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Poet Visits University in Conjunction with MLK Tribute

Poet Visits UniversityAs part of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute celebration, award-winning poet Marilyn Nelson came to the University last Wednesday night to read her published works and pieces from a new manuscript.

Marilyn Nelson is an African-American poet born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1946 during the time of segregation.  Her father was in the air force so she grew up around military bases. Her mother was an African-American teacher with all white students, and always thought of her daughter as a poet.

In 1966, Nelson lived in Chicago and worked with the Civil Rights Movement.  Much of her poetry reflects her perspectives on racism and equality, and her personal experiences growing up in a segregated America.

Nelson earned her B.A. from the University of California Davis, an M.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, and her Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. She has published more than 12 books, and has won numerous awards including the 1998 Poets’ Prize, two creative writing fell o w s h i p s from the National Endowment for the Arts and is a Robert Frost Medal recipient.  She is currently a professor emeritus of English at the University of Connecticut.

At the MLK Tribute event, guests sat at round tables eating cream puffs and fudge cake.  Nelson, dressed head to toe in royal blue, walked up to the podium and stared at the audience over her glasses.

She began reading her poems that depict moments of her childhood. Every piece read worked with themes such as racism, segregation and the desire for equality.

Nelson also read her book A Wreath for Emmett Till in its entirety. A Wreath for Emmett Till is an elegy written as a crown of sonnets about the lynching of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old

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Communication Professor Named NJ Sportscaster of the Year

default article imageMatthew Harmon, professor of communication, was named New Jersey Sportscaster of the year for 2011. This was Harmon’s second time winning this honor; he previously won in 2007. Harmon is the play-by-play announcer for the University’s football team and color analyst for the men’s basketball program.

While Harmon’s love of sports has been with him his entire life, his love for broadcasting began as an undergraduate here at the University. Harmon joined WMCX after suffering an injury as a member of the football team. He loved it from the start and eventually became the sports director for WMCX in the fall of 1995. This was also the first time he began getting experience as a broadcaster, calling games for the University’s football and basketball teams.

Harmon worked hard to gain experience working for both WMCX and The Outlook as a play caller and giving sports updates. He also gained tremendous experience as an intern at WFAN.

“I wouldn’t trade my experience at MU and WMCX for anything,” Harmon said. “The opportunities are endless and it provided me with a great learning spot to develop my own style.”

During his time at Monmouth, Harmon developed a great relationship with Men’s Football Head Coach Kevin Callahan. “Monmouth football means a great deal to Matt,” Coach Callahan said. “As a former Monmouth player, he respects the dedication and commitment of the student athletes, and he is proud of the tradition of Monmouth University football.”

“He has always been so supportive and appreciative of the work I do for Monmouth and the football program,” said Harmon. “I have a tremendous amount of respect for him.”

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College Freshmen Reported to be More Serious About Degree

default article imageSeeing their parents struggle with unemployment and other money worries over the last few years, the nation's current batch of college freshmen increasingly view a bachelor's degree as a necessary ticket to better jobs, according to a University of California, Los Angeles survey being released Thursday.

In responding to the "American Freshman" poll, 85.9 percent of first-year students across the country said that being able to land a good job is a very important reason for attending college. That is the strongest response to that question in the 40 years it has been asked and is sharply higher than the 70.4 percent reply in 2006, before the recession began.

The survey asks freshmen to select reasons they are pursuing higher education. For a generation, the most popular one was "to learn more about things that interest me." This year, 82.9 percent said that was a major motive. But since 2009, the concern about jobs has been on top.

Also setting a record was the response to a query about whether becoming very well off financially is an "essential or very important" objective. The survey showed that 79.6 percent of the students described such affluence as a compelling goal, up from the prerecession response of 73.4 percent in 2006 and double the levels during the more countercultural 1970s.

"I think it's understandable. Like everybody in the country, these students are reacting to a time of recession," said John H. Pryor, managing director of UCLA's Higher Education Research Institute, which conducts the annual survey.

