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Last updateWed, 04 Dec 2019 3pm

Politics

Affordable Textbook Bill Looks to Utilize Internet via “Open Educational Resources”

The Affordable College Textbook Act would allow universities to offer free textbooks via “Open educational resources” which would also make textbooks available to the public, according to bill sponsor Senator Richard Durbin.

According to the bill, S1704, Congress seeks to reduce the cost of college textbooks for students. William Rainey, manager of the University’s book store, said the main issue with the program would be the expense of it. “A typical textbook is multiple years of writing, editing and the important reviewing process which gives it credibility with its users.” Rainey said there have been success open source programs at some universities and states but it was very limited. Another issue Rainey mentioned is where the funding will come from.

The bill states that the average student budget for college books and supplies was $1,200, according to The College Board.  The Government Accountability Office said that textbook prices have increased 82 percent over the past ten years.

The bill cites the need for the “Open Educational Resource which is defined as “An educational resource that is licensed under an open license and made freely available online to the public.”

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Death of a Liberator: Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first democratically elected President, passed away on Thursday Dec. 5. Mandela is remembered by much more than his Presidency, including his life- long dedication to peaceful political movements against racial oppression and the fight for freedom in his nation.

Mandela’s health has been faltering for the past couple of years, with reoccurring lung infections that hospitalized him on numerous occasions. These health issues have kept him out of the political activist spotlight over these past couple of years, however he never left the spotlight through his many messages and historical acts.

According to NelsonMandela.org, Rolihlahla Mandela was born in Madiba clan in Mvezo Transkei on July 18, 1918. His father was a principal counselor to Jongintaba, the Acting King of the Thembu people. His father, Nkosi Mphakanyiswa Gadla Mandela passed away when he was just a boy, leaving him to become a ward of Jongintaba, which is how he first heard the stories of his people and their struggle for freedom.

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Affordable Health Care Website Had Glitches That May Have Discouraged Users

CNN released a poll including the Presidential approval rating indicator. Results showed a 41 percent approval rating for President Obama and a disapproval rating of 56 percent as of Thursday Nov. 21, .

These two indicators were records for the second term president, marking his lowest approval rating ever and highest disapproval. Though the executive office has seen its share of controversial issues, the recent problem is with what is Obama’s defining policy; the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The ACA, also known as Obama-Care was created to provide protections that were not always mandatory in health insurance coverages like the exclusion of those with pre-existing conditions and discrimination based upon gender. It extends the age that a child can remain under their parents Healthcare plans to the age of 26, which will directly affect college students. The act has the goal of ensuring that the approximately 47 million people, according to the census, are without coverage are provided with either cheap or even free health care.

There have been issues with the health care website. Which is where people can go to apply for healthcare under the new Affordable Care Act provisions. The website acts as a marketplace to bridge the gap between health insurance providers and costumers.

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Employment Non-Discrimination Act Would Grant Equality in the WorkplaceCNN

The Senate passed the Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA) with a majority, bipartisan vote: 64 to 32, according to CNN on Nov 7. This means the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transvestite (LGBT) community is one step closer to achieving equality in the workplace because it will be illegal for employers to discriminate based on their sexual orientation.

ENDA already makes it illegal for someone to be fired based on their skin color, their race, their religion, their sex, and their nation of origin, according to Glaad.org.

The White House reported, the new version of ENDA will put into place “federal protections” that will make it illegal for an employer to fire someone because they identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

Heather Kelly, the advisor of the group ALI (All Lifestyles Included), and Assistant Director of Student Activities for Multicultural and Diversity Initiatives, said, “I just want to preface my answers by stating that these are my opinions, and not the opinions of my office,”

Kelly continued this new law is so important because, “If you are L (lesbian), G (gay), B (bisexual) you can get fired, in. I believe it is 29 states. If you are T (transgender) it is 33. That is just if someone at your job finds out that you are dating someone else who is of the same sex. You can not be hired for the same reason, and that’s really something that is horrible, when you think about it.”

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Forum Throws Rocks at Glass Ceiling

A forum on women and  work, the wage gap, equal pay, anti-discrimination laws, and opportunities in the workforce was held on Monday, Nov. 18.

The forum included: Alitia Faccone, Governor Christine Todd Whitman, Sherrie String, Robyn Mingle, and Seena Stein. Dr. Peter Reinhart, the Director of the Kislak Real Estate Institute, helped organize the event and picked the notable speakers. Each of the speakers were given ten minutes to address their expertise on the subject.

The first distinguished speaker was Faccone. She is currently the director of Marketing for McCarter & English LLP. Faccone received her bachelor’s degree from Monmouth University.

Faccone is a strong advocate for the advancement of women in the workforce. She is chair of the Firm’s Women’s Initiative Steering Committee, co-editor-in-chief of the quarterly newsletter (Women in the kNOW), an active member of the National Association of Women Lawyers, and she serves as an Advisory Board Member to the Women in Law Empowerment Forum.

Faccone decided to talk extensively on the wage gap, the major court case revolving around gender, and anti-discrimination laws that has been proposed over the years.

The wage gap is when women are not paid the same rate as their male counterparts. It is hard to deny the statistics that women are making less in their wages than men.

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Seton Hall Law Professor Shows Students What a Law School Class Looks Like

Seton Hall Law professor, Ronald Riccio ran a mock law class for University students interested in learning how a class would be run on Tuesday, Nov. 19 in Young Auditorium.

Riccio is a law professor at Seton Hall and is a practicing lawyer from the law firm McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney and Carpenter.

Dylan Hankinson, a senior political science major attended the event and was impressed by Riccio. “After taking Dr. Bordelon’s class and being exposed to this seminar I feel ready to go off to law school, and a weight has been lifted.”

