Dialogue with the deans

first_imgWhile spending nearly 20 years as master of Kirkland House, Harvard College interim Dean Donald Pfister said he learned a valuable lesson.“One of the things that I learned as House master is that I could have really good ideas, or what I thought were really good ideas about how something would work, but it would never turn out that way I thought it would,” Pfister told a group of undergraduates. “If something is really going to work, it has to come from the students. The College is about you all, and we want to hear from you.”With course-shopping week over and the fall term in full swing, Pfister and Dean of Student Life Stephen Lassonde made themselves available to field questions from students in a “meet the deans” forum on Thursday, sponsored by the Undergraduate Council. The event, held in the Faculty Room in University Hall, was open to all undergraduates as another way to help introduce students to the deans as part of ongoing efforts to strengthen the College community.Pfister, who is the Asa Gray Professor of Systematic Botany, has been a member of the Harvard faculty for 40 years. Despite that, the role of interim dean presents something new.“As the interim dean of Harvard College, I am finding out a lot of things end up on my desk,” Pfister said with a laugh.Meanwhile, Lassonde has more than 20 years of experience as an administrator and educator at Yale and Brown universities. While he has extensive experience, Lassonde pointed out that he is relatively new to Harvard, having arrived in Cambridge during a difficult time for the Boston area.“I arrived here in April at the time of the marathon bombings, which was the start of a series of crises, but it made me realize quickly what a great team is in the dean’s office here,” said Lassonde, who lives in Mather House.Students brought up topics such as House renewal, the relationship between undergraduates and the administration, academic integrity, and advice for freshmen.When asked what he would like to accomplish as interim dean, Pfister stressed the importance of community.“To be able to grow and work in this community, to me, is very important. I hope your being here this evening is a signal of openness, that we can trust on each other, and rely on each other,” he said.Senior Samuel Meyer asked Pfister how he intends to engage the community in addressing academic integrity. Pfister stressed that the best approach is an open and honest dialogue, another priority for him this year.“How do we do this? How do we make it better? We need you all to help us,” Pfister said. “Any ideas you have to bring change will be good to hear.”Yuqi Hou ’15 praised Stone Hall (the former Old Quincy and the first completed House renewal project), calling it beautiful.Hirsh Jain ’17 asked the deans if they had any advice for freshmen beginning their four years at Harvard.“This is one opportunity you have to be in a place that offers community in a way that is unique. When you leave here, you will never experience anything like it,” Lassonde said. “You will never be surrounded by so many talented people who want to engage every day, and that’s something you don’t want to squander. If you engage, that’s the best way to make the most of this experience.”After the event concluded, Jain said he was impressed that the deans took the time to meet with students.“I think it is really easy to forget that the people’s names you read on an email are actually real. So it’s great to meet them in person,” he said.last_img read more

A hard look at war’s reparations

first_imgA program to help Colombian citizens heal from the murder, kidnapping, and violence of that country’s long-running civil war is the most ambitious of its kind, a new Harvard analysis says, but it’s so big that there are serious questions about whether it can reach its goals.The program seeks to compensate between 5.2 million and 7 million people — 11 to 15 percent of the nation’s population — for harm suffered since the civil war began in 1964. So far, some 5.2 million people have registered with the program, and 400,000 have received reparations.“We were really not aware of how exceptional it is,” said Kathryn Sikkink, the Ryan Family Professor of Human Rights Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS). “Just on scale alone, it’s off the charts.”While Sikkink and colleagues expressed admiration for the program’s ambition and the speed with which it has ramped up from a staff of two or three in 2013 to 5,000 today, they also expressed doubt whether it was robust enough, and would have the resources, to compensate everyone who qualifies by the time the reparations law expires in 2021.“I think in terms of getting people to register for reparations, it’s been a huge success. The caveat is whether they will be successful in carrying it out by 2021,” said Phuong Pham, an assistant professor of medicine who is a research scientist at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, and who worked on the report.The report was drafted by a team made up of Sikkink, Pham, Assistant Professor of Medicine Patrick Vinck, and Douglas Johnson, director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy. Each took the lead on a major section, with Sikkink conducting a comparative analysis of “transitional justice” programs in 31 other countries, Pham conducting survey research to see how the program is being received by the population and those it seeks to serve, and Johnson providing an analysis to offer advice on how the program can achieve its aims.Their work caught the eye of Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, an HKS alumnus who was re-elected recently at least partly on the strength of his peace-making efforts. The reparations program has figured in negotiations with the largest rebel group, FARC, and Santos asked Sikkink and Pham to travel to Colombia in June to present their findings.“That’s the best we can hope for from any research, that somebody takes some action based on it,” Pham said.Colombia’s civil war, the last in Latin America and one of the longest in the world today, dates at least to the 1960s. The conflict has cost hundreds of thousands of lives, displaced millions, and involved several armed groups. Peace, Sikkink said, would be a major advance not just for Colombia, but for the world.last_img read more

