News to go further News MalaysiaAsia – Pacific July 15, 2005 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Kuala Lumpur maintains ban on Epoch Times imports March 17, 2021 Find out more Organisation RSF_en Reporters Without Borders wrote to Malaysia’s internal security ministry today saying its decision to maintain an import ban on all copies of the Epoch Times newspaper on diplomatic grounds was a serious press freedom violation.The internal security ministry said on 7 July it would continue to block all copies of the Epoch Times at the Kuala Lumpur customs because the seized issues contained articles openly denigrating the Chinese government and it was necessary to safeguard relations between Malaysia and China.__________________________________________________________01.07.2005Government bans import of Epoch TimesReporters Without Borders today accused the Malaysian government of censoring the imported Chinese-language daily Epoch Times by blocking the release of all issues from customs at Kuala Lumpur airport since 2 June.”By denying access to this newspaper, which is known for criticising the People’s Republic of China, especially on human rights issues, the Malaysian authorities are depriving the public of its right to independent information,” the press freedom organisation said.”We condemn the government’s silence about what it is doing and we demand an end to this unjustified act of censorship,” the organisation added.Produced in Surabaya (Indonesia), the Epoch Times South East Asian edition has been imported into Malaysia and distributed free of charge there since February 2004 by DZY Marketing. The newspaper’s management says it has incurred the wrath of internal security ministry officials ever since it published a special issue containing a series of critical editorials about China’s ruling Communist Party entitled the “Nine Commentaries.”Malaysia’s 1984 Printing Presses and Publications Act (which was amended in 1987) allows the internal security ministry to ban the import of newspapers, especially those “prejudicial to relations with a foreign country or government.” The ministry has refused to make any comment. Malaysian cartoonist Zunar facing possible sedition charge again News News New Malaysian ordinance threatens very concept of truth Receive email alerts MalaysiaAsia – Pacific Record fine for Malaysian news site over readers’ comments February 22, 2021 Find out more Follow the news on Malaysia January 29, 2021 Find out more Help by sharing this information
Local News Quick hits Free moviesThe City of Odessa Parks Department has scheduled a free Movie in the Park featuring “Sergeant Stubby” (PG) at dark on Friday at Floyd Gwin Park, 1015 N. County Road West.Cartoons will begin around 8:45 p.m. The movie is scheduled to begin at dark. Admission is free and open to the public. Participants are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets. Concessions will be available. Call 368-3548, email [email protected] THE NET>> OdessaTXParks.org TAGS Twitter Pinterest Twitter Planet TroopersKeep Odessa Beautiful is inviting children ages 8 to 12 to join Planet Troopers and help clean up the local city parks this summer.KOB will conduct three clean up events from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday at McKinney Park; June 22 at Sherwood Park; and July 13 at Floyd Gwin Park.T-shirts, lunch and supplies will be provided to all registered children. Participants will also receive a goodie bag.Individual registration will be required per child.Go online to register or for more information, call 335-4686.ON THE NET>> tinyurl.com/yydw3emk Tree giveawayThe Odessa Neighborhood ShadeMakers Tree Giveaway Program focuses on giving trees for residential neighborhoods.Five-gallon trees will be made available free to residents. The homeowners agree to pick up, plant, and care for their free tree. The objective is to instill pride and ownership, care for the environment, and beautify our neighborhoods. Trees are available to be picked up from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday at McKinney, 625 W. Pool Road.Trees available are on a first-come first-served basis.Go online to register.ON THE NET>> tinyurl.com/y3d73tqo Pinterest WhatsApp Facebook >> FROM STAFF REPORTS Facebook By Digital AIM Web Support – February 24, 2021 WhatsApp Previous articleECISD awaits textbook adoption from new buildingNext articleAsk the expert: Vision health as you age Digital AIM Web Support
