Counselling cutbacks

first_imgChanges to the referral system for the University Counselling Service have caused concern amongst students this week. It has emerged that the number of sessions offered by the service will be dramatically cut this term.Previously, students who were referred, either by staff members or themselves, would be assigned a counsellor, with whom they would meet and decide on the best course of action. If it was established that they would benefit from weekly sessions, then these would take place without any further assessment.However, owing to the strain placed on resources at this time of year, the service has changed its policy. Instead of initially offering ongoing counselling, students will be given just two sessions, before having to “re-refer” themselves and then wait to be allocated support again.Alan Percy, Head of the Counselling Service, explained that the measure is necessary to give everyone the best chance of access to the service. He commented, “The beginning of Hilary term is always the busiest time of year for the counselling service in every university. As a temporary measure, we have introduced a system guaranteeing an initial session with a follow-up session for those students who can be helped with a brief intervention, as we want to see as many students as possible before the end of term. This measure has been introduced in previous Hilary terms and has proved to be successful in bringing down waiting times.”He added, “The service will continue to see students for on-going support. Where this is needed and appropriate, students will also be offered support through the service’s group work provision and self-help resources.”The Counselling Service is one of a number of support systems that are in place for students at Oxford. The services offered include one-to-one counselling, group counselling, self-help guidance and workshops. Where appropriate, there is also liaison with GPs and other professionals.The recent change has elicited a mixed response from the student population. The main concern is that those students who are most vulnerable are going to be left without the help that they need, simply due to a lack of resources. One such student, who asked to remain anonymous, said, “I’m really disappointed about this development in the counselling service. Last term I was having weekly sessions and felt like they were really helping, but when I started a new set of sessions with a different counsellor this term, I was told I could only have one more after. I feel really let down by this, and I just can’t afford to pay for counselling privately. I don’t think people understand how important this is, I’m genuinely really worried about not having access to the help that I need.”However, Kirstie Mok, Women’s Welfare rep at St Catz, focused more on the strain that can be placed on these services, commenting, “I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing, especially if they feel they wouldn’t be able to cope with the number of referrals otherwise. There will always be the danger of someone slipping through the net and not getting follow-up counselling after the two appointments, but given the experience and training of the people who work at the Counselling Service, I don’t think this is likely to happen. It sounds like they are just going to make better use of all the other support networks and resources available.”One second year student commented, “If this is a question of resources, then the University surely needs to look at what it can do financially to help. Leaving students without adequate support in the ‘pressure cooker’ that is Oxford is a dangerous thing to do. If they want students to excel academically, then they have to support them.”last_img read more

"Counselling cutbacks"

