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Last updateWed, 11 Sep 2019 12pm

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Model UN Wins

Model UN WinsThe University’s Model United Nations (UN) Team took home awards at the Southern Regional Model UN (SRMUN) contest in Charlotte, NC, last Thursday, March 28 through Sunday, March 31. 

The team of Mackenzie Ricca, a sophomore political science student, Kristen Gomez, a sophomore English student, Dan Gerdon, (a sophomore political science student, Jackson Pope (a senior political science student), and Nick Gibson (a junior political science student) took home a coveted Best Delegation award for their country, South Sudan. 

These students competed on three different committees and their combined policy resolutions earned them the team victory. 

Ricca, who served as the team’s captain, also won an individual Best Delegate prize representing South Sudan on the Group of 77 (G-77) committee.

On her committee, she tackled two issues: (i) Combating Poverty in Developing Member States through Agricultural Development and (ii) Improving Inter-State Conflict Prevention Strategies. 

“My experience at the (SRMUN) this weekend was unlike any other I have ever had,” said Ricca. “I was extremely honored to be awarded as single best delegate in my committee, as I worked incredibly hard to pass multiple resolutions and promote policy development through allies with other students.” 

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Free Speech on College Campuses

default article imagePresident Donald Trump signed an executive order that requires colleges to certify that their policies support free speech as a condition of receiving federal research grants, last Thursday, March 21.

The directive would bar institutions of higher education from receiving federal research grants if the Department of Education decides they do not "avoid creating environments that stifle competing perspectives," according to the president’s order. The president conditions research funding on "compliance with the First Amendment" and directs federal agencies to ensure that institutions receiving federal research or education grants "promote free inquiry."

“President Trump’s Executive Order does not appear to impose any new legal obligations on educational institutions with respect to freedom of speech,” explained Paul Dement, the University’s Director of Government and Community Relations. “It seems to just emphasize that institutions receiving certain federal research and education grants must comply with existing federal law.”

Dement continued, “It appears that private institutions will remain entitled to establish their own free speech policies, but with heightened federal pressure to ensure these policies are being followed.”

According to Dement, the University already ensures that there are varying perspectives and ideologies represented fairly. “In terms of selecting our Public Servant-in-Residence, we make sure we have varying perspectives with both sides of the aisle represented over time,” he explained. 

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Poltical Students Host Bipartisan Event

Political Students Host EventThe Monmouth University College Democrats and College Republicans hosted a bipartisan event in the Center for Active Citizenship, last Wednesday, March 27. 

Both clubs invited speakers from their respective parties to come and talk to students about civic engagement and being politically active. Democratic state Assembly members Joann Downey and Eric Houghtaling, who have represented the 11th district of New Jersey since 2016, and former Republican Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli, who represented New Jersey’s 16th district, talked to students over food and light refreshments. 

“The event wasn’t billed as nonpartisan at first, but once we realized that we scheduled them on the same day and time, I wound up working out nicely,” said Mike Manning, a senior political science student and President of the Monmouth University College Republicans. 

Nick Gibson, a sophomore political science student and President of the Monmouth University College Democrats, agreed that the unplanned incident went well, and demonstrates comradery among students in politics. “It was really great to have speakers from different parties,” he said. 

“Considering we had students from both clubs moving between the events to hear what each politician had to say shows that students on campus are interested in becoming politically engaged and learning about issue that are close to home, especially for New Jersey residents,” said Manning.

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University Holds Inclusion Week

University Inclusion Week 1The University’s first Inclusion Week has commenced on campus. Events have run from Monday, April 1 through Saturday, April 6.  

It is the first time that the Student Government Association (SGA) is sponsoring Inclusion Week. 

"One of the overarching goals of Inclusion Week is the promotion of ideas, activities, and conversations that seek to identify how we as a community come to understand, learn more about, and appreciate one another," said Karla Almanzar, a junior criminal justice student and Co-Chair of the SGA Human and Community Relations Committee, which helped to organize and coordinate the event..

The theme of Inclusion Week is "Breaking Down Stereotypes." 

"We are invite veryone to participate in the many events that will take place [all throughout] the week and we encourage you to take a few moments and click the following link to learn more about the speakers, programs and activities that will take place next week," she said.

"We are very excited from the response that we received from the other student groups who are now hosting one or more of the 15 or so events that will take place next week,” said Vaugh Clay, Ed.D., Director of Off-Campus and Commuter Services and an adviser to the SGA.

