Monday, September 1, 2014  
The Charger Bulletin

Presidential Candidates

by The Charger Bulletin | March 27, 2013

 This week, the Charger Bulletin Staff asked Presidential and Treasurer candidates to answer a question regarding their perceived goals. We graciously thank all of the USGA candidates for their willingness to demonstrate their dedication to the UNH student body. Please do not forget to vote!

Question: “As President, how would you seek to improve communications between the USGA and the general student body?”

Zani Imetovski

As USGA President I will improve communication between the student government and the students we represent by first always making myself available to the student body. This will be done by going table to table in Bartels and asking directly from the students what issues they feel need to be addressed. For a large part of the student population they don’t even know what Undergraduate Student Government Association (USGA) actually is or does, so I believe I must also not only improve communication but also create channels of communication between the USGA and those students, therefor making the USGA transparent and available to everyone. Advertisements and social media will help us in getting the word out about the USGA, but it also needs to be personal interactions between the USGA President and the students we represent. In the end USGA needs to listen to the issues brought forth by the students and then voice those concerns to the administration. The USGA president must also provide ideas and be proactive in solving those issues.

 

Ryan “RJay” Irons

If I was President of Undergraduate Student Government Association (USGA), I would seek to improve communications between USGA and the general student body by using all popular social media that the students use. Popular sites and resources like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Charger Bulletin, WNHU, Campus TV services in each building, and more are the go to places for students. By having a USGA account that students could follow or information at places readily accessible, would allow for the students to see what’s going on with the University and with USGA as a whole. A lot of times, students do not want their inboxes flocked with emails and by using these social media sites, it will allow for quicker access to the information students are seeking. By posting important topics that will be discussed at the upcoming USGA meetings, would enable the general student body members who normally do not attend meetings to attend and voice their opinion which I believe would be a change from previous semesters. As a small campus, our students are able to have their voice heard and are more of a name than just a face in the crowd and if elected, I challenge myself to seek out to meet as many of you as I can so that I can properly represent you as your elected student body official.

 

Arnold Lane

Communication is key in any organization. My hope for the USGA would be to get student involvement promoted in the classroom. The dynamics of social media and email messages are overwhelming, so much that people bypass important events, workshops, dates, etc. If we as a University start talking about the student government, leadership development, and getting involved in classrooms throughout the different colleges, it would be the best way to get the word out and communicate what’s happening in the USGA. Students use Facebook and Twitter to complain about campus issues, but if University professors provide them with the necessary outlets of where to go and who specifically to speak to it would serve our organization to the fullest. Campus involvement has to come from everyone, keeping the University staff and faculty in the loop is probably the best way to improve communication with the student body.

The First President & Treasurer Debate

by The Charger Bulletin | March 13, 2013

By Katerina Sperl and Nadine Northway

The University’s Undergraduate Student Government Association (USGA) had their first debate of the year for the candidates running for Treasurer and President of the USGA E-Board. For those who do not know, the E-Board currently consists of Sergeant at Arms, Treasurer, Executive Assistant, Vice President, and President. They help make the decisions on campus for clubs and organizations and how a lot of things are run. Running for President of USGA are juniors Zani Imetovski and Ryan “RJay” Irons, and senior Arnold Lane. Candidates for Treasurer are juniors Enrique “Ricky” Cruz and Isaak Kifle.

Patrick Kelland started off the debate with the question, “What is the most difficult challenge you have ever faced in a leadership position?” Both Treasurer candidates surprisingly answered that they wanted to keep everyone on the same page. Kifle emphasized putting himself out there to be more approachable. Cruz tried to show people why they should care just as much as he does.

“What sets you apart from the other candidates?” Kifle stressed that the variety and length of the experiences he has had in the student government gives him a diverse background. His multitude of organizations allows him to meet very diverse people. Cruz’s experience is a bit more specific. He has been treasurer of another organization for the past two years. “All the forms there are to do, been there done that. I know the treasurer position, forms, problems, concerns.”

