Last updateWed, 19 Feb 2020 2pm


Volume 83 (Fall 2011 - Spring 2012)

Lavish Weddings Breaking the Bank

Lavish Weddings Breaking the BankOn the heels of the Kim Kardashian divorce, many wondered what could have caused the breakup of a couple that seemed enamored with each other at their $10 million wedding, a mere 72 days prior to the divorce announcement.

Weeks after filing for the divorce, Kardashian said that she got too “caught up” in the planning of the wedding, and by the time she realized that she had made a mistake, it was too late and she did not want to let her fans down. Her statement led me to question the meaning behind the American obsession with lavish weddings and extravagance. What first appeared to be part of the celebrity culture, the desire to have over-the-top weddings has become a part of mainstream lifestyles.

Ordinary people have always been influenced by Hollywood and the trends set forth by their favorite celebrities, and the habit of imitation is finding its way into the weddings of many people. With televisions shows such as “Platinum Weddings,” “Brides of Beverly Hills,” and “Rich Bride, Poor Bride,” ordinary people strive to have extraordinary weddings that they often cannot afford.

Long gone are the days of people planning weddings with the main intention of celebrating the eternal bond they are about to form with the love of their lives. These days, weddings have become a chance for brides and grooms to bury themselves in debt for the sake of putting on a show for their guests. Weddings are now all about which designer made the dress, how extravagant the cake is, and how expensive the venue looks.

What we, as a society, fail to realize is that celebrities are in the financial position to have weddings of a certain magnitude because they have the financial resources, or in Kim Kardashian’s case, they are willing to sell themselves and the right to their privacy for $18 million in order to profit from their wedding and completely cover their expenses.

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“Modern Family” Has Families Everywhere Laughing

Modern Family“Modern Family” trumps all primetime comedies. Tears are springing from your eyes, starting to overflow the bottom lids. Now the tears are streaming down your face. It gets worse: your stomach is cramping up so hard it hurts to do anything. Now, because you’re crying, and your stomach is convulsing, and your nose is getting all stuffy, you can’t breathe. Not even a little bit.

This scenario may sound like a bad day, but, really, it’s the exact opposite. You’re simply watching this week’s new episode of ABC’s “Modern Family,” the best comedy on television right now. The hysterical blend of comedic perfection is literally making you laugh so hard you’re crying (and maybe peeing in your pants a little bit too).

“Modern Family” is a sitcom that has been a part of primetime network television since September 2009. It follows one extended family, the Pritchetts, through their days as parents, children, spouses, siblings, and cousins.

The Pritchett family is comprised of patriarch Jay, his Colombian wife Gloria, and her son Manny. Jay is also father to Mitchell, who lives with his partner Cameron, and their adopted Asian daughter Lily. The show also follows Jay’s daughter Claire’s family which includes her husband Phil Dunphy, their daughters Haley and Alex, and son Luke. 

Given the age, racial, and sexual orientation diversity of these individual families, it is easy to see why creators Steven Levitan and Christopher Lloyd named the show “Modern Family.” This whole, extended family paints a pretty literal representation of what a newly-standard American family looks like.

Many might think of a sitcom as a funny, 30-minute TV show. If you are one of these people, you’re about half-right. The word “sitcom” actually stands for “situation comedy.” Who knows where Levitan and Lloyd get their inspiration for these expanded and immediate family situations, but America can agree that they are absolutely comedic.

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Jacks or Draft?

default article imageFor students that live locally and are of legal age to drink, their social lives depend on two bars.  These two bars are called Jack’s Goal Line Stand and Draft House.  The dueling sport bars are the first considered stop for college locals.

Jack’s Goal Line Stand and Draft House are conveniently located right down the street from one other.  On any given weeknight, it can be promised that Brighton Avenue will be flooded with stumbling students.  Cops sit on every side streets surrounding the bars, waiting for the next drunken brawl to break out or to stop a drunk driver.

These aren’t the only two bars in the area, but they might as well be with the lack of attention students give the other bars. Occasionally, a group will go to the Brighton Bar to see a band playing there, or someone will want to go to Otto’s Bar and Grill for Wasted Wednesdays and beer pong tournaments, but these are all rare suggestions. Many other bars are less welcoming to students and are more for adults who live in the area; I like to call them townies.

So which will it be? Draft or Jack’s? Jack’s or Draft?  Each bar has their strengths and weaknesses when it comes to the components of what makes a good bar.  Deciding which one is for you depends on personal preference.

Draft House is a swanky sports bar, which is sort of an oxymoron. At night, there is sometimes a line of half-clothed girls in heels followed by guys in button down shirts looking freezing while waiting to go inside to dance. Draft has an enforced dress code demanding casual chic, a.k.a. don’t come here looking like a slob. That means no Ugg boots, black yoga pants, fitted hats, and so on and so forth. With a large bar and attractive bartenders, the bar gives off more of a club feel rather than a sports bar.  And that would be great, if they had a real dance floor.  Draft’s excuse for a dance floor looks like it was built for ants.

