Last updateThu, 14 Mar 2019 12pm


The Outlook Wins Society of Professional Journalists Award

default article imageThe Outlook won The Best Overall Newspaper (non-daily publication) in the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Excellence in Journalism Competition as the newspaper that best represents its community.

The SPJ Keystone Pro Chapter’s Spotlight is an annual contest that has 19 other categories including Editorial Writing, Broadsheet Page Design, Feature Story, Headline, Online Breaking News, Sports Reporting, and News Photography. The most recent contest covered stories and photos published between Jan. 1, 2017 and Dec. 31, 2017 with the purpose of stimulating high standards and ethical behavior in the practice of journalism.

According to the SPJ official website, “[The contest] is not based on circulation but on quality of the profession and what it stands for, is open to all journalists from Pennsylvania and New Jersey whose work appeared in a publication in one of these two states.”

“The idea of blending the SPJ NJ and PA contests was a trial this year, but it was so successful we most likely will do it again,” said Pat Trosky, President of the Keystone Pro Chapter of SPJ. She also stated that the Oklahoma Chapter of SPJ determined the winners of the NJ and PA region. 

“We hope that awards help young journalists realize journalists of any age and experience can produce great work,” said Christine Cordial, Program Coordinator of SPJ. “We hope it gets them in the habit of submitting [to] awards in their professional careers so that their talent can be recognized as their body of work develop. Our awards program is just one of the ways we seek to equip young journalists with the tools needed to make a name for themselves as professionals.”

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Student Government Association Opens Food Pantry

SGA Food PantryThe University’s Student Government Association (SGA) is launching The Nest, a food pantry that will be open later this semester to provide non-perishable items to serve food insecure students on campus.

The food pantry is located in the lower level of Laurel Hall, which was previously a classroom space, before the proper equipment and shelving were added. Currently, The Nest is stocked with items such as rice, pasta, oatmeal and other canned goods, and is slated to officially open within the next few weeks, according to Nicholas Verzicco, a senior business administration student.

“[It was suggested by] Jihad Johnson (graduate student studying student affairs and college counseling) and current SGA President Mehdi Husaini (a junior biology student) [who] attended the Conference on Student Government Associations (COSGA),” explained Verzicco, citing that the idea came from one of the workshops at the event. “They explained that other universities have food pantries that assist their student population. I loved this idea and asked if I could take the initiative on this.”

“I think it’s very timely,” said Mary Anne Nagy, Vice President of Student Life and Leadership Engagement. “You’re starting to see [facilities] like this pop up on campuses across the country.” She emphasized that food insecurity is still a major issue at Monmouth, and often goes unaddressed, especially among members of the graduate student and international student communities, as well as students living in the apartments on campus or in off campus rentals.

“Upwards of 30 percent of all college students are food insecure,” said Vaughn Clay, Ph. D., Director of Off-Campus and Commuter Services. “In the many years that I’ve been working with students from an off-campus perspective, I’ve probably had… a dozen or two who told me they were worried about [living] costs and that was going to bleed into their ability to purchase food.”

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Residential Life Adds Gender-Neutral Housing

Residential Life Gender NeutralStudents received an e-mail on July 16 from Residential Life explaining that the staff will be conducting a pilot program for gender-neutral housing in Beechwood Hall this fall semester. 

The program marks a major move for the University in acknowledging identities that are included in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and other (LGBTQ+) communities in on-campus housing, as well as their needs that must be met while living in residence halls.  

In the message, Associate Director of Residential Life and Housing Operations Meg Jones outlines gender-neutral housing and defines it as a residence “in which two or more students mutually agree to share a multiple occupancy suite regardless of students’ sex, gender or gender identity.”

 According to Jones, not only does this allow for students that identify as male or female to potentially live together, but also allows for transgender and gender non-conforming students to feel represented in housing arrangements. “It simplifies the process for students finding roommates compatible to themselves and alleviates any assumptions of gender identity,” added Jones. 

Corey Wrenn, Ph.D., a lecturer of sociology, agrees that it is imperative for LGBTQ+ youth to have the opportunity to grow and develop amongst their peers.

“Particularly for LGBT youths, a sense of community, family, and belonging is especially important, not just for normalcy and wellbeing, but for adjustment,” said Wrenn. “The switch to college can be a stressful one, but especially for LGBT youths who report much higher levels of anxiety and depression.”

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Phishing Scam Sent in Email to Students and Staff

default article imageAn email containing a phishing scam was sent to students and faculty over the summer on July 17.

