first_imgAnna Mason Saint Mary’s students celebrate Belles Beginnings with designed posters welcoming incoming first years to campus.“That will really help girls target: ‘Who am I? What am I about? What are my passions?’” Nelson said. “When you get to college, you can have the study skills and you can have the intellect, but if you don’t have the confidence, if you don’t have the coping mechanisms, you’re going to kind of flounder. That wholeness framework is going to focus on that.”The road to begin building strong relationships, Allen said, starts with understanding the self through the new peer mentor program.“It’s all about exploring your core values and digging deep to know what makes you you, how you can take what you know about yourself and apply that to your friendships and how you get along with other people,” Allen said. “I think giving that to the freshmen is going to give them a huge leg up on being here and making strong relationships and having an amazing experience here.”Student Government Association (SGA) members welcomed incoming Belles with milk and cookies in their dorms Thursday night to make sure the new students felt ”really loved and special,” Nelson said.Friday will feature the Belles Outdoor Fiesta, a party with pinatas and guacamole, to provide students with another opportunity to meet one another as well as SGA members. Nelson and Allen said they hope to become familiar faces to first year students as another way to ease the transition to college.“It’s kind of like the more people you know and the more faces you’re familiar with, the more you feel at home,” Allen said. The new pre-Domerfest event will sport an ACDC-inspired theme with giveaways and t-shirts featuring the incoming class’ graduation year, Nelson and Allen explained.“We’re having food — we’re not making it, ‘You must be in by this time or you can’t go,’” Nelson said. “This year, it’s come between 8:30 and 9:30, and we’re going to hang out and have fun. You’re not going to feel miserable and then we’re going to walk you over to Domerfest.”Additionally, there will be an alternative event on the College’s campus for students who do not want to attend the traditional Notre Dame Domerfest.“[It’s] for the girls who don’t feel comfortable or maybe who don’t want to go to Notre Dame yet,” Allen said. “It gives them the option if they feel more comfortable staying, and that’s something we really want to emphasize — there’s a choice there, and we support whatever. We’ll have SGA girls at both, so the [first years], whether they want to go or not, they’re supported in both decisions.”The pair said they find it important that every first year student enjoys themselves at the pre-Domerfest happenings but know that they can stay on campus to build relationships with other Saint Mary’s women.“We just want each girl to be able to find their space, find their people, and it’s going to look different for each Belle,” Nelson said. “There’s no same girl, there’s no same interest. We just really wanted to create that space, and we’re really proud of the work that’s been done. We’re hoping that this gives them a good taste for what the rest of our term is going to look like.”The community-driven events will continue throughout the first week of classes with each night featuring a different event. Allen said this will continue first year students’ involvement around campus as well as encourage returning students to strengthen the relationships they have already made.“On our platform, where we talked so much about how we love the tradition of the College, we love the community and we want to enhance it. We want to make it better,” Nelson said. “Olivia and I, we hate when girls say there’s nothing to do at Saint Mary’s. We want them to say, ‘There’s awesome things to do at Saint Mary’s, and I was given a lot of opportunities.’”When it comes to the Saint Mary’s experience, Nelson said she hopes to provide first year students with an experience that will help them love the campus as much as a student returning for her final year.“It’s senior year, you come back and see your friends and it feels like home,” she said. “That’s the beauty of Saint Mary’s. It clicks; it happens. That’s senior year though. Freshman year, that feeling isn’t there yet. That’s where we lose retention, that’s where girls transfer, that’s where they say, ‘I don’t fit in here. There’s nothing to do here. I’m bored.’ ‘We want to start getting that ball rolling with the feeling that we have coming into senior year where ‘I am good and I love Saint Mary’s’ — we want them to be introduced to that feeling early on. They’re going to fall in love with it, I think, anyway. We just want it to happen sooner.”Tags: Domerfest, First Year Orientation, saint mary’s, Saint Mary’s Student Government Association Each academic year, Saint Mary’s focuses on one of its four core values — learning, community, faith and spirituality and justice — with this year’s focus being community. Seniors Terra Nelson and Olivia Allen, student body president and vice president respectively, said they plan to incorporate the Saint Mary’s sisterhood in as much of first year students’ experiences as possible, beginning with orientation.After receiving feedback on previous orientation experiences, Nelson said the pair have worked to make lasting changes to the peer mentor program as well as the weekend’s events to focus on community and wellness. These steps, along with the College’s increased focus on student life, sets to assist with first year students’ successes.last_img read more

first_imgIt should come as no surprise to anyone following the GOP’s tax bill that the party’s policy ideas have no basis in reality. Yes, the Clinton-era changes did reduce the number of people on welfare, as Republicans predicted.But citing that as a positive would be like saying Americans are healthier when there are fewer people on Medicare.In fact, poverty has increased since the bill’s passage even while the government is spending more on anti-poverty programs.Adding work requirements for food stamps and cutting subsidized housing make little sense, either.The majority of people benefiting from food stamps are children, elderly or disabled.Of those who can work, most are already employed or find employment within one year of going on food stamps. “The greatness of a nation can be judged by how it treats its weakest member,” goes the apocryphal quote.Even if you don’t agree with that sentiment, it should be clear that the GOP won’t attack the only poorest among us.They will move up the class ladder. Ryan promises that Medicare cuts will follow Medicaid cuts, and Social Security cuts are likely to follow.Demonizing the poor is simply Republicans’ way of easing into that.Now it’s up to voters to stop them.James Downie is The Washington Post’s Digital Opinions Editor. He previously wrote for The New Republic and Foreign Policy magazine.