Candidate Profile: LaMagna/Andresen

first_imgWho they are: Presidential candidate Olivia LaMagna is a junior from Farley Hall studying political science and business economics. She hails from Carmel, Ind., and currently serves as the junior class president. Her running mate, Rohan Andresen, is a sophomore from Siegfried Hall studying business and political science. The Phoenix, Ariz., native, is the senator from Siegfried Hall and a member of student government’s Department of National Engagement and Outreach.LaMagna and Andresen said the overarching theme of their campaign is maximizing each student’s experience at Notre Dame, focusing on the question “how do you ND?”“I feel that there’s one story you’re told as a freshman about what your experience at Notre Dame is going to be, but there’s a huge range of opportunities to explore on this campus,” LaMagna said.First priority: Review student government procedures and come up with best practices for organizing a cabinet and a planning timeline for initiatives. LaMagna said her experience on Junior Class Council with Anderson’s background as a hall senator will give each a unique but complementary view on how student government operates and how they can maximize its efficiency.Top priority: Focus on every individual member of the student body and enable each to meet his or her full potential, in whatever way he or she wants. This overarching campaign strategy provides a focal point for their academic, community engagement and programming initiatives.“We want to get rid of the red tape and barriers that hold students back,” Andresen said. “When each student is seen as their own unique person and when that uniqueness is recognized, that’s when you have a diverse campus.”Best Idea: LaMagna and Andersen hope to create a more collaborative relationship between Notre Dame and South Bend, and LaMagna said she wants students to understand that South Bend is much more than a convenient location in which to do service work.“There’s not enough respect for what residents of South Bend can bring to undergraduates at the University of Notre Dame,” LaMagna said. “We want to increase accessibility to the city of South Bend.”Her experience with planning and executing major events as junior class president has given her insight into how to navigate the “administrative red tape” for project planning and especially approving new vendors and sites, LaMagna said.Worst Idea: Their plan to organize a group of undergraduate and graduate students who could teach one-credit specialized classes in areas such as computer programming seems impossible. While the goal of helping students broaden their technical skill sets and branch out beyond the classes required for their majors is good, it would be very difficult to get off the ground. Perhaps organizing a set of independent workshops or lectures on such topics would be more doable, instead of orchestrating it within the class registration and DART systems.Most feasible: Appoint two students, one male and one female, to serve as co-chairs of the Gender Relations Department of student government.“We want to start bringing a diversity of perspectives into that [conversation] because we don’t want it to be … a one-sided discussion,” LaMagna said. “We want everyone to feel like gender relations is something that matters to them, because if you’re a person on this campus, it affects you.”Least feasible: The two hope to break barriers between the different colleges and academic departments by allowing students to register for classes outside of their declared majors.“Right now, students can’t take classes outside of their colleges once they’ve declared,” Andresen said. “We want to be able to open up classes for students outside of their major.”They propose that a time limit be set on the DART system so that first, students who need a particular class for their majors are guaranteed seats. After official DARTing has ended, LaMagna and Andresen hope to open up registration to students outside the college under which the class is listed.Although this plan would offer students more academic freedom, it does not seem feasible given the labyrinth of prerequisite and co-requisite courses often listed. While perhaps general elective courses could be opened up, department chairs would likely resist open enrollment in more advanced, major-specific courses.Notable quote: “This is probably about 10 percent of all the ideas we’ve come up with. That other 90 percent have just been scrapped because of conversations with people, whether that be students or administrators. … These ideas that we have in the platform have had a lot of thought and a lot of discussion.” — AndresenFun Fact: LaMagna said she is an extremely organized person with “spreadsheets that terrify people,” but her dorm room is incredibly messy. Andresen, on the other hand, keeps an impeccable room and “can barely leave without dusting something.”Bottom line: Their platform reflects a comprehensive examination of real student desires, and the two leverage their energy and enthusiasm to come up with new, bold ideas. Their student government experience prepares them for success in future roles, and their focus on programming, as well as on enabling and empowering individual students, suggests they would have a dynamic, visible presence on campus next year.Tags: 2014 Election, Election, Student Body President, Student governmentlast_img read more