Recipe for a new Gen Ed course

first_imgIt’s one thing to understand the physics of sound, but quite another to build a synthesizer or figure out why the instrument resonates  better in one auditorium than another. In similar fashion, mastering the history of the black freedom struggle won’t necessarily help explain all that the #MeToo movement owes it.Starting this fall, 160 courses in the new College program in General Education are offering students the opportunity to engage with these questions and more, in ways that ask them to bridge the worlds of theory and practice across disciplines.In devising their Gen Ed courses, faculty members were asked to take creative, in-depth approaches to examining persistent, often provocative issues that affect students’ academic and social lives. The courses are distributed across four categories: Aesthetics and Culture; Ethics and Civics; Histories, Societies, Individuals; and Science and Technology in Society.How Music Works: Engineering the Acoustical WorldIn Robert Wood’s Gen Ed course, “How Music Works: Engineering the Acoustical World,” the Charles River Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences in the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) wants students to learn the fundamentals of engineering while giving them the opportunity to be curious about acoustic experiences in everyday life. He adapted the course from his prior offering in SEAS (ES25).In his new course, students build acoustic and electronic instruments as part of the lab component, and compose original pieces to be played on those instruments. The compositions will later be cut onto vinyl records as part of a unit on music storage and preservation. For Wood, bringing together Harvard’s rich scientific and musical traditions is one of the great joys of teaching the class.“I want to dispel the myth that these concepts are not for people who have little or no experience in engineering and computer science,” he said. “It would be great to have people come out of the course with the confidence to examine phenomena or devices that they wouldn’t have explored earlier.”Race and Justice,For Tommie Shelby, Gen Ed provides a space to teach through his discipline and address urgent questions with philosophical applications in daily life. The Caldwell Titcomb Professor of African and African American Studies and of Philosophy designed his course “Race and Justice” as an avenue for those unfamiliar with philosophy to learn more about how it might be applied to public affairs and to encourage thoughtful engagement with issues and questions that are emotionally fraught and difficult to parse.“The point of ‘Race and Justice’ is to think harder about the issues at hand, because so many people regard both the questions and answers about racism as obvious,” he said. “Part of what I want to do with this course is unsettle that idea, and to show that the questions are much more complex and require much more systematic reflection than students have typically done at this point.”The class will consider hate speech and regulation, mass incarceration, discrimination, and integration, primarily through the lens of moral reasoning. Through class discussions and essays, students in Shelby’s course will be asked to formulate cogent, rational arguments to support positions on divisive issues.“This course is intellectual in the classical way of thinking about our sense of justice, but there’s a practical orientation that points beyond the world of Harvard,” said Shelby. “The world has been structured by racial injustice and, in light of this, students will have to think about how to be a responsible citizen of the country and of the world. This course is a small contribution to the process, but still an important one.”Texts in Transition,In Texts in Transition,” Ann Blair and Leah Whittington explore the development of translation, preservation, and use of texts, from cuneiform writing on clay tablets to text messages. They also bring attention to the role of archives, museums, and libraries in saving texts and making them accessible for future scholarship, as well as the processes of conservation that can occur outside of institutions.Whittington, a professor in the Department of English, points to the accidental preservation of papyrus scrolls as an example of the ways in which writing has been saved and discarded over thousands of years.“In Greco-Roman antiquity, poetry was highly prized and written on papyrus, but old papyrus scrolls were later used as material for wrapping mummies, which preserved them, along with the body of the dead person,” she said. “In the last 200 years, there’s been new interest in the writing on those papyrus rolls, and as a result we have poetry from 2,000 years ago that is preserved almost by accident.”For their semester-long project, students become “custodians” of a piece of writing and decide how and why to preserve it for future study. The process is designed to engage students with the conservation process and help them see the ways in which they apply the lessons of the course to texts in their own lives.“We want to sensitize students to the transformations involved in transmission: Texts are edited, presented and interpreted in new ways, as each generation plays a role in passing them down to the future,” said Blair, the Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor in the Department of History. “We also each affect the survival of the texts we write today by the decisions we make about what to delete and what to save and how. Those decisions have consequences we can’t always predict, because loss and survival are often also accidental, but at least we can be aware of the factors involved to inform our decisions.”Black Radicalism,In Robert Reid-Pharr’s course, “Black Radicalism,” students study also issues of race in and outside the classroom, with a focus on works by writers including James Baldwin, Angela Davis, and Frantz Fanon, published from the 1940s through the 1980s.The texts create a historical foundation for understanding contemporary protest movements like Black Lives Matter and #MeToo, which adopted some of the same methods employed by earlier activists to raise awareness about oppression. The final project will be a virtual museum hosted by the Harvard Library and Archives, with all objects curated by students.“The point of the museum project is to have the course not just be about what happened in the past, but also where radical movements are going,” said Reid-Pharr, a professor of studies of women, gender, and sexuality and of African and African American studies. “I’m excited that the students will get their hands dirty in the archives, to understand the ways in which the themes we talk about touch the institutions where they are.”For Reid-Pharr, Gen Ed not only provides an opportunity for students to learn more about his areas of expertise, but is also an opportunity to develop a different perspective on teaching.“I wanted to jump into Gen Ed in order to learn more about teaching in new ways that are more effective for student populations now,” he said. “I think the course will be a journey for the students, but also a journey for me.” Changes coming to Gen Ed 160 courses now offered, many of them new, Dean Claybaugh explains Relatedcenter_img Intensely personal, yet universal Harvard’s Gen Ed curriculum encourages broad and deep examinations of Big Questionslast_img read more

"Recipe for a new Gen Ed course"

