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Last updateMon, 29 Apr 2019 1pm

Opinion

Happy Christmahanakwanzika!

ChristmahanakwanzikaLet’s face it, the holiday season is upon us. There is no more putting it off. Everywhere we turn from Wilson Hall to the dorm’s decorations, the holidays are thrusted into our faces. Perhaps the most obvious sign of the holidays is the television specials we all know and love.

There are the “25 days of Christmas” on ABC Family, “A Christmas Story” on every channel at least once, and the “Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting.” Now hang on a minute, what do all these television specials have in common? They are all solely about the Christmas holiday. Not once do you find a Hanukkah television show (besides the one-time “Rugrats” Hanukkah special that aired 15 years ago) or a Kwanza special aired on national television.  In our lifetimes, national television has only aired one children’s holiday special that had nothing to do with the most commonly celebrated holiday during this season, Christmas.

Why does the world neglect the fact that Christmas is not the only holiday occurring this time of year? Does the United States not pride itself in its cultural diversity? The lack of media and representation of the other holidays featured during the Christmas season has posed a problem for years. However, the United States government is trying to take small steps towards diversifying the holiday season.

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Student Interviews State Senator Jennifer Beck on Plans to Help College Grads Find Jobs

default article imageFor the first time in New Jersey state history, an all-female assembly district and senate in Monmouth County's District 11 was elected on November 8.

Assemblywomen Caroline Casagrande, Mary Pat Angelini and State Senator Jennifer Beck were elected.

During an interview last Tuesday, Beck discussed her plans as State Senator, including helping the struggling job market, mainly re-energizing the economy with graduating college students.

Prior to the election, Beck was State Senator of District 12, but due to redistricting ran and won District 11. Beck is a graduate of Boston College, where she majored in mathematics and physics. She has a master’s degree in government administration from the University of Pennsylvania. Beck serves on the Environment and Energy Committee along with the Judiciary Committee. She believes in reducing government involvement in the private sector and spending on infrastructure projects to put people back to work.
She also believes that the state should help college students with financial aid.

Beck has two major objectives during her term as Senator and these are education reform and property tax reform. She said, "We have so many failing school districts in the state of New Jersey that are leaving our young people with not a lot of opportunities in the future."

Governor Chris Christie has been a supporter of reforming New Jersey's educational system but has met strong opposition from the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA).

When asked about her plan to deal with sky high property taxes Beck said, "The Pension Reform Bill will help the state and local towns to lower property taxes along with reevaluating the civil service."

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Sorry, You Can’t Eat Today... or the Rest of the Semester

default article imageFor those who do not know this now, please be aware: if you do not have the unlimited meal plan, you will eventually run out of meals at the Dining Hall.  When will this happen?

For some, it may take until the last day of the semester to be told that you are out of “swipes.” But for the unlucky others, you may find yourself waiting in a long line during the dinner rush hour, presenting your student ID, and finding out that you have no longer have any more meals.

If you are one of those students, you’re left with the declining dollars that you may have been saving for your daily dose of Java City coffee every morning. Here’s the sad news: you have to spend that money buying yourself food to last you through the rest of the fall.

Most encounters at the Dining Hall that end with the shock of learning you have no meals usually play out like this scenario. 

My friends and I were going to lunch at the Dining Hall on a Friday afternoon last spring. I scanned in, along with my other two friends who followed behind me. We began to walk in when we heard the lady at the desk tell our other friend that her ID was not scanning. She tried again and failed. She was then told to visit the office in the lounge of the Dining Hall. If you are ever told to go into that office, expect bad news.

Our friend walked out laughing, sarcastically telling us that she was going to starve because she had run out of meals. It was only November!

Granted, she had taken the lowest meal plan, but if there was a way for her to check the number of meals she had left, she would have been aware of the lack of them left and had been able to manage her trips to the dining hall accordingly.

