Respect, revenue and results: it’s time for a central OUSU venue

first_imgAmbition takes you places. Warwick University Students’ Union has two buildings which house seven bars, two clubs and a pub, a pizza outlet, a coffee shop, juice bar and a fish and chip shop. Due to campaigning it managed to secure £11m from the university to improve the buildings.The two floors that OUSU occupies hosts one main conference room and a handful offices for the sabbatical team, the Oxford Student newspaper and Oxide Radio to work in. Scandalous in comparison. Oddly for someone who was a JCR President and as a consequence went to OUSU council, I don’t think I heard any mention of a central student venue for the Student Union at the bi-weekly congregation of Oxford’s most politically active; which is troubling because such a venue is key to any attempt to solve OUSU’s problems.OUSU needs a new venue which hosts several conference rooms, large office space, a bar, a club and more space for the Oxford Student and Oxide Radio.My support for such a venue is based on the number of bops for undergraduates and graduates or charity events that our student union could hold in a new venue. It’s based on the increase in revenue from a bar that would benefit from NUS discounted drinks or from the income generated through shops paying rent to have access to the site and based on the ease of availability of rooms that clubs and societies will have for meetings and events.My support is also related to welfare. I’ve lost count of the number of times that I’ve negotiated past drug dealers, intimidating groups of people and abusive squatters to get into OUSU towers.Surely negotiating through such obstacles is pretty intimidating for a first-year who has been the victim of sexual harassment or unfair rustication? Why should we as students tolerate a building that barely meets the absolute minimum required for the safe exit and entry of the disabled? The usual comeback is that getting such a venue is too difficult and expensive, but that simply isn’t good enough. Yes, it will be difficult and expensive. But that’s why a new, well-publicised campaign needs to be launched by OUSU to fight for facilities fit for our student union. Getting a venue is a huge project that can’t be tucked away for a rainy day: it needs 110% commitment and a committee comprised of students, university staff and businesspeople to realise this goal. Last year, while informally chatting about this idea with last year’s OUSU business team, the now-abandoned Bar Med near Filth seemed to fit the bill: there’d be plenty of space for the sabbatical team to work with, enough space to fit the accommodation office (which is currently housed in Summertown, not the easiest of places to get to). There’d also be enough space for a bar and a club.With the university planning on raising a billion and on embarking on a series of major building projects, now is the time to seize this moment in order to get the facilities that students at other universities take for granted.last_img read more

Harvard’s Mobile Yard Tour app

first_imgHarvard University is commemorating its 375th anniversary this year with a special gift — a mobile tour of Harvard Yard for visitors, neighbors, and members of the Harvard community.With any web-enabled smartphone, the Harvard Mobile Yard Tour app allows users to take a self-guided tour to learn more about the University’s rich history as they explore Harvard Yard. For example, users will learn which Harvard building housed George Washington and his troops during the Revolutionary War, view colonial artifacts dug from the Yard by archaeology students, and see how the University is using technology to make its collections accessible to anyone with a computer. Users will also hear from students on what it’s like to live in Massachusetts Hall, view President Drew Faust’s office, and learn the history of the wooden water pump in the Yard.A collaborative effort between Harvard Public Affairs and Communications and the Office of the University Marshal, the tour features writing and narration by Harvard College students. Each of the 16 stops offers explanatory text about the significance of that location, as well as audio, video, and images with information in four categories:Inside/Out: See what’s inside iconic Harvard Yard buildings not accessible to the general public.Fast facts: Learn interesting facts about locations and events in the Yard.Innovation: Understand Harvard’s commitment to innovation and discovery.History: Learn about 375 years of enduring academic excellence and access to students around the world.Though the walking tour is intended for users located in the Yard, the app can also be downloaded from any location for a remote tour experience.To get started, users need a web-enabled smartphone or an iPhone. The tour is accessible on your mobile device at or can be downloaded from the iTunes App store. In addition, visitors can still learn about the Harvard campus by visiting the Information Center in Holyoke Center.last_img read more