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homes It’s a GOP classic: Through the 1980s and 1990s, Republicans encouraged the “welfare queen” stereotype — lazy minorities living high and mighty off tax dollars — to drive down support for welfare (and win elections).It worked.Opposition to the program became so overwhelming that in 1996, Democrat Bill Clinton signed a Republican-written “reform” bill instituting work requirements, time limits on assistance and stricter enforcement.Republicans argue today, as they did then, that these changes would get people back to work, helping both themselves and the economy.As Rep. Rod Blum (R-Iowa) puts it, “For us to achieve 3 percent GDP growth over the next 10 years from tax reform, we have to have welfare reform.”The list of targeted programs has broadened.A bill introduced by Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, would add work requirements for food stamps, implement more work requirements for welfare and slash federal spending on subsidized housing programs by 50 percent over 10 years. Categories: Editorial, OpinionIt’s no secret that the GOP tax plan working its way through Congress is weighted toward the wealthy.The richest Americans get the bulk of the tax cuts, and the poorest Americans see a tax increase. But Republicans aren’t satisfied with one blow for inequality:They’re openly positioning to attack the poor on several fronts.The first attack will be welfare reform.RELATED: Republicans nearing agreement on final tax billcenter_img Kentucky alone projects that 95,000 fewer people will us Medicaid if work requirements are implemented.In many cases, this will create a terrible cycle: People too ill to work will lose their best hope of regaining their ability to work.Back in Washington, the “reforms” described earlier are just a prelude to what House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and allies really want: the destruction of America’s social safety net.“We’re going to have to get back next year at entitlement reform, which is how you tackle the debt and the deficit,” Ryan said Wednesday.“Frankly, it’s the health care entitlements that are the big drivers of our debt.” In other words, it’s not just Medicaid in the crosshairs — it’s Medicare as well.Even before the House and Senate finished passing their versions of the tax cut, Republicans were dancing a familiar step: increase the deficit by slashing revenues, then turn around and claim the country needs to cut spending by cutting entitlements.“You also have to bring spending under control,” Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said last week. “The driver of our debt is the structure of Social Security and Medicare for future beneficiaries.”(Note the phrase “for future beneficiaries” — the GOP won’t touch the benefits of its older base.) And at a time when housing shortages are driving up prices in many major urban centers, the government should be investing more, not less, in subsidized housing.But evidence won’t stop the GOP from plowing ahead.Republicans at the state level aren’t even waiting for Congress to act.Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, under whom the state’s poverty rate has reached its highest in 30 years, now wants to drug-test some food stamp recipients, despite the failure of a similar program in Florida.The Agriculture Department looks set to give Wisconsin and other states the go-ahead to do so.Last month, the Trump administration announced that it would allow states to add work requirements for Medicaid enrollees.At least a half-dozen GOP-controlled states are expected to do so, even though three-quarters of Medicaid recipients are in households where at least one member has a part-time or full-time job.last_img read more

first_imgIt added: “We will work with these stakeholders to to consider whether any other action is necessary to ensure that institutional investors get the information they need to make effective decisions.”Last month the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) Advisory Board introduced a transparency code for asset managers, based on a model from the Netherlands and adapted by the board and Chris Sier, professor at Newcastle University Business School. Eight managers have so far signed up to the LGPS’ voluntary code.The FCA welcomed the development and other work in this area – including a similar disclosure method proposed by the Investment Association (IA). Speaking this morning, FCA director of strategy and competition Chris Woolard made it clear that the LGPS code was a pioneering model, followed by the IA, the trade body for UK asset managers.The FCA indicated that it did not want to convene stakeholders itself. Cost clarity for alternativesThe LGPS has not yet finalised its template for private equity and other illiquid strategies, but all responses to the FCA report said that private equity and hedge funds ought to be covered by the wider transparency code.The regulator said it would consider whether any of its proposed “remedies” should apply to private equity products.One of the asset managers already signed up to the LGPS’ transparency code, fixed income specialist Markham Rae, said it was happy for greater fee transparency to be applied to all kinds of vehicles. Kerry Duffain, head of distribution at the group, said that its own closed-end fund investing in trade finance was not covered by the LGPS code but the firm would work with any committee to ensure such deal-based vehicles were transparent.Other commentators warned that transparency, especially around transaction costs, was harder in practice than in theory. Colin Meech, national officer for the trade union Unison and one of the architects of the LGPS transparency code, said it was only when data started appearing on spreadsheets that the true extent of costs would become apparent. “There is a long way to go,” he warned.IPE reported yesterday that the LGPS is expecting its code to reveal investment costs across its 89 member schemes in excess of £1bn (€1.1bn) for 2017.Unison has demanded representation on the FCA’s working party on transparency. Other expected representatives will come from the IA, the British Venture Capital Association, and the Department for Work and Pensions. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is set to bring relevant stakeholders together to devise standardised templates for reporting costs and charges to all UK institutional investors.The regulator announced in its Asset Management Market Study, published this morning, that it would “ask an independent person to convene a group of relevant stakeholders together” to develop the templates.The FCA claimed the City of London would attract more international fund flows as a result of the greater competitiveness increased disclosure would engender.The templates developed by the working party should apply to both “mainstream and alternative asset classes”, the FCA said.last_img read more