Banks BB&T Entity merger SunTrust 2019-02-07 Radhika Ojha The Strategic Intent Behind the BB&T – SunTrust Merger Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Tagged with: Banks BB&T Entity merger SunTrust February 7, 2019 2,648 Views The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago BB&T and SunTrust have announced that they will combine in an all-stock merger valued at $66 billion to create the sixth-largest U.S. bank based on assets and deposits.According to Reuters, this is the biggest bank deal since the 2007-2009 financial crisis with the combined company expected to operate under a new name and have around $442 billion in assets. It is expected to have $301 billion in loans and $324 billion in deposits.The new bank’s footprint would cover the East Coast with new corporate headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina.In terms of its revenue from the mortgage business, the banks projected the combined fee income of the merged entity at $88 billion with 7 percent coming in through residential mortgage banking. Of the combined loans of $301 billion, 27 percent would be from residential mortgages, the banks said in their presentation to investors.The new entity would be combining the current reach of BB&T and SunTrust bank to reach 10 million households and would have a Top 3 market share across eight states.In a statement, the companies said that the combined company’s board of directors and executive management team would be evenly split between the two institutions. In the current home markets for both companies, the combined company would maintain the Community Banking Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and the Wholesale Banking Center in Atlanta, Georgia reflecting the combined company’s commitment to increase the respective banks’ current levels of community investment.”This is a true merger of equals, combining the best of both companies to create the premier financial institution of the future,” said Kelly S. King, Chairman and CEO at BB&T. “It’s an extraordinarily attractive financial proposition that provides the scale needed to compete and win in the rapidly evolving world of financial services. Together with Bill’s leadership and our new SunTrust teammates, we’re going to bring the best of both companies forward to serve our clients and communities.”Looking at the strategic and financial benefits of the merger, the banks said that the combined company would preserve and maintain the strong cultures of BB&T and SunTrust to “deliver superior client service and preserve the community banking model to maintain close ties to shared local communities.” In terms of financial profile and operating metrics, the merger is expected to generate an internal rate of return of around 18 percent.The companies said that the merged entity would also take advantage of its enhanced scale to focus on selecting best of breed systems and processes and making significant investments in technology to “create a sustainable competitive advantage in an increasingly digital-first world.””By bringing together these two mission- and purpose-driven institutions, we will accelerate our capacity to invest in transformational technologies for our clients. Our shared culture embraces the disruption of technology and we will take this innovative mindset to expand our leadership in the next chapter of these historic brands,” said William H. Rogers Jr. Chairman and CEO of SunTrust. With our geographic position, enhanced scale and leading financial profile, these two companies will achieve substantially more for clients, teammates, associates, communities, and shareholders than we could alone. I have tremendous respect for Kelly, his leadership team and the BB&T associates. We will leverage our respective strengths as we focus together on the future.”The new company’s leadership team would have King serving as the company’s Chairman and CEO until September 2021 with Rogers serving as the President and COO of the combined entity. Rogers will take over as the CEO of the combined entity post-September 2021.The transaction for this merger is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2019. in Daily Dose, Featured, Investment, News Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Related Articles The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Sign up for DS News Daily Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Radhika Ojha is an independent writer and copy-editor, and a reporter for DS News. She is a graduate of the University of Pune, India, where she received her B.A. in Commerce with a concentration in Accounting and Marketing and an M.A. in Mass Communication. Upon completion of her masters degree, Ojha worked at a national English daily publication in India (The Indian Express) where she was a staff writer in the cultural and arts features section. Ojha, also worked as Principal Correspondent at HT Media Ltd and at Honeywell as an executive in corporate communications. She and her husband currently reside in Houston, Texas. Share Save About Author: Radhika Ojha Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Previous: Real Estate Tech Titans Create a New Platform Next: PHH Resolves Military Foreclosure Charges Print This Post Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Home / Daily Dose / The Strategic Intent Behind the BB&T – SunTrust Merger Subscribe
