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Monday, October 27, 2003

  • French chair stresses identity
  • Keystone givings hit $3 million
  • (All times are Eastern Standard)
  • Notes and announcements pour in
Chris Redmond

Independence Day in Turkmenistan

[Orange robe against the black]

The mace is carried in (by Ken McLaughlin of St. Jerome's University) as the morning session of Saturday's convocation begins. The solid silver mace, a gift to UW in 1965, was designed by Toronto artist Eric Aldwinckle, and is brought out for ceremonies as a symbol of the university's authority.

French chair stresses identity

François Paré, the new chair of UW's department of French studies, introduces himself as "a militant francophone" in a profile on the department's web site this month.

Paré has been an adjunct faculty member at UW for a decade, but just recently made the move to Waterloo from the University of Guelph full-time. He became chair of the department on September 1. Among his distinctions: he was winner of a 1993 Governor General's Award and Signet d'Or for his first book, Les littératures de l'exiguïté.

Says the on-line profile: "François Paré grew up in Montréal and didn't speak English until he had graduated and left for Buffalo. 'I don't understand my own decision to leave Quebec,' he says. . . . Paré was encouraged by his professors in Montréal to study at SUNY Buffalo as one of the best French studies graduate programs in the world. . . .

[Paré] "After graduation, Professor Paré (left) began teaching at Buffalo but soon decided against living in the US. He moved to St. Catharines and began to see marked cultural differences both in himself and as a member of a community. 'Living as a Francophone in the US didn't mean anything; you were just another free immigrant. You didn't establish a group, become a community, or perpetuate your culture. You were by yourself.' It was in St. Catharines that he first came to see himself as Québécois. 'Many Québécois who move to another province sense a temporariness in their decision and don't invest in their new community at first.'

"But this sustained the cultural loneliness Paré had experienced in Buffalo. It soon struck him that he was in Southern Ontario to stay. He had been away from Québec for almost ten years and had lost sight of his home culture, yet even here in Ontario he was no longer an immigrant. He became a Franco-Ontarian and joined in the ten percent French speaking community in town."

He moved to Kitchener-Waterloo in 1982, and taught some graduate courses at UW while on the faculty at Guelph. He became an adjunct here in 1994 and began supervising graduate theses on Quebec Literature. "Because I didn't have an office here, I would meet the students at various coffee places, sometimes late at night - each had their own favourite, Grabba Java, Williams . . . it was a little strange, but fun. We had time to talk over their work in a more relaxed environment."

The development of Paré's research on literature as a cultural object began with his interest in the 16th century and in the invention of the printing press. Poets in that period wrote and published books which were in turn used to build and strengthen nationalism in France. The poets, like it or not, became political agents, and their books grew to be objects circulating as part of someone's political or cultural agenda. The key questions were who wrote, who printed and circulated, and who read these books? And what changes came about as a result?

Paré applied the same questions to his growing interest in Québécois and French literatures. The book is a cultural agent to academic institutions as well as a teaching tool. The trouble, he says, is when a university lives in a culture but does not study the culture that surrounds it, concentrating instead on literatures from a different time and place. "When an institution does not participate in the local culture, does not make contributions to or criticism of it, there's a problem."

The defence of small, untaught literatures excluded from teaching and literary institutions is the subject of his first book. "We go berserk on a plant that is disappearing," he says, "because we value biodiversity but we don't seem to value cultural or linguistic diversity. Human cultures and languages disappear on a daily basis. I don't understand why we don't fight back." As professors in an eminent institution, he feels he and his colleagues in French Studies are in a good position to do just that. "We have an important advantage in that we are educating people. It is important that we are open to the French speaking community here in town. We can forge relationships with French and French-Canadian families, with the five French language schools in K-W and cater to the general community here. It is not enough just to teach the language."

Paré is pleased with his appointment as chair of French studies at Waterloo. "At Waterloo the language departments are small but they are separate entities within the faculty of arts. It allows us to have a voice and a presence. I think it makes an important difference to have a militant francophone as chair at this time. This department is on the move and I'm excited to be part of its development."


Keystone givings hit $3 million

"What a wonderful achievement!" says Bonnie Oberle in a note from UW's development office, announcing that the Keystone Campaign has raised $3 million.

That's two-thirds of the way to the goal of $4.5 million, to come from staff, faculty and retiree gifts to UW by the time Campaign Waterloo winds up in 2007.

"This achievement," says Oberle, "is due to over 1,400 generous campus community donors and the talented efforts of 200 volunteers. . . . Together, I have no doubt we will surpass the $4.5 million goal."

She said the usual year-end appeal will be mailed across campus on November 28, and will include a fold-out desk calendar for 2004. A new issue of the Keystone newsletter should be in the mail in early November.

Co-chairs of the Keystone Campaign are Howard Armitage (school of accountancy), Jim Kalbfleisch (retired provost), and Shirley Thomson (assistant to the dean of mathematics). Says their letter on the Keystone web site: "The Keystone Campaign projects being supported are as varied as the many individuals and types of jobs on campus. There are many options to choose from. Scholarships are very popular, not only because they directly benefit our students, but because our gift increases in value. UW will normally match dollar-for-dollar donations to the Undergraduate and Graduate Senate Scholarship Funds, the UW Retirees' Scholarship Fund, and C.U.P.E. Local 793 Award Fund. In addition, graduate scholarships are matched 2:1 by the Ontario government. Your support now can help to provide resources for student awards for many years to come.

"If you haven't chosen a project for your support, we invite you to take a minute to make your selection now. The size and timing of your gift are also up to you, but please get involved. All of us, working together, will make the Keystone Campaign a success."

