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Politics

Volume 83 (Fall 2011 - Spring 2012)

Roll Call: Words from the SGA Senate 11/9/11

default article imageLast week SGA President, Nicole Levy attended the Board of Trustees meeting. The process of building a new residence hall offering 200 beds to freshmen was voted on. The hall will allow the University to guarantee housing to all freshmen students. It will be constructed in the Cedar Hall parking lot currently used for the library and commuters.

Vice President Nagy is still working on the Aramark issues.

Homecoming Chair, Samantha Schaffer said that the Senate is currently brainstorming ideas concerning what to do with extra Homecoming novelties.

“I appreciate the sense of humor and grace you all brought on Homecoming day despite the unfortunate weather,” Nagy said.

The annual auction will be team party themed and will be held in the Blue and White Club on Friday, March 30.

Campus and Safety Committee Kathy Maloney, the Director of the Health Services, will be invited to come up sometime in the next few weeks.

Students are reminded to take the survey from the Health Center that was recently emailed.

Stefania Flecca and Academics Chair, Soraya Quezada met with Dr. Sarsar last week and discussed how the University is globally promoting and recruiting international students.

More information will be available soon.

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The Polling Institute: More Opportunities to Come

Polling InstituteMany students do not recognize the Polling Institute as one of the University’s reputable gems, or the opportunities it has to offer.

The Institute offers numerous opportunities for students to gain experience concerning the way polls are administered and data is analyzed.

Introduced to the University in 2005, the Polling Institute was established in order to act as a nerve center for the study of public opinion on important local, state, regional, and national issues.

Patrick Murray, Director of the Polling Institute, explained that the Institute’s mission is to produce involvement externally and internally from the University. The Institute incorporates the assistance from different departments on campus to administer polls.

The Polling Institute’s activities include research services for government agencies as well as private organizations. The poll results assist with policy analysis, measuring effectiveness and assessment.

In 2005, the Institute was named a winner by New Jersey Politifax for the accuracy of its predictions prior to the 2005 gubernatorial election. However, Murray stressed that the polling the Institute conducts is unique in that it is not merely political candidate polling.

Rather, the Polling Institute works to ensure that the voice of the public is heard concerning relevant social issues and standards that everyday people are concerned about.

“The Institute is unique in that it covers quality of life issues that affect New Jersey residents as well as residents up and down the East Coast,” Murray said. For example, the Institute released a survey this past April which measured the quality of life in New Jersey.

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Roll Call: Words from the SGA Senate 11/2/11

default article imageSix students from the Student Government Association had the opportunity to attend a student leadership conference at the State House in Trenton on October 24.

At this conference, the Senate met with students from other New Jersey schools to represent the interests of each particular school.

The student leadership day was hosted by the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in New Jersey (AICUNJ) in hopes of increasing awareness of some of the budget cuts from the 14 independent schools in the state.

The students who were in attendance had the opportunity to learn about the legislative process and had a chance to voice concerns about such budget cuts to programs like the Tuition Assistance Grant (TAG) and the Equal Opportunity Fund (EOF).

Robert J. Polakowski, the Vice President of AICUNJ, wanted students to be a part of this process to make sure politicians in Trenton remained accountable for their decisions on issues that directly affect the independent schools in New Jersey.

Student Opinion Survey- Dr. Strohmetz, a Psychology Professor and the Associate Vice President for Academic and Institutional Assessment, attended last week’s executive board meeting to discuss the Student Opinion Survey. This, similar to the BESSE and NESSE students take, is a new survey for all undergraduate students to gauge their satisfaction with the University and various aspects including residential life, dining services, and academics. The Senate has offered to help promote it through various outlets. It will be sent out through email.

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Who’s Who in SGA: Soraya Quezada Academics Chair

SGA Soraya QuezadaSoraya Quezada is a senior majoring in Biology. She hopes to be a doctor and will be attending medical school once she graduates in May. Quezada is from Keyport, New Jersey.

She has the position of Academic Affairs Chair in SGA. Quezada works with the Provost and the academic departments to improve the overall academic quality for the student body. This includes any issues from class scheduling to concerns with professors or advisor’s.

For example, Quezada was recently briefed on the new plagiarism tool that professors will now be using. She has also held the position of Elections Committee CoChair.

She joined SGA her sophomore year to get more involved on campus and to meet new people. “I thought it was important for me to get involved, especially as a commuter. I really care about Monmouth and want to see the University and it’s students succeed,” Quezada said.

SGA is the governing body for all clubs and organizations on campus and acts as a voice for the students.

