Editorial - The Outlook https://outlook.monmouth.edu/opinion/editorial Tue, 22 Oct 2019 17:27:15 -0400 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb outlook@monmouth.edu (The Outlook) On Democracy at Monmouth https://outlook.monmouth.edu/opinion/editorial/161-volume-92-fall-2019-spring-2020/6892-on-democracy-at-monmouth-2 https://outlook.monmouth.edu/opinion/editorial/161-volume-92-fall-2019-spring-2020/6892-on-democracy-at-monmouth-2 default article imageIn 1963, Yale University psychologist Stanley Milgram published a series of experiments that measured obedience to authority figures. The studies found that a very high proportion of subjects would fully obey the instructions given to them. In light of recent information given to The Outlook, the Editorial staff questions how some at the University may be leveraging authority over students, and thereby abusing their power.

According to numerous sources, editors have been informed that student-ambassadors have been directed to not include specific issues of the paper in hand-out packets to potential students at Mondays at Monmouth. These issues included: the mice in Elmwood (Feb. 13, 2019), blackface photos in old Monmouth yearbooks (Mar. 14, 2019), and the series of interviews with the former University president and provost about administrative expansion and tuition increases (April 10, 2019).

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s1270704@monmouth.edu (EDITORIAL STAFF) Volume 92 (Fall 2019 - Spring 2020) Wed, 16 Oct 2019 10:59:02 -0400
The Strategic Plan: A New Deal https://outlook.monmouth.edu/opinion/editorial/161-volume-92-fall-2019-spring-2020/6863-the-strategic-plan-a-new-deal-2 https://outlook.monmouth.edu/opinion/editorial/161-volume-92-fall-2019-spring-2020/6863-the-strategic-plan-a-new-deal-2 default article imageWith a new president comes a new direction for the University. President Leahy has begun the process of drafting a new strategic plan that will be finalized next July 2020.

Considering this change in leadership, the editorial staff discussed what a strategic plan means to them and what they would like to see in it.

Most of the staff was not sure of the true meaning of a strategic plan. However, it was best explained by one editor who said it is a plan that sets goals which are, “Focused on investing in the university through strengthening our academics and our faculty.”

The editors had a range of issues that they would like President Leahy to address in his plan such as new academic programs, student involvement, extracurricular activities, campus housing, the environment, and tuition.

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s1270704@monmouth.edu (EDITORIAL STAFF) Volume 92 (Fall 2019 - Spring 2020) Wed, 02 Oct 2019 10:53:02 -0400
The Strategic Plan: A New Deal https://outlook.monmouth.edu/opinion/editorial/161-volume-92-fall-2019-spring-2020/6862-the-strategic-plan-a-new-deal https://outlook.monmouth.edu/opinion/editorial/161-volume-92-fall-2019-spring-2020/6862-the-strategic-plan-a-new-deal default article imageWith a new president comes a new direction for the University. President Leahy has begun the process of drafting a new strategic plan that will be finalized next July 2020.

Considering this change in leadership, the editorial staff discussed what a strategic plan means to them and what they would like to see in it.

Most of the staff was not sure of the true meaning of a strategic plan. However, it was best explained by one editor who said it is a plan that sets goals which are, “Focused on investing in the university through strengthening our academics and our faculty.”

The editors had a range of issues that they would like President Leahy to address in his plan such as new academic programs, student involvement, extracurricular activities, campus housing, the environment, and tuition.

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s1270704@monmouth.edu (EDITORIAL STAFF) Volume 92 (Fall 2019 - Spring 2020) Wed, 02 Oct 2019 10:52:46 -0400
Campus Improvements https://outlook.monmouth.edu/opinion/editorial/161-volume-92-fall-2019-spring-2020/6834-campus-improvements https://outlook.monmouth.edu/opinion/editorial/161-volume-92-fall-2019-spring-2020/6834-campus-improvements default article imageCampus is quiet. There are no construction trucks or workers. There is no grass seed representing a new lawn or area around a building. What is the next big thing that the University plans on building or improving?

