Last updateWed, 04 Dec 2019 3pm


Online Calculators May Help Parents

Students Will be Able to Calculate the Exact Cost of Their Possible Schools

default article imageStudents applying to college this fall have a new tool to help them compare costs at various campuses. This month, so called "net price calculators" will appear on the websites of colleges nationwide, giving students and parents an idea of how much financial aid they could receive months before a formal offer arrives.

The idea behind the calculators which are required by federal law to be posted on college websites by October 29 is that many students are discouraged from applying to a university when they see the price. A year of tuition, books, room and board now totals $30,000 at many public universities and north of $50,000 at many private ones.

But that's what experts call the "sticker price" the amount paid by students who don't get any financial aid. At many schools, the typical student receives aid and pays less than the school appears to cost. The "net price" the new devices calculate is the sticker price minus grants the student could expect based on family finances and, in some cases, academic performance.

"I think it's really good for net price to be a concept that's out there, for more people to understand that the sticker price is not the price they usually pay," said Sandy Baum, an economist at the George Washington School of Education and Human Development who specializes in college costs.

But while the online calculator is helpful, she said, "it's not a perfect tool."

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Hero Walk Will Have First Run in Ocean City

default article imageThe University is taking a stand against drunk driving this year by joining The Hero Campaign and participating in its first annual “Hero Walk.” The event will be held at the Ocean City Boardwalk on Sunday, October 23.

According to the organization’s website, The Hero Campaign, which originated in 2001, is an organization that promotes always having a designated driver to help save lives across the country especially on college campuses.

The organization began after a drunk driver, who had been arrested and released for a DUI charge just hours before, tragically collided with

John Elliot, a naval academy graduate. The collision killed both Elliot and the driver and severely injured Elliot’s girlfriend.

Since then, Elliot’s family, including his father who is a Monmouth Alumnus, have dedicated their lives to ensuring that no one goes through the sadness and grief that they face every day from an accident that could have been avoided.

In remembrance of Elliot and the hopes that another tragedy like this could be avoided, New Jersey passed “John’s Law,” a law requiring police to impound DUI offender’s vehicles for 12 hours and issuing responsibility to those taking custody of these offenders.

To show support the office of substance awareness and the Hero Campaign, the University has established its own team for the Hero Walk. Students, faculty and staff will be walking and collecting donations to raise money for this important cause.

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“Fat Talk Free Week” to Start on October 16

default article imageFat Talk Free Week is a body image awareness campaign that has been launched in universities nationwide since 2008. The University will promote our first Fat Talk Free Week this October 16 to 22.

The campaign’s premise is that our conversations have a relationship with our body image, and in many cases these conversations negatively impact the way we view ourselves. Fat Talk has become a customary form of communication. Lines like, “I wish I looked like…” or “I hate my hips” are so commonplace that they are a form of everyday small talk.

Fat talk gives women the opportunity to create solidarity among friends. If she demeans her body image, it appears that she does not put her self-image above those of her friends. It creates a sense of equality and common ground. Similarly, compliments based on appearance add to the negativity of fat talk. Women become fascinated by their physical appearance as a form of acceptance and positive feedback, rather than their intellect or behavior.

Lisa Bloom, author of “Think: Straight Talk for Women to Stay Smart in a Dumbed Down World,” has explained that this phenomenon starts early for women. A woman’s fascination with her physical appearance is one that society encourages her to accept from an early age. The way we talk to young girls, such as complimenting them on how cute they are or forgetting ignoring conversations with substantial topics, encourages young women to foster this preoccupation with their physical appearance.

In 2011, ABC News reported that almost half of all girls between three and six years old are concerned that they are fat. Research has indicated that this preoccupation with body image negatively impacts a woman’s self-worth, confidence levels, and self-satisfaction. It is within the structures of society, the conversations that we carry and the mindsets that we hold, that this feminine ideal continues to harm the health of women.

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Here Comes the Sun

Seven Buildings on Campus to Have Solar Panels Installed

Here Comes the Sun 1The University has announced its plan to install solar panels on seven campus buildings through a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) before the end of the year.

“Monmouth University is committed to being a national leader in sustainable energy and will continue to implement programs to create a more energy efficient and environmentally responsible environment for our students and employees,” said President Paul G. Gaffney II in a recent press release.

“I think this is a really good idea,” senior Maria Ferrara said. “We’re always talking about looking forward and going green. This is a good step for us.”

According to Vice President of Administrative Services, Patricia Swannack, the panels will be installed on Edison Science Hall, Howard Hall, Magill Commons, McAllan Hall, the Guggenheim Library, Multipurpose Activity Center and Plangere Center.

“We are still finalizing the installation schedule, but we hope to get started before the end of this year,” Swannack said.