Derry draw with Pats: Higgins & Thomson Reaction Google+ Harps come back to win in Waterford Previous articleNW projects urged to apply to Regional Enterprise Development fundNext articleGilchrist extends stay at Derry City News Highland Twitter Facebook Facebook WhatsApp FT Report: Derry City 2 St Pats 2 AudioHomepage BannerNews Pinterest By News Highland – September 12, 2019 Twitter WhatsApp Pinterest RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Cllr hits out over Irish Water’s refusal to meet with him DL Debate – 24/05/21 News, Sport and Obituaries on Monday May 24th Google+ A West Donegal Councillor has hit out at Irish Water as he claims the utility has refused to meet with himCouncillor Micheal Cholm MacGiolla Easbuig says people living in Magheraroarty, Glasserchoo, Meenaclady, Derryconor, Curransport and Meenlaragh are frequently going days without water due to bursts in the area.He says he has requested representatives from Irish Water, several times, to carry out a site visit at the local treatment plant.Councillor MacGiolla Easbuig says the situation is no longer acceptable:Audio Playerhttp://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/micheal5pm.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.In response, Irish Water say they have not received a formal request for a meeting with any elected representative about bursts in Co Donegal.The utility say they held a briefing about the Falcarragh/Gortahork leakage reduction programme works last Friday in Falcarragh where the issue of bursts was raised.They say it is their intention to provide accurate and up-to-date responses to any queries raised by elected representative as quickly as possible. Important message for people attending LUH’s INR clinic
Almost three-quarters of HR professionals believe that transferringresponsibility for sicknote certification from GPs to employers will beimpractical. Forty-five percent of those surveyed by consultants Croner said they believethe responsibility should stay with GPs, despite pilot schemes scheduled laterthis year, which will transfer responsibility to company health professionals. The survey found that while 30 per cent agreed with the idea in principle,they didn’t think it would work in practice. Just 25 per cent felt it would bea good, way to manage sickness. Croner’s research follows a 2003 survey of 1,000 HR professionals and 300doctors by Personnel Today and sister magazine Doctor, which revealed that bothdoctors and HR wanted a rethink on the system. The research found that more than 80 per cent of doctors no longer wantresponsibility for writing sicknotes, while 77 per cent admitted they issuesick-notes too easily. Eighty per cent HR professionals surveyed told us they were seeing morestaff signed off sick, with 30 per cent saying the numbers had increased in2002-03. Richard Smith, employment law expert at Croner said firms needed to take amore active role in managing sickness absence. “Companies need to start thinking about how they would manage theincreased responsibility that might come their way in the next couple of yearsby making sure their own sickness monitoring systems are effective and clearlyunderstood by employees,” he said. By Quentin Reade Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article HR goes off proposals for employer-led sicknotesOn 24 Feb 2004 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.
Share via Shortlink Tagsbrooklyncondo marketDevelopmentLuxury Real EstatePark Slope The most expensive condo in Park Slope sold for $4.5 million, or $1,125 per square foot, in 2016. That unit occupied an entire floor of the historic Montauk Club building.Available units at One Prospect Park West, which is being converted from a decrepit nursing and retirement home the developers bought in 2016, are listed from $2.5 million to $5.975 million, according to the project’s website.In Brooklyn overall, the average price per square foot for a condo in the fourth quarter of 2020 was less than half that. In Manhattan, the average price per square foot for luxury real estate was $2,654, according to brokerage Douglas Elliman.The developers of One Prospect Park West said prospective buyers have been from New York City, rather than foreign buyers, who have all but disappeared during the pandemic. Brooklyn is luring at least some of those who have left New York City in search of more outside space to live and work while offices remain largely empty.[Bloomberg News] — Georgia Kromrei Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Renderings of One Prospect Park West in BrooklynAn ambitious Park Slope condo project may break the $2,000 per square foot barrier, a number previously only attained in Brooklyn by luxury homes with harbor views and close to Manhattan.One Prospect Park West’s developer, Sugar Hill Capital Partners, says that 14 of the building’s 63 units are in contract for at or above that price point, according to Bloomberg News.A penthouse is reportedly in contract for $6.5 million, and another deal was inked for $5.925 million. Those units haven’t closed yet, but if they do, the prices would set a record for Park Slope, a neighborhood primarily known for its brownstones.“Over $2,000 a square foot is what they’re doing for really good, high-quality buildings” on the Upper East Side, luxury realtor Donna Olshan told the publication.Read moreBrooklyn luxury market sures with nearly $73 milliion in contractsAs Manhattan struggles, Brooklyn’s sales market is booming