Tim Farmer, current Treasurer of USGA, picked up the questions from there. “Which section of the USGA financial system needs to be the most improved?” The candidates finally found something to disagree about. “Conference. The conference benefits the entire student body,” Cruz said. Kifle took a different approach, arguing that people should be better informed of policies. He sees a lack of communication that is leading to denied money requests and shortage of events. He wants everyone to be informed of how the system works so that they enter requests knowing more about the processes.

Farmer proceeded to ask, “If you could change one thing that I’ve done this year, what would you do differently?” They both offered constructive criticism for the Banner system. Kifle advised that USGA creates more comprehensive guides on navigating the system. Cruz suggested more forms to help understand how much money was deducted from the organizations’ accounts.

Pat Kelland took the podium again to ask the presidential candidates a monumental question. “What traditions would you like to see brought to campus and how would you implement them? What is a hot topic issue that needs to be addressed?” Imetovski said, “It begins here, places like this, where you get actively involved in the community… This should be like a second home for us. The student government needs to grow with our campus.” Lane advocated for rallying around athletics, and even suggested a chant. He also brought up the issue of retention, something everyone on this campus has seen occurring. “When I hear the University of No Hope or the University of No Housing, that needs to change.” Irons suggested a Charger Week, improving spring weekend time slots, and improving the housing process to be more fair.

“How would you handle the pressure of being USGA president?” Imetovski said he would make this his sole priority. He joked about investing in stress balls before promising not to take any problems personally. Lane relied on talking everything out and letting out emotions only behind closed doors. Irons answered with a quote. “Find a job you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.”

“What is the number one issue that students are facing?” Imetovski brought up that your biggest problems are related to who you are. “For organizations, the fact that you get bumped from rooms and have your budget cut for no reason. For residents, you’re off campus pretty much by senior year. For commuters, parking.” Lane emphasized the high cost of tuition. Irons suggested spreading the knowledge.

After the questions from Pat Kelland and Tim Farmer, they opened up the discussion to questions from students. Unfortunately, Cruz was unable to stay, but the rest of the candidates were there to answer what applied to them.

The first question asked was how they would rectify the media budget problems in the past, should they happen again. Cruz opened with saying that miscellaneous funds are for the student body. They are not for one certain society’s events. Kifle brought up how SCOPE in the past had some issues with submitting forms and this was a heated debate; however, he believes that they have value in what they fund. Imetovski said that the SCOPE issue was emotional; however, they are a way for students to initially meet people and get involved on campus. Lane said he took into consideration the student body when voting as a senator, on whether or not they should get funding. He wishes that the funds would be used for more educational purposes though, instead of iPads and TVs being given out. Irons said that they should not set the amount of events you have to throw because if there is no funding, there is no event.

The next question asked was how do the candidates’ personalities fit the position? Irons answered how friendly and outgoing he is. Lane said he has a bubbly personality that can tend to be corny, but he is overall laid back. He can be stern with his words but he always maintains composure. Imetovski is ready to help everyone. If he does not have all the answers, he will point students in the right direction. He feels USGA fits with his personality, as current Sergeant -at-Arms. Kifle answered that he is analytical and detail-oriented. He works well with the paperwork side of things and has excellent skills explaining things to people. Helping people is his passion.

The final question asked for the night was why the candidates care about the student body. Irons started out by saying how having the opportunity to serve as president of the USGA, you can make the changes that the students want. He believes that with his motivation, eagerness and drive, he can make those changes. Lane believes that he likes to speak for those who do not speak for themselves. Imetovski said that, in the end, the student body chooses the president to voice their concerns so they need to help people out. “You might not always get the credit, but you know you did something right,” he said. Tune in on Monday, March 25, in the Bixler/Botwinik Quad for the second part of the debate. Food will be provided.

