Mon07132020

Last updateFri, 19 Jun 2020 7pm

Editorial

Every Vote Counts...Even Ones by College Students

The Presidential Election taking place in November of 2012 is the result of events that happened almost 225 years ago. Countries around the world fight for the right to vote. This is a right, The Outlook staff, believes is taken for granted by the college student community.

Most of staff believes that voting is something every eligible person should participate in. The staff believes college students are the next generation to enter the work force and should vote for who will do the best job so that all of us have jobs once our education at the University is completed.

This election even affects some of us now. Students should be paying attention to the people who decide how much money we can have for school. College kids can absolutely affect this election, but probably not more so than any other specific group.

Candidates can get college kids attention by talking more about issues that affect us more immediately, like student loan reforms. A major issue over the summer was student loan interest rates and this problem was eventually resolved but what will stop it from coming up again. Student issues will continue to be ignored if students do not get out and vote.

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If I Could Just Find A Parking Spot...

Finding parking in the non-residential parking lots 13, 14 and 18 and lot 25 can be hard on a weekday, but so far this year the added parking valets have caused more chaos than years before.

The valets have increased traffic in the parking lots. Many of us have been commuters for several years, and believe that the parking has never been this much of a hassle, especially at early class times.

After 8:30 am classes, finding a parking spot is close to impossible. An editor said he had difficulty trying to find a space for a 10:00 am class, while in past years it was never an issue. Parking should not be filled that early in the day considering classes run from 8:30 am to 10:05 pm.

One of the editors explains that she had to drive around for 20 minutes just to find a spot. She is not the first person who had to waste that much time trying to find a place to park. Another editor said that she specifically left extra early before class to find a parking spot but still found herself driving around the lot for a longer period of time.

However, there are faculty members who also park in non-residential lots and they too have experienced difficulty parking. Robert Scott, a Communications Professor had his keys locked in his car due to a parking valet.

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Challenge Accepted

As the days are getting shorter, the weather getting cooler, and the leaves beginning to change, a new academic year is upon us. With the start of the new semester comes the promise of a fresh start and new challenges.

General George S. Patton once said “Accept the challenges so that you may feel the exhilaration of victory.” It is this feeling of success and accomplishment that we all try to reach.

Challenges are faced by everyone--from a first year student all the way to the University’s administration.

Each year, the University challenges itself to be the best university it can be. Whether it’s making meal swipes available in more buildings for students or completely remodeling academic buildings, the administration is always striving to be better.

This year is going to be President Gaffney’s last as president of the University, and now the administration has the challenge of finding a replacement to fill the big shoes he is going to leave behind.

The class of 2012 has to overcome the challenge of succeeding in their respective fields and beginning the next chapter of their lives, as the class of 2013 most likely does not want this current chapter to end.

I know I’m not ready for college to end, so instead I’ll embrace the tests and challenges that will come my way in my senior year.

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Changing Your Outlook

default article imageAs a student-run newspaper, The Outlook staff serves as the University’s watchdog. Constantly, we are on the lookout for breaking news and sometimes, news that some individuals would rather us not know about. The Outlook strives to bring problems to light that the University may not even know exist. Serving as a platform for students to voice these concerns is a unique asset to have by giving the University the ability to look into where students are saying needs improvement. Once our paper comes out Wednesday mornings, our work is still ongoing, as we are midway through the following week’s articles and tracking down sources crucial to the stories.

There have been multiple occasions throughout the past academic year where stories we have published have initiated responses on campus; these have brought a mix of both positive and negative reactions. Some of these examples include editorials about improving campus technology as well as the need to extinguish Affirmative Action. Although our editorials may have been criticized by several University members, one thing is for certain: we stood up for something.

As far as news goes, we’re including just a few examples. We encouraged the administration to choose to build the new residence hall for sophomores rather than freshmen. In light of reports that a University student was assaulted earlier this semester, the University is now increasing the frequency of ‘Hawk Alerts’ to ensure safety across the campus community. When a reporter introduced the changes with Aramark that led to students’ strong disapproval, the dining service also began reforming their options.