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Holiday Madness

Holiday MadnessJust as we take the last bite of our king size Snicker bars, and put the pumpkin carving knives away, we begin to hear the subtle sounds of jingle bells. As the door closes and the last trick-or-treater is on their way, we as controlled and obsessed consumers are pressured into wearing red and decorating for Christmas the day after Halloween.

Um hello, the pilgrims are totally offended. After all, we completely disregard the fact that Thanksgiving does come before Christmas.

Turkey and stuffing are the staple of the American heritage, yet we only honor the over eating and over indulging day for a short time. The leftovers are not even in tupperware as we quickly run to line up at malls and outlets for Black Friday sales.

As we run to the stores at 5:00 am with mashed potatoes barely digested and dessert slowly coming up our throats, we are hypnotized by the idea of completing all holiday shopping in one single hyped day.

And as we rest our feet later that day, we then rush to storage or the attic to gather the lights, Christmas tree, garland and wreaths.

Pathetic, right? But most of our families are extreme victims of the holiday frenzy disease. Why has it become acceptable to rush through holidays and not cherish the memories and significance of culture and history?

I am completely convinced that stores are out to get us. Between the misleading coupons, outlandish decorations, luring signs and addictively joyful music, we have been whipped into spending our money in a rather exhausting and manipulative way.

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Stay Away From the Squirrels

Stay Away From the SquirrelsSmart, sneaky, stalkers. Predatory, pensive, pudgy. Only one creature is ferocious enough to embody all of these characteristics. Only one creature has the ability to infiltrate the whole University, disguised among the foliage, waiting to pounce on you.

What on earth is this camouflaged, ambushing creature? Why, it’s a squirrel of course.

Most students on campus have had at least one negative interaction with a Monmouth Squirrel. See, a MU Squirrel is not your average squirrel, although it looks the same to the naked eye.

Both an average squirrel and a MU squirrel are about three inches in height when standing on all fours, have grayish-brownish fur and fluffy tails. Each may look like a cuddly animal, and may even come across as playful as two or more may leap and bound from tree to tree while engaging in a game of tag.

“Oh, that’s cute,” one might think as he or she observes this game of tag. But, despite the fact that these creatures seem harmless, we MU students know differently. We’ve experienced the dangerous effects of a MU squirrel, and now we know not to cross them.

Every student on this campus has heard the story. It probably spread faster than the recap of a girl fight during lunch at your high school. This story, however, is more frightening and causes more disbelief than that of a girl fight.

A MU student was leisurely walking down one of the paths on campus continuing on her merry way. During her walk, she had some garbage that she needed to throw out, so she walked towards the closest trash can. Absentmindedly, she tossed her trash into the can, and expected to continue on her journey.

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An ‘Absent’ Issue on Campus

default article imageThe University is home to over 4,500 undergraduate students and about 2,000 graduate students that are all susceptible to the standard attendance policy. Each department at the University has its own attendance policy. On average, each policy allows two class absences per semester.

In contrast, Rutgers University is  home to over 40,000 undergraduate students and about 15,000 graduate students. The large amount of students enrolled at Rutgers creates complications when professors attempt to enforce attendance policies. The students of Rutgers are rarely penalized for their lack of attendance, which has sometimes proven to be successful, but also detrimental to their grades.

Considering our fellow New Jersey school, Rutgers, lacks in the implementation of repercussions for lack of attendance, students at the University are left wondering why our policy is extremely strict?

Most classes at Monmouth follow the two-absence limit rule, which is reasonable, but if you miss three days instead of the allotted two, you may be subjected to a loss in a letter grade. What if it’s an excused absence you say? Well an excused absence is harder to come by than a free ride.

Many professors require a written excuse for absences to be considered excused, but as students we all know things come up such as car trouble, unexpected deaths, and sickness. Unfortunately, all these real-life instances occur all the time and may not come with a professional note to excuse the individual from class. These absences may cause a drop in a letter grade for the class you missed and will ultimately hinder your ability to excel in class.

