SMC Interim President addresses issues of diversity, inclusion

first_imgOn Tuesday night, Saint Mary’s Student Diversity Board hosted a discussion and Q&A during which students were invited to ask Interim Saint Mary’s President Nancy Nekvasil questions on issues surrounding diversity and inclusion on campus. Chair of the Board of Trustees Mary Burke, vice president of student affairs Karen Johnson, director of multicultural services Gloria Jenkins and vice president for mission Judy Fean also attended the event. Junior Jazmin Herrera, vice president of Student Diversity Board (SDB), said the Q&A was held in order to address concerns regarding the resignation of Jan Cervelli and the continuation of the College’s diversity and inclusion efforts.“We are all supporters of creating an inclusive community here at Saint Mary’s,” she said. “SDB along with other students are concerned as to where the College is now heading, with the goal of achieving a welcoming environment for all students. We ask this because [former] President [Jan] Cervelli was not only committed to achieving this goal but was also open to working with SDB to make this happen.”Nekvasil said that, going forward, the College will continue to focus on diversity, inclusion and equity. “I think that [diversity and inclusion] start with at least discussing things openly,” she said. “I will tell you that faculty, at least for several years even before President Cervelli came, were required to go to community events that dealt with diversity, inclusion and equity. We now have an interim director of diversity and inclusion, Leslie Wang, whose job this year is to help us define what this looks like so that we can actually begin to make a few more strides.”The College will continue to develop as a community that fosters diversity and inclusion as well as a community that focuses on retention as much as recruitment, Nekvasil said. “We can’t just do the recruiting part, both for students, faculty and staff, we have to form a community that welcomes people and that accepts people for who they are, where they are,” she said. “Unfortunately, you can’t change human behavior, but what we can do is try and get more and more people who believe in treating other people with respect and dignity.”Regarding diversity and inclusion, vice president of student affairs Karen Johnson said the administration has created the position of director of First Year experience and retention. The director, Shay Jolly, will report to both Academic Affairs and Student Affairs and track student experience from their first consideration of the College to the first semester of their sophomore year. Johnson said the Office of Student Affairs investigates every complaint of bias and harassment brought to it, although there are many cases not reported to Johnson and her team. “Every complaint that comes through our office is investigated and handled through our code of student conduct process, which is a confidential process,” she said. “The big problem for me, though, is that very few complaints make it to my office. Students tell faculty, staff or each other about something that’s happened on campus and they never go online and file out a bias report. We can’t investigate things we don’t know about.”As the campus grows more diverse, the issues surrounding diversity and inclusion become more complex. Gender identity and transgender identities are at the forefront of this conversation, and Johnson said the College has a practice set in place for accepting transgender students. “Saint Mary’s doesn’t have a policy we have a practice,” she said. “To admit students, they must legally be women, either born as a woman or transgendered into a woman legally, but we do graduate students. So, if a student is here, comes in as a woman, starts the transition process, lives as a man, starts becoming a man, they are going to be able to finish their classes and graduate from here. The only time we would say no to a student is if they identified, legally, as a male.”Nekvasil said, especially with issues of diversity and inclusion, she will try to make things as transparent as possible for students, faculty and staff. “The vice president and I have met three or four times since this has happened, so we are really serious about making some headway, making things work, making decisions and moving ahead,” she said. “We hope that very soon there will be real action that you will see. I also want to be really transparent, so I want to meet with groups periodically, so that you know what we’re doing.”At the Q&A, several students brought issues of socioeconomic and racial disparity at the College to Nekvasil’s attention, including the disparity present in the room, as the number of those in attendance at the SDB diversity and inclusion Q&A were significantly less than those at the student assembly beforehand. Nekvasil said she will always give the same message no matter the crowd. “The message that I would give to you, I would give to that full crowd that was here before, and that’s not going to change,” she said. ”It’s not going to be a different message.”Tags: Diversity, inclusion, Nancy Nekvasil, saint mary’slast_img read more

