Several leading universities, including Cambridge and York, have been accused of changing A-Level entry requirements subsequent to students applying.This comes following the pressure of funding cuts of £915m, a surge of almost 12% in students applying, and potential fines for universities of £3,700 for every place over government quotas awarded.Jonny Medland, Vice-President for Affairs at OUSU, said that the move is “an inevitable consequence of government cuts in higher education funding” and “is indicative of the desperation forced on universities”.Oxford University has made clear that AAA has been the “standard conditional offer” at Oxford for “some time” and will remain so.
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Gavel Gamut By Jim Redwinewww.jamesmredwine.comFORTY BOWL GAMES AND COUNTINGAmericans rushed to California in 1849 seeking gold. Most found what the little boy shot at. But now there is gold to be found by college football teams heading to California, and Florida, Texas, etc., etc., to play in one of the college bowl games. It is estimated that in excess of half a billion dollars will change hands between the first bowl game on December 16, 2017 (The Celebration Bowl played between Grambling and North Carolina A & T in Atlanta, Georgia) and the National Championship Bowl to be held January 08, 2018 in the same place.My alma mater, Indiana University, will not be among the 80 colleges participating. We will, however, share in a portion of the bowl revenues that other Big 10 universities will rake in. Maybe we can use the money to help fund the one event I.U. students always get to play in, the Little 500 bike race. Okay, enough sour grapes. Let’s move along with the main topic which is the college football bowl season.Less than forty years after the end of the Civil War (1902) the first college bowl game was held between the University of Michigan (representing the east) and Stanford University (representing the west). America’s Civil War wounds were still too raw to pit a northern team versus a southern one. The game was conceived as a fundraiser to help Pasadena, California defray the expenses of the Rose Parade that was always held to celebrate the New Year. Unfortunately, Michigan beat Stanford so badly that Stanford walked off the field and quit in the third quarter (49-0). This was so embarrassing the Rose Bowl game was not held again until 1916.However, due to the financial success of games from 1916 up to the time of the Great Depression other communities jumped on the bowl bandwagon. Miami, Florida started the Orange Bowl in 1933, New Orleans added the Sugar Bowl in 1935 and Texas started the Sun Bowl in 1936 and the Cotton Bowl in 1937. A true gold rush was in full swing.The 2018 Rose Bowl will be held New Year’s Day between The University of Oklahoma and the University of Georgia. Each school’s conference will be paid $40 million dollars and each of the two schools playing will get paid over $2 million as “compensation for expenses”. My guess is each university will use the money to snag five star recruits and build evermore state of the art practice facilities. I say we should not expect the money to be invested in each university’s academic needs. On the other hand, Peg and I have not seen fit to buy any tickets to watch the exciting lectures on physics at I.U. instead of the moribund football games!For more Gavel Gamut articles go to:www.jamesmredwine.com FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail
Good guy Eddie Vedder was up to it again, this time choosing to celebrate Christmas by helping out a family in need. The story began with a mother’s plea to Craigslist for help, as her family of six children was facing eviction in Maryland. The story went viral when the Washington Post covered it, encouraging readers to help this woman not only keep her home but buy presents for her children as well.Fortunately, Mr. Vedder saw the article and decided to help, sending the woman $10,000 to face her tragic situation. Said Vedder, “There were years there were toys from Santa, but they were used and they came from garage sales and they didn’t always work.” He also mentioned wanting to provide a “tourniquet” to help the family gain some stability.The Washington Post follow-up article captures the family’s excitement on Christmas morning, though does take note of their long-term struggles. Hopefully stories like these will help Americans realize how hard life is in poverty.
