Members discuss role of Off-Campus Council

first_imgAt this week’s Council of Representatives (COR) meeting, members discussed the role of the Off-Campus Council and how possible improvements could increase effectiveness and take more of the burden of handling off-campus concerns from other groups, leaving more resources for other issues. “So much of the focus of on-campus bodies has been off-campus issues,” student body president Catherine Soler said. “We think one of the things we can do is to really bolster the power of the Off-Campus Council.” Referencing the group’s constitution, Soler said the Off-Campus Council’s purpose is to “sponsor functions and disseminate information to off-campus students, which has been the goal of student government this whole year.” Hoping to reduce ambiguity about electing members to the council and better express the group’s intended purpose, Soler raised a discussion about potential constitutional amendments. One of the unclear clauses pertains to eligibility to run and vote for off-campus positions. Under the current rules, only current off-campus students can vote for the following year, and in practice, only off-campus juniors have tended to run for these offices. “I guess it’s just been implied that you have to live [off campus] junior year to run for these positions,” off-campus president Ryan Hawley said. “It doesn’t really make sense. What we’re thinking is having people who are going to live off campus be able to run and vote so it’s much more representative of off-campus students.” Soler said expanding eligibility for participation could attract more applicants and ensure the most capable students are given the opportunity to fill the positions. “We think we can really up the quality and get more people to apply for this if we could get on-campus students who are living off next year to run,” she said. After it was suggested that the Off-Campus Council’s level of activity has been lacking, Hawley said the problem was figuring out how to get interested off-campus students involved and maintaining a consistent meeting schedule. “We don’t really have meetings which is part of the problem,” he said. “It’s been hard. People want to get involved and help but actually getting them involved has been difficult.” Hawley introduced the idea of off-campus ambassadors, whose role would be to facilitate the flow of information between off-campus students and the on-campus president, as well as maintaining positive relationships with members of the community. “We were thinking about having neighborhood ambassadors who would go around neighborhoods introducing themselves,” he said. “They would report directly to the on-campus president.” Soler said she felt redefining the purpose of the Council could also help with the group’s current funding problems. “The focus was thought to be that it was a programming board,” she said. “But if we decide that it’s disseminating information then it’s probably something that could be taken more seriously, if this is a more legitimate need for funds.”last_img read more

Office of housing returns to old move-out inspection policy

first_imgThis year, preliminary end-of-the-year student room inspections took place in some residence halls the Sunday before the final week of classes. This change is a transition back to the policy of prior years; last year was the only year in which inspections took place during finals week.Karen Kennedy, Director of Housing, said the “change” in procedure is actually a reversion back to the procedure that was observed for more than a decade.“The practice of requiring all student rooms to be inspection-ready by 10 p.m. on the Sunday before the last week of classes has been long standing at the University,” she said. “Last year’s move-out process was handled differently and, because those changes did not produce positive results, it was decided to return to the previous time line for readiness for room inspections.”Kennedy said there are two goals for student rooms to be ready for inspection by Sunday at 10 p.m.“One is to provide for the University to be able to inspect rooms for critical repairs that must be made as soon as students move out, and the other is to confine the noises associated with furniture moving and assembling/disassembling prior to the start of study days and finals,” she said.Kennedy said the procedure benefits students as they study and rest for finals.The transition back to the old policy is a direct result of the negative feedback and logistical issues created from the change last year, Kennedy said.“We received feedback from both students and hall staff that the procedures implemented last year provided for additional noise throughout finals week and also made room inspections more challenging, resulting in untimely damage billing charges and other challenges in preparing the halls for Commencement and summer guests,” Kennedy said.Kennedy said students who fail to comply with move-out procedures may be subject to a fine.“These fines help ensure compliance and, when applicable, cover the costs of repairs, undue cleaning and lost keys,” Kennedy said.Kennedy said elevated beds, which are permitted to be constructed in residence halls without modular furniture, have been required to be down by 10 p.m. the Sunday before the last week of classes for at least a decade.“Students who choose to construct elevated beds are notified of and agree to this when they sign the elevated agreement form at the beginning of the year,” Kennedy said.Kennedy said this procedures are always being revised according to feedback received from individuals throughout the Notre Dame community.“I understand and appreciate the concerns shared with me by students, and will take student feedback into consideration when looking toward how move-out and room inspections will be handled in future years,” Kennedy said.Tags: Housing, move-out, Office of Housinglast_img read more

