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Tuesday, March 6, 2001

  • New UWinfo home page is near
  • They're 'plans', not programs
  • Pension premiums, fashion, and more
  • Lectures precede Anglican gathering
  • Other conferences come to campus

April exam schedule

The registrar's office sends word that the winter term exam schedule is now available on the web. Exams begin April 6 and end April 21.

New UWinfo home page is near

Visitors to the UW website will be greeted by a new look for the university when an interim UWinfo home page is launched on Thursday.

The interim page is part of the work being done by some of us in Information and Public Affairs, who are responsible for the day-to-day maintenance of UWinfo -- the university's central web space.

The new page includes all the links that can be found on the present home page, but they're rearranged and some are tucked into pull-down menus to give the page a cleaner look. There are also a few new links, including one that goes straight to the Student Access system for co-op students. Something else new is a space on the page for current UW headlines.

Says a memo that was distributed to department heads this week: "This design is intended only to freshen the look of the current UW homepage, which we have had for quite some time. It's a different look, but still provides all the same links that exist there now, plus a few more. This page is not the ultimate result of our re-design efforts -- it's only intended to tide us over until a more permanent design is completed.

"We're going to use this interim page to kick off the next phase of our work, which is to conduct a user survey to determine what we need to do to give our on-campus and off-campus users the best web experience possible."

Later in the project will come some attention to lower-level pages in the huge UW web space, and development of standards that information providers all over campus can use to make sure their pages look as though they belong to Waterloo. There are more than 300,000 web pages on at least 250 servers, most of them operated by individual departments, in the "uwaterloo.ca" domain.

I&PA will hold a series of open meetings with the campus community to discuss changes to UWinfo. Any interested staff, faculty and students are invited to attend the first session, either on March 20 from 2:30 to 4 p.m. in Davis Centre 1302, or on March 21 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Needles Hall room 3001.

They're 'plans', not programs

The undergraduate council will meet this afternoon, the university-wide body that deals with the fine print of academic requirements, and there's something new in its thick agenda. What used to be called "programs" are now "academic plans", such as a new joint honours academic plan in chemical engineering and sociology, and an honours academic plan in actuarial science.

Other new terminology means that "credits" are now "units", and "pre-registration" later this month (for courses to be offered next fall) is now "class enrolment".

The changes in what things are called are part of the shift to a new Student Information System -- hey, doesn't it get a new name too? -- that's being brought into effect piece by piece over the next few months. Other SISP-related changes include a university-wide numerical grading system (no more A's, no more F's) and new drop-and-add schedules that will be uniform across campus.

Today's meeting of the undergrad council starts at 1:30 in Needles Hall room 3004. On the agenda, besides dozens of specific changes to courses and programs (sorry, "plans"):

Pension premiums, fashion, and more

The pension and benefits committee is meeting this morning in Needles Hall room 3004. Among the matters under discussion: premiums that go into the UW pension fund. Since the spring of 1997, the premiums -- paid both by the employer and by individual staff and faculty members -- have been reduced, and currently sit at 25 per cent of full price. The pension fund has remained healthy in spite of this reduction in how much goes into it. But things can't stay this way forever, and the plan, as approved by the board of governors, is for premiums to go up from 25 per cent to 40 per cent as of May 1 this year. The committee will be discussing whether to stick to that program.

Co-op students who have been taking part in interviews for spring term jobs should head for Needles Hall this morning. Ranking forms can be picked up in the co-op department starting at 10:00, and should be completed and returned by 4 p.m. ("Co-op field coordinators will be on campus today to help students with their ranking decisions and answer questions about employers.")

Engineering Week continues, with something called "Enginuity" during the noon hour in the Carl Pollock Hall foyer.

Harriet Lyons of the anthropology department will speak at noontime today, in the four-day series of International Women's Week lectures. Her talk, on "Margaret Mead: Feminist or Sell-out?", will start at 12:00 in PAS (Psychology) room 2030.

"Breathe, Focus, Experience, Vision" -- that sums up a "charity fashion and art show" scheduled for tonight in Federation Hall. Tickets are $7 at the door, with a dollar discount if you bring an item of canned food for the Food Bank. "The event was the idea of four graduating engineering students," says one of them, Ajoa Mintah. "Our volunteers are from all across campus -- that includes models, choreographers, stage crew, etc. The entire campus and community is invited." From 7:00 to 8:00, the focus is on an art display and live guitar music. Then from 8:00 to 10:30 comes the fashion show: "a lot of the clothes are mall clothes from Gap, Athlete's World, etc. However, there is a section featuring thirty-plus outfits designed by UW students." And from 10:30 until Fed Hall closes, there will be partying to several DJs. "Time permitting," Mintah noted, "we are trying to put together a preview," so you might see a hint of tonight's show if you drop by the Student Life Centre some time today.

The International Students Association is launching a series of film nights showing off international cultures -- and what culture is better to start with than Canadian, eh? The result: "Strange Brew" will be screened tonight at 9:00 upstairs at the Graduate House.

Looking ahead to tomorrow:

Lectures precede Anglican gathering

A series of lectures at Renison College starting tonight will help to raise issues that will be in the national spotlight this summer when the governing body of the Anglican Church in Canada meets here.

The General Synod, which comes together every three years, will meet on the UW campus July 4 through 11.

While it deals with a wide range of church business, the topic getting the most publicity is expected to be relations between the Anglican church and Native people, in the shadow of scores of lawsuits over abuse in residential schools. The Anglican Council of Indigenous People will make a major presentation -- "a symbolic act that we are working at the problem of reconciliation, which reaches beyond lawsuits", says Bishop Morse Robinson, who now heads the Institute of Ministry at Renison.

The General Synod will also see a major step in relations between Christian churches, as the Anglicans establish "full communion" with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada.

Some of these topics are foreshadowed in the St. Bede Lecture Series, to be held at Renison on five Tuesdays of Lent, starting today. The speakers and topics:

The talks will be given at 7:30 p.m. in St. Bede's Chapel at Renison.

Other conferences come to campus

Besides the Anglicans in July, UW's conference centre in Ron Eydt Village will be hosting everything from mathematicians to hockey players in the course of the spring term.

Conferences help keep food services and residence staff at work through the summer, at a time when not all UW's residence rooms are needed for students. In addition, Ron Eydt Village, the Columbia Lake Townhouses and Village I will all operate "motel" services from late April through late August for visitors looking for a few nights' low-cost accommodation.

The biggest conferences again this year will be religious groups. "Worship Together", sponsored by Cook Communications Ministries, is promising 2,000 delegates May 31 through June 3. A gathering of Pentecostal youth on the first weekend in May will bring about 1,000 participants. The annual Women Alive group in late April and a United Church women's conference June 8-10 have each booked room for 500 people.

Among other major groups coming to campus are the annual meeting of the Ontario Genealogical Society (May 25-27) and the Canadian Society of Microbiologists (June 10-14). Many smaller groups are also scheduled, including about 35 participants in the Waterloo Busker Carnival, August 22 through 27.


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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