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University of Waterloo | Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Monday, April 27, 1998

  • Muslim group launches magazine
  • Staff association seeks committee reps
  • Masters in stats and computing planned
  • As we close "the cruellest month"
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Muslim group launches magazine

The Muslim Students Association at UW has started a magazine -- in part, its managing editor says, because "our religion rarely gets a fair shake in the American media, which is essentially the media that we see here in Canada."

[Bismillah] Says Jibril Trimm: "We thought it only fair to offer our side of the story in order to combat this seemingly prejudiced outlook. We thought it might be effective to do this through the same means in which we are often slandered: the print media."

Enter volume 1 number 1 of The Muslim Journal, which was available on campus a few days ago. The front and back covers display Arabic text, but the inside content is all in English. The issue includes features about "brotherhood and salvation", bloodshed in Algeria, and the scientific background to the theory of immaculate conception. The magazine also has poetry and brief news items.

And there's a report on the creation of a prayer room last year in UW's Student Life Centre. "It is essential," writes Abdul-Rehman Khan, "that the Muslims, from across campus, gather together and use this space . . . causing the current prayer room to overflow with Muslims praying at the regular times. Then petitions to the Feds can be made for a larger and larger space, Insha'Allah."

Trimm says non-Muslims "often perceive Islam as an oppressive and extremist faith, but those of us who believe and partake in this religion know that this couldn't be further from the truth. Islam is a beautiful and rich way of life, founded in the belief and worship of the one and only true God. We are obligated to share these facts, as well as the teachings of our holy prophet Muhammad, with those who are around us. We thought a newspaper might be a good way to achieve these goals in a university setting."

And he adds: "Since many Muslims would hesitate to become involved in many secular publications, due to controversial content," such as beer advertisements, "we thought that we would create our own outlet. This way, Muslims could have a chance to express themselves creatively, as well as allow for other people to see a more personal side of the Islamic experience."

The magazine is to appear quarterly, "circulated in selected locations in Southern Ontario . . . directed towards both Muslims and non-Muslims".

Staff association seeks committee reps

Karen LeDrew, past president of the UW Staff Association, is inviting applications for staff representatives on a number of campus committees, starting May 1. "We want to encourage all staff members from across campus to consider these opportunities and submit their application if interested in serving on any of the committees listed below. Stand up and be counted," she says.

For consideration, please forward the following to Karen LeDrew (SISP/IST or ledrewbk@nh1adm) by May 8: name, department, extension, email address, years of service at UW, any relevant information, and indicate why you wish to represent staff on a particular committee. The information provided is a key factor in the final selection of the staff representative by the UWSA executive.

Anyone interested in providing representation who is not a member of the UW Staff Association may join by contacting Barb Yantha at ext. 3566 or staffasc@mc1adm.

Masters in stats and computing planned

The UW senate has approved a new graduate program to educate students in both statistics and computing. The collaborative master's program in statistics and computing, to be offered by the department of statistics and actuarial science and the department of computer science, is designed to provide training for students interested in computational and empirical methods applied to problems of substantive scientific and technological interest.

Approval by the Ontario Council of Graduate Study is necessary before the program can be inaugurated.

According to plans, students will be registered in one of the two departments, and after completing the program (normally in five terms) will earn a master's of mathematics degree with the designated specialty (statistics - computing).

The new program is in response to the growing use of statistical methods and tools in computer science research practice, as well as the use of concepts of specialized research areas of computer science in statistics research practice.

"Unfortunately, the demands of graduate education in either subject are of an intensity that discourages students from gaining substantial exposure to the other discipline," says an outline of the program. The program is intended for students with honour bachelor degrees in computer science, statistics or a related technical area such as engineering or mathematics.

"Graduates from this program can be expected to be able to deploy with equal facility the tools of statistics and computer science in those areas where applications depend on both subjects," the outline says. "Such applications are increasingly common in such varied fields as financial services, product and process engineering, adaptive optimization, stochastic modelling and software reliability."

As we close the cruellest month

The Waterloo Advisory Council (WAC) will hold its spring meeting today and tomorrow at UW, beginning with an orientation for new members from 4 to 6 this afternoon in Needles Hall. Established to bring advice from Canadian government, business and industry to the university, "in the continuing development of its education, research, and administrative programs, and in particular, co-operative education," the council's membership includes "employers of students and alumni consistent with faculties served." Speakers at tonight's session at Conrad Grebel College will be Ann Dowsett Johnston, assistant managing editor of Maclean's, and Grebel honours music and history student Rebecca Steinmann.

MFA thesis works by two UW students will be on exhibit in East Campus Hall until Friday. Wood and stone sculpture by Christopher A. Stones is on display in the Artspace Gallery, and "Series of Dreams" by Sonesay Bouphasiry, in the Front Gallery. The exhibitions opened April 17.

Barbara Elve

Editor of the Daily Bulletin: Chris Redmond
Information and Public Affairs, University of Waterloo
credmond@uwaterloo.ca | (519) 888-4567 ext. 3004
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