(All times are Eastern Standard)

Apologies, first of all, for saying in Friday's Daily Bulletin that the afternoon session of Saturday convocation would start at 1 p.m. In fact it was 2 p.m. Similarly, apologies for saying that Sunday's game for the men's soccer Warriors would be played at Columbia Field. I misunderstood the athletics department's news release, and in fact the game was played in Toronto.

As a new week begins, a blood donor clinic gets under way in the Student Life Centre this morning, running through Thursday (10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily). . . . The Environmental Studies Society continues its series of brown-bag lunches with municipal election candidates, today hosting Craig Hoddle, 11:30 to 1:00 in the ES I coffee shop. . . . Darrol Bryant of Renison College is today's speaker in the Kitchener Public Library noontime lecture series, offering "A Video Journey into Religion in India". . . . Now that co-op students in most programs are finished with the regular round of interviews for winter term jobs, interviews for architecture and teaching students begin today. . . .

Top donors to UW will get together for breakfast tomorrow, as the President's Circle digs into the coffee and muffins at 7:30 a.m. in the Festival Room, South Campus Hall. Speakers for the invited crowd tomorrow are Ray Laflamme and Michele Mosca of UW's new Institute for Quantum Computing, speaking under the title "Computing: One Atom at a Time".

Later tomorrow, the UW board of governors will hold its quarterly meeting, at 2:30 p.m. in Needles Hall room 3001.

UW Graphics will hold a noon-hour workshop tomorrow under the title "What's New in the World of Design" -- reservations, call ext. 2210.

Coming on Thursday is "Bridging the Gap", UW's second annual "adaptive technology fair", sponsored by the office for persons with disabilities and the information systems and technology department. To run from 10:00 to 4:00 in the Davis Centre, it'll show off hardware and software, "universal instructional design" and accessible web design. Information: ext. 7025.

On the calendar for the end of this week are UW's Homecoming, October 31 through November 2, and the annual East Asian Festival at Renison College, starting with a literary reading on Thursday night and running through a gala dinner and silent auction Saturday evening. Watch for details on both these events.


Lyle Hallman, local philanthropist and a strong supporter of UW, was killed Sunday morning in a road crash west of Kitchener. Hallman is seen speaking at June's ground-breaking ceremony for the expansion of the west wing of Matthews S. Hall, which bears his name as the Lyle Hallman Institute for Health Promotion.

Notes and announcements pour in

A front-page story in Saturday's Record amplified the report several weeks ago that three UW students had been charged with passing counterfeit money. It's now up to four, the newspaper said. And more: "Counterfeiters may be using university students to pass fake money because they see them as a vulnerable, cash-hungry group, police say. . . . Counterfeiters may approach students, offering to sell them a fake $20 bill for $10 or less. . . . Four or five counterfeit $10 bills were used at a UW campus bar last week, said Chris Edey, president of the UW Federation of Students."

A note from the office of the registrar:

Effective November 1, 2003 the cost for both graduate and undergraduate "Request for To Whom It May Concern" letters will increase from $5.00 to $10.00 per letter. In addition, undergraduate "Request for Teacher Evaluation" letters for will increase from $5.00 to $25.00.

Effective May 1, 2004, students requesting form verifications, such as Allianz Heritage Scholarship Trust Plan, Canadian Scholarship Trust Fund, USC Education Savings Plan will be charged a processing fee of $10.00 per form. (Note: The processing fee does not apply to "Canada Pension Plan or Continuation of Interest-Free Status/Confirmation of Enrolment (Schedule 2) forms.")

The necessary forms will be available starting November 1 on the web, or from the registrar's office or graduate studies office.

Here's a memo that went out the other day from the Mathematics Faculty Computing Facility: "Please remind your Grad Students that the 'hijacking' of the name and address of another machine on the network is not allowed. We have seen several cases where a student unplugs an X terminal, plugs in their laptop, and uses the name and address of the X terminal for their laptop. If they want to use their laptops on the network, they must either use the wireless network or obtain a name, address, and separate network connection for the laptop. (Sooner or later we will be making this sort of hijacking impossible.)"

The field hockey Warriors defeated Toronto 5-4 in semifinal action on Friday, played a final game Saturday (sorry, I don't have a score for that one), and qualified for the national championship tournament next weekend. With the field hockey season nearing an end, Ontario University Athletics has announced some award winners -- including the names of three Warriors to make the all-star team. They're Jessa Jennings, Beth Nordemann and Katie McNeil. Dave Hammond, in his second year coaching the UW team, was named coach of the year: "Hammond lost five OUA All-Stars from last year's squad, gained 10 fresh rookies and still managed to squeeze into the playoffs. His ability to make the most out of a new and different situation is a testament to his coaching skills."

An announcement comes from the faculty of science: "energetic and enthusiastic science students" (is there any other kind?) are wanted to help out with You @ Waterloo Day on Saturday, November 8. "We need volunteers to met and greet people, help with setup, be session panelists, and staff our science booth," says Andraya Gillen in the dean's office. "Food and training will be provided." She can be reached by e-mail at science@uwaterloo.ca, or tracked down in person in Earth Sciences and Chemistry room 254F.

The staff association said Friday that it's looking for a new member for the Employee Assistance Program committee -- details from Steve Breen (srbreen@ist), chair of the association's nominating committee.

With a week to run in the annual United Way campaign, givings have hit $124,461, according to Kristin Schmidt in the United Way office. That's 83 per cent of the $150,000 goal, "and I am hoping to be over 85% by the end of the day," she wrote on Friday afternoon. "We have raised more money to date this year than last. However, it is unfortunate that the same cannot be said about overall participation. We are trailing in this category by 14 donors in comparison to last year. . . . No matter how modest the donation, every little bit helps!"

Finally . . . the Muslim holy season of Ramadan has begun. Later this week the Daily Bulletin will say a little more about the effects of Ramadan on this campus.


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