Senate reviews OrgSync

first_imgSaint Mary’s student senate met Tuesday night and discussed all the possibilities available on OrgSync, the website used to facilitate club registration at Saint Mary’s.  The student involvement and multicultural services office (SIMS) conducted the presentation on OrgSync. Stephanie Bridges, director of SIMS, said the purpose of the SIMS office is to help and support Saint Mary’s students. “We provide support for 70 plus student organizations on campus, which is a huge, huge job,” Bridges said.  The SIMS office is in charge of OrgSync, which was created at Saint Mary’s last year to give electronic support for student organizations. Bridges said SIMS wanted to make things as paperless as possible and make it easier to manage all the different things for which the SIMS office is responsible. “It has been tremendously helpful for our offices to navigate the processes that we have,” she said.  Assistant director of SIMS, Bianca Tirado, explained what OrgSync is and how to operate it.  “OrgSync is a way to help students connect with your organization. It’s also a way to create online communication so that it hits a broader audience,” she said. “The belle tower is the home page of OrgSync which is accessible to everyone in the SMC community.  “It’s a great way for you to access your organization portals. If you’re a part of more than one club you can access those additional portals as well.” Not only is there an internal website, but there is also an external website of OrgSync, which allows students to control what the external world can see. Student organizations can create their own external websites by creating a portal, and every new club can have a new portal on Belle tower.  Students can also register events for their organization on OrgSync, Tirado said. In order to create an event, a student would need to fill out the event request form under the SIMS portal. This event registration spurs the merchandise request process as well. “It’s best you make sure you do have a table [for your merchandise] and do it in a timely fashion,” she said. “If you want to sell something next week, it’s better you get it in as soon as possible.”  Tirado said, when selling merchandise, anything with a French cross symbol has to be approved by the SIMS office as well. The French cross is a religious symbol, so it cannot be obstructed by anything.  SIMS assistant director Graci Martsching said OrgSync is new but has already had a lot of success. She said SIMS hopes to raise awareness about the opportunities OrgSync and their office offer for students.  “The most important thing to remember is we are your advocates, we are here for you guys,” Martsching said. “You can always come and knock on our doors.” Contact Alaina Anderson at aander02@saintmarys.edulast_img read more

Klau Center hosts speaker on Islamophobia

first_imgThe Klau Center for Civil and Human Rights hosted Dalia Mogahed, Director of Research at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU) in Washington D.C., to speak about Islamophobia on Friday as a part of their Building an Anti-Racist Vocabulary lecture series.The weekly series, held on Zoom, features different guest speakers every week who speak on issues such as the Black Lives Matter syllabus, allyship and health inequity.Islamophobia, Mogahed said, is “anti-Muslim bigotry and discrimination based on an irrational hatred and fear of Islam, and it is both individual and institutional.”Many people assume that terrorist attacks by Muslims are to blame for spikes in Islamophobia, she said. However, the data contradicts this assumption. Mogahed shared figures that show spikes in anti-Muslim sentiment are more heavily concentrated around elections, rather than terrorist attacks.“Islamophobia is a manufactured phenomenon, not an organic response to terrorist attacks,” Mogahed said. “The idea that Islam encourages violence more than other religions is refuted with evidence.”However, the media often spins terrorist attacks, focusing heavily on their association with Islam, she said. Mogahed cited one headline that said the majority of fatal attacks on US soil were carried out by white supremacists, not terrorists. This sort of language, she said, can further Islamophobia and intensify the public’s belief in a direct link between Islam and terrorism.Islamophobia does not only affect Muslims, Mogahed said. Efforts to restrict the rights of Muslims, via anti-Sharia or anti-foreign law bills, overlap 80% with efforts to restrict rights of other minorities via voter ID laws, breaking unions or anti-immigration laws, she said.“Even if you’re not a member of a minority group, even if you’re the victim of a hate crime, even if you think all of these things don’t affect you, they affect you because fear erodes freedom,” she said. “Fear makes us more accepting of authoritarianism.”The effects of Islamophobia, Mogahed said, make everyone less free and less safe. Her research with the ISPU proves that there are ways to combat Islamophobia.Any kind of bigotry, she said, tries to make the victim feel isolated. In order to address victim’s isolation, allies should build coalitions with people who want to fight Islamophobia, she said. People should also try to have meaningful conversations across the political divide. And another key factor, she said, is to demystify Islam as a faith.“According to our research, knowing about Islam is one of the strongest protective factors against Islamophobia,” Mogahed said.Mogahed’s lecture fell on the 19th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. Three days after the attack, Mogahed said she was afraid to go to the mosque, assuming that there would be protests or backlash. Instead, she said, people of other religions and non-religious people showed up in solidarity to support the Muslim community.“I really mark that moment as a turning point in my life where it inspired me to dedicate my life, to dedicate my career, to building bridges, rather than building bunkers and isolating ourselves,” Mogahed said. “It’s really in this spirit that I do my research, that I do the work that I do. And this topic specifically, Islamophobia, is one that I think is absolutely critical to young people, especially during the time we live in now, especially during an election season.”For those who want to continue educating themselves on Islam and Islamophobia, Mogahed recommends taking a class on Islam, checking out the resources on the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding website or reading the book she co-authored with John Esposito, “Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think.” And, she said, get to know a person who is Muslim and accept the real Muslim in the room as the norm and the fanatic on TV as the exception.“The main message that I hope you will walk away with today is that Islamophobia is a threat to every American,” Mogahed said. “We can all think about it, of course, as something that impacts Muslims. But Islamophobia is a threat to every single American who cares about freedom and democracy.”Tags: Building an Anti-Racist Vocabulary, Islam, Klau Center for Civil and Human Rightslast_img read more

