Race for OUSU Presidency begins

first_imgCommenting to Cherwell on her reasons for running, Howe explained that as JCR Presi- dent, “I’ve seen how important OUSU is in advocating for students, supporting common rooms, and offering welfare resources. “Our JCRs and MCRs are there for us on a day-to-day basis — they’re the guardians of our college galaxies, our benevolent bop-bringers, and — most importantly — our first port of call when we need support. We don’t always see the work that OUSU does, so it’s easy to dismiss it. But when we do so, we also dismiss the students OUSU helps, and the vital services it provides.” Howe explained, “One of my key pledges is about reviewing the student welfare system. One of the most important things a student union can do is find ways to best look after its members. The great differences between welfare structures in colleges mean that it’s often hard to know who to turn to if you need help. We need to make sure that we’re giving students the best support possible, and I want to investigate how to do this.” Meanwhile Eden Bailey, from Magdalen, is running for the ‘Right to Education’ slate, which does not include a candidate for President. In her manifesto, Bailey elaborates, “I want to make education at Oxford accessible and relevant to more students, regardless of identity or circumstance.” Although there are a range of independent candidates, as well as For Oxford and Right to Education nominees, running for Part Time Executive positions, several positions currently have no candidates, including Graduation Welfare Officer, Rent and Accommodation Officer, and International Students Officer. Speaking to Cherwell, former NUS Delegate Jack Matthews commented, “It is particularly disappointing that the key representative positions of NUS Delegate and Student Trustee will be elected unopposed. At this key juncture in both OUSU Governance and the run up to the General Election, it is more important than ever that these essential positions are occupied by our brightest and best.”  [mm-hide-text]%%IMG_ORIGINAL%%10445%%[/mm-hide-text]OUSU Elections Nominations closed yesterday, with Adam Roberts (Wadham), Becky Howe (Pembroke), and Will Obeney (Regent’s Park) all running for President. Obeney is running as part of ‘For Oxford’ with Flora Sheldon and Nick Cooper (both from St John’s), with their slate focusing on reducing disparities between colleges in terms of academic provision, accommodation, and funding. Howe, meanwhile, is running with ‘Team ABC’, alongside Cat Jones (Pembroke) and Ali Lennon (St John’s), prioritising a review of the student welfare system, and tackling Oxford’s high living costs. Roberts is running independently, and is proposing to hold a vote every year on what students think OUSU’s policies should be. Current OUSU President Louis Trup commented, “These elections look like they will be interesting. I love interesting elections. Hopefully the key issues prioritised by candidates will lead to interesting debate. I love interesting debate. All in all, it’s a great time to be alive.” Obeney listed one of his main pledges as reducing disparities between colleges in terms of academic provision, accommodation, and funding. His aim, as stated in his manifesto, is for “a student union that was more dynamic and less centralised, and it’d be absolutely clear every year what we wanted as a whole student body.” Roberts insisted, however, that “a change like that one needs to be backed by a powerful mandate for reform from students like you: students who likely feel detached from OUSU, or love the work it does but not the way it’s run, or aren’t sure what it does at all.” Ali Lennon (St John’s), running for VP for Welfare & Equal Opportunities, and Wadham’s Lucy Delaney (Wadham), running for VP for Women, are also unopposed.The office of Vice-President (VP) for Access and Academic Affairs is, however, hotly contested, with four candidates running for the position. Flora Sheldon (St John’s) is standing with ‘For Oxford’ slate. In her manifesto, she tells voters she is running because, “I want an Oxford where everyone can achieve their academic potential regardless of background.” Cat Jones (Pembroke), campaigning with Howe’s ‘Team ABC’ slate, explains in her manifesto, “I want to help to make the University of Oxford accessible to the brightest students regardless of background, and to ensure it is a place where everyone can