Home » News » Lettings previous nextLettingsProperty Drum3rd March 20140613 Views Tenants in arrearsThe latest (January 2014) figures from the Tenant Arrears Tracker, produced by LSL Property Services, show that 67,000 households, or 1.6 per cent of all tenancies in England and Wales, owe more than two months’ rent. This is an increase of 3.4 per cent in three months, although, overall, the numbers in arrears is still much lower than in the same quarter of 2012.“Today’s biggest risk for the private rented sector is a small minority of tenants who are struggling with several months of unpaid rent.” David Brown LSL Property ServicesThis overall improvement has helped landlords reduce their mortgage arrears, which have fallen for the fourth quarter in a row and are now at the lowest arrears level since 2008.David Brown, Commercial Director of LSL Property Services, says, “Today’s biggest risk for the private rented sector is a small minority of tenants who are struggling with several months of late rent. This proportion is shrinking but remains a serious concern for some landlords.”However, these are general figures, not LHA tenant specific, and figures on LHA tenant arrears in the private rented sector as scarce to say the least. The DWP’s evaluation report on the Pathfinder (initial) areas of Universal Credit found that the “overwhelming majority” of tenants in receipt of direct payments were not accruing serious arrears of rent.This report also found that the proportion of landlords reporting arrears over the Pathfinder period did not vary between Pathfinder and Control LAs (65 per cent). However it was more common for Pathfinder landlords/letting agents to think that LHA recipients were more likely than HB tenants under the previous arrangements to fall into arrears.Universal CreditAccording to Makeurmove.co.uk, an online letting agent, Universal Credit remains largely misunderstood. Their new research, sampling 300 landlords in December 2013, reveals that one in three are unaware of Universal Credit, while 40 per cent have heard of the scheme, but are unclear about the details. Just 27 per cent of landlords say they fully understand it.Richard Francis, Director of Makeurmove.co.uk says, “Clearly, there is confusion amongst landlords and many are still in the dark about universal credit. Landlords fear that under the new scheme, housing benefit will go directly to tenants and hence bring an increase in rent default, prompting many landlords to say they are not going to support housing benefit.“Yes, Universal Credit will mean money is paid monthly rather than weekly, with an emphasis on recipients learning to budget properly, but the latest Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) plan would keep the system under which rent goes directly to a landlord after two (months) missed payments, while adding a review after a first month’s default.“Currently, private landlords accommodate one million people who have part, or all of their rent paid by the state. The LHA market is growing, with 310 people turning to the government for housing benefit, every day, to keep the roof over their heads. More private landlords are needed to accommodate the growth in LHA tenants and unless landlords can be reassured about universal credit, this is going to be a major problem for government.”Ending a tenancyThe National Landlords Association (NLA) says that the vast majority of tenancy terminations are driven by the tenant’s desire to move on but there may be times when a landlord needs to end the tenancy or seek possession of it. The NLA describes the two options open to the landlord:Landlord’s Options1. Section 21 (s21) Accelerated Possession ProcedureThis route gives the landlord the right to possession at, or after, the expiry of the initial fixed term tenancy period. It is imperative to note that they are not automatically entitled to possession upon expiry of the tenancy and they must serve this notice on the tenants at least two months before you wish to claim possession.Taking this route means that there may be no need for a court hearing; this is likely to cause less hassle as providing they have correctly served the s21 notice the court must grant a possession order in their favour. However, the court does not have the power to make a money judgment under this route, which means it cannot order the tenant to repay any rent in arrears, for example.2. Section 8 (s8) Standard ProcedureThis route gives you the right to possession if particular