The email’s sender claimed to be a representative from Monmouth University notifying everyone of an important meeting. The phishing email read, “Dear User, this is to notify all of an important meeting which is scheduled to hold 18th July 2018.  Click here for details.”

“Phishing is the fraudulent attempt to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details for malicious reasons, by disguising as a trustworthy source in an electronic communication,” said William Reynolds, an adjunct professor of computer science and software engineering. He explained that phishing emails can include links to websites that install malware. 

“One of the most difficult things about phishing is that it is viewed as a technology problem, when it is simply age-old scams that are exploiting new technologies,” said Edward Christensen, Vice President for Information Management. According to him, the best way to avoid phishing schemes is to be informed about what red flags to look for.

“I did happen to encounter the phishing scam email... The average user does not think twice about phishing emails,” said Kyle Frankenbush, a junior computer science major. “If a user does fall for a phishing scam important information like credit card information, social security numbers, and passwords can be taken and then exploited by the source of the phishing scam.”

Christensen said that the University systems currently utilize several anti-spam and malware detection services to identify and delete phishing emails before they make it to their intended recipients.

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Communication Department Holds First Ever Kickoff

Comm Department KickoffThe Department of Communications and its student-run clubs held its first “Communication Kickoff” event in the lobby of the Jules Plangere Center on Wednesday, Sept. 5.

“I thought it was a great job by the leaders of the clubs to get the word out with their organization,” said Lorna Schmidt, a professor of Communication and Director of Advising. “The goal was for people to see what the Communication Department had to offer in a laid back, no pressure environment.”

The event included student-run organizations from WMCX, the on-campus University radio station;  Hawk TV, the television network; Comm Works, a program committed to performance as a means to transform, educate, entertain, and empower both performers and audiences; Monmouth Oral Communication Center (MOCC), which promotes helping students with their communication skills; Monmouth University’s Chapter of Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), which hopes to provide public relations advice to the University and local Community; and The Outlook, the student-run newspaper.

The event was targeted at rising sophomores and transferring students not in the communication field, as well as anyone around campus who was looking to join a club within the Department. The event allowed students to interact with professors and faculty members outside of an academic setting. Students were able to walk around, eat snacks, play games, and individually meet the leaders and members of the organizations.

“I wanted to know how to get involved in the newspaper and in PRSSA and this event was great for me,” said Tara Vecchio, a freshman communication student. “It was a fun environment and it was nice to meet everyone.”

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EZ Ride Shutdown

EZ RideThe free EZ Ride Shuttle service at Monmouth University will be discontinued due to budget concerns and a lack of riders on Sept. 30.

This shuttle was provided by the city of Long Branch which received a grant to run the shuttle for three years. It was accessible to both students and faculty for free several times a day, allowing them to travel to locations in the surrounding area, stopping at residential areas and the beach.

“The city was successful in getting an extension for two more years and Monmouth put in a relatively small amount of money towards the grant,” said Mary Anne Nagy, Vice President of Student Life and Leadership Engagement. The lack of an extension to the grant resulted in the announcement on Aug. 14 that the service would be terminated. The University has been the beneficiary of this transportation system for five years.

 “Both Monmouth [University] and Long Branch could not justify the expense based on the small number of people riding the shuttle,” said Nagy. Since the cost of keeping the shuttle running was high compared to the small ridership size, both parties decided to discontinue future funding.

Teniya Manu, a sophomore accounting student, said, “I used the shuttle to go to CVS since I don’t have a car or anyone to drive me around. Although only a few people took advantage of the shuttle, it was very convenient to have since there is no time or wait schedule like most other shuttles.”

The University staff is working on finding transportation alternatives. “There is nothing right now to replicate the EZ Shuttle that would take students and faculty all day, every day,” said Nagy. However, there have always been other shuttles available to students for different locations such as Red Bank, Monmouth Mall, and Target, among others. The Office of Student Activities has created a calendar with five different dates that will have shuttles available for students to get an opportunity to visit places and explore resources outside of campus.

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University Holds First Summer Commencement

Commencement 1

Students walked in the University’s first Summer Commencement ceremony on Aug. 28 to receive their graduate and undergraduate degrees.

The ceremony itself was much smaller and more intimate than the traditional Spring Commencement held at PNC Bank Arts Center, with only 97 students being honored. At 3:00 p.m., students walked to the graduation hymn in Pollak Theater to receive their diplomas on stage, a first for the University as well. A full house welcomed the new-found graduates, including 60 faculty members and 14 members of the Board of Trustees.