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Austria shuts down country’s last coal-fired power plant

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享PV Magazine:Austria’s largest power provider, Verbund, shut down the Mellach district heating plant in the state of Styria on Friday. The shutdown marked the end of coal-fired power generation in Austria because the district heating plant was the last operational coal-fired unit in the country. For 34 years, the power plant produced more than 30 billion kWh of electricity and 20 billion kWh of district heating. In the future, it will be kept ready for back-up, according to Verbund.“The closure of the last coal-fired power plant is a historic step: Austria is finally getting out of coal power supply and is taking another step towards phasing out fossil fuels,” said Austrian Minister for Climate Protection Leonore Gewessler, noting that the government wants to switch to a 100% power supply based on renewable energies by 2030. “This also gives us economic independence: We are currently spending €10 billion on imports of coal, oil and gas.”Verbund will now develop Mellach into an innovation hub. A pilot plant for high-temperature electrolysis and fuel cell operation for hydrogen production has already been set up. Large-scale battery storage systems are also being tested for use as buffer storage, for example in ultrafast charging stations for electro-mobility at the site, Verbund emphasized.According to Austrian PV association Photovoltaic Austria, the country still has “a very intensive road” to travel. “Because Austria still produces a quarter of its electricity from fossil fuels. For a sustainable power supply, natural resources have to be used much more,” Managing Director Vera Immitzer told PV magazine.The country’s installed PV capacity must be increased tenfold over the next 10 years in order to achieve the 100% green electricity target by 2030. According to “Europe Beyond Coal” surveys, 15 European countries have already decided to phase out coal-based electricity generation, and 14 of them want to exit coal by 2030.[Sandra Enkhardt]More: Austria’s last coal power plant shuts down Austria shuts down country’s last coal-fired power plantlast_img read more

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UK pension schemes should beware bulk annuity ‘capacity crunch’

first_imgThe bulk annuity market is poised to experience a “capacity crunch” in the medium-term, according to consultancy Hymans Robertson, which has pointed to a shortfall of at least £65bn (€76bn) in 10 years time, as growing demand from UK defined benefit (DB) schemes outstrips insurers’ supply. The consultancy forecast that annual demand for bulk annuity buy-ins from UK private sector DB schemes will grow threefold by 2026, to £350bn.It added that the predicted demand will exceed the capacity in the market, at least over the medium-term.James Mullins, head of buyout solutions at Hymans Robertson, said: “To give a sense of the scale of the mismatch, if we were to assume a 5% increase in insurer capacity year-on-year, then in 10 years that would equate to £225bn of supply.”This would amount to a £125bn shortfall.“Even when taking a more optimistic year-on-year growth of 10% over the next ten years we’d still be looking at a £65 billion shortfall,” added Mullins.Such a “capacity crunch” could arise despite “plenty of supply” at the moment, according to the consultancy.This has implications for pricing, which is currently “keen”, it said.“[W]hen we reach the point that demand to transact buy-ins outstrips supply from insurance companies, insurers will inevitably offer better pricing to the pension schemes that have already completed a buy-in,” said Mullins.The consultancy’s findings are based on an analysis of all DB pension schemes sponsored by FTSE350 companies, which it then scaled up to cover all UK private sector DB schemes.It said that DB pension schemes and insurance companies will look to buy gilts of more than £300bn over the next 10 years.UK pension funds’ unwilligness to part with gilts was said to be behind the Bank of England recently failing to meet its buying target for long-dated government bonds as part of its quantitative easing (QE) programme. Hymans Robertson also surveyed all insurers active in the bulk annuity market as at the end of June 2016, asking them about their appetite and capacity for deals over the next 12 months.This included Prudential, which Hymans Robertson noted has since confirmed that it will be withdrawing from the bulk annuity market.This leaves seven insurers active in the market, although Hymans Robertson expects new entrants, not least because strong demand from pension schemes makes it “an attractive source of business for insurers”.The findings were presented in the consultancy’s first annual risk transfer report.last_img read more

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