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In the letter, seen by Cherwell, Bearder wrote: “I am sure you are aware that the Equality and Human Rights Commission recently released new guidance on defending free speech in universities and ensuring campuses remain a forum for open debate. “We have also reached out to apologise to Mrs Catherine Bearder personally.” A University spokesperson said: “The University played no role in this decision. The University is strongly committed to freedom of speech and we encourage our students to debate and engage with a range of views.” Bearder’s invitation to the conference was withdrawn on Friday after she tweeted: “I’m debating Daniel Kawczynski MP in Oxford this Saturday in front of Polish university students studying in the UK. When I say debating, I mean trying to put the little unicorns Daniel lets free every now and then back in their stables.” “What was really shocking, though, is that when Polish journalist Jakub Krupa asked why I was uninvited, the organisers said that I “pulled out”. The University Polish Society explained their decision, saying: “We decided to invite Mr Stefan Kasprzyk instead of Mrs Catherine Bearder to our discussion panel collectively, as the Conference’s organising committee. An online exchange, primarily concerned with issues irrelevant to the Polish student community in the UK, caused concerns that the panel debate would not be focused on the topic of Brexit in the Polish context, but instead it would be overshadowed by issues specific to internal British political controversies.” In her letter to the Vice-Chancellor, Bearder continued: “I find it totally unacceptable that a debate held on University premises called the “Brexit debate” with two opposing viewpoints on the issue would deem it appropriate to drop a participant because of “negative attention towards a tweet.” Oxford University has a proud and world renowned tradition of free speech and should not accept this kind of behaviour, which looks like censorship on campus, lightly.” Lib Dem MEP Catherine Bearder has written to the University Vice-Chancellor after being ‘uninvited’ from a panel debate at the Congress of Polish Student Societies, which took place last weekend. “I hope you are able to speak to the Congress of Polish Students organisers and the Oxford University Polish student society about the debate and explain to them that they must adhere to this guidance for future Congresses.” The Congress, which happens annually, is a 2-day event aiming to debate issues relevant to Polish students in the UK, provide networking opportunities for Polish students and workshops with Polish young professionals to provide career opportunities. It attracts over 400 members of Polish student societies across the UK. Oxford University Polish Society said: “Firstly, we would like to apologise to Mrs Catherine Bearder and all concerned for the timing and manner in which we communicated the change of arrangements, and for any upset caused. We aim to hold ourselves to a high professional standard, which we failed to meet in the way the change was conducted. Bearder was originally invited to debate the pro-Brexit Conservative MP Daniel Kawczynski on the impacts of Brexit on European countries on a panel called “Poland and Brexit – Friends or Foes”. Oxford University Polish Society invited Stefan Kasprzyk, a Liberal Democrat who supported Remain, to replace Bearder. “However, we strongly deny the charges of stifling free speech, let alone censorship. We are deeply committed to free speech and consider it to be an important part of our identity as a student body. In organising the conference, we are doing our utmost to ensure that the conditions for free debate are ensured and that a range of views are duly represented. We therefore invited Mr Stefan Kasprzyk, a Liberal Democrat and a vocal supporter of the Remain campaign, to represent views that are opposed to Mr Kawczynski’s. We therefore consider charges in that matter to be unfounded. As a team responsible for continuing the 12 years of tradition of social activity of the Polish students’ diaspora in the United Kingdom, we would like to apologise. We hope that this unfortunate event will not overshadow the importance of debates held at the 12th Congress, focused on the role of Polish students and their organisations in British civil society.