Making Criminals Pay

first_img Money Laundering Vulnerabilities In Colombia, corporations and business owners are still learning the risks of getting involved in money laundering actions wittingly or unwittingly. FENALCO suggests employers should be more careful in their business practices to avoid being linked with money laundering. “Many businessmen are acting in good faith and because they did not have the necessary precautions, have permitted money laundering to affect their companies,” FENALCO’s Executive Sub-director Paula Lucia Gómez Velez said of the 40 percent increase in companies with suspicious operations from 2007 to 2009 as reported by the Information and Financial Analysis Unit, or UIAF. These reports have allowed the District Attorney’s office to initiate investigations and freeze assets. This situation occurred in part because anti-money laundering initiatives were seen as an administrative cost by entrepreneurs, a business practice that has changed, she added. The UIAF reported a 70 percent decrease in the number of people involved in money laundering over the same period, showing that individuals are becoming more aware of suspicious transactions. Anti-money laundering specialist John Cassara warned that businessmen need to be more aware of what an association with money laundering can mean for their companies. He said that many businessmen believe that this phenomenon does not touch them and they are unaware that money laundering could severely damage their company’s trade relations. In an interview with Diálogo, Cassara said that businessmen shrug it off, saying “We are not police officers, if somebody wants to buy our products, so what?” The arrest of money launderers Jorge Enrique Jiménez Urrego and Myriam Rincón Molina by Colombian authorities and their designation on Clinton’s List shows how international cooperation can help address criminal financial threats. Gómez Velez believes that Colombia’s experience combating money laundering has made the country’s regulations among the most comprehensive in the international community. By Dialogo October 01, 2010 To the untrained eye, they looked like tourists. But it was business, not pleasure, that brought Jorge Enrique Jiménez Urrego and Myriam Rincón Molina to places such as Peru, Chile and the United States. They took Colombian drug money and laundered it, benefiting the 27th front of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC. Jiménez Urrego was the head of a Colombian money laundering ring operating under several agricultural companies. He was also part of an international laundering chain, illegally using currency exchange houses to move $47 million in FARC cash into the financial systems of the countries he visited. Rincón Molina was associated with a money laundering network assembled by Jiménez Urrego’s relatives and front persons through money exchange professionals or “cambistas.” Since 2004, their trips had been watched by Colombian authorities and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, or DEA. Police in Colombia, Peru and Chile organized an operation in their countries that broke the criminal network and led to their capture and 31 more detentions in May 2008. The arrests of Jiménez Urrego and Rincón Molina showed Colombia’s commitment to eliminate criminal financial empires. Even though money laundering has been broadly criminalized in Colombia, the country remains a preferred site for money laundering activity in large part because of the narcotrafficking business that takes place within its borders. The Colombian government continues to fight the financial infrastructure of criminal and terrorist organizations using national laws and international economic measures. A Country’s Commitment Globally, the narcotrafficking business generates $300 billion a year according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. To legitimize the illicit profit, drug kingpins are using traditional and emerging money laundering methods to avoid detection and stay one step ahead of the law. Drug cartels “try to diversify their risk, so they will not just use one channel; they will use a variety of channels to move their funds,” Latin American studies professor Francisco González from the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington DC told Diálogo in an interview. In Colombia, the government employs legal instruments to address the financial threat of criminal organizations. For example, the Extinction of Dominion over Assets law is defined as the loss of rights to an asset, which is handed over to the State through an official process. The law, created in 1996 and modified in 2002, applies when assets are acquired directly or indirectly from criminal activity. Today, the law has become a legislative model for other governments in Latin America, such as Mexico and Peru. The Information and Financial Analysis Unit, or UIAF, was created to prevent and detect money laundering in different economic sectors. The UIAF was consolidated in 1999 and is a special administrative unit ascribed to the Ministry of Treasury and Public Credit with legal capacity and administrative autonomy. Banks, mutual and investment funds, wire transfers and casinos are among the entities that it oversees. In its 11 years of operation, the UIAF has been considered “one of the leaders in anti-money laundering efforts in Latin America,” Colombian banking association, Asobancaria, Chief María Mercedes Cuéllar said in a speech at a threat finance conference in Cartagena, Colombia, in 2009. In recent years, anti-money laundering reporting requirements have broadened to other economic sectors such as lotteries, bingo games, betting parlors and notaries. Money laundering became a crime in Colombia in 2000 and penalties range from six to 15 years for those convicted of the offense. The country also participates in the Financial Action Task Force, or GAFI, an intergovernmental body that promotes policies to fight money laundering and the financing of terrorism. At Colombia’s GAFI compliance evaluation, the nation “obtained a satisfactory final qualification of 4 on a scale from 1 to 5,” Cuéllar added. Economic Sanctions Colombian authorities are working closely with partner nations to defeat money laundering networks. “Without international cooperation it is impossible to defeat transnational crime,” then-Defense Minister Gabriel Silva Luján said at the Latin American and Caribbean Police Summit in Cartagena in May 2010. “We need to unite efforts that can allow us to capture criminals that affect not only Colombia, but the international community.” One of the international tools that Colombia is using to take action against the financial networks of criminal and terrorist organizations is the U.S. List of Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers, commonly known in Latin America as “Clinton’s List” because it was revised during former President Bill Clinton’s time in office. The Designated List is part of the Kingpin Act, which applies financial measures against significant foreign drug traffickers. In addition, it prohibits U.S. persons from conducting financial or commercial transactions with these individuals and entities, and freezes any assets the designees may have under U.S. jurisdiction. In an interview with Diálogo, Douglas Farah, a Latin American analyst and senior fellow at the International Assessment and Strategy Center, said the Colombian government “immediately saw the act’s benefits and embraced it.” The first designees on the list were the Cali cartel’s leaders, Miguel and Gilberto Rodríguez Orejuela. Together they built a $7 billion-a-year empire that by the mid-1990s supplied 80 percent of the world’s cocaine, according to the DEA. They came up with different ways of hiding cocaine, running the gamut from cement pillars, frozen broccoli, and laundered drug proceeds through businesses that appeared legitimate such as a chain of discount pharmacies, according to the U.S. newspaper The South Florida Sun-Sentinel. After 15 years, the list continues to prove successful in helping capture narcotraffickers. The recent designation of Jorge Enrique Jiménez Urrego to the Clinton List on May 6, 2010, shows the international efforts to eradicate the economic power of criminal organizations. U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control, or OFAC, Director Adam J. Szubin stated: “The Jiménez Urrego money laundering organization [is] responsible for facilitating the movement of millions of dollars for the FARC in support of its narcoterrorist activities.” In the past, the drug kingpin designations were “once largely seen as a U.S. tool trying to deal with a U.S. problem” of drug consumption, Farah said. Luckily, he added, that view has changed as the region becomes more aware of the financial threats that criminal organizations pose in nations where they operate. Farah explained that even though the act does not have the capacity to end drug trafficking or criminal activities, it “has removed those organizations where kingpins are targeted as substantial threats to the state.” The positive results obtained in the fight against money laundering are acknowledged by governmental and private entities. For example, Cuéllar thanked OFAC for its support and endorsement of the Colombian financial sector in her 2009 speech. The positive effects of the list are also identified by the Colombian National Federation of Merchants, or FENALCO, Bogotá branch. The list “has become a good mechanism and the businessmen have grown accustomed to it,” FENALCO’s Executive Sub-director Paula Lucia Gómez Velez told Diálogo. “It is his reputation [the businessman] that is in play.” As of June 2010, more than 1,500 Colombian citizens and 700 national companies were on the list. There are also ways to be removed, OFAC director Szubin told the Colombian Newspaper El Tiempo. In the past three years, he said, 330 Colombians have been removed from the list. “Nobody has been mistakenly included on the Clinton List,” he said. last_img read more

