Last updateFri, 19 Jun 2020 7pm


Community Members Unite in Wake of Severe Storm

Volunteerism, Compassion Strike Chord in People as Many Hurry to Help Others

volunteerWords cannot begin to describe the sorrow and grief I feel for those that lost a little or everything during Hurricane Sandy.  The images and video footage that most, if not all, of us have seen displays the heartbreak that many along the east coast have had to endure.  Losing a neighborhood, a city, and a home is enough devastation to crush any bit of hope of reconstruction. 

I am thankful to have only lost power for a total of twenty minutes throughout the entirety of the storm. Other than that, my town, home, family, and pets are safe.

When I learned about previous natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina and the typhoon in Haiti, I thought of life from a new perspective. I imagined it with no home, no warm clothes, no hot meals, no bed, and no hope. 

If I were ever placed in a situation like that, I would want people to care.  When I evaluated the life that I do have, I realized how simple it was to take it for granted. 

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Hurricane Sandy Causes People to Re-evaluate Priorities

After Storm Ravages Homes, Livelihoods, Many Take Time to Consider What is Important

Too many people have seen innumerable amounts of destruction over the past few weeks at the hands of Hurricane Sandy. She blew through our towns and took with her lives, property, hopes, and spirits. However, despite the hurt and pain she caused, I can only hope that there was an important lesson to be learned by everyone, whether they felt major effects of the storm or not.

The age old cliché tells us that we should be appreciative of the things we have because we don’t really know what we have until it is gone. Most of the time, we roll our eyes and let this piece of advice go through one ear and out the other, but it is at a time like this when truer words have never been spoken. Sandy took so much with her and left behind levels of destruction never before seen in many parts of New Jersey.

While some people lost their electricity for a mere few hours, there are much more people today still living without heat, running water, or electricity. As one of the people who only lost power for two days, I was fortunate enough to be able to go to my sister’s house with electricity. Finally being able to turn the lights on, charge my cell phone, check my email, and take a hot shower felt like the greatest gift I had ever been given. I had compared the previous two days to torture.

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Restrictive Dining Hall

Students See Less Food Options

Where’s the food?

Obviously there is food on campus because if there wasn’t, we may have a problem. I’m talking about the options. The options are becoming monotonous.

The dining hall, the Student Center, Raising Canes, Shadows, and Java City all have options for us to choose from, but is there really variety? In the dining hall there are omelets, pizza, sandwiches, salads, burgers, chicken, and specialty meals with names I can never recall, and you can find the same type of meals at the Student Center as well. Java City is where the coffee and bagel addicts can be found, and Raising Canes and Shadows are where remixed fried chicken and fat sandwiches can be found.

Let’s set the record straight. The food on campus is okay. It’s not my Nonna’s homemade pasta fagoli, but it is still pretty good. The food on campus gets the job done, and the students on campus have options, but not as many as they would like to have. Of course we have the options within each food stand on campus, but are there really options between having fried chicken from Raising Canes, to the fried chicken in Shadows, to the fried chicken in the Dining Hall and the Student Center? Nope.

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Minnie Gets Madeover

Disney Reveals Skinnier Minnie Mouse

It seems that Disney has been making a lot of headlines in the past few weeks with the “Skinny Minnie” issue. For those of you who don’t know, Barney’s has altered Minnie Mouse’s  usual curvier image along with the other Disney characters for a film that will appear in their window displays on November 14 to launch their holiday campaign “Electric Holiday.” The film shows Minnie shopping in Paris and sees a dress in a shop window. It then goes into her fantasy of walking down the runway as a model in a pink Lavin dress, a change from her classic red and white polka dot ensemble.  Other characters along with Minnie go from their cute Disney selves to sleek models including Goofy, Daisy Duck, and Cruella De Ville that are no longer recognizable in order to give a “proper portrayal of the fashion world.”

People are now outraged and signing online petitions to get the film changed for the brief moments of Minnie looking tall and extremely thin.  One of the petitions, “Barney’s: Leave Minnie Mouse Alone” from Change.org has over 17,000 signatures since this debate has started. 

As a result of the backlash, Disney and Barney’s have released a statement. According to the article on People.com, the two companies said, “We are saddened that the activists have repeatedly tried to distort a lighthearted holiday project in order to draw media attention to themselves.”

