Tuesday, February 5, 2008

  • University slogans add up to art
  • Board to discuss 'social space' and fees
  • Vans, room numbers and other notes
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs
  • bulletin@uwaterloo.ca

Link of the day

Pancake Tuesday

When and where

Therapeutic Recreation Awareness Week February 4-8, information booth in Matthews Hall today, details online.

Exchange opportunities for engineering students, information session 11:30, Rod Coutts Hall room 207, details online.

Biology brown bag seminar: UW International Genetically Engineered Machines Team, 12:30 p.m., Rod Coutts Hall room 305.

Career workshop: "Interview Skills, Preparing for Questions" 3:30, Tatham Centre room 2218, registration online.

[Globe tilted to show the Middle East]
Laurel Centre for Social Entrepreneurship
presents Cheryl Rose, Canadian Alliance for Community Service-Learning, “Can University Students Change the World?” 4:30, Arts Lecture Hall room 116.

German film showings, public welcome, Tuesdays 6:30, Rod Coutts Hall room 301. This week: "Rescue Dawn" (Herzog 2006), information ext. 33687.

Centre for International Governance Innovation presents Sven Biscop, Royal Institute for International Relations, Belgium, “The EU and the European Security Strategy”, 7:00, 57 Erb Street West.

Warrior men's hockey vs. Western, 7:30 p.m., Icefield (rescheduled from Friday).

Job Fair hosted by UW and three other institutions, Wednesday 10:00 to 3:00, RIM Park, Waterloo, details online.

Engineering alumni in San Jose reception Wednesday 6:00, Hilton San Jose, details online.

Perimeter Institute presents science journalist Michael Belfiore, “Rocketeers: How a Visionary Band of Business Leaders, Engineers and Pilots Is Boldly Privatizing Space” Wednesday 7:00 p.m., Waterloo Collegiate Institute, free tickets 519-883-4480.

Technical speaker competition for engineering students, sponsored by Sandford Fleming Foundation, Thursday 12:30 p.m., Doug Wright Engineering room 2534, applications due by January 31, information ext. 37554.

UW Choir auditions for soloists Thursday evening; sign up at music office, Conrad Grebel room 1302; performance of "Israel in Egypt" is Sunday, April 6.

'Differ/End: The Caledonia Project' researched and relived by UW drama department students, February 7-9 and 14-16 at 7:00, Studio 180, Humanities building, tickets $12 (students $10) at Humanities box office.

FASS 2008: "Global Warming: Kiss Your FASS Goodbye" February 7 and 9 at 8:00, February 8 at 7:00 and 10:00, Humanities Theatre, tickets $7 Thursday, $9 Friday and Saturday from Humanities box office, 519-888-4908.

Ski and snowboard trip to Blue Mountain, sponsored by Federation of Students and other groups, Friday, tickets from athletics office, Physical Activities Complex.

Warrior Weekend alcohol-free activities in the Student Life Centre Friday and Saturday evenings, including “Speed Meet New People”, crafts, ice cream sundaes (Friday) and pizza (Saturday), and movies (“Good Luck Chuck” Friday 11:00, “Bee Movie” Saturday 9:00, “Michael Clayton” Saturday 11:00), details online.

Class enrolment appointments for spring term undergraduate courses February 11-16; open enrolment begins February 19.

Loving to Learn Day, "an opportunity for everyone and anyone to share their reflections about their love of learning", February 15, details online.

International Women’s Day dinner: “Celebrate women mentoring women,” Thursday, March 6, 5:00, University Club. Speakers are Emerance Baker (aboriginal services coordinator) and Susan Tighe (civil and environmental engineering); tickets $30 at Humanities box office.

Graduate Student Research Conference April 21-24; submissions welcome now for oral or poster presentations, deadline for abstracts February 8, details online.