Orji Okwonkwo:I will be a better player under Thierry Henry

first_img Okwonkwo, 22, joins from Italian side Bologna, after his eight goals in the 2019 season earned him Impact’s Most Valuable Player award. Despite reported interest from European clubs, he returns for his second spell with the club, managed by France and Arsenal legend Henry. “I’m looking forward to making a bigger impact when I wear the shirt again,” Okwonkwo, who has the option to join on a permanent deal, told BBC Sport. “I feel lucky to get a chance to work under a legend like [Thierry] Henry. I can learn important tips on how to be a better player from someone who has won the World Cup and achieved so much at club level as well. “You don’t get an opportunity like this all the time, I really plan to make the most of it. “I know a lot of the players and I am really excited about our prospects this season after missing out on the play-offs last season.” The 2015 Under-17 World Cup winner extended his deal with Bologna until June 2024 before returning to North America. Montreal failed to make the 2019 play-offs and parted company with coach Wilmer Cabrera when his contract ran out at the end of the campaign. But Okwonkwo’s agent Femi Olaniran believes the forward can achieve more success on his return to the club and grow under a new manager. “Henry played a big role in his decision to return to Impact Montreal and this is a legend of the game,” Olaniran told BBC Sport. “As a winger he managed eight goals last season but he can achieve more under the tutelage of this great forward. “Orji is young, eager to learn and could have gone elsewhere, but he is aware that he can continue to grow under one of the best strikers in world football.” Okwonkwo previously played in Italy between 2016 and 2019, scoring three goals in 27 Serie A matches with Bologna, including four starts. He joined the Italian club in 2016 from FC Abuja Academy in his native Nigeria spent the second half of the 2017-18 season on loan at Serie B side Brescia. At international level, Okwonkwo started three games for Nigeria at the 2019 Africa Under-23 Cup of Nations, scoring a goal against Zambia. Read Also:Man Utd outcast offered £5m-a-year deal by MLS club He starred as the West African nation clinched a fifth U-17 world title in Chile, appearing in five games throughout the tournament. He scored in a 4-2 win against Mexico in the semi-final game. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Nigeria youth international Orji Okwonkwo, has promised to be a better player while featuring in the Major League Soccer (MLS) side Montreal Impact under manager Thierry Henry.center_img Loading…last_img read more