Quezada explained that everyone should look into SGA to help improve the University and make it the best it can be for students.

She said her proudest moment on SGA thus far was being voted into the Senate from a general member, to a voting Senator her sophomore year, as well as holding committee chair positions her junior and senior year.

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President Obama Looking to Help College Students

default article imagePresident Obama announced his newest executive order to help reboot the struggling economy last week. He is making changes to federal policy to make student loans more affordable and easier to pay back for recent college graduates who are struggling to find work after graduation.

With college tuition growing each year, it is a relief to most students that this is happening. The “Know Before You Owe” plan was originally an initiative to help with mortgages, but the same principles are being used for student loans.

This order was announced at the University of Colorado to thunderous applause from college students. This plan would allow students to repay at a slower rate and consolidate multiple payments into one payment with a better interest rate. Obama also plans to cap student loan payments at 10 percent. The plan is actually an acceleration of a federal law due to take effect in two years, but because of the executive order it will begin in January 2012. Also under the new rule, after 20 years on federal loans, the remaining debt would be forgiven, five years earlier than the present system.

Obama believes a college education is essential. “In a global economy, putting a college education within reach for every American has never been more important, but it’s also never been more expensive,” he said.

One of the major concerns of enacting such an order is to free up more money for students upon graduation. The hope is with more money to spend, recent graduates can put more money into the economy and help get it going again. Obama said, “And when a big chunk of every paycheck goes towards student loans instead of being spent on other things, that’s not just tough for middleclass families, it’s painful for the economy and it’s harmful to our recovery because that money is not going to help businesses grow.” He explained that the best part of the entire plan is that there is no additional charge on taxpayers.

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Political Debate: Will Occupy Wall Street Protests Benefit the Economy?

Political Debate Wall St ProtestsHere students debate political issues of the week. Side 1 students make their initial argument followed by side 2 in which they respond to their opponent.

Side 1: In Favor of Occupy Wall Street: Our Mark on History


A people powered movement began in Liberty Square in Manhattan’s financial district on September 17. Today, it has expanded to over 100 cities in the United States and 1,500 worldwide. It is a peaceful movement whose main goal is to expose how the richest one percent of people in America is writing the rules of an unfair global economy.

That same one percent of Americans currently hold 42 percent of our country’s wealth, while there are 46 million people in America currently living in poverty, according to CNN Money.

Occupy Wall Street sees this inequality in our country, and they are standing up against greed and corruption in corporate America. Taxes on people making over one million dollars have gone down from 91 percent during the 1950s to a historically low 28 percent in 2010, according to the U.S. Census. The fewer taxes the rich pay, the less revenue that goes towards the government, which has now had to cut down on benefits for the poor and middle class. Seeing this social divide, protesters are stepping up and calling for equality for all.

Those participating in Occupy Wall Street are not hippies, and they are not bums. Many of them are college students struggling with the mountain of debt hanging over them.

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Roll Call: Words from the SGA Senate

default article imageThe 9/11 Remembrance Event was a great success. The Senate would like to thank everyone who attended and helped out. Over 100 people from the campus and community attended and the new addition to the campus, a piece from the World Trade Center site will soon be built into a memorial on campus.

During a meeting Nicole Levy and Oscar Sanchez had with President Gaffney, the Senate was relayed the following messages:

Revenue: An engagement party in Wilson brought us $100,000, so they are looking into renting it out again in the summer to bring in more revenue and get the University’s name more publicized. There will be renting appointments during the academic year this will not interfere with the campus.

New Resident Hall: The University is looking into a new resident hall, designed like Mullaney Hall to be built in Lot 6. Room and board will not increase.

Substance Abuse: President Gaffney also stressed the importance of helping one another when it comes to drinking and/or drug abuse. He hopes for all of us to encourage friends to make the right decisions and be responsible in their actions.

Kelly Craig has been selected to be SGA’s freshmen ambassador, which is a new position that SGA created in order to give the freshmen someone to go to if they need help, to help other committee members with their events, and to have meetings once or twice a month to keep them on track.

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2012 New Jersey Senate Election Candidates

2012 NJ Senate ElectionThe New Jersey Senate election will take place next November, concurrent with the 2012 Presidential election.

Incumbent democratic U.S. Senator Bob Menendez is running for reelection for a second full term.

Chances are Menendez will not face any serious opposition, but the Republicans have no clear candidate in the race yet.

There are many possible candidates that may throw their hat in the ring.

