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Award for Rwandan President protested

first_imgA student has organised a campaign to oppose President Paul Kagame of Rwanda being given an award by the Said Business School.Salvator Cusimano, a postgraduate student at St Antony’s College, has started a petition against the visit on 18 May. The letter, which has been signed by tutors including the founder of Oxford’s Refugee Studies Centre, states that Kagame should not be invited due to his allegedly undemocratic record.Kagame is visiting Oxford to receive the “the inaugural Distinction of Honor for African Growth Award”, an award organised by students at the school. Having been President since 2000, he was central to the reconstruction of Rwanda after the 1994 genocide. However, critics argue that his regime has been a poor human rights record.The petition, which was launched on 7 May, states, “The Oxford Business Network for Africa should cancel their engagement with Mr. Kagame immediately, based on his well-documented record of serious and ongoing human rights abuses within Rwanda and in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. “Inviting Mr. Kagame to accept an award suggests that the Oxford Business Network for Africa, the Saïd Business School, and the University of Oxford condone Mr. Kagame’s actions, and sends the wrong message about the University’s commitment to peace, development, and human rights.It continues, “Bestowing any honour upon Mr. Kagame at a time when he and his government are becoming increasingly isolated in the face of mounting evidence of their gross human rights violations represents a serious error of judgment.”As of 9 May, the petition has 712 signatures, with a goal of 1000.Professor Peter Tufano, Peter Moores Dean at Saïd Business School, told Cherwell, “The Oxford Africa Business Conference is a student-led event, held by the Oxford Business Network for Africa, a student organisation.”“We prize open discussion and in line with the University’s Freedom of Speech policy we have not sought to prevent the students from extending this invitation. President Kagame’s presence in the Saïd Business School does not imply any endorsement by the School or the University of his views or actions. We are aware that President Kagame is considered by some to be a controversial figure and there will be the opportunity for those present to challenge him as appropriate.”The award is being given by students, not the Said Business School.Cusimano told Cherwell, “I’m organizing the campaign not because I oppose Mr. Kagame’s visit; I think that it could have provided a platform for an excellent discussion if framed appropriately. I started the campaign because the event was not only happening without any apparent critical discussion, but was lauding him at a time when the extent of his government’s abuses are becoming ever more apparent.” He continued, “I set out with the hope that the Conference organizers might reverse their decision to reward Mr. Kagame, but more broadly to ensure that the Oxford community was aware of both sides of the story.” According to Amnesty International, “opposition figures and journalists remain in danger of arbitrary and impartial prosecution” and Freedom House has said that Rwanda is “not free”.Carina Tertsakian, a researcher of Rwanda for Human Rights Watch, told Cherwell, “We’re certainly concerned this kind of event gives the impression that everything is alright in Rwanda, and downplays the government’s continuing human rights abuses.”Yet Kagame’s regime has been praised by some commentators, with Bill Clinton describing him as “one of the greatest leaders of our time.” Rwanda was the first country which wasn’t formerly a British Commonwealth to join the Commonwealth in 2009. Until last year, the UK contributed £21m in development aid to Rwanda annually, and Tony Blair remains an unpaid government advisor.last_img read more

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University announces details of six semester policy

