When failure is not an option

first_imgWhetheryou like it or not, outsourcing is part of a public sector HR professional’slife – make sure you get it right, warns Nic Paton”Theimprovement of public services will be the defining issue of this LabourGovernment. Failure is not an option.” Who said this? Tony Blair, GordonBrown? No, Mick Connolly, regional secretary for the TUC at a conference on therelationship between public services and the private sector in March.Hisspeech, which went on to harangue the Government for its “irrationalobsession” with the use of the private sector and, as he saw it,”constantly threatening” of public sector workers with privatisation,goes to the heart of the tensions currently consuming the political debate overpublic sector outsourcing.Forpublic sector HR professionals, however, like it or not, outsourcing is now anestablished way of life and, if anything, becoming ever more so. According toPaul Masterman, head of local government at TMP Worldwide, whereas two yearsago only one or two local government organisations had embraced outsourcing,now “a substantial minority” have taken it on board in some shape orform. “There is no indication that we are really at the end of the road.We expect to see more of this happening,” he says.Somedeals have been huge and pioneering, such as the 15-year, £180m contract strucklast year by Blackburn with Darwen Council to outsource its HR, propertymanagement and financial services to Capita. Others are smaller and vary incomplexity, structure and even definition. Yet the consistent theme to emergeis that outsourcing is a key driver in helping to give HR the space to remoulditself from the mandatory ‘pay and rations’ of a few years back into astrategic, ‘added value’ function at the heart of the organisation.Theinitial rush to outsource over the past two years has been replaced by a moremature debate about what can be and cannot be outsourced, argues Terry Gorman,a former president of Socpo and now an HR consultant. “For anorganisation, it is still vital to have a strategic heart, and HR is stillvital within an organisation. People are now making much more considereddecisions,” he says.Hugedeals such as Blackburn with Darwen and Liverpool City Council may catch theheadlines, but many organisations are experimenting with outsourcing orvariations of outsourcing at a smaller level.NorthWales Police, for instance, struck a partnership deal a year ago with theJobcentre Plus to handle its recruitment advertising and initial applicationprocessing. Jobcentre Plus now places advertisements, handles calls, offers a24-hour recruitment hotline, collates application forms, logs them and thenhands them over to the force, which then takes over the process from there.This year it saw about 4,000 people applying for jobs compared with about 1,900in a normal year.Whilenot pure outsourcing in the sense that no staff have been transferred, thearrangement has freed the HR department to concentrate on less administrativeareas, says Helen Edwards, HR services manager at North Wales Police.”Ifwe had to place the ads ourselves, we would have had the phones glued to ourears. All that has gone. By outsourcing aspects of HR it means you can focus onstrategic policy aims rather than taking calls from job applicants,” sheadds.Hertfordshire’scounty council and constabulary have both been innovative on a similar scale.In March last year, the council outsourced its recruitment function toManpower, while an agreement with the Bernard Hodes group has increasedrecruitment to the police by 130 per cent. The consultancy has also beenworking with Hackney Council to lure teachers back to deprived inner-cityschools.Overall,the drift towards outsourcing has meant that public sector HR professionalshave been forced to look at how they are delivering services and reassess whatthey are doing, explains Masterman. “Over the past few years, the numberof jobs in the public sector has been increasing, but the number of peopledirectly employed by the public sector has been slowing down,” he says.Organisationsgoing down the outsourcing road must first analyse the quality of theirservices, adds Gorman. “It has to be vigorous and honest, and that can behard. You sometimes find that a lot of what you are doing is not regarded ashighly as you thought.”Doingthis alone can help to slash bureaucracy – a much vaunted benefit ofoutsourcing. It is common, once put under the spotlight, for organisations todiscover areas or procedures that have not been rigorously studied orquestioned for years.AndPeter Tydie, local government director with Bartlett Scott Edgar, stresses thatby carefully auditing the functions they plan to outsource, organisations willbe able to find the holy grail of ‘best value’.”Outsourcingshould be about finding out what was being done well previously