CVPS, IBEW agree to five-year contract

first_imgThe International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 300 and Central Vermont Public Service have agreed to a new five-year contract, the longest in company history, following interest-based negotiations.The new contract, affecting 216 unionized employees, was approved this morning and takes effect at midnight tonight, when the existing contract expires. The signing of a five-year agreement between the union and the company secures further benefits on both sides to expand upon, while strengthening the working relationship that presently exists, Local 300 Business Manager Jeff Wimette said.  The union and the company have varied interests, of course, but we struck an agreement that is good for both sides, as well as our mutual customers.CVPS President Bob Young praised negotiators on both sides, as well as employee Ross Schifo, who served as a neutral facilitator in the negotiations. Schifo, who has an extensive background in facilitation, mediation and organizational development, served as an independent party in the interest-based talks, designed to elicit workable solutions rather than divisiveness. Over the past several contracts, the union and the company have been able to move beyond our self interests and really look at things from each other s side, Young said.  That has allowed us to focus on customer needs together and ensure competitive benefits, working conditions and pay.The five-year contract is the longest in company history, the fourth reached through interest-based negotiating, and the fourth straight contract approved on the first vote of the union.  In order to approximate the market, some specific jobs will receive base salary adjustments of 10 to 60 cents per hour, and all union job classification wage rates will increase by 3.35 percent in the first year of contract.  In the second, third and fourth years, the increase will be 3.3 percent, and 3.25 percent in the fifth year.  To help control long-term costs and volatility, the parties agreed to end CVPS s traditional pension for new hires, and to replace it with an enhanced 401k program, pending approval of the CVPS board of directors.  The pension will remain in place for existing employees.  The parties agreed to maintain employee contributions for health care at about 20 percent of company costs. We are proud of the work CVPS s employees do every day, and pleased to reach an agreement that serves their needs, and our customers, Young and Wimette said in a joint statement.  As we demonstrated yet again in the recent ice storm, we are all committed to providing top-notch service, and a five-year contract will allow us to continue to focus on that together.last_img read more