“Issues of diversity, social justice, and inclusion have always been an important part of SGA’s focus," he continued.

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University Announces Another Tuition Increase

Tuition IncreaseUniversity President Grey Dimenna, Esq., informed students that annual tuition will increase 3.85 percent to $38,879, beginning with the summer 2019 sessions, in an email announcement his office sent ahead of the spring recess.   

This most recent increase in tuition is the third consecutive year in which the increase was nearly four percent.

With 94.1 percent of the University’s operating budget tuition-based, Monmouth is largely dependent on student enrollment in order to cover expenses. 

For the 2018-2019 academic year, the University’s operating budget is $178,425,000,\ with an endowment of about $100,970,000, as of June 30, 2018. 

“Unfortunately, like everything expenses go up,” said Mary Anne Nagy, Vice President for Student Life and Leadership Engagement. “We have to be able to cover those increases and the only way we can do it is with tuition increase and raising more money, especially for scholarships.” Nagy suggested that a solution to increasing annual tuition could be to cut in areas like printing on campus. 

According to University estimates, 96 percent of students receive some form of financial aid, demonstrating the financial burden that costly tuition has students, prompting them to apply for student loans and need-based scholarships.  

“We are deeply aware of the financial sacrifices that you make to afford your education and earn your degree, and we remain committed to your success as a student,” says Dimenna in the email. 

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Master's Program Ranking Top 100

Social Work ProgramMonmouth University’s Masters of Social Work program (MSW) has been ranked in the top 100 nationwide among 253 institutions based on a recent “2020 Best Graduate Schools” rankings from U.S. News & World Report.

The program was ranked 59th in the health schools' specialties category and second in the state of New Jersey based off eight institutions who offer the program.

It prepares students for advanced practice in clinical social work and in global and community practice.

Robin Mama, Ph.D., Dean of the School of Social Work, explained that when she joined the Monmouth faculty in 1992, social work was combined into a department along with anthropology, sociology, criminal justice, and Africana studies.

The department, however, only had two faculty members including Mama herself, and 65 social work students.

Mama said, “Over the course of a few years, we had many inquiries from alumni and other people from the community as to when we might start an MSW program.”

The former Chair of the Department, Mark Rodgers, Ph.D., worked with Mama on their first proposal for this program in 1996. 

Rodgers and Mama started the program in 1998 with the addition of 4 faculty and a Field Director, and 30 students.

“We added another 60 students in the second year of the program and have just been going from there,” Mama added. 

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Gender Studies Professor Talks on NPR Podcast

Professor Dinella NPRLisa Dinella, Ph.D., Director of the Monmouth Gender Studies Program and a professor of gender studies, was invited to speak on a podcast on children’s toys and gender on the National Public Radio (NPR), which aired on Monday, March 18.   

The NPR piece plays an important role in sharing science-based recommendations about children’s toys with parents, Dinella explained.

“Early play experiences and exposure to the media impact children’s academic and social development, and small changes in the types of toys adults buy, and how they talk to their kids about play can shape their futures,” she said in the podcast.

Dinella currently serves as the Principal Investigator of the University’s Gender Development Laboratory. She investigates the relationships between gender, academic achievement, and career development.

She also studies children’s toy play and media exposure and how gendered experiences shape academic and career pursuits across the lifespan.

She has addressed the White House, Washington, D.C., on gender disparities in children’s toys and media. In April of 2016, Dinella was a keynote speaker of this event, which was co-sponsored by The White House Council on Women and Girls, The U.S. Department of Education, and The Media, Diversity & Social Change Initiative at the University of Southern California.

She also works with global toy companies and children’s media corporations, helping them apply cutting-edge research on gender and play.

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Seniors Countdown to Graduation

Senior Graduation 1Over 225 seniors attended the graduating classes first ever “50 Days to Kickoff Graduation Celebration,” a free event open to all seniors, in Ocean First Bank Center Varsity Club Tuesday, March 26.

The senior class officers announced what events will be occurring during senior week, as well as when seniors can start buying tickets to Senior Week events.

The celebration included door prizes such as a $100 amazon gift card, food, refreshments, and one alcoholic beverage for seniors who are 21 and older.

