SMC presidential candidates discuss platforms

first_imgSaint Mary’s students gathered Wednesday night to listen to the platforms of the three potential student body president and vice presidential candidates.Junior Shannon Golden said her and fellow junior Margaret Faller’s Saint Mary’s pride led them to run for president and vice president, respectively.“I realized that I wanted to make every second here count,” Golden said. “I want every girl to feel the inclusion of the Saint Mary’s sisterhood and to be able to love the school as much as I do.”One of Golden and Faller’s main goals is to change the selection dates for Opus Hall, Saint Mary’s newest residence hall, from the spring to the fall of junior year, which they believe will make deciding senior housing an easier process.Golden and Faller also hope to increase the alumni relations network and show the Student Government Association’s support for every student-run organization. They hope to extend Angela Athletic Facility’s hours, promote healthy options in the dining hall and ensure everyone feels safe on campus.“We plan to address any and every concern that students have and bring it to security right away,” Golden said. “We want to be extremely proactive when it comes to this topic.”Juniors Kaitlyn Baker and Maddie Kohler, running for president and vice president respectively, also discussed safety on campus. They said they hope to fund a second Blinky driver, who will remain at Saint Mary’s after transportation has ended for the night.According to Baker, her position as Resident Hall Association president has taught her how to communicate effectively with students and how to set up activities.“I truly understand the demands of the position of student body president and what it means to be a leader,” Baker said. “I know I speak for Maddie and myself when I say we absolutely love all of you and all of Saint Mary’s. That really is why we’re up here today.”The pair said it hopes to reduce email clutter through the creation of a weekly newsletter that will keep students informed. Additionally, one of their goals is to establish personal bonds with everyone and remain open to suggestions while implementing their own changes.“We want to work with the student body to make sure that we can all call Saint Mary’s our home, a place where the food might not be as good as mom’s home-cooked meals, but with new healthy options — such as a veggie bar and a smoothie station — it isn’t far off,” Kohler said.Kohler and Baker said they will support bonding by initiating bowling events, trips to Chicago and ice-skating nights, as well as hosting the Navy Ball. The candidates said they will also limit paper use and fundraise for water-filtering stations in all academic buildings.“It is our goal to make next year the finest year of your college experience,” Baker said. “Your vote is the first step to having your voice heard.”Juniors Kristen Whalen and Breanna Elger said they also want to create a more environmentally friendly campus. Both transfer students, Waelin and Elger said they came to Saint Mary’s already knowing what it takes to promote sustainability across a college campus.Whalen and Elger said that their devotion to Saint Mary’s inspired them to seek the leadership positions of president and vice president, respectively.“While it’s arguable that our facilities might not be the latest and the greatest, the heart of each student at Saint Mary’s is what makes this school special,” Whalen said. “This passion for Saint Mary’s has compelled us to fully dive into the community.”The duo said it hopes to collaborate with Sodexo, the company that runs Saint Mary’s dining services, and expand the variety of food in the dining hall, as well as make the coffee machine in the library permanent.“We are excited to provide this no-cost luxury to our students, using our financial backgrounds to explore options for subsidization and alternative budgeting,” Elger said. “Additionally, we hope to partner with the document center to make color printing available for your personal use.”Whalen said economic transparency with tuition and extended hours at the Angela Athletic facility are among her and Elger’s priorities, but responding to the needs of students and more clearly defining what it means to be a Belle will always come first.“We hope to use our business experience to ally with admissions and to partner with the recent marketing firm they’ve hired to make a tangible description of the often unclear notion of what a Belle is,” Whalen said. “As Belles, you exude charisma, you have spunk, you have heart, and you have an iron will.”Voting took place Thursday on OrgSync and the results will be announced Friday.Tags: Breanna Elger, Kaitlyn Baker, Kristen Whalen, Maddie Kohler, Margaret Faller, Saint Mary’s College student body elections, Shannon Golden, SMC Electionslast_img read more

