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Friday, January 30, 2004

  • Employers hear merits of young students
  • Provost's memo about moonlighting
  • International week explores diversity
  • Autograph day as Warriors face WLU
Chris Redmond

The Hajj is under way

Astronaut speaks Saturday

[Williams] Canadian astronaut Dave Williams (right) will speak in the Theatre of the Arts at 9:00 Saturday morning, as a feature of the Canadian Student Summit on Aerospace being held here this weekend.

Admission to Williams's talk ("The Next Generation of Aerospace Leaders") is free and everyone is welcome. Other events, including displays, discussions, seminars and a Saturday night reception and dinner, require conference registration.

Employers hear merits of young students

"With the double cohort entering co-op this year," says the latest issue of a newsletter aimed at co-op employers, "you may be asking yourself: do I really want to hire a first year student? For [Swanston] Coyle Corrugated Containers, the answer will be the same as it has been for the past five years: Yes!"

The story of Coyle and its first-year hiring was written by Rebecca Mallinson -- herself a co-op student -- and appears in the winter issue of the UW Recruiter. Promoting first-year students as worth hiring is always on the agenda for the co-op and career services department, because they're the hardest to place, but the issue has extra urgency just now. At last count, several hundred first-year students were still without jobs for the current term.

Says the newsletter: "Coyle Corrugated Containers is a Scarborough-based company that designs and manufactures paper products like boxes and corrugated displays. Since May of 1999, Coyle has hired 13 co-op students, all but two of whom have been first-years. One of these people is Peter Swanston (right), a junior student in computer engineering. He spent his 2003 summer work term at Coyle. . . .

"Even though it was Peter's first co-op experience, he still managed to save his employer money. Coyle Corrugated Containers needed a report that would pull processing information about specified groups of orders from its main database. Out-sourcing such a report would have cost the company $3,500, so instead, Coyle had Peter create it. This involved reverse engineering an existing report program before he could create a new one, which Peter describes as 'kind of like solving a giant jigsaw puzzle.' By the end of the summer, Peter had created seven or eight reports that would print out every morning, which, as he says, 'was kind of neat'." Swanston also worked to create a cost estimation spreadsheet that would roughly calculate the cost of producing a corrugated display in about 15 minutes rather than taking several hours to determine the exact cost for invoicing purposes.

Jaime Lopes, Swainston's supervisor, says the most important thing the student brought to the job was enthusiasm. "He says that Peter wasn't hindered by his lack of upper-year university courses because he has a tremendous eagerness to take on new projects, learn new things, and solve whatever is placed in front of him."

Indeed, says Lopes, first-year students' lack of work experience actually has a positive impact on their on-the-job performance. "They want to learn and to please fellow workers," he says. Lopes also says the keys to bringing out the best in first year co-op students are being accessible and treating them as peers.

"So if you've shied away from hiring a first year student," employers are told, "you may want to reconsider. First-years are curious and ready to meet challenges, and regardless of their ages, double cohort students will be treated by the co-op system in exactly the same way as any other first year student. As Bruce Lumsden, UW's director of CECS, says, out-of-province students have always come to us straight from grade 12, so the existence of younger students in co-op is not new. The only difference this year is that there are more of them."

Provost's memo about moonlighting

A memo from provost Amit Chakma, distributed yesterday, defines rules about staff members who do second jobs for UW -- those "employed on a casual earnings basis by a department other than their home department to perform duties unrelated to their full-time job at UW (e.g., teaching a course, coaching a varsity team, typing theses). As well, staff members might also perform work within their home department but at duties unrelated to their own position (e.g., a technician works weekends to complete a professor's research project)."

Says Chakma's memo: "There are many reasons why these arrangements make sense and serve the interests of the University. As of February 1, 2004, however, no casual earnings payments will be processed for any regular on-going full-time staff members employed outside of the regular responsibilities of their own position, either in their own department or in another, without the signature of the staff member's home department head/delegate.

"This requirement is important for both legal reasons, given the overtime provisions of Policy 16 and/or the Employment Standards Act, and for sound management reasons, given possible conflicts of commitment and/or interest. . . .

"When hiring regular on-going part-time staff members in similar situations, the extra hours may move staff past the maximum overtime limits prescribed by Policy 16 and/or the Employment Standards Act. Prior consultation with the home department head will prevent such circumstances.

"Where a staff member teaching a course receives no remuneration because the money is paid directly to the home department as reimbursement for the employee's absence from duties while teaching, such arrangements will remain in place. If, however, the staff member is to be paid any remuneration for the teaching, the signature of the home department head/delegate will be required."

International week explores diversity

UW's second annual International Celebration Week, starting Monday, will offer everyone on campus a chance to welcome international students, take part in Cultural Caravan, and explore the diversity of culture at Waterloo that is enriched by traditions from around the globe.

Optometry application deadline today for external (non-UW) students seeking September admission.

Scavenger hunt: "Engineer This", starts at noon today; information at Engineering Society office.

Selling Your Skills career workshop, 2:30, Tatham Centre room 2218.

Iranian journalist Mashallah Shamsolvaezin speaks, 4 p.m., Davis Centre room 1302.