He also said that another reason he felt ready for law school, was because of Bordelon’s Media Law class, in which you go over almost all these cases, learn how to draft case dockets, and cover other types of law.

Dr. Gregory Bordelon, lecturer for the Political Science and Sociology Department said,“I wanted the students at Monmouth University to be exposed to the legal education which is different than an undergraduate experience, and Monmouth University has always had a good relationship with Seton Hall, Seton Hall’s strongest graduates have been from Monmouth University,” said Bordelon.

Hankinson said, “I expected Mr. Riccio to start throwing complicated terms at us, however everything he said for the most part I knew about and was able to follow on with the seminar, which was about First Amendment rights.”

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Univeristy Students Participate in United Nations Academic Impact Discussion Panel

The Political Science and Sociology Department sponsored a day trip to a United Nations Conference in New York City on Monday, November 18. Students and faculty were able to participate in a discussion with other universities for the third anniversary of the United Nations Academic Impact, an organization dedicated towards making a difference in education throughout the world.

The United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) is dedicated to sharing a culture of intellectual social responsibility and provides a forum for young academics to come together to discuss their ideas and share personal experiences. The Conference was held in celebration of UNAI efforts over the past three years and promoting their future successes. Representing the University on the panel was Dr. Rekha Datta, an associate professor of political science and Daniel Roman, a junior political science major.

In an effort to introduce the various individuals who have been working to make a difference through the youth forum, Datta, along with several other scholars, discussed how far the UNAI has come since its creation in November of 2010. Each scholar, in their professional capacities, discussed the organizations that they are involved in and how they are directly related to the organization.

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“Cao Goes to Washington” Shows Battle Between Citizens and Party Lines

“Cao Goes to Washington” is a documentary about former Congressman Joseph Cao that was shown in the Pollack Theater on Nov. 12, directed by political documentarian, S. Leo Chiang, regarding Cao’s battle between the Affordable Care Act  and the Republican Party.

Chiang took those in attendance on a personal journey into Cao’s election into office in New Orleans, as a Republican Asian Congressman, from a place where a majority are Democratic, as well as African American. Views saw his struggle for reelection after voting “nay” for the Affordable Health Care Act (ACA) during the second voting for the House of Representatives.

Cao’s initially voted for the ACA, which he explained, “The people down here need it, my people need it, and the needs of the people for outweigh the party.”

While the people of New Orleans supported him, Republicans were disgruntled, and the Democrat’s claimed he was in the wrong party.

However, as the documentary unfolds, the audience learns that Cao is a Republican because he is conservative especially about pro-life issues. When the second round of voting commenced, Cao realized that the provisions for abortion were not changed and he took to the podium, to exclaim why he would not support the ACA and cast his vote “nay.”

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JFK Killed 50 Years Ago: What Actually Happened? Depends on Who You Ask

Conspiracy theories began swirling almost immediately after President John F. Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963, and have never really stopped.

A spate of new books re-examining that moment in anticipation of the 50th anniversary has revived some theories, tried to squelch others and found intriguing new details of botched investigations or deliberate concealment by authorities.

There’s a ready audience: 61 percent of the American people believe that Lee Harvey Oswald did not act alone in killing the president, according to the most recent Gallup poll, released Friday. While the percentage of those who believe in a conspiracy is the lowest since the late 1960s, it confirms the public’s ongoing doubts about the “lone gunman” theory.

The likely conspirators?

The poll found that 13 percent believe the Mafia and 13 percent think the federal government was involved; seven percent named the CIA; five percent each believe Cuban leader Fidel Castro, “special interests” and political groups were responsible; the Ku Klux Klan, then-Vice President Lyndon Johnson and the Soviet Union each drew three percent.

The belief in a conspiracy hasn’t diminished in nearly 50 years of polling. Doubts also persist about the findings of the Warren Commission, which was created by Johnson, after he became president, to investigate the assassination and was led by Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren.

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National Security Agency: What Information Do They Keep and What are They Looking For?

Ever since details of the surveillance programs enacted by the National Security Agency (NSA) surfaced in June, the revelations of the United States electronic data gathering initiatives, domestically and internationally, have dominated global headlines and have raised new questions concerning individuals’ expectations of privacy in the 21st century digital age.

Information regarding what has been referred to as, domestic spying program by much of the American media, was leaked by former NSA data analyst, Edward Snowden. He revealed scores of documents to the world’s press regarding the existence of several NSA data mining initiatives, such as the now infamous PRISM program, aimed at combating the organization efforts of global terrorist groups via the monitoring of internet and cellular traffic - that is, the frequency, points of origin, and, in some cases, the content of the personal communications of potentially millions of electronics users around the world, American citizens included.

Perhaps the most scathing revelation leaked from Russia by Snowden is the aforementioned PRISM program. From formerly classified presentation slides, now available for the viewing of the general public on Wikipedia, it has been learned that the U.S. government has been working to collect the internet browsing habits of American citizens since at least 2007. This was also the year that, according to the leaked documents, Microsoft began to provide the NSA with their users’ data.

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Bus Trip Goes to Asbury Park Convention Hall to see Christie Accept Second Term as Governor

The Political Science Club sponsored a bus trip to the winning candidate of the Governor’s Race’s victory party and speech, last Tuesday night. A mixed group of graduate students, undergraduates, and members of the community gathered on the bus that left at 8 pm to go to Asbury Park Convention Hall where Governor Elect Chris Christie’s victory party was held.

The bus picked up everyone who reserved a seat behind the Rebecca Stanford Student Center. Students and people of the community were able to get their tickets online for free.

Upon arrival to the Convention Hall, students had to present their tickets and go through a short security tent set up out front of the entrance. Once inside on the main floor was a stage set up where Christie was going to give his acceptance speech on the main floor. Food and drinks were offered in a separate hall connected to the main floor.

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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