Dance Marathons Raise $50 million For Riley The Riley Dance Marathon is an event which began in 1991 and takes place at different high schools and colleges across the Hoosier state. All the money raised goes toward helping Riley children and their families who are in need when they are sick.“As a Riley Children’s Foundation board of governor’s member and Riley advocate, I’m grateful for the time and dedication Riley Dance Marathon students put into raising funds,” Holcomb told the group gathered in the south atrium. “Their passion for the kids is unparalleled.”Riley Lesh, a junior at Decatur Central High School and a Riley kid since birth, shared some of her personal stories.“I was born 15 weeks premature and weighed one pound 10 ounces when I was born,” Lesh said. “I spent the first 90 days of my life in the Riley neonatal intensive care unit.”Lesh said she has participated in 250 Riley Dance Marathons since she got involved. O’Keefe said he can vouch for that.“It doesn’t matter where in the state you are, which dance marathon it is, you’re going to see Riley there,” he said. Holcomb then presented O’Keefe with a surprise—the Sagamore of the Wabash.“It is given to our most noteworthy citizens,” she said as she presented the award to O’Keefe, who is about to retire after being with the foundation since 1998.The dance marathon was created as a fundraiser in 1991, after the death of Ryan White, the Indiana youth who contracted AIDs from a blood transfusion. White also was named a Sagamore of the Wabash.To close the event, IUPUI Riley Dance Marathon students performed a short dance.FOOTNOTE: Eddie Drews is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail By Eddie DrewsTheStatehouseFile.comINDIANAPOLIS—Twenty-seven years of marathon dances have raised $50 million for the Riley Children’s Foundation, which supports medical care for children at Riley Hospital as well as a camp for youngsters with disabilities.Tuesday, that milestone was recognized in a program at the Statehouse where Indiana First Lady Janet Holcomb presented the foundation’s CEO, Kevin O’Keefe, with the honorary title, “Sagamore of the Wabash.”
When you look at what makes our universities so prestigious, it comes down to the value of our degrees – they open up a huge range of opportunities and the chance to step into a rewarding and highly-skilled career. The value of those degrees is threatened by grade inflation and that is a problem for students, employers and the universities themselves. These new measures will look at how we can protect our globally recognised higher education system by discouraging universities from undermining the reverence a degree qualification from the UK commands. Universities will be discouraged from inflating students’ results with ‘grade inflation’ one of the key criteria institutions will be measured against in the government’s national rating system, Universities Minister Sam Gyimah announced today (22 October).The Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF) rates universities with gold, silver or bronze scores based on a number of criteria including their overall provision, student experience, teaching quality and whether courses are sufficiently stretching enough – the government is also piloting a subject specific version of it.Announcing a second year of pilots to move subject-level TEF a step closer, Sam Gyimah confirmed today that these will also look at grade inflation, with TEF panellists reviewing evidence to see whether universities are taking a responsible approach to degree grading and not awarding excessive numbers of firsts and 2:1s. It means a university’s provider-level rating of gold, silver or bronze will take their approach to tackling grade inflation into account.Grade inflation will be an important feature of the criteria considered alongside how a university is stretching its students through course design and assessment, and through their ability to develop independence, knowledge and skills that reflect their full potential. It forms a key part of the government’s commitment to delivering real choice for prospective students.This is one of the first measures taken by the government to tackle grade inflation, with the plans confirmed in the government’s response to the subject-level TEF consultation.In the last five years alone, figures from the Higher Education Stats Authority show the proportion of graduates who gained a first class degree has increased from 18% in 2012/13 to 26% in 2016/17, which means over a quarter of graduates are now securing the top grade.Universities Minister Sam Gyimah said: The Universities Minister has also outlined in the government’s consultation response that a year of pilots will take place this academic year to see how this works in practice, involving 50 higher education institutions.The government’s response additionally confirmed that plans to extend TEF to subject-level have moved a step closer, meaning individual subjects will also be rated with a gold, silver or bronze rating in the coming years.Subject-level TEF builds on the greater choice being made available to prospective students by letting them look behind provider-level ratings and access information about teaching quality for a specific subject.The new subject-level framework will take into account student feedback, drop-out rates and graduate outcomes – helping students to make the right decision, which for many is life-changing.
Just last weekend, beloved classic rockers Little Feat descended on the historic Capitol Theatre for a prized night of dixie-soaked music. The band’s current lineup features a number of long-standing members, including Bill Payne, Paul Barrere, Sam Clayton, and Kenny Gradney. With Fred Tackett joining the band in 1987 and Gabe Ford in 2000, the band serves as a wonderful tribute to an incredible legacy of rock music.With a remarkable catalog of Little Feat music, the band opened up with “All That You Dream” and kept fans on their toes with hits like “Willin’,” “Skin It Back,” “Time Loves A Hero,” “Dixie Chicken” and more. They closed the show with a rousing “Fat Man In The Bathtub” encore, sending fans home happy with the great performance!Taped by Chris Cafiero and David Malloy, and transferred, edited, mixed and mastered by Alex Ford, take a listen to the full audio stream from the show below!