Tim McCarthy promotes safety with humor

first_img“May I have your attention please? This is Tim McCarthy with the Indiana State Police.” A thunderous cheer roars up from the student section, followed by a chorus of shushes raining down upon the crowd of more than 80,000. Through the open window of the Public Announcement (PA) box at Notre Dame Stadium, Sergeant Tim McCarthy hears it all. After 53 years of delivering a safety tip in between the third and fourth quarter at Notre Dame football games, McCarthy has seen it all too. “I always got a kick out of the crowd noise. In the old press box, I used to stand on what I’ll call the outside balcony with all the television cameras and so forth just to get the crowd noise,” McCarthy said. “I used to look and watch the students and that was always a lot of fun.” McCarthy said his superiors at the police department were the first ones to encourage him to deliver a safety message to fans during a home football game. “1960 … There were two games left in the season when I got the assignment, and so I gave the safety announcement very formal like a state trooper should, I guess,” he said. “I was very nervous about it. It went over pretty decently, but nobody listened to it with the crowd noise and all.” McCarthy said he decided after the 1960 season to try a different approach that might make the crowd listen to his safety message.  “I told [my superiors] … I’m going to start using a quip at the end and see what happens, and the following season – that was in 1961 – in the very first game there was a discussion among the referees for something and the crowd was unusually quiet.  “So I gave the thing. The message gave a pitch on drinking and driving. And I said, ‘Remember, the automobile replaced the horse, but the driver should stay on the wagon.’ And I got a lot of groans and boos and things like that.” The next game McCarthy said he tried to focus on driver attitude and said, “Remember, some drivers are like steel – no good when they lose their temper.” McCarthy said more boos followed this announcement, but over time the crowd began to look forward to his sayings. “About the end of the season I noticed a kind of quieting down because everybody’s waiting to see how corny the quip line was going to be. And I just started it off from there; got to be fairly popular at the games,” McCarthy said.  McCarthy said he now gathers ideas and listens for plays on words during the offseason. As games resume, he organizes them into quips that vary from season to season, although some lines do get repeated. “Last season … there was an awful lot of construction around the South Bend area and we focused a little bit on that for a couple games,” McCarthy said. “Generally, I have one on the site in case of rainfall … I have one for snow too, but we haven’t had snowfall for a long, long, long time … This is my 54th year of doing it, so I have run into repeats from time to time.” McCarthy said he carefully prepares to deliver the quips because he fears making a mistake in front of a crowd of 80,000. “I do get nervous, I’m always nervous,” he said. “I have three-by-five cards and I just write the whole message I’m going to give on the three-by-five card. It’s everything, you know, I even write my name on it so I don’t mess up. You never know what’s going to happen.” The students not only support his puns but also maintain the energy of the stadium as a whole, McCarthy said. “They’re the ones that kind of keep the excitement of the game going, I think, students,” he said. “In my opinion they’re No. 1 every season. They really do a good job for Notre Dame in cheering the team.” McCarthy said he used to direct traffic with the police during home football weekends in addition to speaking during the games. He said he retired from the police department in 1979 and served two terms as Porter County sheriff. “[Now] I’m just kind of retired, and the Notre Dame thing is kind of a hobby,” McCarthy said. “I sure enjoyed my career with the state police, and it makes me feel a little bit a part of it again.” When asked how long he wants to continue delivering safety messages, McCarthy said he has plans for the long run. “I wish forever! Because I love it,” McCarthy said. “It’s a lot of fun, I’ll tell you.” Contact Lesley Stevenson at lsteven1@nd.edulast_img read more