The plan to put in solar panels was instituted by Swannack and her staff of energy advisors. ProTech Energy Solutions and their partner Torcon Inc. will install the panels with no charge to the University due to the Power Purchase Agreement.

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Former N.J. Governor to Serve as 2011-2012 Public Servant in Residence

Former NJ Governor Serves Public ServantBrendan Byrne, who served as the 47th Governor of the State of New Jersey from 1974 to 1982, will take on a new role as the University’s Public Servant in Residence for the 20112012 academic year.

Through his two terms as governor, Byrne was involved in the building of the Meadowlands Sports Complex, transforming Atlantic City’s hotel casino industry and passing the Pinelands Protection Act.

In 2000, the University’s Departments of Political Science and Sociology, along with the Office of Global Initiatives, created the Public Servant in Residence Program. Some of the responsibilities of a public servant include guest speaking at campus events, participating in campus activities, lecturing classes, and simply having a presence on campus.

Dr. Saliba Sarsar, Associate Vice President for the Office of Global Initiatives, believes that the Public Servant in Residence Program has and will continue to enrich the University.

“Over the years, we have been fortunate to host key public servants with diverse opinions who taught, guest lectured and gave public presentations on important local, state, regional and international issues,” he said. “Our students hear firsthand from public servants, interact with them and often maintain contact with them past their sojourn at Monmouth University.”

Dr. Joseph Patten, Chair of the Department of Political Science and Sociology, is optimistic that Byrne will have a strong influence on the students and surrounding community.

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Community Garden Reports 8.2% Increase in Food Production

default article imageThe University’s Community Garden, a field study project initiated by former Graduate student Sean Foran in 2010, experienced an 8.2% increase on top of their primary goal of 1,000 pounds of food grown, which was then donated to local organizations, this past summer.

Robin Mama, Dean of Social Work, has been involved with the Community Garden from the beginning.

“We had high hopes when we began the garden that it would be productive and would become a fully self-sustaining project. It is evolving on a natural course that many other community gardens take we just recently formed a Steering Committee comprised of gardeners who have been gardening on the individual side of the garden for the last one or two years and they will begin to help run the garden,” Mama said.

The Community Garden is supported by a diverse group of students dedicated to environmental stability.

The Environmental Club has planted two cherry trees in the garden and will continue to contribute to the garden in the future.

Additionally, Tau Kappa Epsilon, a fraternity with an active presence in the University, helped to build a shed and plant daffodils in the garden. Also, Dr. Pedram Daneshgar, Assistant Professor of Biology, brought his students to plant vegetables in the greenhouse, which were later relocated to the community plots, and made up a part of what was eventually donated.

This year, Caitlin Sprague and Jennifer Jervert, both Graduate Social Work students, will work as interns to the garden and take on a few different projects.

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Professor Recognized for Work in Experiential Education

default article imageThe University’s Dr. Rekha Datta, professor of political science, was selected last month to receive the Outstanding Leader in Experiential Education: Higher Education Award from the National Society for Experiential Education (NSEE).

Datta was nominated for this award by her University colleagues, Dr. Mercy Azeke, Dean of the Center for Student Success, and Marilyn Ward, Coordinator of Service Learning and Community Programs. A followup award presentation and luncheon at the NSEE Annual Conference will be held October 21, in Dallas, Texas.

“I am honored to have been nominated and happy to receive the award,” Datta said. “I consider it an affirmation to the experiential education, service learning, and volunteer service programs at Monmouth University, and to all the students, faculty, and employees who give meaning to student engagement and service learning through their hard work and dedication every day.”

Datta is the founding director of the Institute for Global Understanding at the University. She has spent the last ten years promoting global understanding through academic programs, field experiences, and service learning.

“Experiential Education, as envisaged in the Monmouth University General Education program, is unique and a fundamental aspect of the college education experience,” Datta said. “It comes through a holistic experience, integrating experiential education, volunteerism, and civic engagement on campus, and in the local and global communities.”

The mission of the institute is to “promote awareness of issues and challenges of our dynamic, interdependent world,” according to the University’s website. In order to achieve this goal, Datta has initiated two programs where University students volunteer to mentor students in local high schools. Project BAM pairs Asbury Park High School and University students through Big Brother Big Sister, while the other program partners University students with members of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.

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Circle K to Host Halloween Extravaganza

default article imageCircle K will be hosting a free Halloween Extravaganza on Saturday, October 22 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on the second and third floors of the Rebecca Stafford Student Center.

Both floors will be transformed into Halloween excitement for everyone involved to enjoy, said Brooke Lichter, the Vice President of Circle K. There will be candy and prizes to receive while trick-or-treating through the halls, costume contest, games, and music throughout the building during the event.

