Boston University students who came up with “(Expletive) It Won’t Cut It” slogan go national

Boston University students who came up with a provocative public health campaign amid the coronavirus pandemic soared to the national stage Wednesday — as they were front-and-center at a CDC emergency response event about the virus.

BU students who launched the “(Expletive) It Won’t Cut It” slogan on campus presented at CDC’s webinar that explored using social media at colleges to promote positive health behaviors related to COVID-19.

The campaign garnered a lot of interest when BU filed a trademark for the slogan with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office — and it even caught the attention of national leaders at the CDC.

“(Expletive) It Won’t Cut It” was one of four public health campaigns from colleges across the country chosen to present at the COVID-19 emergency response webinar, and it was the only initiative fully run by students.

“This is a dream for us. We would have never thought that we were noticed by the CDC as students,” said Hannah Schweitzer, one of the students to work on the campaign. “This is crazy.”

The webinar brought together representatives from colleges and universities — including BU, Pennsylvania State University, Georgia State University and Xavier University of Louisiana — to learn more about how social media has been leveraged to promote positive health behaviors related to COVID-19.

The BU student campaign covers the importance of wearing masks, hand washing and coronavirus testing. The campaign also explores how to talk to roommates about staying safe during the pandemic, reassessing the party lifestyle, mental health, and how to have safe sex in a COVID-19 world.

It’s key for a student-run campaign because students don’t trust institutions, Schweitzer said.

“Only 7% of Gen Z puts a lot of trust in people of power. They’re going to take everything coming from BU with a grain of salt,” she said, later adding, “The solution is a campaign by students for students… students aren’t trusting the institution right now, but they’re going to take advice from their peers.”

The slogan helps spark a reminder for students to make safe choices at different decision points each day — because saying “(expletive) it” to responsible protocols won’t keep students on campus, they said.

The BU group during the CDC webinar put up the following campaign message: “Let’s call students out on their bull(expletive) and remind them that saying ‘(expletive) it’ to small rules can lead to big consequences.”

Source Article

Read more

Student-loan forgiveness may be popular, but the cost of college must be cut | Mulshine

I see that a number of leading Democrats are encouraging Joe Biden to cancel up to $50,000 per person in student-loan debt.

I’m tempted to say, “Go, Joe, go.” I have two daughters who are stuck with big payments for college loans and I’m sure they’d like to start off with a clean slate.

But if we’re going to clean that slate, then let’s go all the way. Let’s attack the root cause of all that debt.

That’s inflation in the cost of higher education.

The COVID-19 crisis makes this an ideal time to address that problem. As the old saying goes, every crisis also offers opportunity. And this crisis has given us an opportunity to envision how a college education could be provided much more economically.

An excellent example is Princeton University. A Star-Ledger article last week told how undergrads have spent the current semester engaged in remote learning. Most will be returning to the Mercer County campus for the spring semester, the article reported.

But one of them is not happy about it. An article on the Princeton Planet site tells how a sophomore by the name of Reid Zlotky has filed a federal lawsuit demanding a refund for at least part of the $25,935 in tuition he paid for the semester.

The plaintiff’s lawyers filed a brief stating that Princeton “is saddling wholly innocent students with mounting debt as a result of having to pay tuition and fees for services they are not receiving and facilities and services that are not being provided.”

The suit raises a question every parent should ponder: How can colleges charge such atmospheric fees for imparting knowledge that could be imparted much more economically online?

With Princeton, of course, the student gets the prestige of attending one of the most exclusive universities in the country. But why is it so expensive?

As recently as 1992 the tuition at Princeton was a mere $8,275 per semester. If tuition had grown at the rate of inflation it would now be a mere $14,173 per semester.

The same is true for colleges all over the country. A progressive think tank called Demos recently did a study titled “When Congress Went to College: Comparing tuition then and now at our elected officials’ alma maters.”

“What we found was striking, but not surprising,” the authors wrote. “Current students face college costs that dwarf those paid by the very elected officials tasked with tackling the problem.”

A key factor in the rise of college costs has been the wide availability of student loans – as well as a dirty trick Congress played on college students back in 1976.

