Group prepares for last month

first_imgStudent Senate discussed pep rally improvement and student employment reform at Wednesday’s meeting, planning to make strides in these areas before the current student government’s term ends April 1. Student body vice president Andrew Bell said the current student government officers will have their closing meeting soon with Game Day Operations in order to finalize next year’s pep rallies. “We’re giving them our final thoughts on pep rallies so they can make improvements for next year,” he said. Pasquerilla East senator Julie Doherty said there was an excessive amount of waiting at the 2010 rallies. “They lasted too long and took up too much time,” Doherty said. “It’s not as fun when you’re just waiting there for a while.” Off-Campus Concerns Chair Emily LeStrange said the changes at Irish Green this year were definitely a positive step. “It’s a lot more student-friendly in terms of players getting involved,” she said. “It’s more open to communicating with students.” LeStrange said the unlimited capacity and the stage are both important features of the location. But some senators said the lack of thunderous noise at Irish Green posed a problem. “At Irish Green the stage isn’t facing [DeBartolo Performing Arts Center], it faces the street so the sound doesn’t reverberate,” Siegfried senator Kevin McDermott said. Yiting Zheng, McGlinn senator, said the indoor pep rallies solved this problem by packing many people inside and creating a higher noise level. Ideas to bring older students to next year’s rallies included guest speakers, more variety and free food and T-shirts. Student body president Catherine Soler also discussed her plan to restructure student employment, especially the Notre Dame Job Board. The job board, which can be found through a link under the Student Academic tab on insideND, lists categories of both on-campus jobs, such as in athletics and food services, and jobs in the broader Notre Dame community, such as child care and clerical positions. Soler said the current board is rarely updated and hard to navigate. The Student Employment Office, a division of the Office of Financial Aid, manages the board but does not actively seek out student employment opportunities to post, she said. “The current process is each department is sent a newsletter and if they have a job, they can contact the Student Employment Office which then puts it on job board,” Soler said. Once a position is filled, it is again the job of the department to inform the Student Employment Office to remove the position from the board. Soler said the departments do not regularly follow-up with this task, which makes the board rarely up-to-date. Some senators suggested moving the link to a more visible place. Zheng said allowing students to upload their resumes directly to the site would improve contact between applicants and potential employers. With more than 40 percent of students employed on campus, Soler said, the job board should become a more effective tool.last_img read more

Could small loans equal big opportunity for credit unions?

