An investigation by Cherwell into drug use around Oxford has discovered suggestions of traces of cocaine in a number of locations. The tests, which were carried out using chemical cocaine swabs over three days, are part of the most comprehensive investigation into student drug habits among Oxford students in recent years. The investigation includes an anonymous survey of 650 students from across the University.Tests were carried out in ten different locations, six of which produced in positive results for cocaine. These locations were the Oxford Union, the Old Bodleian Library, the Bodleian Radcliffe Camera, the Manor Road Building (where the Social Sciences Library is located), the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, and the Oxford University Language centre. This evidence of cocaine in university libraries is particularly alarming, as it is suggestive of non-recreational cocaine consumption.The swabs, which offer an immediate result confirming or denying the presence of cocaine traces, were used to wipe surfaces in all locations in the bathrooms, including toilet seats, cisterns, and other flat surfaces. The tests were purchased from crackdown-drugtesting.com, a drug detection company based in Lancashire established by former policeman Dave Rigg. Pictures of the positive results were sent to the manufacturer in order to check their veracity.[mm-hide-text]%%IMG_ORIGINAL%%8908%%[/mm-hide-text]Cocaine swab result for the Old Bodleian LibraryMr Rigg, speaking to Cherwell, said that the cocaine tests used in the investigation are “well-known and used in the scientific community”, and have an accuracy of 95 per cent in detecting street-level cocaine.In light of Cherwell’s findings, a spokesperson for Oxford University commented, “We do not believe there is a problem of widespread cocaine use at Oxford University, and note that the accuracy of the cocaine test swabs would probably not stand up as evidence in court. The findings are of concern, however, and the relevant University authorities have requested more information about how this investigation was carried out. “The University advises those who are abusing any substance to seek help. There is a range of support available, promoted by the University, the colleges and the student union.”The swabs are soaked in Cobalt thiocyanate, a pink substance, and turn blue when in contact with cocaine. Whilst the cocaine swabs act as a presumptive test, their accuracy means that they are a strong indicator that cocaine has been used in places where a positive result is detected.David Rigg stressed, “It has been (wrongly) suggested in the past that a) the cocaine ‘blew in’ from the outside and was deposited on the surface and b) cocaine has been deposited by placing a bank note on a surface.“Our swabs are designed to work at milligram levels of cocaine, so a substantial amount must have been present on the surface initially. The presence of cocaine on banknotes are recorded at nanogram levels which would not ‘trip’ the chemistry of the swab.”Tests carried out in the Turl Street Kitchen, the English Faculty Library, the Examinations Schools and the Oxford University Student Union resulted in no cocaine traces being detected.[mm-hide-text]%%IMG_ORIGINAL%%8909%%[/mm-hide-text]Cocaine swab result for the Oxford UnionA similar investigation into cocaine usage carried out by Cherwell in 2008 discovered evidence of cocaine in both OUSU and the Oxford Union. Comparable surveys have also been conducted in the past by student journalists in Exeter and York universities, where evidence of cocaine on university property was revealed. Similar swabs were also used by a German television station to test for cocaine in the European Parliament in 2005.A spokesperson for the Oxford Union told Cherwell, “Any form of drug use on the premises of the Oxford Union constitutes serious misconduct and is absolutely not tolerated. As the buildings are open to all members and their guests, and are often hired out, there is a possibility that such instances could occur, despite the fact that there are always security staff on our premises. If an incident involving drug use is discovered, it is taken extremely seriously, and we co-operate closely with the police on the issue.”