That was when Congress passed a law saying that student-loan debt, whether public or private, could not be discharged in bankruptcy except in the most extreme circumstances.

That led the lenders to make a whole lot of loans they would not otherwise have made. And now there’s $1.5 trillion in student-loan debt out there, much of it owed by people

Read more

Overseas aid budget for education cut by a quarter this year, data shows | Global development

The overseas aid budget for education was slashed by more than a quarter by the government this year, even before this week’s further axing of a third of aid spending, according to analysis seen by the Guardian.

As anger met the government’s announcement this week, it was revealed that it has already reneged on the Tory manifesto pledge by cutting primary and secondary education funding as part of £2.9bn of cuts made by Dominic Raab in July. On Wednesday in parliament, while announcing he would seek to legally cut the aid budget from 0.7% to 0.5% of gross national income, Raab reiterated a promise to prioritise girls’ education, which was immediately dismissed as “empty rhetoric” by the shadow international secretary.

Labour MP Preet Gill said data analysis showed the government had now broken not one, but two manifesto commitments. Save the Children, whose researchers did the analysis, said the government’s promises on aid and development are “meaningless currency”.

The overseas aid budget from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) is currently £8.7bn–£2.8bn less than the £11.5bn spent in 2019–20.

There has been a 26% reduction in spend on education, according to analysis of data from the International Aid Transparency Initiative, provided by FCDO. Health has seen a 16% increase, due to a refocus on activities related to Covid-19, such as the global fund, medical research and infectious disease control. However, other areas of health funding that are critical for children – such as basic nutrition, family planning and reproductive healthcare – have been cut, the data shows.

Richard Watts, a senior adviser in development finance at Save the Children, said: “Primary and secondary education were the focus of these education cuts. While they have maintained projects specifically related to girls’ education, the cuts to primary and secondary education will have an important impact on girls’ education.”

Watts said he was also concerned about the reprioritising of the health budget due to Covid, because it has meant a decline in funding to basic nutrition and on family planning and reproductive health.

Gill contrasted the drop in aid funding for primary and secondary schooling with Raab’s comments in the Commons. “The analysis today really calls into question his saying we are going to use the aid budget for girls’ education. That is simply not the case.

“You can’t trust this government, because that’s two commitments. They reneged on the 0.7% manifesto and again on girls’ education. This idea that he’s saying he has prioritised girls’ education at the very same time that there’s been cuts in the money spend by ODA [official development assistance] on education by his department. We’ve seen one programme that they did cut was supporting 200,000 vulnerable young girls completing their schooling, and also cutting teenage pregnancies and sexual violence programmes in Rwanda. These are really important when it comes to addressing inequality.

“So I don’t think we can trust his latest pledge that he is going to prioritise girls going forward … He announced the £2.9bn

Read more

Manchester University students win 30% rent cut after Covid protests

The University of Manchester has agreed to give its students a 30% cut in rent for the first half of the academic year following a fractious month of protests and rent strikes against its handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

The university published a statement on Wednesday stating that all students in university halls of residence will be given a rebate equivalent to four weeks rent as compensation for their reduced experience between September and the end of January. It also set out plans to reopen study spaces, address maintenance issues, improve safety and security, and work with students on a “behaviour pledge”.

The university said the total reduction equates to £4m, which is thought to make it the largest ever rebate secured by students following a rent strike campaign.

The move comes nearly a month after students pulled down fences that had been erected around their halls of residence overnight without their prior knowledge in an angry protest attended by hundreds. This was organised by a group of students on rent strike against the university, who said it had galvanised others into joining their movement.

A further protest was held following a racial profiling incident on its Fallowfield campus, sparking calls for the vice-chancellor Nancy Rothwell to quit.

The student unrest culminated in 15 students occupying a university building, Owen’s Park Tower. Following the announcement of the rebate, the rent strike group, which comprises some 200 students, said it would put an end to its occupation and resume rent payments.

Ben McGowan, a politics and sociology student and one of Rent Strike Manchester’s organisers, said the group, which originally asked for a 40% rebate, had negotiated with the university indirectly through the student union. He added that the group plans to resume rent striking in January to secure further rebates for the second-half of the academic year.

