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Last updateWed, 11 Dec 2019 4pm

News

University Prepares Launch of Online News Portal

default article imageThe media landscape is changing, and many newspapers and other print publications are taking the back seat. That is why University professors from the Department of Communication decided it was time for something new, and introduced the idea for a new student-trun media group called The Verge.

The Verge is the University’s first online news portal. The idea for the media group was conceptualized last spring and will officially begin this semester. Kayla Inglima, Assistant Editor, said that they will be completely ready to launch the site by November.

The idea for The Verge sprung from Assistant Professor of Journalism Marina Vujnovic’s online journalism class last semester.

“Currently we have about 15 students working on stories, most of which are connected to campus life and campus events,” Vujnovic, now the staff advisor, said. “It merges the elements of writing, photography, interactive media, and graphic design.” Inglima said that she sees The Verge as an important step taken by the University.

“The Verge is important because we are living in a technology driven world,” Inglima said. “Every day we are getting new or improved technologies that have begun to completely redefine our world. While print journalism and TV will never be completely replaced, it is essential that we do not miss out on this new opportunity to explore journalism on the Internet.” The Verge will contain original content, Vujnovic said.

“We’re not looking to replicate the content. We are thinking of working as more of a converged newsroom,” Vujnovic said. “The Verge urges other student media groups such as Commworks, The Outlook, PRSSA, MOCC, HawkTV, and WMCX to contribute their work to the new source.”

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Study Finds Low Grad Rates Among Part-Time Students

default article imageGrowing numbers of college students are in school part-time, and they face increasingly long odds of ever graduating, according to a report released Tuesday.

The report, Time is the Enemy, by the nonprofit group Complete College America, includes data on full and part-time students at public colleges and universities in 33 states, including California. It was funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Lumina Foundation and others.

"There is a new generation of students who are poorer, more likely to be a minority, working and with families," said Stan Jones, the organization's president. "The graduation rates are very low, so that even though more people are going to college looking to better themselves and better their economic circumstances, those goals are not being realized because the system is failing them."

Among the report's key findings:

There is a new majority on U.S. college campuses, with 75 percent of students balancing jobs and schools and commuting to class. Only one-quarter of students attend fulltime, live on campus and have few work obligations.

Part-time students rarely graduate: Only one-quarter of them complete a degree, even when taking twice as long as the traditional four years.

Minority students and those who are poor or older are attending college in greater numbers, but fewer than one in five earn a bachelor's degree within six years.

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Twelfth Annual Big Event Set for October 22

default article imageThe University will host its 12th annual Big Event on Saturday, October 22. The purpose of the event has been to bring the campus and surrounding communities together to work towards a larger cause.

The first Big Event was created at Texas A&M University in 1982. Since then, over 30 college campuses across the nation have organized something similar. Through the years that the University has sponsored the Big Event, it has grown to become its largest community service project and is organized by the Student Government Association.

Students and faculty around campus said that they are looking forward to the event and are hoping for the best turnout yet. Over the years, participation has included many diverse groups of people, including students, faculty and staff, and alumni.

Volunteers will gather on campus and be transported to a variety of worksites in the area.

“Volunteers will be going to a host of worksites this year,” said Vaughn Clay, Director of Off-Campus and Commuter Services. “Some of these will include a beach cleanup in Long Branch, volunteers spending time with senior citizens in a local assisted living facility, projects at some local churches, landscaping and clean ups at some area parks, a painting project at Shore Regional High School, and a project at the Long Branch Public Library. These are only just a few of the upcoming events to be named.”

The chance to ask for a helping hand was left open to individual neighbors, community based agencies and organizations, local municipalities, houses of worship, local schools, and assisted living facilities. They had to submit applications to the University.

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Hawks Communicating Through Instant Messaging

Hawks Instant MessagingThe University will be going live with a brand new communication experience for students: Microsoft Lync. Each computer on campus will be connected to a server, which will allow students to log in and talk with each other while they work.

According to the Microsoft website, “Microsoft Lync is a new connected user experience transforming every communication into an interaction that is more collaborative, engaging, and accessible from anywhere.” The new program will provide a single user interface that unites voice communications, instant messaging (IM), audio, video, and conferencing into a richer, more contextual offering. Student users can add and connect with users on public IM services such as Windows Live, AOL, and Yahoo! and communicate with them using their single user identity.

Edward Christensen, Vice President for Information Management, said the program is still being tested and is only available in some labs across campus. “We’re only halfway through the Windows 7 implementation on campus and Microsoft Lync is part of that suite. The program can be beneficial to the students, but we are still in the testing stage,” Christensen said.