Ian Linker has officially announced himself as a candidate. Joseph Kyrillos, a State Senator from the 13th Legislative District is exploring a possible run as well.

Other possible candidates include Bill Baroni, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey deputy Executive Director, Jennifer Beck, State Senator, Lou Dobbs, radio personality, and Thomas Kean, State Senate Minority Leader.

Dr. Ronald Reisner, a professor of Criminal Justice, has a great deal of knowledge in New Jersey politics and law.

“Given the Kean family’s role in politics, New Jersey Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean Jr. will give a Senatorial run another chance,” Reisner said. Kean’s father, Tom Kean, was the Governor of New Jersey from 1982 to 1990 and the CoChair of the 9/11 Commission.

Reisner did not believe that Lou Dobbs would run and joked that Chris Christie is definitely not running.

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Roll Call: Words from the SGA Senate 10/26/11

default article imageSGA will be participating in “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” on November 2. The event’s purpose is to take a stand against sexual violence and raise awareness of this important cause. Aramark met with the Senate to have an open discussion about the questions, comments, and concerns that have arisen recently regarding food services.

The Senate approved the Baseball Club as the newest club sport on campus for those who are very interested in playing baseball but do not have the time, commitment, or necessary skill for the University team. Thus far the club is composed of 18 members from all four grade levels. Dues will be relatively low and the club has insurance taken care of. They will be playing competitively against schools in the tristate area.

The International Business Club and the Running Club will be coming up soon as well.

The Snowriders Club have requested funding for a trip to the Tremblant Resort. They wish to offer a student discount to those who wish to attend. Last year, roughly 90 students attended the trip and the interest is increasing each year.

Homecoming Committee Report: Spirit Week is this week leading up to the Homecoming game on Saturday. A pep rally will be held at 5:00 pm in the MAC.

The Committee of Student Affairs, Campus, and Safety would like to report that the parking concern on the Residential side is being looked into. Lights have been installed near the trash cans outside the Great Lawn Apartments, to illuminate the parking lots at night.

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Who’s Who in SGA: Stefania Flecca Parliamentarian

SGA Stefania FleccaStefania Flecca is a senior majoring in English and secondary education. She has the position of Parliamentarian in SGA and oversees the Events Programming chairs who plan the Big Event, Homecoming, the Charity Auction, and Springfest.

Flecca had previously held the positions of Events Programming Chair and Vice President.

Similarly to new freshmen Senators, Flecca joined SGA as part of the Fresh Start program in September 2008.

She joined because she was looking to get involved her first year at the University as well as develop her leadership skills.

“My favorite part about SGA is the many opportunities we get to further and build our leadership skills, as well as ourselves,” Flecca said. Senators have the opportunity to attend conferences, serve as chairs of committees, and be leaders of the entire University. “SGA gives us all the chance to make a real difference,” Flecca said.

She is very excited for next weekend, the most exciting time of the year, in her eyes, Homecoming. Flecca encourages students to get excited and cheer on their team, school, and friends. “It’s a week to celebrate how far Monmouth has come and how far it is going to go,” she said.

Along with her involvement in SGA, Flecca also had the chance to study abroad this summer in Florence, Italy.

She explained that it was the most meaningful and impacting four weeks of her life. The experience allowed her to become more cultured and more open-minded to trying new things.

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Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party: Distant Relatives in Action

default article imageAs Occupy Wall Street protests enter its fifth week, similarities between the 99 percent movement and the still young Tea Party movement are becoming more visible.

The idea is said to be first attributed to “The Daily Show” host Jon Stewart, recently reiterated by President Barack Obama and Governor Chris Christie.

Michael Phillips-Anderson, a communication professor that focuses on politics at the University, attended Occupy Wall Street in New York with his wife and young daughter. Phillips-Anderson said, “I was very impressed with how peaceful and accommodating everybody was.”

He explained that the protest was well organized and was surrounded by media stations, medical stations, food stations, a library, and a cleanup station. Phillips-Anderson said, “They really set up a whole functioning community there.”

Claude Taylor, also a communication professor specializing in politics at the University, sees similarities between Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party. He said, “People have turned away from the central structures of authority and power to advocate for themselves. The idea that citizens are the engine for a movement is absolutely similar between the two.”

Arielle Giordano, a senior at the University explained that it’s a far stretch to compare Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party.

“The Tea Party movement, solely a grass roots movement started by the people, differs far from the Occupy Wall Street movement. The reality is the vast majority of these protesters just need to feel like they are a part of something and have nothing else to do,” Giordano said.

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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