terms of the terms of tenancy agreement have been breached. The length of the notice will vary upon the grounds you’re using to seek possession; there are 17 different grounds and the most common ground is due to rent arrears. If you chose to serve a s8 notice it also allows for a money judgment to be obtained along with an order for possession.Bear in mind however that s8 proceedings can often be lengthy as they are likely to be defended by the tenant, so the nature of the breach of tenancy will be important.If both situations applyWhere both routes apply – such as when the tenancy is ending and the tenant is also in arrears – it may be advisable to use the simpler and quicker s21 route, as faster possession will allow the landlord to re-let the property sooner. However, regardless of your chosen route, remember that the landlord must have served the appropriate notice on the tenants before any court proceedings can commence.Claiming possession of property can be a costly and stressful process for all involved. However, in situations where a tenant is unable to pay the rent for prolonged periods of time, the landlord will need to consider bringing the tenancy to an early end, rather than risk defaulting on your mortgage payments following an extended period without receiving rent.What happens in court?Paul Shamplina at Landlord Action explains the following:Section 8 proceedings“If a landlord relies on the rent to pay the mortgage then it is imperative that the landlord acts quickly to minimise losses.” Paul Shamplina Landlord ActionWhere a claim is for possession and rent arrears (Section 8), there will be a Court hearing before a Judge. The landlord will be required to attend the hearing, or appoint an agent to attend on their behalf. The landlord or agent must be fully conversant with the tenancy and have all relevant paperwork readily available, such as the tenancy agreement and an up to date schedule of arrears at the hearing.If the tenant clears the arrears prior to the hearing date, it is unlikely a landlord will get a Possession Order.If the claim is successful, the Judge usually grants a 14 day Possession Order; this means the tenant has 14 days from the date of the hearing to vacate. In the event the tenant does not vacate, the landlord will be required to appoint a bailiff to carry out the eviction. In addition, a Judgement for the arrears of rent may also be granted at which point a landlord may also make a claim for interest and costs.Paul says, “If the tenant is at the hearing and pleads exceptional hardship, they may persuade the Judge to grant longer before leaving. The most a Judge can give is 42 days. We always oppose this as we believe the hardship to be in the landlord’s favour.”EXCEPTIONSIf the tenant reduces the arrears to below two months, the Judge may order a postponed Possession Order (provided grounds 10 & 11 have been included in the Section 8 notice), which means the landlord would get a Possession Order, but the tenant is permitted to stay provided he/she continues to pay the rent each week/month on time and clears the arrears by an agreed and reasonable time. Failure to adhere to the order would mean that the landlord can apply for a Baili to execute the warrant of possession i.e. evict the tenant(s).It can be a stressful and costly process to gain possession of a property.SECTION 21 PROCEEDINGSThere are two types of Section 21 notices. One notice is served during the term of the tenancy and one is served when the term of the tenancy has expired.A Section 21 notice is used when the landlord requires possession of the property. The landlord does not have to give a reason for wanting possession of the property and there does not have to be a breach of the tenancy agreement.Some tenants use a Possession Order under Section 21 to seek housing assistance from their local housing o ce. In this case, tenants are generally recommended by local authorities to remain in the property until a Possession Order has been granted and bailifs have been appointed to evict the tenant.Where a landlord’s claim is for possession only (Section 21) and he/she uses the Courts’ accelerated procedure, the tenant will have 14 days to fi le a defence. If no defence is filed, a landlord can apply to the Court for an Order for Possession. It can take approximately eight weeks to receive the Order for Possession, depending on the workload of the Court.There are certain circumstances where the accelerated process will not be able to be used. In such circumstances, a court hearing will be required.EVICTION – County Court BailiIf a tenant fails to vacate on or before the expiry of the Possession Order (usually two to six weeks), a County Court bailif must be appointed to carry out the fi nal stage, eviction. Applying for a warrant for eviction can mean the process takes a further six weeks. The eviction can only be carried out by a County Court bailif .GET THE BEST ADVICELandlord ActionPaul