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Internships Influence Career Paths

As an upperclassman, I am gaining as much hands-on experience in my field as possible through my on-campus involvement and internships. My activities with school clubs have been a fun way not only to socialize with other students seeking a similar career path but also to gain quality experience in many different areas of interest within my field. 

However, my internship experiences have not met a lot of my expectations, and I am sure some other students can relate.  In fact, my internships were much less enjoyable than I would have hoped.  I could have walked away from them as soon as I started if I was offered a better opportunity.  However, I learned just as much through these poor experiences.

Our vision is always 20/20 when looking back, so I was able to find a lot of beneficial and positive advice for myself and others based on my negative experiences.

Before I begin my long rant, I want to give a very vital piece of advice to underclassmen: begin your search for an internship now.  Even if a company, organization, or business does not refer to it as an “internship,” volunteering is a great way to get your foot in the door. 

Not only is it a resume booster, but you can develop important and long-lasting relationships with professionals and potential employers.  Networking cannot be emphasized enough during your early college years.

My summer internship was with a small health foundation near my hometown. I wanted to follow my passion for health and wellness and was thrilled to be in a hospital environment.  The foundation also had connections to a Wellness Center that had just opened, so I had every intention of learning what kind of public relations and writing was done for the entire foundation. 

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People Opt to Make Costumes

Halloween Gives Way to Creativity

It’s that time of year again. It’s the time to get out all the decorations to hang around the dorms, apartments and houses, and to celebrate the pure fun of the holiday.

It’s that time of year that people get dressed up in costume, scare each other, and eat inhuman amounts of candy.

It’s Halloween.

Halloween is approaching fast and everyone is feeling the time crunch to order costumes, the best costumes, to dress and impress others. Over the years, Halloween has transformed.

Remember those days when your mom would make you a homemade costume, complete with too much glitter and a cape to wear?

I remember one year I wanted to get the Princess Barbie costume. I had told and begged my mother for her to get me that costume; I even gave her the four dollars I had in my piggy bank.

After constantly asking my mother to get me that costume, she said that I would be the prettiest Princess Barbie of all, until I saw what she had made.

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Students See Change in Behavior as Weather Shifts to Winter

Does Weather Affect Mood, or is it Mind Over Matter?

We have officially reached the point in the semester when students are cranky and find themselves having to drag their bodies to class. Apart from a simple lack of desire to go, there could be another factor altering our moods: weather.

You look out your window first thing in the morning and see darkness in the sky and puddles on the ground. It is already apparent that you are in for a long day, and you are automatically in a bad mood.

There is something about having to wear multiple layers including a hooded sweatshirt, sweatpants, and rain boots that seems to put people in a bad mood. However, when we put on our flowery blouse, Bermuda shorts, and wedge sandals, we feel good because we know we look good.

Admit it. There is an extra spring in your step when it is 70 degrees and sunny. You are a lot less moody and pessimistic about the day when you look out your window and see that the sun is shining without a cloud in sight.

On the other hand, you are noticeably grouchy when it is cold and raining, forcing you to bundle up with multiple layers.

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When is the Right Time to Put the Flip-Flops Away?

Students Continue to Wear Summer Footwear Despite Unfavorable Weather Conditions

opinion_flipflopsWe are all aware that flip-flip season is coming to an end. Or is it not coming to an end? Does flip-flop season ever end? Maybe the season to flip and flop is not officially over. I mean, I still wear them in my apartment, just not outside. Or maybe some people still wear them outside. How do we know when exactly to kick the flip-flops off and put our furry boots back on?

When was there ever a rule that flip-flops should be officially taken “off season?” When would the “off season” be? October? November? Maybe even December? I have come to notice that many people are still wearing their flip-flops.

I am not totally against wearing flip-flops during the fall and winter months. Let’s face it: they are very convenient and comfortable.

When I am in my apartment and I need to do my laundry, why would I pack on thick socks and boots to walk all the way downstairs. I do not know about you, but that sounds like too much work to do my laundry. So hello my Old Navy (best brand ever) red colored flip-flops, we are about to do laundry.

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Students Adopt Unhealthy Lifestyles During College Years

Many Incorporate Poor Diets and Nutritional Decisions into Life After College

opinion_food“You look…different.” I feel as if these three words are the most used and heard during a person’s college years. Being told that your physical appearance has changed can either be positive or negative. However, it tends to be the latter during a person’s four years away from home.

