first_imgBefore coming to Notre Dame, assistant band director Justin McManus said he thought working for the Band of the Fighting Irish was one of the “wonder” jobs.Now the band’s assistant director, McManus said belonging to the organization has been an experience unlike any other.“It’s unique because you get a different appreciation for [Notre Dame],” he said.In order to share this experience with current students, as well as provide them with a chance to learn more about the program, the Notre Dame Band will be hosting an open house Thursday at 5 p.m. in the Ricci Band Rehearsal Hall. The event will give students a chance to familiarize themselves with the opportunities the band offers as well as talk to current band members.McManus, who first proposed the open house, said the event was developed to improve the program’s recruitment of non-freshmen. The band has no trouble recruiting students who are new to campus but struggles to draw in upperclassmen and graduate students, he said.Many students interested in band are hesitant to join freshman year because they’re concerned about the time commitment and would rather focus their energy on adjusting to college life, McManus said.“Then they think they just can’t join after freshman year,” he said.McManus said he hopes the open house will both help to dispel this assumption and provide students with the information they need to get involved.The open house will commence with a brief overview of the program, which will include a description of the different types of bands and ensembles it offers as well as their respective time commitments and skill requirements, McManus said. In addition, the event will have 17 different instruments available for students to try and there will also be a tour of the band facilities.Junior MacKenzie Cavanagh and senior Brynn Alexander, the two band ambassador coordinators, will be joining McManus to provide a student perspective on joining the band.Alexander said she hopes the event will provide students with a “fun way to get to know the band and see if it’s a good fit.”Students do not need to be well-versed in an instrument to join, McManus said. The sheer breadth of the band program provides a place for all students, from beginners to long-time experts, he said.For example, several bands are better suited for beginners, such as the basketball band and hockey band, Cavanagh said. After becoming well-acquainted with an instrument, students can audition for programs requiring more skill, such as the marching band, she said.Cavanagh said the band is eager to work with individuals of all skill sets and works to accommodate each individual in their specific needs.“Everyone is very welcoming,” she said. “Everyone is very supportive.”Tags: Band of the Fighting Irish, Open House, Ricci Band Rehearsal Halllast_img read more

first_img December 15, 2004 Letters December 15, 2004 Letters LettersSettlement Disbursements Those who are suggesting that we interpret the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar to prevent attorneys from allowing their clients to receive the entire settlement proceeds and pay their own bills (See Proposed Ethics Opinion 00-2 Reconsideration) must not be dealing with our state’s upstanding citizens. Attorneys are already thought of suspiciously in our society. (Witness the passage of Amendment 3). Who is going to be the one to tell a client, “The Bar has decided that you cannot be trusted to pay your bills. So I cannot let the business/person/insurance company defendant who harmed you pay you everything they owe you. I must insist that the defendants pay me that portion of the settlement that you owe to others. No, no, that isn’t because we think we’re more trustworthy than you. Yes, we know that there was already a rule that prevents our participation in fraud (as though we need a rule in order to prevent us from doing so). But the Bar decided (for some reason that is unfathomable to me, unless pure greed for IOTA) this is just to make sure that third parties get paid what they should. Sorry.” Doesn’t anyone else have honorable clients who pay their bills and will be absolutely outraged by this stealing of client funds and evidence of complete lack of respect for them? Interpreting the rules this way will only persuade those who remain firmly supportive of attorneys that their confidence may be misplaced. Please don’t do this. Rosemary N. Palmer Tallahassee Amendment 3 Amendment 3 limiting attorneys’ fees in medical malpractice cases was sold to Floridians as a cure to the state’s so-called malpractice crisis. reducing attorneys’ fees, more money would be put into the hands of victims of medical malpractice instead of the greedy lawyers. There would be no more frivolous lawsuits and those really injured get more money. Doctors would stop leaving the state in droves. Sounds good, right? Consider these facts: • The U.S. General Accounting Office issued a report in 2003 — Medical Malpractice: Implications of Rising Premiums on Access to Health Care — that examined this issue in nine states. The GAO concluded that there is no exodus of physicians from Florida. The number of new medical licenses issued in Florida increased from 3,239 in 2000 to 3,577 in 2001, while the numbers of physicians per person has remained stable. • The same GAO report also concluded that jury awards of any size were rare, and big jury awards (greater than $1 million) were rarer still. The GAO concluded that the rising costs of malpractice premiums were the result of insurance companies’ investment losses as well as extremely competitive pricing for insurance premiums in the 1990’s. • There is no such thing as a frivolous medical malpractice case. Florida Statutes require that before a health care provider can even be put on notice of a potential claim by a lawyer, an opinion must be obtained by a physician in