Captains hail Hurricane Relief T20 initiative

first_img– Guyana Jaguars and Caribbean All Stars square off today at Providence Stadium AS relief efforts continue for the victims of recent hurricanes in the Caribbean, a T20 cricket match between home side Guyana Jaguars and a Caribbean All Stars team is billed for today at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence, with the first ball set to bowl off at 17:00hrs.Dubbed ‘Cricket Cares’, the game is organised by the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB), in partnership with Ansa McAl’s Carib Beer and Keem’s Foundation, a charitable organisation.Meanwhile, during a press conference yesterday at the Guyana Marriott Hotel, captains Leon Johnson and Rayad Emrit have hailed the initiative, with Johnson indicating that cricket is a unifying force in the Caribbean.“It’s great to see us coming together to raise funds for the countries that were affected by the hurricanes,” Johnson related.The game will feature several players who were part of the Hero Caribbean Premier League 2017, including Emrit, Lendl Simmons, Dwayne Smith, Ronsford Beaton, Jonathon Foo and Veerasammy Permaul.The Guyana Jaguars line-up will feature all the players who recently competed in the Antigua Independence Tri-Nation T20 Series, finishing as runners-up to Jamaica.While Johnson says execution will be the key in today’s encounter, Emrit has acknowledged that to play Guyana at home is always difficult.“It always difficult to come to Guyana and play against Guyana, no matter what team they put up on the park, so we need to come out and give a good showing of ourselves.“We have a lot of guys who have played international cricket and who have played in Leagues around the world, and it (is)always difficult to come and put this team together, but as experienced players, we are professionals and hopefully we can give a good showing of ourselves and most importantly, give the crowd a good showing,” the Trinidadian said.This initiative follows several acts of benevolence and solidarity by the region to assist those afflicted by the devastating category five hurricanes.Countries such as Barbuda and Dominica are being described as uninhabitable with almost 90 percent of homes destroyed.The Government of Guyana through its President David Granger has already offered lands free to those who wish to migrate and rebuild their lives elsewhere. So, this game will further add to that initiative.Guyana Jaguars: Leon Johnson (Captain), Robin Bacchus, Sherfane Rutherford, Jonathon Foo, Gajanand Singh, Chandrapaul Hemraj, Anthony Bramble, Keemo Paul, Romario Shepherd, Ricardo Adams, Christopher Barnwell, Veerasammy Permaul, Steven Jacobs, Ronsford Beaton, Ramal Lewis.Caribbean All Stars: Rayad Emrit (Captain), Lendl Simmons, Dwayne Smith, Andre Fletcher, Nicolas Pooran, Kjorn Ottly, Kevin Cooper, Keswick Williams, Jevon Searles, Fidel Edwards, Sulieman Benn, Lennox Cush, Joshua Wade, Andre Stoll, Romaine Maniram.last_img read more

"Captains hail Hurricane Relief T20 initiative"

ANGELS NOTEBOOK Matthews’ ankle showing improvement

first_imgBy Doug Padilla STAFF WRITER CHICAGO – Once thought to be in danger of missing time in the playoffs, Gary Matthews Jr. now figures to return in time to get in some at-bats before the end of the regular season. Matthews’ dramatic improvement from a sprained right ankle continued Saturday as he moved around in the outfield during batting practice, but still played it safe. “He’s got a little more bounce in his step which is encouraging,” Manager Mike Scioscia said. “I think he’s relieved that that this thing, maybe it’s too early to say it’s turned a corner, but it’s moving rapidly in the right direction. “You never know with an ankle sprain, like a hamstring. They can look like they’re not much and they can linger for a month. Let’s hope it’s shorter term and in the back end of what these things can be.” Rotation up in the air Scioscia still would not say who will get the start for the Angels on Wednesday against the Tampa Devil Rays. It could go to Bartolo Colon, who did not look sharp Friday, or Ervin Santana, who threw three scoreless innings in relief Friday. “(Colon) threw over 100 pitches (99 actually), and he hasn’t done that in a long time and he’ll have some stiffness that he’s going to work through,” Scioscia said. “(Saturday) it’s all in the right areas. You’re certainly (going to) want to check for in the next couple days.” It might make more sense to have Colon start Wednesday and work Santana out of the bullpen, since that’s where he would likely pitch if he made the playoff roster. “Ervin throwing the ball well is important to us,” Scioscia said. “If it happens to be as a starter down the road – I’m talking about this year; long range there is no doubt he’s a starter – then certainly he will be a big force. If he can help us out from the pen, it’s obviously something that will add depth.” Guerrero staying as DH Vladimir Guerrero has stopped throwing and his return to right field remains undecided. Guerrero has been the designated hitter since Tuesday after coming down with inflammation in his right triceps. “I think it’s still just a little cranky,” Scioscia said. “There are no problems swinging the bat, just throwing it he feels a little stiff so we’re going to work that in at its own pace. You can’t force that.” No catching platoon Scioscia admitted that even when Mike Napoli is at full strength, he is still leaning toward one catcher working the bulk of the time instead of splitting the load 50-50 between Napoli and Jeff Mathis. “Right now its going to come down to what they’re doing behind the plate,” Scioscia said. “That’s why I think Jeff is catching a lot right now. He’s really brought a presence behind the plate.” [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Matthews has not yet been cleared to do as much as jog, but he made some throws to keep his arm in shape. “It’s a little swollen, but definitely not as swollen as before,” Matthews said. “It has gone down a lot since it first happened. We’re on our fourth day and compared to where I was it’s better.” Strengthening tests are well underway in the trainer’s room. “We started that probably two days ago and add more stuff to it every day,” Matthews said. “We’re doing probably two or three rounds of treatment a day. I do one before the game and I’ll do another during the game. Basically I’ll work out from the third inning on until about the eighth inning.” Saturday was the first day Matthews did not have his ankle taped. He felt the tape was only adding to the soreness. If and when he returns to action he will tape the ankle then. last_img read more

"ANGELS NOTEBOOK Matthews’ ankle showing improvement"