For some people, the phrase is almost anticipated when they return home to family and friends for Thanksgiving. College is meant to assist in growth, but it should not alter your lifestyle in unhealthy ways. Students are faced with temptations everyday that can cause harm to their personal well-being. This made me wonder: is college the beginning of unhealthy lifestyle habits for the rest of our lives?

The daily schedule of a college student is constantly changing. Sleeping, eating, exercising, and socializing routines are always varying. The demands of college interfere with the perfect routine that each student desires. Although daily schedules are not always the most convenient, a person’s overall health should not be put at risk for long-term issues due to poor decision making throughout his or her college career.

I have created the “College Student’s Unhealthy Lifestyle Habits Wheel” that focuses on the four biggest issues that I find to be problematic.

The first section of the wheel is poor nutrition. Food selections on a college campus are a tough transition from home-cooked meals and five-star dining, but healthy options are always available. Most students find that there is “not enough variety” at on-campus locations. I felt the same way during my first few weeks of freshman year, but I learned that there were better options than macaroni and cheese and pizza. At that year’s Thanksgiving, I certainly was told that I looked “different.”

Your body is meant to be fueled with nutrients that sustain your health. Being creative with the food options allows you to develop a more diverse and fun way to eat healthily. Practicing poor eating habits throughout your four years at college encourages the same behavior to continue post-graduation. Such poor choices can lead to health issues that may be irreversible if unchanged.

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Step Away from the Shoulder Pads

Unfortunate Fashion Trends that Refuse to Go Away

opinion-polka-dot-dressAdmit it: we all have participated in an embarrassing fashion trend. Let’s put it out in the open right now. I am totally guilty of wearing knee high socks, a Penny Lane dress, with my hair in pigtails when I was five years old, but, let’s not reminisce about my childhood fashion fiascos.

But yes, we have all experienced some major fashion failures, and I’m going to go through a few of them. I may not be a fashionista, but these clothing pieces would be nowhere near my “wear” board in Pinterest.

First up are the dreaded shoulder pads. I would love to talk to the per­son who believes that women look more attractive when looking like linebackers. Shoulder pads are sup­posed to, like everything else, change the way a women’s body looks. How­ever, is it really appealing to like a girl who looks like she is ready to collide head on with a lineman? No.

Women should be able to accentu­ate what they already have. I already have broad shoulders. Add the shoul­der pads and a helmet, and presto, “put me in coach.”Shoulder pads need to tackle themselves to the ground and never get back up again.

Up next is the bandana under the fitted hat. The only person that I have seen somewhat work-it is 50 Cent. I know that people do not go walking around on campus wearing bandanas under their hats, but I have seen it in action, and it is not appealing. There is no “swag” when it comes to the bandana under the hat trend.

What do you think of when you hear the words “leg warmers?” Did anyone have a mini 80’s throwback party with themselves like I just did? Was Patrick Swayze there? Or maybe the cast from the Breakfast Club?

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Trains, Planes, Automobiles: Ugly Truth of Sharing a Seat

Avoiding the Awkwardness of Sitting with Strangers on Public Transportation

opinion-crowded-planeI travel quite a bit. Whether it’s by train to NYC, by bus to and from Pennsylvania, or by plane to and from different states, I have had more than my fair share of hazily staring out windows. My rear-end has some not-so-nice things to say about that. On most of my travels, I have had the un­welcomed company of strangers sitting so close to me I could smell the flavor gum they were chew­ing. I even offered a few of them a piece.

Some of my commutes began as early as 4:00 am and some have ended as late as 2:00 am. The last thing I dreamt of doing at those wee hours of the morning was having uncomfortable physical contact and intrusion of personal space from a complete stranger. Travelers like me understand the awkwardness in these sorts of en­counters and the utter disbelief at those doing it. I thought I’d share a few stories and offer my own advice to those being victimized-and those victimizing (pay close attention!).

Six hours to cow country: I took many road trips to see my boy­friend at his small college in the middle of Pennsylvania. My com­mute consisted of a train ride to Penn Station, an eight-block sprint to the Greyhound terminal, and asix hour bus trip with no televi­sion. The seats were extremely uncomfortable, but I perfected the technique of turning a sweatshirt into a pillow to provide myself with a headrest that wouldn’t leave the back of my neck sore. The most entertaining part of those bus rides were my fellow passen­gers. About 20 people were on ev­ery bus I’ve taken out to PA, and there were more than enough seats to accommodate us all.

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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
Email: outlook@monmouth.edu