Last updateWed, 19 Feb 2020 2pm


Gov. Christie: Controversy with Civil Rights Comment

default article imageGovernor Chris Christie recently sparked a controversy because of a comment he made during his announcement for a voter referendum on same sex marriage in New Jersey. Stating citizens should decide on the issue and not the state legislature, Christie added “I think people would have been happy to have a referendum on civil-rights rather than fighting and dying in the streets in the South.”

While Christie has received flack for wanting to put the issue on a ballot, his comment has received much more backlash from both state politicians like Newark Mayor Cory Booker, former New Jersey governors, and other African-American figures like civil-rights leader and U.S. House representative John Lewis.

Hettie Williams, a lecturer of African American History said the statement “was not grounded in historical context,” as African American’s rights were violated through statutes passed by local and state governments “that led to the rise of segregation sanctioned by the Supreme Court.”

“African Americans who attempted to vote or exercise their rights as citizens were routinely harassed, raped, beaten, and lynched,” said Williams. “The Civil Rights Movement was a reaction to the violence leveled against African Americans despite amendments to the U.S. Constitution.”

Dr. Nancy Mezey, director of the sociology program, is not surprised that Christie’s comment was criticized and thinks they should be critical, as his statement was “based on ignorance on a time when a public referendum on civil rights would not have ended in favor of equal rights for African Americans.”

“Christie not only holds a public office in which he should be advocating for all of his constituents, but he is also held in high regard by Republicans throughout the U.S.,” said Dr. Mezey, “He has a responsibility to make well informed comments and choices.”

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Israel Held Responsible for Deaths of Iranian Scientists

default article imageSuspects behind the killings of Iranian nuclear scientists surmounted behind a homegrown terrorist group, but it was unclear where the group had been receiving its financing, training and arming until early Friday morning when Iranian officials levied the Israeli Secret Service and the United States as those responsible. 

Since 2007, the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (MEK) has launched fatal attacks, resulting in the deaths of five Iranian nuclear scientists. 

The Iranian government discovered the make of the bombs, as well as the links between Israel and the MEK, after a failed bombing in late 2010 when the government interrogated the apprehended bomber.

The magnetic car bomb from last month matched ones identified from prior attacks.

Earlier last month, NBC News reported the dramatics behind planting the explosive devices to the scientist’s cars.  During peak commuting hours, the “motorcycle borne assailants” approached the car, attached a magnetized explosive device to the side of the car, and sped away before it detonated.  

The latest scientist to fall at the hands of his assailant was 32yearold, was professor and deputy director at the Natanz uranium enrichment plant, Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan.

Earlier assassinations include Majid Shahriari, in November 2010, and Massoud Ali Mohammadi in January of that year.  The November assassination left Fereydoun Abbasi Davani, wounded. He later became the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, according to NBC.

Iran’s nuclear program has always been a subject of high debate throughout the international community due to the country’s withholding of project information.

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The True Laughing Matter

True Laughing MatterAs with every perfect storm, there are always the ideal conditions that allow for complete exploitation and bring such a force into strengthened new heights.

This permits such onlookers to watch in rapt amazement as to what is unfolding before them.

A blossoming campaign environment can be viewed purely as a clean slate to a promising political future, whereas the very same setting can serve as optimal stomping grounds for legions of political satirists.

Some of the most notable individuals in political satire, such as John Stewart, Steven Colbert and Seth MacFarlane, have boosted themselves into household name status simply by producing this certain breed of entertainment based on poking fun at mainstream journalism. Although it never hurts to see things from a different perspective, or in a lighter tone for that matter, is it quite possible that society might be taking such jokes a little to far? Furthermore, are such attitudes being developed by this entertainment hungry audience that might, quite frankly, be creating a self-imposed blindness to new information?

Megan Fielding, a first year student, personally believes this is not the case. “I don’t think people rely too heavily on comedian’s opinions, though I believe to some extent they do. In the end though, they are entertainers and the viewers should be able to formulate their own opinions,” states Fielding.

However according to Professor Nogueira, a Communication professor,  t is very possible that people are, in fact, relying  heavily on these comedians and are allowing their jokes to become their true opinions. “There has been a lot of research done concerning Steven Colbert and John Stewart and the effect they have on the younger people, in particular college age kids, who get their information solely from those sources,” says Nogueira.

