Last updateWed, 04 Dec 2019 3pm


Professors Host National Anthropology Day by Acknowledging Rise in Hate Crimes

National Anthropology DayHeidi Bludau, Ph.D., a lecturer of history and anthropology, Brooke Nappi, a professor of anthropology, and Michael Anderson-Phillips, Ph.D., a professor of communication, discussed the rise of hate crimes during National Anthropology Day celebrations in Edison Hall on Thursday, Feb. 13. 

National Anthropology Day is a part of the American Anthropological Associations annual recognition of the discipline. Monmouth University is one of over 200 institutions nationwide to participate in this program. 

Merriam-Webster defines a hate crime as any various crime (such as assault or defacement of property) when motivated by hostility to the victim as a member of a group (such as one based on color, creed, gender, or sexual orientation).

“When people aren’t happy or disenfranchised, they’re going to find a scape goat of some sort. I think we are seeing an increase lately because people feel in our current cultural and political climate that they’re able to, they’re free to,” said Bludau.  

She feels that as more people are seemingly getting away with acts of violence towards minority groups, this type of behavior becomes increasingly prevalent, and potentially the norm. “People are angry and looking for something to lash out at. They’re not happy in their lives and looking for belonging. They find unfortunately belonging in hate and hating others,” Bludau explained.

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University Scholars Discuss Implications of National Emergency

default article imageAfter a bill to fund border security passed both chambers of Congress with bipartisan support, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency in order to appropriate funding for a border wall along the U.S.-Mexican border, on Friday, Feb. 15.

Thousands of people rallied nationwide on Monday to protest the national emergency. More than 250 rallies were organized across the United States on President’s Day, with protesters carrying banners and placards that called the national emergency “fake.”

When Congress approved far less money for border security than he had sought, Trump last week announced that he would instead use the emergency declaration to stem illegal immigration, which he called “an invasion of our country.”

The declaration comes as a result of failed negotiations to secure funding, which led to a 35-day partial shutdown of the federal government, the longest in the nation’s history. During that time, Trump and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) fought over the conditions of building a physical barrier along the Southern border.

New Jersey and 15 other state Attorneys-General have already filed lawsuits against the president’s action, citing that his motion is an unconstitutional violation of the separation of powers and an illegal use of the federal National Emergencies Act. The move, if it survives pending legal challenges, would allow the president to access billions of dollars in federal emergency relief funds.

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Murphy’s Disapproval Ratings Rise in Polls

Murphy Disapproval RatingsAfter one year in office, New Jersey Governor Phil Muphy’s disapproval rating has risen 12 points, according to a recent report published by the University’s Polling Institute last Tuesday, Feb. 12. 

Support for Murphy in polling numbers have cooled off from where they were in April 2018.

While his approval rating remains steady at around 43 percent, his disapproval rating has risen from 28 percent to 40 percent, according to the Institute’s report. 

Murphy, a former Goldman Sachs President and Finance Chair of the Democratic National Committee, has also experienced a significant increase in disapproval ratings among political independents, from 33 percent to 43 percent.

Although Democrats largely approve of his performance, at 66 percent approval compared to just 9 percent disapproval, 25 percent say they still do not have an opinion of the governor.

“The most troubling result may be the large number of his fellow Democrats who continue to take a wait-and-see attitude,” said Patrick Murray, Director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute.

“It seems he has yet to score a defining win with his base despite spending a significant amount of energy pushing a progressive agenda,” he added.

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Model UN Competes at Harvard

default article imageThe University’s Model United Nations (UN) team competed at the 65th session of Harvard University’s Model UN competition.

Eight students represented Monmouth at the Park Plaza Boston Hotel, this past weekend from Saturday, Feb. 14th through Sunday, Feb. 17th

Participants debated and negotiated policy resolutions on global challenges and crises facing the actual United Nations. The official UN rules and regulation were utilized.

Representatives from the University included: Head Delegates Kristen Gomez, a junior English student, and Daniel Gerdon, a sophomore political science student; Matt Gruhler, a junior political science student;  Alexis Vasquez, a sophomore political science student; Amanda Lopez, a sophomore political science and history student; Nick Gibson, a sophomore political science student; Teniya Manu, a sophomore accounting student; and new-comer Fradley de la Cruz, a sophomore political science student.

Harvard Model UN is the oldest contest in the states, with over 150 universities from around the country and around the world, including Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America participating. 

University students were assigned to represent the Republic of Moldova on four separate committees. In preparation for the contest, students researched their country by reading both current and past events. Additionally, weekly meetings were held to prepare for their given speeches.

