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Opinion

Volume 85 (Fall 2013 - Spring 2014)

Scary Thought: Schools Close on Halloween

As Halloween is quickly approaching and is right around the corner, many people start to wonder if schools should be closed on Halloween.

Although Halloween is a holiday welcome to everyone, it is mainly a children's holiday, which leaves many feeling that school should be cancelled that day for the children.

It is one of the few national holidays where school is open. Debates go on and on every year at this time because some people feel Halloween is one of the only holidays that goes unrecognized from schools.

The children shouldn't have to be in school that day. I however, feel that Halloween is a good day to be in school.

We should be in school on this festive day because it's much more fun to be in school all dressed up than at home alone!

Many holidays that result in school cancellation are usually for specific reasons. Most holidays where students have off, and even workers, are days meant to spend with family or time to spend at Church.

Although Halloween is a national holiday, it's not necessary to cancel school for the day.

An argument could be said that children will get the entire day to trick-or-treat, rather than going out when it is dark out. Aside from that, there is really nothing you are doing on this day where you wouldn't have time for anything else.

Most schools are only in session for no more than 6 hours a day, so there will be plenty of time for the children to do whatever they want after school.

Halloween is a great day to be in school because children and teenagers can go to school wearing and show off their costumes to their friends.

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College Athletes Should Get Paid Too

An Opinion in Favor of NCAA Athletes Receiving Pay Checks for their Hard Work


football3You wake up at 5 am, go to a two or three hour practice, depending on the coach's mood this morning. Then you shower and rush to make it to class just as the professor is about to close the door in your face.

You have class all morning like the rest of the students, and when noon comes around, instead of relaxing and enjoying a nice meal like everyone else on campus, you head back to the weight room for lifting or to the track for a second session of crucial practice.

The afternoon flies by and before you know it, night has creeped in and taken over. It is midnight already and you still find yourself at the library trying to cram in last minute studying for your 8:30 am exam.

By the time you meet your bed once again, the night is half over and the clock reads 2:30 am. Three hours disappear and you find yourself restarting the cycle all over again.

For those athletes on campus, I'm sure this sounds absolutely normal, but for those non-athletes, welcome to your classmates' never-ending torture.

College athletes work harder than most of us realize and the sad part is, that aside from the few fans on the sidelines, they don't get much recognition for their dedication.

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The Lowdown with the Government Shutdown

16,740,493,583,418.19: A colossal number separated by a bunch of commas and one period, a disgusting perplexity that grows exponentially each day while the majority of those who should pay attention to it barely bat an eyelash, and an estimate that can only create real mortification when accompanied with the mighty, mighty dollar sign.

The daunting tick of the National Debt Clock permeates the air in Washington like a distant hum gone unnoticed. That ticking time bomb of a number grows at an estimated $1.84 billion per day while the elephant and the donkey duel in an argument that is remarkably similar to a sandbox dilemma between toddlers.

As party politics continue to bring Washington well on its way to an untimely grave, the U.S. government officially shut down earlier this month, leaving hundreds of thousands of Americans struggling to make ends meet and even more questioning the validity of their government and those who run it.

While Congress plays the blame game, Americans lose. As former President Harry S. Truman put it so eloquently, "It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit." What if for once, our elected officials and so-called "representatives" actually represented us, the American public?

What if for once, they considered the "We the people" our forefathers intended to serve? Instead, Democrats and Republicans alike are more concerned with who's who in politics than the issues at hand.

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Is a College Degree Still Necessary?

College has long been regarded as a safe way to ensure success in the future. Yet in this struggling economy, that does not seem to be true. How many friends or family members do you know that have a college degree but no job? Most of us know at least one person in this predicament.

College is very expensive and spending all that money with no reward has proven very frustrating for post graduates. According to collegeboard.com, college tuition costs three to four times more than it did just 20 years ago.

Nowadays, college students finish school with an average of $25,250 in student loans. Without a well-paying job, it is quite challenging for the average student to pay off his or her loans.

All these factors have people second guessing the idea of going to college. People are beginning to question if college is still worth it. This decision is made even harder when students see numerous successful people who did not attend college or finish it.

These names include Rachael Ray, the celebrity chef who never attended college or culinary school; Mark Zuckerberg, the creator of Facebook; and Ryan Seacrest, the celebrity personality. These people set an example showing they are not only successful, but also famous and extremely wealthy, without ever attending college or finishing their degrees.

Many of these celebrities are seen as the exception rather than the rule. Most of them had a special talent in a specific field or an exceptional personality that allowed them to excel. Not every person can rely on becoming rich and famous in place of going to college.

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“Hold On, I Wanna Instagram This”

instagram3With all the hype and attention that social media has brought to the world in the past few years, as well as its importance in the media, Instagram has become an extremely popular social media device.

Following in the footsteps of its top competitors such as Facebook, Twitter, and Linked In, Instagram is becoming immensely popular.

Most people assume that it is just the younger generations that consume this photo-sharing app, Instagram attracts all different groups of people.

While Instagram continues to grow, more age groups become victim to the Instagram life. Many adults, parents, and even senior citizens are a part of this social media craze.

Instagram has become a great way to keep a sense of contact with people. Including myself, many people don't exactly need to be in direct contact with every person at all times.

Sometimes we just want to see what everyone is doing on a day-to-day basis and we are able to achieve this by viewing the pictures people continuously upload. Users upload everything from pictures of their pancakes, to their cute puppy taking a nap.

It creates a sense of communication without going too far. You are able to see what's going on without having to talk to anyone.

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Being Involved In Reality Television

dancingwiththestarsvotingReality TV shows have become extremely popular in recent years. "American Idol," "The Voice" and "Dancing With the Stars" are often the subjects of many conversations amongst young Americans.