But he cautioned that it would be wrong to assume that the students want to make money just for luxurious lifestyles. In fact, the report also shows that, compared with students 40 years ago, current freshmen say they are much more interested in having children. So, Pryor said, they may be more aware of what it costs to raise and educate a family.

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Books@monmouth Website Plans to Give Students Bargains

Textbook Website Exclusive to Monmouth Students


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A new platform for purchasing books called books@monmouth.edu has arrived at the University. The website helps students buy their textbooks by integrating Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and all of their book necessities.

Developer Sean Haufler, a junior studying computer science and economics at Yale University spent three months developing the website with one specific thing in mind. “I chose to build the website after I realized how much more expensive school bookstore prices were than online prices,” Haufler said. “I wanted to make the online shopping process as easy as possible so more people would take advantage of these lower prices.”

The site allows for easy navigation, and provides a procedure for searching and purchasing textbooks. 

Joshua Lewis, a University student who promotes and markets the site, attested to its simplicity. “This allows for quick purchasing and convenience,” Lewis said. “Also, other websites do not compare books that are used, new and from the Monmouth Bookstore.”

The site is free to use. As stated on the site, a tax of seven percent is included on purchases from the University bookstore, as are shipping charges on purchases from Amazon.

To get started using the website, enter the department in which the class is in. Upon doing so, all classes will appear below the department search bar. If the student is unsure of the department that his or her class is in, he or she can hit the “show all” button that displays all departments. 

Next, select the green plus button on the side column and add it to the selected section of the website. Click generate (or reset if necessary to start over), and the website displays the used, new, and University bookstore prices for the searched textbook.

Haufler said that he included bar graphs in the price comparison because it helps people make their shopping decisions without thinking too much about numbers. “The correct shopping decision just seems to pop out at you from the webpage,” he said.

After selecting all of the texts necessary to the student, select the “export to Amazon” button. This will allow the student to complete the transaction and purchase all selected textbooks. Kathy Booth, Assistant Manager of the University bookstore, doesn’t think this will have an effect on textbook sales at the University.

“I don’t think it’ll make a difference, students always search for other options online but wind up buying from the bookstore anyways. It will make it easier to search but I don’t think it’ll have an effect on our sales,” Booth said. 

Booth also discussed other options at the bookstore that will save students money.
“We have implemented the renting books option last fall and we also have the used books option. Both options will surely save students money,” Booth said.

As far as the projection for the website in the coming semesters, Lewis said that he has high hopes. Lewis said that its function seems to be delivering a worthwhile service as fellow students have approached and thanked him for the site as its popularity continues to grow.



Correction:

To the Editor:

In the article regarding “books@monmouth” in the January 25 issue, it is stated that on the website “a tax of seven percent is included on purchases from the University bookstore.” Sales of required textbooks in the state of New Jersey are exempt from sales taxes, therefore no tax is charged on them in the University Store. If the website is adding the seven percent, it will be overstating the actual retail at the store in price comparisons.

Bill Rainey University
Bookstore Manager

Editor’s Note: The Outlook regrets any misunderstanding this information may have caused.

Ambassador of Israel to U.S. Gives Keynote Speech at Second Annual Commencenment

Winter Commencement Participation Increases by 10 Percent


Ambassador Israel Commencement 1With a rich, blue carpet covering the basketball court of the Multipurpose Activity Center, 451 graduates sat in their chairs as they listened to various speeches, including one from the Ambassador of Israel to the United States, while awaiting their degrees at the second Winter Commencement on January 13, 2012. According to Vice President for Student and Community Services Mary Anne Nagy, Commencement participation was up 10 percent from last year’s event.
Prior to the ceremony, gradu-ates-to-be were floating in and out of Wilson Hall, donning bright smiles while getting their photos taken atop the grand staircase and other campus spots. 