first_imgEarly in the fall semester of 2017, the Office of Residential Life announced a new policy mandating that, beginning with the class of 2022, students are required to live on campus for six semesters. Immediately following the announcement, students expressed concerns about the policy regarding the safety and security of students who want to move off-campus due to instances of discrimination, sexual assault, mental health and financial distress. Since then, the Office of Residential Life has been investigating ways to alleviate students’ worries, including the possibility of exemptions from the policy for students who demonstrate substantial need.In an announcement made via email Monday, the Office of Residential Life announced the preferred method of helping students with residential issues will be a streamlined hall transfer process. While exemptions will be available for some students, such exemptions will be rare and determined on a case-by-case basis.Heather Rakoczy Russell, associate vice president for residential life, said the Office of Residential Life believes hall transfers provide students with the chance to find a community better fitted to their needs without moving off-campus.“[The exemption] will be used rarely because we think what we’re actually doing is changing the culture — we hope to change the culture — around hall transfers,” Russell said. “ … We think there’s something very special about residential life here and we think that having an experience of being formed in the residence halls — multi-class, single-sex, randomly placed, all of that — we think that forms people. We want people to have the opportunity to flourish, and if it’s not happening for you in [your hall], we want to redirect you to another [hall] where you might have that experience.”For those instances where a hall transfer would be insufficient, students will be able to apply for an exemption through the Office of Residential Life. Russell said because each exemption will depend on the student’s specific circumstances, she could not provide an example of what would qualify a student to live off-campus early.“I think it will be on a very case-by-case basis, and I don’t think I could in a genuine way answer that question without it just being a shot in the dark,” Russell said. “ … We’re hard-pressed to come up the kind of case that would actually qualify because we think the reasons that would qualify someone for an exemption are probably going to be deeply personal and particular. So, will there be exemptions granted? Certainly, we wouldn’t have created a process if they wouldn’t. But we want to believe … that most of the challenges that students are encountering to their flourishing in their residence halls might be remedied by trying the experience of another residence.”Russell said the application process for an exemption asks the student to demonstrate a clear, corroborated need to move off-campus.“You would first encounter the opportunity to apply for a hall transfer, which would allow for the possibility for someone to hear your story about why you’re not having a good experience and see if there’s another option for you,” she said. “But let’s say there isn’t. Let’s say, based on your particular story, there was an experience of discrimination or sexual assault or something that makes being here feel unwelcome, or maybe it’s financial aid driven, or maybe it’s medically driven, or maybe it’s mental health driven. If it’s any of those kinds of things, what we want to do … is allow for an open-ended process where the student can tell his or her story — but not have to retell it multiple times — and for that story to be heard and corroborated in some ways by someone else if that were attractive to a student.”The announcement said students will need to submit a written application to receive an exemption. If the application is found to have merit, the student will have the option to appear before a review board as well as receive support from a member of the Notre Dame faculty or staff.The announcement also said students will be required to renew their exemption each year.The decision to prioritize halls transfers over exemptions was made by the University with the understanding that residential life is essential to a student’s development, the announcement said.“Sharing life in community in the residence halls supports students’ formation as they deepen their faith, cultivate moral virtues, develop healthy relationships, become servant leaders and reflectively and prayerfully discern their future,” it said. “The mixed-class, single-sex, stay-hall system featuring random assignment of first-year students to modest-sized halls is critical for the model, as is each hall’s unique community, character and traditions.”Because hall transfers will be the primary method of solving a student’s residential issues, Jonathan Retartha, director of residential life for housing operations, said the hall transfer system is changing in two key ways.“First, the elimination of the requirement to speak to your current rector or the rector that you wish to move to,” Retartha said. “It’s not always an option that’s practical or advisable in some circumstances. … The second is to give people the option to select two preferred halls that they’re willing to transfer to. … [They’ll also have] an opportunity to indicate a willingness to accept a spot in any available hall, something closer to what we do in our float-for-a-single process. If they don’t elect that kind of floating option, they’ll be returned back to their original hall’s room picks if those two options they select are not available.”Retartha said in an email that, with the new system, the Office of Residential Life hopes to allow a growing number of hall requests.“Our fall semester typically sees over 200 hall transfer requests, the vast majority of which were approved,” he said. “We do anticipate that number to go up, and we hope to accommodate most requests. However, the capacities of our halls will always limit our ability to honor every request.”These changes to residential policy come at the end of an extended process spent engaging with and listening to the voices of students regarding the six-semester policy. Russell said following the policy’s initial announcement, she saw an overwhelming student response.“Over that fall semester, our office — the Office of Residential Life — received about a hundred emails from current students echoing those same sentiments [of worry],” she said.Proactive engagement with students helped the Office of Residential Life understand the concerns of students better and quell fears held by some students, Russell said.“In the spring semester, our office engaged students in focus groups and listening sessions,” she said. “So, we proactively said, ‘let’s get together,’ and we did that with different groups of student leaders — diversity council, committees on race and ethnicity and LGBTQ students, as well as student senate, [Hall Presidents Council], [Campus Life Council and] various [other] student groups.”Russell said the process led the Office of Residential Life to conclude that what students want most was simply an opportunity to live well in a community.“We think actually what students — without naming it — are asking for is a way to find a place to flourish,” Russell said. “And we think that’s actually to utilize the hall transfer process.”While the new residential policies require students to stay six semesters on campus, there are hopes that new incentives for seniors to stay on campus will convince students to stay all four years. Russell said a mass movement of seniors off-campus would be damaging to the campus culture the University hopes to create.“If what we do with the residence requirement is we have people who live here for six semesters and then they go off in droves as seniors, or we don’t successfully turn the tide on the number of seniors who are staying, our model still falls apart because we don’t have the halls that are created by class,” Russell said.Breyan Tornifolio, director of residential life for rector recruitment, hiring and retention, said seniors who stay on stay on campus are fundamental to the development of all students.“We want our seniors to stay, we want them in the halls,” Tornifolio said. “Our model doesn’t work without the seniors here. The leadership that our seniors provide is crucial to the development of our students, so ways that we keep them here is really important.”To keep seniors on campus, Russell said the Office of Residential Life will be releasing a list of incentives designed to convince seniors to stay on campus in the spring, in time for freshmen to consider their options as they begin looking for future housing. Russell said while nothing has been approved yet, the incentives being considered include more flexible meal plans, free laundry and discounted room and board.Russell said as the six-semester policy, and its associated changes to residential life, take root in campus culture, the program’s success will be found in the number of students who decide to stay on campus all four years.“By giving the choice to seniors, they will vote [on the policies] with their feet and stay,” Russell said. “In a wonderful, perfect world, we have to go the administration and say we need ‘x’ number of new residence halls because so many seniors are opting to stay back because of the experience they had in all six semesters.”Tags: Dorm Culture, Dorm Equality, Hall Transfers, Housing, Office of Residential Life, Six Semester Policy, six-semester requirementlast_img read more