Shamplina has been in the eviction business for over 25 years. His company, Landlord Action, originated the three-step fi xed fee eviction process, helping landlords with problem tenants. www.landlordaction.co.ukLandlord LawIf landlords wish to avoid the expense of using solicitors, landlords can use the DIY Eviction service of www.landlordlaw.co.uk/eviction which will help them bring a claim through the courts.National Landlords AssociationThe NLA is currently running its Effective Letting Campaign and o ers free best practice forms, including a landlord’s and tenant’s guide to rent arrears, and advice on ending tenancies, all available from www.landlords.org.uk.ShelterShelter has comprehensive information on its website, sometimes seemingly in favour of the tenant but all useful information when a landlord is having trouble with a tenancy.www.shelter.org.uk March 3, 2014The NegotiatorWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles Letting agent fined £11,500 over unlicenced rent-to-rent HMO3rd May 2021 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021
Recent times have seen seismic movement in the music industry. Mergers, job losses, reductions in artist numbers all point to a fundamental failure in the music industry’s business model. And why? Technological change, both recording and the Internet, have changed everything, and threaten the industry’s four big players in ways they don’t care to admit. Of course the familiar issue is thatof piracy. Illegal music is shared in vast quantities, with some estimates of around a billion tracks downloaded in the first half of 2005. This obviously has been of great distress to the larger international record labels, and they have deployed PR companies and lawyers to attack first websites and program makers, and then individual file sharers. The real turnaround, however, is coming with legal downloads. While illegal downloads are thought to be at fairly stable levels, legal download revenues have tripled in the first half of the year. They now represent six percent of industry revenues, while CD sales are in secular decline and music revenues are slowly but steadily falling. This success can only continue with more and more people using the Internet and with the ever-diversifying selection of gadgets to play music, including iPods and mobile phones. So, the big labels may ask themselves, is this it? Will we see a turnaround back to the good old days of high sales, albeit in a different form? Maybe sales will recover somewhat. But there is a more fundamental challenge to the status quo on the horizon. This comes not from consumers, but from individual artists. The traditional idea of a record label is a large firm, hiring young talent, providing recording, distribution and promotion, and in return receiving a considerable part of the revenue. The greatest ambition for many young artists was to be signed, because it let them access vast audiences, unimaginable for the sole trader musician. Throw in a load of cheap, home computer technology for production, marketing and distribution, and suddenly it all becomes feasible. Anyone can set up a website and sell their own music, with tiny overheads and complete creative freedom.Mercury nominee Seth Lakeman followed this route. For three hundred pounds he recorded his album of Cornish folk songs in his kitchen (after unplugging the fridge), set up his own label and website, and sold his album to the masses. This type of achievement is by no means confined to the technology- savvy world of Cornish folk music: in the newer industry surrounding rap and R&B the same is true. The winner of the Best Hip Hop Act at the MOBO awards, Sway Dasafo, remains unsigned and chooses to distribute his music himself. While the Internet isn’t as important for distribution, cheap production technology allows him to produce thousands of copies of a mix tape, essentially cutting out the corporate middle man. These two musicians have proved the extent of what you can achieve without the backing of a large and powerful label.At the same time amateurs and new artists are able to put up free downloads and be heard by as many people as can find their site. Already commercial ventures such as amazon.com run free download pages, aware of the value of such a service. The quality of the free downloads available varies widely from the ludicrous to the sublime and from experimental to retro, but it means that anyone can explore different genres of music like never before. Of course taking this direct route to fans has its limitations. There is no vast marketing machine available to reach every single music lover in the land. But then is there ever? Most of the successful artists (outside pure saccharine pop) tour to make their name. They rely on word of mouth advertising, slowly increasing sales and a good reputation. It’s just how quickly they get up the ladder.It is not just the artists who could benefit from this. Music fans now have arguably their greatest ever choice. Already there is a vast reduction in pop sales, lost to rock, jazz and folk-styled artists. Why should we continue to watch Top of the Pops when we can access whatever we want at the touch of a button? With the live scene on an unprecedented high, there is no shortage of dynamism and creativity in Britain. For the first time these artists have the opportunity to pursue this for themselves. Even if the industry faces challenges, we stand at the beginning of an extraordinary time of opportunity for the young and talented, which can be only be good news for the music-loving public.ARCHIVE: 1st week MT 2005
