UK roundup: JLT, TPR, Sackers, PLSA, state pension

first_imgThe aggregate deficit of UK private sector defined benefit (DB) schemes increased by more than £200bn (€235bn) in 2016, according to JLT Employee Benefits.The total shortfall was £434bn, the company estimated, compared with £233bn a year earlier.It is the highest year-end deficit JLT has recorded, said director Charles Cowling.This figure peaked at a record £503bn at the end of September as deficits soared in the wake of the UK’s vote to leave the European Union. At the end of 2016, total liabilities reached £1.88trn, while assets hit £1.45trn.Cowling warned that more pension funds would become “a serious threat” to their sponsors’ balance sheets “and, in some cases, the [companies’] ability to pay dividends”.He added: “The tools now exist for an effective de-risking of pension assets and liabilities that, while not promising a silver bullet, do mean pension problems can be managed and solved in time.“Maybe 2017 will be the year in which formal end-game de-risking strategies are at last embraced by the majority of pension schemes.”Meanwhile, Mercer’s data on FTSE 350 company pension schemes reported that their combined deficit increased threefold during 2016, from £39bn to £137bn.Alan Baker, UK DB risk leader, said: “This continues to put real pressure on any risk-management plans and will require trustees and corporate sponsors to work closely together to establish the right framework to monitor and manage those risks.”Last month, a committee of politicians published a wide-ranging report proposing DB sector reforms and calling for new powers for the Pensions Regulator (TPR), including a “nuclear deterrent” ability to fine companies for failing to manage pension deficits.However, the headline-grabbing proposal is unlikely to be used even if it is included in a forthcoming government reform paper, according to Faith Dickson, a partner and pensions lawyer at Sackers.“Giving TPR the power to levy punitive fines on employers to ensure they support struggling schemes might sound impressive, but it is unlikely these powers would be used in practice,” Dickson said.“If they were, the most likely outcome is further delays while employers challenge the fines.”In addition, Dickson warned that placing limits on the length of deficit-recovery plans could force some pension funds to adopt “an overly aggressive approach” to investment.Dickson supported the Work and Pensions Committee’s proposal to increase the use of regulated apportionment arrangements, which have been used on rare occasions to secure benefits while removing some responsibilities from sponsoring employers, all without resorting to the Pension Protection Fund (PPF).“We need to move away from thinking these changes are taking benefits away from members,” she said. “In reality, they can make businesses sustainable and open the door to schemes delivering benefits to members over the long term, when they might otherwise only have PPF compensation.”Elsewhere, the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) has urged the government not to increase the state pension age any further.Responding to a consultation about the future of the taxpayer-funded state pension, the PLSA said an increase above age 68 – which will be the national retirement age from 2046 – would place those with lower life expectancies at a disadvantage.Graham Vidler, director of external affairs at the PLSA, said the state pension age should not be changed any more than currently planned.He also argued that benefits should be linked to inflation.“Proposals for a variable pension age, while attractive in tackling socio-economic differences, would sacrifice the simplicity and clarity of the current system,” he said.“On balance, we support the current system of a single state pension age for all.”last_img read more

