s Office, who inquired about using the MAC and Boylan Gym as  temporary emergency shelters. The University agreed, and supplies like food, cots, and blankets began to be brought in.

The layout of the shelter at the MAC changed as more and more evacuees arrived.

Boylan Gym was split in half, as one side of the wall was used as a check-in point where people would register and get wrist bands to show they were signed up. Cots were set up on the other side, where people could sleep.

Boylan can fit anywhere from 400-500 people. When more evacuees continued to arrive, they had to begin to use space inside the MAC.

“It quickly filled up and all of the main processing moved to the main lobby of the mac and as they got 400 or so in Boylan, they moved everybody to the floor of the MAC and every inch of the floor was taken up,” said Gaffney.

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Campus Posts Low Scores on Judiciary, Higher on Presidency in Outlook Poll

news-political-knowledge-pollTheOutlookran an informal political knowledge poll where University students scored an average of four to seven correct answers.  It contained questions regarding the presidency, legislature, judiciary and United States history.

The question that students got incorrect the most was: “Who is the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court?”

Dr. Gregroy Bordelon, lecturer of law, said this falls in line with other facts. “It is in line with current research track I’m studying now. It’s not just Monmouth students, or even all college students for that matter, it’s the public in general. As the ‘Federalist Papers’ indicated, the judiciary is the ‘Weakest department’; others have called it, ‘The Least Dangerous Branch.’ I think Americans’ knowledge about the courts is situational, only when big events (spurned from the political branches) are being considered by the Supreme Court.

The questions about the presidency overwhelmingly had the most correct answers.

Kerry McCarthy, political science major, believes the timing of the poll may have had something to do with that. “You gave this questionaire around a busy time for the presidency because it is shown everywhere. Even if students don’t intend to watch or hear about what’s going on in the presidency they still get a taste of it. The presidency is everywhere,” McCarthy said.

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Homecoming 2012 University Celebrates with Pep Rally and Tailgate

news-homecomingThis past weekend Monmouth University showed school spirit at the annual Homecoming event. The University kicked off the weekend of hawk pride at the pep rally held in the MAC on Friday, October 19.

The doors opened at around 5:00 pm and students filled the bleachers while the pep band set the tone for the festivities. The crowd cheered as the football team, led by Coach Callahan, paraded in at the start of the event. Prizes were given out to raffle ticket winners throughout the pep rally, while members of the dance team, pep band, cheerleading team and football team were chosen at random to participate in challenges such as a push up contest and dance off.

The Homecoming court was then announced and recognized by their peers. Max Kenney and Ashley McMahon were announced first as the winners for the freshman positions of Lord and Lady. Following them for the positions of Duke and Duchess were sophomores J’lyn Martin and Carly Swanson.  “It felt really good to win because to have enough of my peers vote for me made me feel great,” says Martin. “I didn’t really have expectations because I didn’t want to jinx myself.” Joining them on the Homecoming court were juniors Mike Migliaro and Nina Costa for the positions of Prince and Princess. The senior positions of Homecoming King and Queen were not announced until Saturday, the day of the game.

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MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki Talks Politics on Campus

After the excitement of the second presidential debate and heightened anticipation of the third debate, the University’s Polling Center hosted a conversation with Steve Kornacki, the current MSNBC “The Cycle” host, last Thursday to discuss debate manners between the two candidates and hypothetical voting scenarios on Election Day.

Patrick Murray, Director the University’s Polling Center, opened up the conversation to over 100 students, faculty and staff about how the first presidential debate change the forecast of the dynamics of the race and asked Kornacki if President Barack Obama wants to be the president for another four years after his first debate performance.

Kornacki discussed how he watched Obama in 2008 and said how he did not believe that there was a single debate where he believed that Obama had won. “I remember the three fall debates with John McCain, and I think Obama was serviceable, the election by that point was basically his to lose. McCain is not the most charismatic communicator. Obama was fine, but certainly not dazzling.”

“I don’t think [Obama] is a very good debater, so my expectations for his performance weren’t that high for Denver. I think Romney, especially as of a month ago, was underrated as a communication – specifically as a communicator of scripted messages. They can give him a script ahead of time, a bunch of data points to tick off [and] a bunch of anecdotes to lean on and he can really deliver is with confidence and assertiveness,” Kornacki continued.

Murray commented on how Obama is not going to win in a landslide like Reagan in 1984, and asked Kornacki if he believed that the second debate turned the tide backward.

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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