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Why Are the Youth Not Voting?

Youth Not Voting 1One vote. That’s all that it takes for someone to not only change the outcome of any given election, but also determine which paths will be taken, what rules and regulations shall be determined and how secure a populous will be in the not too distant future, but somehow the youth voter is shrinking. 

Conversely despite all of the importance held behind such a vote, many youths can’t help but wonder if that one vote can truly hold a vital significance.  Renee Kelsey, a freshman, believes many youths don’t vote because of these mindsets. “Youths don’t vote in elections because they are lazy and don’t want to pay attention, or think it’s a waste of time to vote and that their vote won’t matter.”

Whereas freshman Lindsey Pieschl states that, although she plans on voting this upcoming election, she hadn’t felt the need to vote before.

Such behaviorism’s stated by Kelsey and felt by Pieschl are those that every youth in America face come election time. These connotations can primarily be attributed to a basic lack of trust and unity felt amongst young Americans with the political system, as compared to that of the collective, yet polarized, sides held by voters’ ages 50 and up.

With youth voting in most scenarios serving as the minority in polled opinion, it is no wonder that several find themselves asking the age old question, “Does my vote even matter?”  It is this train of thought that has proved to be one of the key factors in deterring past youths from making their views known in the polls.

Another leading cause contributing to these inhibitions is education. The fact that voting is a privilege is something that has been drilled into every student’s head from elementary to high school. Unfortunately, that is about all that most can truly recall about voting. Pieschl states that, “We know that people died for that right and that we should utilize it, but we don’t really know how to go about it.”

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Local Republican Running for National Senate Seat

default article imageJoseph Kyrillos Jr., a Monmouth County State Senator, has hopes of moving from Trenton to Washington, D.C. next year. He announced on Wednesday, February 1 that he seeks Senator Menendez Senate seat.

Kyrillos, who represents the 13th Legislative District in the New Jersey Senate, which includes Monmouth County and the University, announced two weeks ago his intention to seek the Republican nomination and to challenge U.S. Senator Robert Menendez, the Democratic incumbent, according to the Star Ledger.

Kyrillos, last week issued a statement laying out his reasoning for seeking the higher office, warning that “Our country is in trouble and Washington is failing us.” He had shifted his exploratory committee into a campaign committee to run for federal office and take on national challenges.

According to Kyrillos State Senate biography, Kyrillos, 51, is a Middletown resident. His education includes a B.A. in political science from Hobart College and a M.S. in communication from Boston University. He is a commercial Real Estate Broker for Colliers International. He was the Chairman of Chris Christie’s campaign for Governor and N.J. Republican State Committee Chair from 20012004. He has been in the Senate from 1992 to the present, the Republican Conference Leader from 2002 to 2003, Majority Conference Leader from 1997 to 2001 and served in the General Assembly 19881989. Senator Joseph Kyrillos serves on the Economic Growth, Judiciary, and Legislative Oversight Committees.

Kyrillo hopes to improve the economic state of those in New Jersey and across the United States. “Americans have seen their neighbors lose their jobs, their home values fall, their savings shrink and their economic horizon darkened by a record $15 trillion national debt,” he said. “Washington has responded with nothing but partisan squabbling and reckless spending, and now Bob Menendez is seeking reelection to deliver more of the same.” stated Kyrillo.

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Harvard Political Science Professor Robert Putnam Visits University

Harvard Professor Visits UniversityHarvard Political Science professor and writer Robert Putnam spoke in Wilson Auditorium on Friday, January 27. It is hard to find a political science book in the world today which doesn’t mention Putnam. His book Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community, is a national bestseller, it is a critically acclaimed book about the decline of social capital in our society. He was the winner of the 2006 John Skytte award for the most valuable contribution to Political Science. He had been featured in numerous publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Daily Herald and The Nation. The London Sunday Times has called him the “Most influential academic today” for his scholarly achievement in Political Science. He has worked with Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama to push his ideas for civic renewal.