“It’s a big relief, it does feel like a big victory. But it’s a shame it took so much,” he said. “This isn’t the end of student anger at the university. I hope it’s a moment for students on campus to see direct action work and us actually win.”

McGowan added that he has been sharing advice with students at several other universities, and that he expects more rent strike groups to emerge in the new year. The latest addition is a group at Cambridge University, which launched its campaign for a 30% rent reduction in a tweet posted on 23 November.

The largest group of rent striking students is at Bristol University, where there are an estimated 1,000 students on rent strike, of which more than 400 are in two organising WhatsApp groups.

Hamish, one of the organisers, hopes that his institution will follow Manchester’s example. “We’ve had some wins but in the next days we’re going to step things up and become more aggressive with the university,” he said. “We’ll make sure they know how frustrated and dissatisfied we are.”

The university has made several concessions to the group, most recently

Read more

Are you cut out for a new career? Metro Tech is offering a new barbering program

Metro Tech is launching a new barbering program in a new space and accepting enrollment applications.

Students will learn cutting-edge clipper artistry, straight-edge razor shaving and over-all styling taught by a professionally trained instructor. Instruction also is taught on topics ranging from general anatomy, business industry relations, and front-end salon management and merchandising techniques.

The evening full-time training is available for individuals with no experience, and short-term training for those wishing to expand their cosmetology skills. The programs will start January 2021.

At completion of the program, a student will be prepared for employment as a barber, and eligible for the exam to obtain their Oklahoma Barbering License from the Oklahoma State Board of Cosmetology and Barbering.

The Barbering and Cosmetology program is at the Springlake Campus and offers state-of-the-art equipment in a new setting.

For an enrollment application, go to www.metrotech.edu/barbering or call 405-595-4678 for more information.

(function(d, s, id){ var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) { return; } js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "https://connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

Source Article

Read more

A British university is testing new low-carbon tech that could cut heating costs

  • Recent years have seen the development of interesting ideas related to the efficiency of residential properties.
  • Developers are also looking to build new homes that integrate sustainable, digitally-connected features from the outset.



a sign in front of a sunset


© Provided by CNBC


A local authority in the U.K. is to provide university researchers with a house to test low-carbon technologies, with the collaboration set to gather potentially valuable data which could inform how buildings are designed in the years ahead. 

The partnership, between Hull City Council and the University of Hull in the northeast of England, will focus on the use of “combined ventilation and air source heat pump technology.”

According to the Energy Saving Trust, an air source heat pump absorbs “heat from … outside air” to provide homes with heat and hot water. The system developed by the team at Hull “uses a unique mixture of both indoor and outdoor air” and, in the process, helps to cut the levels of heat a “typical house” would lose through ventilation.  

Information on both heating and energy use in the house will be collected over the course of a year, with the project team analyzing the technology’s affordability and efficacy.

“Early indications are that the technology can significantly reduce carbon emissions, when compared to existing gas boilers,” Daniel Parsons, who is director of the Energy and Environment Institute at the University of Hull, said in a statement issued earlier this week.

“We need to test how to best deploy and operate this new technology, which has the potential to decarbonise our residential housing stock across the country, whilst simultaneously addressing fuel poverty through a reduction in heating costs,” he added.

New homes, new solutions

The last few years have seen the development of many new ideas related to energy use and the efficiency of residential properties.

Digitally-connected technologies give consumers insights into how much energy they’re using and the money they’re spending, for instance, while the physical fabric of buildings is also changing.

Examples of the latter include technology developed by companies like Q-Bot. Among other things, the London-based firm uses robots that can go underneath floorboards, make 3D scans and then spray “layers of insulation” on their underside.

Indeed, modifications to existing buildings, including whole retrofits, could have an increasingly important role to play in the years ahead.

This is in addition to the development of brand new homes that integrate sustainable, digitally-connected features from the outset.

North of Hull, in the city of York, authorities are also looking to the future with a plan to develop 600 new homes through its Housing Delivery Programme.

The city’s council says it has “committed to innovative design principles” for the scheme and has described it as the “largest zero carbon house building programme in the country.”

