Tuesday, September 2, 2008

  • Meet the Tie, meet the Boar, meet UW
  • Fellows report on international issues
  • And more, amid the madding crowds
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs
  • bulletin@uwaterloo.ca

Meet the Tie, meet the Boar, meet UW

Orientation activities started early this morning for two groups of new first-year students. One is the residents of Conrad Grebel University College, where a few hours of sleep separated last night’s “ice cream walk” from this morning’s community breakfast.

The other is the 81 new students in the school of architecture. The architecture school is based in Cambridge, a 35-minute drive from the main campus, and its first-year students will be shuttling between UW sites this week to take part in on-campus engineering orientation as well as their own specialized activities in Cambridge.

Engineers (and architects) will attend “opening ceremonies” for orientation at Rod Coutts Hall this morning — bet you’ll hear them if you’re anywhere nearby. The same could be said of science students, attending a welcome on the Village green, and in fact students in all six of UW’s faculties, who will be meeting deans and buildings and each other without a break until midafternoon.

[Actors in purple T-shirts]Before suppertime, and before the architecture students catch their bus back to Cambridge, some groups will have seen a performance of “Single and Sexy” (left, in rehearsal). Shows are at 10:00, 1:00 and 4:00 in the Humanities Theatre. Meanwhile, math students will have “earned” their Pink Ties, and arts students will be in the know about Porcellino, mascot of the Boar Tribe.

Orientation tonight is based in the residences and colleges, with students from the main campus residences and the off-campus resident program joining in a Variety Night at venues all across the main campus.

Tomorrow — Wednesday already — will begin a series of international student orientation sessions for those from other lands: AHS and mathematics, Wednesday 9:00, Rod Coutts Hall room 101; engineering and software, Wednesday 1:30, RCH 101; arts, ES and science, Thursday 9:00, Davis Centre room 1350; graduate students, Friday 12:30, DC 1350. Details are online.

Wednesday also brings the English Language Proficiency Exam for students in engineering, math and software engineering; and an evening event dubbed “Under the Sea”, taking place in the Student Life Centre, for newcomers to most faculties.

Any of the new students — or returning students, for that matter — who haven’t paid fall term fees should take note that the payment deadline for tuition and other fees, by bank transfer, is September 3, which is tomorrow. Details are online.

Back to top

Fellows report on international issues

Researchers for the Waterloo-based Canadian International Council have issued study papers this summer on issues from the Arctic to China. The CIC has eight “fellows” this year, including two from St. Jerome’s University and others from institutions across Canada. A series of news releases has been describing some of their work:

• “Canada is scarcely aware of the circumpolar world as a distinct region for both international cooperation and conflict even with a frontage on the Arctic Ocean second only to Russia’s,” says Franklyn Griffiths of Massey College at the University of Toronto. “We are not prepared right now to face the opportunities the Arctic offers us nor are we properly aware of the threats that lie just over the horizon of climate change and the need to adapt to it throughout the circumpolar North.

“We’ve got to get serious about circumpolar politics and act now in concert with the other ice states and indigenous peoples for collective stewardship in the evolution of the Arctic as region in its own right.”

• “The rise of China and India as global economic contenders could have a negative impact on Mexico and Central America and Canada should act now to assist its key trading partners,” says Chantal Blouin of Carleton University. “If China is set to become the factory of the world and India its service provider, then Canada has to ask what is left for Latin America, a region recently identified as a priority for Canadian foreign policy.

“Economists have long told us the employment of low-skilled workers has played a key role in promoting growth and reducing poverty in Asia,” explains Blouin. “The challenge Canada now faces is to design policy packages for win-win scenarios, so both Canadians and our key trading partners south of us can better participate in the new global economy. Canadians have to seriously reflect on the role they can play in ensuring that economic adjustment from the competition by China does not end up leading to greater poverty and inequality in Latin America.”

• “Remote sensing technology and computer programs are the way to further protect both Canada and the United States from criminal incursions at the largely unmonitored stretches of the Canada-U.S. border,” says Margaret Kalacska of McGill University.