Graduating students were not the only people on campus; there was a high volume of security for commencement speaker, Michael Oren, Ambassador of Israel to the United States. Oren, besides giving the keynote address, also received an honorary degree at the ceremony. The Princeton and Columbia University graduate is formally the Lady Davis Fellow of Hebrew University, as well as the Distinguished Fellow at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem.

Also a writer, Oren has had several books published, includ-ing bestseller Six Days of War: 1967 and the Making of the Mod-ern Middle East, and has served as a contributing editor to the New Republic.

York Times and the Wall Street Journal. “I enjoy, the most, put-ting myself in a position of what I am writing about,” Oren said. “There’s a tendency for histori-ans to, sort of, sit on judgment in history…they actually call them-selves the ‘hangmen of history.’ I don’t view myself as a ‘hangman.’ My goal as a historian was not to pass judgment, but to understand.”

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Welcome from the President 1/25/12

default article imageWelcome back. And, if you are one of about 450 new students here, welcome to Monmouth University.

I trust you all had a great Winter Break and that you are ready to engage in the spring semester. The semester will be filled with activities; athletic events in the MAC; the Spring Musical in February; the Global Understanding Convention in April; then we go out into the improving weather with spring sports, Spring Fest and lastly, a few good days at the beach.

There will be a great deal going on. Your most important task, however, is establishing an immediate and useful academic relationship with your new professors and focusing on good results in class. Amer-ica needs well-educated young leaders to take us back to prosperity. You are our best hope. Do well.

Welcome back and … take care of each other


Paul G. Gaffney II

President

P.S. Those of you within a semester or two of graduation should plan to talk to the Career Services Office on the lower level of the Stafford Center.

VP Student Services 1/25/12

default article imageTo All of Our Students:

Welcome and Welcome Back!

I trust you enjoyed the holiday season and are well on your way to adjusting to life at Monmouth Uni-versity. The spring semester will go quickly so plan accordingly and take advantage of all that we have to offer.

Come see the exciting new style of basketball being played by your HAWKS in the MAC - watch a film on Friday or Saturday night in Oakwood Hall - think about Spring Break in Disney with the Student Activities Board – and don’t forget to get your ticket to see four-time Grammy Award nominee Daughtry perform live in the MAC on Friday, April 20.

All of this and more is at your fingertips on your campus. Make it the best semester ever. If you need help in any way, reach out - speak up - and ask for help from the myriad of offices that are here to assist you.

Take care of yourself and take care of each other. My best wishes for a successful spring 2012 semester!

Mary Anne Nagy

Vice President for Student and Community Services

Asbestos Removed from Howard Hall During Break

Asbestos Abatement HowardThe first floor of Howard Hall underwent an asbestos abatement which lasted for five days at the end of December. Amid the process, public access was prohibited. Facilities Management dis-covered the problem as a result of loose tiles damaged by water infiltration.

Patricia Swannack, Vice President for Administrative Services, says that knowledge of what to look for is important when dealing with the suspicion of asbestos. “In our experience, we are aware of certain things that might indicate the presence of asbestos and that it can be hazardous if not properly handled.” 

The indicator, in this case, was the dimensions of the tiles present in the affected area. According to the New Jersey Department of Health website, asbestos has been linked to specific tile dimensions that are used in flooring. Those dimensions are nine feet by nine feet and some 12 feet by 12 feet tiles. To be certain that asbestos was in fact in the tiles of that particular part of Howard Hall, samples were test-ed by an independent laboratory and confirmed present in minimal amounts.

In taking precautionary measures to assure proper removal of the tiles, the University hired an outside contractor who specializes in asbestos abatement. A second company was in tandem to further compliment the safe removal of the asbestos. “We also engaged Birdsall Engineering to monitor the work to ensure that the project was per-formed in compliance with established guidelines,” Swannack said. Those guidelines, enacted by The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the New Jersey Department of Labor, not only enforce a stringent protocol of asbestos removal, but also accredit abatement companies to safe disposal of the building material. 