Stay tuned for more news from Umphrey’s McGee about their two additional show announcements for the fall. Cummins also explained that while the group is focused on solidifying their fall tour plans, the band plans to announce their plans for New Year’s Eve in the not-so-distant future. In the same thread, Cummins also noted that the band will not be performing a Halloween run this year, marking the first time Umphrey’s McGee has forgone their Halloween tradition in years. Last year, the band celebrated Halloween at The Pageant in St. Louis, performing a Prince-themed extravaganza that saw the band dressed as The Purple One from six distinct eras. As for 2018, when pressed, Cummins elaborated on why the band was foregoing their Halloween tradition. He explained: For more information and tickets for Umphrey’s McGee’s upcoming shows, head here. Following Umphrey’s McGee’s highly anticipated three-night run at the iconic Red Rocks Amphitheatre in early July, keyboardist Joel Cummins took to Twitter to talk about the band’s fall plans. Umphrey’s McGee’s extensive tour schedule will continue throughout the summer and into the fall, with stops at music festivals like The Peach, Werk Out, Major Rager St. Louis, LOCKN’, and The Big Weekend, in addition to dozens of headlining shows at theaters across the country. In the thread, Cummins noted that the band will announce two more shows before their two-night run at St. Paul, Minnesota’s Palace Theatre on October 19th and 20th. After a fan speculated, he confirmed that radius clauses were preventing the band from announcing the soon-to-be-announced shows.
Harvard University has joined a coalition of 30 colleges and universities in a new initiative to expand the number of talented low- and moderate-income students at undergraduate institutions with the highest graduation rates.The American Talent Initiative brings together public and private institutions united in a common goal to enhance their own efforts to recruit and support lower-income students, learn from each institution, and contribute to research that will help other colleges and universities to expand opportunity.“Higher education creates possibility. It opens opportunities for young people to explore the meaning of their lives, to understand the lives of others, and to discover interests and ambitions across a remarkable array of fields and disciplines,” said Harvard University President Drew Faust. “The American Talent Initiative will help to ensure that more of the most talented students in the nation have access to colleges and universities — and have the chance to realize their extraordinary potential to shape our country’s future.”Aiming to welcome more of the 270 institutions with graduation rates of 70 percent or higher over the next few years, the members of the initiative have set a goal to substantially increase the number of high-achieving, lower-income students that the participating colleges and universities attract, enroll, and graduate by 2025.Participating colleges and universities will further the national goal of developing more talent from every American neighborhood by:Recruiting students from diverse socio-economic backgrounds through robust outreach;Ensuring that admitted lower-income students enroll and are retained through practices that have been shown to be effective;Prioritizing need-based financial aid; andMinimizing or eliminating gaps in progression and graduation rates among students from low-, moderate- and high-income families.Members will share lessons learned as well as aggregated institutional data. The Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program and Ithaka S+R, the two not-for-profit organizations coordinating the initiative, will study the practices that lead to measurable progress and disseminate knowledge to the field through regular publications.Catherine Bond Hill, Ithaka S+R managing director and former Vassar president, noted that “this Initiative speaks to fairness and equal opportunity for thousands of students who currently can’t claim either, and to the enormous societal benefit that comes from nurturing all of our most talented young people. Recent research suggests that at least 12,500 high school seniors per year have SAT scores in the top 10 percent with 3.7 grade point averages or higher — and still do not attend the top 270 colleges. If each of these institutions commits to do its share, an additional 50,000 talented students — 12,500 in each grade level — will benefit from the incredible opportunity these colleges and universities offer and that these students have earned.”The initiative seeks to ensure that these “missing” students have a path to attend and thrive at the institutions with the highest-graduation rates and best track records for post-graduate success.“If we’re serious about promoting social mobility in America, we need to ensure that every qualified high school student in the U.S. has an opportunity to attend college. I’m so glad that so many great colleges and universities have stepped up today and committed themselves toward that goal. This is a vital first step toward creating a more meritocratic society,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and former three-term mayor of New York City.This initiative is funded with an initial $1.7 million, multi-year grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies. Grant funding will be used for research and dissemination of best practices, convenings of college presidents and staff, and data analysis and reporting.