“[Because] the ceremony was held in Pollak Theater, it really made it feel more personal and all eyes were strictly on you. I felt there was more of an appreciation for each individual graduate both undergrad and graduate students,” said Joseph Firetto, now an MBA student from the Leon Hess School of Business.

Firetto was one of the students who participated in the ceremony, received his B.S. in accounting. Like most of his peers, his previous plan was to walk in winter graduation before it was discontinued.

“I was originally supposed to graduate in the winter, then they got rid of winter commencement,” said Firetto. “When I enrolled in my final two undergraduate classes over the summer, I was told in mid-May that the summer commencement was happening, and I was ecstatic to find out that I will be walking and receiving my diploma months before I expected. It was a pleasant surprise.”

Summer commencement allowed Firetto to graduate a year early, and at the top of his summer accounting class.

While the ceremony itself is new, the idea has been considered for quite some time.

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Go. Live Your Dream | Courtney Buell's Senior Goodbye

Buell 1Four women have made me the woman I am today: Rapunzel, Elle Woods, Carrie Bradshaw, and my Mother. Okay, maybe I shouldn’t owe my entire personhood to three fictional characters, but hear me out.

When you’re a little girl, there is nothing more that you want to be in life than an adult. You can be whatever you want, and while my six-year-old self wasn’t knocking down the doors of the New York Times asking them, “What’s the story?” I knew that I wanted three simple things; to grow up to be half the woman my mother is, to make magic everyday, and to be happy.

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The World Only Spins Forward | Kerry Breen's Senior Goodbye

Breen 1If anything has defined my time here at Monmouth, it’s The Outlook. For the past four years, this newspaper has been my family. I started writing for this paper the first week of my freshman year and just never stopped, and now I find myself writing half a dozen stories per week. However, without some of the amazing people here, I would have never lasted this long. Being a part of this newspaper really did change my life, and I’m so thankful to anyone who ever stepped foot in the newsroom for the part they played in that.

Courtney - All year, you’ve been putting up with the crazy stories that I bring to your desk, and you’re always willing to jump in, make it work, and stick it on the front page. Without you, half of the best stories this year wouldn’t exist, and without you, the other half wouldn’t have been published at all.

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we all burn up from the leaves. | Coral Cooper's Senior Goodbye

Cooper 1We say goodbye again, flicking memories back and forth over wet asphalt. The rains come every year, maybe not this hard, but we’re always jolted by the wet embrace. The dry winter laced with books, papers, cracked skin, dusty wine, and promises the cold freezes and keeps, thaws.

We remember the flowers that we unearth and become.

The dark spider on a stem spirals and her needles tap at first-light and she gathers in the morning’s first kill as the tightless, broken-heeled, lying lovers do. We don’t turn over from our separate pillows to watch it all spill out. We won’t turn to each other for anything.

Some petals curl into themselves. Some sun burnished the blood into the snow.

Cabbage moths stutter in flight like shaking ash from a flame we pretended not to light.  And the steps quicken so the memory doesn’t catch up. Dandelions dance in cool mornings lifting themselves from the soil while their petals shadowing nothing at all. Roses, glowing red with ideas, fill the space between the yellow roses that make the afternoon sun seem dim.

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Empowered by Education | Joy Morgan's Senior Goodbye

Morgan 1Today, I am a senior at Monmouth University.

On May 9, I will be gone from here.

For many years of my life I adapted to the culture of the educational system; competitive, intimidating, comfortable, and a privilege.

These last few weeks of my career here are quite similar to the last few I spent at a tiny high school in the woods, an hour south, a world away.

Like now, I was doing a lot. “Too much,” many of my peers would say. I came to Monmouth University because a friend set up the interview for a scholarship that would change my life.

I was fortunate that life had opened this door for me, and blessed that I had made the decision to walk in.

Little did I know, my experience at Monmouth would completely transform my person.

I started at Monmouth enrolled in a five-week academic boot camp.

Each hour of the day was planned by the providers of my scholarship. It is important to note, I was not a recipient for academic or athletic excellence, but instead perseverance and resilience.

I was not your stereotypical teen in a middle-class nuclear family. Actually, I was alone. Afraid. No one to instruct me on the next steps, and if anyone tried, why should I believe them?

See, before I came to Monmouth, I fended for myself most days. I never learned to properly tie my shoes, or organize a binder. While it seems like these are quite basic concepts, when survival is your primary concern, and optimism your most valued goal, asking for help in the little areas of life was not only foolish, but dangerous…plus what was actually important anyway?

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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