Man Utd face Shanghai Shenhua pressure over Ighalo plans

first_img No option to buy was included in the 30-year-old’s deadline day move in January. Read Also:Odion Ighalo: Solskjaer reveals how Nigerian has improved Man United attack But he has made a spectacular impact at Old Trafford – scoring four goals in three starts and proving a positive influence in the dressing room. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Loading… Manchester United are in fresh danger of losing Odion Ighalo back to parent club Shanghai Shenhua. Odion Ighalo believes football must come secondary to health amid the coronavirus crisis The London Evening Standard says the on loan striker’s contract runs until May 31 – meaning United will have to try to secure a permanent deal or seek Premier League dispensation to extend it further. But with Ighalo’s parent club Shanghai Shenhua potentially back in action before football resumes in this country, there are no guarantees they will agree to a transfer.Advertisementcenter_img Promoted ContentBest Car Manufacturers In The World6 TV Characters Whose Departures Have Made The Shows BetterFantastic-Looking (and Probably Delicious) Bread Art7 Universities In The World Where Education Costs Too Much8 Things You Didn’t Know About CoffeeThe Most Influential Countries In The History Of The World2020 Tattoo Trends: Here’s What You’ll See This YearA Guy Turns Gray Walls And Simple Bricks Into Works Of ArtTop Tastiest Foods From All Over The WorldBirds Enjoy Living In A Gallery Space Created For ThemIs Cristiano Ronaldo Converting His Hotels To Hospitals?This Guy Photoshopped Himself Into Celeb Pics And It’s Hystericallast_img read more

Trump trip to Rushmore draws ‘fire’

first_imgSeveral groups led by Native American activists are planning protests for Trump’s July 3 visit, part of Trump’s “comeback” campaign for a nation reeling from sickness, unemployment and, recently, social unrest. The event is slated to include fighter jets thundering over the 79-year-old stone monument in South Dakota’s Black Hills and the first fireworks display at the site since 2009. (AP) SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – President Donald Trump’s plans to kick off Independence Day with a showy display at Mount Rushmore are drawing sharp criticism from Native Americans who view the monument as a desecration of land violently stolen from them and used to pay homage to leaders hostile to native people. In this Sept. 11, 2002, file photo, the sun rises on Mt. Rushmore National Memorial near Keystone, S.D. as the flag is flown at half staff in honor of the first anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks against the United States. APlast_img read more

Coco Gauff books early exit from flushing Meadows

first_img Promoted Content14 Hilarious Comics Made By Women You Need To Follow Right NowTop 10 Female Disney Villains You’ll Definitely Fall In Love WithThe Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read MoreWhich Country Is The Most Romantic In The World?Here Are The Best Movies Since 1982 You Should Definitely See10 Risky Jobs Some Women Do7 Train Stations In The World You Wish To Stay At Longer8 Best Movies On Amazon Prime Video To Stream Right Now7 Ways To Understand Your Girlfriend BetterBest & Worst Celebrity Endorsed Games Ever MadeWho Is The Most Powerful Woman On Earth?6 Ridiculous Health Myths That Are Actually True FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Call it a no Coco’s day at the flushing Meadows and you will be right as the American Prodigy suffered a 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 defeat Monday night. Anastasija Sevastova advanced to the second round after edging out her hard fighting opponent In a ragged, scrappy affair packed with breaks, double faults and unforced errors, it was the 30-year-old Latvian who progressed on the fourth match point when her 16-year-old opponent sent a timid return into the net. It marked the first opening round exit from a Grand Slam for Gauff, a crowd favourite at Flushing Meadows pre-Covid-19 when spectators were allowed into the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. A year ago, Gauff made it to the third round at Flushing Meadows before losing to 2018 champion Naomi Osaka in a match that ended in tears for the teen and a hug from the winner. She stormed onto the scene last year when she beat her idol, Venus Williams, at Wimbledon and went on to reach the fourth round of the tournament. Gauff had said her game was the ‘best it’s ever been,’ during the build-up to the tournament but struggled to gather any momentum at Louis Armstrong Stadium. ‘I was just calm in the end,’ said Sevastova, a US Open semi-finalist in 2018. Loading… ‘Somehow I managed to be calm and stayed there and took my chances. I love being here, even in the bubble. ‘I love the atmosphere, even now it doesn’t matter I have just amazing memories from the years before. ‘And finally I won a match.’ After dropping the opening set Gauff somehow managed to win the second despite being broken three times, registering seven double faults and committing 16 unforced errors. But when it mattered it was the teenager showing far more composure than her 30-year-old opponent who was left smashing her racquet when Gauff broke her twice over the final four games and then held serve to level the contest. Read AlsoNavratilova: ‘Coco Gauff can change the world’ The errors dropped and quality improved in a much tighter third set though, with Sevastova getting the only break at 5-4 to clinch victory. Anastasija Sevastova will next take on Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk who edged out Daria Kasatikina 6-1 6-2 to advance.last_img read more