the same specialty area that malpractice has occurred. This opinion routinely costs thousands of dollars that the lawyer must pay before any claim is filed. Lawyers are business people like anyone else; they do not invest in cases that do not have merit. • Lowering attorneys’ fees in medical malpractice cases will deny injured people access to the courts. Amendment 3 limits the amount of money a victim of medical malpractice may spend on his/her attorney but places no such limitation on how much can be spent on the defense of a malpractice case. • There is no malpractice crisis. GE Medical Protective, the nation’s largest medical malpractice insurer, admitted in filings with the Texas Department of Insurance that caps would not result in lower premiums. • Medical malpractice payouts are less than 1 percent of total U.S. Health Care costs. All losses (verdicts, settlements, legal fees, etc.,) have stayed under 1 percent for the last 18 years, according to Americans for Insurance Reform. The bottom line is Amendment 3 will not result in anything but less accountability for those health care providers that are hurting Floridians and make it more difficult for those injured Floridians to take them to court. America has prided itself on the jury system for more than 200 years, and the statistics show it works. Floridians have been fooled into giving up their rights. Lawrence J. Marraffino Gainesville Medical malpractice and contingency fee tort lawyers need no financial assistance from other members of The Florida Bar, especially sole practitioners like myself and small firm lawyers who struggle to make a living and pay for their children’s higher education. I find it incomprehensible and a probable dereliction of duty, no matter how many self-serving legal opinions were obtained, that The Florida Bar Board of Governors had the audacity to donate $100,000 of the members’ funds and another $100,000 from a fund whose objective, as its name states, is to promote the Maintenance of Excellence (of Florida lawyers) in an attempt to defeat a constitutional amendment that affects a small percentage of the most affluent members of the Bar. Incidentally, as I assume everyone on the board had known, our re-elected president’s platform included a cap on awards to medical malpractice and the contingency fee tort lawyers. I trust the board members are familiar with what John Edwards and his team of contingency fee tort lawyers, and others like them, did to the affected physicians’ liability insurance rates in North Carolina. Fortunately, the board’s ill-advised donations were not successful in defeating Amendment 3. But, the $200,000 that was morally, ethically, and perhaps legally wrong to donate can never be returned. If the board had to seek legal opinions in an effort to protect itself, that alone should have prevented the board from going ahead with the donations. I trust that no members of the board, Legislation Committee, or other persons of authority that were involved in the decision to make the incomprehensible donations do not have any possible conflict of interest. If so, such lawyer(s) that may have a conflict of interest should immediately resign their positions that involve trust and fiduciary responsibility with a public apology to the general Florida Bar membership. John W. Field Deerfield Beach At a recent Spellman-Hoeveler Inn of Court meeting, a prominent plaintiff’s attorney spoke regarding Amendment 3. He began by discussing the exorbitant costs associated with medical malpractice cases and mentioned that in most of the cases his firm handles 25 percent of the fee immediately goes out as a “referral fee.” The primary argument was that attorneys would not take some cases because it will not be financially feasible, thereby restricting patients’ ability to bring suit. That argument really has little weight because Amendment 3 allows for costs prior to calculating the attorney fees. What the amendment does is prevent a lawyer from making a windfall. We, as a Bar, are looking to place blame on doctors for offering an amendment to the “easily misled” public. This is not where culpability rests. The responsibility for Amendment 3 is squarely on our shoulders. We have allowed our image to degrade to the point that the general public views lawyers on par with traditionally mistrusted occupations such as used car salesmen. We have allowed what is a noble profession to become a business. The “business of law” cannot survive as a self-regulating practice; we must maintain it as a profession, or expect to be regulated by others. We hold a particular grasp over access to the courts — to justice. Meanwhile, a small number of lawyers have turned that position into a monopoly used to make unreasonable profit at the expense of our reputations. Our failure is allowing this conduct to become the norm. For example, when did it become acceptable to pay out referral fees? Amendment 3 could have been predicted years ago when polls were coming out reflecting public opinion that held lawyers in such poor regard. We attempted to respond and the Dignity in Law campaign was launched in early 2002. The miscalculation on our part was viewing the problem of public perception as one that could be remedied through a PR-styled attack. The $20 million spent opposing Amendment 3 should be a wake-up call that this strategy will not work; the problem must be dealt with at the source — the sisters and brothers of the Bar. Physicians are not to blame for Amendment 3; we are responsible for failing to maintain the practice of law as a profession. Marshall Dore Louis Miamilast_img read more