Residential Life, Student Affairs discuss new residential life policies at special senate meeting

first_imgMarie Fazio | The Observer Associate vice president of residential life Heather Rakoczy Russell and vice president for Student Affairs Erin Hoffmann Harding attend a special senate meeting Tuesday evening to address new residential life policies.“We didn’t call this policy the senior exclusion policy. We called this policy differentiating on and off-campus experience,” Rakoczy Russell said. “What that means is what things off-campus will have access to and the ways that they will build community will look different than how on-campus students will.”Hoffmann Harding said the journey to the April 11 announcement began over four years ago, when Flaherty and Dunne Halls were opened to address the issue of overcrowding on campus. “We had seen a significant increase in proportion of seniors living off-campus,” Hoffmann Harding said. “We wanted to understand how important it was for all of us to have upperclassmen leadership in those communities. As wonderful as I hope all of your hall staff are, it’s equally valuable to have upperclassmen down the hall.”To determine the policies, officials used input from student focus groups and discussions and demographic analysis to determine trends in movement off-campus and possible factors that would entice students to say. Residential life systems at Vanderbilt University and University of Dayton were used as benchmarks, she said.“We believe deeply that this residential experience matters — it’s part of the undergraduate education,” Hoffmann Harding said. “We think it’s something that makes us different, we hope it’s something that makes us special. We hope ultimately that it’s a place where each student feels as if they belong.” This research led to the Sept. 2017 announcement of the six-semester residency requirement, which was announced prior to the application process of that year. A similar negative reaction to a six semester requirement overshadowed the announcement that several incentives would be announced as the first class affected by the residency requirement, the class of 2022, became upperclassmen. Rakoczy Russell said the team did not initially plan to announce the on and off-campus differentiation policies April 11, but were urged to include it in the announcement by rectors and members of residential communities. “We decided to tack on an extra item to the April 11 announcement, mainly so that first-year students will know that by the time they are seniors there will be a difference between the on and off-campus experience,” Rakoczy Russell said. “What that difference will be will be decided in conversation with students over the course of the next academic year with the idea that by this time next year, we can say fully fleshed out what that looks like.”Details are still undecided regarding senior fellow positions and block meal plans, although Rakoczy Russell expects to have official practices implemented by the fall of 2021.Rakoczy Russell said students have frequently mentioned the lack of consistency between residence halls — specifically across gender lines — in focus groups. To investigate this issue, 100% of rectors participated in an anonymous survey regarding enforcement of the policy.“Depending on the hall, depending on the rector, the size of the community, the perceived priorities or needs of that community, there were different practices relative to each hall, some of it divided on gender norms,” Rakoczy Russell said. “What I heard from students over time was that there was great dissatisfaction not knowing what they could count on as a hallmark of a residential community.”Rakoczy Russell said the survey found practices regarding off-campus senior differed between halls. This is a recent development, she said — about 10 years ago, some residence halls began allowing students to compete in interhall sports teams, particularly football, which eventually spread to other practices including dances. She noted future plans to send an email every August that details changes in consistency policies for that year. Katherine Fugate, an off-campus junior who plans to stay off-campus next year, said a certain kind of student  — one who lacks the “mainstream Notre Dame identity of being white, Catholic upper-class student who is heterosexual and cisgender” — may not find community in their residence hall. She cited Notre Dame’s commitment to Catholic Social Teaching, specifically preferential option for the poor, as a reason to allow those who would like to move off to do so without repercussions. “Any conversations about inclusion also include conversations about who’s excluded from those activities,” Fugate said. Hoffmann Harding said although individual student needs differ, student discussion groups revealed students of color and students receiving significant aid were more likely to stay on campus. “The single biggest and most significant predictor of whether or not a student moved was actually not receiving financial aid,” Hoffmann Harding said.As a possible solution to those who do not feel at home in their assigned dorms, the interhall transfer process was streamlined. Students are no longer required to speak with both rectors, and an exemption process — which overrides housing decisions — was put in place. Hoffmann Harding expressed a desire to continue the conversation with students during the process of shaping the policy throughout next school year. “As much as we regret that maybe some of our intentions were misunderstood here, I actually think it’s really exciting,” Hoffmann Harding said. “This is a conversation that matters. We know that you care. You care about these communities that you were a part of and you care about the experiences that you had there and that to me is very powerful.”Tags: Housing policy, residential life, Six Semester Policy, Student Affairs, student senate Student senate was joined by associate vice president of residential life Heather Rakoczy Russell and vice president for Student Affairs Erin Hoffmann Harding for a special meeting to address recently announced residential life policies Tuesday night in Duncan Student Center. The policies — which include incentives for on-campus seniors, enhancements for all students and efforts that differentiate on and off-campus experiences — were announced April 11 and met with major pushback from the student body.last_img read more