O’Neill looking to gain momentum

first_imgMichael O’Neill rates Sunday’s victory in Hungary as his best result in charge of Northern Ireland but insists it will only matter if they follow up by beating the Faroe Islands next month. Press Association O’Neill has previously overseen a home win against Fabio Capello’s Russia and a 1-1 draw with Portugal in Porto, but the 2-1 success in Budapest immediately overtook both as his favourite result since taking over from Nigel Worthington. That is down to timing more than anything, with close-range finishes from Niall McGinn and Kyle Lafferty giving Northern Ireland the best possible start to Euro 2016 qualifying. “But we can’t get ahead of ourselves. These are the kind of games, when we’re underdogs, that we go out and pick up points, but it’s the next game against the Faroe Islands – when we should beat them – those are the games where we’ve struggled.” Northern Ireland captain Steven Davis was also celebrating, having led his side to the first away victory of his tenure. The Southampton midfielder has long been a shining light in otherwise unimpressive performances, but this time the 29-year-old was able to reflect on a positive display. “We’re not going to get carried away but we caused them problems and I think we deserved the win,” he said. “Everybody gave their all and that’s what it’s going to take if we’re going to do anything out of this group. “Of course we know we’re not going to come away from home and dominate possession against quality sides but we’re going to try and build on this and get a bit of consistency. “Hungary are a good side and are ranked above us, but I thought we were really disciplined in our play and had to be patient at times. “Whenever we got a chance to play we put some nice patterns together. “But we also had that kind of ruthlessness in the final third which you need in games like this.” But despite the good feeling created by a first away win in over four years, O’Neill is already looking to the next test – a visit from Group F’s relative minnows. “This results feels bigger than Russia or Portugal because it means we’ve started the campaign on the front foot with three points away from home,” he said. “I felt we missed the opportunity to get some momentum going early in the last campaign but we haven’t missed it this time and that means we need to push on from here. “The truth is these three points are only as valuable as what we make of them. “We have a home game against the Faroes now which sets us up to be in a good position after a couple of games, but we have to make sure we do that.” Lafferty, who did more than anyone to drag his side over the line, echoed those sentiments. The 26-year-old Norwich striker made the piercing run and cross that teed up McGinn for the equaliser 10 minutes from time and then showed admirable endeavour to hook the winner over the line in a scramble. But looking ahead to the next test, he said: “When we dig deep, we’ll pick up points and we’ve done that this time. last_img read more

