Hugh’s students complain about disciplinary measures

first_imgSt Hugh’s students have this week lodged complaints against a decanal system whose  procedures they have described as “active deaning.”Many have complained that the team of Junior Deans are trying to catch students out rather than help them, as one third year stated, “Their role is to protect the welfare of students, not to target them.”One second year told Cherwell that he had been falsely accused of physically threatening a junior dean. He received an email stating that he had “engaged in an altercation which concluded with [his] purposefully shoving a member of the decanal team” but claimed that he had merely left a gathering in a student’s room without a fuss.A biologist at St Hugh’s added, “Many people find the junior deans rude, sour and abrasive; I think that most students resent their presence around here. They treat us like children and they aren’t even welfare trained.”Anger has also been expressed over high fines. Mathematician Sam Johnston was fined £100 when junior deans had to return to his room to tell him to keep the volume down on a bop night.English student Tom Adams commented, “The fining system is thoroughly absurd, serving only to damage students’ (often already precarious) financial situations, without demonstrating any evidence of preventing further ‘offences’.” Adams has been fined almost £1,000 over his time as an undergraduate. He reflected, “Given that I’ve done nothing criminal nor anything to the ongoing detriment of the College or its members, this figure is absolutely shocking.”Adams added, “The problem as I see it is that the ‘Law’ is de facto on the College’s side, and the process by which decanal issues are handled flies in the face of anything that could conceivably be called ‘democratic’. The Dean is, so to speak, judge, jury and executioner, and he need only appeal to his own authority to dole out whatever rulings and punishments he sees fit. The Disciplinary Code which putatively underpins all this is purposefully obscure.”St Hugh’s Dean, Professor Peter Mitchell, responded, “I do not comment on anything that may or may not appear in the student press regarding the internal procedures of this college.”St Hugh’s students have this week lodged complaints against a decanal system whose  procedures they have described as “active deaning.”Many have complained that the team of Junior Deans are trying to catch students out rather than help them, as one third year stated, “Their role is to protect the welfare of students, not to target them.”One second year told Cherwell that he had been falsely accused of physically threatening a junior dean. He received an email stating that he had “engaged in an altercation which concluded with [his] purposefully shoving a member of the decanal team” but claimed that he had merely left a gathering in a student’s room without a fuss.A biologist at St Hugh’s added, “Many people find the junior deans rude, sour and abrasive; I think that most students resent their presence around here. They treat us like children and they aren’t even welfare trained.”Anger has also been expressed over high fines. Mathematician Sam Johnston was fined £100 when junior deans had to return to his room to tell him to keep the volume down on a bop night.English student Tom Adams commented, “The fining system is thoroughly absurd, serving only to damage students’ (often already precarious) financial situations, without demonstrating any evidence of preventing further ‘offences’.” Adams has been fined almost £1,000 over his time as an undergraduate.He reflected, “Given that I’ve done nothing criminal nor anything to the ongoing detriment of the College or its members, this figure is absolutely shocking.” Adams added, “The problem as I see it is that the ‘Law’ is de facto on the College’s side, and the process by which decanal issues are handled flies in the face of anything that could conceivably be called ‘democratic’. The Dean is, so to speak, judge, jury and executioner, and he need only appeal to his own authority to dole out whatever rulings and punishments he sees fit. The Disciplinary Code which putatively underpins all this is purposefully obscure.”St Hugh’s Dean, Professor Peter Mitchell, responded, “I do not comment on anything that may or may not appear in the student press regarding the internal procedures of this college.”last_img read more