Seniors who attended were able to pick up or place their order for their senior class shirt, and have the chance to donate their senior class gift of $20.19, in which they will receive a philanthropy cord for at graduation.

“When we all took office we knew that senior class was in need of some serious updates,” said Nick Verzicco, a senior business administration student and President of the senior class. “We wanted to really analyze other senior class programs at other institutions and see what the rest of our peers are doing.”

Verzicco said that the senior class officers noticed that other universities do not just save all their events for the last week of school, but do things throughout the year to create that comradery among the seniors.

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Overdraft Fees Resolved

DD OverdraftThe Dunkin Donuts in the Rebecca Stafford Student Center experienced a credit card processing issue from Jan. 26 through March 13.

As a result, all debit and credit card transactions during this period were not processed until last Thursday, March 14. 

These charges will show on students’ statements individually and all will be posted for the same date. 

“We understand the position that this has put on our consumers and we apologize for the inconvenience this has caused. We are committed to making this right,” Gourmet Dining writes in an email announcement to students. “If you happen to incur bank overdraft charges due to this unfortunate situation, please bring a copy of your statement or overdraft notice to the Gourmet Dining offices located behind Roots in The Rebecca Stafford Student Center and we will reimburse you for any fees you have incurred.” 

“I know that for many people, they keep bare minimum balances in their checking account, which is typically tied to their debit card. And if you have a big hit to that all at once, it is very possible for that to put you in an overdraft position and you are going to face overdraft fees,” said Nagy. “And that very much concerns me, because I know students probably run it down to the bare and are going to be find themselves in that position.” 

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Path to Progress Town Hall

Progress Town HallSenate President Stephen Sweeny held a town hall meeting to conduct a discussion about fiscal reforms in the “Path to Progress” report in Wilson Auditorium, on Monday, March 11. 

The forum was hosted by University President Grey Dimenna, Esq. Panelists included: Senator Vin Gopal, Senate Majority Conference Leader and Chairman of the Bipartisan Legislative Manufacturing Caucus; Senator Declan O’Scanlon; and Peter S. Reinhart, Esq., Director of the Kislak Real Estate Institute at Monmouth University and member of the Fiscal Policy Working Group. 

Last January, Sweeney created the Economic and Fiscal Policy Workgroup, whereby legislators and economic advisors discussed New Jersey’s pending fiscal crisis.

Reinhart and 19 other academics or economic and public policy experts were asked for recommendations on how to reform the state.

Reinhart emphasized that the panel was bipartisan. “I don’t think we even knew the politics of anyone involved,” he noted.

“We started the meeting by having a robust debate, eventually forming subgroups on pension, healthcare, and education. We didn’t always agree, but we were able to reach a consensus,” said Reinhart.

Sweeney explained that reform is vital.

“New Jersey is getting in wore fiscal shape. Pensions are in trouble, 4-year institutions are the second most expensive in the country, and we are 48th in the nation as far as investment,” he said.

Every year, the revenue the state generates goes towards pension and healthcare. Education is becoming harder to provide for, Sweeney noted. 

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Dimenna Condemns Offensive Yearbook Images

Racist Yearbook Photos Resurface, University Responds


Dimenna Condemns Yearbook ImagesUniversity President Grey Dimenna, Esq., condemned the existence of 13 individual offensive photographs in yearbooks going back from the 1960s to the 1980s in an email statement to the entire campus community on Feb. 27.

 The statement revealed that ten pictures depicted individuals posing in blackface, a form of make-up used by people not of color to represent the depiction of an African American person. The other three pictures were said by Dimenna to be offensive to other religious and cultural groups. 

“None of the images identify the individuals by name, and in some cases even the context is missing because the pictures are not associated with a specific campus event or activity,” Dimenna said in his statement. “What is unmistakable is that these pictures are offensive and do not reflect the values of Monmouth University today.”

Dimenna said the offensive images were found after ordering an examination of all the University’s past yearbooks, in light of the controversy surrounding Virginia Governor Ralph Northam being associated with racist images and names in his medical school yearbook.

When asked his first reaction upon finding the images, Dimenna said, “I was surprised and disappointed that such offensive pictures would be part of Monmouth’s tradition. I also immediately thought of how we could turn this hurtful situation into a learning experience as the images warranted acknowledgment, transparency, and action.”

According to National Public Radio, blackface has historically been used to promote negative stereotypes of African Americans.

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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