Vermont SBA lending exceeds $35 million in first five months

first_img625,000 TD Bank51,680,100 Vermont 504 Corp. (VEDA)2818,000 Bank of Bennington3160,000 SUBTOTAL161,998,600 275,000 400,000 802,748 Peoples United Bank368,432,900 Peoples United Bank5290,500 Heritage Family Federal Credit Union4270,000 Vermont State Employees Credit Union 61,822,9001 400,000 Granite State Economic Development Corp.61,866,000 Live Oak Banking21,400,000 Hoosac Bank140,000 Connecticut River Bank National3517,000 LOAN VOLUME BY BANK BY NUMBER OF APPROVALS Lake Sunapee Bank74,098,0001 625,000 Merchants Bank3211,4001 Greenfield Savings Bank2120,000 ##$$# 504 loan$$ 504 loan  Granite State Economic Development Corp.1327,000 2 361,111 CIT Bank Connecticut River National Bank 1177,000 Brattleboro Savings & Loan150,000 Vermont Federal Credit Union150,0001 Ledyard National Bank1450,000 465,000 Community National Bank1250,000#504 loan$$ 504 loan  Passumpsic Saving Bank 128,000 KeyBank National 6502,000 Opportunities Credit Union118,000 Opportunities Credit Union118,000 Union Bank1100,000 First Colebrook Bank175,000 Berkshire Bank1150,5001 Passumpsic Saving Bank 11573,100 Ledyard National Bank 1450,000 Vermont Federal Credit Union121,823,7001 Peoples Trust Co. -St Albans110,100 Community National Bank184,842,300 Woodsville Guaranty Savings Bank41,309,000 Peoples Trust Co-St Albans4192,600 Bank of LasVegas11,200,000 Union Bank4639,200 Randolph National Bank2320,000 The Vermont District Office of the US Small Business Administration has reported that financing for the first five months of fiscal 2011 exceeded $35 million ($35,163,500). For the same period last year, the total was $30,008,647.  The 504 Loan Program was $3,553,859 so far in 2011 and $4,487,583 last year.SBA, MONTPELIER, VERMONT DO #0150February 1, 2011 –February 28, 2011 TOTAL 17$2,325,600 SBA, MONTPELIER, VERMONT DO #0150October 1, 2010 –February 28, 2011 Northfield Savings Bank  US Bank National Association2939,300 LOAN VOLUME BY BANK BY NUMBER OF APPROVALS KeyBank National 125,000 Vermont State Employee Credit Union2600,000 SUBTOTAL14932,479,500 1 National Bank of Middlebury8642,500 $3,553,859 TOTAL 157$35,163,5008last_img read more

Utility officials see path to 80% carbon emissions reduction, worry about last 20%

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):Thirteen states have set targets for a carbon-free grid by midcentury, if not earlier, to help the world avoid the worst impacts of climate change. But is that possible?With today’s technology, utilities can readily reach 80% reductions in carbon emissions in the next decade, according to an Oct. 14 panel discussion at the Energy Bar Association’s fall conference, held virtually. It’s the remaining 20% that will be hard.Xcel Energy Inc. was one of the first entrants into the carbon-free race. In March 2021, it will file a resource plan with regulators in Colorado — a state enacting sweeping energy reforms to move to carbon-free generation — that will show how it can achieve an 80% carbon reduction by 2030.Xcel executives have said in earnings calls that natural gas must play a role in helping the utility reach carbon-reduction targets in the near-term as it awaits advancements in battery storage, pumped hydropower, advanced nuclear, hydrogen and molten salt technologies that will provide and store carbon-free power. “But really where we sit as a company is, ‘Look, bring it all,’” Alice Jackson, president of Xcel in Colorado, said during the panel discussion. “Because we don’t know which one of these is going to see the cost reductions that we’ve all enjoyed as utilities and our customers have enjoyed,” such as the dramatic fall in the price of solar and wind power.Jason Burwen, vice president of policy for the Energy Storage Association, said, “Project sizes are going higher and higher, and that’s because of the rapidly reducing costs of batteries.” Utilities have so far proposed 18 GW of storage in resource plans, according to the association, as batteries increasingly look like a feasible, cost-effective option for replacing natural gas peaker plants. New York recently announced plans to explore replacing natural gas peaker plants with battery storage systems.George Wayne Jr., vice president for market services for Kinder Morgan Inc., said natural gas has been the “primary source of reductions of greenhouse gas emissions, and that can’t be lost.” But he acknowledged that the industry is seeing unprecedented opposition. Natural gas pipeline infrastructure, though, can be repurposed to deliver hydrogen and renewable fuels, he said. The industry is studying hydrogen’s degrading effect on pipelines. Technologies allow the insertion of plastic into pipelines to prevent them from becoming brittle, but they are currently expensive, he said. Subsidies would help such technologies advance.“Is net zero achievable? I believe it is,” Wayne said. “I mean, it’ll be bumpy, with twists and turns along the way. But I do ultimately believe it is achievable.”[Justin Horwath]More ($): Utilities can reach 80% CO2 reductions, but net-zero will be hard, say officials Utility officials see path to 80% carbon emissions reduction, worry about last 20%last_img read more