U.S. Fleet Forces Band Performs in 200th Anniversary of Argentine Independence Parade

first_imgBy Eduardo Szklarz/Diálogo August 03, 2016 The U.S. Fleet Forces Band (USFFB) participated in a huge military parade in Buenos Aires on July 9th and 10th during celebrations for the 200th anniversary of Argentina’s Declaration of Independence. The USFFB performed with 17 other military and security forces bands from the Americas, Europe, and Africa. “The event was a wonderful opportunity to showcase the partnership between Argentina and the United States,” U.S. Navy Lieutenant Robert J. “Seph” Coats, director of the USFFB, told Diálogo. “With our presence, we were able to clearly demonstrate this partnership and the continued goodwill among our countries.” The USFFB traveled to Argentina as part of an initiative of the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) to join Argentines in celebration of their bicentennial. Also participating in the parade were the Bolivian Army Military Band, the Brazilian Army’s 2nd Armored Cavalry Brigade Band, the Chilean Army Concert Band, the Spanish Air Force Band, the French Paratroopers Band, Italy’s 8thBersaglieri Regiment Fanfare Band, the Moroccan Royal Air Force Band, the Paraguayan Army Command’s Military Concert Band, the Peruvian Armed Forces Joint Band, and the Uruguayan Air Force Band. Argentinian ensembles included the Argentine Army Symphonic Group, the Argentine Navy Band, the Argentine Air Force Band, and the “Alto Peru” Fanfare Band of the “General San Martín” Regiment of Mounted Grenadiers. Also playing were the “General Martín Miguel de Güemes” National Gendarmerie School Special Band, the Argentine Naval Prefecture Band, and the Argentine Federal Police Band. “Meeting the other bands was excellent. We had many opportunities to play together, have conversations, and exchange experiences,” Lt. Coats said. “The lives of military musicians are very similar, even though we are from different countries. It is always a pleasure to be able to get to know our colleagues a little better, and it is always an honor to work together to pay homage to nations and commemorate their independence.” Intense Programming Marching along the emblematic Avenida Libertador in the Argentine capital, the USFFB performed the official song of the U.S. Navy, “Anchors Aweigh,” and a traditional march called “Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean.” “The reception in Buenos Aires was exceptional. The people and the authorities were warm and welcoming, and there was a real sense of camaraderie,” Lt. Coats said. Escorted by 4,000 troops from the Argentine Armed Forces and accompanied by thousands of people, the musicians marched to the Argentine Polo stadium, where each band showed off its skills, interpreting popular marches and songs from their respective countries. The USFFB stood out for its high energy, with a battery in the middle of the lawn and a singer who performed with a microphone in hand. Another group that excited the crowd was the Chilean Army Concert Band, which interpreted the tango “Adiós Nonino,” written by the Argentine composer Astor Piazzolla. The rest of the bands also had a fairly varied repertoire, including everything from the “Imperial March” (from the movie “Star Wars”) to the Italian classic, “Funiculì, Funiculà.” Festival of Democracy Argentinean President Mauricio Macri, along with national military and civil authorities, attended the bands’ concert in the polo stadium. Argentine Minister of Defense Julio Martínez called the event a “festival of democracy.” “We are very happy and appreciative of everyone’s work and all the countries that sent their bands to celebrate this bicentennial of our independence with us,” Minister Martínez said. “It has been a long time since our service members have been summoned by the National Government to march in a provession, and we were now able to do that,” concluded the minister, also acknowledging the presence of the veterans of the Falklands War. For the USFFB, it was an unforgettable event. “The activity gave us the opportunity to represent the United States and the U.S. Navy in support of a very important event for the Argentine people,” Lt. Coats said. “Our two countries are lucky enough to have a long history of independence, and the parade and the festival of military bands allowed us to join together in Argentina to celebrate this special anniversary.” Known as “The Finest of the Fleet,” the USFFB was created in 1945 and currently has 45 members, all of whom are active-duty U.S. Navy sailors. The band provides musical support to ships, military bases, foreign dignitaries, and community events in the Mid-Atlantic and Ohio River Valley areas of the United States, in addition to regularly mobilizing in Central and South America. “I feel fortunate to direct the organization, which is made up of some of the best, most talented musicians of the U.S. Navy,” Lt. Coats concluded.last_img read more