and adding abit more.” He cites the example of the London Borough of Lewisham, whichhas been using a call centre for external recruitment calls for the last threeyears. “It should be seamless – no one using the service should be awarethat it has been outsourced,” he says.However,there are HR functions which can only be kept in-house. The strategic role ofHR should never be outsourced, Gorman contends, as it is wrapped up with thefuture direction, development and success of an organisation. But transactionalHR processes – payroll, benefits, recruitment selection (if not the finaldecision), even training – are a different matter. Areas such as advice,employment law and grievances tend to be more borderline.HRis rarely outsourced unilaterally and is more commonly bundled into, say, acombined IT, finance and HR outsourcing deal. Deals such as this will be huge,running into millions of pounds over many years, so authorities have to followstrict procurement rules and regulations covering areas such as invitingtenders.Perhapsinevitably, in the case of these big deals, organisations will lean towardsgoing with a private sector provider – the Capitas, BTs and Hyders of thisworld – that has the scale to cope with what is required, suggests Gorman.Where deals are smaller, there is often more scope of working with differentpartners.Oneof the hardest things to do when caught up in the outsourcing process isplucking up the courage to call the whole thing off. The Civil Service, forinstance, decided to bring its recruitment process back in house afterexperimenting with Capita, arguing that using a middle agency madecommunication with applicants more difficult.AndKent County Council changed its mind after spending a large part of last yearexamining whether to outsource a major part of its back-office operations.Thecouncil had been looking to transfer 800 staff to the private sector in a£250m, 10-year deal, with Accenture and HBSG (formerly Hyder) ending up as thefront-runners. But finally, after much deliberation – and despite havingoutsourced its payroll operation to Capita three years ago – the councildecided to pull back.”Althoughwe had seen some very interesting companies, we decided the deal was not rightfor us. The risk and reward was just not going to be viable, but in the end, itwas all very cordial,” says Mary Mallett, strategic director oforganisation and development at the council.Thecouncil will instead launch its own £10.9m integrated online HR and financeplatform this month.”Whatis absolutely crucial is that people do not do it as a matter of dogma – it hasgot to be what is right for the business. People often pursue it for the wrongreasons and I think the jury is still out on the big deals,” says Mallett,who is also vice-president of Socpo.”Theadvantage of going outside is that you can concentrate on what is left – policyand service. Someone else sorts out the process arrangements. If it’s in-house,you have to do it all yourself,” she adds.”Ifyou are outsourcing anything, you have to be careful how you manage it. Peoplehave to believe there is a bold goal otherwise they just feel like a commodity.They need to be told why it is a good idea and why you are doing it.”Wecommunicated like mad. Staff said they had felt bruised by the uncertainty overthe six months, but said the communication was brilliant,” she says.Thisemphasis on communication is critical, whatever the size of the contract,suggests Tom Crawford, HR manager at solutions consultancy Bernard Hodes.”Likein any merger or acquisition, the key is good communication. What are theobjectives of the new function? What is expected of individuals? There shouldbe as few surprise as possible and, ideally, as much self-selection as possible.Whileprivate sector firms by and large accept TUPE as a way of life when bringingstaff over, the expensive final-salary pension schemes common in the publicsector are becoming a stumbling block in these tight economic times, suggestsMallett. Then there’s the worry that some private sector organisations start torun two-tier workforces, with those employees brought in later on differentterms and conditions.Publicsector HR professionals also need to do some constructive navel gazing if theyare going to make outsourcing a success. It’s no good setting yourself up as anadded value function at the heart of the organisation if your skills are not upto the job and you’re not taken seriously anyway, argues Jeremy Webster, headof public sector consultancy at Penna. “HRprofessionals like the idea of being upgraded, of having a more intellectualchallenge to their role. It is an opportunity for them to throw off the yoke ofbeing personnel processors,” he says. But individuals do not changeovernight from being transactional HR specialists to agents of changemanagement, he adds. “The image of HR