Agreement signed, ends financial barriers for Brazilian science students On Monday, President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil took the stand to defend herself against impeachment charges, calling the trial an injustice and a coup d’etat. But her downfall was already inevitable. Two days later, Brazil’s Senate voted 61-20 to impeach Rousseff for breaking fiscal laws to cover up a budget deficit, intensifying the political polarization that has wreaked havoc in the country of 200 million. A deep economic recession hurt Rousseff’s popularity and weakened her governing coalition, but what sealed her fate was the upsurge of public anger over the discovery by federal investigators of a $20 billion corruption scheme at the state oil company, Petrobras. The probe, known as Lava Jato for the Portuguese “car wash” because it began at a service station, has implicated dozens of government officials and businessmen, and is now Brazil’s largest corruption investigation. The Gazette spoke with Frances Hagopian, the Jorge Paulo Lemann Senior Lecturer on Government, about the startling reversal of fortune for Rousseff, a former guerilla fighter who became Brazil’s first female president with the leftist Worker’s Party in 2010. GAZETTE: Brazil’s president, Dilma Rousseff, has been impeached — how did this happen?HAGOPIAN: I’m sure that a lot of people are asking the same question because a few months before, when the vote of impeachment passed in the Chamber of Deputies, most experts did not think this would go forward. This government was very popular for its achievements in social inclusion, but the crack started with the protests of 2013 against rising bus fares, police abuse, and government corruption. And after that, her government grew weaker.GAZETTE: What factors weakened her government?HAGOPIAN: Two big issues, the slowing economy and corruption. First, the economy slowed in part because China’s economy slowed — China is Brazil’s biggest trading partner — and the government postponed necessary economic adjustments because of the 2014 presidential elections. And this happened at the same time that Brazilians were growing more concerned about corruption. There was a sense in 2013 that there was impunity, and then when Lava Jato broke, it was like adding kerosene to the fire. This put her government in a very difficult position. It was weakened and unpopular. As she grew weaker, it was harder for her to right the ship because she was losing support within the governing coalition, which was not well set up to support her programs.GAZETTE: Corruption has been a common problem in Brazilian politics for many years. Why did this scandal suddenly pose a threat to her government?HAGOPIAN: It’s true that corruption was always there, but it could be that the scale was getting worse. Secondly, the scandal was brought to light by investigative institutions of the Brazilian state. And third, corruption always stinks more when things aren’t going well. When the economy is going well, and people are taking some cuts, everything is OK, but when times get tough, people get angry. And I’d also say that a key factor is where the corruption scandal hit. In this case, investigators found corruption at the heart of Petrobras, the state oil company that was the model of the perfect, efficient state enterprise, and one of the world’s biggest companies, commanding a significant percentage of Brazil’s economic activity. It was a toxic mix of investigative institutions, the economic crisis, the scale of the corruption, and the fact that it was Petrobras. Related GAZETTE: Was Rousseff part of the corruption scandal?HAGOPIAN: We do not know that.GAZETTE: What are the charges against her? Why is she being impeached?HAGOPIAN: The charge of which she was accused in the Chamber of Deputies, and for which she stood trial in the Senate, was violation of Brazil’s Fiscal Responsibility Law. She’s accused of having fudged accounts in order to cover a budget deficit as she was going into the 2014 election campaign. She’s not accused of corruption. There are a number of government officials who have been accused of corruption, but no evidence has come to light that she was involved in corruption. She was the head of Petrobras during that period, but there is no indication of her knowledge or involvement. That could change. The Supreme Court has just opened an investigation into her and a few very-high-ranking officials. It could come out that she’s guilty of corruption, but there is no evidence of that. … So she’s not being impeached because of corruption. She’s being impeached because of a transgression of the Fiscal Responsibility Law.GAZETTE: Some experts say that is not a crime for which she should be impeached.HAGOPIAN: I am not a jurist, but the Brazilian Constitution provides for impeachment in the case of a crime of responsibility. Loosely translated, this is a high crime or misdemeanor in the United States. The Brazilian Constitution does not lay out what constitutes a crime of responsibility any more than the U.S. Constitution lays out what a high crime or misdemeanor is. Is having an affair with an intern in the Oval Office a high crime or misdemeanor? Or is it lying to Congress about a war? What is revealing is that during the impeachment vote, very few of the 360-something deputies who voted to impeach her mentioned the crime of fiscal responsibility. They mentioned the economic crisis and a number of other things. So to me, that raises questions about whether that was an