It was moments like these that showed the effectiveness of our writing when administrators or other campus-related individuals would comment to The Outlook about our thoughts and how they would deal with our ideas.

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Outlook Responds to Provost’s E-mail

default article imageIn response to the campuswide e-mail sent by Provost Thomas Pearson last Wednesday requesting a correction to the story titled, “New Physician’s Assistant Program Underway,” The Outlookwould like to say the following.

With regard to the Provost’s charge that the “story as written is inaccurate,” the paper would agree that any impression of the program being completely approved through the proper process is inaccurate on our behalf. Our comments that the program “will be launched since approval of the University’s Graduate Studies Committee was granted last month” in the lead and “even though the program has already been approved” which ran later in the story, might have given readers the idea that the approval process had been completed. That is not the case. While everyone the paper spoke to agreed that the program would ultimately be approved and that it would likely be launched in the fall of 2014, it had technically received partial approval at the time of publication, having only been voted on by the Graduate Studies Committee, so to say that it was “approved”, suggesting fully, is in fact, inaccurate.

The Provost states that the headline to the story “should have indicated that the New Physician Assistant Program is under consideration.” The Outlook agrees that the Provost’s headline is absolutely accurate, and perhaps better than our own. However, to say that the P.A. program is “underway” could also mean that it is now officially submitted for approvals. It could mean that the process is underway. That being said, the Provost’s headline is certainly less ambiguous.

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Clubs Stand Just as Strong as Greek Society

default article imageIn the past week fraternities and sororities held activities dedicated to calling attention to the proudest and the strongest among them by competing in the University’s annual “Greek Week.” Groups of students wearing matching t-shirts with Greek symbols and large posters decorated with the same letters were present all over campus. However, aren’t these signs of Greek pride often prominently displayed throughout the University?

It can sometimes seem that other clubs fall in the shadows of fraternities and sororities. Though each club is responsible for advertising their campus involvement and recruiting new members, the attention of college students tends to gravitate more towards Greek life. However, that does not necessarily marginalize other clubs’ involvement on campus.

Club advertisements and fundraisers are constantly happening. There are numerous tables set up in and outside of the Rebecca Stafford Student Center raising money or awareness for different organizations every day. Involvement fairs also promote awareness of different clubs and spark a lot of student interest. For that reason, as well as others, it is necessary for clubs to have the same type of competition week as Greeks.

Fraternities and sororities have more in common with each other than clubs do. Having competitions between clubs would be more difficult because their objectives are more diverse. Clubs are drawn together by specific interests and do not seek to prove themselves against other clubs, whereas Greek Week is about striving to be the best fraternity or sorority.

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Raising More Than Just Awareness

default article imageSome people do charity work every day, some do it every week, some do it “when they have the time” and some have only done it in the past- some haven’t done it at all. Those of us that have may do it from the goodness of our hearts while others just do it for resume fluff.

While we can all do something individually, a business or institution can do a lot more by “putting its weight” behind a cause or organization. For example, Starbucks has been noted for its use of ethically-harvested coffee, being proud participants of National Service Month and supporting the GLBTQ community. The company has more attention-grabbing (as well as financial) power than most if not all of its employees combined. As such, we wondered if it is time for MU to step up and do something similar, since the University has made no publicly declared endorsements.

It would be great for the image of the University, saying it would be nice to see the University come out behind one major cause and push for its success. The same member pointed out that multiple causes could be supported at different times, varying the organizations to which support is given.

Though good things are done for some better-known organizations like The American Cancer Society, more could be done in the community. In addition to beach clean-ups and local food pantries, there are likely many different ways for students to help in nearby towns. If such opportunities were made known to the student body then it would be easier to do good deeds in our community. Also, this would improve the social image of the University, potentially turning this great school into a well-known and admired name across the country. Periodic emails or flyers throughout campus could be good ways of notifying students that these opportunities exist.

