Members reflect on past year, look forward

first_imgThe Campus Life Council wrapped up discussions for the year Monday with closing comments on the academic environment on campus and the Council’s effectiveness as a part of student government.Former student body president Grant Schmidt presented an executive summary of the previous weeks’ talks on intellectual engagement. “The point of this document is really a transition piece so the ideas that we have worked on do not get lost in conversation between this year and next year,” former chief of staff Ryan Brellenthin said. The summary included setting up an online debate forum for students to share their ideas in a blog format, keeping lecture topics general and more appealing, encouraging more dorm events and connections between the academic commissioners and televising lecture and events through NDtv. “One of the great blessings of this University that I have experienced over a period of time is that people are not cutthroat with each other,” Sorin College rector Fr. Jim King said.The suggestions that the Council members will pass on to the incoming student government focus on extracurricular competition that is fun for students and unique toNotre Dame, said former senator Chase Riddle. The Council also reflected on other discussions from the span of the year and provided feedback for future Council members. “The great part of this Council is that it is not just students,” Schmidt said. Rectors and administrators on the council are able to check some student opinions, but also provide affirmation for others, he said. King said he hoped to see the Council hold future discussions on the role, importance and quality of hall government. “What attraction do I have to join hall government if I am made to feel like a gopher?” he said.The government inside residence halls needs to be more autonomous and less directed by outside groups, King said.Over-programming on campus has led to hall government taking the role of liaison for different agencies, and dorm events fall from the precedent, former director of external affairs Gus Gari said. “Hall government should be student-based and student-run rather than agency-based,” he said.Former Hall Presidents Council co-chair Brendan McQueeney emphasized the need for tangible goals to bring action to student government rather than turning meetings into lists of announcements. “By having these simple conversations we are really making a difference and improving the University,” Schmidt said.last_img read more

From inside North Korea: Sides must ease up on rhetoric

first_imgCategories: Editorial, OpinionPYONGYANG, North Korea — North Korea’s capital city is awash in propaganda.Posters depicting missiles, some striking the U.S. Capitol, hang along major streets.In recent days, a million civilians, including high school students, factory workers and older men who long ago completed their military service, have signed up at the government’s request to fight the United States, if needed.“The situation on the Korean Peninsula is on the eve of the breakout of nuclear war,” Choe Kang Il, a senior Foreign Ministry official told me and three New York Times colleagues during a visit last week.Does that mean war is inevitable? “I think it depends on the attitude of the United States,” he replied.There is no sign of any unusual military mobilization in Pyongyang or along the perpetually tense border with South Korea to suggest imminent conflict. U.S., North Korean and South Korean soldiers stand duty as usual at the Demilitarized Zone separating the sides since the 1950-53 Korean War, and tourists, as well as journalists like us, still visit there. I most wanted to learn whether the North Koreans were open to nuclear talks with the United States and what it might take to get a deal.In the 1990s, the two sides reached an agreement that froze the North’s plutonium program for eight years and made progress on missile limits.But these initiatives fell apart in the George W. Bush administration, and today North Korea has at least 20 nuclear weapons and missiles that soon might be able to reach the continental United States, a level of technological prowess that President Donald Trump has said he won’t tolerate.In Choe’s telling, North Korea was driven to become a nuclear power in self-defense against the United State’s “nuclear blackmail,” sanctions, history of confrontation, and affront to the sovereignty and dignity of the state.The North must establish “a balance of power” to hold Washington at bay, finally replace the Korean War armistice with a permanent peace treaty and focus attention on economic development, he said.Therein seemed to be the answer to my question of whether and under what circumstances the North would be open to talks.Only when Washington makes a “bold decision” to end its military exercises with South Korea, halt sanctions and cease moves that diplomatically isolate North Korea can a dialogue between the two countries bear fruit, he added. Our interviews have persuaded me that it is also imperative for Washington to ease up on the rhetoric.Trump’s speech to the U.N. General Assembly last month crossed a line for many North Koreans because it made the fight deeply personal, disparaging Kim as “rocket man” and threatening to “totally destroy North Korea,” a country of 26 million people.The Trump administration insists there can be no talks until the North halts missile and nuclear tests for an unspecified period.Hence, stalemate, and a dangerous one.Allowing the shouting match and muscle-flexing on both sides to gather momentum can come to no good.Carol Giacomo, a member of The New York Times Editorial Board, is a former diplomatic correspondent for Reuters in Washington and covered foreign policy for the international wire service for more than two decades. Yet as Washington and Pyongyang confront each other over the North’s advancing nuclear weapons capability, the warlike rhetoric is escalating and, with it, the risk of conflict.After four days in North Korea, I am not at all sure that this standoff will end well.It was unsettling to hear ordinary North Koreans talk of war with calm acceptance and buy their government’s propaganda happy talk about certain victory over the United States.We also heard some people say that while they hate the U.S. government, they harbor no ill will toward Americans and would prefer to live in peace.One woman was nearly in tears describing her mixed feelings about the United States.I have been writing about North Korea since 1992, when President George H.W. Bush’s administration held the United States’ first meeting with Pyongyang since the Korean War to discuss what was then an incipient nuclear program. I had long wanted to visit.What made it possible now is that North Korea, the world’s least transparent country, has decided to embark on a charm offensive, inviting major U.S. news organizations on separate visits this year to learn more about its economic and political goals.center_img Our trip has not been without some risk, given the way the American student Otto Warmbier, who was detained in Pyongyang after allegedly trying to steal a poster, fell into a coma under circumstances that remain mysterious and died days after being returned to the United States.While I and the other Times journalists were invited by the Foreign Ministry (The Times paid all expenses), the diplomats don’t control the security services, and our attempts to report have been a balance between trying to get the most authentic information we can (a struggle) and not running afoul of security.Two government minders accompanied us except when we were in our rooms.We were allowed to visit a silk factory, the science and technology complex (computers are connected to an internal intranet, not the internet), an elite high school and an anti-American war museum, as well as an amusement park, restaurants and a dolphinarium — evidence of Kim Jong Un’s efforts to allow citizens of Pyongyang, where the elite live, opportunities for fun.Our requests to see the three remaining U.S. detainees were refused.Despite such controls, there have been some moments of spontaneous humanity.After dinner one night, a senior official led me briefly in ballroom dancing on the sidewalk outside a restaurant. More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: 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: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristslast_img read more