Students are enthusiastic about the program. “I think it’s a good idea, something different you wouldn’t normally see on a college campus. Sometimes you’re sitting in the library with friends, but you don’t want to talk and bother other kids, so now you can chat on the computer instead,” said senior Tonianne Lisanti. “The library is always packed, and you can’t always sit together with your groups, so I like that I could still work with them. Even though we aren’t sitting together, we could still do work, talk, and then come together after. ”

The idea is that students can connect instantly with IM, and as more information is needed on a subject, more students can be added to the conversation. If a group of students are working together on a project in the library, but at separate computer stations, they can connect and share the information they gathered.

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PRSA-NJ Panel to Inform Students on the Future of Media Industry

default article imageThe University’s Public Relations Society of America chapter will be holding a panel discussion featuring three online news professionals and two public relations professionals on Tuesday, October 25 in the Magill Club Dining Room.

Kristine Simoes, communication professor specializing in public relations, will be running the event.

Students can come learn from PR industry experts how online news is changing the industry, how PR professionals can best pitch for maximum exposure, and skills needed to excel and break into the profession,” Simoes said.

Panelists include Christopher Sheldon, Editor of Patch.com; Christy Kass, Assistant Editor of The Alternative Press; Judith Feeny, Digital Editor of Asbury Park Press; Kristine Brown, Director of PR at St. Barnabas Health; and Joan M. Bosisio, Group Vice-President of Stern and Associates.

The event will begin at 8:30 am with registration and a light breakfast. During this time, students from The Outlook and PRSSA will represent their organizations. Information will be handed out about the new online news portal The Verge, and Shadow PR, the University’s newly established PR Company.

From 9:15 am to 10:15 am, the panel discussion will take place. Students attending the event will learn how to pitch today’s news, what news media is looking for, how to maximize coverage in hyper local markets and what goes into effective social media news pitching. Topics such as the benefits of a social media news room and 10 things every good PR professional should know will also be discussed. Attendees will have a chance to ask questions at the end of the discussion.

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“Houseless Not Hopeless” Gives an Insight to Poverty for Students

Homeless Not HopelessTwenty-five percent of homeless people are under the age of 18, according to a statistic posted around campus last weekend.

The First Year Service Project held Houseless not Hopeless for the second consecutive year on Friday, October 7 to aid this portion of the population. Originally, the project focused its attention on specific agencies, but last year it evolved into specific issues, like hunger and homelessness.

Shannen Wilson, a sophomore, is in her second year as one of the project’s student coordinators.

“This year being a student coordinator has given me the opportunity to work with my other workers to brainstorms ways to make our events bigger and better,” she said. “We decided to make it a competition to make it enticing for students to come out and participate in all of our events.”

Members of the project split into teams of four to 10 people. Each team was awarded points for various competitions, including the most goods donated, best shelter, number of people who spent the night outside, the peanut butter and jelly relay, and a scavenger hunt.

Teams were allotted one hour to build a stable and decorative shelter. Participants were given basic supplies including cardboard, duct tape, plastic, and markers. One team used sparkled note cards displaying their names, while another attached a tarp roof to a light pole for height. Teams that finished early lent a helping hand to those lagging behind and the top four shelters were awarded points.

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Annual Open House Brings in 1,400 Prospective Students

Prospective Students and Families Get a Taste of Monmouth


Annual Open House 1Prospective students and their families wandered around campus in summerlike warmth under a sunny, cloudless blue sky during the University’s annual open house last Sunday.

“I’m glad it’s such a nice day because I feel like when people look at colleges, they remember the weather,” Melisa Safchinsky, a sophomore, said.

Approximately 1,400 families visited the campus during the event, which is comparable to its attendance for the past two years. Over 200 students and 200 faculty, staff, administrators, and administrative services personnel assisted the Office of Undergraduate Admission in hosting the event, said Lauren Vento Cifelli, the Assistant Vice President of Enrollment Management.

Some of those who helped run the event noticed a wide range of interest among the prospective students, such as Barbara Reagor, the Director for the Rapid Response Institute and a member of the School of Science. “A lot of students have been interested in all of the different fields,” Reagor said. “For me, I think it’s gone even better than last year in terms of the number of people. I think we’ve had a nice attendance today for the number of students that have come.”

Prospective students began the day with registration at 11:30 am and then received a welcoming speech by President Paul G. Gaffney II in the Multipurpose Activity Center in the afternoon. Informative sessions about the University’s different academic departments were held from 1:00 to 2:40 pm.