within the organisation takes ratherlonger to change than simply transferring an activity from one place toanother.”Asto where outsourcing is going in the future, Mallett predicts public sectororganisations will increasingly start to strike deals between themselves aswell as with private sector providers – a country council might share serviceswith a neighbouring district council or an NHS trust.Thereis also a trend emerging in local government towards regional service centres,suggests Webster. Two councils in the north of England are currently pilotingrunning services through a single outsourced operation and a couple of NHStrusts are testing a shared HR service centre, he says. There is also scope forcross-service shared centres between local authorities and primary care trusts,he predicts.Suchshared centres could also help to take some of the trade union-led heat out ofthe arguments over outsourcing. Yes, they would recruit people and expertisefrom the private sector, but those people would not be directly employed by theprivate sector, Webster suggests.Withthe unions becoming increasingly agitated about the relationship the privatesector has within public services, this may be no bad thing. For HR, itappears, the changes wrought by outsourcing may be only just beginning.                                   nDo’sand don’ts of outsourcingDo:–Assess your function – look at what could potentially be outsourced and what iscore and needs to remain in-house–Examine your processes aggressively – can bureaucracy be cut even before goingdown the outsourcing route? After all, there’s no point in outsourcingsomething that isn’t working anyway–Look at the size and scope of the deal and assess what type of organisation andcontract would suit it best–Assess what your ‘added value’ role will be, whether it’s realistic and whetheryou’re up to the jobDon’t:–Rule out a variation on outsourcing – a ‘public-public’ partnership, jointventure or simple partnership agreement can be just as successful as a pureoutsourcing arrangement–Forget to communicate, communicate, communicate. When workers are worried andunsure, demotivation can set in. Even silence speaks volumes, so keep theminformed, even if nothing is happening–Be afraid to back out if it doesn’t feel rightSatisfactionin the cityItis a telling sign that of the 1,200 staff transferred from Liverpool CityCouncil to its new joint venture company Liverpool Direct, so far, not one hasasked to be moved back.Aspart of the transfer operation between July and December last year, staff weretold that if, after six months, they wanted to go back to the council theycould, if they gave three months’ notice.”Thewhole point has been to avoid problems of job insecurity, morale and retention.The real issue people are interested in when it comes to outsourcing is what ishappening to their jobs. In our case, the fact they would still be city councilemployees meant we took that fear away,” says Liverpool Direct chiefexecutive David McElhinney.”Theyare working for Liverpool Direct but they still have the emotional attachmentto the city council,” he adds.The10-year, £30.4m contract struck with BT saw the council establish a separatejoint venture company – 80 per cent owned by BT and 20 per cent by the city.The contract covers providing payroll, revenue, benefits and IT services,including a 225-seat call centre.Beforethe deal, Liverpool’s HR function was a slightly moribund, bureaucraticoperation with, for instance, four payroll systems, says McElhinney. There hasbeen a reduction in the HR headcount, from 206 people to 110, but the councilhas benefited from a move to a sophisticated information and communi-cationstechnology (ICT) infrastructure.”Wehave completely re-engineered the HR function by bringing together payroll,employee relations, recruitment and training,” says McElhinney.Otherimprovements include a 60 per cent reduction in absenteeism, the clearance of a15-month backlog of revenue and benefit claims and the recovery of £1m in rentarrears. Bureaucracy has also been slashed by making systems less complicated.”Inthe past, for instance, we had 27 car mileage forms. All those have beenattacked and challenged. Now I can just forward an electronic form to payroll,which has an electronic signature on it,” explains McElhinney.Fromthe end of September, Liverpool Direct began offering its HR software to othersectors, having begun a similar project with the call centre six monthspreviously. Deals have already been struck with Sheffield City Council andother areas of Liverpool City Council, such as the car parking department, andthe joint venture is poised to strike its first commercial deal shortly. Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article When failure is not an optionOn 19 Nov 2002 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