“The event focuses on having a fun and exciting environment for children and their parents who would not normally get the chance to participate in the holiday season due to their personal situations,” Lichter said.

Different organizations are coming together to take part in the event, including Ronald McDonald House, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Linkages, Manna House, and Dottie’s House.

This is the second year that the Halloween Extravaganza is occurring. The idea was proposed by an event committee member last year and turned out to be worthwhile, according to Lichter. The organization has decided that they will keep hosting the event for many years to come.

Circle K has been a part of the University community for three years and has experienced an increase in membership each year.

“Since our club is part of a bigger network, we have to have at least 15 due paid members to be considered an active chapter, but we always shoot for more than that,” said Elizabeth Rimassa, Co-President of Circle K.

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Renowned Environmentalist to Speak at Ocean Symposium

default article imageThe renowned ocean explorer and environmentalist, Jean-Michel Cousteau, will be this year's keynote speaker at The “Seventh Annual Future of the Ocean Symposium and Champions of the Ocean Awards Luncheon.” The event will take place on October 21 in Woodrow Wilson Hall at 10:00 am. Along with speaking at the conference, Cousteau will be honored as a National Champion of the Ocean.

With his founding of Ocean Futures Society in 1999, Cousteau has been the "voice of the ocean" by educating people on the vulnerability of the sea. The organization inspires people to be environmentally friendly, and also brings awareness to the importance of the ocean for the survival of all life on Earth.

"At Ocean Futures Society, we are constantly involved with trying to help the environment," Cousteau said. "We bring awareness to the people from our experiences in the ocean and let them assimilate that information."

Cousteau particularly enjoys speaking to a younger audience because they are receptive to his message. "Students formulate their opinions on the knowledge they acquire. Forty-five years ago, we did not have the information that we have today, so by listening to our message, students can be better decision makers than the generation before them."

Tony MacDonald, Director of the Urban Coast Institute at the University, says that Cousteau has been a motivator for many positive changes that are occurring with the conservation of the oceans.

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University Utilizing Social Media to Connect with Prospective and Current Students

Social Media Offers Pros and Cons

default article imageSocial media has grown to directly affect the lives of hundreds of millions of people every day. For many, social media is a source of news about our loved ones and even strangers. Now, social media is used by the University as a catalyst for keeping students informed and involved.

The University’s use of social media has grown over the years to keep up with students’ use of social media. “I will ask students how they found out about meetings, and a lot of times they found out through Facebook,” said Susan Damaschke, Coordinator of First Year Retention.

“I think we’re seeing more students get involved, yes. Whether or not it has anything to do with Facebook, I’m not really sure,” Damaschke said. “I think they [students] are seeing more because they pay more attention to Facebook.”  This year, Damaschke has reduced the amount of emails she sends and has found that attendance to events has been the same as in the past.

“It’s a great source to use other than email,” said Megan McGowan, Assistant Director of Student Activities.

“It’s a greener way to get information around.”

In some cases, however, Facebook has undoubtedly had a direct effect on attendance at certain events.

“Our first Residence Hall Association (R.H.A.) Late Night Lounge was a huge success because of Facebook,” said Alissa Catalano, a junior marketing major. “We (R.H.A.) didn’t put flyers out because of how close it was to the first day of school, so we just used Facebook. Over 70 people came.”

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First-year Hawks Flock to Annual Involvement Fair

First year Hawks Involvement Fair 1During every fall at the University, an Involvement Fair is held outside of the student center where clubs, governing bodies, Greek organizations and media outlets set up tables and invite students to break out of their shells and join something new.

However, it is not every year that 800 students show up and Student Activities actually runs out of tables because there are so many clubs that want to participate.

Although the actual amount of active clubs at the University varies week-to-week, said Megan McGowan, Assistant Director of Student Activities, 74 clubs out of the 80orso showed up with their flyers, homemade cookies, Frisbees and balloons to the annual Involvement Fair last Wednesday.

Some of the many clubs and organizations that were present at the Involvement Fair were the International Club, the Monmouth Review, the Community Service Club, the Ice Hawks, the Study Abroad Club and the National Council of Negro Women.

McGowan said that the number of students who show up for the fair grows every year, but this year she attributes some of the success to the fact that Hawk TV brought DJ Chris Spirito to play some dance favorites for students as they curiously strolled about.

Susan Damaschke, Coordinator of First-Year Student Retention, said, “I am overwhelmed. It’s so incredibly impressive how many students and clubs came out today.”

She said that the high attendance rate could be due to clubs being more forward and assertive with interested students and are actually going up to them, instead of waiting for students to come up to their booths and grab some extra pens and cookies.

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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