The editors of The Outlook discuss their thoughts on a university’s seemingly never-ending construction and what they would like to see improved around campus.

“I think the next big project for the University is tearing down old dorm rooms like Elmwood and Pinewood. The environments are so dated compared to the other options,” one editor said. “If the University wants better freshman/student retention, they need to update those living spaces.”

“I would love to see a paved path across the great lawn for great lawn residents. The classes are directly across the lawn. However, residents aren’t able to cross when the ground is wet or there are geese (because they leave a lot behind),” said another staffer.

One editor mentioned that they would like to see a better walking path to access the Monmouth University Police Station and Woods Theater on the other side of Norwood Ave. Students must cross the intersection of Cedar and Norwood, a heavily trafficked area. “This would also better the traffic flow since the cross walk stops all the lights in order for students to cross,” said the editor.

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s1270704@monmouth.edu (EDITORIAL STAFF) Volume 92 (Fall 2019 - Spring 2020) Wed, 25 Sep 2019 11:58:14 -0400
Editors Discuss Deregistration https://outlook.monmouth.edu/opinion/editorial/161-volume-92-fall-2019-spring-2020/6806-editors-discuss-deregistration https://outlook.monmouth.edu/opinion/editorial/161-volume-92-fall-2019-spring-2020/6806-editors-discuss-deregistration default article imageAs the costs of higher education continue to rise, students and their families often find themselves in a bind: how to afford to pay the often hefty tuition bill. At Monmouth University, the policy is that students have two weeks prior to the beginning of the semester to pay their bill or else they will be deregistered completely from their classes. This year, that deadline was Aug. 20, and nearly 300 of our students were affected by this policy, losing their spots in classes they scheduled for the fall semester.

While many of the editors have fortunately not experienced this incident, several said that they have been close to it, and one said they had been deregistered entirely. “I got deregistered once because my student loan hadn’t been disbursed to the school yet,” this editor said. “The school didn’t resolve it and all my classes were dropped and I needed to be re-registered when the loan went through.”

Another editor recalled, “I studied abroad this summer, which I almost was not allowed to do because of the cost, and the bill was due only a few days after I got back home; my mom did not have the funds to pay my tuition yet due to the [previous] summer tuition and expenses...I was really close to having this issue (of being deregistered from fall semester classes).”

According to the Office of Financial Aid, it is estimated that 95 percent of students receive some form of financial assistance to attend Monmouth. The editors believe that this percentage is a testament to the cost of tuition, which would require so many students to be in need of assistance and cover the costs. It was noted by one editor that this statistic encompasses several factors, including merit-based scholarships. “I believe many, if not all, students receive some form of academic scholarship from Monmouth, because they are fortunate to have enough funds to disperse,” the editor said. “I do believe that many others, including myself, receive financial assistance because of the high cost of the University.”

One editor said, “I am a part of that 95 percent (receiving financial assistance) and I still can barely come up with the money to pay my tuition bill each semester. The cost of tuition at Monmouth, and really any college, is ridiculously high and most college students struggle to pay their tuition.”

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s1270704@monmouth.edu (EDITORIAL STAFF) Volume 92 (Fall 2019 - Spring 2020) Wed, 18 Sep 2019 11:14:55 -0400
Welcome Back, Hawks! https://outlook.monmouth.edu/opinion/editorial/161-volume-92-fall-2019-spring-2020/6789-welcome-back-hawks https://outlook.monmouth.edu/opinion/editorial/161-volume-92-fall-2019-spring-2020/6789-welcome-back-hawks default article imageOld and new, The Outlook wants to welcome you back to Monmouth. We are excited to kick off another great year. 

Freshmen, there is so much ahead of you. Monmouth offers hundreds of opportunities to experience new things, meet new people, and find out what you love in life. Do not worry if you have not yet chosen a major or a career path. Experiment with your classes.

Have a class or a professor that you really love? Take more of them. You might not find out what you want to do right away, but you will slowly figure out what you do not want to do. Not everyone is meant to sit in a cubicle in front of a computer all day long. 