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An Internship Horror Story

default article imageWe are at a time in our lives when the scariest words to anyone are “internship” and “job.” It is that joyous time of spending countless hours on the computer sending your resume to 20 plus businesses, firms, agencies, or for me, magazines. Glossy magazines have cluttered my room for years. While most young girls were playing teacher and house, I was playing magazine editor.

This is what I wanted and it was this fall when I thought all my dreams would come true. Wow, was I wrong.

We have all heard internship horror stories but I was about to live my own, literally stepping into the vicious world of high fashion at Harper’s Bazaar magazine, one of the classiest and reputable publications out there. I was soon going to surround myself with everything I had ever hoped for. September came and I was the new beauty editorial intern.

I knew walking into the Hearst Publications building I had reached heaven. The breathtaking building was filled with marble, posh décor, and high heels clicking away. My beaming geeky intern smile was washed away in just a few short hours.

I had become a lipstick holding, mascara testing, coffee running, and lunch serving slave to my editor. I was now to print hundreds of  emails from the printer that sits in between the editor and myself. I’m sorry, is your index finger seriously incapable of clicking print? Oh, and sure I would love to uncap 70 red lipsticks and put them in shade order. Let’s talk about how stressful it is when you are asked why the new Dior eye shadow didn’t come in for the shoot.

“Michelle what do you mean it isn’t in. Do you know what this means? You have ruined the shoot now!” Was this seriously what I have always dreamed of? To be humiliated over glitter that goes on your eyes?

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Letter To The Editor 11/9/11

default article imageI would like to respond to a recent article in The Outlook stating that many students feel that the University Police are not happy with the amount of taxis entering campus. I have looked into this matter and nothing could be further from the truth.

Taxicabs provide an alternative source of transportation throughout the area, especially as it pertains to the use of alcohol. The University Police understand that all students must make individual decisions on whether or not to use alcohol. If they choose to partake in the use of alcohol, we strongly suggest that they do so responsibly. Part of making a responsible decision about alcohol involves limiting one’s intake, avoiding binge drinking and drinking type games, and planning on how students will get to and from locations where they are drinking. The last thing we want to see is anyone driving a motor vehicle after they have consumed alcohol.  The consequences can be fatal.

In an effort to support the safe use of alcohol, the University Police support the HERO Campaign which encourages the use of designated drivers. We also encourage students to call private taxi companies if they have been drinking and need a ride to campus or some other location. The Police also keep the phone numbers of local cab companies at the dispatch desk if students call the Police requesting a cab.

In closing, let me recommend that students take advantage of alternative forms of transportation, especially when consuming alcohol. Please do not put your life in danger by driving a car after you have been drinking, or after another driver has been drinking. Designate a sober driver, take a cab, but don’t drive drunk or with drunks.   

William McElrath

Chief of Police

Stop Cyber Bullying, Save Lives

default article imageTyler Clementi. Megan Meier. Phoebe Prince. Jamey Rodemeyer. These names might sound familiar, but perhaps, hard to place. Why are these names recognizable?

All four of these people have something in common: they were all regular kids before bouts of cyber bullying caused them to end their lives.

According to, cyber bullying is any bullying done over an electronic medium, such as cell phones and the Internet.

While it can take many forms, the most prominent ones include the sending of mean messages, spreading rumors, hurtful or threatening messages, or even stealing someone’s personal account information to break into his or her e-mail or social network account to post untrue or hurtful information.

Cyber bullying can also lead to depression, anxiety and suicide. Clementi, Meier, Prince and Rodemeyer all chose the latter because they could no longer cope with the bullying to which they were being subjected.

According to the non-profit i-SAFE Foundation, which aims to educate and empower adolescents and teens about Internet safety and responsibility, about 50 percent of teens have been bullied online in some way. That means half of America’s youth population is exposed to threats or mean-spirited actions by their peers.

Almost shockingly, the i-SAFE Foundation additionally reports that 50 percent of teens also admit to bullying others. This cyclical pattern needs to stop before these statistics get any higher.

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Cheating is Only Bad if You Get Caught, Right?

CheatingIn a society where people are overly interested in the size of their houses, the price tag of their cars, and the lavishness of their weddings, it is only natural that that mentality would spill over into the world of academics and the way students view competition.

Most, if not all universities have policies discussing the severity and consequences of cheating, but the act still does take place. According to the Online Education Database (OED), 60.8 percent of polled college students admitted to cheating, 16.5 percent of those students did not regret their decision, and 85 percent of college students believe that cheating is a necessary part of college academics.

Not to pardon the dishonest students who cheat their way through life, but part of the reason we see such high numbers of cheaters in college is because of the academic pressure that is placed upon students. From the moment they enter high school, they are entering a world of grade point averages, a race for valedictorian, and a desire to be among the top 10 percent in order to have their choice of the best colleges out there.

In college, the race continues to be even closer to the top percentile in order to secure a useful internship, an invitation into an honor society, and eventually a job. Students graduate from one pressure cooker to another. Although the constant comparison of grades is not as blatant in college as it is in high school, the competition does still exist.

Academic dishonesty is also growing in numbers due to the numerous websites available for students to buy papers. Websites such as are available 24/7, and they even offer special rates for those last minute students who need a paper within 12 to 24 hours. As an added bonus, the website offers to include a title and bibliography page free of charge.