Tap & Go card set to cut queue times

first_imgShoppers purchasing items worth less than £10 may soon be able to pay by simply tapping their debit card on a terminal before walking away.MasterCard’s new Tap & Go system, which will offer retailers much lower payment processing charges than on normal credit or debit card transactions, does not require a PIN number or signature because the purchase value is so low. It works by means of radio waves, which are sent from a special chip in the card and picked up by the PayPass terminal. Payment can be made in less than a second and only works with transactions of less than £10. RBS pilotThe Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) will trial the new technology, which is also dubbed ‘contactless payment’, on Maestro debit cards at its Gogaburn headquarters in Scotland. Lasting for six months from June, the scheme will see retailers at its headquarters, including a c-store, deli and coffee shop, using the PayPass system to take payment from RBS’s 3,000 employees. The shops are not open to the general public, so the trial will be completely closed.MasterCard, which plans to roll out the technology across Europe, says Tap & Go cards will help cut queues and offer customers a more convenient way of paying for low-cost items compared to cash. The scheme has already found success in the US where McDonald’s, supermarkets and cinema chains use the system.Retailers in the RBS pilot scheme will be supplied the PayPass terminals free of charge. The small device is fitted to conventional Chip and PIN readers or can stand alone. The special EMV chip required for these low-value payments will be added to all new RBS debit cards issued to staff taking part in the scheme.National ambitionsOnce the PayPass system is rolled out nationally, retailers will be able to rent or buy the scanners outright. Charges will be much lower than with conventional debit or credit card payments, because the transaction does not have to be authorised online, thereby cutting time and costs. The scanner automatically deducts funds from the payer’s account. The system could be of particular use to sandwich chains and high-volume bakeries as a way of cutting queues during peak trading periods, such as lunchtime. Malcolm Simpson, Greggs’ financial director, says he is always looking at methods to improve customer experiences.“We don’t have Chip and PIN units in our shops because most of our transactions are below £2, but working in cash has its own costs. This sort of thing would be of great interest to us, not just because of peak trading times, but because of convenience for customers.” Alexander Labak, president of MasterCard Europe, says: “Low-value transactions, where consumers traditionally rely on cash, are the next frontier for debit cards. By breaking cost barriers and creating a simple alternative to cash, we’re creating an attractive situation for banks, consumers and merchants.” According to Rob Keenan, product leader, Tap & Go has been driven by merchants looking for a quick, convenient way to receive payments, while reducing the amount of cash they have to deal with. “There has been real co-operation between retailers, banks and ourselves. It’s similar to how Chip and PIN first developed.” The US experience In 2005, contactless payments expanded from regional trials in the US to a broader more nationwide acceptance of the technology. In the past year, major banks including Chase, Citibank and HSBC, have begun to issue MasterCard PayPass-enhanced credit cards, debit cards and key rings. Major merchants also announced plans to accept MasterCard PayPass, including McDonald’s, Duane Reade drug stores and 7-11. In December 2005, there were more than 4.3m MasterCard PayPass cards and key rings and approximately 25,000 merchants accepting the payment. “In 2006 we expect to see the adoption and appeal of contactless payments grow considerably in the US,” said Cathleen Conforti, MasterCard’s senior vice-president and PayPass global product manager. “As more consumers become comfortable with Tap & Go payments, they will show preference for those merchants that allow them to speed through check-outs with a ‘tap’. This shift in their shopping patterns will encourage broader acceptance by national and regional merchants.” She adds that new developments will arise, such as the launch of non-card products. “Citibank, for example, has already announced the roll-out of its contactless debit key fobs in the US,” she says. “MasterCard also continues to work with handset manufacturers to pilot the use of mobile phones as contactless payment devices. We have made great progress with the technology involved. We have now integrated PayPass technology into the phone itself.”last_img read more

Local business owner helps modernize the NPCC

first_imgThe need for a new console was made evident during the recent Talk of the Town event, when the centre’s microphone stopped working just moments before Emcee Brain Daley was about to get the night started.“After a few minutes of scrambling by the theatre’s in-house technician, as well as some well placed humour by emcee Daley, a short-term fix was in place and the event was able to continue as per normal,” writes the Cultural Centre.The new equipment, a 32 channel Soundcraft Expression III, brings new features to the Cultural Centre, including remote mixing via iPad, automated motorized faders, scene memory lists, and built in digital signal processing on every channel.- Advertisement -A digital mixer is something that the [Cultural] Centre has wanted for a long time,” writes interim executive director Connie Surerus. “It has the features that touring artists expect, and the automation tools that make doing more complicated theatrical and music production easier and faster.”Eggleston says the replacement of the centre’s old mixing console is a good short-term solution to help get through the current season, but a permanent solution needs to found if the facility wants to remain prevalent in the years to come.last_img read more