thrive academically once here.” Greg Auger, an independent, is also standing. Explaining his reasons for running, Auger writes, “I want to help change our university for the better… I would love to use my knowledge and passion to make Oxford better for us all.” He explained, “Some colleges are really failing their students. I want to investigate the major issues that students face at Oxford, and formulate a Minimum Expectations document that outlines what every student should be entitled to. We can use this as a long-term strategy for negotiations with the university and the colleges, pushing them to adopt our guidelines.” He was also keen to mention his proposed “Out-of-Hours Pledge”, for which, he explained, “Other OUSU officers and I will be on hand, for two hours after 5pm every week, running an open surgery that any student can come to. I further will ensure an OUSU officer comes to every college every term – making sure OUSU is a representative voice.” Running independently, Adam Roberts — a PPEist at Wadham — has pledged to hold a vote every year on “what policies students think OUSU should have”, with successful proposals being made into a yearly manifesto. Wadham SU Vice-President last year, he is currently on OUSU’s Complaints Committee and the University’s Rules Committee, while he spent two years as trustee of a national children’s rights charity, CRAE.He told Cherwell, “I’m running because I think it’s really important we have a conversation about how OUSU can become more engaging and open.” Commenting on his proposal for a yearly vote on OUSU policies, he explained, “This makes it absolutely clear to the University and others what we as students want. It’s an interesting starting-point, and fingers crossed my candidacy alone will get some debates going.”center_img With regard to his campaign, Roberts explained that students probably wouldn’t be seeing him at their nearest hustings. He added, “Hustings are not the place to debate the specifics of policies, and I don’t think it’s good practice in general to make pledges on-the-fly. “What I will be doing is organising a couple of campaign events where you can meet and talk to me in person: maybe somewhere quiet over a cup of tea, or maybe on another night in a roomy Oxford pub.” Voting will open at 8am on Tuesday of 6th week, and will close at 5pm on Thursday of 6th week. The central hustings will be taking place on Wednesay of 5th week, at 7:30 PM, after OUSU council. OUSU Returning Officer Martine Wauben confirmed, “Sam has indeed told me of his intention to withdraw: this withdrawal won’t be final until he comes into the OUSU offices in person to do so, but I can confirm he at least intends to do so.” Nick Cooper and Wadham’s Danny Zajarias-Fainsod are running for VP for Graduates, while New’s Emily Silcock is running for VP for Charities & Community unopposed. There were initially going to be four presidential candidates, but Lady Margaret Hall’s Sam Wiseman announced his withdrawal to Cherwell shortly after the list was released. Wiseman originally presented himself as a ‘joke candidate’, with his pledges including the construction of an international airport at Oxford.  Howe also pledged to tackle ‘Lad Culture’ by launching a “series of discussion forums, encouraging teams, societies and campaigns to engage in debate and propose solutions.” Will Obeney, of Regent’s Park, is running as part of the ‘For Oxford’ slate, and is currently Chair of the Scrutiny Committee. When asked why he was running, he told Cherwell, “A year ago I thought OUSU was ineffective and irrelevant in our common room-dominated university, but having now experienced the organisation as a JCR President, I’ve realised it’s capable of getting big wins for students. The Student Union is getting better, but it needs to meet face-to-face with students, and be more strategic in its lobbying on our university’s most powerful committees.” Presidential candidate Becky Howe, a historian and former JCR President, cites her work in resolving the Pembroke rugby email controversy as one of the successes of her JCR Presidency, alongside negotiating a “much-needed rent and charges deal”. Her manifesto states, “I want OUSU to focus on the issues which effect students the most; flawed welfare systems, the cost of living, and divisions within our university community. I want to promote a happy, healthy, and cohesive Oxford.”last_img read more

