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Friday, August 29, 2003

  • They're coming Sunday and Monday
  • It's a whole new generation
  • Football Warriors take the field
  • Math computing environment is split
  • Parking costs more next week
Chris Redmond

'The Loss of the Royal George'

[Lying on bench]

Renimoose, the mascot of Renison College, was resting up this week in preparation for big excitement next week, leading up to the toga party on Saurday night. He picked his spot well: a bench on the new patio in Renison's newly landscaped courtyard area. Reports are that Mr. Moose will be doing some travelling after orientation, visiting Renison alumni across Canada to spread college spirit and news of the successfully completed renovation project.

They're coming Sunday and Monday

UW's thousands of new first-year students -- including many who are just 17, not previously a typical age for university students -- will arrive on campus over the weekend, ready for orientation and the start of the fall term.

Move-in day at UW's residences, where about 4,000 of the new students will live for the fall term, has been split between Sunday and Monday:

  • Sunday: North and south quads of Ron Eydt Village and Village I; odd-numbered floors in Beck and Eby Halls at UW Place; north quad of Wellesley Court; east wing of Mackenzie King Village.

  • Monday: East and west quads of Ron Eydt Village and Village I; even-numbered floors in Beck and Eby Halls; south quad of Wellesley Court; west wing of Mackenzie King Village; Columbia Lake Townhouses.

    And there's a further division, as students who live "within 3 hours drive of Waterloo" have been asked to show up in the morning on their appointed day, and those from further afield should come in the afternoon.

    Only students in special circumstances -- some from out of province who had problems with travel arrangements, and some on Warrior teams that have already begun practices -- have been allowed into residence before the official date.

    "Let's keep our fingers crossed that the weather, and Ontario's hydro supply, will both cooperate over two very hectic days," says Leanne O'Donnell, manager of residence life. She notes that 80 dons have been trained for their key role in the residences, over the move-in weekend, orientation week and the rest of the term, "to assist students with the transition into their new community and extended family".

    Along with a million other things -- connecting the stereo, filling the closet, trying out the food and meeting the people -- new residents will go through a brief questionnaire to identify health risks, particularly the possibility of SARS and the need for a tuberculosis test. "The residence SARS screen in May was very well received," says Barbara Schumacher, medical director of health services, "and has been the template used to model the health screen for this fall. . . . We wish to reassure our students and staff that we are committed to promoting a healthy environment. In addition, this is an excellent opportunity to provide educational material about immunization and personal lifetyle and hygiene habits."

    Single and Sexy: A preview performance of this year's "collective play about attitudes" is scheduled for 11:30 this morning in the Humanities Theatre. Everybody is welcome. Performances for the new first-year students start Tuesday.
    Sunday night, with half the newcomers in residence and half yet to arrive, orientation leaders will hold a private party at Federation Hall, where the bars should be back in operation following an eight-month layoff. Then Monday, orientation events get rolling. The key time in UW residences is 5 p.m. Monday, when dons will hold mandatory floor, house or block meetings everywhere, to get the week and the year started properly. Opening ceremonies follow at 7:00.

    Activities will already be under way in the church colleges -- including "airbands practice" Monday afternoon at Renison College. There's also a full schedule of orientation activities for first-year students who aren't living in residence, under the supervision of the off-campus dons. Opening ceremonies for the off-campus contingent are Monday at 2:30 in Federation Hall.

    It's a whole new generation

    Call them the Millennials, the students who were born in the mid-1980s and are hitting campuses just now. They're different from the students who came before them, the students that universities and professors are used to, said a speaker who came to campus last spring to offer a few tips.

    He was Chris McGrath, a UW graduate who's now director of residences at the University of Toronto at Mississauga, and who was brought to campus May 14 by the student affairs office. McGrath had his audience (heavy with student recruitment staff, advisors and people from student services) alternately laughing and gasping. He quoted liberally from Millennials Rising, by Neil Howe and William Strauss, which argues that the current generation is "a lot less violent, vulgar, and sexually charged than the teen culture older people are producing for them".

    Hard for parents to adjust to university life -- from today's Record
    They're more ethnically diverse than the student generation that came before them, said McGrath. They're also, on average, more affluent; they come from smaller families; they've grown up under close parental supervision and nurturing, leading "highly, highly scheduled lives"; and both they and their parents consider them "special". "They're trophy kids," said McGrath, and their culture is inclined to make them expect to be treated as exceptions to any rule.

    "They're optimistic," he went on. "They're cooperative, team players. There's a mutual, collaboratively based responsibility for learning" -- in other words, they won't easily see anything wrong with sharing their work.