Simplicity Circle first meeting of the term, 5:30, WPIRG office, Student Life Centre, information simplicity@pirg.uwaterloo.ca.

International Pi-Throw fund-raising and pie-in-the-face event, at UW and engineering schools internationally, winds up today

Mock LSAT (Law School Aptitude Test), Saturday 10 a.m., Math and Computer room 1085, fee $5 -- "great prep for the real thing".

Drum making workshop, Saturday 1 p.m., St. Paul's United College, registration 885-1460 ext. 209.

UW board of governors, Tuesday 2:30, Needles Hall room 3001.

UpStart Theatre Festival February 4-7 and 11-14, Studio 180, Humanities building.

FASS 2004, "The Brothers FASS", February 5 and 7 at 8 p.m., February 6 at 7 and 10 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

"The week is an opportunity to experience an informative, educational and entertaining look into unique aspects of many different nationalities, as well as build awareness of the large numbers of cultures represented on campus," says Virginia McLellan, a member of the organizing committee.

Adwoa Badoe, a Ghanaian physician, storyteller, author and teacher of African dance, who lives in Guelph, will present a reading for pre-school children at 10:30 a.m. on Monday at the bookstore. She'll also dance with the UW Drum Circle at International Celebration Week opening ceremonies at 12:15 p.m. at the Student Life Centre. Monday will also feature displays on Canada's First Nations; a talk on "The Experience of Preparation and Travels in Europe" at 1 p.m. in the SLC; and a storytelling session from 3 to 4 p.m.

Visitors to the SLC on Tuesday can participate in the Yume Peace Project, creating 1,000 origami cranes to send to Japan, and listen to cultural legends and folklore presentations from 3 to 4 p.m. Wednesday is International Health Development Day at the SLC. A workshop on international work experience will be held from 3:30 to 5 p.m. at Tatham Centre room 1208. The annual Cultural Caravan arrives at the SLC on Thursday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., with food, displays and cultural performances, and another storytelling session.

Warrior Weekend activities will have an international flair, starting a week from today and continuing Saturday, with food, dance lessons and a "Fear Factor Food Competition" in the Student Life Centre.

All week long, food services will serve international fare at its outlets, and an international photo exhibit will tour student residences. A series of open lectures -- on such diverse topics as a history of peace movements and 19th century French literature -- will allow students to sit in on courses they're curious about.

International Celebration Week is coordinated by the international student office, which offers details on its web site.

Autograph day as Warriors face WLU -- by Chris Gilbert, athletics and recreational services

The Warriors women's and men's basketball teams will renew the Battle of Waterloo with the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks this Saturday for doubleheader OUA action. The women tip off at 1 p.m. followed by the men at 3:00 in the Physical Activities Complex at UW.

In the first of the two match-ups, the women are looking to get back in the win column as the playoff drive heats up. The Warriors (5-10) have lost three in a row, and a win over Laurier (8-7) would close Waterloo to within two points of fifth spot in the OUA West Division and four points behind third place, currently held by the Golden Hawks.

In their first meeting of the season, back on October 29, the Hawks cruised to a 70-51 victory over the Warriors. Head coach Tom O'Brien knows this weekend does not get any easier. "Every time we play Laurier it is going to be, a war," says O'Brien. "It's always a physical game and our players always find more incentive to play when these two teams hit the court."

In game two, the men will try to prevent a season sweep to the Hawks, who defeated the Warriors 51-41 on November 19. "In our last meeting we got embarrassed and were held to 41 points", head coach Tom Kieswetter says. "The Battle of Waterloo is a healthy rivalry, and these games are always intense."

The Warriors (10-5) are coming off a 74-61 defeat at McMaster on Wednesday night and need a victory to keep pace with the front-runners in the OUA West division. Waterloo is currently tied with Guelph for second place with 20 points in the division, four points behind McMaster. Wilfrid Laurier (7-8) are sixth in the division with 14 points.

These games are part of the athletic department's annual Basketball Autograph Day, where a large crowd is always expected. Kids of all ages are invited to come down on the floor and get their favourite Warrior player's autograph immediately following each game. With the Battle of Waterloo on the line, the PAC will be electric.

Hockey: The Warriors and Windsor Lancers hook up this weekend in a critical two-game (home and home) series that could determine the final playoff in the OUA men's hockey Far West Division. The Warriors (5-12-0-2) sit one point behind Windsor (6-10-1-0) heading into this weekend for third place in the standings and a spot in the post-season. The Warriors host the Lancers at 7:30 tonight in the Columbia Icefield, then head down the 401 Saturday for the return match Saturday night (televised on Cogeco TV). A sweep by either club will put the other behind the eight ball in the drive for the playoffs.

Other sports: Swimming vs. Toronto and Trent, Sunday at 11 a.m. in the PAC pool (following a meet tomorrow at York), and women's volleyball against Brock, Saturday night at 7:00 in the PAC main gym. Other Warrior teams are in out-of-town action this weekend: the curling crew in a tournament tomorrow in London, the women's indoor hockey team tomorrow at Carleton, the track and field team at the York Invitational.


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