Greer Union debate provokes protest

first_imgGreer had said publicly last month, “Just because you lop off your penis and then wear a dress doesn’t make you a f*****g woman. I’ve asked my doctor to give me long ears and liver spots and I’m going to wear a brown coat but that won’t turn me into a f*****g cocker spaniel.”Lucy Delaney, OUSU Vice President for Women, told Cherwell, “We should condemn and speak out on the Oxford Union’s decision to invite Greer and Hitchens, and it is unacceptable that the anger of students, and in particular the anger and energy of transgender students and students of colour, is being exploited. These speakers’ ideas are not ‘contentious’ – they are violent. Greer’s life-long and well-documented tirade against transgender people and her refusal to acknowledge their identities as valid contributes to their oppression and marginalization.“The GIRES (Gender Identity Research and Education Society) survey conducted in 2012 states that ‘84 per cent of trans respondents had considered ending their lives, with 35 per cent having made one or more suicide attempts’ and it is reported that worldwide, 226 people were reported as being murdered between October 2013 and November 2014 as a direct result of being transgender.“Hitchens has made numerous racist and in particular Islamophobic statements, claiming that ‘[Racism] is an expression which appears to mean one thing (racial bigotry) but actually means another (cultural and moral conservatism)’. “Greer’s and Hitchens’ ideas do not exist in a vacuum. The Union needs to understand that its events and its platforming of such people further marginalises and harms already marginalised groups. It is not simply ‘debate’. The Union does not represent me and it does not represent the views of students here.” A protest took place last night in the Oxford Union debate chamber against the platforming of Germaine Greer and her views on trans issues, and of Peter Hitchens, labelled “deeply racist” by the small group of protesters.A flyer was handed out for students to read from over the top of Greer during her speech, condemning the Union, saying it “thrives off controversy” and Greer and Hitchens’ views.The Union closed the gallery for the debate for fear of objects and liquids being thrown down on the speakers.The Oxford Union defended their invitation, offering Cherwell the following statement in advance of the debate and protest, “The Oxford Union exists to uphold freedom of speech, inviting people of all opinions to participate in our events. This commitment continues to this day; as such, the Oxford Union is happy that Germaine Greer was able to accept our invitation to speak on the subject of the state’s recognition of marriage. “We hope that many students will attend to support or challenge her in our historic debating chamber which itself was built to promote free speech.”However, OUSU Trans Officer Elliot Parrott stated, “What many don’t understand about people like Germaine Greer is that her views aren’t just part of a purely intellectual debate that have little bearing on real life – her views cause genuine damage to trans people, and to trans women in particular.“By inviting her to speak, the Union isn’t trying to promote actual discussion on marriage or gender politics, it’s just seeking out controversy for controversy’s sake and demonstrating yet again that it cares more about being edgy than about student welfare; it’s saying ‘publicity matters more to us that trans lives do’.”The debate also featured Peter Hitchens, his second Union appearance in two academic years, a self-described Burkean conservative who is a vocal critic of same-sex marriage.Kiran Benipal, ex-Co-Chair of the Campaign for Racial Awareness and Equality, had written publicly on Facebook a few hours ahead of the debate, saying “Germaine Greer and Peter Hitchens are at the Union tonight. If you want to help shut this transphobic, racist shit down [get in touch]”.last_img read more