Ministers urged by estate agents to make business rates exemption permanent

first_imgHome » News » Ministers urged by estate agents to make business rates exemption permanent previous nextRegulation & LawMinisters urged by estate agents to make business rates exemption permanentPropertymark says the temporary arrangements brought in during Covid that put branches on same footing as shops should carry on.Nigel Lewis4th December 20200317 Views Propertymark has called on the government to make the temporary Covid business rates exemption given to high street estate agencies in March to be made permanent and called for online agents to be taxed correspondingly in order to create a ‘level playing field’.The Covid exemption, which puts agencies’ branches on the same rates footing as retail outlets, therefore gives them the same rates reduction during the pandemic. But this is due to run out next year.“We welcomed the decision that letting agency offices that closed because of Covid-19 measures to restrict the spread of the virus will be exempted from business rates in 2020–2021,” its submission to the government consultation on business rates says.“We know of one agent whose rateable value is £15,250 per annum so the exemption will save them £7,600.“Furthermore, in September, 85% of our members surveyed agreed that estate agents and letting agents should receive the business rates relief available to retail premises.”Propertymark says extending the relief to estate and letting agent offices is important to retain and promote growth not only of the sector, but in many towns and cities across the country.“Property agents have long been a bedrock of the local high street and in light of recent events, we believe that estate and letting agent business should be able to continue to access the existing and proposed business rates relief available for retail,” it says.Propertymark has also taken a swipe at online agents, saying that a level playing field is required “because the increased costs associated with operating in the property sector, coupled with liability for business rates that others on the high street are not subject to, are forcing agents to close their public facing high street agencies”.Read the Propertymark submission in full.propertymark business rates December 4, 2020Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles Letting agent fined £11,500 over unlicenced rent-to-rent HMO3rd May 2021 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021last_img read more

Portals embrace auction

first_imgBoth Zoopla and Rightmove says there is growing demand within the housing market for this kind of online auctions offered by Iamsold, which is a hybrid between private treaty sales and traditional auction, known as the Modern Method of Auction (MMoA).Listings on Zoopla created by these auctions now total £12 million, the portal says, and agents who sign up to use the Iamsold’s MMoA via the portal will get at 10 per cent reduction in their portal fees.This is dependent on agents selling at least three properties a year via Iamsold.Jamie Cooke, MD at Iamsold, said, “The project teams at Zoopla and Iamsold have formed strong relationships, as we work towards our shared goal of driving consumer awareness around the benefits of the Modern Method of Auction.”But Rightmove has also been working hard to persuade its agents to embrace the MMoA and, after the ‘exclusive’ element of the deal between Zoopla and Iamsold ended, has been plugging Iamsold hard as well.Commenting on the Zoopla deal, Awais Ahmad, CEO at Midlands agency AP Morgan said, “Vendors’ needs have changed since the first lockdown and the market is even more competitive when it comes to winning listings, so offering the MMoA helps us to stand out.”AP Morgan MMoA Modern Method of Auction iamsold Jamie Cooke auction auctioneers auctioneers Symonds & Sampson Awais Ahmad March 22, 2021Jenny van BredaWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021 Home » News » Auctions news » Portals embrace auction previous nextAuctions newsPortals embrace auctionThe Negotiator22nd March 2021026 Viewslast_img read more