first_img 18SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Miriam De Dios Woodward Miriam De Dios Woodward is the CEO of PolicyWorks, LLC. She also serves as Senior Vice President of AMC, the holding company of the Iowa Credit Union League and parent … Web: Details A new set of proposed rules from the CFPB may put payday lenders out of business. For credit unions, particularly those working to build relationships with consumers who use non-traditional financial services, this could be an exciting door opener.An important segment of the population relies on small-dollar loans for emergencies, making the exit of these businesses from the marketplace somewhat precarious. A sizable portion of the fast-growing and influential Hispanic segment, for instance, turns to payday loans even for non-emergencies.If those lenders disappear, can credit unions fill the void? Should they?If approved, the rules will require lenders to measure a borrower’s ability to pay back the loan, a competency for most credit unions. Payday-loan operations, on the other hand, would need to establish entirely new policies and procedures for compliance with such a rule. This could prove too burdensome for the mom-and-pop (and even some of the national and regional) payday loan businesses.According to Cindy Williams, vice president of regulatory compliance for PolicyWorks, there may be other unintended consequences should the CFPB adopt its proposed rules.“Ability-to-repay requirements will likely extend the amount of time it will take to get money into the hands of borrowers,” said Williams. “This could have a sizable impact on individuals with urgent funding needs.” In addition, Williams says, the CFPB’s proposed requirements could also exclude some borrowers altogether, leaving these individuals without an option for credit.When asked if credit unions should attempt to become that option, Williams advised credit union lenders to investigate the opportunity thoroughly, thinking through the sustainability of such a strategy. “The new, additional requirements of the CFPB’s proposal could make small-dollar or payday loans less attractive even to traditional financial institutions simply because the margins on small-dollar loans are already so low.”Although many credit unions are competent, compliant lenders accustomed to adapting to new regulatory standards, management must first determine if the returns of a payday lending alternative are worth the investment.What are the potential returns? For starters, a payday loan alternative or small-dollar loan has the potential to introduce the credit union to an entirely new segment of consumers looking for financial help. This meets two core objectives for credit unions: it fulfills the “people helping people” mission and provides fair, dignified services to more members of the Hispanic community and beyond.When thinking through potential products, brainstorm beyond payday loans. Introducing different small-dollar loans, such as credit builder products, may provide better margins for the credit union. These types of loans can also help individuals escape the payday lending cycle that has caught the attention of regulators and other consumer protection groups. Importantly, they have the potential to get people started on a path to a long-term financial relationship with a responsible partner.Because credit unions value relationships over transactions, borrowers who transition from a payday lender to a cooperative have a real chance to reduce their dependence on emergency funds. With an intentional strategy to migrate emergency-loan borrowers into life-long savers, credit union staff can have a significant impact on the lives of more neighbors.If part of your growth plan includes developing more long-term financial relationships with those individuals who need them the most, do as PolicyWorks’ Williams suggests. Sit down with your teams today and evaluate the potential for payday alternatives. The time to act is now. A sizable gap in the availability of credit is coming. If there’s anything we’ve learned in the last few years, it’s that startups and fintech innovators are masters at filling gaps.last_img read more

Oil production is up and DNR expects it to keep climbing

first_imgPipelines lead to one of BP’s facilities on the North Slope. (Photo courtesy BP)Lawmakers got some good news in Juneau on Tuesday, as the state’s Department of Natural Resources unveiled the fall production forecast.Oil production is up. And they expect it rise again next year.Listen nowIt was a difficult year for the North Slope in 2016. After the drop in oil prices, operators cut 44 percent of their spending. They let drilling rigs go idle and laid off hundreds of workers.At Alaska’s Division of Oil and Gas, Ed King said they were surprised when they started putting together this year’s production forecast.“When we read the news of rigs getting laid down and kind of this global contraction of the industry, we kind of expected that to manifest itself in reduced production,” King said. “So, yeah, it is a little bit surprising to see how much they’ve been able to do in this low price environment.”For the year, King said production was up about 3 million barrels, and the state is predicting that it’s going to be up next year too.King said a big part of that prediction is coming from the companies.“You know, last year they told us, the Prudhoe Bay operator (BP) at least, they told us that they were expecting to be able to hold production relatively flat and we were a little bit skeptical and this year they told us the same thing – now we have a tendency to want to believe them a little bit more,” King said.And, this isn’t new oil. At least, it’s not coming from new fields.ConocoPhillips brought another portion of its Colville River oil field online and that increased production. But the increases mostly came from places like Prudhoe Bay.King said the oil companies trimmed operations, cut costs and found ways to squeeze oil out of old fields.“A lot of it is just facility optimization and just management of the resources and that’s really something that they weren’t paying as much attention to, I think when they were out there trying to find new places to drill and new oil – now they’re focused more on the assets that they do have and getting the most out of them,” King said.In some places, like ConocoPhillips’ Kuparuk River Oil Field – operators drilled new wells. In others, like the Oooguruk offshore oil field in the Beaufort Sea, Caelus Energy has been fracking.And Hilcorp took over operation of three fields, Endicott, Milne Point and North Star. The company’s business model is to find ways to get new oil out of old fields.But, it’s not all good news. Alaska’s Department of Revenue also put out a forecast today. This one, an early look at oil prices. Analysts are saying that oil prices won’t increase as quickly as previously thought.They predict oil won’t climb to $75 per barrel until 2027, and they attribute most of that increase to inflation.last_img read more