Lord Patten condemns Brexit immigration plans

first_imgThe Chancellor of Oxford University, Lord Patten, has urged the government to stop treating international students as “economic migrants”.Patten blamed the government’s “obsession” with immigration number targets, which, he argued, it had failed to meet multiple times. Although this claim has been rejected by the Prime Minister, who has insisted on counting students in official immigration figures, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has backed excluding overseas students from the government’s target to get net migration down to the tens of thousands.Immigration targets have previously helped the government crack down on bogus colleges used as a back route to work in Britain illegally.However, Lord Patten warned about the detrimental impact of classing students in the same category as economic migrants.Patten, who backed the UK remaining in the EU, referred to Theresa May’s speech outlining Brexit plans to build a “global Britain”.He commented: “It would be extraordinary if having become global Britain we were to prevent the huge numbers of international students coming to study.“Why do we deny ourselves, our universities, the benefits of educating more young people from around the world?”He insisted that people understood the difference between a student and an immigrant and the contribution they made to the economy.“So why do we behave so foolishly? Because of our fixation with an immigration target.“We put higher education in a more difficult position, we cut ourselves from a great deal of economic benefits because of that obsession with an immigration target, which we fail to reach, very often because we are growing so rapidly, year after year.”Patten emphasised growing demand in Asia for western higher education. He said: “We have made the choice, global Britain, to cut ourselves off from that. It’s completely crazy.”This news comes amid comments from Oxford’s incoming Head of Brexit Strategy, Professor Alastair Buchan, speaking to the Education Select Committee held in Pembroke college, Oxford, two weeks ago, that a hard Brexit would be “giving up 500 to 950 years of exchange—I think we need to be very cautious.”Carl Gergs, a third year at Pembroke and a German citizen, told Cherwell: “subjecting all international students to a blanket immigration rule in order to ‘clamp down’ on a misusing minority doesn’t seem very efficient at all. Most students are net economic contributors and enrich UK university life – some of them will be excluded or deterred by this system. I can only agree with Lord Patten that this approach is at odds with the vision of a ‘global Britain.’”Steve Sangbeom Heo, international students’ rep at Brasenose college JCR told Cherwell: “I think it’s very unfortunate that the national mood’s becoming more and more insular. To be honest I can’t really think of a good reason why students should count as economic migrants nor understand what  motivated May to argue for this other than political bluff to show that she’s ‘hard on immigration’. But I also think this is hardly surprising given that Theresa May’s currently trying so hard to pander to Brexiteers.”last_img read more

St Anne’s celebrates 100 years of women with unpaid fellowship

first_imgThe fellowship also requires a fee for the successful applicant’s membership of the SCR. These typically amount to around £35 per term. St Anne’s has defended the post, and criticised the Independent’s publication of the story, telling Cherwell: “St Anne’s College is disappointed that The Independent chose to publish misinformed criticism of our Annie Rogers Fellowships, despite a telephone conversation with the journalist concerned and the provision of a press statement that clearly explained the positive nature of non-Stipendiary Junior Research Fellowships both for the individuals who are awarded them and for the College hosting them. The unprompted online comments under the article on The Independent website underline misunderstanding that underpins the concerns raised and the widespread, uncontroversial and constructive use of such Fellowships in many Oxford and Cambridge Colleges.” However, in an article published in the Independent this week, an academic at Oxford criticised the move, saying: “The fellowships created by St Anne’s offer little by way of funding, so it is hard not to see them as exploitative, especially since the college is seeking applications from women and black and minority ethnic candidates to address their problems with under-representation.” The benefits of the fellowship to which St Anne’s refer are “to participate in the academic and social life of the College and support one or more of the aims and/or beliefs of the College.” The post also entitled fellows to free meals during term time, free breakfast and one main meal per day during the vacation, and hot-desk space at the College. “A fellowship that actually funded the research of early career researchers would send a much stronger message about their support of women in higher education,” St Anne’s has been criticised for their creation of a non-stipendiary junior research fellowship to honour 100 years of women at the University. The fellowship, named after St Anne’s’ founder Annie Rodgers, is meant to “celebrate 100 years since women were formally admitted to the University of Oxford and first awarded Oxford degrees.” A research grant of £1,000 every three years is also available if the relevant research furthers the beliefs or aims of the college, and an extra £1,000 per annum can be made available if other research funding is unavailable.last_img read more

Duke Energy to Make Action Plan for Contaminated Coal Ponds

first_imgDuke Energy to Make Action Plan for Contaminated Coal PondsMARCH 10TH, 2019 AMANDA PORTER INDIANASome of Indiana’s coal ash ponds will be receiving a much needed clean up. Mandatory groundwater testing found parts of some ponds with contaminants at levels higher than protection standards. Duke Energy announced it’ll be working on a corrective action plan for the Wabash river generating station. Compliance data released by the company show high levels of arsenic, cobalt, and lead from 37 monitoring wells placed at the base of coal ponds.The company plans to post its action plan in July and hold a public forum to review the plans.Clean up options include excavating ponds or capping the ponds and keeping the ash in place.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img