One click away

The Record summarizes UW's internationalization
Globe and Mail reports on telematic 'Alice'
More about UW's concrete toboggan victory (Record)
Waterloo Chronicle coverage of engineering design projects
Why so few women in Federation of Students leadership?
Record reports on CKMS fee referendum debate
Strike finally ends at New Brunswick's St. Thomas U
Millions in scholarship funds going unclaimed
'Sustainable energy' chair writes in Globe about safety regulation
UW historian helping develop Waterloo Region museum
Science advisor Carty will retire, no successor planned
How Twitter 'changed the classroom dynamics'
Twixter: 'Nothing's certain but student loans'
'Moving Forward 2031' transportation master plan for Waterloo Region
'All in this together,' says U of Guelph president
Helicopter parents 'need to step back' (CNN)

[Cliched words writ large on the walls]
University slogans add up to art

a news release from Render, the UW art gallery, about an exhibition that continues through February 16

Halifax-based artist Cathy Busby’s work is rooted in the critical examination of marketing, spin and the use of language and image in public space. Her work is also site-specific and so, in response to Render’s invitation to develop a new project for the University of Waterloo, she has chosen to consider the marketing mechanisms that are at work within universities across Canada and throughout the Western world.

Busby sees commodification of the university occurring as an infiltration of such “public” fields as education and politics. Her goal is to produce art (in a variety of forms) that makes a visible argument against this generally unchallenged shift from public to corporate.

For her exhibition and upcoming publication and web-based project, Busby has collected the “brandmarks” or slogans from universities that are members of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada and the Association of Commonwealth Universities as well as selected American sources. These texts are presented as an installation using stenciled lettering on coloured/patterned walls in the main exhibition space.

Busby presents a concentration of wordmarks, much enlarged and disassociated from particular universities, creating a dense web of text that serves to focus the viewer on the kind of language used and claims made by universities in their recruitment campaigns and drawing parallels to the language of commercial and corporate advertising. The exhibition is accompanied by banner projects in the Modern Languages building and at the School of Architecture in Cambridge. The material produced for these satellite locations inserts this critical engagement with branding within the very marketing media that traditionally disseminates it.

Render strives to play a critical role on campus and to directly engage the culture of the university (and to project this engagement into the broader community). Render contributes to the university’s identity as a centre of innovation and research but is equally positioned to cast an informed critical eye on the institution (including the gallery itself). The current Render program is rooted in a thoughtful engagement with its surroundings and history, and Cathy Busby’s project is a timely one as the university considers its history and future following the 50th anniversary year.

Cathy Busby holds a PhD in communications (1999) and an MA in media studies (1992) from Concordia University, and a BFA (1984) from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Her solo exhibitions include The North End (Emerson Gallery, Berlin, 2006) and SORRY (St. Mary’s University Art Gallery and McMaster Museum of Art, 2005). She was adjunct research professor in the School for Studies in Art and Culture (Carleton University, 2003-06) and has received numerous grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, Die Junge Akademie in Berlin and the City of Ottawa.

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Board to discuss 'social space' and fees

Waterloo is no worse off than other universities when it comes to "social space" such as lounges, lobbies and study rooms, a committee will tell the university's board of governors today.

"Informal spaces in UW buildings" is a brief section of a one-page report from the building and properties committee, updating the board on various construction and planning issues. It notes that the topic of "availability/need for recreational and social space on campus" was raised at the board's last meeting in October.

As a result, the committee looked at a study done by staff, based on province-wide data, "which revealed that UW is similar to other Ontario universities in the amount of space assigned to informal gathering areas, study space and recreational space. These space needs vary by program (e.g., for Engineering students, project space doubles as social space and the whole first floor of the new Engineering building, Engineering 5, will be project space), and consideration is given to such space in building plan development.

"However, with UW's actual inventory at 81.5 percent of its theoretical space entitlement as set out by COU, and with graduate student and research growth, space will continue to be subject to competing demands and more intensive use."

The committee also says in its report that it's setting up a steering committee — which will include faculty, staff and students as well as members of the B&P committee — "to serve as the primary mechanism for input and guidance on the development of the Campus Master Plan," which is under review by consulting firm Urban Strategies.