impeachable offense.GAZETTE: Rousseff has said that the impeachment trial is an injustice orchestrated by her political opponents. Many of her opponents who voted to impeach her are being investigated for corruption.HAGOPIAN: Including the then-presidents of the Chamber and the Senate.GAZETTE: So what does this impeachment vote actually represent?HAGOPIAN: I don’t think it’s a secret that the impeachment vote was really a vote of no confidence in the government. The problem is that Brazil doesn’t have a parliamentary system of government. In that sense, the impeachment was political. Many members of the Congress were concerned about the Lava Jato investigation continuing and reaching them, and they may have hoped that by threatening her with impeachment, she would have somehow tried to stop the investigation, but I don’t think any president would have had the capacity to stop it. GAZETTE: So was this a political trial orchestrated by her opponents, as she said?HAGOPIAN: It is political, but perhaps it’s too simple to say that only her opponents played a pivotal role. Whether or not that’s fair, I don’t know. Brazil has a party system with many parties — 34 — and every president in order to govern needs to enter into a coalition. Brazilians said that former President Lula [Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva] could manage a coalition and Dilma could not. She had a cabinet with many parties, and it was an unwieldy coalition to manage. And again, as the economy weakened, and corruption started coming to light, her supposed allies thought they could gain some ground and then her actual opponents joined them.‘What’s problematic for Brazilian democracy is that this process does not have broader legitimacy.’ — Frances HagopianGAZETTE: What about her support among Brazil’s poor, who benefited from her government’s social programs? Did she lose support among them?HAGOPIAN: The support for impeachment peaked in March at 68 percent. In July, it was 58 percent. And the truly interesting thing is that there is no a huge difference between the level of education and income in those who favor her impeachment. She still has support among the popular sectors — 30, 40 percent — but it isn’t simply the wealthy and well-educated who support the impeachment.GAZETTE: What impact is this going to have on Brazilian democracy? Rousseff has said this is a coup.HAGOPIAN: This is not a coup because it followed constitutional procedures. But what’s problematic for Brazilian democracy is that this process does not have broader legitimacy. There are many people, supporters and opponents of the impeachment, who feel this was a necessary action to remove the president — without clear charges — in order to govern and right the economy. But that is not the way democracy is supposed to work. What does this suggest for the future? If presidents are unpopular or are not doing well, should we just remove them? Without commenting on the merits of the charges against her, it’s not a good precedent to remove presidents just because they are unpopular.GAZETTE: All this political drama was unfolding as the Olympic Games were taking place. What do you think of the way Brazil hosted the games?HAGOPIAN: Brazil exceeded expectations, given how low the baseline was, and given the extraordinarily difficult circumstances in which Rio served as host. Most cities don’t host the Olympic Games in a country in which the economy shrank by 3.8 percent the preceding year. The state of Rio also passed the security test. There were no terrorist attacks, and the most widely reported armed robbery attempt turned out to be a hoax. Brazil celebrated its diversity, and Rio will inherit some badly needed infrastructural improvements.This interview has been edited for clarity and length. President of Brazil comes to Harvard
Students of the Chinese program will demonstrate their aptitude in the language by competing in the eighth annual Chinese Speech Contest in Hesburgh Center Auditorium at 7 p.m. Friday.Freshman Ailsa Xing and junior Zachary Sturm will serve as emcees for this contest. Associate professor Yongping Zhu, who is a chair in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, will provide the introductory remarks to start off the contest.Approximately 20 students who were recommended by their language instructors will have the chance to present on a variety of topics. These topics range from the student’s experiences in learning Chinese and the benefits of learning Chinese to topics including arts and addressing race.The contestants will be competing within their level of language proficiency, with the exception of fourth- and fifth-year Chinese students, who will compete with students from both levels.Associate professional specialist Chengxu Yin spearheaded the event along with various other instructors.“Our primary goal in organizing this event is to enhance the study of Chinese at Notre Dame and to foster a sense of community among our language students,” Yin said.She said the large number of students in the Chinese language classes inhibits interaction between students of different levels of instruction.“The speech contest provides an excellent opportunity for students to get to know each other better,” Yin said, “[It also] allows students at lower levels to be inspired by the achievements of those at higher levels.”In attendance will not only be Chinese language students and the language instructors, but also faculty in the Chinese language program who are not involved in facilitating language acquisition.