Last updateFri, 19 Jun 2020 7pm


Hawks Should Soar Above Flames

default article imageThe sidewalk along Brighton Avenue that was covered in a pile of concrete rubble and twisted steel following last week’s fire is the same sidewalk that has been walked countless times by some of The Outlook’s editors during their weekly trips to the local establishments from their apartments along Ocean Avenue.

Prior to the fire, the sight of Brighton Avenue near its Ocean Avenue intersection were largely taken for granted. However, after finally comprehending the shock associated with viewing the damage to this familiar area, The Outlook’s editors have been reevaluating their feelings about the surrounding community.

Obviously, we are connected to the surrounding community through our education at the University. However, our bond with local neighborhoods and businesses should go further than this, especially for those of us who moved here to receive a higher education.

Last week’s fire might have bred destruction, but it also delivered an important message. The surrounding community is more than just a playground that we inhabit during our college years. The fact of the matter is that the University and its surrounding neighborhoods have become our homesaway from home. We may not have moved here until we turned 18, but by the time we graduate we will still have done a considerable amount of maturing here. During that time, we need to respect the setting in which we form our college memories.

The businesses that burned down in the fire were some of the same businesses that we took notice of when we were prospective students who were trying to get a feel for the University’s surroundings.

They also were some of the same businesses from which the University’s clubs and organizations have sought donations for fundraising purposes. Now, they will never grace the eyes of the University’s prospective students again, nor will they be able to continue contributing to the University’s students like they have in the past.

Considering how welcoming the surrounding neighborhoods have been to the University and its students, we should take it upon ourselves to help it heal. The business owners who we were so quick to approach in search of donations for our clubs and organizations should be the same owners who we now run to in search of ways to help them rebuild their lives.

A current University student and alumnus were among the firefighters who helped extinguish the fire. Now, it is time for the rest of the University’s student body to pick up where these brave young men left off.

On a much larger scale, the University’s administration should be stepping in on some level. Perhaps they should be offering community service hours to those University students who volunteer to help revive the businesses that burned down. They also should organize a food and clothing drive on campus, with all donations going to those who lost their possessions in the blaze.

Finally, the University community should be looking at this tragedy as an opportunity to inscribe a permanent positive mark on the minds of local residents. The typical associations made with college students are scenes of partying and binge drinking. We can revise this misconception by reaching out to the local community in its hour of need, and showing that we do care about what is happening in the real world. It’s about time that we took what we have been learning in the classroom and apply it to the outside world.

We should be seizing the chance to impress local residents with a reminder of why the University is the place “Where Leaders Look Forward,” and silence any doubt as to how capable college students are capable of caring about more than partying.

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