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H2Oh No

Imagine having to worry everyday if you and your family were going to die from dehydration. Imagine having to drink from a contaminated river because you did not have access to safe drinking water. This is a reality for billions of people today.

For most of us, this would be pretty difficult to picture but that is because we live in a developed country with an abundance of available clean drinking water.

Developed nations such as the United States often take for granted the fact that we have clean accessible water at our fingertips. The thought of not being able to have safe water to drink has not ever occurred to most of us. If only every person in this world was this lucky.

Roughly 3.4 million people lose their lives from firsthand consumption of unsafe water or diseases infected by organisms living in polluted water.

Each year nearly 2.2 million die of diarrhea, 17,000 from intestinal worms, 1.1 million from malaria and 15,000 from fever. This is especially common in the developing nations because there is a large abundance of impoverished people that greatly rely on biodiversity.

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Calling All Gagas and Beyonces

Calling All GagasEveryone knows why women buy super high heels, right? It’s because they are drop-dead gorgeous, and as an added bonus, they make our legs look awesome. Taking this into account, we add the factor of walking in super-mega-high heels on campus; the sum of this equation just spells “ouch.” College girls always wear high heels when they go out, and some may even wear them to class. Girls need to have at least two solid pairs of high heels...or maybe eight. I guess it all depends. But in college, heels go with outfits like Oreos go with peanut butter (Parent Trap reference intended).

We see super high heels everywhere on TV, in the magazines, and on the movie screen.  They’re impossible to ignore. All of our mouths drop as soon as we see Lady Gaga walking in 12 inch heels, that are fantastically covered with glitter (or whatever crazy thing Lady Gaga wants to put on her shoes), walking on the red carpet.

Now, let me just say that she can walk in those heels flawlessly. I’m sure that I can speak for some people when I say I can barely walk without wearing any heels at all. Like really, I can’t even walk straight let alone walk straight in high heels. Yet, even though I can barely walk in high heels, I continue to wear them because they make my legs look good.

I know some of you reading this are probably thinking, “Rachel, they are just high heels. Anybody can walk in them.” And to that I say, “Really? Well then I guess I have achy foot syndrome.” Listen, I have absolutely nothing against high heels, I wear them, but I just can’t imagine myself walking around campus having my feet screaming at me.

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Cabs Are Here!

default article imageEvery weekend the University parking lots turn into a regular cab depot. A person could easily count over 10 cabs residing in the parking lots whether they are picking up students or dropping them off. The cab service is primarily used for transporting students to parties in the area, but they are also used for transportation for students who do not have their own car on campus. These cabs have become a staple on our college campus, which would make their absence peculiar.

According to student allegations floating around the University, the MUPD would not find it too peculiar if the cabs suddenly became absent. Apparently, the University police department is not very fond of the cabs that are coming to campus. The amount of cabs coming through our parking lots is definitely excessive, but isn’t choosing a cab a necessary and smart decision in many situations associated with campus life?

Freshman Lindsay Redfern, said, “It is a safer decision to call a cab. Would the police rather have students make the wrong decision or keep allowing them to make the right one?” Even though this is one perspective, Redferns’ opinion accurately demonstrates the reactions that I received when I inquired about the cab rumors to many other students.

An overall consensus of students living on campus was that the cabs were a necessity and  offer a safe alternative to transportation around the surrounding area.

These cabs are preventing students from multiple unsafe situations, such as drunk driving and walking to a destination. I am not saying it is unsafe to walk around the neighborhoods of West Long Branch, but as in any town and community, you never know the dangers that lurk around every corner.

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The Truth About Technology

The Truth About TechnologyIf someone told you that our technologies are fueling a war, you would probably laugh it off, look at your Blackberry and go on with your highly dependent technological life. The deep dark reality of this is that we as consumers are responsible for the suffering of innocent people in the Congo.

That’s Africa right? Miles and miles away, yet somehow we are controlling a rebel nation over natural minerals that are used to create our phones, cameras, computers and televisions. These minerals have now become conflict minerals, but that is naming it nicely.

Leading companies are paying rebel groups in the Congo to get their hands on these needed minerals. These rebel groups have corrupted the government and are controlling citizens through scare tactics of murder, rape, brutal weapon usage, and drug and gang cartels. So back to the question, how is this our fault?

Companies like Mac, Dell, and Playstation for instance, all keep what goes into their products extremely hush hush, but what is not so silent are the cries of innocent children losing their lives, and the beatings of mothers and fathers in a world so far from ours, over minerals like Tantalum, Tin and Tungsten. We all saw Blood Diamond with the stunning Leonardo DiCaprio, but why weren’t people moved then to do anything to protect these people?

According to the Enough Project, ran by John Prendergast and actor George Clooney, about 5.4 million people have died since the start of this war in 1998. This is known to be the deadliest conflict since World War II. About 47 percent of deaths are young children. Because of these unlivable and cruel conditions, about 1.5 million citizens have been displaced and categorized as refugees. Approximately 45,000 Congolese citizens will continue to die each month.

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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