Guerrilla Suspected in Kidnapping of French Journalist in Colombia is Arrested

first_img On June 27, Colombian police announced the arrest of a regional leader of the FARC guerrilla group who allegedly handled the politics of the kidnapping of French journalist Romeo Langlois, who was held for slightly over a month. “Within the last few hours, alias ‘Nury’ or ‘La Peluda’ [The Hairy One] was arrested, the political leader of the FARC’s Front 15 (…), an individual with a decisive role in the case of the kidnapping of the French journalist Langlois,” José Roberto León, director of the Colombian National Police, told the media. ‘Nury,’ whose real name is Yedmy Sánchez Suárez, “was the one who handled the political and media use of Langlois’s kidnapping. She has a great deal of political experience in directing large groups,” Colonel Carlos Vargas, commander of the Police in the department of Caquetá (in southern Colombia), explained. Sánchez Suárez, who was arrested in Florencia (the capital of Caquetá) following a tip, has been a member of the FARC for over 15 years, during which time she has been part of Fronts 14, 15, and 49, León said. This is the first arrest related to Langlois’s kidnapping, which took place on April 28, during confrontations between rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the Colombian Army patrol with which the reporter was traveling. In order to save his life, Langlois surrendered to the guerrilla group, which treated him for a bullet wound in one arm and declared him a “prisoner of war.” Finally, on May 30, the FARC unilaterally turned the journalist over to a humanitarian mission, in which the group demanded that a special envoy of French President François Hollande be included. After being released in a town in the Caquetá jungle, Langlois said that the guerrilla group had wanted to turn him over quickly, but upon seeing the backlash generated by holding him, they decided to use him to “engage in politics.” By Dialogo June 29, 2012last_img read more

Colombian Army Commander Demands FARC Comes Clean about Kidnappings

first_img ‘‘Many of them went missing in areas controlled by guerrillas about 14 and 15 years ago. We are pretty sure that they are being held against their will by the FARC, and we are expecting to get news so that we can inform their families,’‘ he noted. Mantilla demanded that the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) ‘‘explain to Colombia where the missing kidnapped people are, within whom there are several military members,’‘ as well as ‘‘the minors that have been recruited.’‘ In February, the FARC announced they would stop extortive kidnappings against civilians, and that they would release the last ten police and military members they acknowledged to have been holding as hostages. Since guerrilla leaders have insisted that they don’t have any hostages, the commander of the Colombian Army stated that due to such statements, it is ‘‘difficult to trust, difficult to believe them.’‘ By Dialogo September 26, 2012 ‘‘Unless they come clean, and the facts are indeed mentioned,’‘ it won’t be possible to ‘‘build a path for peace,’‘ the official told the press after a military ceremony in Bogotá. Earlier this month, President Juan Manuel Santos and top FARC leader Timoleón Jiménez, aka ‘‘Timochenko,’‘ announced they would start peace negotiations after several months of rapprochement. center_img The talks are said to start officially on October 8 in Oslo, and later they will be held in Havana. According to the official, at least 60 members from the public forces are missing. Mantilla also remembered other statements made by guerrilla leaders in recent days; for instance, that the FARC did not participate in drug trafficking. Likewise, the official also made a reference to their ‘‘indiscriminate use of explosive devices that affect indigenous populations, as well as other inhabitants,’‘ highlighting that ‘‘the country is awaiting those responses.’‘ last_img read more

Cops: Cedarhurst Man Being Evicted Intentionally Set Fire to Apartment

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A Cedarhurst man has been accused of intentionally setting his apartment on fire because he was angry about being evicted. Nassau County police arrested Douglas Drummond, 53, and charged him with arson. He will be arraigned Saturday at First District Court in Hempstead. Drummond allegedly lit eight separate fires inside his apartment, which became fully engulfed in flames, police said. The Lawrence-Cedarhurst Fire Department responded to the blaze just after 2 p.m. and was able to prevent the fire from spreading to additional apartments inside the 57-unit building, police said. Several apartments did sustain water damage, police said. The entire building was evacuated, and several tenants were displaced, police said. Drummond and a 24-year-old male victim who lives in a neighboring apartment were both transported to a local hospital for smoke inhalation and were treated and released, police said. No other injuries were reported.last_img read more

