Last updateFri, 19 Jun 2020 7pm


MU Takes a Look at Fire Safety

Since 2000, when Seton Hall’s Boland Hall dorm caught fire killing three students, dorm fire safety has increased dramatically across the country with the hope of preventing another similar tragedy. Universities across the country have made changes called for by federal and state politicians.

Richard J. Orlando, assistant chief of the Brick Township Bureau of Fire Safety, said the Boland fire led to major changes including the installation of fire sprinklers in college dorms, smoking bans in dorms and fire drill participation across the country.

According to Orlando, within six months of the fire, the state Legislature passed legislation requiring New Jersey’s 43 residential colleges and high schools to install fire sprinklers by 2004.

Orlando also said that colleges were now required to report their statistics about fires for the first time. Fire safety advocates also continue to improve fire safety in off-campus housing.

The University Police Department works to eliminate safety hazards by cooperating with various campus departments. In addition to assisting with campus fire safety, Chief Bill McElrath and Captain Dean Volpe also serve on the University Fire and Safety Committee, which meets regularly.

According to Captain Dean Volpe, the University police works with departments across campus to ensure a safe environment on campus

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Jessica Lowe is Not So “Average” After All Names University Student as Runner-Up for Most Average Student Contest

Jessica-LoweJessica Lowe, freshman psychology and English major, was selected as one of four runner-ups in the Average Student Scholarship Contest. Unfortunately, Lowe discovered that she was a little above average to receive such an “average” award, thus she did not receive the $5,000 in winnings. is a comedy website that is based in New York City which features videos, pictures, photographs, and links to comical information. The site uploads material daily and is created by its in-house writing and production team. The company also accepts submissions from users.

Last month, announced a contest to help out the average college student who tends to fall somewhere in the middle academically. Such students aren’t typically rewarded or even recognized for their work, and the company wanted to change that.

Streeter Seidell, editor-in-chief of, has been working with the website for approximately eight years now. “I was thinking about how I never won anything ever. I never received any awards, I never won any scholarships, and I thought it was pretty unfair,” Seidell said.

Seidell was inspired to find the most average student and award them for their “averageness.” “Kids that are at the very top and kids that are at the very bottom receive a lot of financial help, and then there are kids like me, the normal kid that falls in the middle and receives nothing.” received about 2,000 applications, one of these being Lowe. She had signed up to receive notifications regarding scholarship newsletters where she discovered the contest. “I scream average. I am average height. I am average looking. I am an average student. Everything about me is average,” Lowe said.

Lowe applied for this scholarship approximately a month ago, and as any average college student, she submitted her application three minutes before the deadline.

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Fight For the CURE with COREiculum in COREientation

COREiculumCOREiculum will be holding its CORE for a CURE COREientation DVD set release party collaborated with Zeta Tau Alpha (ZTA) for breast cancer research and education on March 27 in the Multipurpose Activity Center (MAC). At the release party, celebrating the official release on March 25, students and staff can take demo COREses at two separate sessions.

At the “First Period” session, doors will open at 5:00 pm and will include a demo class at 5:30 pm and another at 6:00 pm. For the “Second Period” session, doors will open at 7:30 pm and will include a demo class at 8:00 pm and another at 8:30 pm.

Demo COREses will be offered free of charge. Some of these demo COREses available will be plyometrics, kickboxing and cardio dance. Also at the event, there will be fitness competitions, tips presented for a healthier diet, gift giveaways to local businesses, and a healthy bake sale.

An undetermined portion of the revenue will go to breast cancer research and education, the philanthropy of ZTA. Andrew Stern, University graduate and creator of COREiculum, proposed an idea of collaboration to Carly Swanson, sophomore communication major and Director of Philanthropy for ZTA. She said that she has been working with Katelyn Walsh, junior business major and ZTA sister, to help with the business aspect as they work to expand the event and promote by spreading the word.

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Unruly Behavior in Redwood Hall

Redwood2Residential Life Area Coordinator, Rhya Harris experienced disorderly conduct when the guest of a Redwood resident attempted to kiss her on Friday, March 1 at 3 am. The guest, according to University Administrators, was under the influence of alcohol.

The Coordinator did not know the individual, nor were the actions reciprocated in any way, and upon her outrage, the guest retreated back to the lobby and did not bother her again.

According to Associate Director of Residential Life Mark Holfelder, Harris notified him of the incident “as soon as possible.” The two then screened security cameras in the lobby of Redwood for a positive identification on the perpetrator.

Although a positive identification has been made, it is unclear as to who actually identified the perpetrator. “So we were very prudent in trying to make sure we knew who it was. Once we determined who it was we contacted the police, they came out, between us and the police we kind of figured out who it was. We dealt with the situation,” Holfelder said. “We dealt with the resident whose guest it was and with the guest, within our protocol.”

Harris was available for interview but declined to comment directly.

Residential Life indicated this was something they can handle internally, however, the following Thursday, March 8, they officially notified the Monmouth University Police Department (MUPD).