Upperclassmen, you are on your way to finding your path in life. You might have some things figured out. You might have nothing figured out. That is okay. Either way, you are making progress. Keep going.

Seniors, we are almost there. It is almost time for us to go out into the real world. Wow. If you are still not sure where the future will take you, that is alright. I am not quite sure yet either. This might be our final year and time is going fast, but there is still plenty for us to do and experience.

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s1270704@monmouth.edu (CAROLINE MATTISE || EDITOR-IN-CHIEF) Volume 92 (Fall 2019 - Spring 2020) Wed, 11 Sep 2019 12:30:26 -0400
Are Midterm Grades Necessary? https://outlook.monmouth.edu/opinion/editorial/150-volume-91-fall-2018-spring-2019/6762-are-midterm-grades-necessary https://outlook.monmouth.edu/opinion/editorial/150-volume-91-fall-2018-spring-2019/6762-are-midterm-grades-necessary default article imageThere have been discussions amongst faculty members about the importance or relevance of posting midterm grades. Midterm grades are given by professors to allow students to access their work that has been complete in the first part of the semester. These grades appear on the Monmouth student portal and are email to all students. 

Midterm grades differ from midterm exams in that they take all the assignments of the first half of the semester into account. The editorial staff of The Outlook decided to weigh in on the topic of midterm exams and midterm grades that accompany them.

The majority of the editors said that they have professors that do not issue midterm exams. Some professors assign an essay, while others base the midterm grade on the completed assignments of the semester. 

“If not a midterm exam, all of my professors have given assignments of equal weight to base a midterm grade off of,” said an editor.

On the contrary, three editors said that they have had editors that have not even issued them midterm grades.

University policy states that for undergraduate students, midterm grades are only provided online. 

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s1074188@monmouth.edu (EDITORIAL STAFF) Volume 91 (Fall 2018 - Spring 2019) Wed, 24 Apr 2019 09:48:26 -0400
First Years Seminars https://outlook.monmouth.edu/opinion/editorial/150-volume-91-fall-2018-spring-2019/6717-first-years-seminars https://outlook.monmouth.edu/opinion/editorial/150-volume-91-fall-2018-spring-2019/6717-first-years-seminars default article imageLast week, The Outlook was made aware that Monmouth University faculty may be considering cutting the First Year Seminar requirement in the future.

This comes in light of the recent announcement that the University will be changing the 128-credit requirement for graduation to 120 credits effective fall semester of 2020.

Currently, all first-year students at Monmouth who are entering with 18 credits or less are required to take a First Year Seminar (FY101). The course fulfills a General Education requirement across all majors and must be taken during the student’s first semester at Monmouth. The course is taught on a variety of different topics by full-time professors across all fields. 

With First Year Seminars potentially on their way out, The Outlook editorial staff took the time to discuss their experiences within their own First Year Seminars and how they impacted their own college lives.

They also shared their thoughts on whether or not the University should cut the requirement.

The editors said they took First Year Seminars on a range of topics including: children’s books, Hollywood journalism, rock music in the 1960s, films about baseball, sustainable energy, and the Beatles.

When asked about their experiences in the courses, the editors all agreed that they were positive. One editor said, “Personally, I really enjoyed it. I think that because the University gives you the opportunity to choose your own First Year Seminar topic, it was easy to get engaged in the material.” 

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s1270704@monmouth.edu (EDITORIAL STAFF) Volume 91 (Fall 2018 - Spring 2019) Wed, 17 Apr 2019 10:29:43 -0400
Editors on Administrative Growth https://outlook.monmouth.edu/opinion/editorial/150-volume-91-fall-2018-spring-2019/6689-editors-on-administrative-growth https://outlook.monmouth.edu/opinion/editorial/150-volume-91-fall-2018-spring-2019/6689-editors-on-administrative-growth default article imageIn institutions of higher education across the nation, administrators have taken a larger role in determining how power is allocated, and what decisions are in the best interests of the students they serve. Although Monmouth is not the only university that has expanded levels of administration, it also is not an exception to the status quo.