first_imgA proposal for a new set of figures to be reported by Swiss Pensionskassen has been rejected by the Swiss government for cost reasons.Two years ago, consultancy PPCmetrics was commissioned by the Swiss government to look into the financial figures currently reported by Swiss Pensionskassen.It was to determine whether these figures gave an indication of the true economic situation of a pension fund and which indicators might make their reports more comparable.The final report by PPCmetrics has now been published (see link below), and includes a proposal for new key figures to be reported by the Pensionskassen. The suggestion was that these would allow the supervisory authorities to devise a traffic-light system to identify and monitor those pension funds whose financial sustainability is compromised. However, the government has decided it will not make any new set of key figures mandatory.“For the government it is questionable whether the profit of a unified model would justify the costs,” it said in a press release.Lukas Riesen, partner at PPCmetrics, thought it was question of political will more than costs.“The government has decided against increased transparency,” he told IPE.He added: “The basic information for the figures we proposed is already being calculated by the pension funds – it would have been a simplification to concentrate on a few meaningful figures.”In their report PPCmetrics found that many figures currently reported by the pension funds were not really helpful.Current standard indicators like the funding level do not take into account the technical parameters applied to calculate it or the ratio of active to retired members in a fund.Riesen does not think any supervisory body will go against the government’s position by prescribing the use of the proposed new set of key indicators. “But the economic reality will force many pension funds to look at their true financial status,” he said.According to him many pension funds and also some supervisory authorities that are “taking risk management seriously” are already calculating economically true funding levels and other amended benchmark figures.“Our set of key figures takes a longer-term look at the financial situation of a pension fund both from the perspective of a provider as well as that of an active member,” he explained.Under current regulations pension funds are free to report funding levels based on any parameters they choose, but an economically true valuation would mean they have to report a lower funding level.,Supporting documents Click link to download and view these files PPC Metrics Feasibility Study (with English language summary)PDF, Size 1.49 mblast_img read more

first_imgVice President for Student Affairs Michael L. Jackson spoke of his focus on leadership, love and faith as part of the What Matters to Me and Why lectures series on Wednesday.Jackson discussed his belief that each event in our lives is “magical, mystical and part of a divine plan” that shapes our personalities.Leader · Michael Jackson, vice president for student affairs, spoke about his activism during his time at a Calif. boarding school and Stanford University. – Corey Marquetti | Daily TrojanFor Jackson, one of these “magical” events was his experience as the first black student to attend Stevenson School in Pebble Beach, Calif. When the boarding school began looking to integrate in the 1960s, a family friend offered Jackson the chance to enroll.Jackson continued to make waves after his enrollment as well.As a 15-year-old, Jackson wrote a letter to the student body and faculty objecting to a tradition called “Slave Day,” where seniors could buy younger students for the day. Soon after, the school discontinued the activity.He said this was the first moment he realized the impact he could have on others.“I began to get this image of myself as the hub in the middle of a wheel,” Jackson said. “I would be helping people in all kinds of different ways and they would come in and out of my life and I would be in and out of their lives, but I would be a connection point for folks.”Jackson also spoke of his undergraduate years at Stanford, where he said he had to learn to “know himself.”He described one conflict he had with the Black Student Union — instead of hanging out only with other black students in the club, Jackson said he became friends with people of all backgrounds.“I knew I had to be my own person and develop relationships that were important to me, regardless of race, ethnicity or gender,” Jackson said.These experiences in his young adult life propelled Jackson into focusing on what he calls “spiritual leadership.”Jackson said once he began to understand the impact he could have on other people, he learned to focus on maintaining mental clarity and humility to get things done. Jackson cited the 13 years he spent working to build the Ronald Tutor Campus Center as an example of this leadership style.“We could have never done that as a collective if we put our egos in front and made it about us,” Jackson said. “We were focused on the higher result. We tried to have sharp elbows to ensure that we fulfilled our vision for what that center could become.”Finally, Jackson spoke of love as the driving force behind all his work.“Let’s talk about love — I can’t live without it. I love each of you, I love my wife, I love my family,” Jackson said. “I think part of God’s plan is that this wonderful word called love gets actualized in the way we are a community for one another.”Though he acknowledged love can come in many different forms, Jackson said he believes trying to find love in everything is the thread connecting every piece of his life.“How I go about spreading this love is the work I do in this role as a Vice President for Student Affairs at USC,” Jackson said. “I work with the goal of providing environments that allow others to thrive and fulfill their dreams and their hopes so they can go out and spread peace and love.”As vice president for student affairs, Jackson’s department oversees the Office of Student Publications, which includes the Daily Trojan.last_img read more