 

USGA Elections 2013: Presidential Candidates

by The Charger Bulletin | March 13, 2013

Arnold Lane

My fellow Chargers, my name is Arnold M. Lane, Jr. and I aspire to represent you all as the President of the Undergraduate Student Government Association (USGA). For those of you who are unfamiliar with who I am, I am a student-athlete studying Psychology with minors in Sociology and Black Studies, I will be a senior in the fall of 2013, and I serve as a member of the Men’s Cross Country / Track and Field Team. The USGA is a student-run body of government that meets weekly to discuss and address student concerns and allocate funds for the University’s student groups.

Reflecting on my experience at UNH, I can say I have done it all. I have proudly served as the USGA Chief of Senate, USGA Senator, President of the UNH Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), President and Treasurer of the Black Student Union (BSU), Treasurer of the Caribbean Student Association (CSA), and the Sergeant at Arms of the UNH Chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). As I enter my final year at the University I have made the decision to run for USGA President.

My involvement on campus has shaped me into the individual that I am today, and while some of you may not even know me, chances are we have crossed paths at least once during our tenure here. My desire to serve the student body stems from my willingness to want to change the nature and culture of this University. We hold a rich diversity here, unlike most colleges and universities. I stand proud of that fact and would like to enhance it to make it even better.

My experiences over the past few years have taught me leadership, respect, patience, and reliability traits that would be crucial for this important role. My hope is to change the face of this organization and bring the campus together as a whole. There appears to be a significant divide and lack of communication between the University’s students, student groups, Department offices, and Administration. This is something I would like to change. The UNH experience should foster a more spirited and proud community. When I see lack of interest in Homecoming and Spring Weekend events, heated social media discussion regarding school policies, and spur of the moment Administrative decisions, I take notice. Communication is key in any organization, and lines should be open.

My goals for the USGA include, bringing together the campus community, promoting diversity and embracing the different walks of life each of our students represent, condensing the various USGA documents and making them more cohesive, shifting towards a more sustainable process when submitting forms and documents, pushing for an increase in Educational Programming for the student body, bringing prominent guest lecturers and speakers to the University for meetings and seminars, fostering more community engagement in the West Haven and New Haven areas, and making the University Experience more memorable.

If you believe in my cause and my leadership abilities please stand with me when the time comes. I appreciate your support, VOTE ARNOLD LANE FOR USGA PRESIDENT…Bridging the gap one step at a time.

Best Wishes,

Arnold

 

Zani Imetovski

Hello everyone! My name is Zani Imetovski and I am running for USGA President. I am a junior here at the Univeristy of New Haven and have been very involved on campus. My experience includes serving as Senator, leadership roles in several clubs and currently USGA Sergeant-at-Arms.

My passion has always been in making this campus better as either a Senator, USGA Executive Board member or in the several clubs I am apart of. As a Senator I was chairman of the commuter issues committee and worked on getting commuters and all students more involved on campus. As Sergeant-at-Arms I have focused on streamlining and making the constitution and bylaws more efficient, to help clubs, organizations and the students put on better and more exciting events. I have always made my self-available in the office or in the halls to discuss student concerns and issues, taking the steps needed to solve the problems that they may have. I have always worked hard and take pride in what I do and I will take the experience that I have gained through my various leadership roles with me if elected USGA President.

As USGA President I will like to focus on solving the large problems students have with campus like parking, shuttle service and residential life issues. I would also like to develop the quad to make it more of a gathering place when it’s warm out. One of the improvements to the quad that I would like to accomplish is to place artificial turf so that it can be more optimally unitized. A major thing I would push is for development and promotion of more tradition and school pride on campus, so that we can grow closer together as a campus community.

In conclusion I would like to say that I will work hard for the student body and will make sure that the changes I will make will transform our campus to be an even better place to get an education.