What exactly is it about such reality television shows that we inevitably find ourselves attracted to?

The answer is a simple one: we find ourselves attracted to such TV shows because we are directly participating in the competition.

We often vote for our favorite contestants and doing so makes that competition a personal one for us. From a psychological perspective, our minds automatically give more importance to the things that are directly related to us.

By voting for a contestant, we are giving our personal support. So, they automatically become an elevated priority in our minds.

Such a trend has caused other types of TV shows to offer audience interaction. For example, many news channels now have Twitter and Facebook pages where viewers can leave comments and sometimes, the most intriguing ones are displayed on the show.

Another reason why people are attracted to reality TV shows is because, somehow, it makes them feel better about their own problems.

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The Struggle Of Joining Multiple Clubs

One of the reasons I was looking forward to coming to Monmouth University was the wide array of clubs and other extracurricular activities the campus had to offer.

I was excited to get involved on campus as soon as possible. I wanted to join every club or group that I was interested in.

Yes, there's only one time block in the week where clubs are guaranteed the chance to meet (2:30 to 3:30 on Wednesdays), but I figured I could do it since not every club meets during that particular hour.

Some groups I have already joined, such as Hawk TV and even RHA, which meet at night, so I thought I was getting more time in the day to attend other meetings.

Imagine my horror when I attended the Involvement Fair and discovered that not one, two, three, but four groups I wanted to join were all scheduled to meet at the exact same time! Not cool. I can't be in four places at once. This is why we need more club hours (or a cloning machine).

Each time I toured the Universities' campus as a prospective student, I discovered even more ways for me to get involved in my major which made me fall in love with the school even more. This of course evidently led to my decision to enroll at Monmouth.

I was looking forward to arriving on campus and joining each of these groups, such as The Monmouth Review or The Verge because I enjoy writing. I was interested in joining Shadows Yearbook because I have always wanted to work on a yearbook, or even Boom Roasted Productions because I have a passion for theater.

I never expected to be forced to choose between any of them, which probably intensified the shock of the situation. As much as I want to be a part of all of these organizations, it just won't work if they all occupy a single club hour.

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Too Many Legal Ages?

Should There Be One Legal Age For Everything?


The party-planning, the celebrations with friends, the gifts, and more importantly, the rights. What more could you possibly ask for from your 18th birthday?

It's no secret we all spend our entire teen years looking forward to the big 18, but why exactly do we, though? Is it because technically, we're finally considered legal? Is it because we can finally get our adult license?

I remember looking forward to my 18th birthday like it was the greatest thing in the world and I'm not going to lie, I had an awesome time celebrating it.

However, once the weekend was over, it was back to business and being 18 didn't feel any different from 17. It's not even like I registered to vote or anything.

According to the government, after turning 18, I had the options to join the army and legally play the lottery, two things I had never cared for.

The following birthday was even worse. At 19, Uncle Sam gives you his blessing to go ahead and contaminate your lungs. At 19 I was now able to go into any corner store and buy my mom her cigarettes.

I recently turned 20 this past May. Of course the partying was great, but the fact that I was no longer a teenager and still not treated as a full adult really annoyed me. I still can't get into clubs and bars which is depressing.

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The Confusion with Public Relations and Journalism

Does this Communication Concentration Limit Students?


Journalism_PRPublic relations specialists are often referred to as “spin doctors” by journalists. Journalists are often referred to as “blood suckers and liars” by public relations specialists.

If the two do not bring out the best in one other, then why does Monmouth University pair them under one concentration for a Bachelor of Arts in Communication?

Albright College in Reading, PA, has a degree in public relations and advertising, a tactic used in marketing. The college has made a separate degree for those who wish to major in journalism.

Similar is the case of schools out west such as Utah State University who pairs public relations and marketing.

The University of Tennessee instead has public relations mixed with advertising/marketing for a degree option and journalism is paired with electronic media.

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Disconnecting from Technology

One Student Tells His Story About His Phone-less Experience


The answer is yourself, as I recently learned how splendid the effects of distancing yourself from the inundation of technology can be while I was half a world away from home.

My wife Vicki and I took a trip across the pond to England this summer. We crammed our itinerary with tourists’ stops: Stonehenge, Big Ben, Windsor Castle and plenty of pints at the pub.

But a week before we left, Vicki noticed we forgot to buy an international cell phone plan. When she enlightened me of this oversight, I instinctively reached for my phone, akin to a parent covering their child’s ears to protect them from an offensive epithet.

I could see my entire social networking life—everything from AIM away messages to Miley Cyrus tweets—flashing before my eyes.

What self-respecting tourist would dare travel without the capacity to Instagram their experience?

If I couldn’t share my trip in real-time with my friends and run-of-the-mill internet stalkers, what was the point in even going?

After some deliberation, we decided to forsake the extra cost of an international phone plan and take the plunge into the world without electronic contact.

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The Debate Over Minimum Wage

I would go out on a limb and say that most of us work pretty hard for our well-earned cash. Now, would you work even harder if you were offered more cash? Of course you would.

Money is not everything and no, money does not buy happiness. Let’s be realistic; it does buy gas, food, clothes and other important things that are basically necessities.

Many young adults and college students are just starting out on their own two feet, struggling with having to pay their own bills and supporting themselves all while balancing a job with their education.

So understandably, more money is an incentive to work even harder. The point is that it’s time minimum wage is increased. 

Many basic or entry level jobs are the ones paying minimum wage; a measly $7.25 per hour.

However, the biggest dilemma we are faced with is the current economic hardship and an even more competitive job market where you must have the skills and experience to get a decent job while earning big bucks.

That however, puts many young, educated but frankly inexperienced individuals at a serious disadvantage. Young adults step out of college and are often left with a huge amount of debt in loans.

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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