In a statement issued alongside a project update on Wednesday, councilor Denise Craghill said the Housing Delivery Programme, as well as its Design Manual, put “health and wellbeing and climate change at the heart of the developments.”

“The aims include

Read more

British university testing tech that could cut heating bills

Kenny Williamson | Moment | Getty Images

A local authority in the U.K. is to provide university researchers with a house to test low-carbon technologies, with the collaboration set to gather potentially valuable data which could inform how buildings are designed in the years ahead. 

The partnership, between Hull City Council and the University of Hull in the northeast of England, will focus on the use of “combined ventilation and air source heat pump technology.”

According to the Energy Saving Trust, an air source heat pump absorbs “heat from … outside air” to provide homes with heat and hot water. The system developed by the team at Hull “uses a unique mixture of both indoor and outdoor air” and, in the process, helps to cut the levels of heat a “typical house” would lose through ventilation.  

Information on both heating and energy use in the house will be collected over the course of a year, with the project team analyzing the technology’s affordability and efficacy.

“Early indications are that the technology can significantly reduce carbon emissions, when compared to existing gas boilers,” Daniel Parsons, who is director of the Energy and Environment Institute at the University of Hull, said in a statement issued earlier this week.

“We need to test how to best deploy and operate this new technology, which has the potential to decarbonise our residential housing stock across the country, whilst simultaneously addressing fuel poverty through a reduction in heating costs,” he added.

New homes, new solutions

The last few years have seen the development of many new ideas related to energy use and the efficiency of residential properties.

Digitally-connected technologies give consumers insights into how much energy they’re using and the money they’re spending, for instance, while the physical fabric of buildings is also changing.

Examples of the latter include technology developed by companies like Q-Bot. Among other things, the London-based firm uses robots that can go underneath floorboards, make 3D scans and then spray “layers of insulation” on their underside.

Indeed, modifications to existing buildings, including whole retrofits, could have an increasingly important role to play in the years ahead.

This is in addition to the development of brand new homes that integrate sustainable, digitally-connected features from the outset.

North of Hull, in the city of York, authorities are also looking to the future with a plan to develop 600 new homes through its Housing Delivery Programme.

The city’s council says it has “committed to innovative design principles” for the scheme and has described it as the “largest zero carbon house building programme in the country.”

In a statement issued alongside a project update on Wednesday, councilor Denise Craghill said the Housing Delivery Programme, as well as its Design Manual, put “health and wellbeing and climate change at the heart of the developments.”

“The aims include minimising our impact on the environment, tackling loneliness and isolation, reducing fuel poverty, increasing biodiversity and tree planting, and designing our new homes and neighbourhoods alongside existing communities,” Craghill, who

Read more

Number Of Active COVID Cases Cut In Half

WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ — After a “superspreader” event at Monmouth University in early October, the West Long Branch college has now “effectively halved” its number of active coronavirus cases, Monmouth U. president Patrick Leahy announced.

Monmouth University was at a peak of 193 active COVID cases on Oct. 6, but as of Friday is now down to 96 active cases.

The number of students who were in quarantine is also down, from 274 on Oct. 5 to 82 on Oct. 16.

Monmouth U. gave few details on what the superspreader event was, only to say that it happened at an off-campus event two weeks ago and more than 100 active COVID cases could be linked to it.

In reaction to that, Monmouth University moved all classes online only, closed all indoor dining, closed the campus pool and fitness center and also halted all sports team practices for the past two weeks.

Gatherings of any kind greater than five people were prohibited. Students had to wear masks at all times, unless they were alone in their dorm room.

However, as of Friday, Leahy said those restrictions are being lifted. In-person and hybrid learning will resume, and indoor dining has reopened, albeit at 25 percent.

Members of the Monmouth University community can be tested Monday through Friday between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., with no appointment needed. All specimens are being sent to the state lab, which reports a 24-48 hour test turnaround time.

Related: Monmouth: 100-Plus Active COVID Cases After ‘Superspreader’ Event (Oct. 12)

This article originally appeared on the Long Branch-Eatontown Patch

Source Article

Read more