Saints knock eight past Black Cats

first_img There is a longheld theory that the boss who collects the monthly accolade slips to defeat in the next game but Saints returned to winning ways with their biggest ever Barclays Premier League win as Graziano Pelle scored twice to seal a memorable week on a personal level. A goal in either half saw Pelle move onto six Barclays Premier League goals for the season and add to his match-winning Italy debut and player of the month award. Press Association The former Feyenoord striker would have been proud of Santiago Vergini’s own goal, which opened the floodgates as Southampton inflicted a damaging defeat on Gus Poyet’s side. Sunderland had started the game brightly as they looked to build on their maiden league win against Stoke before the international break but Vergini scored a clinical own goal from the edge of his box to set Southampton on their way to a stunning victory. Pelle then scored with a tap-in with Jack Cork, brought into midfield in place of Victor Wanyama, killing the game off before the break. Sunderland then shipped four goals in 16 second-half minutes as a another own goal, courtesy of Liam Bridcutt, was added to by Pelle’s second and efforts from Dusan Tadic and Wanyama. Sadio Mane had been rested following international exertions but came on to add the eighth late on, leaving some Sunderland fans in tears. Saints may boast the player of the month in Italian striker Pelle but they also have the best defence in English football having conceded a measly five league goals this season. Sunderland’s defence is not as watertight and it starting leaking goals after just 11 minutes as Morgan Schneiderlin eased past Wes Brown, with the ball falling to the edge of the Sunderland box, where Argentina international Vergini thrashed the ball into the corner of his own goal with deadly accuracy. It did not take the hosts long to double their lead as Steve Davis was released down the left and crossed for Pelle to tap home from close range to continue his impressive form. Shellshocked Sunderland looked like they might peg their hosts back immediately but goalkeeper Fraser Forster was equal to a well-struck Sebastian Larsson free-kick. Poyet was left angered when his side were denied what appeared to be a clear penalty as Forster cleaned out Steven Fletcher after the Scotland forward had latched onto Lee Cattermole’s through ball – but referee Andre Marriner simply signalled for a goal-kick. The Uruguayan’s mood was not helped as Southampton added their third from the very next attack. Tadic crossed from the left and picked out an unmarked Cork, who got enough on his shot to force it past Vito Mannone. Pelle should have done better with a chance on the stroke of half-time but cut his effort well wide of goal as Saints continued to dominate. Southampton came close to extending their lead early in the second half as Shane Long squared to Tadic inside the box, but the Serbia winger saw his shot cleared off the line by Patrick van Aanholt. The fourth goal duly arrived and it once again came courtesy of a Sunderland own goal as Mannone got a strong hand to a low Pelle shot, only for the ball to squirm over the line off half-time substitute Bridcutt. The misery continued for Poyet and his players as Pelle soon made it five, slotting home first time having been played in by Tadic – although he did balloon a hat-trick opportunity high and wide soon after. Tadic was soon on the scoresheet himself as he was gifted possession by a poor Mannone clearance and swept the ball in for his first Premier League goal. Sunderland were in pieces by this stage and Southampton showed no mercy, adding a seventh just seconds later as substitute Wanyama thrashed an effort past the hapless Mannone. Still it continued and Mane was the next to get in on the act as the Senegal man hit his first Saints goal, with Tadic again supplying the ammunition from the left flank. There was to be no record-equalling ninth for the hosts but this was a signal of intent from Koeman’s side as they look to prove their impressive start is no flash in the pan, with the huge victory taking them third in the table and leaving Sunderland in abject misery. Ronald Koeman well and truly disproved the manager of the month hoodoo as his Southampton side decimated a woeful Sunderland outfit 8-0.last_img read more

Dutch rivals quiet on relationship

first_img “It was difficult at the start of the season for them but I think they are on the way back and that showed the performances of the team and they won the last four games. “It’s a nice challenge for us on Monday.” United can go third if they beat Southampton, who are a point ahead of them in the table, and then face Liverpool but Van Gaal disputed suggestions the match against their Merseyside rivals was more important. He also believes the Saints can still be in the Champions League places at the end of the season. Van Gaal said: “Southampton play better at this time and have more points at this moment than Liverpool so I think it’s good that we have to play Southampton now. “I think they have a good squad, a lot of players that I know and who were offered to us. I think they are able to come in the top four but that’s also because I believe in the management in Ronald Koeman and his brother [Erwin].” Van Gaal also responded angrily to reports that he will be handed £100million or more to bring in new players. He added: “I think it’s disgusting always writing about numbers. I don’t think that [United executive vice-chairman] Ed Woodward said anything about that, I don’t think I have said anything about that. “It is disrespectful to my players and I don’t like to talk about it. I have to work with the selection I have and I have respect for my selection and I believe in my players.” Wayne Rooney will be fit to face Southampton, Van Gaal confirmed. The United skipper had a scan on Thursday to examine a possible knee problem but has been given the all-clear. However record signing Angel di Maria will not be ready to return from his injury in time for the trip to the south coast. Van Gaal described Koeman as “a very good coach” but refused to talk about their relationship since the falling-out. The United manager told a news conference at the club’s Carrington training centre: “I don’t have to describe my relationship with the trainer of the opponent… that’s more private. “We play against Southampton and we have to speak about Southampton not speak about the coach.” Koeman took a similar line, saying: “The game is Southampton v Manchester Untied and the game needs that attention and not the attention about both managers because that’s private. “That was a working problem and I have to explain like that. “It’s not an issue because it is eight or nine years ago and now I prefer to talk about the game.” Asked about the relationship now, Koeman added: “Good. If we see each other we shake hands and that’s enough. “He’s a great coach. He needs time, he will get the time of the club. Koeman, now Southampton manager, worked under Van Gaal at Barcelona but the pair fell out when they were at Ajax in 2004, when Koeman was coach and Van Gaal the technical director. They shake hands on meeting now, according to Koeman, but Van Gaal referred to his former protege as “weak” in his autobiography and the closeness they once had never returned. Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal will cross swords with fellow Dutchman and his former assistant Ronald Koeman on Monday – but both managers have declared their personal relationship to be “private”. Press Associationlast_img read more