911 emergency lines working again after statewide outage

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisALPENA, Mich. — The Michigan State Police said all 911 emergency lines are working again following a statewide outage early this morning.  Lt. Derrick Carroll with the Alpena Post said the lines went down shortly after 2 a.m. The exact cause of the outage is still being investigated confirmed Lt. Carroll.  While the 911 system was down, MSP issued a statement advising that calls were being handled by working non-emergency phone lines. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisContinue ReadingPrevious City of Alpena Fire Department receives updated air packsNext Huron Pines arrives in downtown Alpenalast_img

Bayern Munich agree to sign Leroy Sane on five-year deal – report

first_imgShare on: WhatsApp FILE PHOTO: Leroy Sane A transfer fee around 100 million euros had been reported last summer when Bayern were trying to sign him before injury struck.According to Sport Bild, a few factors could help Bayern sign Sane for a lower fee, especially as he has been sidelined for most of the season.Bayern could sign him for the price they want as the transfer market is deflated by the uncertainty over the coronavirus with all major European leagues currently suspended.Manchester City need to generate income from transfers to comply with financial fair-play regulations having been banned from the Champions League for the next two seasons due to violations and they risk losing Sane to Munich on a free transfer.center_img Berlin, Germany | AFP | Reigning Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich have reportedly agreed a transfer with Manchester City winger Leroy Sane on a five-year deal, according to a report.Sport Bild claim the 24-year-old has agreed terms with Bayern, but the fee is still to be negotiated.According to the magazine, Bayern’s director of sport Hasan Salihamidzic and board member Oliver Kahn want to pay 40 million euros ($43 million) – half of Sane’s estimated market value.However, the Germany international has not played for City’s first team since tearing his right knee ligament last August in the FA Community Shield match win over Liverpool at Wembley.Having joined from Schalke in 2016 for a reported fee of £37 million (42.5 million euros, $45.8 million), Sane is under contract in Manchester until 2021.last_img read more

Italian pundit fired after racist ‘banana’ remark towards Romelu Lukaku

first_imgAdvertisement czNBA Finals | Brooklyn Vs7iosgWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre E2o( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) qWould you ever consider trying this?😱di7Can your students do this? 🌚2celdlRoller skating! Powered by Firework After the shell-shocking incident where Curva Nord – the Inter Milan Ultras said to Romelu Lukaku that they dont consider the racism in football matches as the true meaning of racism but only as a medium to affect opponent players, Lukaku is made the butt of another racist remark.Advertisement A football pundit by the name of Passirani in the Qui Studio a Voi Stadio show surprisingly made a lewd comment on former Manchester United forward Lukaku.Advertisement Passirani said: “Lukaku is one of the best signings that Inter could have made. I don’t see another player like him on any other team in Italy. He is one of the strongest, I like him a lot because he has that strength: he is the twin of [Dúvan] Zapata at Atalanta.”He then added: “They have something extra that the rest don’t have, and then they score the goals and drag your team forward. This guy kills you in the one-on-ones, if you try to challenge him you wind up on the floor. Either you have 10 bananas to eat, that you give to him, or …”Advertisement The director of the show, Fabio Ravezzani, said that Passirani had apologised but that that was not enough. “Mr Passirani is 80 years old and to compliment Lukaku he used a metaphor that turned out to be racist,” he said. “I think it was a terrible lack of momentary lucidity. I cannot tolerate any kind of errors, even if momentary.”Italian football shows no signs to rise above racism and there is no movement to drive a change in mentalities. Advertisementlast_img read more