    "How do we redesign or rethink?" McGrath asked the people in the university who will soon be teaching these Millennials or providing support services for them. He reminded the audience that the new generation of students are "sophisticated tech learners" with high expectations from the Internet -- "the most informed generation to have ever lived".

    In fact, he said, they're sophisticated about everything. Hypothetically, "we'll be showing them how to put a condom on? They already know!" But their culture is less permissive than the one that came just before them, he said, predicting "manners, modesty, an old-fashioned gender courtesy" and an intense concern about sexually transmitted disease, which has been a present danger since these young people were infants.

    Getting the millennials to work hard won't be any problem, he said. The challenge for the university will be encouraging the new generation of students "to play, to just relax" and to explore the possibilities of university.

    Monday's a holiday

    Monday, September 1, is Labour Day and a holiday. UW offices and most services will be closed, apart from the (many) people involved in welcoming new students as they arrive on campus.

    The libraries will be closed all day Monday (open noon to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, in both Dana Porter Library and the Davis Centre).

    Football Warriors take the field

    The Warriors will kick off the 2003 football season against the Toronto Varsity Blues on Monday, Labour Day, at University Stadium on Seagram Drive. Game time is 2 p.m.

    The Warriors defeated the Blues 25-18 last season in Toronto, and finished 2002 with a 3-5 record and a first-round playoff loss to the Queen's Golden Gaels. The Warriors are looking to get out of the gate early this season as they did in 2002 with a thrilling 18-16 win over Wilfrid Laurier University last Labour Day. The Blues, on the other hand, were winless in 2002 (0-8), but with new head coach Steve Howlett taking over the program, they'll be hungry for a victory.

    The Warriors will play again on Saturday, September 6, hosting Western at University Stadium.

    Football season should be exciting this year, if we can take a publicity release from Ontario University Athletics at face value: "Last season concluded with an exciting victory by the McMaster Marauders over the Queen's Golden Gaels in the Yates Cup Championship. That excitement is likely to carry forward to Labour Day, when no team can afford to give a victory away.

    "Parity is the name of the game in the OUA this year, with each team having a legitimate shot at making the playoffs. Battles at the top end should be tight for first place overall, and the battles at the lower end for that final playoff spot should prove to be just as intense. With a handful of last year's OUA stars moving on the CFL, current OUA stars such as Tom Denison, Andy Fantuz and Kyle Pyear will have an even greater chance to shine, while younger players have a fantastic opportunity to make a name for themselves."

    A few other Warrior teams are getting into action early as well, including the women's field hockey crew, which will spend the weekend in an exhibition tournament at Yale. In the course of next week there are also games in baseball and men's soccer.

    Math computing environment is split

    Blue for math and red for computer science -- that's how users of terminals in the Math and Computer building will know which of two new computing "environments" they're in, following a major split.

    The longstanding Math Faculty Computing Facility has been broken into two units, a surviving but smaller MFCF and a new Computer Science Computing Facility, as one result of the creation of the "school of computer science" last year.

    "The brief explanation is simply that CS feels it can do a better job of delivering quality research and teaching if it assumes direct responsibility for is own computing support," explains John Beatty, associate dean (computing) in the math faculty, director of MFCF, and himself a CS professor. CSCF will be headed by another CS faculty member, Ken Salem.

    (The 2001 proposal that led to creation of the school of CS summarized a difference in culture between CS and MFCF: "CS has to stay at the forefront of technology, usually trying new (and sometimes unproven) technologies. MFCF cannot afford to be innovative to the extent that CS must; it is always more conservative than CS.")

    "We are just this month in the process of splitting the undergraduate teaching environment," Beatty said a few days ago. "We're makikng good progress, although work has been slowed a bit by the Blaster worm and the blackout. When the undergrad teaching environment is done, we'll move on to splitting the Unix research/administration environment, which should be a good deal easier."

    According to a memo from Alan George, the dean of math, last summer, announcing the split, 16 of the 23 regular staff positions in MFCF are becoming part of CSCF. "Three additional positions will be created within MFCF (for a total of ten)." Some services will be shared by the two units. The help centre in MC room 3011 will be managed by MFCF for students in both parts of the math faculty, and MFCF will also operate the nearby self-service printers. But the terminal rooms will be assigned to one unit or the other.

    Parking costs more next week

    Here's a reminder that, as announced in June, UW parking fees will go up September 1.

    Coin entry to lot C (across University Avenue) will rise to $3 from the prsent $2. At lot M, at the north end of campus, the reate goes up to $4 from the present $3. And at lot X, behind Optometry, it's up to $2 from $1.

    The monthly fee for decal parking will be increased from $21 to $23 for most lots. For lot X, the fee will increase from $19 to $21, and lot D will increase from $42 to $46.

    Permit lots that switch to coin for evenings and weekends will increase from $2 to $3.


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