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Tuesday, March 9, 2004

  • Major issues come to city councils
  • Engineers score in national contest
  • Students vote on national organization
  • Magazine wins again, launches contest
Chris Redmond

Happy birthday, Amerigo Vespucci

Major issues come to city councils

Kitchener city council voted last night in favour of spending $30 million to help bring a UW "health sciences campus" to the city's downtown. The city also intends to bring Wilfrid Laurier University's social work school to the downtown area and build other major projects there.

At the same time, under a compromise plan that got council's approval, there will be spending to develop land for more traditional industries -- probably on the east side of Kitchener near the airport. The city didn't make any decision on how to pay for a total of $110 million in investments.

Meanwhile, Waterloo city council got a look last night at a 50-page working paper on student housing, prepared by its development services department. Council will discuss the report March 22, public meetings are planned, and a final report is expected in June.

Yesterday's paper sets out six options, as summarized in the Record this morning: "The six options include: maintaining the status quo; dispersing student accommodation throughout the city; concentrating the students in downtown Kitchener and Waterloo; housing all students on the campuses; creating an area of the city dedicated to student housing (also called the student precinct model); and what is being dubbed the neighbourhood preservation model."

The paper tends to favour that last model, which would see student housing concentrated along major streets -- University, King, Phillip, Weber and Erb -- rather than in neighbourhoods. UW student leaders have argued for the "precinct" model, in which student housing would largely take over the neighbourhood east of UW and north of Wilfrid Laurier University.

Engineers score in national contest

Waterloo engineering students collected two first-place finishes, a second place and a fourth place in the annual Canadian Engineering Competition, held over the weekend at McMaster University.

Categories in the CEC include both societal and technical design aspects. "UW students generally excel at the provincial level, but this is the first year in recent memory where we have had such strong success against the rest of the country at the national competition," says David Clausi of systems design engineering, the UW coordinator for the event. "All of our provincial UW winners succeeded at this national competition and deserve special recognition."

The CEC accepts entries based on only the top two competitors from each provincial engineering championship. This creates a very competitive atmosphere, since all of entrants are accomplished and proven.

[Four students at their display booth] A first place prize went to the team (left) of Robyn Paul, Matthew Cheung, Ksenia Golod, and Jordanna Kwok (computer engineering) in the Entrepreneurial Design category. Their M-CED -- Mobile Cardiac Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Dispatcher -- is a system designed to collect and analyze real-time cardiac data for a user. Upon detection of a heart attack, the system sends a wireless alert message to facilitate the prompt delivery of medical assistance to the user.

Another first place prize was awarded to Hsiao-Chien Lin (computer engineering) in the Editorial Communications category. He provided an editorial from a personal viewpoint entitled "Tactical Nuclear Weapons: The Right Direction For Nuclear Technology?" Hsiao presented his viewpoint that the current initiative to produce sub-kiloton nuclear weapons has inherent dangers that pose a tremendous threat to the world.

A second place prize went to Elliot Smith and Jay Detsky (systems design engineering) for their Corporate Design entry entitled ³Adaptive Delay System (ADS) for Sound Reinforcement². The ADS is a new method for synchronizing sound throughout an audience during a concert, in order to compensate for electrical impulses that travel faster to the speakers than the sound that travels from the stage. Their project was supervised by faculty member Stephen Birkett and was sponsored by Straight Street Services, an audio technical service company based in Kitchener.

In the Parliamentary Debate category, a fourth place prize was earned by the team of Adam Kaufman and Melanie Blass (systems design).

Students vote on national organization

Undergraduate students vote tomorrow and Wednesday on whether to maintain their membership in the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations-- one of two rival national groups.

The UW Federation of Students has been a member of CASA since it was created in 1995, largely by groups dissatisfied with the existing Canadian Federation of Students. Since then CASA has had a reputation as less confrontational than CFS, more inclined to promote studentsı interests through conventional lobbying on Parliament Hill. The organization takes some of the credit for increased federal support for education and improved tax credits for students in recent federal budgets.

Critics respond that CASA has achieved little, and at a high cost. The Federation spends about $35,000 a year on CASA fees and travel to CASA events. Pros and cons were raised at a series of open meetings in the Student Life Centre over the past week.

The vote this week is a yes-or-no choice on whether the UW Federation should continue as a member of CASA.