Feeling gouged by Spectrum pricing

first_imgSince Charter Communications purchased Time Warner Cable late last year, I have seen by monthly bill increase by 22.3 percent, even though my scope has not changed. I do have cable, internet and landline phone services furnished in a bundle, but that hasn’t changed in years. I see the “low-ball” pricing being offered by Spectrum to new customers, but not their existing customers. I’ve tried to negotiate with Spectrum, but they will not lower their monthly pricing in any significant way. I have complained to the state Public Service Commission and attorney general’s office to no avail. I tried the FCC, but they only assigned my complaint a case number. Short of unbundling the services we have purchased for many years, I don’t have an answer to Spectrum’s “gold standard” pricing practices. Does anyone else?Douglas N. McFaddenNiskayunaMore from The Daily Gazette:Niskayuna girls’ cross country wins over BethlehemEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motorists Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinionlast_img read more

Cameroon Outlines Achievements

first_imgThere’s a popular saying that “It is not how many years you live, but what you did with the years you lived.” The west-central African state of Cameroon proved this saying on May 20, 2016 on the occasion of its 44th Independence Day when its embassy near Monrovia displayed major projects that government has undertaken, completed or is in the process of completing.At a local hotel where Cameroonians organized a program marking their National Day, a number of projects including hydro-electric systems, hospitals and roads were displayed on placards to give guests a sense of the Cameroonian government’s level of social responsibility to its people.According to information on the placards, the Paul Biya led administration has undertaken and completed the Yaoundé Hospital for Applied Research in Endoscopic Surgery and Human Production. The project was dedicated on May 6, 2016.Another project completed and in operation is the Deep-Sea Port at Kribi, which Ambassador Beng’ Yela Augustine Gang said helps to connect Cameroon with the rest of West Africa in sea trade and commerce.There are also projects including the second bridge on the Wouri River in Douala (not completed) and the Mekin Hydroelectric Dam project to be completed next month. Others are the 211 Mega Watt Lom-Payangar Hydroelectric Dam and the Memre’ele Hydroelectric Dam both predicted for completion in 2017, and a major completed highway connecting Cameroon and Nigeria.In his National Day address, Ambassador Gang said the projects are local content, which he explained to be characterized by using the locals to do most of the work.He said as a result of the use of locals in constructing these major projects, citizens are not only employed and financially empowered, but also consider the projects as theirs.He added that prioritizing citizens in work like those carried out in Cameroon helps to prevent conflict, emphasizing that it is very important to put the people of a country in the middle of the economy.The Cameroonian Ambassador explained that the electricity projects will help to provide electricity to many citizens and companies, and those companies will be able to provide employment opportunities for the citizens and engage in delivering locally produced goods and services.Ambassador Gang urged that governments must provide education for their citizens and provide employment opportunities for youths to divert their minds from terrorism to responsible livelihoods.As Cameroonians embark on these projects and feel their impacts, Ambassador Gang noted that they are joining efforts with other neighbors to counter the attacks perpetrated by Boko Haram.With respect to the road project between Nigeria and Cameroon, Ambassador Gang said it solidifies the cooperation and relationship between the two countries, and citizens of both countries are easily able to travel from one country to the other.Cameroon and Nigeria were once in a major land conflict over the Bakassi Peninsula. In 2007, the International Court of Justice ruled in favor of Cameroon over the peninsula.Ambassador Gang recalled that in 1960, when his country gained independence, President William V.S. Tubman was one person that recognized Cameroon’s independence on the basis of mutual respect and patrimony. Among top government officials that attended the ceremony was Foreign Minister Marjon V. Kamara, who dated Liberia’s relations with Cameroon during that country’s period of trusteeship.Minister Kamara emphasized that Liberia and Cameroon also share common interests at the level of the United Nations and support each other in decision making.She commended Cameroon for being with Liberia during the devastating Ebola health crisis that struck Liberia in 2014.She pledged Liberia’s support to soliciting assistance to help curb the terroristic activities affecting Cameroon, Nigeria, Chad and Niger.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more