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Thursday, April 27, 2000

  • Team unveils race car tomorrow
  • Staff wind up 'exhausting' year
  • Minister promises 'appropriate' support
  • All the news that fits

[SAE car]

Team unveils race car tomorrow

UW's Formula SAE team will unveil its year 2000 race car tomorrow afternoon, in readiness for next month's race in Michigan.

"Changes and improvements" are promised in this year's car, which the team will display at 4:30 Friday afternoon in parking lot A, across University Avenue from the main campus entrance. The team is preparing for the FSAE Competition May 17-21 in Pontiac, Michigan. The collegiate design competition is sponsored by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and hosted by General Motors, DaimlerChrysler and Ford.

"Sponsors, friends and the news media are welcome to see the changes and improvements for this year as well as a demonstration of the FSAE car's capabilities," said Criffer Castleton, manager of the UW Formula SAE Team 2000. About 130 engineering student teams from around the world enter the event each year.

Engineering students are entirely responsible for the design and fabrication of these small formula-style race cars. "Restrictions are placed on the car frame and engine so the student's knowledge, creativity, and imagination are tested," Castleton says.

Four-stroke engines up to 610cc can be naturally aspirated, turbo-charged or super-charged to add a new dimension to the challenge of engine design. The vehicles are judged in these categories: Static Inspection and Engineering Design; Solo Performance Trials; Endurance and Fuel Economy Race; Marketing Presentation; and Cost and Manufacturing Process Report.

UW has participated in 12 of the past 13 competitions, with its entries placing in the top 10 in eight of them. Over the years, UW has been the top Canadian entry in the competition.

"This year's team consists of more than 20 highly motivated students," Castleton said, adding that many of them are in mechanical engineering. The team's sponsorship is mainly drawn from from local and regional industry, as well as from UW.

Staff wind up 'exhausting' year

"It's been an eventful year for all of us, both enthralling and exhausting," writes Paul McKone as he winds up his year as president of UW's staff association. The message comes in the April issue of the Staff News, announcing the annual general meeting of the association on Thursday, June 1.

Staff News provides annual reports from the association's various committees and officers, which can be the basis of discussion at the annual meeting. UW provost Jim Kalbfleisch will be guest speaker at the noon-hour meeting.

"Through everyone's hard work this past year," writes Brad Vogt,chair of the membership committee, "we were able to increase our membership to 859 which as a percentage of total staff is 54.4%."

And McKone has this news from the staff compensation committee:

A good portion of this year was taken up with proposed changes to the Vacation Policy (policy #6). Our hope was to clarify some of the terms, expressions, and example used in the document, and to establish an addendum of guidelines for the use of staff members and their supervisors. These guidelines -- which, along with the other changes, will be forwarded to the Staff Relations Committee (SRC) for further review -- are intended to help make vacation-handling practices more consistent and understandable across campus. The changes were made in response to complaints that the Staff Association received concerning what appeared to be inconsistent and perhaps unfair application of the current policy. When the revised policy goes on view, both PACSC and SRC will welcome your further input.

A side discussion of "personal days" -- brief periods of leave for use by staff members for medical appointments, care of sick children etc., -- has been referred to the Staff Relations Committee for further discussion.

McKone, of the engineering computing staff, finishes his term as president at the June 1 meeting and will be succeeded by Walter McCutchan of the department of information systems and technology, acclaimed last year as president-elect.

[Szalai] [Chrzanowski Meanwhile, two candidates are seeking the role of president-elect for 2000-01, which leads to the presidency in 2001-02. Squaring off in an election this month are Joe Szalai, left, and Ed Chrzanowski, right.

They're offering very different approaches to the staff association's future. Says Szalai, who works in the user services department of the library: "I will work with staff to certify the Staff Association. I think the time is right for staff to investigate how becoming a union would improve our ability to negotiate a fair contract. I believe that our salaries, benefits and working conditions could be significantly improved if we had a collective agreement."

Chrzanowski's public statement emphasizes his service so far: "He currently works for the Math Faculty Computing Facility and has been since 1982. He has served as a member of the Dean of Math Nominating Committee and is currently acting chair and staff representative on the Parking Appeals Committee. . . . He has also been known to assist and participate in the Japanese language program at Renison. Edward is a full time member of IEEE, ACM, USENIX/Sage, and the Storytellers School of Toronto. He is also a director of technology for a political party in his home town. Edward uses his scarce free time from work and external activities relaxing with his woodworking equipment making marvels for the annual Staff Association craft sale."

The staff association is organizing a forum to let staff members hear and question the two candidates; it's tentatively scheduled for noon hour on Wednesday, May 3, with details to come soon.