“This is not an attempt to discourage people from celebrating their academic achievements; when you are awarded a scholarship, you are given both prizes and the title of a more academically able student.“Of course scholars should be able to celebrate their academic achievements—but not at the expense of others.”One student, Selma Stearns, told Cherwell: “I personally felt uncomfortable wearing my scholars’ gown because it felt showy and unnecessary. Everyone going to the exam has worked hard, and separating us based on results from another set of exams in another year seems arbitrary and elitist.”Other arguments listed on the OUSU website in favour of the motion include the impact of the extra confidence given to scholars, and that “prelims results are more of a reflection of a student’s educational background than their grade in Finals”.It has proven to be a divisive issue amongst students. One student, Tom Ash, told Cherwell: “I think by focusing on the gowns you’re scapegoating something which is not the most pressing issue in the system of inequality in Oxford, and getting rid of an important incentive for working in first year.”Arguments have also been made regarding the undiscussed impact on choral and organ scholars. One organ scholar, Julia Alsop, told Cherwell: “You join the University as a scholar and student and they are intertwined—as such it diminishes us if we are not allowed to equally take our exams in the same way we experience our whole university life: as both scholars and students.”Another student against the motion, Anna Lukina, said in a recent blog post: “Oxford [is] a place built on academic excellence—shunning rewarding it here seems absurd, especially since most current students have been accepted to this university by virtue of performing better than their peers.”Regarding the inequality arguments put forward in favour of the motion, Lukina wrote: “The cost of gowns and disparities between different colleges in terms of scholarships/exhibitions are easier to address and will arguably make more positive impact.”Arguments noted on the OUSU website against the motion include the impact of incentives to work hard, the long-lasting nature of the tradition, and the importance of rewarding academic excellence.Students will have the opportunity to vote in the non-binding poll until 12.30pm this Friday. Voting on an OUSU All Student Consultation on the student union’s policy on scholars’ gowns in examinations opens today at 12:30pm, after a narrow vote by OUSU Council in 7th week. Polling will remain open for two days and will be solely advisory.OUSU Council narrowly voted to go to an All Student Consultation on whether OUSU should oppose the wearing of differential gowns in examinations during the 7th week Council meeting, in response to a motion put forward by Wadham students, Matilda Agace and Isobel Cockburn, to end the wearing of scholar’s gowns in exams.A motion was already passed in Trinity term 2016 to ban the use of scholars’ gown in viva voce oral examinations, in order to reduce bias if examiners notice the gown.The results of the consultation, along with the original motion, will be discussed and voted on in 1st Week Michaelmas Council. The poll is only a consultation, and the results are not binding.The motion cites several reasons for ending the wearing of differential gowns, including that those without scholar’s gowns can feel “stressed, uncomfortable and inferior to their peers”. The motion also notes that “Oxford is the only university in the UK to have differentiated gowns in exams”.If the motion passes in Michaelmas, OUSU sabbatical officers will be mandated to lobby the University to change the current system. It would also become OUSU policy to oppose the wearing of differential gowns in examinations.Regarding the motion, Cockburn told Cherwell: “Anecdotally, we found that a lot of people felt much less confident and more anxious going into exams seeing big groups of people wearing scholars’ gowns, particularly women in STEM subjects.”As a response to those who consider it ‘radical proposal’, Cockburn also told Cherwell: “subfusc is still worn and, as was argued at the 2014 referendum, it can act as an equaliser. Separate gowns act in opposition to this, creating a visual demarcation on often relatively arbitrary results.