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Does Working Part-Time Prepare You for the Real World?

Jena-Part-Time-JobIn 2011, 19.7 million students were enrolled in undergraduate college, 72 percent of which held jobs as well, according to the United States Census Bureau report. Working a job while in college can be seen as beneficial as well as harmful to a student’s education.

Having a job while in college can prevent students from completing school work, however it can also assist students in time management skills, gaining real life experience, and improving grades, as studies have shown.

“I work 7.5 hours a week for the Phonathon of the Annual Fund at school, but I should work more hours,” Stephanie Rodriguez, junior, said. “A benefit to working while in college is gaining independence, but sometimes it gets in the way of schoolwork because people are too caught up in making money rather than getting an education.”

Patrick O’Halloran, economics professor and Academic Standards and Review Committee (ASRC) member, explained that the type of job obtained and the student’s personal situation determines whether the job is necessary.

“Many have to work to help support themselves or family members. However, if one works so much that they cannot finish school they will likely have to take fewer classes per semester and take longer to graduate than someone who does not work and can take more credits per semester,” said O’Halloran.

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Sequester Cuts to Affect Student Loans

Mandatory federal budget cuts to education programs under the sequester will reduce the amount of financial aid that is given to University students for the upcoming 2013 to 2014 school year. However, the monetary extent of the cutbacks’ effects is unclear at this time, according to University officials.

The sequester, a series of automatic federal spending cuts was triggered on March 1 under provisions in The Budget Control Act of 2011. The act trims $1.2 trillion off the federal budget over the next nine years through funding reductions to a wide array of federal programs, including the military, low-income housing programs, and education programs, such as federal loans and grants to college students.

The most widespread reductions could be seen by the 4,400 University students that receive federal loans, but those reductions would be relatively minuscule, according to Claire Alasio, Director of Financial Aid and Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management.

Previously, federal student loans carried an origination fee of one percent of the loan’s gross value, but the fee rose to 1.05 percent for loans distributed after March 1.

“The only students impacted [were] students who did not complete their financial aid paperwork in a timely manner,” Alasio said, adding that approximately 40 students were affected by the change. “To give you a sense of the economic impact, the maximum loan for an undergraduate would be $12,500. The old fee was $125 and the new fee is $131,” she said. “As you can see, this is a minimal impact to students.”

Origination fees on Parental Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) loans for parents also increased, from four percent to 4.2 percent. “This would impact about 600 students and their families,” Alasio said. “At this time, we don’t know whether the new origination fees will carry into the 2013-2014 academic year and beyond.”

To date, the increased origination fees appear to be the only concrete details of the sequester’s effects on financial aid distributed to University students. Upwards of the 1,000 University students who receive grants or participate in the federal work study programs will have to wait a little longer to find out how, if at all, their aid will be affected. Details on the cuts to these programs are still murky, and the University is waiting on more specific information from the federal government on their potential reductions.

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First Interfaith Fair Comes to Campus

IFS-logo-bw-02The first Interfaith Fair will come to the University today, Wednesday, March 6 from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm in Anacon Hall, located on the second floor of the Student Center.

The purpose of the Interfaith Fair is to give members of the University community an opportunity to learn more about different faiths around the world. Attendees are able to visit each table and learn about different faiths and faith experiences. Several groups from the University will be hosting tables including individual students highlighting faith experiences such as World Youth Day, Birthright Israel, and the “Diversity is…” project.

President Barack Obama placed an emphasis on the interfaith cooperation and community service during his inauguration. As a result, the University will be involved with Obama’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge.

According to Obama, the interfaith service involves people from different backgrounds, religious and non-religious coming together to tackle community challenges.

The community challenges range from homelessness to mentoring to the environment, all while building civility between diverse groups. An example Obama used was Protestants, Catholics, Hindus, Jews, Muslims and non-believers building a Habitat for Humanity house together. To do so, he is calling on all institutions of higher education, from community colleges to private four-year colleges, to solve our nation’s greatest challenges.

There are over 250 institutions in the first year of Obama’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge. The challenge is to help make the vision of interfaith cooperation a reality on campuses and communities across the country.

Melissa Boege, graduate assistant from the Office of Service Learning and Community Programs, became involved with the challenge as part of her graduate assistantship. Boege, Dr. Saliba Sarsar, director of the Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge at the University, Barbara Nitzberg, International Student Assistant Director, and Marilyn Ward, Director of Service Learning, have been coordinating and organizing the Interfaith Fair at the University.

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President Obama Introduces “College Scorecard”

President Barack Obama’s administration unveiled a new online tool aimed at giving prospective college students a better idea of what individual colleges will cost and whether the financial burden will be worth it.

The “College Scorecard” comes as student debt is at an all-time high, graduates are entering a tough job market, and families are overwhelmed with confusing and sometimes hard-to-find information about costs.

Obama, during his State of the Union address, said families could use the website to figure out “where you can get the most bang for your educational buck,” though some experts criticized the data the administration chose to use.