Ellsworth baseball and softball teams advance to quarterfinals

first_imgELLSWORTH — Baseball and softball playoffs are here, though it certainly didn’t feel like June on Tuesday night.In a cold and rainy Class B preliminary game, the No. 8-seeded Ellsworth baseball team got the job done at home against No. 9 Erskine Academy.The Eagles scored three runs in the first inning en route to a 6-2 win.Ellsworth’s Conor Maguire kicked off the scoring after drawing a walk, then stealing second. Avery Anderson advanced Maguire to third with a sacrifice bunt, and Nicholas Bagley singled to bring him home.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textGriffin Nightingale and Chris Barnes each followed with RBI doubles as the Eagles ended the inning up 3-0.Ellsworth scored another run in the bottom of the second. Maguire singled, then advanced all the way home on Erskine errors.Erskine scored two runs in the top of the third to cut its deficit to two.Ellsworth scored its final two runs in the bottom of the fifth. With the bases loaded from three walks, Alex Braley and Bradley Smith singled to drive in Nightingale and Zack McGraw.Maguire pitched a complete game, notching six strikeouts and allowing four hits, three walks and two earned runs.Erskine pitcher Ryan Rodrigue allowed six runs in four innings. He walked five and struck out four.Also braving the elements were spectators clad in green Old Town gear, scouting out their next opponent.The Eagle boys, now 10-7, will face the No. 1 Old Town Coyotes in the quarterfinals on Thursday at Old Town. Though the Coyotes remain undefeated this season, Ellsworth only lost to them 1-0 in an earlier matchup.Ellsworth’s Chris Barnes hits an RBI double in the first inning of Tuesday’s home Class B preliminary game against Erskine Academy, giving Ellsworth a 3-0 lead. PHOTO BY TAYLOR VORTHERMSEllsworth’s Maguire and Bagley were also selected for the Class B Penobscot Valley Conference All Star first team this week.The No. 10-seeded Ellsworth softball team upset No. 7 Erskine in a prelim game at Erskine.The Eagle girls used a 20-hit attack to earn the 9-2 win.For Ellsworth, Mariah Brown pitched five scoreless innings. Abby Lynch collected a triple, a double and two singles. Caitlin Bean singled three times with three RBIs. Leah Stevens contributed three singles and scored twice. Shelby Cote added a double and a single.Avery Bond led Erskine with a double and two singles.The Eagle girls will play at No. 2 Old Town on Thursday in the quarterfinals.The No. 13 Mount Desert Island softball team ended its season 6-10 after losing 7-6 at No. 4 Oceanside in Monday’s prelim.In Class C action, the Bucksport and George Stevens Academy baseball teams as well as the Bucksport softball team had byes in the prelims. They will all host opponents in Thursday’s quarterfinals.The No. 8 Sumner softball team beat No. 9 GSA 17-5 at home on Tuesday to advance to the quarterfinals.For Sumner (10-7), Sally Lockhart pitched a four-hitter with three strikeouts, and Savana Turner and Brittney Dyer each rapped a double and two singles.For GSA (5-12), Katrina Limeburner hit a double and single.Sumner will play at No. 1 Mattanawcook in Thursday’s quarterfinals. Bio Latest Posts EHS names new boys’ soccer coach – July 13, 2016 Latest posts by Taylor Vortherms (see all)center_img Part 1: Invisible, incapacitating concussions are sidelining high school athletes – July 19, 2016 Taylor VorthermsSports Editor at The Ellsworth AmericanTaylor Vortherms covers sports in Hancock County. The St. Louis, Missouri native recently graduated from the Missouri School of Journalism and joined The Ellsworth American in 2013. Part 2: When the injury is inside your head, some “don’t get it” – July 26, 2016last_img read more