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Author and Political Influencer Robert Putnam to Speak at University

Author Speaks UniversityThe University will welcome renowned author Robert D. Putnam to speak in Wilson Auditorium on January 27.

Putnam has written many political books including his most famous, Bowling Alone and Making Democracy Work. Putnam is also the Malkin Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University and the director of the Manchester Graduate Programme in Social Change. Putnam has been called “the most influential academic in the world today,” according to the London Sunday Times. His books, although controversial, discuss American politics and what he feels has gone wrong with our government and what needs to be done to fix the situation today.

Putnam is credited with developing what is known as, “The two-level game theory,” which assumes that international agreements will only be successfully brokered if they result in domestic benefits. It is only another aspect to his long resume and contributions to society. Aside from the books he has written and the theory that has changed the way governments think and interact, Putnam has also helped change and shape the globe first hand by serving as an advisor to presidents and national leaders around the world.

 Putnam is a member of several societies including, the British Academy, the American Philosophical Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is the former President of the American Political Science Association and the recipient of the Skytte Prize, which is an award given yearly to the person who has made the most valuable contribution to political science. Putnam is also the winner of the American Political Science Association’s 2011 Woodrow Wilson Foundation’s award for the best book on government, politics or international affairs.

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University Hosts 7th Annual “Break the Cycle, Be the Change”

default article imageIn order to continue the fight against bias and effort to promote respect among all people, the University hosted the 7th annual “Break the Cycle: Be the Change” last Thursday.

As students made their entrance into Anacon

Hall in the Rebecca Stafford Student Center, they were greeted by representatives from First Year Seminar, Counseling and Psychological Services, and the American Conference on Diversity.

The students were then split into groups to prepare for group discussions and skits to be held after the introduction.

The introduction covered basic ideas concerning discrimination and bias, including the idea that prejudice is a learned behavior, therefore it can be unlearned.

Kalisse Richardson, a member of the American Conference on Diversity, explained how hearing something new for the first time in a conversation can be difficult at first, but working towards understanding is worthwhile.

“Being actively engaged in the community can help bring about change,” Richardson said.

Following this was the group work. Ground rules were established that can be applied in daily life, such as keeping an open mind, taking responsibility for your actions and words, and communicating honestly.

Scenarios were then laid out which pondered what a change maker or change stopper would do in this situation. A change stopper is defined as a person who looks at a problem and puts all blame on other individuals, while a change maker is a person who looks at a problem and connects it to root causes to seek understanding and promote respect.

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University’s Office of Substance Awareness Offers Free Treatment

default article imageThe Office of Substance Awareness, located in the Health Center next to Birch Hall, provides free, confidential, short-term substance abuse treatment for all students. The Office of Substance Awareness also provides educational information and presents to first-year seminar classes.

The Office of Substance Awareness also reports substance use and abuse trends of concern to the University community. This year, a continuing trend of concern includes designer drugs such as synthetic marijuana. Synthetic marijuana is a laboratory made product attempting to simulate marijuana and its effects. Sold under names such as, K2, Spice and Revelation Ultra; These products are made in China and there is very little known about what short and long term effects these products have on the brain. There have been many health concerns from people smoking these products to get high. We have seen people become sick, lose consciousness and even experience mental health symptoms including psychotic episodes from these types of products.

In addition to synthetic forms of marijuana, another product of concern is bath salts. This was the name given to a synthetic form of methamphetamine. What sounds like an innocent bubble bath product is actually a dangerous substance already banned in many states, including New Jersey as of August 2011.

Alcohol poisoning continues to be a leading concern on campus. According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism website, a 2002 study estimates that more than 1,400 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die each year from alcohol-related unintentional injuries and 500,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 sustain unintentional alcohol-related injuries each year. Many students report drinking too much, too fast and experiencing memory blackouts, vomiting, passing out and hangovers. These harmful effects are preventable.

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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