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Keeping Up With the Train of Technology

default article imageThroughout their years at Monmouth, there is one phrase that every student has said at least once: “I get so many emails!” However, with the new email system, upgraded from Squirrel Mail, students can hope that their email page will look so nice that they won’t mind getting blasted with tons of emails from the University every single day. We can also hope this could be the start of a positive technological infrastructure at the University.

Some students signed up to test the new email system, which visually appears very similar to Microsoft Outlook. If the test gains positive results, all students will retire from their time with Squirrel Mail and will have access to the new system, which offers a more modern appearance.

Squirrel Mail has been a frequent complaint with students, as has been other technological aspects of the University. The mail system appears outdated and juvenile, and it is time for an upgrade, especially at a distinguished school such as Monmouth University.

Graphics only appear as attachments in emails, making some messages that are meant to look classy and upbeat appear to be messy and unprofessional. When graphics are included as attachments rather than directly in an email, there is also more of a likelihood that they will be missed by the audience they are trying to reach. It is not likely that many busy students are going to bother downloading a separate attachment from an email that they do not necessarily need to see.

Also, the usernames of students appear as an impersonal set of numbers instead of an actual name, sometimes making it difficult to figure out who is sending an email in the first place. This forces students to remember a set of numbers or look up usernames from the Global Address Book instead of just knowing an address from the name of a person. It seemed to be only a matter of time before the University would be forced to switch to a sleeker and fresher form of email for their students and faculty.

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Making a Case Against Affirmative Action

default article imageAffirmative action is a program that began during World War II when President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed an executive order barring discrimination in the federal government and by war industries. This was the first step towards equality. During the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960’s, this program picked up again during the civil rights movement. This program was intended to allow equal opportunities for minority races and eventually genders. Since the Nixon administration, however, some colleges have used it to make sure there is diversity on college campuses.

There have been multiple cases about whether this is a form of racism or merely giving other races a fair shot at an education. In the landmark case, Regents v. Bakke, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that state colleges and universities could not leave a certain amount of spaces for minority applicants. This case did not solve the problem. The ruling also said that race could be used as a “positive factor” in determining whether someone should be admitted into a place of higher learning. This applied to both public and private colleges and universities.

Coming up during the Supreme Court term this year is Fisher v. University of Texas. This is the most recent affirmative action case. In this case, a white female student, Abigail Fisher, believes she was denied admission to the University of Texas based on her race. In the state of Texas, students in the top 10 percent of their high school’s class gain admission to any public university in the state. There is no race consideration with the top 10 percent. Fisher barely missed the cut off and was put into a group of general applicants where race plays a role into admission. According to Julian Williams, Director of Affirmative Action and Human Relations at the University, affirmative action standards are not used at the University. “The University uses a race blind and gender blind test where we choose our students solely based on their credentials.”

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Participate More Outside the Classroom

default article imageStudent enrichment is important in any university. However, not everyone likes to get involved. Some students will not go beyond the required work for their major. Maybe they would get more involved with their majors if they were given credit for doing work outside of standard curriculum. This is exactly what the University does with the practicum credit, but they are only for certain majors. Not every field has practicum credit as a requirement. Nevertheless, some of us at The Outlook feel like this should change.

If a student can graduate college with a deeper understanding of their major and have actual first-hand experience, that person will be more likely to get hired. Businesses today do not just want people with a degree; they want people that have real experience in the work field before they finish their education.

Communication majors at the University are required to take a one credit practicum. For the students interested in journalism, their practicum includes writing seven stories to be published in The Outlook. This gives students the experience of writing for a real newspaper and dealing with the stress of journalism like deadlines and finding reliable sources.

However, not everyone on staff feels that a practicum should be required. Some feel that there are enough clubs aimed at specific majors that can benefit students so that any further outside work is unnecessary. The students getting “forced” to participate are taking positions away from people who could potentially really want that spot.

Students should take advantage of the programs presented at the University, especially when credits can be earned.

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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.

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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