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Liberty and Justice Forum

default article imageAs part of the University’s commemoration of Black History Month, Walter Greason, Ph.D., Chair of Educational Counseling and Leadership in the Department of Education, hosted a discussion titled “The State of Black New Jersey 2019: With Liberty and Justice for All” in the Guggenheim Memorial Library last Wednesday, Feb. 13. 

Greason, former Dean of the Honors School, brought the discussion of discrimination, equal opportunity, and the status of New Jersey’s Black middle class to campus in his presentation. 

He discussed the idea of America’s pledge of allegiance, and how appropriate it is to say “liberty and justice for all” when there still exists such vast inequality across the country; an idea that has gained national attention after several athletes have knelt during the pledge.

“New Jersey, a century ago, was a hostile place…, certainly for African Americans, people of Mexican decent and native ancestry,” Greason explained in his discussion. Segregation was as severe a reality in New Jersey as in Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida, he noted.

From about 1928 forward through up until the late 1940s, New Jersey made a decision to change the way that it viewed diversity. Greason explained that the state made efforts to find a way to bring people of different cultural, ethnic, and religious backgrounds into the core of society. “New Jersey led the nation in that way,” he said.

New Jersey later amended the state constitution to include clauses of anti-discrimination protections.

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University Mourns the Loss of Professor Kenneth Stunkel

Professor Kenneth Stunkel PassingKenneth Stunkel, Ph.D., Emeritus Professor of History at Monmouth University, passed away on Feb. 7 in his Neptune, NJ home at the age of 87. 

He is survived by his wife Mary Carol, his sister Shelley, his daughters Sally and Mirah, his son Reagan, grandson Elon, and three adoring pet cats.  

Mary Carol, to whom he was married for 48 years, has been an adjunct professor of communication at Monmouth for 17 years. She said that her husband had, “a lifelong passion for learning new things; not to specialize too much [in one particular subject area] and to know that understanding comes from the knowledge of a broad range of subjects, so that you understand different perspectives.” 

Stunkel taught through his 80th year, ending a 47-year tenure at Monmouth. He spent time as a professor of history, teaching over 25 different courses. He also served as the Dean of two different schools on campus: Art and Design and Humanities and Social Sciences.  

“As a new faculty member, I remember going to meet with Ken to talk about teaching and I was consistently impressed by the breadth of his knowledge,” said Richard Veit, Ph.D., a professor of anthropology and Chair of the Department of History and Anthropology. “He was incredibly well read and was able to speak at length on all sorts of topics; he was impressive, and I was thrilled to be one of his faculty colleagues at Monmouth University.” 

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University Mourns Loss of Beloved Physics Professor

Garland Grammar PassingGarland Grammer, Ph.D., a physics instructor and professor at Monmouth University, passed away on Wednesday, Jan. 30 at CentraState Medical Center in Freehold Township at the age of 75.

“He was a delightful and really sincerely caring person. He was always willing to take on any variety of coursework,” said William Schreiber, Chair of the Department of Chemistry and Physics.

Schreiber noted, “He was always eagerly sharing any information with his colleagues. Eager to do so, even in his last weeks in the hospital he was doing that.”

A native of Roanoke and Lynchburg, VA, Grammer  received his bachelor’s degree from Virginia Tech, Doctorate in Theoretical Elementary Particle Physics from Cornell University, and a former Vietnam War Veteran.

Prior to teaching at Monmouth, Grammer worked as a research associate at the Institute for Theoretical Physics at SUNY Stony Brook, research assistant professor at the University of Illinois, Bell Labs/AT&T, IBM as a senior project executive, and with Martin Perl, Ph.D., at Stanford University.

While working with Perl, Grammer’s contribution led to the discovery of tau lepton, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics.

As a professor at Monmouth, Grammer was always involved and searched for methods helpful for physics courses.

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Latest Email Scams

default article imageSeveral scam emails describing potential job opportunities and requesting to click on attached links were sent out to more than 6,300 students earlier this month, on Friday, Feb. 1.

One email sent from a user posing as a student reads, “Hello, my name is Gillian Demetrious, I am a student here at Monmouth University. My uncle is moving to the school area and needs someone who can pet sit or and walk his English Bull dog 2 hours daily within 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Pay is $300 weekly. Kingly email him for more info You are to email him with your personal email NOT school email so he can receive your email because most times I email him with m school email he hardly receive my emails.” 

Another email from a user called Jonathan T. Beebe reads, “You have (2) important unread messages from our admin team, Click on review read it.” 

“Students may have received an email that purports to be a fellow student looking to hire someone as a part time dog walker.  Do not respond to that email.  It is a job scam. We are addressing it,” Jeffrey Layton, Detective Sergeant of the Monmouth University Police Department, writes in an email to students following the incidents. 