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Arsene Wenger: ‘Too early’ for talk of Arsenal Premier League title

first_imgArsenal manager Arsene Wenger said it was too soon to talk about his team winning the Premier League title after they beat one of their principle title race rivals, Manchester City, 2-1 on Monday.Goals from Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud before half-time allowed Arsenal to move to within two points of surprise leaders Leicester City and four clear of Manchester City ahead of the busy holiday fixture list.With champions Chelsea seemingly out of the picture after a calamitous start, Manchester United wobbling and Liverpool also off the pace, talk of a first Premier League title since 2003-04 is rife in north London.Wenger, however, is not getting ahead of himself. “It’s too early to say we can win the league, but it strengthens our belief,” he told reporters.”You realise you earn your right to win these games and for us it is important that we realise that we have to be ready to fight like that in every single game.”But it is a significant game because when you look at Manchester City and the quality they have on the pitch, we know at the end they will be there fighting for the championship.” He revealed that Mesut Ozil, who set up both Arsenal’s goals, had barely trained all week because of illness.”He had a chest infection for the week and was in bed basically,” Wenger added.”So for a guy that could not prepare or work well he has done well physically.”He also praised the German playmaker’s growing influence as he returns to the kind of form he displayed when he first signed for the Gunners from Real Madrid in 2013.He has been provided more assists (15) than any other player in England so far this season. “He is much more mature, much more keen to take responsibility, I personally believe he has developed his physical attributes, his physical commitment. You see his desire to win,” Wenger said.–last_img read more

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Find out who will play for B&H Team vs. United States in Koševo

first_imgThe Selector of B&H Football Team, Safet Sušic has published a list of 20 players, who will play for a friendly match against the United States Team in Kosevo on 14th August. The Selector Sušic has called the following players: Asmir Begović, Asmir Avdukić, Jasmin Fejzić, Ermin Bičakčić, Emir Spahić, Toni Šunjić, Mensur Mujdža, Ervin Zukanović, Miralem Pjanić, Senad Lulić, Sejad Salihović, Adnan Zahirović, Elvir Rahimić, Haris Medunjanin, Miroslav Stevanović, Zvjezdan Misimović, Avdija Vršajević, Edin Džeko, Edin Višća and Vedad Ibišević.New name in the list is the defensive player of Braunschweig Ermin Bičakčić, who will finally join the team. He will enter the game during the first minutes with the uniform of his homeland.“Bičakčić can participate because he does not need a passport for this friendly match, and in this case it is not necessary to change the sport’s citizenship because he did not play for any other team, and his passport will be ready until the match with Slovakia“, said Sušic, adding that his arrival is a huge benefit for the team. We recall that Bičakčić was declared the best stopper in the last season, of the second German league.Zvjezdan Misimović will join the team, who due to injuries had to quit his participation at the match in Latvia.Sušić said that he wanted to spare Misimović, but he insisted to participate in the game, because he probably missed playing and his teammates.Sušić has left out of the list Boris Pandža, Muamer Svraku, Senijad Ibričić and Ivan Sesar.“Sesar, Pandža and Ibričić did not get the call because they do not have a club, and that is valid even for other players who do not have a club“, said Sušic. (Source: klix.ba)last_img read more

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Reports: Kim Jong Un In Grave Condition after Surgery

first_imgNorth Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s health may be in grave danger following surgery. CNN cited a U.S. official who said reports of Kim being in dire health were being https://youtu.be/6Ln4PfTwf-Emonitored. There has been speculation about Kim’s health since he missed the recent celebration of his grandfather earlier this month. He last appeared in public on April 11th.A South Korean media report late Monday cited an unidentified source that Kim was recovering at a villa after surgery for a cardiovascular issue. However, South Korea’s government says there’s no indication North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is gravely unwell. A spokesman for South Korea’s president said earlier today there’s been no unusual movement inside North Korea.last_img

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