 

Ryan “RJay” Irons

My name is Ryan Irons, known as RJay, and I am currently a junior here at the University. Over the past few years, I have been involved in many organizations as well as participated in multiple student organization events and have witnessed first-hand the importance of a student body government. I currently serve as a Senator for the student body and being able to work with each of you and learning the developing issues around campus gives me the proper information in order to solve those concerns for the most part. As a senator, you can only do so much with the duties of the position and I believe that with a position such as the USGA President, I will be able to assist students in furthering their knowledge of the University as well as the policies or departments in order to assist them with their complaints or questions. Being a tour guide with the Admissions Department for the past 3 years has also allowed me to also hear about what students look for when coming to the university and taking their ideas into consideration about the campus. Sometimes, it takes a fresh pair of eyes in order to realize something you’ve been seeing for so long may be ineffective. Communication between the University and the Students is an extremely important slice of the college pie. A student should never be blind-sided by university changes without at least prior notification. I believe that students should be given the time to voice their concern about any changes that could affect them.

I believe that the students should be afforded the rights to a student government president that is proactive rather than reactive. 9 times out of 10, students are going to take to social media networks to rant about what they don’t like rather than submit a formal complaint. I believe the President of USGA should be reaching out to those students to see what they’d like to see differently and attempting to reach a solution rather than leaving the problem unnoticed.

Some of the ideas that I have looked into developing further:

1. Keeping you, the students, IN THE LOOP with university decisions

2. Regarding the Shuttle Services

a. Courtesy van on special request to shop rite & charger plaza during certain times

b. University Sponsored Housing shuttle should run late on week days as well instead of ending at 11pm

3. Regarding Dining Services

a. The opportunity of Grill 155 delivering food

4. Reworking the co-sponsor system amongst Gold and Blue status organizations to lay out the difference between financial, manpower, and/or items to assist other organizations

5. Hosting Presidents Round Table to see how the USGA can assist RSO’s in their success

6. Hosting more campus-wide events to intersperse the student body to create a close-knit community where students will gain memorable experiences on campus as a whole.

These are just some of the ideas I have going into the position if elected but working with each and every one of you, together, we can make UNH better than before. So remember, “A Vote for Me Is a VOICE for YOU!”

 

Letter to the Editor: State of the Union

by The Charger Bulletin | February 27, 2013

By Cliff Vosberg

Contributing Writer

Every year, the new president of the United States of America delivers a speech. The State of the Union, to be exact. This speech outlines what this president plans on doing in their upcoming term. Our fantastic President Barack Hussein Obama just delivered his on Feb. 13. Our president, I must first say, is fantastic. Let’s first go through some things he did in his first term, shall we?

He made $500,000 on the job! Oh, but wait, we lost $600,000 with him in. But wait, we are stopping global warming by being green! Oh, but wait…all those emails were uncovered a couple of years ago, where all the scientists where saying how it was a natural cycle, but a great way to make some money. So that doesn’t help our argument about how great he is either.

What about Obama Care? That’s great! It’s going to raise everyone’s taxes and give health care to people who don’t work and live on welfare! Also it’s going to put a whole bunch of health insurances out of business. And one more thing—you have to pay for this! It’s a mandate; you pay a fine if you don’t.

But wait a second…America is a democracy, not a socialist government, so Obamacare is just going to screw over hard working tax payers and force socialist government on Americans. That’s not so good either. I could go on, trust me, but this is about the State of the Union.

In President Obama’s State of the Union, it has been estimated that he has lied 13 times to the American people, or just said things that contradict or are hypocritical to his true plans. The first is when Obama was talking about what built America, saying that America must go back to a time where any hard working person can come to America and, if they are hardworking, make a life for themselves.

Last summer, Barack Obama said, “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” So every small business that an entrepreneur started didn’t actually build that according to Obama.

The second lie was about Medicare. Obama wants those who care about Medicare to accept modest reforms. Obama care will cut $716 billion from Medicare, hardly modest. The next was on budgeting. The democratically-controlled Senate hasn’t passed a budget in four years. That’s how long Obama has been in office. On top of this, Obama said, “Let’s agree, right here, right now, to keep the people’s government open, pay our bills on time, and always uphold the full faith and credit of the United States of America.” America’s credit rating has fallen for this first time in the country’s history under Obama.

The fifth lie was on oil. Obama said that the USA is producing more oil than we have in the last 15 years. When Obama took office, gas prices were $1.86. Now they are on the upwards of $3.40. Obama has done nothing but stop American oil drilling by shutting down offshore drilling, drilling bans and stopping the construction of the Keystone Pipeline.