New elevators for Hoboken senior building are officially operational

first_imgHOBOKEN — Mayor Dawn Zimmer joined Hoboken Housing Authority Executive Director Marc Recko and other officials last week to cut the ribbon on the new elevators at the Fox Hill Gardens, a building for seniors and disabled residents.The city allocated $386,250 in federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds towards modernizing the two elevators in the building.Also in attendance at the ceremony were Assemblywoman Annette Chaparro, 5th Ward Councilman Peter Cunningham, 2nd Ward Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher, Hoboken Housing Authority Commissioner Hovie Forman, Hoboken’s Principal Planner Chris Brown, and residents of Fox Hill.According to a media release from the city, “The original 1950s-era elevators in Fox Hill were regularly out of order and required expensive repairs. Cuts in federal funding made it difficult for the Hoboken Housing Authority to perform the necessary maintenance.”CDBG funds are allocated to community groups and organizations benefiting low to moderate income populations. Hoboken’s CDBG funding more than doubled in recent years to over $1 million (an increase of more than $500,000) as a result of the city’s population exceeding 50,000 in the latest census and the city choosing to self-administer CDBG funds, which were previously administered by Hudson County.As a result of the increase in funding, the city has been able to fund significant capital projects including the elevators at Fox Hill.Previously, the city allocated $330,000 in CDBG funds for improvements to the Hoboken shelter.“I thank our Planner Chris Brown who managed this project and Housing Authority Executive Director Marc Recko for working with us to help ensure that our seniors have a safe and reliable way to get to their apartments,” said Zimmer. “We worked hard to more than double the CDBG funds we receive to support our low and moderate income population, and I am thankful that Congress has rejected plans to slash this much-needed program.” ×last_img read more

News story: 2018 Appointments to IRP

first_imgPublication out of date.,For more information and to apply please visit the Public Appointments website at:Cabinet OfficeFor alternative formats please call Julia Peters on 0113 254 5350 quoting the reference A17-62.The closing date for applications is midday on 5th July 2018.last_img

Press release: Offensive Weapons Act receives Royal Assent

first_imgThe Act includes a number of other measures to tackle serious violence, including: The Offensive Weapons Act has today (Thursday 16 May) received Royal Assent, bringing in tough new measures that strengthen law enforcement’s response to violent crime.The Act will make it illegal to possess dangerous weapons in private, including knuckledusters, zombie knives and death star knives, and will make it a criminal offence to dispatch bladed products sold online without verifying the buyer is over 18.The Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, is also providing additional support to the police through Knife Crime Prevention Orders. These Orders will act as a deterrent to those vulnerable to becoming involved in knife crime. They will also enable the courts to place restrictions on individuals to help the police manage those at risk in the community.Guidance on the process for Knife Crime Prevention Orders will be published, including operational guidance to police forces, ahead of a pilot in London.Sajid Javid, Home Secretary said: As Home Secretary, I’m doing everything in my power to tackle the scourge of serious violence. Our new Offensive Weapons Act is a central part of this. These new laws will give police extra powers to seize dangerous weapons and ensure knives are less likely to make their way onto the streets in the first place. The Act will also see the introduction of Knife Crime Prevention Orders – a power the police called for. As well as tough law enforcement, it’s hugely important we continue our work to steer young people away from a life of crime in the first place. a ban on the possession, manufacture and sale of rapid firing rifles and bump stocks, which increase a rifle’s rate of fire. The ban on the manufacture and sale of these weapons has now come into force with immediate effect a ban on selling bladed products to a residential address without age verification updating the definition of flick knives to reflect changing weapon designs and banning private possession of flick knives and gravity knives changing the legal definition for threatening someone with an offensive weapon to make prosecutions easier banning the sale of corrosive products to under 18s making it an offence to possess a corrosive substance in a public place The government will also consult on guidance for some of the new measures in the Act and engage with businesses and industry on how the legislation will affect them before it comes into force.The Offensive Weapons Act and strong law enforcement form part of the government’s Serious Violence Strategy, which combines tough action with the vital need to steer young people away from crime in the first place.Recently the government launched a £200 million 10-year Youth Endowment Fund to create a generational shift in violent crime. There is also an ongoing consultation on a new ‘public health duty’ which is intended to help spot the warning signs that a young person could be in danger.last_img read more