In a critique of higher education, published in a 2017 issue of The Intercollegiate Studies Institute, John Seery, a professor of politics and government at Pomona College, writes:

“The real reason tuitions are skyrocketing and educational integrity has been compromised is because administrators, not educators, now run the show...They call the shots. They build the fancy buildings. They call for and approve the costly amenities. They fund what they want to fund. They hire the people they want to hire and pay them top dollar. They make the decisions about branding campaigns, and they set the agenda for student affairs staffs. They fund the kind of curriculum they want. They control the purse strings. They hold the power.” 

Over the course of a decade, the University’s own administration has made significant expansions. In 2008, numerous Vice President positions were created. Later in 2014, upon the enactment of the Strategic Plan, five new Vice Provost and two new Associate Vice Provost positions were created, and levels beneath them have only continued to expand. 

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s1074188@monmouth.edu (EDITORIAL STAFF) Volume 91 (Fall 2018 - Spring 2019) Wed, 10 Apr 2019 10:47:15 -0400
Free Speech on College Campuses https://outlook.monmouth.edu/opinion/editorial/150-volume-91-fall-2018-spring-2019/6670-free-speech-on-college-campuses https://outlook.monmouth.edu/opinion/editorial/150-volume-91-fall-2018-spring-2019/6670-free-speech-on-college-campuses default article imagePresident Donald Trump signed an executive order to cut federal funding for colleges or universities who attempt to limit their students’ freedom of speech on March 22.

In a press conference prior to signing the order, Trump said, “Many [universities] have become increasingly hostile to free speech and to the first amendment.”

Across the country, the responses have been mixed towards the order. Some say this is a reiteration of what’s already in place, while others see it as a strike towards safe spaces inhibited on campuses.

Most of the editors were supportive of the order. In favor of it, an editor said, “A university is a place where ideas and opinions should be promoted and shared. Research starts with basic fundamentals like these, so it is important that universities promote the idea of an open forum.”

While a majority of editors liked the idea of the executive order, some mentioned the fine line between freedom of speech and hurtful rhetoric. An editor stated, “I do understand the purpose of enforcing this idea because universities should be an open forum for discussion and collaboration.”

The editor continued, “However, if someone’s opinions can be harmful to others on the campus or incite violence or bigotry, then the university should have discretion over what speech should be allowed.”

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s1074188@monmouth.edu (EDITORIAL STAFF) Volume 91 (Fall 2018 - Spring 2019) Wed, 03 Apr 2019 11:01:02 -0400
Celebrity College Scandal https://outlook.monmouth.edu/opinion/editorial/150-volume-91-fall-2018-spring-2019/6654-celebrity-college-scandal https://outlook.monmouth.edu/opinion/editorial/150-volume-91-fall-2018-spring-2019/6654-celebrity-college-scandal default article imageRecently, the news has been filled with information on 50 individuals who were charged with being part of a $25 million college admissions scandal. The scandal was based on students allegedly being admitted to prestigious universities based on false athletic resumes, and individuals helping potential students cheat on standardize admissions exams. 

The Outlook editorial staff discussed the scandal and concluded that the actions taken by individuals in order to get their children into college and universities was wrong, frustrating, and that there needs to be repercussions.

It was known to the editors that these types of situations were not new. Throughout history, the elite have paid their way to the top. “Nepotism, favoritism, and bribery have always existed in colleges,” said one editor.

As hard-working students, many of the editors agreed that students should not be accepted into a school because they are a “legacy” or because of the public eye that their family is in. One editor vocalized the fact that they do not believe that “anyone should solely be accepted into a school based on status.”

“As a first-generation college student, I am very grateful for everything I’ve done to get this far. It is not taken for granted,” one editor stated.

Graduates of elite universities were being paid to take the standardized exams for perspective students. Many times, the student was allegedly unaware that their exam was being altered after they handed it to their proctor.

“I find it hard to believe that students’ don’t know their parents are doing this for them,” said one editor.

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s1049128@monmouth.edu (EDITORIAL STAFF) Volume 91 (Fall 2018 - Spring 2019) Wed, 27 Mar 2019 14:24:18 -0400