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Friday, December 17, 1999

  • Introducing Mackenzie King Village
  • Union members ratify contract
  • Advice issued on lab safety
  • What 'tis the season for

Introducing Mackenzie King Village

William Lyon Mackenzie King marks his 125th birthday today. A conference at UW today and tomorrow promises "a very different take" on Canada's longest-serving prime minister.
UW's housing department has reached back into Waterloo County history to find new names for its student residences.

As an extension of the Village housing complex, construction of a new residence is scheduled to begin in May. Located between Village I and Ron Eydt Village, the new facility will house some 320 first-year students. The name chosen by the residence development steering committee for the new building: William Lyon Mackenzie King Village -- King Village or Mackenzie King Village, for short.

According to Leanne O'Donnell, residence life director, "The name was selected to honour Canada's longest serving Prime Minister (1921-26, 1926-30, 1935-48) and Kitchener-Waterloo's most famous resident. Many historians deem him the most influential Prime Minister in Canadian history," she added.

In addition, the committee took a look at the names currently in use for the UW Apartments -- formerly known as Married Student Apartments -- and concurred that "existing names lack personality and tend to be cold and institutional in nature, qualities which defeat the warm and inviting atmosphere which we strive to create in residence halls."

Since major renovations are planned for the complex over the next several years to replace existing single-unit apartments with undergraduate student residences, it seemed an opportune time for the committee to revisit the UWA names.

For the less-than-catchy UW Apartments, UW Place was proposed. Instead of North Court, South Court, East Court and West Court, the committee suggested renaming the sections after the four original townships in Waterloo County: Waterloo, Wilmot, Wellesley and Woolwich.

And the complex's East Tower and West Tower will become Eby Hall and Beck Hall, in memory of prominent figures in local history, Benjamin Eby and Jacob Beck.

"Benjamin Eby played a prominent role in the early life of Kitchener," explains O'Donnell, and is remembered as the founder of the community's first school and the first church. He also provided financial backing for the first local newspaper. "The village in fact was originally known as Ebytown," she said.

"Jacob Beck was the founding father of nearby Baden, and his son, Sir Adam Beck, was a prominent Canadian industrialist, a successful politician, the founder and builder of Ontario Hydro, and a pioneer in the industrialization of Ontario."

Final approval for the new names has been given by UW president David Johnston, and by the board of governors.

Union members ratify contract

Members of Canadian Union of Public Employees local 793 voted yesterday afternoon to accept a tentative agreement reached last week with the university.

The three-year deal gives some 300 plant operations and food services staff general increases of 1.5 per cent the first year, and an additional 1 per cent in both the second and third years, said union president Neil Stewart after the votes were counted.

As well, he said, there will be "adjustments to different job grades at different points in time over the duration of the contract."

The agreement comes after a difficult year of bargaining. Talks between the two sides broke off in July, and in September union members voted in favour of a strike. Negotiations with a provincially-appointed conciliator ended with a tentative settlement in November, but the deal was rejected in a vote by union members. Negotiators talked a little further and reached a second deal, which has now been approved, subject to ratification on behalf of the UW board of governors.

Advice issued on lab safety

The UW safety office, leaving as little to chance as possible, has issued some advice to people who operate laboratories at UW, giving them belt-and-suspenders advice on preventing Year 2K trouble.

"As we near the year 2000," says its advisory, "public agencies and utilities in the Waterloo Region have prepared as much as possible so that UW will not experience a loss of services. However, due to winter weather conditions utilities, especially electricity, may be affected. It is a general rule that all laboratory processes be designed to safely survive a service failure.

"During the holiday shutdown this is particularly important and the following precautions are recommended."

Prepare your laboratory:

What to do if you have a lab incident:

[Three with cake]
A slab of cake -- chocolate -- helped celebrate the opening of the new reception area for the co-op education and career services department on Monday. Wielding the knife are UW president David Johnston, CECS receptionist Ruth Hanna and CECS director Bruce Lumsden.

What 'tis the season for

For Christmas parties, most of all. The psychology department will hold its seasonal luncheon today in the Laurel Room, for example. And I bet it's also because of a Christmas party that the Computer Help and Information Place (CHIP), on the first floor of the Math and Computer building, will be closed today from 11:45 to 1:30. But other things are happening on campus, today and over the weekend. . . .

St. Jerome's University English professor Stan Fogel will receive a special honour today from a Cuban university. The title "Profesor Invitado" will be conferred by Instituto Superior de Arte in Havana, Cuba's leading university for the performing arts and culture. Fogel has taught courses and given lectures at ISA (without remuneration) since 1993, and, in a system where "education is a priority and Cuban students pay no tuition," finds "campus life rich and leisurely. Students can be students." He'll be teaching a course on Extreme Culture there this spring.

The joint health and safety committee will meet at 9 a.m. in Needles Hall room 3043. Agenda items include air quality, buildings being locked or unlocked at night, the new smoking bylaw, and recent injury and fire incidents.

The department of computer science presents a seminar this morning by Jeffrey Boyd of the University of Calgary. He'll speak (10:30 a.m., Davis Centre room 1304) on "Statistical Tracking: Network Tomography in Surveillance".

The Computer-Human Interaction group presents a talk today by Chieko Asakawa of IBM Japan. "Being blind herself," an announcement says, "she has made many advances in web accessibility for the blind. Join us as she discusses her work." The session will start at 12 noon in Davis Centre room 1302.

Something called "Laser Magic" comes to the Humanities Theatre on Sunday, at noon and 3 p.m., as a benefit for the Community Living agency.

Trout Lily Press will hold a launch celebration Sunday afternoon for The Page-Turner's Sister, a new chapbook of short fiction by London writer Jean McKay. "Please join us," an invitation says, "from 3 to 5 p.m. in the common room at St. Jerome's University. Jean will read and play her violin around 3:30, and will be available throughout the afternoon to sign books. Bring your friends -- everyone is welcome. Enjoy good food, good company -- and do some of your last-minute Christmas shopping!" The chapbook is available for $8, plus $2 shipping, from Trout Lily Press, 87 Front Street, Stratford, Ontario N5A 4G8.


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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