The University has since urged students to disregard the emails and remove them from their inboxes, and to report any other instances of scams to the IT Help Desk. In addition, they recommend students change their Monmouth-related password for security purposes if they opened any links affiliated with these emails. 

Robert Carsey, Director of Server Operations, has previously reported that in some cases, online scammers have made attempts to access employee or student worker W-2 information, which includes personal addresses and social security numbers.

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Student Food Pantry in New Location

Student Food Pantry 2The University’s Student Government Association (SGA) has moved the student food pantry, which aids students who experience food insecurity, to the Rebecca Stafford Student Center on Jan. 22. 

“The Nest,” as the food pantry is called to reflect the University’s Hawk mascot, first started in the spring of 2018 and was originally located in Laurel Hall where only 12 students had access to it.

However, it has since been relocated to a more populous location, on the ground floor of the Rebecca Stafford Student Center. 

Currently, The Nest is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., with more hours soon to come. It is nearly fully stocked of non-perishable items such as cereal, oatmeal, granola bars, soup, canned fruit and vegetables, pasta, and even limited gluten-free options.

Toiletry items such as shampoo, soap, toothpaste, toothbrushs, and even tampons can also be found at the Nest.

Syed Mehdi Husaini, a junior biology student and President of the SGA, is thrilled to see the positive impact The Nest is bringing to the University.

He said, “On a more macroscopic level, I believe that the presence of an effort like this, as well as the resounding approval it has in the community, will allow for students, faculty, and administration at Monmouth to come together and deepen the relationship we all have by caring for one another.”

Those eligible to use the pantry include undergraduate and graduate University students who do not have a meal plan. Since students who have a meal plan have a free range of food options, they are not titled to use The Nest.

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Wilson Hosts Public Redistricting Forum

Wilson Public Redistricting ForumThe League of Women Voters of New Jersey partnered with the Fair Districts NJ coalition to host a public forum on the legislative redistricting process in New Jersey in the Wilson Auditorium on Wednesday, Feb. 6. 

The speakers included Helen Kioukis, Program Associate for League of Women Voters of New Jersey; Patrick Murray, Director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute; and Yurij Rudensky, Redistricting Counsel at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law. 

This forum is one in a series of 10 public programs being organized by the League of Women Voters across the state in order to educate voters on the redistricting process. 

Kioukis, who works to advance statewide legislative priorities and currently serves as the lead organizer for the fairer districts redistricting reform campaign, expressed, “It is important that public opinion drives public policy, especially redistricting reform and how the lines of your (New Jersey) districts will be redrawn after the census.” 

Once every decade, census data is collected to determine the redrawing of districts.

However, there are many historically difficult areas to count in New Jersey because less than half of voters are responding to the census which results in an undercount, Kioukis explained. The Supreme Court upholds a principle of “one person, one vote” so that each district needs to be drawn with roughly the same number of people to ensure fair representation, allowing voters equal opportunity to participate in political processes. 

Participants responding to the census is important in order to acquire equal representation, but New Jersey is currently struggling with is how fair that representation is along party lines. If the state lacks accurate census data, it risks the number of representatives New Jersey sends to the House of Representatives, based off of Congressional districts, as well as $17.5 million of federal funding for state programs.

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Mice in Elmwood Residential Hall

Elmwood Mice 1There continues to be sightings of rodents in Elmwood Hall, one week after a video of residents encountering a dead mouse widely circulated on Instagram, with more than 9,800 views, on Friday, Feb.1. 

According to Patti Swannack, Vice President for Administrative Services, the first Elmwood report of mice in 2019 occurred on the first day of the spring semester, Jan. 22, when students in a third-floor room noticed that their power bars had been eaten. 

After another sighting was reported on the first floor several days later, Residential Life requested that exterminators treat that area, as well as sections of Elmwood Hall where mice had been spotted during the previous semester. 

The last treatment occurred on Tuesday, Feb. 5, and Swannack warned that the mouse bait placed by exterminators would take a little time to work. “I am frustrated because we have never had this kind of a problem in a residence hall,” Swannack admitted. “We will continue to do everything we can to mitigate this problem.”

Swannack added that Shadows Club was treated by exterminators on Friday and they plan to continue sending treatment teams to Elmwood.

As of Saturday night, Feb. 9, Residential Life has not responded to a question over whether residents will be temporarily moved from Elmwood Hall until the mice infestation can be dealt with more effectively. 

Ilya Kirejevas, a freshman psychology student and Elmwood resident, said that he hopes that he will not have to change rooms, adding that he is frustrated with having to live in the current situation.“You can hear the mice at night,” he said. “They are scurrying up on the ceiling.”

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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