The site allows consumers to get bare bones information on two and four year colleges and universities, including tuition costs, graduation rates and graduates’ average loan repayment per month. The goal is to eventually include data on graduates’ employment and earnings, part of a push to make colleges more transparent about, and accountable for, student success.

“We know students and families are often overwhelmed in the college search process — but feel they lack the tools to sort through the information and decide which school is right for them,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said. “The College Scorecard provides a snapshot about an institution’s cost and value to help families make smart decisions about where to enroll.”

Students can search for a specific institution or by factors such as location, size or majors offered. Some of the information is re-purposed from previous Education Department initiatives, such as the College Navigator website that provides much of the same data.

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The Blue and White Go Green

What Makes Monmouth a Green University?

solar_panelsThe University is trying to create a more sustainable environment for future generations. Distinguished by The Princeton Review in 2012, the University is now one of the most environmentally responsible colleges in North America.

Three hundred and twenty-two institutes were chosen as 2012’s Green Colleges because The Princeton Review determined they each had a “strong commitment to sustainability in their academic offerings, campus infrastructure, activities, and career preparation.”

Tony MacDonald, Director of the Urban Coast Institute, said, “While there is a long way to go in making the campus fully sustainable, the campus has made great strides over the past five years.”

The University’s major accomplishments relating to a more sustainable environment have enabled the recognition. MacDonald mentioned that the University has experienced significant energy reduction through the use of solar panels, implementation of single-stream recycling systems, and the cooperative agreement the University has with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

“Monmouth entered into the Voluntary Agreement with the EPA because we believe that the University has an obligation to educate students beyond the classroom so that they can assume leadership positions in their community, regardless of what they do,” Patricia Swannack, Vice President for Administrative Services, said. “Higher education should not be complicit in the destruction of the environment.” Swannack said the collaboration allows the campus to regularly share their development with the EPA. She explained that a semi-annual report in accordance with the EPA gives the University the opportunity to measure the efforts achieved and assist the campus in setting the right goals.

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Third Annual Communication Career Event Held

The University held its third annual Communication Career Event on Tuesday, February 26 from 2:30 pm to 6:00 pm in Wilson Hall.

The Communication Career Event was split into three parts; Information Panels, Résumé Review and Interview Practice and the Networking Event and Internship Fair.

The Information Panels ran from 2:30 pm to 4:30 pm in various rooms within Wilson Hall. The Résumé Review and Interview Practice took place in the main room of Wilson Hall from 2:30 pm to 6:00 pm. The Networking Event and Internship Fair were also held in the main room from 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm.

Organizations that attended the event included HBO, AMC, ESPN, MLB Network, NHL. com, Shamrock Communications, Townsquare Productions, WWE, Flex Magazine and more companies from television, radio, public relations, journalism and communication studies.

Students from every discipline within the Communication Department gathered to Wilson Hall to extend their knowledge of their career opportunities. Students were exposed to University alumni who currently have jobs in the communication field. They were also able to explore new career options, network with professionals in their major and speak with companies about internships and jobs opportunities.

Following the event, many professors asked students what their thoughts of the event were. Brad Brown, senior, said, “I went to the Communication Event as a senior to look for opportunities, either an internship or paid position, to get myself out in the field and be successful right out of Monmouth.”

Brown continued, “I think the event went very well. However, one of the weaknesses was a lack of opportunities in the field of on-air radio broadcasting. I know there are a lot of students looking at on-air broadcasting and it would be good to get those opportunities for those people to be in front of the camera or over the radio.”

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One Fish, Two Fish, Three Fish, MU Fish

University Bookstore Held “Salute to Seuss Soiree” in Honor of Read Across America Day

DrSeussIn celebration of Read Across America Day, the University bookstore held a “Salute to Seuss Soiree” on Friday, March 1. The bookstore was buzzing with pre-school students and University staff.

Children were given coloring activity packets as well as Thing 1 and Thing 2 shirts for older participants to take pictures in. Aramark baked Dr. Seuss-themed cupcakes for the event, The Lorax was played and stacks of Seuss books were available for children to read.

Nikki Hernandez, Assistant Manager of Course Materials at the bookstore, explained that they put the event together to encourage kids to read while having fun. “We all love to read, and not just because we work at the bookstore,” Hernandez said.

There were five guest staff readers including Stanley Blair, English professor, and Claude Taylor, Athletics Professor-in-Residence. The readings ended with a surprise visit from “Cindy Lou Who,” played by Barbara Coleman, bookstore employee.

Theodor Seuss Geisel was an American writer, poet, and cartoonist most widely known for his children’s books written under the pen name Dr. Seuss. He published 46 children’s books during his lifetime and March 2, his birthday, is now celebrated as Read Across America Day.

While the event was Seuss-themed, any children or reader’s favorite book could be read.

The Seuss books “One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish,” “Mr. Brown Cow Can Moo! Can You?” and an excerpt from “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!” were all read.

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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