Online polls are open from 8 a.m. Tuesday to 8 p.m. Wednesday. Electronic polling stations will be open from 9 to 4 tomorrow and Wednesday in Arts Lecture, Carl Pollock Hall, Math and Computer, Davis Centre, Environmental Studies I and the Student Life Centre.

Student loan repayment information sessions, 10:00, 12 noon, 2:00, all students welcome, Rod Coutts Hall room 109.

Sandford Fleming Foundation debates continue, 11:30 to 1:00 today and tomorrow, Engineering II room 3324.

Senate undergraduate council, 12 noon, Needles Hall room 3004.

Arts faculty council, 3:30, Humanities room 373.

Graduate Apartments at St. Paul's, preview open house, 5:30 to 6:30, St. Paul's United College.

Computer Science Club talk, "Managing your home directory using CVS", Simon Law, 6 p.m., Math and Computer room 4062.

Web developers presentation on LAMP (Linux, Apache, mySQL, PHP), Wednesday 10 a.m., Davis Centre room 1304.

'Supporting Students with Learning Disabilities', office for persons with disabilities, Wednesday 12 noon, Needles Hall room 1132.

Conflict management for instructors, workshop sponsored by teaching resource office, Wednesday 12 noon (repeated March 16, noon), preregister ext. 3132.

Ovarian Cancer presentation sponsored by Employee Assistance Program, Wednesday 12 noon, Davis Centre room 1302.

Classical concert, Veronika Cherniak (violin) and Elena Klyucharova (piano), Wednesday 12:30, Conrad Grebel University College chapel, free.

Information session about exchanges for math students, Wednesday 3 p.m., Math and Computer room 5158.

Poet Karen Solie reads from her work, Wednesday 4 p.m., St. Jerome's University room 2009.

Alternatives Rocks benefit concert for UW environmental magazine by local bands, Wednesday from 9 p.m., Starlight Club, King Street, tickets 888-4442.

Magazine wins again, launches contest -- from the editors of The New Quarterly

When Canadian novelist Douglas Glover won the most recent Governor General's Award for his novel Elle, the editors at the New Quarterly celebrated. The Waterloo-based literary magazine had just published Glover's "A Short Course in Narrative Structure": a pair of sharp, sassy, and eminently useful articles on writing fiction. One article was on short stories, the other on novels.

"Can we call it or what?" the editors crowed, referring to the magazine's 23-year tradition of discovering new talent and showcasing the best in Canadian writing. "Now this should sell some issues."

Indeed. While no substitute for sitting in on one of Mr. Glover's writing classes, the "Short Course" in The New Quarterly will instruct readers on the fine art of breaking text into globs (Mr. Glover's own coinage); the six ways to keep your dialogue from turning into a ping-pong match; and the virtues of the word "passion." And, of course, much more.

The New Quarterly is full of "passion" about printing the best in contemporary Canadian writing, and in featuring talk about writing and wit from the literary scene. "A Short Course on Narrative Structure" is a fine addition to that tradition. The GG is just a bonus.

The issue which contains Glover's articles, #87, is still on newsstands, or can be ordered from TNQ. It also features "And Let the River Answer", a multi-media documentary about the Walkerton Water Stories Project. Issue #88 will be out soon.

And now, TNQ wants you to shake off the winter's snow and think about the summer place.

"The Summer Place" is the sultry theme for the Waterloo literary magazine's latest writing contest, and one of its richest to date, with $1,500 worth of prizes. There are $300 first prizes and $200 second prizes in each of three categories: Story, Poetry, and Creative on-Fiction. First-place winners will be published in TNQ, an award-winning journal that regularly showcases the biggest names in Canadian writing next to newly-discovered talent.

What does TNQ mean by "the summer place"? "There's something about summertime," says editor Kim Jernigan. "It's about being young, being in love, being out under the sky. The Summer Place is that place in your memory -- that warm place in your heart where you're still young, where nothing has been decided." That said, she adds: "We don't want to limit the writer's imagination. God-awful car trips and the summer polio closed all the pools are also most welcome."

Entries to the contest must be postmarked by March 31. An entry fee of $25 includes a one-year subscription to TNQ. One-year (four-issue) subscriptions are normally $36. There's more information on the magazine's web site.


Communications and Public Affairs, University of Waterloo
200 University Avenue West, Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1
(519) 888-4567 ext. 3004
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