STS9 Announces 2-Night Thanksgiving Weekend Run

first_imgReturning to their home state, veteran livetronica act STS9 will perform two-nights over Thanksgiving Weekend at Atlanta’s Coca-Cola Roxy, November 23rd and 24th. Sound Tribe cleverly declared the event “Just Thanks”. As the band states on their website, “Coming home to give thanks for life and togetherness…”A presale is currently underway via Ticketmaster using the code “JustThanks”, as tickets go on sale to the general public on Friday, August 10th, at 10 a.m. (ET).The jamtronica heavyweights are also gearing up for their highly anticipated Wave Spell Live festival, which will take over the California town of Belden Town from August 16th through 19th. In September, the group will head to Colorado for a three-night run, kicking off at Denver’s Summit Music Hall ahead of a two-night stand at the iconic outdoor venue, Red Rocks Amphitheatre—a venue that has hosted some of STS9’s finest concerts over the years. After a few weeks off, STS9 will begin a brief fall tour with shows at Burlington, VT’s Higher Ground and Boston’s House of Blues, continuing on to a two-night run at New York City’s The Rooftop at Pier 17 on September 28th and 29th. For a full list of upcoming tour dates and ticketing, head to the band’s website.last_img read more

A sense of direction

first_imgCommunity, safety, and passion were at the top of the agenda for President Drew Faust on Tuesday at Sanders Theatre as she discussed challenges facing Harvard at the start of a new academic year.In response to questions from Harvard Overseer and two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof ’82, Faust talked about the University’s efforts to increase the diversity of its community, to eliminate sexual violence on campus, and to encourage students to study a broad array of subjects — including those in the humanities — to discover or pursue their passion in life.The humanities gained center stage right away, as Kristof jokingly asked whether students interested in language, literature, religion, arts, and philosophy were discouraged today by the prospect of a future as “dog walker” for computer science-studying classmates.Nothing could be further from the truth, Faust said. The humanities, she said, give students an understanding of the world, and problem-solving insight that has proved valuable to several leaders she’s encountered, including the mayor of London, a U.S. national security adviser, and a U.S. senator.“An extraordinary number of important leaders in this country and elsewhere have come from humanities backgrounds,” Faust said. “It gives you a basis for thinking, for judgment, for adaptability. … So whatever realm of life you may want to go into, humanities give you such an important set of perspectives.In response to a question about a perceived student pipeline to Wall Street, Faust encouraged students to use their time on campus to search for areas of interest to them. She recalled her own college days, when she skipped a midterm to take part in a Civil Rights march in Selma, Alabama.Faust, who said she felt privileged to have grown up in the 1960s, also acknowledged that, as Harvard’s president, she is sometimes on the other side of the table from passionate students arguing for their beliefs. One such area she addressed Tuesday was the call for Harvard to divest fossil fuel company stocks from its endowment as a way to address climate change.Faust said she respects students for standing up for their beliefs and doing what they think is necessary to make the world a better place, but she also made it clear that she did not believe divestment was the proper action. Harvard is most likely to make a meaningful impact through its teaching and research, she said. Divestment, she said, is unlikely to make oil companies change their behavior.She added that manipulating the endowment for political purposes could be viewed as a conflict with the University’s nonprofit status, giving ammunition to those who want to tax endowments to boost government coffers.“I have great admiration for students who take on these causes and want to make a better world,” Faust said.Among the important initiatives Faust emphasized was the effort to address sexual violence on campus. She said the School is working to raise awareness, prevent sexual violence and, if it does occur, support its victims.“Sexual violence has no place on this campus,” Faust said. “One of the most important things is to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”Kristof delved into the University’s $6.5 billion fundraising campaign, asking whether Harvard really needs more money. Faust answered that the endowment, a portion of which is used to support the University’s annual budget each year, supports important initiatives ― including financial aid, which has opened Harvard to students of all economic backgrounds. Further, she said, new financial support is needed if the University is to embark on new endeavors. She cited last week’s announcement of a $350 million gift to the Harvard School of Public Health as enabling new initiatives in areas where they are urgently needed, such as those combatting the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.Faust said last year’s “I, too, am Harvard” campaign not only raised awareness of the University’s diverse student body, but also made the point that increasing diversity alone is not enough.“Diversifying the community is not the same as creating an inclusive community,” Faust said. “We recognize we’re not where we want to be.”Kristof asked whether encouraging political diversity is also important, and Faust said that the free exchange of ideas — even ideas that may be unpopular with students and faculty — is supported actively at Harvard.Her last response offered advice for young women entering Harvard. Student surveys, she said, show that female students have lower expectations than their male counterparts. She urged those students to fight against that trend, seek opportunities, run for student government, and take full advantage of their time on campus.“Don’t underestimate yourself,” Faust said. “Reach. Don’t be afraid to reach.”last_img read more