Other agenda items for today's board meeting include an update on the proposed UW campus in Abu Dhabi; a review of the Sixth Decade plan from the faculty of environmental studies; and a preview of the university's 2008-09 budget. The board will also be asked to approve tuition fees and residence fees for the coming year, and to give final approval to a revised "dispute resolution" (grievance) policy for staff.

The 36-member board, which includes representatives from both inside and outside the university, will meet starting at 2:30 today in room 3142 of the CEIT building.

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Vans, room numbers and other notes

There's to be no more use of 15-passenger box vans at UW, says a memo from the university's safety office. "A decision has been made," says the memo, following a review by three of UW's senior executives, "that such vans shall be immediately removed from service. Please ensure department vehicle rentals and purchases comply with this new requirement." Safety director Kevin Stewart says UW's main vehicle rental contract already excludes 15-passenger vans, and the university currently owns only one such van, based in environmental studies, which will be getting rid of it. So the main effect of the new rule is on rentals when a team or field trip group has to rent transportation in some distant place. From now on, either it's a smaller, more stable van, or it's a larger vehicle, a bus, with different driver's licence requirements, Stewart explains. Attention was turned to 15-passenger vans after the horrendous crash in New Brunswick last month that killed a teacher and seven members of a high school basketball team.

[Fragment of floor plan]Whatever used to be in room 174 is now in room 1022, and that's just the beginning of the changes, as all the rooms in Environmental Studies II building have new numbers, with four digits instead of three. "The old and new numbers, along with floor plans, can be seen on our website," says Joanne Holzinger, executive assistant to the dean of ES. The change is the result of renovations in ES2, mostly on the second floor, formerly taken up by a huge studio that was once the heart of UW's school of architecture. After architecture moved away, to its new building in Cambridge, the studio space was divided into offices for the department of environment and resource studies, and the three-digit room numbers were getting unwieldy with suffixes. So the whole building has been renumbered, by arrangement between ES and the plant operations department.

Wanted: “master's and PhD students in natural sciences or engineering who are in their final year or have recently graduated and who can take a fresh look at their research with an eye to commercialization”. Says a memo from the UW graduate office: “If that description applies to a student you know, he or she may be eligible to take part in the 2008 Innovation Challenge Awards competition, a national competition to recognize and reward the power of imagination and innovation within Canada's brightest young minds. Eligible nominees must have conducted research within the natural sciences or engineering at the masters or PhD level at an eligible Canadian university; have submitted, or expect to submit, their thesis between May 1, 2007 and May 14, 2008 (students must successfully defend their thesis before the award is offered); and be Canadian citizens or permanent residents. It is the responsibility of the universities, rather than the students, to submit nominations (self-nominations will not be accepted).” The competition is sponsored by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and venture capital firm GrowthWorks. There’s a $10,000 grand prize and two $5,000 runner-up prizes. More information is online; inquiries are due at the UW graduate studies office by April 25.

As Friday's Daily Bulletin announced, nominations are open for the following positions on the executive of the Graduate Student Association: President, Vice-President (Operations & Finance), Vice-President (Student Affairs), Vice-President (Communications & Organization). The term of office is May 1, 2008, to April 30, 2009. Nominees must be full-time or part-time graduate students at UW. Nomination forms and further information about the positions are available online. Nominations must be submitted by Friday, February 15, at 4:30 p.m. (And Friday's announcement said that Doug Stebila, the chief returning officer for the GSA, was a graduate student in electrical and computer engineering. Stebila himself was a bit surprised by this information; he thinks he's actually in combinatorics and optimization, and since the C&O department thinks the same thing, let's accept that the reference to E&CE was an error on my part.)

A by-election to fill a faculty-at-large seat on UW's senate closed last week, and the university secretariat has announced that the winner is Jean Duhamel of the chemistry department.• It was "a warm January with lots of rain", says the monthly summary from UW's weather station, ironically released on Friday while the university was closed by a snowstorm. • Here's a reminder that this year's staff performance appraisals are due at the human resources department by March 14.


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