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Put This in Your Coffee Cup

default article imageIf there is one thing about college that makes me cringe at the very sound of its utterance, it’s the sound of my 7:30 am alarm screeching, trying to wake my drowsy college butt up from bed. For some college students, that sound makes us take our pillows and throw them over our heads.

We mumble a conjuncture of words that are supposed to come out as, “I don’t want to get up” but really come out as “ughlksaglkjaegh.” Somehow we miraculously manage to wake up and start to get ready. But there are always mishaps that occur when college students (who are barely awake) try to get ready for an early morning class, that groggy feeling is never desired. Well here’s something for the early birds to read as they sip their morning cup o’ joe.

It all starts with the night before, when you’re getting all ready for bed. You first go and brush your teeth until your breath has the smell of a Scope commercial and then you have some quality time with your alarm clock.

You click through the buttons to set the alarm to 7:30 am and of course mess up the numbers in the process, therefore you have to scroll through another time to set it for the right time. After your thumbs get a work out from constantly pressing the buttons for what seems like a million years, you crawl into bed and begin to dream.

Suddenly, it’s like your mind just went “jk lol” because your alarm is yelling and it sounds 10 times louder than what you originally thought it would’ve sounded like. I call this the “what the flot-sam is going on” moment.

The worst part is, when your alarm begins to go off, it’s as if you have no idea where the sound is even coming from; looking around the room like it’s an alien abduction or something. And when you finally realize that it’s the alarm that is going off, you hustle out of bed and shut it off, only to massage your head seconds later.

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Lavish Weddings Breaking the Bank

Lavish Weddings Breaking the BankOn the heels of the Kim Kardashian divorce, many wondered what could have caused the breakup of a couple that seemed enamored with each other at their $10 million wedding, a mere 72 days prior to the divorce announcement.

Weeks after filing for the divorce, Kardashian said that she got too “caught up” in the planning of the wedding, and by the time she realized that she had made a mistake, it was too late and she did not want to let her fans down. Her statement led me to question the meaning behind the American obsession with lavish weddings and extravagance. What first appeared to be part of the celebrity culture, the desire to have over-the-top weddings has become a part of mainstream lifestyles.

Ordinary people have always been influenced by Hollywood and the trends set forth by their favorite celebrities, and the habit of imitation is finding its way into the weddings of many people. With televisions shows such as “Platinum Weddings,” “Brides of Beverly Hills,” and “Rich Bride, Poor Bride,” ordinary people strive to have extraordinary weddings that they often cannot afford.

Long gone are the days of people planning weddings with the main intention of celebrating the eternal bond they are about to form with the love of their lives. These days, weddings have become a chance for brides and grooms to bury themselves in debt for the sake of putting on a show for their guests. Weddings are now all about which designer made the dress, how extravagant the cake is, and how expensive the venue looks.

What we, as a society, fail to realize is that celebrities are in the financial position to have weddings of a certain magnitude because they have the financial resources, or in Kim Kardashian’s case, they are willing to sell themselves and the right to their privacy for $18 million in order to profit from their wedding and completely cover their expenses.

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“Modern Family” Has Families Everywhere Laughing

Modern Family“Modern Family” trumps all primetime comedies. Tears are springing from your eyes, starting to overflow the bottom lids. Now the tears are streaming down your face. It gets worse: your stomach is cramping up so hard it hurts to do anything. Now, because you’re crying, and your stomach is convulsing, and your nose is getting all stuffy, you can’t breathe. Not even a little bit.

This scenario may sound like a bad day, but, really, it’s the exact opposite. You’re simply watching this week’s new episode of ABC’s “Modern Family,” the best comedy on television right now. The hysterical blend of comedic perfection is literally making you laugh so hard you’re crying (and maybe peeing in your pants a little bit too).

“Modern Family” is a sitcom that has been a part of primetime network television since September 2009. It follows one extended family, the Pritchetts, through their days as parents, children, spouses, siblings, and cousins.