UVM Hosts: ‘Sustainable Business: Practices in Support of People, Profit & Principles’

first_imgUniversity of Vermont,For decades, Vermont has been known for growing businesses that are worldwide innovators in clean energy and environmental stewardship. The state is also an epicenter for businesses, outside of typical “green” industries, that lead the way in social and environmental best practices while remaining highly profitable. The University of Vermont Continuing Education offers the opportunity for people to learn from these experts in one of the leading places for sustainability studies through its summer institute “Sustainable Business: Practices in Support of People, Profit and Principles,” a five-day summer program at its Burlington, Vermont campus, that takes place July 11-15.Attendees learn the design, organization and management principles, and practices that have made Vermont enterprises sustainable and profitable from the very entrepreneurs and business leaders who have forged the way. More importantly, they can apply what they learn to their own careers and businesses.”The primary goal of the Sustainable Business program is to bring business leaders together in Vermont so they can connect directly with the thought leaders at the university and throughout Vermont who are helping pioneer the redesign of business for the twenty-first century,” said Matt Sayre, director of UVM’s Institute for Global Sustainability. “UVM helps students establish a supportive network of like-minded professionals, and then return to their companies and communities as knowledgeable champions of positive change.”The program is led by Jon Erickson, Ph.D., president of the U.S. Society for Ecological Economics, Managing Director of the Gund Institute and professor at the Rubinstein School of Environment and Natural Resources and the Environmental Program at UVM. Featured speakers include Jeffrey Hollender, founder and former CEO of Seventh Generation and co-founder of the American Sustainable Business Council; David Blittersdorf, founder of NRG Systems and president and CEO of AllEarth Renewables; as well as professors and practitioners from the University of Vermont, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Rhino Foods, Gardener’s Supply, Green Mountain Power, Ben & Jerry’s and more.Attendees go on to transform their careers. Program alumnus Brendan LeBlanc came to the program because he wanted to open one of the nation’s first CPA firms to conduct audits of businesses’ sustainability and corporate social responsibility practices. He had the background with positions at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Fidelity Investments, Control Solutions International and Accume Partners. At UVM, he gained the knowledge, credibility and certification he needed to open his firm, LeBlanc & Associates. Now, he is at the forefront of measuring the financial impact of sustainable business initiatives and practices, working with clients, like Ben & Jerry’s and Stonyfield Farm, who he opened relationships with during his time at UVM.Like no other school, UVM leads the way in integrating green and environmentally responsible practices and has received numerous high rankings in ratings of green colleges by organizations that include Forbes Magazine, the Sustainable Endowment Institute, and Kaplan College Guide. The state of Vermont has ranked at the top of “greenest state” lists for several years running, including Forbes Magazine in 2007, by a Pitney Bowes Business Insight survey in 2009, the website in 2010 and again by website in 2010.For more information, visit is external). For questions regarding registration or fees, please call University of Vermont Continuing Education at (802) 656-2085, or toll free at (800) 639-3210.About University of Vermont Continuing EducationContinuing Education (CE) helps thousands of non-traditional students continue their education at the University of Vermont. Through collaborations with the various colleges and schools, CE offers courses and programs to help students explore their options to advance or change their careers. BURLINGTON, Vt., Jun. 08 /CSRwire/ –last_img read more

Decline in Asian coal prices a big threat for U.S. exporters, analysts say

first_imgDecline in Asian coal prices a big threat for U.S. exporters, analysts say FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):The price on thermal coal sold into Pacific markets recently dropped below $75/t, signifying headwinds in a region home to several of the recent top growth markets for U.S. coal producers.While pricing on steam coal sold into Europe declined in the first quarter and has remained low, Asian thermal coal prices have started to drop as well due to high inventories, weaker Chinese demand for coal imports and lower natural gas prices, analysts told S&P Global Market Intelligence. Should Asian steam coal prices remain low, it could affect U.S. miners’ ability to sell into the Pacific market as contracts roll off.Gregory Marmon, a Wood Mackenzie senior research analyst, said the Newcastle prompt month pricing, which tracks the price on thermal coal sold from Australia’s Port of Newcastle, is at its lowest level since June 2017. He projects pricing will remain low for about the next six months, which means U.S. producers will struggle to compete in the Asian markets until winter demand heats up.U.S. coal exports to Europe have been “out of the money for some time,” Marmon said, and low Asian pricing will affect Powder River Basin shipments out of the West Coast and any Gulf Coast exports that move through the Panama Canal. Lower-cost miners in Indonesia, Colombia and South Africa, though still affected by the drop in pricing, will out-compete the U.S.“So, this is going to further limit U.S. exports,” he said.Domestic miners’ contracts in the region will be rolling off this month and next, resulting in “significant drops in exports,” Marmon said. Wood Mackenzie expects U.S. coal exporters to average about 1.2 million tonnes less per month in the second half of the year from the first six months.More ($): Pacific thermal coal prices drop to 2-year low, limiting export options to Asialast_img read more