The sixth ignorant comment was about the housing market. Obama said that the housing market is finally healing after the 2007 crash and home prices are rising. Also, that home purchases are up 50 percent. The home prices are rising because the prices have finally stopped dropping or are dropping slower. I know that my house is currently worth thousands less than it was. So it is currently a great time to buy because homes are worth next to nothing.

The next comment was about preschool, saying that every state needs to have a state-run pre-school. I guess having four-year-olds playing with blocks and singing miraculously drops crime rates and will up high school graduation rates. I’m not saying pre-school is bad, I went and it’s a good system, but I went to a private pre-school. There are tons of them; billions of dollars do not need to be spent on this.

The next comment that I found humorous was about the border. Obama said; “Real reform means strong border security, and we can build on the progress my Administration has already made – putting more boots on the southern border than at any time in our history, and reducing illegal crossings to their lowest levels in 40 years.” Let’s look at America: what job can you get without a GED? Nothing. You will not get hired almost anywhere. So why would anyone want to illegally immigrate to America now? There is still great opportunity here, but you have to have qualifications. It’s becoming more risk than gain to illegally immigrate to the USA now, which is why the rates are dropping.

Obama wants to raise the minimum wage to $9 an hour across America. There is a federal minimum wage, then a state-set minimum wage. As a poor college student, this sounds great! But this will make it extremely difficult to find a summer job because this will drop employment due to business not being able to afford as many workers. The government hires more employees than the private sector at this time; this is not good.

The next is on foreign relations. Israel is our best ally in the Middle East. Obama has been ignoring cries for help from them; he has destroyed foreign relations with them. Also, Benghazi: for those that do not know, Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty all died in a terrorist attack on the American Embassy in Benghazi. The Embassy begged multiple times for extra security and it was ignored. When the terrorist attack came, two former Navy SEALs gave their lives to try to save the ambassador and were killed in action. According to Obama, in the beginning this was not an act of terror. He has now switched to saying this was an act of terror. Obama is trying to cover up the fact that neither himself, nor anybody else, did anything to prevent this attack.

The next was on gun control. This topic has been chewed up and spit out, and I do not wish to go deeply into this argument. But Obama turned his whole speech into an anti-gun rally. He talked about a shooting in Chicago, in his home state of Illinois. Chicago has the strictest gun laws in the country, so I’m not sure what Obama’s argument states. It does show that strong gun laws do not stop gun violence. In 2011, there were 496 murders in which a hammer or club where used, compared to 323 connected to a rifle. Looks like we need to register our hammers and have stricter laws on those bad boys!

The next was on voting. Obama said, “We should follow the example of a North Miami woman named Desiline Victor. When she arrived at her polling place, she was told the wait to vote might be six hours…Desiline is 102 years old.” Seems like people in North Miami are just mean! I don’t know about you, but if there was a woman who was 102 years old and I was in charge, I would let her vote and be on her way. I’m not sure who is proud of forcing a 102-year-old woman wait six hours to vote. But I do tip my hat too Miss Victor on exercising her right at the ripe age of 102!

Lastly, Obama’s last words, “God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.” I ask God to bless America every day. This is one thing that I can agree with Obama on. He has increased my faith in God through fear for my future in this great nation.

We live in a nation where when a singer overdoses and dies, Obama orders all flags to be flown at half-staff and gives a speech about it. However, when Chris Kyle, an American hero, gets murdered, Obama does nothing. Chris Kyle has the most confirmed sniper kills in American history. It scares me to think that Obama will do so much for Whitney Houston and so little for Chris Kyle. Kyle was an American hero and needs to be respected and remembered as such. I am disappointed and ashamed that Obama did nothing for this man.

I love this country. America is a beautiful place where opportunity flourishes. You and I have a dream that we know we can achieve. I want my children to be able to have their own dreams. It scares me that they may not if the country continues on the road that it is on with President Obama. God bless America. God bless every dream that any person in this nation has. You may need every blessing that God can give.

