SMC SGA president, VP speak out on divisive topics, encourage respect for all students’ viewpoints

first_imgIn the beginning of their term as student body president and vice president, seniors Kaitlyn Baker and Maddie Kohler set goals to collaborate with Notre Dame, increase campus safety and be transparent, and now at the end of the semester Baker said new initiatives have propelled those goals forward.This year, Baker said campus safety has been one of Student Government Association’s (SGA) main initiatives this semester.She said there has been a minor setback with updating the app in the Apple App Store, but they hope it will be ready to download for the spring semester.Another initiative Baker and Kohler campaigned for was collaboration among the tri-campus community.Baker said they meet monthly with Notre Dame’s student government. It can be difficult, she said, because Notre Dame’s student government functions very differently from Saint Mary’s.On the subject of working with their respective administrations (or boards of trustees), Baker said the student governments of Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s differ greatly.Members of the SGA leadership get to meet with the Board of Trustees every time they come to campus to update the Board on campus happenings and issues, whereas Notre Dame student government only gets to bring one issue as a formal proposal to their Board of Trustees each year.Kohler said one new initiative, the “Big Belle, Little Belle” program ­chaired by the First Year Concerns committee, pairs a juniors with first-year students.More first-year students signed up than juniors, Kohler said, so SGA reached out to seniors to mentor the newest students. The program allows older students to mentor the newest Belles and provide the sense of the sisterhood the College prides itself on.SGA expects this program to become a Saint Mary’s tradition, Baker said, which allows the “big” and “little” pair to spend time together doing a variety of activities throughout the year.Food Week was also a huge success this year, Kohler said, with themed dinners each night and a food truck arriving on campus at the end of the week.Students were able to purchase meal tickets in the dining hall and get their dinner from a food truck for another option.The SGA Finance Committee, led by vice president of finance senior Shannon Golden, has changed this year, Baker said. The committee is now made up of the class senators, two from each class, including one senator at large from the graduate program.“This committee of senators reviews all requests for SGA funding and can decide to approve or deny [requests.]” Baker said. “We worked with [2014-2015 SGA president] McKenna [Schuster] and [vice president] Sam [Moorhead] at the end of their term last year to rewrite the finance outlaws because they were severely outdated.”From this budget, the “big” boards including Student Activities Board (SAB), Student Diversity Board (SDB), Residence Hall Association (RHA) and SGA are allotted a percentage of the total budget that comes from student fees included in tuition.“As of right now, Senate meets on a need basis,” Baker said. “They met in the beginning of the year to approve the budgets and they will meet again before the semester ends.”Instead of promoting to SMCard that last year’s administration started, Baker said SGA has invested in ID scanners to track attendance at events.Students scan their IDs at events, which electronically tracks the number of students attending.Baker said the scanner helps with planning and improving events, more than incentivizing attendance like past SMCards.“With the scanner, we can look at what are the events students are going to and allows to prioritize where funds should go,” she said.Since much of SGA funds comes from the student fees, Baker said, the scanners provide data on successful events and events that may need more planning.In response to the Planned Parenthood controversy in November, Baker released a statement about the importance of heeding all student voices.“I also believe that there are two sides to every story, and in most cases, even more than two sides,” Baker said in her statement. “It is important for us as young women to be well-educated and then given the freedom to think critically about what we have learned, form our own opinions and stand up for what we believe is right.”Baker said her statement was about respect on campus and confronting controversial topics as a community.“As a student leader, [students] needed to respond,” she said. “[Planned Parenthood] was a big topic for several weeks. To not say anything about it would have been ignorant if we’re supposed to be the voice of the students and advocate for students.“Anytime there’s a controversial topic, people are opinionated. But the most important thing was reiterate that we’re all still Belles and should have respect for the community.”Last week, SGA and SDB hosted a student dialogue event, closed to faculty, staff and the media.The idea for the student dialogue followed campus controversy about Planned Parenthood, but also in light of the harassment junior Maranda Pennington faced when a homophobic slur was written on her whiteboard.“We broadened the event to be an opportunity to discuss all of the types of controversy that have been occurring and how we can move forward, make changes and be better as a community,” Baker said.Students had the opportunity to voice their opinions, she said, but at the end of the event, all students in the room recognized the importance of their fellow Belles.Kohler said SGA hopes the event was a learning opportunity for students who attended.“We [closed] the event knowing that we are still one community [and] it’s okay that we are at a Catholic institution and have different beliefs,” she said.Each year the College focuses on one of the four core values: faith/spirituality, justice, community and learning. This year, Kohler said, the College has chosen community. In response, SGA has been encouraging committee chairs to think about this year’s core value when planning their events.The student dialogue was an example of SGA’s dedication to community, she said.“We are trying to engage the community and keep all students in the know,” Kohler said.Correction: The Kohler-Baker administration grade that ran in the Student Government Insider on Dec. 11 said, “Baker and Kohler have worked to be transparent, but have failed to do so in the SGA financial restructuring.” The financial policy was restructured by the Schuster-Moorhead administration in the 2014-2015 academic year. The Observer regrets this error.Tags: SMC SGA, student government in focuslast_img read more