Reversing The Brain Drain

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Long Island is in the midst of historic change. For years, as other regions invested in areas like quality, affordable rental housing, mixed-use development, and public transit, LI was content with the status quo.We sat silent as we watched droves of young people — educated in our outstanding public schools at significant expense — leave home and help create economic growth in other regions of our country.The Regional Plan Association recently issued a report that called for a new approach to suburban growth, one that centers on transit-oriented development. It calls for better transit, more inclusive communities, more housing in downtowns — things that make our region more competitive for the young, high-knowledge, high-skill workers we need to grow our economy.My administration has championed this approach for years through Suffolk County’s Connect Long Island Plan. The plan champions innovation, collaboration, and smart- growth policies to make us a more attractive place to work, live, and raise a family.Today, a new suburbia is on the horizon, and Suffolk County is leading the way.In Wyandanch, we are close to completing the first phase of development for the $600 million project near the Long Island Rail Road station. Governing magazine recently profiled the project as a national model for suburban revitalization.Last November, we broke ground on the first phase of the $650 million Ronkonkoma Hub mixed-use project. When this project is fully built out, it will deliver a true walkable downtown and create 18,000 jobs. And this is all happening right as the LIRR Double Track Project nears completion.Recently, I joined Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman to break ground on a $30 million affordable housing project for middle-class families that is only 300 feet from the Speonk LIRR station.These critical projects for our region are supported by the investment in transportation infrastructure by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The Double Track and LIRR Expansion Project along the mainline, combined with East Side Access, will be game changers.These projects collectively will significantly reduce commuting times to the city for thousands of Long Islanders. They also open up the Island for real reverse commuting that will make our region more attractive for businesses to locate here because they can now access the talent they need from the broader region. It will also open up the possibility for real intra-island commuting for the first time.Our ambitious regional transportation and development plan, Connect Long Island, will spur economic growth while creating new north-south connections from one train line to another. And as the first suburban county in the state outside of New York City to embrace ride sharing, Suffolk residents are already enjoying additional transit options while providing the last mile connection to our train stations.These are the types of projects that will reverse the brain drain and bring people back to LI. This is about protecting the suburban communities that we love by adapting to the transformative change happening in our world. As a parent of three young kids, I believe that this is about building a better future on LI for all our families.Steve Bellone is the Suffolk County Executive.last_img read more

Mobile payments-palooza — Navy Federal launches Samsung Pay

first_img 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr It is indeed mobile payments-palooza in the financial services industry and most of us are frothing to see what’s around the corner. Luckily credit unions are nimble enough to turn on a dime when new technology is offered to consumers, making their lives even more efficient — and even fun when it comes to this stuff. continue reading »last_img

Mohamed Elyounoussi: Celtic forward defends his professionalism after Motherwell hat-trick | Football News

first_img2:13 “I’m here to help the team score goals and win games. So in the end, of course, I was frustrated and disappointed that someone questioned my professionalism.“I am very committed and I am happy to help the team win yesterday. That’s the best way to react. Highlights from the Scottish Premiership match between Motherwell and Celtic Elyounoussi explained he had been looking at the other group game result between AC Milan and Lille and, speaking after the Premiership match at Fir Park on Sunday, he moved to draw a line under the issue.“What I have to say is that no one should question my commitment to the team,” he said.“I am very professional and, like I said, the best way to talk is with my feet. 3:01 preview image– Advertisement – Mohamed Elyounoussi insisted his professionalism is unquestionable after scoring a hat-trick in Celtic’s 4-1 Premiership win at Motherwell.The 26-year-old Norway international, on loan from Southampton, faced criticism on Thursday night when he was spotted looking at his phone after being substituted in the damaging 4-1 Europa League defeat by Sparta Prague.- Advertisement –center_img Elyounoussi was pleased with his hat-trick at Fir Park, but more importantly with how his team-mates bounced back from that Europa League defeat on Thursday – Advertisement – “Anyone who knows me realises I am very professional, I give 100 per cent for my team and I am very committed on the pitch.“Not only offensively, defensively as well. So, I don’t think someone should question my professionalism on the pitch.“That’s in the past, I just focus on the next one ahead. We’re happy we’ve got the three points.” – Advertisement –last_img read more