Minister promises 'appropriate' support

[Cunningham]" University and college funding was the theme for much of the day yesterday in the Ontario legislature. The issue first came up as Dianne Cunningham (left), minister of training, colleges and universities, faced a couple of questions -- a softball pitch from Brian Coburn, Progressive Conservative from the Ottawa area, and a tougher assault from Marie Bountrogianni, Liberal member for Hamilton Mountain.

From Cunningham's answers: "We have the most accessible post-secondary education system in Canada, and perhaps in North America. For the last several years -- for the last 20 years, to be exact -- it has been said that Ontario ranks between seventh and 10th in operating funds. The fact is, when you put in all the resources that go into operating funds, we rank fourth in Canada. That may not be good enough, but it isn't last. We're very much better than that. Not only that; we are spending $301 per student above and beyond the national average. So our students are well funded in operating dollars. . . .

"This year alone, with the private sector's support we put $1.4 billion into new construction. My colleague asks about operating dollars: We're fourth in Canada. We are above the national average in operating costs, and we have done more than any other government, to the tune of $697 million, to support students on tuition, and I'll mention two ways. Over and above OSAP, we have an Ontario student opportunity trust fund, and that means the private sector in this province, university by university, college by college, have offered up more than $300 million to support students, and we have matched those funds, one of the most successful programs in Canada. . . .

"I think we should be proud here in Ontario that we have the largest accessibility ever for students to our post-secondary system."

Later Bountrogianni presented a petition that she said had about 10,000 students' signatures on it: "We, the undersigned, petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to increase funding to post-secondary education, which will bring per capita funding up to the national level; restore the allowable earnings in an academic year to the previous value of $1,700 (that is, changed from the current $600 limit before effecting the OSAP eligibility); and restore the eligibility of part-time students for OSAP."

Still later came a speech by Bountrogianni, touching on fees, university autonomy, the aging professoriat, the value of the liberal arts, deteriorating buildings, student aid and the danger of private universities. Shelley Martel, NDP member for Nickel Belt, joined in the attack, with an emphasis on rising fee levels and problems with the Millennium Scholarship program. Some of the money isn't getting to students, Martel charged: "What is the government doing with this windfall profit?"

Cunningham swung back: "I find it very interesting that the Liberal Party has put forward this motion to freeze tuition fees when in their 1999 election platform they claimed they would indeed immediately cut tuition by 10%. That is what they would have done. But today they're satisfied to freeze it. Obviously, they're learning something. . . . You see, there is no convincing evidence to support the claim that higher tuition fees are limiting access to post-secondary education -- no convincing evidence. As a matter of fact, our government is proud that more students than ever are accessing higher education. . . .

"The facts are extremely confusing for some of my colleagues. What I resent about that is that some of my colleagues in opposition confuse our young people and absolutely wipe out their hopes and dreams. Our system is accessible. We want them to be there. We want their parents to be part of the planning. We know that it's necessary to provide support. . . .

"With both this motion and recent fearmongering via the media, the opposition would have you believe that our government has no plan to accommodate the increased numbers who will be attending our post-secondary institutions in the future. I think as parents, as members of communities, as people who are totally committed to our young people, we know that we must have a plan -- and we do have one. . . . We committed, in Blueprint, that all willing and qualified Ontario students will continue to have access to quality post-secondary education, and we intend to live up to that promise and that commitment. We will announce the appropriate operating support at the appropriate time."

After more debate, the opposition motion was defeated.

All the news that fits

The "teaching and learning technology roundtable", sponsored by the teaching resource office, has a demonstration planned for 1:00 this afternoon: "Brent Hall will briefly demonstrate two web sites developed respectively for GEOG/PLAN 555 (Management Issues in Geographic Information Systems) and PLAN 675D (Spatial Information Technologies and Development). Both courses were taught for the first time in the Winter 2000 term and required students to interact with extensive web sites written specifically for the courses. In addition, students had to maintain their own sites, which were evaluated at the end of the term and comprised up to 20% of their final mark. Several of the Grad students in PLAN 675D will present their web sites and comment on the approach used in the course." The session will be held in Environmental Studies I room 132.

The department of statistics and actuarial science offers a talk today by M. A. Hidiroglou of Statistics Canada, on "Sampling and Estimation Issues for Annual and Sub-Annual Canadian Business Surveys". The event starts at 3:30 in Math and Computer room 5158.

UW's approaching the end of the 1999-2000 fiscal year, which means that some departments, including the retail services store, need to count the assets. Accordingly, the bookstore, UW Shop, computer store and Techworx will be closed tomorrow and Saturday for inventory.

For the record -- and I should have mentioned it sooner -- pretty much everything that was brought before the April 17 meeting of UW's senate was approved. For example:


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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