Student Government promotes discussion of campus issues on online platform

first_imgNotre Dame student government created Onward, an online platform where students could send in university issues they considered in hopes of initiating change, two years ago. However, since its inception student participation with Onward has fallen off dramatically, but the current student government administration is trying to change that.Junior and director of campus technology Sean McMahon said Onward is being moved to Facebook to make it easier for students to use.“[The previous form] was through a strange website that students didn’t know how to find, and the effort of the student government tapered off — it wasn’t nearly as accessible as it was supposed to be,” McMahon said. “So, we’re making it more accessible by moving it to Facebook.”Senior and campus technology board member Jamie Maher said the new platform will allow student government to reply directly to comments and promote discussion among students more efficiently than before.“The old Onward system was less clear and there was potentially not as immediate feedback, but with this Onward page you can see the post immediately show up on the Facebook page,” Maher said. “[For students,] you can immediately comment on it or react to it, which was not available in the previous incarnation.”McMahon said Onward gives students the ability to ensure their problems are being seen and considered by their representatives.“By submitting to Onward you are guaranteeing that your issue is going to be looked at … Our primary concern is that students know that this is always around and always and option for them,” McMahon said.McMahon said student government sees Onward as an opportunity to consistently engage with the student body and understand what is important to them.“It’s great that we’re working really hard on policy initiatives and things that absolutely need to get done,” he said. “But at the end of the day in terms of making sure we’re getting students what they need, sometimes we need to hear back from them, too. So, the purpose of this is to make sure [communication] is not just during the election season but continually part of the process.”A Facebook account is not required for students to use Onward, as comments can be submitted through a Google survey found in the page’s biography or accessible through QR codes on posters across campus, McMahon said. Students can also submit comments anonymously through that same survey.While participation on the platform may vary over time, junior and campus technology board member Sean Scannell said the success of Onward is measured by how aware students are of its availability.“The metric of success is the awareness of this being there,” Scannell said. “We’re not trying to be the most popular page on campus — we’re trying to be the most helpful.”McMahon and Maher said although some issues students have may be more serious than others and not all students will agree on what should be done, Onward is still an important tool for encouraging discourse on campus.“We want any issue, no matter how big or how small, to be able to be discussed and displayed for everyone,” McMahon said.“We’re not just getting an idea and assuming everyone feels one way, we can have a discussion on Onward and can help facilitate a student discussion on both serious topics and something maybe less important but still meaningful to the student body,” Maher said.McMahon said Onward hopes to give every student the opportunity to make the University better.“If we can publicize successes and show that there is potential to create change here just from five seconds of submitting online, then that’s our goal: to know that that’s always an option and they have that outlet to let their voice be heard,” McMahon said. “Complain. Please complain as much as you want. This isn’t just complaining to a friend and mutually agreeing something stinks — this actually gives you the capability to go do something.”Tags: campus technology, Onward, Student governmentlast_img read more

EIA: Continued decline in coal generation expected this summer

first_imgEIA: Continued decline in coal generation expected this summer FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Associated Press:U.S. demand for coal to generate electricity will keep sliding in coming months, federal officials said Thursday, despite efforts by the Trump administration to shore up the struggling industry.Renewable energy sources including wind, solar and hydropower are expected to fill much of the gap left by coal’s decline, according to the Energy Information Administration. It’s particularly true for Western states, where renewables will provide almost a quarter of the power to households and businesses during the peak summer season, the agency said in its projections.Natural gas is expected to remain the fuel of choice for power generation with an expected 40% share of U.S. markets this summer.Coal’s share of power generation is projected to be 25% this summer. That’s down roughly half over the past decade and follows a wave of coal plant retirements by utilities seeking cheaper and cleaner-burning alternatives.“This decline is relentless,” said Seth Feaster, who tracks the coal industry for the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. The Ohio-based group advocates for a transition to more sustainable energy sources. “The question is how low can it go,” Feaster added. “Coal is really facing tremendous obstacles in terms of competition from natural gas from fracking and continuing price declines for renewables.”Meanwhile, plant retirements continue to stack up, including in the heart of coal country. PacifiCorp announced in late April that one Wyoming coal-fired power plant and part of another could be retired as early as 2022 as the company tries to keep down costs for its customers. The Oregon-based utility plans to significantly increase the amount of electricity it generates from wind turbines and solar farms.More: Officials: Coal to keep sliding as renewables, gas fill gaplast_img read more