The Department of English’s inaugural Ernest Sandeen Memorial Reading will bring together both established and up-and-coming talent Wednesday in McKenna Hall at 7:30 p.m. The reading will honor Sandeen, a former Notre Dame faculty member, and will feature U.S. Poet Laureate and Pulitzer prize-winner Philip Levine and University of Illinois at Chicago professor Christina Pugh.In keeping with Sandeen’s legacy as a poet and a teacher, the English department selected Levine, who in turn selected a younger poet, Pugh, to read on the same night, according to a University press release.“The idea behind it is to make it stand out from other kinds of poetry reading,” professor of English William O’Rourke said. “To make [Sandeen’s] readings stand out … we select an older poet and then the older poet gets to choose a younger poet to come read with the older poet and that gives it a little bit of distinction.”“Philip Levine was available and he’s about as distinguished an older poet as we have in America right now,” O’Rourke said. “He also comes from Michigan and has a kind of working class background, more so than is sometimes true in the poetry world, and so his poetry has some of the same social concerns as [Sandeen] did. We figured he would be a good one to start the series with, and he selected Christina Pugh.”Pugh is a consulting editor for the publication “Poetry,” according to a press release. Pugh will be reading from her latest work, “Grains of the Voice” and another work, “Restoration.”“I am thrilled to be reading with Philip Levine,” Pugh said. “… I’ve enjoyed his work for many years and have found it to be some of the most moving work that’s out there. I can strongly remember my first experience of hearing him read in Boston and how overwhelming an experience that was, and it’s just wonderful to have the opportunity to read with him. I’m really grateful.”O’Rourke recalled the salon Sandeen and his wife, Eileen, would host at their house for members of the Department of English, including students, many of which Sandeen continued to keep in touch with after their graduation and his retirement.Sandeen taught for 50 years at Notre Dame and won the 1976 College of Arts and Letters’ Sheedy Award for Excellence in Teaching, according to a press release. O’Rourke said Sandeen had already retired when he began teaching at Notre Dame but he continued writing and influencing the literary community of South Bend. O’Rourke said he believed the Ernest Sandeen Endowment Fund will provide for the biannual Ernest Sandeen Memorial Reading, which will partially sponsor the Wednesday event, to continue into the future, bringing older and younger poets together at Notre Dame for years to come.Tags: department of english, poet laureate, Poetry, Sandeen
Sierra magazine has recognized Green Mountain College for its innovative efforts in sustainability, ranking GMC as the greenest college in the nation in its annual “Coolest Schools” feature. The cover story in the magazine’s September/October issue cites GMC for its commitment to sustainability in several categories including energy efficiency, food, academics, purchasing, transportation, waste management, administration, and financial investments.”Green Mountain College excels in most categories, and it’s the MVP when it comes to creativity. The campus gets power and heat from biomass and biogas (a.k.a. cow power),” the magazine said, referring to GMC’s new combined heat and power biomass plant and the College’s participation in Central Vermont Public Service’s Cow Power program, which converts cow manure on Vermont farms to methane gas, a renewable source of energy. No school scored a perfect 100 in the assessment; GMC came closest at 88.6.”Green Mountain established its environmental liberal arts mission in 1995, so we are an ‘early adapter’ in responding to the social and environmental challenges of our times,” said GMC president Paul J. Fonteyn. “Through our Environmental Liberal Arts program, we’ve sought to provide an education that emphasizes sustainability across all disciplines. This recognition is a testament to all the hard work of a whole generation of students, faculty and staff.”Fonteyn noted that construction of the school’s new biomass plant resulted from a strong collaboration among students, faculty, College administrators, and the Board of Trustees. The new plant will use locally-sourced woodchips to provide 85% of the school’s heat and generate 20% of its electricity. Through this project and several other initiatives, GMC expects to be the first college in the country to reach carbon neutrality after having reduced carbon emissions by more than 50%.Green Mountain College received several other accolades for sustainability practices in recent months. The College received a score of 98 out of a perfect 99 in the Princeton Review’s annual college “green” rankings included in the 2011 edition of The Best 373 Colleges. GMC announced in June that SAGE (Students for Academic and Green Engagement) Hall, the College’s recently renovated honors residence hall, was designated as a LEED® gold certified building by the U.S. Green Building Council.Sierra’s September/October cover story spotlights the schools that are making a difference for the planet, and marks the magazine’s fourth annual listing of America’s greenest universities and colleges.The complete list is available online at www.sierraclub.org/sierra/201009/coolschools/top100.aspx(link is external). To learn more about what GMC is doing to make its campus more sustainable, visit http://www.greenmtn.edu/sustainability.aspx(link is external).SOURCE: Green Mountain College. POULTNEY, Vt., Aug. 16, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ —
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Sponsored Content Brought To You By Alure Home ImprovementsIf you’re thinking about remodeling your kitchen before Thanksgiving dinner, forget about it!“It’s way too late for that!” says Gina Bonura, Alure Home Improvements‘ kitchen and bathroom design & sales manager. People have come in to see her because they were inspired by the national holiday that brings families and friends together from near and far to finally take a close look at the one room in their house where they all spend the most time together and realize with a shock it’s in serious need of a makeover.If that really was their deadline, she says, “They should have been here in the beginning or the middle of the summer!”An experienced professional, Bonura knows how much a kitchen remodeling project truly entails. She’s more than willing to help her clients make their dreams come true, but timing is everything. And that’s why she extends this invitation.“Come in now,” she advises. “Between now and Christmas it’s the best prices because it’s the end of the year. You couldn’t start the job now because it takes time for the cabinets to come in, but then you’re all set to go once it’s the first of the year.”At Alure, customers have two options. One department specializes in what they call a 10-day kitchen, which is a direct replacement in the existing space after it’s been gutted. The other department handles custom kitchen projects, which generally take between six to eight weeks because they can involve moving the plumbing, taking out walls and even adding extensions.“People are thinking bigger,” says Bonura. “Before the Great Recession, people just wanted to keep it light. Now people want to take space from other rooms because everybody’s in the kitchen. So, more and more people are getting rid of the separate little living room, the enclosed dining room and the little kitchen, and making it all one space.”How much it costs depends on the job. According to Bonura, you should plan to spend around 8 to 12 percent of the current value of your home on a kitchen renovation because it’s a key factor in raising your property’s value. “If my home was a $500,000 house, I’d want to put at least $50,000 into it to make it worthwhile to gain back my investment,” she says.People have an amazing array of choices about what their kitchens look like and what they contain.Start with appliances. These days, customers don’t want microwaves installed over the stove. They tend to prefer a stainless steel hood or a decorative wood hood that serves like a focal point. Microwaves are going into drawers below the cabinets or in the kitchen’s island. Steam ovens are very popular these days because the food retains moisture and nutrients.“You’re still going to need a small microwave somewhere when you want to make popcorn,” says Bonura, “but I would say invest in the steam oven because you can use it for everything else.”Another new appliance that impresses her is the induction cooktop stove, which uses an electromagnetic field to heat the cookware. She says it works so fast you can boil water in 90 seconds. “But it doesn’t get hot,” Bonura explains, “so if a child walks by and touches the stove, they are not going to get burned.”Thanks to the latest in kitchen technology, there are ovens on the market that are so sophisticated that “you can program it from your iPhone while you’re on the soccer field,” she says. “You don’t even have to be home and the oven will start.” But it won’t come up with a recipe—you still have to think about what you want to cook.As for the kitchen sink, some new faucets and fixtures are hands-free. To turn the water on, all you have to do is wave your hands under the faucet, which is a great relief if you’re making bread and your fingers are sticky with dough.When it comes to choosing color schemes, gray is still in, but what’s trending is a shade with taupe undertones, so it’s a warmer gray. But the palette is up to the customer.“Black cabinets are wonderful,” Bonura enthuses, adding that it doesn’t make the kitchen too dark. “It depends on what you do with it.”These days texture is as important to cabinets as color. Some surfaces look like driftwood, Bonura says. The ornate look is not a popular style, but the trend is moving away from the austere look.