Joint powers entity is key to university

first_imgBoth CSU Bakersfield and CSU Fresno offer upper-division and graduate-level courses in the Antelope Valley using a combination of classroom space at a satellite campus on the north end of Antelope Valley College and at a building at the former Antelope Valley Fairgrounds at Avenue I and Division. james.skeen@dailynews (661) 267-5743160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! LANCASTER – The next immediate steps in trying to establish a four-year university in the High Desert will be the formation of a joint powers authority, according to project advocates. The Antelope Valley Board of Trade, which has been developing a higher-education master plan, is backing the formation of a joint powers authority to oversee the push for a four-year college. After discussions with California State University officials, AVBOT’s board of directors agreed to endorse the joint powers authority. State Sen. George Runner, R-Lancaster, who has been working for more than a decade to enhance the region’s higher-education opportunities, had pushed the idea of a joint powers authority as a coordinating body for the effort. “I think it’s going to be important to have an organized, regional voice,” Runner said. “We need to promote the current education opportunities, see what opportunities there might be for additional programs, and lay groundwork for a four-year university.” A planning group is working to determine the framework for a joint powers authority. One meeting was held with representatives of Antelope Valley College, the Antelope Valley Union High School District, Kern and Los Angeles counties, and the cities of Lancaster and Palmdale. Representatives from Tehachapi and California City have been invited to the next meeting in April, said Jackie Fisher, president of Antelope Valley College. AVBOT has completed a master plan for higher education, but has not yet made it public. The plan will go to the joint powers authority, once it is formed. It will serve as a supporting document for a formal university proposal that the JPA will develop, said Cathy Hart, AVBOT’s executive director. “The master plan was never intended to be the actual university proposal itself – only a first step – but it will be a very useful document that will save the JPA a considerable amount of research time,” Hart said. CSU officials have indicated there are no plans in the near term to add another campus. In conversations with Runner and with AVBOT representatives, CSU officials said the best way to bring in a campus would be to support the continued expansion of the Lancaster University Center. last_img read more

Know The Right Time to Cut Product Features

first_imgEven though it can be painful, eventually you’ll need to cut product features before they begin weighing you down.  You put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into your products. You’ve certainly committed to it and, most likely, devoted many hours and resources to perfecting it. But what if something just isn’t resonating with your user base? In this post at On Product Management, Liraz Axelrad explains how to step back and recognize the need to cut product features. It takes an objective view, says Axelrad, which is not an inherently easy thing to do when you’ve been so closely connected to a project for so long. Click through to discover questions you can ask yourself that should help you realize whether to abandon a feature or to improve upon it. Additional ResourcesProduct Positioning: Looking Beyond Your Own Features Product Management Guide Product Management Advice from Jeremy Horn   Photo by: Quinn DombrowskiAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to PrintPrintShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThislast_img read more