Cricket News Bangladesh create history, secure first-ever innings win to sweep series against West Indies

first_imgNew Delhi: Bangladesh secured their first-ever innings win in Test cricket as they decimated West Indies by an innings and 184 runs in the Mirpur match to sweep the two-Test series 2-0. The match was dominated by Mehidy Hasan’s magnificent 12 wickets and his efforts, combined with the all-round brilliance of Shakib Al Hasan ensured Bangladesh secured their biggest-ever win in Tests. The victory was even more significant, considering that in the previous series, they had lost a Test to Zimbabwe. West Indies lost 13 wickets on the third day as they suffered trial by spin.Read More |Virat Kohli’s India aim to avoid collapse syndrome in Australia TestsResuming at 75/7 in pursuit of Bangladesh’s mammoth total of 508, Mehidy Hasan picked up two more wickets to finish with 7/58, the third-best figures by a Bangladesh bowler in Tests behind Taijul Islam (8/39 vs Zimbabwe 2014) and Shakib (7/36 vs New Zealand, Chittagong). The Bangladesh captain took the last wicket and West Indies were bowled out for 111. Trailing by 397 runs, Bangladesh enforced the follow-on and instead of showing some fight, the Windies capitulated even badly in the second innings.Read More |Virat Kohli enjoys batting if someone has a go at him: Tim PaineMehidy and Shakib once again decimated the West Indies top order as they were left reeling at 29/4. However, Shimron Hetmyer decided to take the attack to the spinners and launch a glorious counter-attack. The young left-hander dealt in only sixes as wickets kept tumbling at the other end. He was especially severe on Shakib, whom he hit for four sixes and also on Taijul, whom he blasted three sixes. His tally of nine sixes put him level with Chris Gayle for the most sixes in an innings but he missed out on a century when he miscued Mehidy to be out for 93.Read More |Kohli focused only on cricket, not on confrontations vs AustraliaKemar Roach and Shermon Lewis frustrated Bangladesh’s with a 42-run stand for the last wicket. The victory was sealed when Taijul trapped Lewis for 20 to spark off wild celebrations in the Bangladesh camp. This was their second series win against West Indies, having earlier beaten them 2-0 in the 2009 series. Mehidy was rightfully the Man of the Match, his haul of 12/117 becoming the best-ever individual haul in a Test for Bangladesh.Speaking after the end of the match, Shakib said the players were committed to doing well. “Every time the batsmen got in, they made it count. All four spinners were great, especially Miraz, the way he bowled today was fantastic. Nayeem bowled really well in both Tests, even though the wickets column doesn’t show it,” Shakib said.Bangladesh will now take on West Indies in three ODIs and three Twenty20 Internationals as they look to continue their great run. For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.last_img read more