Rick Stein Radio Show Premieres Wednesday

first_imgThe “Rick Stein on USI Women’s Basketball” radio show begins Wednesday night, live from St. Phillips Inn off Upper Mount Vernon Road on Evansville’s Westside.This year’s show will air live on WREF 97.7 FM/ESPN Radio The Ref between 7-8 p.m. and feature USI Women’s Basketball Head Coach Rick Stein as well as USI Men’s Basketball play-by-play commentator Dan Egierski.The show will feature live comments from Stein about the Screaming Eagles’ recent games and upcoming opponents; insight into the women’s basketball program and women’s college basketball; and live interviews with players from the team.Dates for the shows are December 4, December 18, January 22, February 12, February 26 and March 11. FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img

Deadline Approaching To Join Aces In The Bahamas

first_imgFacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailShare Trip Is Going On As ScheduledWith basketball season quickly approaching, Purple Aces fans have several unique opportunities coming up, including the chance to join the University of Evansville squad in the Bahamas in November.The Bash in the Bahamas will be held in Nassau with three games taking place between November 22-24.  Despite the damage caused to the Bahamas by Hurricane Dorian, the impact to Nassau was minimal and the tournament will go on as scheduled.Two packages remain on sale for the Bash in the Bahamas with the final deadline to sign up and pay set for October 18.  To join the team on the flight and utilize your own accommodations, the cost is $1,350 per person.  This includes a direct flight from Evansville to the Bahamas on a private charter 737 jet.  The flight leaves on Thursday, November 21 and returns on Monday the 25th.As an added incentive, this package includes an all-session pass for the entire tournament, which features four games per day over the three days of the event.A package is also available that includes the flight, all-session pass, and accommodations.  This package features a 4-night stay at the Courtyard by Marriott Junkanoo Beach.  Located in the heart of Nassau, the hotel just steps away from the beach.  The hotel includes WIFI, two bar drinks and two bottles of water per room per day.  A UE charter bus will also take fans from the hotel to the tournament for all three games.  The cost of this package is $2,500 per person in a double occupancy room and $2,750 for a single.The month of October will see a pair of events being held starting on October 10 with Hoopfest.  Set for 6 p.m. inside Meeks Family Fieldhouse, the annual exhibition will feature the Aces men’s and women’s basketball teams.  It includes contests, scrimmages, autographs and more.  Adult admission is $5 with 100% of the proceeds benefitting the United Way with a check presentation taking place during the event.  Children ages 12 and under are admitted free while the first 100 UE students who check-in that evening with the Purple Reign Rewards App will receive free admission.A Tip-Off Dinner is set to take place on Oct. 17 at Rolling Hills Country Club in Newburgh.  This exclusive event will feature a plated dinner, two drink tickets per person and the opportunity to preview the 2019-20 Aces men’s and women’s basketball seasons.  Cost is $100 per plate.  Men’s and women’s basketball student-athletes will join the guests at their table.last_img read more

Peters Margedant House At The University of Evansville Awarded The 2019 Servaas Memorial Award