Governor Wolf Announces Launch of Electronic Permit Application for Coal Mines

first_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Governor Wolf Announces Launch of Electronic Permit Application for Coal Mines Efficiency,  Environment,  Government That Works,  Press Release,  Results,  Transparency Harrisburg, PA – Governor Wolf today announced that the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has launched an electronic mining permit application for surface coal mines that will make the permit review process faster for DEP and operators and provide more transparency to the public.“The new e-permit process allows the department to better respond to business needs by streamlining steps and eliminating redundancies in the permitting process,” said Governor Wolf. “Additionally, the online process delivers an increased level of transparency for Pennsylvania citizens with easier access for public comment.”The new e-permit will apply to surface bituminous coal operators applying for new operating permits, and for the first time allows operators to pay permit fees online.“Shifting our permitting from a pen and paper application to an online process is a critical step in making DEP a more efficient and streamlined agency,” said Acting DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “It also improves the public accessibility of data, as permit applications will be available online rather than in district mining offices.”The mining e-permit application includes an electronic public report that allows citizens and other agencies to review and comment on an application via a notice in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. Currently, citizens must visit a district mining office or local conservation district to review paper applications and provide their comments by mail or email.The mining e-permit application is DEP’s first step in shifting agency-wide permitting from paper to online applications, part of a major campaign to modernize technology at DEP that launched in January 2016.The e-permit was developed by both the DEP Mining Program and Bureau of Information Technology, with input from industry partners. Following a training webinar on February 10, the e-permit application for bituminous surface mine operators launched on February 13. Continued industry input on the application will inform planned future upgrades.center_img March 10, 2017last_img read more

Los Angeles Clippers’ Jamal Crawford cracks top 10 for career 3-pointers

first_imgCrawford, 34, might be right about not being at Ellis’ level, though. Ellis, who retired in 2000, had a career 3-point shooting percentage of 40.3. Crawford, in his 15th season, has a career percentage of 35.1.Crawford intimated he didn’t want to get too caught up in the accomplishment.“I don’t know, I would honestly have to think about it,” he said. “I’m trying to stay in the moment and then one day when it’s over, I can sit back and look at it.”Chris Paul passes Jerry WestPoint guard Chris Paul had a season-high 15 assists Monday, passing former Lakers star Jerry West for 25th on the all-time assists list with 6,241; West had 6,238. By going 5-for-8 from 3-point range in Monday’s 113-92 victory at Charlotte, Clippers sixth-man Jamal Crawford moved into 10th-place all-time in made 3-point baskets with 1,723, surpassing Dale Ellis, who had 1,719.Afterward, the humble Crawford — a Seattle native — recalled watching one particular performance by Ellis, who spent six-plus of his 17 seasons in the NBA with the Seattle SuperSonics.“I was at a game in Seattle when he (Ellis) hit nine 3s,” said Crawford, whose team plays at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday at Detroit (on Prime Ticket). “To me, I’m not in that level of shooting. So to hear those names, it’s unbelievable. Last year I passed Steve Nash.”The Lakers’ Nash is 12th with 1,685. The Clippers made 51 percent (45 of 88) percent of their shots Monday, and a terrific 46.9 percent (15 of 32) from 3-point range.But Paul didn’t want to take any credit for the way the team shot.“We just made shots; I think the bigs did a great job of rolling,” Paul said. “When you see J.J. and the rest of the guys get open 3s, it’s not because I did anything special, it’s because our bigs rolled.”Rivers expects Detroit’s bestClippers coach Doc Rivers hinted to reporters that just because this next game at Detroit will come against a team that was just 3-10 ahead of its game Tuesday at Milwaukee and sitting next-to-last in the Eastern Conference, the Pistons won’t be a tough nut to crack.“Everyone is gunning for every team in the West since we’re all supposedly really good,” Rivers said. “When you’re on the road, it’s always hard to win. I don’t think people appreciate how hard one win is.“We are just taking this one game at a time and we know Detroit will be ready. We have to be ready.”This and thatPoint guard Brandon Jennings led the Pistons in scoring, assists and steals with respective averages of 16.0, 5.8 and 1.5 before Tuesday. Center Andre Drummond was pulling down 11.6 rebounds and blocking 1.5 shots per game with an 8.7 scoring average. … Blake Griffin’s 16 rebounds Monday were a season-high. … After Detroit, the Clippers (8-5) will finish their seven-game road trip — they are 3-1 so far — with games Friday at Houston and Saturday at Utah. … Charlotte (4-11) now has a six-game losing streak. … Clippers small forward Matt Barnes missed Monday’s game with a calf injury and Reggie Bullock started in his place. center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