SMC underclassmen to attend formal

first_imgSaint Mary’s students will travel into a realm of charm and sophistication upon stepping into the Black and White Formal on Friday.“Of course, the first place we looked was Pinterest for inspiration … when we saw the black and white theme, everything looked so elegant and classy,” junior and planning committee president Emily Beam said. “We figured it would be easy to accomplish with a small budget and nice venue.”The formal will take place right across the street from Saint Mary’s in the ballroom of the Hilton Garden Inn.“Our formal takes place at the Hilton Garden Inn ballroom for safety reasons,” Beam said. “If we wanted to go anywhere off campus, we would have to arrange a bus service which all students would be required to take.”Freshman Rose Stackhouse said she is looking forward to the location this year because it seems very convenient.This year, the dances were split up into underclassmen and upperclassmen so that more people could attend. The expected attendance is around 800 people, consisting of only first and second years.“It is sad we cannot have as many people because it is considered a fire hazard in the ballroom,” senior Joanna Collins said. “But there will always be more events that people can enjoy from Student Government Association and the Student’s Activities Board.”At the dance, students can look forward to a wide variety of appetizer-based foods like mini-hot dogs, cupcakes and other finger foods.“There will be caprese pipettes, bacon-wrapped Brussel sprouts with maple and sesame, buffalo chicken with brioche, chips and salsa, mini cupcakes and phyllo cups with strawberry, brie and honey,” Beam said.There will also be a photo booth company there to provide pictures for the attendees to remember the night, Collins said.Being the president of the planning committee, Beam said a lot goes into the actual planning of the night, so the committee is hoping everything goes well and that students should expect a night of fun.“So much work goes into being on committee and it often goes unrecognized,” Beam said. “This include[s] security, venue, picking the date, picking the theme and balancing the budget.”Music will be provided by a DJ group called the “Green Twins” which consists of two Notre Dame students — Ryan and Connor Green.Stackhouse said that she is excited to attend the dance.“I have never been to a college formal before, so I’m looking forward to seeing what it is all about,” she said.Tags: black and white formal, saint mary’s formal, saint mary’s student activities board, Saint Mary’s Student Government Association, underclassman formallast_img read more

Ethel Sings Opens Off-Broadway

first_img Related Shows Ethel Sings follows Ethel Rosenberg, the determined mother, singer, writer and actress, and her husband Julius, played by Ari Butler, who become swept up in the fatal Red Scare hysteria of the 1950s. Julius’ need to “save the world” becomes his undoing, and Ethel’s love for her husband becomes hers. Joan Beber’s Ethel Sings celebrates its opening night on June 6 at Theatre Row’s Beckett Theatre. The off-Broadway premiere, under the direction of Will Pomerantz, stars Tracy Michailidis as real-life convicted spy Ethel Rosenberg. The drama will play through July 13. Ethel Sings Show Closed This production ended its run on July 13, 2014 In addition to Michailidis and Butler, the cast includes Adrienne Moore, Kevin Isola, David Fierro, Tanesha Gary, Sheira Irving, Kenneth Lee, Joel Leffert and Serge Thony. View Commentslast_img read more