first_imgOn September 14, 2019 the Friends of the Peters-Margedant House received Indiana Landmarks’ 2019 Servaas Memorial Award in the youth-serving category for its work to engage the next generation in preservation and history, recruiting students in its efforts to promote Evansville’s Peters-Margedant House.According to the Indiana Landmarks website, the Servaas Award recognizes outstanding achievements in historic preservation, and is awarded to programs that engage young people in preservation or elevate their appreciation of landmarks, especially programs that have ongoing impact.In 2014, the Peters-Margedant House was listed on Indiana Landmarks’ 10 Most Endangered list, which led to the formation of the Friends and a plan to move the tiny home for use as a learning lab at the University of Evansville. Now restored, the house hosts regular guided tours. This year, a semester-long course will challenge college students to figure out how to equip the house with self-guiding tour technology.“It’s really the type of architecture that appeals to children of all ages,” noted Dr. Heidi Strobel, curator at the house. “For the elementary students, it’s on their scale. For students heading to college who are environmentally engaged and like the idea of leaving a small footprint, it resonates with them as well.”The 552-square-foot Peters-Margedant House was designed and built in 1934 by William Wesley Peters, a one-time student at Evansville College and MIT. Peters went on to be the first apprentice of Frank Lloyd Wright and became the great architect’s right hand man, working on such structures as Fallingwater and the Guggenheim Museum in New York City.Wes Peters and the Peters-Margedant House are the subjects of an exhibit called “William Wesley Peters: Evansville’s Connection to the World of Frank Lloyd Wright,” which is running at the Evansville Museum of Arts, History, and Science through October 27, 2019. Images, drawings, and models will illustrate Peters’ career while he was in Evansville, as well as his work with Wright and post-Wright.Those interested in the Peters-Margedant House are welcome to visit campus for a tour. Upcoming open house dates include September 21 and 28, and October 19 from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

Victims Protection Legislation Passes Indiana House Senate Bill 551 approved 92-4

first_imgSenate Bill 551, authored by Sen. Mark Messmer, R-Jasper, and sponsored by Rep. Wendy McNamara, R-Evansville, cleared the full House of Representatives Tuesday afternoon by a vote of 92 to 4.With today’s passage, SB 551 has now been passed by both the House and the Senate. The bill was approved unanimously by the Senate earlier this session.“I’m pleased to see this important legislation moving through the General Assembly,” Messmer said. “If signed into law, SB 551 would impact every Hoosier community by working to better protect and respect the privacy of victims and ensure offenders are justly punished for their actions.”The bill makes several important changes to Indiana law with regard to victims of crimes, specifically victims of sex crimes. It allows parents to seek a protective order against persons who are making inappropriate contact or contacts with their child after one Indiana mother found herself unable to do anything after an adult sent more than 1,000 text messages to her 14-year-old daughter. SB 551 also plugs a loophole in current law that potentially allows adults to engage in inappropriate sexual relations with a person 13 or 14 years of age.“This legislation is an important step in protecting victims of child sex crimes and domestic violence from their abusers,” McNamara said. “Those facing these dangerous, threatening situations deserve to have their rights protected, and their abusers should receive apt punishment.”“The passage of Senate Bill 551 is a victory for crime victims and other vulnerable Hoosiers and prosecutors are happy to see it has passed both the House and Senate,” said David Powell, executive director of the Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council. “We would like to thank Sen. Messmer for all his hard work on this bill and Rep. McNamara for sponsoring the legislation in the House. Their leadership was vital to the success of this bill.”SB 551 supports criminal investigations and prosecutions of child abuse cases by restricting disclosure of sensitive information about the child victim and defendant during the criminal investigation or prosecution of the case. The bill also addresses a gap in the current kidnapping and criminal confinement laws by creating an offense when the kidnapping or criminal confinement results in moderate bodily injuring to the victim.  Current law only provides for offenses that include “bodily injury” or “serious bodily injury.” The legislation also eliminates the current practice where an offender who is convicted of felony domestic battery has the ability to reduce the penalty to a misdemeanor and it toughens penalties on strangulation charges. The bill includes a provision that changes how victims of crimes are identified, doing away with the use of victim initials in official documents.Powell also commended the many local prosecutors who worked with lawmakers on the provisions in the bill and came to the Statehouse to testify in support earlier this session.The bill would also task an interim study committee with looking at the issue of discovery depositions. FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more