 

Are the States Going to Secede?

by The Charger Bulletin | November 28, 2012

Letter to the Editor

By Ross Weiner

Are states planning to leave the Union? There been talk of this since the re-election of President Barack Obama because there been a petition circulation on whithouse.gov asking for all 50 states to secede from the United States.

Technically, in the United States Constitution states do have the right to secede from the United States. But what is the reality of this happening?

The reality of this happening is slim to none. The reason is the states get money from the federal government to operate their budget. Most of the states are pretty much bankrupt and they rely on the federal government for money. No state Legislature or Governor in their right mind would secede from the United States of America if they wanted there state to be bankrupt.

Finally, I want to touch up on the fact that the State Legislature would have to vote on seceding the Union. Most of the state Legislature would not vote for seceding the union because they need federal money.

So many people are reacting to the petition of the states seceding as a something that is real. Well the fact is nothing is going to happen. This petition was not motivated because of race. This petition was motivated because it our federal government violates the United States Constitution and the public trust of the people of the United States.

I am not advocating for the secession I am advocating for we the people to throughout all corrupt politician who represent us in the federal or state level.

 

Election Night 2012

by Liana Teixeira | November 14, 2012

The NAACP brought students of all political ideologies together for a night of election coverage.

The NAACP brought students of all political ideologies together for a night of election coverage.

Dozens of students crowded inside the Bartels dining hall on election night, anxiously watching CNN’s coverage of the 2012 presidential election results.

The fierce campaigning finally came to an end on Tuesday, Nov. 6, as the battle between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney played out for the entire nation. The University of New Haven’s chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) hosted the event along with the WNHU, the Undergraduate Student Government Association (USGA), and the Office of Intercultural Relations.

Bartels was patriotically decorated for the occasion, with red and blue-colored streamers lining the walls. Blown-up photos of Obama and Romney adorned two of the pillars in the room, and students handed out festive beads, hats and necklaces to those in attendance. A large projector screen displayed CNN’s coverage of the election results as WNHU broadcasted live to the rest of the campus. A wide variety of food, drinks and snacks were also provided.

Attendees ranged everywhere from freshmen to graduate students. “It only happens every four years, so I wanted to be here,” said freshman Jessie Edelman. This was Edelman’s first time voting in a presidential election.

She was also happy and impressed that the UNH campus strongly promoted voting in the months leading up to the election.

Grad student Marinda Brown also had good things to say about the coverage. “It’s very festive,” she said. “I’m hoping Obama comes out and gets another opportunity.”

NAACP President Arnold Lane said extensive preparation went into planning this event. “Initial planning started in July,” he said. Coverage of the beginning stages of the election also started as early as August and September. In 2008, an election night party was held in the Quad following the results. “We wanted to mimic that,” Lane said.

“I think it’s very successful,” Lane continued. “No matter who wins, it will be a historical election. I’m just glad people are here.”

As the race neared its end, students expressed their passion toward the candidates by cheering whenever their favorite candidate won the electoral votes of an additional state.

Early in the night, Romney was leading in the number of Electoral College votes. However, it became apparent that Obama would be the one to reach the coveted 270 votes needed for re-election. In the end, Obama came out on top with over 300 electoral votes in his favor, guaranteeing him another four-year term as President of the United States.

Election coverage night proved to be a successful event, unifying students on a topic that affects each and every member of the UNH community and the country.

 

The Campaign

by Ana Abraham | August 29, 2012

The last dedicated political movie to hit the box offices was The Ides of March in October of 2011. Although, this fast-paced crash course into dirty politics starring George Clooney and Ryan Gosling was about as far away as the genre can take you from this summer’s latest comedy, The Campaign.

Funny men Will Ferrell (Anchorman, The Other Guys, Elf) and Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover, The Hangover Part II, Dinner for Schmucks) face off in a race for a congressional seat in their North Carolina district.