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How to Use Your First Credit Card

First Credit CardCollege and money troubles go hand-in-hand with each other. College puts a great quantity of stress on a student’s wallet. College debt, eating out, and activities on the weekend can all add up. When faced with so many expenses, some students choose to resort to a credit card. Others get a credit card because they are trying to build up a good credit score before they get out of school. But whether they’re feeling the burn in their wallets or planning for the future, college may be a time when students apply for and receive their first credit card. According to a 2004 study published by MSN.com and conducted by Sallie Mae, a student loan corporation, the amount of undergraduates with credit cards has risen to 76 percent. The results also reported that in 2009, the percent had risen to 84.

At first, many people look beyond the risks of a credit card and go straight for the rewards, but being reckless with a new credit card can cause long term problems. Debt can begin to rack up and a bad credit score doesn’t disappear overnight. Dr. Robert H. Scott, Associate Professor of Economics, calculated that if students racked up $1,000 in credit card debt and with 18 percent interest, with only paying the minimum on the debt, it would take 12 years and nine months to completely pay it off. According to Scott, you would have ended up paying $1,115 just in interest.

But to avoid these downfalls, there are many precautions students should take before and after receiving a credit card.

Before you get a credit card, there is some fine print that you need to watch out for. Students should pay specific attention to the interest rate and annual fees. The optimal card has a low interest rate and no annual fees.

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University Reacts to New Fall Break

default article imageThis fall semester, students do not have to wait until Thanksgiving for a break from their hectic class schedules. The University has decided to create Fall Weekend Break from October 14 to 16, which results in the cancellation of Friday classes.

Some students question why the University has scheduled this three-day break when several students do not have Friday classes. Residence halls will be closed during this break and all students must leave campus unless they are granted permission to stay.

Mary Anne Nagy, Vice President for Student and Community Services, explained the University’s intention in incorporating the new break into this year’s schedule. “The fall break is intended to help break up the long length of time from the start of school to Thanksgiving,” she said. “We have seen an increase in roommate conflicts, behavioral issues, and illnesses; we think that this break will help with these issues.”

In past years, the University had not incorporated any days off in its fall semester schedule until Thanksgiving Break.

Students who reside on campus agreed and disagreed with some of the reasons that Nagy gave as to the necessity of the break. “Personally I have not seen too many roommate conflicts this semester,” said Ashlyn Holliday, Elmwood Hall Resident Assistant.

“There is, however, a crazy amount of sick students in my building. I think this ‘fall break’ will be good for the students to get off campus and clear their heads, especially before midterms start.”

Kristina Capriotti, a sophomore, lives on campus. “I think the only issue is the amount of people on campus that are sick,” she said.

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Valet Parking Service Cancelled for Students

default article imageWith one day’s notice, the University announced on October 4 that its valet parking service with Advanced Parking Concepts would be cancelled on October 5.

“We were valeting 15 to 20 cars in lot 25 when there’s 75 spaces open in other nonresidential lots,” said Dean Volpe, Captain of the Monmouth University Police Department.

The University reached its decision by taking surveys of the parking lots every two hours, Volpe said.

“It’s nice to park next to your academic building, but there is sufficient space in other nonresidential lots,” Volpe said.

He mentioned on-campus parking lots that offer additional parking to commuters, such as lots 13, 14 and 18. In addition to these main lots, students are permitted to park in lot 23 located near Woods Theatre and lot 25, located near Athletics.

Volpe also said that students can call the parking advisory hotline at 7322635901 for updated parking lot information.

The University will continue to use Advanced Parking Concepts for special events, such as concerts in the Multipurpose Activity Center, Volpe said.

Furthermore, the University will continue to use the valet service in lot 16 for employees.

According to the 2011 Monmouth University Parking and Driving Campus Handbook, the University has the right to make changes and regulations without prior notice.

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Hawks Receive Info on Degrees at Majors Fair

default article imageThe Center for Student Success (CSS) sponsored its annual Majors Fair and Ex Ed Expo last Wednesday, October 5 in Anacon Hall from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm, where all academic departments and schools were represented.

The fair’s goal was to provide awareness of the school’s various majors and minors, and to give undeclared students the ability to communicate with representatives from each department.

The fair benefited students who are undeclared the most, because professors and students within the major were available to speak with, according to the Dean of Center for Student Success (CSS), Mercy Azeke.

Handouts from the departments were given to help students identify what they are interested in and how to get started. Most of the conversations were about internships and how to pursue prospective jobs.  

The fair included sections for each of the University’s academic schools, as well as experiential education opportunities, such as class projects, cooperative education, internships, service learning, and study abroad.

Andrew Demirjian, a Specialist Professor of Communication, said he thinks that the fair is important.

“Students don’t realize what a resource the faculty can be,” Demirjian said. “For future job growth, or help with combining majors and minors, or even to help employers see the essential skills necessary for a job.”

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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