“The contest will also provide an opportunity for [all of] our faculty to assess the learning outcome of our students, especially in the area of pronunciation and intonation,” Yin said.Yin said students worked with their instructors to flesh out their speeches and rehearsed them their own time. She emphasized many hours of work went into preparations for the contest.Specific speech titles include “Evolution Of Chinese Music,” “China Allowed Me To Accept My Skin Color” and “Under the Dome,” among others.Along with the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, the Office for Undergraduate Studies of the College of Arts and Letters, the Kellogg Institute for International Studies and the Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures will also be sponsoring this annual event.The winners of each category will have the chance to compete in the U.S. Midwest “Chinese Bridge” Speech Contest, which will be hosted by Notre Dame on April 18. The winners will compete against contestants from more than 10 different Midwestern universities and colleges.Tags: Speech contest
The Phantom of the Opera Related Shows from $29.00 View Comments Wait, we could have sworn Sierra Boggess was starring in a different Andrew Lloyd Webber musical! Looks like the Phantom of the Opera star is getting in touch with her frisky feline side in the upcoming episode of her Broadway.com video blog Daae Days…but you’ll still have to wait a few more hours until the new episode airs July 29! But as a special sneak peek, Boggess posted this divinely Jellicle selfie on Instagram for her fans. Wow, Sierra, this is a great look for you. Have you ever considered ditching the Opera Populaire for the Heaviside Layer? Check out the Phantom star’s new look, then catch the newest episode of Daae Days, right here on Broadway.com! Star Files Sierra Boggess
Williston, VT – Child Care Resource of Williston was recently awarded full accreditation by the Quality Assurance Program (QAP) of the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (NACCRRA). The Chittenden County agency was recognized at a regional NACCRRA meeting in Albany, NY and again in Washington, DC. QAP is a national, voluntary, quality assurance system for community child care resource and referral programs. The program is designed to ensure that families across the country have access to consistent, high-quality consumer education and referral services. Kathie Mercia, Director of Subsidy, Resource and Referral, headed up the two-year accreditation process.Child Care Resource is a nonprofit agency founded in 1984. It serves the needs of Chittenden County families who need help searching and/or paying for child care, as well as offering workshops and trainings throughout the year for child care professionals. To learn more, visit www.childcareresource.org(link is external).
IBEW LOCAL 300 JOINS SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE TRADE GROUPSouth Burlington, Vt. — (March 6, 2008) — The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 300 recently joined Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility (VBSR).Chartered in 1939, IBEW Local 300 represents 1,200 working Vermonters. Local 300 employers — including Ben and Jerry’s, Brown Electric, Burlington Electric Department, Central Vermont Public Service, Entergy-Vermont Yankee, E.S Boulos, Green Mountain Power, Peck Electric, Sherwin Electric, Vermont Gas and Washington Electric Cooperative — are among the most successful enterprises in the state. They all pay a living wage and offer solid healthcare and retirement packages to union employees.”The labor movement’s objectives are not that different than those of socially responsible businesses, as we all have an unwavering commitment to the common good,” said Local 300 Business Manager George Clain. “Like VBSR, the IBEW wholeheartedly believes that fair stewardship of workers, communities and the environment is just as important as financial success.”The oldest and largest values-led trade association in the country, VBSR promotes a socially conscious business ethic that encourages protecting the natural, human and economic surroundings of citizens. In addition to providing extensive educational and networking opportunities to its 650 members, VBSR is very active in influencing Vermont public policy. The organization is stationed in downtown Burlington.”We are pleased to have our first labor organization as a member,” said VBSR Executive Director Will Patten. “This membership represents the notion that the goals of labor and the goals of business do not have to run contrary to one another. In fact, we can craft a shared vision for the state and our economic development together.”ABOUT THE IBEW LOCAL 300Based in South Burlington, the IBEW Local 300 serves 1,200-plus laborers throughout Vermont. The organization is part of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), which is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and represents approximately 750,000 members who work in a wide variety of fields, including utilities, construction, telecommunications, broadcasting, manufacturing, railroads and government. The IBEW has members in both the United States and Canada and stands out among the American unions in the AFL-CIO because of its size and highly skilled constituency.For more information, contact Marketing and Business Development Director Matt Lash at (802) 864-5864, [email protected](link sends e-mail) or www.ibewlocal300.org(link is external).