Ferrell’s character Cam Brady has held the seat unchallenged for almost a decade, but that all changes when he makes a major political faux pas not long before the election. Two wealthy CEOs see their chance to move in on the district by putting up a challenging candidate, Galifianakis’ character, naïve Marty Huggins.

The rich men and their henchmen have hopes of controlling the area financially, and go to great lengths to make sure Huggins wins. Huggins, of course, has other plans when he figures out their scheme.

Brady and Huggins are the perfect opponents: they are opposites in every way. They are candidates from different political parties, men of different lifestyles, and politicians with different motives. Nearly every scene with both is either confrontational or hilarious, with a raunchy sense of humor and no shortage of political incorrectness.

The Campaign does an excellent job of playing to the talents of both stars. Galifianakis seems to be a natural at playing socially awkward characters, if his role in the extremely popular Hangover franchise is any indication.

Huggins is the same, with many of his political dreams based in wanting his father’s approval. Ferrell is the opposite, with a penchant for playing outspoken characters. Brady takes the label of “outspoken character” to the next level.

Chris Henchy and Shawn Harwell wrote the screenplay for The Campaign. Jay Roach directed and produced the movie, as well as Meet the Parents and Meet the Fockers, among others.

With a supporting cast including Jason Sudeikis (Horrible Bosses) and Dylan McDermott (American Horror Story), The Campaign is a definite election-year guilty pleasure.

 

Sarkozy to File Complaint in Gadhafi Funding Claim

by The Associated Press | May 2, 2012

PARIS (AP) — French President Nicolas Sarkozy vowed Monday to file a complaint against a news website that claims to have evidence he was offered campaign financing from late Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi for his first presidential bid.

Sarkozy has vigorously denied the allegation, which was first levied by one of Gadhafi’s sons last year as France was pressing for international airstrikes against Gadhafi’s forces to end a crackdown on rebels.

Although no evidence has emerged that the funding ever took place, French website Mediapart reported Saturday it had obtained a 2006 Libyan document signed by Gadhafi’s then-intelligence chief Moussa Koussa with an offer by the regime to spend €50 million ($66 million) on Sarkozy’s campaign.

Sarkozy said Monday that he would file a complaint before the end of the current presidential campaign, again denying that there was any truth to the claim.

“Those who lie, those who tell falsehoods should be condemned by the justice system,” he told France 2 television Monday. Once the complaint is filed, prosecutors will have to decide if it warrants an investigation, which could lead to charges.

Sarkozy, who is trailing challenger Socialist Francois Hollande in the polls for Sunday’s presidential runoff, also accused Mediapart of being a mouthpiece for the left.

Francois Bonnet, the editorial director for the site, rejected that accusation.

“It’s simply grotesque and defamatory,” he said.

Hollande also dismissed the claim, saying he had no link to the site and noting that it sometimes goes after politicians on the left.

“(Do) I need newspapers to bring up scandals? You think that’s how I plan to win the presidential election?” Hollande asked on Europe-1 radio.

A Letter From President Kaplan: Sad news regarding a UNH student

by The Charger Bulletin | April 11, 2012

Dear Campus Community

I am deeply saddened to report the untimely death of Stirling Danskin, a sophomore majoring in music and sound recording at the University, has died.  His body was discovered across Boston Post Road several blocks away from the University of New Haven main campus earlier today.  The cause of death is not known at this time but there are no signs of foul play. This incident is still under investigation by the West Haven Police Department.

For students wishing to talk with a counselor on campus, the Office of Counseling Services, located in the lower level of Sheffield Hall, will be open with walk-in hours until 10 p.m. today and from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. tomorrow. No appointment is necessary. In addition, the University has arranged for grief counseling to be available around the clock through Empathia Counseling Services, which can be reached at 866-713-1978.   Chaplain Martin O’Connor also will be available to meet with students until midnight tonight in his office, located in South Campus Hall, room 205. Chaplain O’Connor can also be reached at 203-641-0538.