JFK Ebola Screening Begins as Death Toll in W. Africa Hits 4K

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York U.S. border agents on Saturday began screening travelers entering John F. Kennedy International Airport from West African countries hardest hit by the deadly Ebola virus.U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers are working in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to perform health checks and identify anyone who may show signs of a communicable disease, officials said.The enhanced screening measures comes as the official death toll in three Ebola-impacted countries—Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone—has eclipsed 4,000.“The expanded screening measures provide an additional layer of protection to the already established protocols to minimize the risk of another case of Ebola in the United States,” CBP Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske’s said early Saturday.The fist person in the United States known to have been infected by the disease, Thomas Eric Duncan of Liberia, died in a Dallas hospital on Wednesday.Kerlikowske outlined the enhanced protocols on Saturday. He said each passenger arriving from the affected countries will be escorted to a private area and have their temperature taken. If the the test indicates a fever, and if the traveler is visually showing other symptoms, border agents will then refer the person to the CDC for a public health assessment.From there, CDC health workers will determine whether the person:can continue to travelshould be hospitalized for further evaluation and testingis referred to local health department for monitoringBorder agents will also screen travelers entering Chicago O’Hare International Airport, Dulles International Airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and Newark International Airport. Screening travelers at the five selected airports allows authorities and the CDC to evaluate 94 percent of people entering the US from the three Ebola-stricken countries.The CDC said it began working with airports and health officials from Ebola-impacted countries since the beginning of August.American health officials have stressed that a deadly outbreak such as the one in West Africa is highly unlikely to occur in the US.The virus does not travel by air. The disease is only passed on through physical contact or when direct contact is made with an infected person’s bodily fluids, health officials have said.Health officials on Long Island in the coming days will hold Ebola training courses for emergency responders and health care professionals.last_img read more