The Pritchett family is comprised of patriarch Jay, his Colombian wife Gloria, and her son Manny. Jay is also father to Mitchell, who lives with his partner Cameron, and their adopted Asian daughter Lily. The show also follows Jay’s daughter Claire’s family which includes her husband Phil Dunphy, their daughters Haley and Alex, and son Luke. 

Given the age, racial, and sexual orientation diversity of these individual families, it is easy to see why creators Steven Levitan and Christopher Lloyd named the show “Modern Family.” This whole, extended family paints a pretty literal representation of what a newly-standard American family looks like.

Many might think of a sitcom as a funny, 30-minute TV show. If you are one of these people, you’re about half-right. The word “sitcom” actually stands for “situation comedy.” Who knows where Levitan and Lloyd get their inspiration for these expanded and immediate family situations, but America can agree that they are absolutely comedic.

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Jacks or Draft?

default article imageFor students that live locally and are of legal age to drink, their social lives depend on two bars.  These two bars are called Jack’s Goal Line Stand and Draft House.  The dueling sport bars are the first considered stop for college locals.

Jack’s Goal Line Stand and Draft House are conveniently located right down the street from one other.  On any given weeknight, it can be promised that Brighton Avenue will be flooded with stumbling students.  Cops sit on every side streets surrounding the bars, waiting for the next drunken brawl to break out or to stop a drunk driver.

These aren’t the only two bars in the area, but they might as well be with the lack of attention students give the other bars. Occasionally, a group will go to the Brighton Bar to see a band playing there, or someone will want to go to Otto’s Bar and Grill for Wasted Wednesdays and beer pong tournaments, but these are all rare suggestions. Many other bars are less welcoming to students and are more for adults who live in the area; I like to call them townies.

So which will it be? Draft or Jack’s? Jack’s or Draft?  Each bar has their strengths and weaknesses when it comes to the components of what makes a good bar.  Deciding which one is for you depends on personal preference.

Draft House is a swanky sports bar, which is sort of an oxymoron. At night, there is sometimes a line of half-clothed girls in heels followed by guys in button down shirts looking freezing while waiting to go inside to dance. Draft has an enforced dress code demanding casual chic, a.k.a. don’t come here looking like a slob. That means no Ugg boots, black yoga pants, fitted hats, and so on and so forth. With a large bar and attractive bartenders, the bar gives off more of a club feel rather than a sports bar.  And that would be great, if they had a real dance floor.  Draft’s excuse for a dance floor looks like it was built for ants.

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An Internship Horror Story

default article imageWe are at a time in our lives when the scariest words to anyone are “internship” and “job.” It is that joyous time of spending countless hours on the computer sending your resume to 20 plus businesses, firms, agencies, or for me, magazines. Glossy magazines have cluttered my room for years. While most young girls were playing teacher and house, I was playing magazine editor.

This is what I wanted and it was this fall when I thought all my dreams would come true. Wow, was I wrong.

We have all heard internship horror stories but I was about to live my own, literally stepping into the vicious world of high fashion at Harper’s Bazaar magazine, one of the classiest and reputable publications out there. I was soon going to surround myself with everything I had ever hoped for. September came and I was the new beauty editorial intern.

I knew walking into the Hearst Publications building I had reached heaven. The breathtaking building was filled with marble, posh décor, and high heels clicking away. My beaming geeky intern smile was washed away in just a few short hours.

I had become a lipstick holding, mascara testing, coffee running, and lunch serving slave to my editor. I was now to print hundreds of  emails from the printer that sits in between the editor and myself. I’m sorry, is your index finger seriously incapable of clicking print? Oh, and sure I would love to uncap 70 red lipsticks and put them in shade order. Let’s talk about how stressful it is when you are asked why the new Dior eye shadow didn’t come in for the shoot.

“Michelle what do you mean it isn’t in. Do you know what this means? You have ruined the shoot now!” Was this seriously what I have always dreamed of? To be humiliated over glitter that goes on your eyes?

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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