HHS issues guide for using call centers in emergencies

first_imgNov 8, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently released a guide to help communities retool their health-related call centers into systems for meeting the needs of the public in homes or shelters during emergencies such as a pandemic or bioterrorist attack.Published by the HHS Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the 224-page guide is aimed at boosting the capabilities of poison-control centers, nurse advice lines, drug information centers, and health agency hotlines. It focuses on four main scenarios: anthrax attacks, pandemic influenza, plague, and food contamination.”Community call centers have long been a credible source that people can turn to for health information,” said AHRQ Director Carolyn M. Clancy, MD, in an Oct 26 press release from the agency. “Leveraging these existing resources will allow clinics, outpatient departments, and emergency departments to devote their attention to caring for those in most need of help.”The report was developed for the AHRQ by Denver Health, a member of the agency’s Accelerating Change and Transformation in Organizations and Networks (ACTION) project, the press release said. A national advisory panel of experts in emergency call center services, public health, preparedness planning, and other fields helped draft the guidance.Few resources exist to guide the development of emergency call centers, the report says. However, the authors were able to draw from published reports on the experiences of officials in Toronto and Taiwan during the SARS epidemic.Guidance in the report assumes that the community infrastructure would remain intact so that call centers would be operable. Though the document doesn’t address absenteeism among call-center workers, it covers features, such as interactive response systems, that might reduce the number of employees needed to staff the centers.For communities that have little healthcare call-center capacity, the authors offer suggestions on how to enlist the help of local corporate call-center systems.The report focuses on six response capabilities:Health information to augment risk communications and alleviate the burden on the healthcare system; call centers could direct callers toward medication- or vaccine-dispensing locations and answer frequently asked questionsDisease or injury surveillance to help health officials identify emerging health threatsTriage or decision support to reduce unnecessary hospital visits and reduce costsQuarantine and isolation support to those self-treating or receiving medical care in their homesOutpatient drug information and adverse-event reportingMental health assistance and referralAuthors of the report also developed a tool set to enable public health officials to assess the call-center demand they would face during a public health crisis and what resources they would need to meet it. The set includes checklists and Microsoft Excel worksheets.See also:Oct 26 AHRQ press releasehttp://archive.ahrq.gov/news/press/pr2007/callctrpr.htmAHRQ report on adapting call centers for crisis supporthttp://archive.ahrq.gov/prep/callcenters/last_img read more

Victories for Ballybacon, Holycross and Moycarkey in weekend action

first_imgBrendan Cummins’ 6 scores from goal has helped Ballybacon Grange reach their first ever Junior A Munster Final.They overcame Cork champs St Catherine’s of Cork in the Semi Final in Ardfinnan last evening.===== Meanwhile Holycross Ballycahill were crowned Mid U21 A champions last evening with a comprehensive victory over Drom InchIn doing so they bridged a 21 year gap at that age-group.A flurry of goals saw off Drom as the game finished Holycross Ballycahill: 4-15(27) Drom Inch: 0-14(14)They’ll now move on to the county semi-final, and selector with Holycross U21s and Tipp senior star Cathal Barrett told Tipp FM Sport they won’t look past the next game…In the U21 B Mid Final Moycarkey Borris overcame JK Brackens 0-16 points to – 0-13.Emly Traceys and Cappawhite Gaels have booked their places in the West U21 B Hurling final following semi final wins last evening.Emly Treacys overcame Knockavilla Kickhams 2-17 to 1-9 and it finished Eire Og Annacarty Donohill: 1-10(13) Cappawhite Gaels: 0-19(19) in the other game.In the South division Anner Gaels have booked their place in the South U21B Hurling final following a good victory over Carrick Davins in the first of the semi finals.It finished: Davins 1-8 (11) Anner Gaels 3-17 (26)Then in the North Division, the U21A hurling round 3 game finished up – Toomevara 2-17 Kilruane MacDonaghs 0-13last_img read more