“Shaker is still a popular style, which is really just a square with a recessed center,” she says, “but customers are looking for a little more detail. They don’t want a lot of molding on the cabinets.Meanwhile, quartz countertops have replaced granite as the material of choice, because there’s no maintenance, no sealing and no staining. Bonura says quartz is also durable and exquisite.“They’re coming out with quartz that imitates the movement of natural stone,” she says. Some customers use the same color quartz countertop all the way up the back splash so there’s one clean look with no grout.“It’s expensive, but people love it—and it’s beautiful,” she says.Learn More About Alure Home ImprovementsOne key area for consideration is kitchen storage. Bonura will spend time with the customers to determine where they store their materials “so that we can create a better system for them. We have all types of accessories that we can use if they want, or we can help them figure out the best way to store what they have.”For anyone contemplating kitchen remodeling, Bonura recommends that they first research what they like and dislike, but she admits it’s sometimes hard to do. That’s why they come to her, because she has the advanced technology to help them visualize what their new kitchen could look like. Customers can don virtual reality glasses to get a real feeling for the new space.“There’s no guesswork,” Bonura says. “We can show it to you!”“I never talk someone out of what they really want,” she says, “but I’ll show them how it will look. I will explain to them why I think it may or may not work. We work together, so it’s a collaboration.”
Twenty percent of the survey’s respondents also said they had tried online grocery shopping for the first time in March.“Online sales of fast-moving consumer goods are usually low, but more people tried it. I think it can be the new normal to buy groceries online,” Lamba added.The survey also showed that 18 percent of respondents also reported doing sports or fitness activities more during the quarantine, while 13 percent of respondents said they tried an online fitness class for the first time during quarantine.“This is a good opportunity for fitness service providers to tap into online classes or to further promote their online products,” Lamba said.Consumers in Indonesia are reporting doing more handwashing and more fitness activities as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread. (Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) and SurveySensum/-)A consumer shift toward a more hygienic and healthier lifestyle is concurrent with Google Trend’s data, which show an upward trend in searches for the “immunity” keyword since early March after the President announced the first two cases of COVID-19 in Indonesia.As people try to stay active and healthy to maintain good immunity, they are also staying indoors to comply with the government’s call for physical distancing. The survey also reported that weekend traveling had declined by 77 percent in March, while going to malls for leisure and watching movies in cinemas was down by 76 and 65 percent, respectively.The MMA questioned 500 people in five major cities across Indonesia from March 20 to 21 for the consumer survey while it is also monitoring 80 business to business respondents for the business sentiment survey. Topics : “In the first week after COVID-19 spread to Indonesia, we saw people stocking up. But now we are not seeing that as much,” said SurveySensum founder and CEO Rajiv Lamba at a webinar on Friday.People are buying products from markets in bigger packages as they continue to stay at home more, Lamba said, in line with retailers’ report of a shift in consumer behavior to buy in bulk.The survey findings were also in line with retailers’ report of an uptick in demand for hygiene products as Indonesia declared a public health emergency over COVID-19 on March 31, imposing large-scale social restrictions. COVID-19 cases in Indonesia soared within a month from zero to 2,273 cases with 198 dead, among the highest death rates in the world.Read also: Staple foods safe, but masks, sanitizer gone from markets as consumer behavior shifts A consumer survey in Indonesia has shown that people are buying more health and hygiene products and trying online fitness classes as the coronavirus continues to spread.In the survey, conducted recently by Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) and SurveySensum, 85 percent of respondents reported doing more handwashing while 46 percent said they took vitamin supplements.The survey is backed by data from Nielsen showing that the value of liquid hand soap, for example, saw a 285 percent increase in March compared to the first two months of 2020. People are also buying more hand sanitizer, liquid antiseptic and wet tissues.