ITV switches over

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

US pharma firms think twice about relocating to Indonesia: Experts

The fact that Indonesia ranked 73rd on the World Bank’s ease of doing business index, last updated in October 2019, also discourages investors, as neighboring Malaysia and Thailand fare better in 12th and 21st position, respectively. “I think it’s quite challenging for corporations to quickly move their operations to Indonesia if we don’t improve our regulatory [environment]. While Trump could encourage companies to relocate their facilities, in the end it’s the companies that make the decision,” Center for Indonesian Policy Studies (CIPS) researcher Andre Surianta told the Post. For the pharmaceutical industry, Andre said, a major factor that dissuaded investors were regulations mandating the use of locally-sourced raw materials.“We are unable to provide raw materials for the pharmaceutical industry because we don’t have the supply chain. I think we should relax the regulation on local content if we want to see the industry come in,” he said.Indonesian workers’ low productivity is another major challenge for the government as it seeks to attract investors.According to a survey conducted by the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), Indonesia’s manufacturing plants’ productivity only scored 74.4 on an index where the respondents’ Japanese companies’ productivity defines 100.Indonesia’s score is lower than those of the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam at 86.3, 82.7, 80.1 and 80.0, respectively.The survey also shows that more than half of the Japanese companies are not satisfied with the minimum wage compared to the worker’s productivity.“Even though the pharmaceutical industry is a capital-intensive investment, which makes workers’ productivity less [impactful], investors still list our human capital as one of their greatest concerns,” Andre said.“Human capital development should be our long-term priority if we want to increase our attractiveness to foreign investors.”He also said that industrial zones with sufficient infrastructure and accessibility were not easy to find in Indonesia, which could make investors opt for other countries.Brebes regency’s development planning head Edy Kusmartono acknowledged that the local administration had heard about the potential relocation, even though there had been no formal notification from the central government so far.“We have 3,975 ha of land in the KIB and manpower of 20,000 people who are ready to work inside the KIB. If [the central government and investors] are interested, they could set up the industry here,” Edy told Kompas  daily newspaper on May 11.He further said that the KIB was still waiting for its masterplan that was being formed by the zone’s developer PT Kawasan Industri Wijayakusuma, which includes the business scheme, consortium appointment and land acquisition, before starting its physical construction.Topics : “President Jokowi [Joko Widodo] has been frequently discussing the [pharmaceutical industry] relocation with President Trump,” Luhut said. He added that 90 percent of pharmaceutical product compounds were still unavailable in the country and needed to be imported.Indonesian Pharmaceutical Association (GP Farmasi) chairman Tirto Koesnandi said an unsupportive regulatory framework and high wages could deter investors from setting up operations in the country.”Our investment climate is still unattractive for future investors, including US pharmaceutical companies. Wages are still too high, and there are many regulations that make investment unattractive,” Tirto told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.Statements issued by the US State Department in 2019 noted that legal uncertainty, economic nationalism and restrictions to imports and exports were some of the factors that made investing in Indonesia challenging. Indonesia’s infamous red tape could dissuade investment from US pharmaceutical companies looking to relocate from China, experts say.The Indonesian government is in talks over the possibility of offering US-controlled pharmaceutical firms that wish to move factories out of China a new production base, according to Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Pandjaitan.“President [Donald] Trump is currently at odds with his Chinese counterparts, and he wants to relocate industries out of China,” Luhut said during an interview with state broadcaster RRI on May 9. The government is now preparing a 4,000-hectare special economic zone for the industry in the Brebes industrial zone (KIB) in Central Java. read more

KPK must use Nurhadi’s arrest to reveal more corruption in judiciary: Former commissioner

first_imgIndonesia’s antigraft agency must use the recent arrest of former Supreme Court secretary Nurhadi to open the floodgates to uncovering more corruption in judicial intuitions, former commissioner Bambang Widjojanto said.Investigators of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) arrested Nurhadi and his son-in-law Rezeky Herbiyono in South Jakarta last week, months after both were named suspects and put on the KPK’s wanted list for allegedly accepting bribes in the form of nine checks and Rp 46 billion (US$3.2 million) in cash pertaining to three cases handled by the country’s highest court between 2011 and 2016.Bambang alleged that the pair could have been involved in more than three cases, as Nurhadi’s position allowed him to control the flow of justice in the Supreme Court. “The Supreme Court secretary can be an entry for communication to all justice seekers in the country, we suspect he also had the power and interest to handpick the Supreme Court judge candidates who are chosen through the House of Representatives,” Bambang said in a discussion with antigraft group Indonesia Corruption Watch over the weekend, referring to the House’s authority to select Supreme Court judges.Read also: Antigraft group reports KPK’s new law enforcement deputy over ethical violation”In some discussions, Nurhadi was mentioned as the dark prince of injustice. Because in the black market of injustice, he allegedly controlled and managed all transactions.”Bambang, who served as the KPK commissioner from 2011 to 2015, further suspected that the bribery cases implicating Nurhadi were only the tip of the iceberg. Therefore, he urged the antigraft agency to dig deeper into more alleged corruption in the Supreme Court by developing the case. “Nurhadi cannot be seen merely by the cases worth Rp 46 billion. If his case was really as complex as I suspect, then I’m worried for his safety because there must be a lot of people who can’t sleep at night,” Bambang said.”If Nurhadi ‘sings’, then it will strike all notes in the chord of this republic,” he added.Read also: 100 days of blunders: Watchdog slams new KPK chairman’s performanceBambang also urged the newly elected Supreme Court chief Syariffudin to use the momentum of the case to cleanse the court of corruption.Antigraft activists have noted that Nurhadi’s wealth, amounting to more than Rp 33 billion in assets ranging from land plots to luxury cars, is unusually high for someone with his income.The highest salary for a Supreme Court employee is around Rp 32.6 million as of 2019, with an additional Rp 32.8 million monthly benefits as of 2014. Activists suggested the KPK open a money laundering investigation against him in relation to the bribery case.There have also been mounting calls for the KPK to investigate the alleged obstruction of justice in Nurhadi cases, as activists slammed the antigraft agency for failing to track him down for months despite public reports suggesting that he was located in South Jakarta.Topics :last_img read more