His work, however, exceeds the classroom. Putnam was the creator of the Saguaro Seminar. This seminar was an initiative by Putnam to increase social capital in America. Social Capital was a term coined by Putnam in his book Bowling Alone. Putnam was the first to make the country aware of the shrinking social gap in America and the consequences that can come with it. Unlike many people in political science who may talk about many problems but offer a few solutions, Putnam has decided to work on making this country a better place, which has gained him much national notoriety. Dean of the Honors School, Kevin Dooley commented on Putnam’s work by stating, “The talk which examined his new book American Grace, examined the nature of religious attitudes in the United States and how they have risen to prominence today.”

In his speech at the University, Putnam discussed his new book American Grace co-written with Notre Dame Professor David Campbell. American Grace has been touted as the most important religious book in decades. He talked about the role of religion in our society and how 50 percent of all social activities still involve religion. A major change has occurred in our country regarding peoples’ faith and how they practice and how they feel towards those of other religions. In the 1950’s, families were going to church every Sunday and were much more involved in religious society. Dooley commented saying, “His presentation was fascinating because it argued that Americans are actually quite tolerant toward people with different religious backgrounds and that most Americans today do not like it when politicians use religion when discussing politics.”

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SGA Minutes 2/8/12

default article imageAn SGA meeting took place on February 1. At the meeting, SGA President Nicole Levy asked all members of SGA to issue comments or concerns regarding the University Bookstore. She also reminded them that President Gaffney is coming in next week so all members are expected to dress business casual.

SGA Vice President Oscar Sanchez told everyone that the SGA will be dining with directors next Wednesday at 6:00 pm in the dining hall and are hoping for a good showing of students, both commuter and resident.

Guest speakers were also at the meeting. The speakers were Liz O’Brien and Susan Damaschke. O’Brien made it known to SGA that there were open Residential Assistant spots open. In order to qualify, students must have at least 2.5 GPA and be a full time undergraduate student. The applications will be available Friday. Damaschke told SGA there are open Orientation Leader positions. SGA Senators are encouraged to apply to be an Orientation Leader. If you accept the position, you must be on campus for the month of July. You will be paid $2,100. The deadline for applicants is Friday, February 10.

Also discussed was the approval of the Boom Roast Productions group. This is a group made up of 15 students who are involved in theater.  The goal is for them to put on one to two shows a semester and do possible fundraisers.

Groups looking for Senate approval are the Campus Crusaders, an acapella group. Also before the Senate will be a Wrestling Club and an Anime Club.

Advisors who joined SGA were Vaughn Clay and Heather Kelly. Clay stated that a new students discount page had been activated. The Off Campus Students Services now has a Twitter account. Kelly said that the SOAR award will be posted. Any senior who has not gotten their pictures taken, pictures will be taken during the week of February 6.

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Debate Hawks Host Successful Tournament

Students Argue Over Best Way to Approach Foreign Policy

default article imageThe Monmouth Debate Hawks hosted the Jersey Shore Invitational Debate tournament last weekend. It brought 19 different colleges and universities to the campus, adding up to about 250 participants. Among these schools were prestigious names such as Princeton, West Point Military Academy, The Naval Academy, Cornell and a range of other established debate programs.

In these tournaments, there are three divisions for teams to compete in Novice, JV, and Open, varying in skill and experience. The whole event includes six regular competition rounds and break rounds for teams that move on through the competition rounds. The functions were held in four main buildings on campus for each specific division. Novice rounds were held in Bey Hall, JV rounds in McAllan Hall, and Varsity rounds being held in Howard Hall and the Edison Science building.

The content of these debates varies each season. Currently the topic is U.S. funding to Middle Eastern countries such as Yemen, Bahrain and Syria. Each school chooses a specific case to run as the affirmative constructive, while the negative side argues against it in order to discredit or effectively explain why this plan is flawed.

Students use different forms of evidence and proof to build their case and present it to the judge that is presiding over the round. This evidence can incorporate anything that a team believes links to a certain issue or argument set forward by the affirmative constructive. Many teams come up with elaborate displays in order to demonstrate their passion and appeal to the judge. Essentially the only rules of debate are respect for your opponents along with the ethical traditions of the sport. Although students debate political issues, the practice of debate provides them with the ability to think and formulate logical responses on their own, granting them a most valuable skill in any area of expertise.