Thanks to Steve Ballmer, Clippers have a rich 3-peat

first_img• Who is the richest person that dares to claim a Los Angeles home address?It’s Elon Musk (Tesla Motors, Space X and Solar City), at No. 34 with $11.6 billion. That’s a billion more than when you combine the next two locals — computer hardware guys David Sun of Irvine and John Tu of Rolling Hills, both at $5.3 billion.What would it take to create Team Musk-Sun-Tu, paired up with pharmaceuticals king Patrick Soon-Shiong ($9.2 billion), and do a hungry, hungry hippo hostile takeover of the Buss Family Dollar Lakers? Then recruit Ed Roski ($4.9 billion, No. 110 overall) to erect them a long-overdue arena in the San Fernando Valley?• Did you know this Forbes’ list has 44 owners among the wealthiest Americans, compared to 32 in 2013? And that doesn’t even account for Sir Phil Knight, No. 18 at $25.5 billion, and his Nike-juiced influence on college football’s shoe and apparel market.How much longer can the Green Bay Packers’ fan-ownership model last in the 21st century?• Unclear about the definition of a stampede? It’s what the Coliseum will see this weekend, with Colorado’s Buffaloes on Saturday and Buffalo’s Bills on Sunday. Just remember to repair your divots and make sure all visiting mascots make their donations at the bins located throughout the stadium so the field can be properly fertilized.• Whether or not you want to believe a climate-changing weather pattern known as Hurricane Matthew will wreak havoc with Saturday’s college football schedule, this has to put the Miami Hurricanes in an awkward spot as they wonder if their ESPN prime-time showdown against Florida State in Tallahassee will take place.Here, a school boasting of a nickname that represents mayhem and the probable loss of lives and destruction of property also is the state of Florida’s highest-ranked football team.Are boosters required to put themselves at risk because of a hurricane to go see the Hurricanes? What say you, supporters of the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes?• Why, again, might you hate Tom Brady?“It’s nothing personal,” says Jeanie Buss in a new BleacherReport.com story. “I just find him annoying. … Honestly, I’m sort of ashamed to admit it. Because he’s probably a nice guy. But I hate Tom Brady.”And as for your brothers … ?• Jim Mora has been reprimanded, based on comments he made on the UCLA football postgame radio show, questioning the officials after the Bruins’ 21-point win over Arizona last Saturday night.Because someone actually heard the remarks on their car radio driving out of the Rose Bowl and reported it to the proper authorities? It’s the third year in a row Baller Steve has magically topped the team owners’ Richie Rich list, sneaking up on the field from No. 21 in 2015 ($21.6 billion), and No. 18 in 2014 ($22.5 billion).You can’t stop all the macro-hard work he put into Microsoft, you can only hope he contains it with a long-term deal for Chris Paul, his new vision of televising Clippers games with technology we may not even have yet, and the construction of a new arena he promises to build somewhere, some day, and without your tax money.• How must this Ballmer stronghold continue to overshadow the existence of Punxsutawney Phil Anschutz?The Denver-content owner of the NHL’s Kings and MLS’ Galaxy comes in with $10.9 billion, which relegates him to No. 39 overall on the wealthy Americans list and No. 3 on the owners.His satisfaction must come in the fact he has a sizable edge over No. 4 owner (and No. 58 overall) Stanley Kroenke, whose sports arsenal includes your Los Angeles Rams as well as Arsenal FC. The Columbia, Mo., resident can write a check for $7.4 billion if he pleases, and it could be larger once his new Inglewood stadium and theme park — not yet dubbed StanleyLand — is fully realized. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img The most loaded owner in all of pro team sports?Ask Chuck, the Clippers’ mascot, why he still exists. There’s your first clue.Forbes confirmed our greatest unfounded fears this week with its annual ranking of America’s wealthiest individuals. Breaking it off into a subset of those who also gleefully possess their own sporting tax writeoff, your own Steve Ballmer of Hunts Point, Wash., the 15th-richest in the Gates/Bezos/Buffett/Zuckerberg orbit, has what’s believed to be 27.5 billion reasons to make the Clippers great again.(Or, at least very above average. Which Donald T. Sterling found to be a comfortable way to exist among all his piles of gold).last_img read more