The scheme will operate on a sliding scale depending on how many people choose to opt in for the subsidy. If a higher percentage of students choose to opt in, the subsidy will be reduced. This prevents the rent for those choosing the default option to increase by more than the specified maximum amount of £50.Ellery Shentall, Wadham Student Union Vice-President told Cherwell: “It has been ensured that the differences between room prices will never be so large as to make differences so overt that they become divisive, but will nonetheless remain significant for those who opt in.”A motion was passed to hold a student-wide referendum rather than just pass the initiative through a regular meeting. The reasoning behind this, as stated in the motion, is that “the SSO is a controversial measure that has material impacts and warrants being taken to referendum”. Implementation requires the support of 50 per cent of those who vote.Lucas Bertholdi-Saad, Wadham Student Union President, proposed the subsidy and referendum. Speaking to Cherwell about the initiative, Bertholdi-Saad said: “I think it is a great experiment… Wadham has a really great feeling of student community and solidarity and I hope this is a way for Wadham students to come together and provide support to those who feel they need it.” Wadham Student Union will next week hold a referendum on a proposal to implement an opt-in subsidy to reduce the college fees for low-income students.The referendum proposes a Self-Selection Options (SSO) method of allocating a rent subsidy. This would give students the choice to anonymously opt-in to receive a subsidy on rent, and it will not be means tested.If students vote in favour of the initiative, Wadham students will be given the choice between two rent options when signing contracts for college rooms. Students will have the option to check a box requesting a lower rent rate which will be accompanied by broad guidelines regarding the intent of the subsidy. This move comes a week after OUSU mandated the creation of a Student Union ‘Class Act’ Campaign, which has set up a committee “open to all OUSU’s student members who self-identify as working class, low income, state comprehensive school educated, or a first-generation student”.One of the co-chairs of the recently announced committee, Ellery Shentall, is a student at Wadham. Speaking to Cherwell on the SSO initiative, Shentall said: “I think it is a positive move to allow for differentials in the amounts people pay for rooms, not in relation to a college-dictated room ‘quality’, nor in relation to problematic and often arbitrary means-tested measures of a students’ ability to pay, but rather in relation to the perception a student has of their own circumstances.”Both Bertholdi-Saad and Shentall are aware of the possible problems of the subsidy not being means tested, however have chosen not to dwell upon the potential for abuse. Speaking to Cherwell, Shentall said: “This system is imperfect, and potentially open to people accepting a subsidy who are far from needing one. However, the expectation is that this won’t be a widespread problem.”If Wadham students vote in favour of the change in the referendum scheduled for Wednesday, the Self-Selection Options initiative is likely to be implemented in the next academic year. The scheme would pay for itself, with the higher default rent option being slightly above the average room rate and the lower rate slightly below.Wadham students currently pay a flat rate for their rooms. The internal subsidy is to act as an alternative to changing this system to one organised into bands. It also aims to help relieve the financial burden for self-selecting low income students.Those behind the initiative are predicting roughly 30 per cent of Wadham students opting in for the subsidy. If this prediction is correct, it would result in a decrease of £120 per student on the lower option and an increase of £50 per student on the default option.
Topics : China revoked the press credentials of three Wall Street Journal reporters, in a rare move punishing multiple journalists at a single news organization over an opinion piece.The government made the decision after it said the Journal refused to apologize for a “racially discriminatory” op-ed, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters in Beijing on Wednesday. Foreign journalists need press passes issued by the foreign ministry to qualify for visas to report in the country.The Wall Street Journal reported that the three were Deputy Bureau Chief Josh Chin and reporters Chao Deng and Philip Wen. Chin and Deng are both US nationals, while Wen is an Australian citizen. “The editors used such a racially discriminatory title, triggering indignation and condemnation among the Chinese people and the international community,” Geng told reporters in an online press conference. “China demands the WSJ recognize the severity of its mistake, make an official apology and hold the persons involved accountable.”China expelled a Wall Street Journal reporter last August after the paper published a report detailing allegations that Chinese President Xi Jinping’s cousin was involved in gambling and potential money-laundering in Australia.The US this week designated five Chinese state media companies as “foreign missions,” a decision that reflects the Trump administration’s view that Xi’s Communist Party is imposing increasingly draconian government-control over news services, senior State Department officials said. The designation requires the outlets to adhere to requirements similar to those imposed on embassies and consulates in the USUS puts restrictions on five Chinese state media outlets“China and the US, and a number of Washington’s allies, aren’t just decoupling parts of their economy,” said McGregor, of the Lowy Institute. “With decisions like these, they are entering parallel news and information universes.”China’s foreign ministry denounced the US designation on Wednesday, saying the country’s media outlets helped promote understanding and adding that Beijing would “reserve the right” to retaliate. “We urge the US to discard its ideological prejudice and Cold War zero-sum-game mentality, and stop ill-advised measures that undermine bilateral trust and cooperation,” Geng said. “This marks a new low in relations between China and the foreign press, and says a lot about Beijing’s broader antipathy to the West,” said Richard McGregor, a former Financial Times bureau chief in Beijing who’s now a senior fellow at the Lowy Institute. “Beijing is looking to lash out at its critics. Once it has gotten over the coronavirus crisis, expect to see more such measures.”While China has declined to approve press credentials for foreign journalists before, it’s rare for authorities to punish three reporters at once from the same news organization. It also sets a worrying new precedent for news outlets with staff in China as the article was written by an author based in the US who wrote opinions, which are generally removed from news-gathering operations.The Feb. 3 article described China as the “sick man of Asia,” a phrase often used by 19th century European powers to describe the weakened state of the Qing Empire, which then governed China. A representative for the Wall Street Journal in Beijing didn’t immediately reply to an email requesting comment.The op-ed ran as China began battling the deadly coronavirus, which has now claimed the lives of more than 2,000 people and delivered a massive setback to the world’s second-biggest economy. The government has described the virus as a threat to “social stability” in China and tightened restrictions on online expression.