The Dean of Students Office will provide information regarding services for Stirling once they have been planned. Please keep Stirling’s family and friends in your thoughts and prayers.
Sincerely,

Steven H. Kaplan
President

 

A guide to Obama’s student loan plan

by Brandon T. Bisceglia | October 28, 2011

President Barack Obama is applauded by students and faculty after his speech at Auraria Events Center in Denver, Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2011. Obama outlined a plan to allow millions of student loan recepipients to lower their payments and consolidate their loans. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

 

By KIMBERLY HEFLING
AP Education Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Recognizing that college students and recent graduates are facing rising tuition prices and burdensome student loan debt, President Barack Obama announced a plan that seeks to lessen the burden of paying back student loans.

Some questions and answers about student loans:

Q: How big a problem is student loan debt? 

A: Total outstanding student debt has passed $1 trillion, more than the nation’s credit card debt, and average indebtedness for students is rising. The College Board said Wednesday that the average in-state tuition and fees at four-year public colleges rose an additional $631 this fall, or about 8 percent, compared with a year ago. The cost of a full credit load has passed $8,000 – an all-time high. The board said about 56 percent of bachelor’s degree recipients at public schools graduated with debt averaging about $22,000. From private nonprofit universities, 65 percent graduated with debt averaging about $28,000. Experts say those average amounts usually are still manageable, at least for those who finish a degree. But they are concerned about the rate of increase, the growing numbers with substantially more debt and the increase in those apparently in over their heads repaying them. The Education Department said in September that the national student loan default rate for the 2009 budget year had risen to 8.8 percent.

Q: What does Obama’s plan do? 

A: Obama will accelerate a law passed by Congress last year that lowers the maximum required payment on student loans from 15 percent of discretionary income annually to 10 percent for eligible borrowers. It goes into effect next year, instead of 2014. Also, the remaining debt would be forgiven after 20 years, instead of 25. The White House said about 1.6 million borrowers could be affected.

Obama also will allow borrowers who have a loan from the Federal Family Education Loan Program and a direct loan from the government to consolidate them at an interest rate of up to a half percentage point less. This could affect 5.8 million borrowers, according to the White House. 

Q: How much does it save borrowers?

A: Some borrowers will save several hundred dollars a month in payments. 

Q: What’s the difference between government-backed student loans and private student loans? And, does Obama’s plan impact private loan borrowers?

A: Before the law change, borrowers wanting a student loan backed by the government could get loans directly from the government or from the Federal Family Education Loan Program. Those from the Federal Family Education Loan Program were issued by private lenders, but basically backed by the government. The law eliminated the private lenders’ role as middlemen and made all such loans direct loans. The law was passed with the overhaul of the health care system with the anticipation that it would save about $60 billion over a decade. Private loans are one students typically get when they get all they can get from the government. They’re typically from banks, and they are where students tend to get into the most trouble because they don’t have the same government protections and they usually have higher interest rates. Obama’s plan won’t help students stuck in those. The amount of private lending has fallen sharply in recent years as lenders have cut back and demanded higher credit scores. However, for extremely expensive colleges, students may hit the maximum federal borrowing limits and have no choice but to look for private loans. 

Q: Are there others who don’t benefit?

A: Borrowers already in default won’t qualify. The accelerated component of the income-based repayment plan only applies to borrowers who take out a loan in 2012 or later and who also took out a loan sometime between 2008 and 2012, according to the Education Department. To be eligible for the consolidated loan component, a borrower must have both a direct loan from the government and a loan from the Federal Family Education Loan Program. 

Q: The White House says the plan is free to taxpayers. How can that be?

A: A White House official says it doesn’t cost taxpayers anything because when the loans are consolidated, the government no longer has to pay a subsidy to private lenders on the Federal Family Education Loan Program loans. 

Q: What do Republicans say?

A: Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., the ranking Republican on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, said in a statement that Obama crafted his plan behind closed doors and “we are left with more questions than answers.” Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., a former U.S. education secretary, said the real way to reduce the burden of student-loan debt is to slow down the growth of tuition and the best way to do that is to “reduce health care costs and mandates that are soaking up state dollars that in the past have gone to support public colleges and universities.”

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