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Christie Puts Gay Marriage Equality Up to Voters

Christie Gay Marriage VotersLast Tuesday, January 24, Governor Chris Christie stated that he would veto any bill from the legislature that would legalize same-sex marriage. Instead of allowing the New Jersey state legislature to address the issue, he stated that the controversial measure be decided by referendum. This naturally drew controversy from New Jersey democrats, as well as gay rights proponents throughout the state, who claimed Governor Christie was trying to avoid taking a concrete position on a crucial civil rights matter. The governor, along with Republican advocates, claim that a direct vote from citizens is the best way to handle the question of marriage equality democratically.

The response from Christie and his fellow Republicans seems like an honest and fair appeal to the voters, but the question remains: Is a direct referendum really the best way to handle a civil rights issue as monumental as marriage equality? The last referendum held in New Jersey was in 1915, to decide on women’s suffrage. The majority rejected the measure by a significant 51,108 votes according to NJ

Also, gay rights proponents emphasized that of about 30 initiatives to strengthen homosexual civil rights, nearly all of them have failed to do so (one example being Proposition 8 in California).

With those facts being considered, it is historically not the best idea to let the general public decide on the civil rights of other citizens. Imagine if the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was decided by the general public by a national direct election, and not passed as a bill through the congressional process. The results could be harmful to society at large.

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Christie Sets New Agenda for NJ

default article imageAfter tackling pensions and health care benefits, Chris Christie is setting his sights on taxes and education reform all as the New Jersey governor signals interest in a 2016 Presidential run, despite sitting out this year’s race.

Christie, who is getting a taste of presidential politics this season as a high-profile surrogate for Mitt Romney, used his State of the State address earlier this week to unveil his ambitious plans, as he heralded the arrival of the “New Jersey comeback.”

Whether or not the state is experiencing a renaissance, the charismatic and YouTube- ready governor may still be poised to use New Jersey as a lab of sorts for some of his party’s boldest ideas. Should his experiments succeed, there’s little question the notches on his political belt will serve him well in a Presidential run.

“It’s hard to run for national office if you’ve had an unsuccessful governorship,” said Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics. “Chris Christie is moving toward accomplishing a great deal in the first term.”

Asked whether Christie is likely to mount a Presidential run in 2016, should President Obama win this fall, Sabato said: “Yes, yes and yes.”

Christie, who turned down appeals to run in 2012, signaled in an interview with Oprah Winfrey last week that he’s got his eye on the next cycle. Though it depends on how things turn out this fall, Christie said he’d be “much more ready four years from now.”

Cristina Marzilla, a Political Science student here at Monmouth University, said that “I think Christie would be a viable candidate for the Presidential election in 2016. As Governor, his steadfast commitment has been indicative of his dedication to representing the people of New Jersey. His prior experiences will undoubtedly serve him well, should he win the nomination in 2016.” 

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SGA Minutes 2/1/12

default article imageThe Student Government Association met on January 18, 2012. At this meeting, SGA President Nicole Levy discussed that parking tickets will now be able to be paid online, and that an official e  mail from the University will be coming shortly. She also announced “The Distinguished Teacher” nominees Rosemary Barbera, Stanley Blair, Laura Kelly, Gary Lewandowski, Kathryn Lionetti, Kenneth Mitchell, Mohammad Obaidat, Tina Paone, Michaeline Skiba and Sue Starke.

Also present at the meeting was Amy Bellina who is Director of Student Activities and Student Center Operations. She filed a motion to change the hours of the Student Center on Friday and Saturday nights. She wants to change the time from 12 am to 11 pm

This change is because of the lack of students there at such hours. Some Senators raised concern when in need of items but Bellina said that the Student Center would still have extended hours during midterms and finals.

The advisors were also present at the meeting. Advisor Clay, Kelly and Nagy came in to represent multiple organizations on campus. Clay stated that he will be hosting the Off   Campus Housing Fair and recommends anyone interested in living off campus should come by.

Advisor Kelly stated that the 7pm early movie in Oakwood was not doing very well and is changing the time to 8pm in Oakwood. She also announced that next Wednesday, poet Marilyn Nelson will speak at a celebration of Martin Luther King Jr celebration. Kelly is also looking for a cast for the popular “Vagina Monologues” so those interested are encouraged to speak to her.

Advisor Nagy complimented the great job done during commencement in January and was very impressed. She told the SGA that the band Daughtry will be performing April 20 in the MAC.

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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