El Centro Chicano hosts the grand opening of new location

first_imgFollow us on Twitter @dailytrojan Rebirth was the prevailing theme on Tuesday night at the grand opening of El Centro Chicano’s new facility in the Student Union Building. Attendees celebrated the beginning of a new chapter in El Centro’s 40-year history at USC as many also bid farewell to the old facility at the United University Church.Chop, chop · Bill Vela, director of El Centro Chicano, cuts the ribbon at the grand opening of El Centro’s new location in the Gwynn Wilson Student Union. Students, faculty and alumni attended the event. – Nick Entin | Daily TrojanThe reception was held at the Ronald Tutor Campus Center Forum with live entertainment provided by the Latin Grammy-nominated Trio Ellas. In attendance were USC students, staff, faculty and alumni such as Los Angeles City Councilwoman Jan Perry, in addition to many family members and friends of the university.“It’s very difficult to move … It’s one of the hardest things to do … but moving also brings new chances and opportunities,” Oliver Mayer, associate professor of dramatic writing, said of the change.Not all were happy with El Centro Chicano’s move. Space at the new location is limited in comparison to the former center, but the new space has been designed to be utilized as efficiently as possible. The kitchen and computer lab share a side room, while the main space, which has been dubbed the “Flex Room,” can be modified to serve as a space for networking and mixers or a combined study and socialization space.Isabel Bravo, a third-year graduate student studying visual anthropology, lamented the loss of study spaces. Previously, the offices of the center were separate from a lecture hall and study space and could be locked up while still providing a place for students to study late at night.“We delivered so many letters to [Provost Elizabeth Garrett],” Bravo said on the efforts of students and alumni to keep El Centro’s previous location. “[El Centro Chicano provides] so much for us, and now they can’t do that, even if they wanted to.”Due in part to the different floor plan and new rules in the Student Union building, El Centro is unable to provide the type of late-night study space formerly available to students. In addition, cutbacks to work-study funding limit El Centro’s ability to hire after-hours student workers to keep the center open. Despite this, El Centro officials were hopeful that the new location would soon garner more support.“Even the third- and fourth-years are starting to see the value of the new location, although they still have the history of the old location,” said Billy Vela, director of El Centro Chicano.Some student organizations are excited to begin utilizing the new space.“We definitely tried to see [the move] as an opportunity to do something different,” said Valerie Fernandez, executive director of the Latina/o Student Assembly. “LSA definitely had to shift where we meet; we currently meet in a lounge in the Campus Center, but a lot of students have definitely expressed interest in holding meetings at the new facility.”For Marlin Rodriguez, a freshman majoring in mechanical engineering, the center’s more central location provides many benefits.“I’ve heard various stuff about how El Centro offered various services in the past … but I don’t fully understand the negativity,” Rodriguez said. “I kind of like the new location. Since Student Union is right there, I can always go by El Centro between classes and grab a quick snack or something like that.”In addition, El Centro Chicano provides free printing services, which Espana and Rodriguez both said they make use of.Following the speeches given at the Forum, attendees were invited to tour the new facility. Hosts conducted a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony, as well as the unveiling of a new mural by Alfredo Davalos, who also painted the first mural at El Centro’s UUC location 17 years ago. The first mural will be preserved by the UUC.“The new mural is a continuation of the other one. This one is more complete,” Davalos said.Beginning from the bottom left of the mural, dark blue silhouettes painted on green fields make their way to the right, gaining color and increasing in definition until they finally manifest as a great fist which pushes open the doors of El Centro Chicano to the rest of the university — embodying one of the goals of moving the facility to a more centralized location.El Centro Chicano shares a floor with the Asian-Pacific American Student Assembly and the Center for Black Cultural and Student Affairs, and has already collaborated on a number of events.“I definitely think [the new location] offers a great opportunity for collaboration,” Vela said. “But first and foremost, our center is a Latina/o ethnic center. It is the founding center, out of the Civil Rights Movement. We have the professional staff, the focus and resources to focus on the Latino community, and that’s what truly makes El Centro a home.”last_img read more