Come on and take it! Tickets are now available for Piece of My Heart: The Bert Berns Story, which begins performances on June 25. The bio-musical, directed and choreographed by Denis Jones, stars Zak Resnick as the titular legendary songwriter, as well as Leslie Kritzer as Jessie, Teal Wicks as Ilene and de’Adre Aziza as Candace. Opening night is set for July 21 at The Irene Diamond Stage at The Pershing Square Signature Center. In addition to Resnick, Kritzer, Wicks and Aziza, the cast features Linda Hart as Mom, Joseph Siravo as Wazzel, Derrick Baskin as Hoagy and Bryan Fenkart as Young Wazzel. The ensemble includes Carleigh Bettiol, Teresa Gattison, Shonica Gooden, Sydney James Harcourt, Harris Milgrim, Michael Millan, Gabrielle Ruiz, Amos Wolff and Mark Zeisler. View Comments With a book by Daniel Goldfarb, Piece of My Heart tells the story of one of the most successful songwriters of the 1960s. His hits, which were recorded by such artists as The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, David Bowie and Otis Redding, include “Twist and Shout,” “Tell Him,” “I Want Candy,” “Hang On Sloopy,” “Cry, Baby” and many more. Piece of My Heart Star Files Related Shows Zak Resnick Show Closed This production ended its run on Sept. 14, 2014 Teal Wicks Leslie Rodriguez Kritzer
EIOPA was commenting in the context of its submission to the European Commission’s consultation about the next phase of its sustainable finance strategy. This closed on Wednesday.One of more than 100 questions posed by the Commission was whether the EU “should explore options to improve ESG integration and reporting beyond what is currently required by the regulatory framework for pension providers”.The IORP II Directive refers to the concept of investment decisions’ impacts on ESG factors, but merely states that pension funds should be allowed to take these impacts into account.Last year EIOPA recommended that national pension fund supervisors “should encourage” IORPs to take into account the potential long-term impact of investment decisions on ESG factors, adding: “in order to support society’s sustainability goals”.It argues that considering the long-term impact of investment decisions on ESG factors could contribute to managing pension funds’ exposures to ESG risks. EIOPA has suggested as a potentially positive step the amendment of EU pension fund legislation to mandate pension funds to take into account the long-term environmental and/or social impact of their investment decisions.According to the European supervisory authority, the change would be in the context of the prudent person rule, set out in Article 19 of the IORP II Directive, and “without prejudice to the objective of providing occupational retirement benefits, also having regard to the principle of proportionality”.It did not explicitly recommend this action be taken, but said that introducing such a mandate for IORPs “may be” a step that could further improve ESG integration by pension funds.An industry insider described EIOPA’s proposal as “a significant departure from the current prudent person rule”. EIOPA in Frankfurt, GermanyIn its consultation submission EIOPA also said that mandating IORPs to take into account the potential long-term impact of their investment decisions on ESG factors “would require further consideration of how IORPs integrate members’ ESG preferences in relation to prudent person rule compliance”.In recent years the narrative around ESG has evolved to explicitly include the notion of investment activity’s sustainability impact, as distinct from the perspective of ESG factors having implications for investment decisions. Some refer to impact as a “third dimension”, after risk and return.In its consultation, the European Commission asked for views about changing rules to directly require asset managers to consider and integrate adverse impacts of investment decisions on sustainability, but it did not mention this idea in relation to IORPs.EIOPA also made another suggestion in relation to IORP II, saying a further improvement would be “to have a standardised ESG quality label presentation to make information more friendly to members and consumers”. It did not further explain this idea.In response to a question about how pension providers could contribute to the achievement of the EU’s environmental goals “in a more proactive way,” EIOPA said “the importance of IORPs’ stewardship role through the Shareholder Rights Directive” should be strengthened.“Large IORPs are more likely to influence investee companies,” said EIOPA. “For small and medium-sized IORPs it is a challenging, if not impossible task: in other words size matters.“Initiatives such as a taskforce or consortium bringing together IORPs with common interests/objectives to influence investee companies or regrouping ESG knowledge/practices, can be encouraged.”PensionsEurope’s Matti Leppäla this week told IPE’s Summer Pensions Congress that EU regulation around responsible investment for pension funds was moving too fast.Looking for IPE’s latest magazine? Read the digital edition here.