COVID-19 clusters emerge at Islamic boarding schools in Jakarta, Java

first_img“The institute has yet to inform me of anything. I don’t even know in which tower my child is staying,” said one of the parents who was not identified.It was previously reported that a student staying in the school’s dormitory had contracted COVID-19. The school has continued to hold in-person classes, despite the reimposition of large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) in Jakarta since Sept. 14.Number of COVID-19 clusters at Islamic boarding schools. (JP/Swi)Meanwhile, in Yogyakarta, more than 100 students from two pesantren in Ngaglik and Prambanan have also contracted COVID-19.  “There are an additional 38 students [from Ngaglik],” said Sleman Health Agency Head Joko Hastaryo over the weekend. Initially, 41 COVID-19 cases were reported at a pesantren in Ngaglik. After the students’ contacts were traced, an additional 14 students were added to the figure, prior to the announcement of another 38 new cases. In total, the Ngaglik pesantren has recorded 93 COVID-19 cases, reported.Meanwhile, another pesantren in Prambanan reported one confirmed COVID-19 case and after tracing, an additional 10 were added to the list. In total, 104 COVID-19 cases have been recorded from the two pesantren.Read also: All COVID-19 patients in W. Java military academy have recovered: TNIA large number of COVID-19 cases were also detected at a pesantren in Banyumas, Central Java.“We have gathered and tested 631 samples, 328 of which come out positive,” Banyumas administration secretary Wahyu Budi Saptono said as reported by Antara newswire.The COVID-19 patients who showed symptoms were treated at Prof. DR, Margono Soekarjo Purwanegara Regional Hospital, while asymptomatic patients were transported to a quarantine facility in Baturaden.Aside from the boarding school in Purwanegara, another pesantren in Karanggintung village in Sumbang district of Banyumas reported that 11 of its students had also contracted COVID-19.Separately, Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo said that collaboration between the government, clerics and school managements was necessary to contain COVID-19 infection clusters at pesantren.“All stakeholders from clerics to school management and the government must work together to set health protocols at boarding schools,” he said as quoted by Ganjar said virus mitigation measures must be implemented at boarding schools immediately, given the high risk of infection.Central Java Deputy Governor Taj Yasin Maimoen also promoted Gerakan Jogo Santri, a movement to protect Islamic school students.Taj Yasin, also known as Gus Yasin, asked school managements not to send students back home.Read also: Schools could become new clusters of COVID-19 transmission: Indonesian Red Cross“It is feared they may spread the virus in their neighborhoods,” he said.Central Java has recorded COVID-19 infection clusters at several pesantren, including in Batang, Kendal, Kebumen and Banyumas.On Tuesday, Central Java recorded additional 721 confirmed COVID-19 cases, adding to the total tally of 24,165, with an additional 11 fatalities taking the death toll to 2,046.The Health Ministry announced 4,056 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, bringing the total number of infections nationwide to 311,176. According to data released by the ministry on Tuesday, 121 more people have died of the disease, bringing the death toll to 11,374. (iwa)Editor’s note: This article is part of a public campaign by the COVID-19 task force (Satgas COVID-19) to raise awareness about the pandemic.Topics : A number of COVID-19 clusters have emerged at pesantren (Islamic boarding schools) in Jakarta, Yogyakarta and Central Java.As many as 200 students of the Quranic Studies Institute (PTIQ) in Cilandak, South Jakarta, have tested positive for COVID-19.The students were transported by bus to isolation facilities at the Kemayoran athletes village and Pademangan Tower in Central Jakarta, without notifying their parents, reported on Monday.center_img #covid19taskforce #mothermessage #wearmask #keepyourdistance #washyourhand #socialdistance #avoidcrowd #usesoaplast_img read more