“Remote sensing technology, which makes it possible to collect data on dangerous or inaccessible areas, has gained prominence in recent years due to technological advances. This technology, coupled with space and airborne imaging, along with joint cooperation between authorities on both sides of the border, can be used to protect both countries against organized crime, money laundering and drug, human and illegal arms trafficking. Although traditional border crossings have been tightened up since the 9/11 attacks, criminals are now seeking easier access points.”

• “The Arctic region has been featured prominently in debates about Canadian sovereignty and Canadian leaders must assert control over our interests immediately, says Rob Huebert of the University of Calgary. “The Arctic has become a more complicated place due to globalization and the effects of climate change. We need to ensure that all activities occurring in the Arctic take place in accordance with the protection of all Canadians and, more specifically, the indigenous peoples of the Arctic.”

He argues that if the pursuit of Arctic sovereignty is only about Canadian policy experts gaining personal satisfaction from some sense of control, then it is not worth the effort or expense. However, if sovereignty is being pursued for the purposes of protecting the security, safety and well-being of Canadians, then not only is it worth it, but it is an absolute necessity.

• “Canada's forestry sector is so focused on the United States that it is blind to the immense potential China offers. Consequently, Canadians are missing out on jobs, profits and the chance to assist in protecting the environment, says Jason Wang of the University of British Columbia.

"Our forestry industry is still totally dependent on the American economy and its fluctuations, to the point we haven't been able to fully grasp the opportunities available in China. China has a ravenous appetite for imported wood that knows no bounds, but our wood associations and governments haven't yet taken the time to determine China's exploding market needs.” He argues that Canadians will have to place a greater emphasis on understanding how wood is used in construction in China, fully comprehend the needs are different than in the U.S., and then design these types of products.

The Daily Bulletin has already reported on similar papers done for the CIC by Ryan Touhey and Whitney Lackenbauer of St. Jerome’s.

Back to top

And more, amid the madding crowds

That's not a buffalo stampede, friends, that's the first-year class descending on the UW bookstore for their books and pens and clickers. The upper-year students will be right behind them, in an even larger wave, over the next week-and-a-bit. To cope with beginning-of-term demand, the retail services outlets will have the usual extended hours next week, keeping the bookstore, UW Shop and TechWorx open until 7 p.m., and the Campus TechShop until 6 p.m. For this week it's standard hours: the first three shops, all in South Campus Hall, and the TechShop, in the Student Life Centre, are all open 9 to 5, Monday to Friday. The SCH outlets will also be open on Saturday, noon to 4.

[Cowie runs downfield]The football Warriors began their 2008 season last night by giving the University of Toronto Varsity Blues something they've wanted for years: a win. The Blues overcame Waterloo leads of 9-1 and 17-8 to pull out an 18-17 victory with a last-minute field goal. The win, at Varsity Centre in downtown Toronto, ends Toronto's 49-game losing streak — a record for Canadian university teams. The last time U of T had tasted victory in football was October 13, 2001. A loss to Toronto wasn't impossible, Warrior coach Dennis McPhee had warned beforehand: "The University of Toronto has a great football tradition; they are going to win at some point." Pictured is Sean Cowie, who set an all-time Warrior receiving record last night, adding 7 catches to his previous 89. The old record of 95 career catches was set by Adrian Thorne in the mid-1990s.

The Muslim holy season of Ramadan is under way. It's the first time in a good while that Ramadan has come so early in the Gregorian year, overlapping with orientation and the beginning of the fall term and making life complicated in that particular way for observant Muslim students. The custom is to abstain from food and drink, among other things, between sunrise and sunset. For several years now, UW's food services has been adding hours to its schedule to permit a pre-dawn breakfast in the residences. Accordingly, from today through September 30, Mudies cafeteria in Village I will offer service daily from 5:00 to 6:00 a.m., then reopen at 7:00 a.m. for its non-Muslim breakfast service. The Muslim Students Association, meanwhile, says on its website that a schedule for communal prayers this term will be announced shortly.

As new students get to know Waterloo this week, new faculty members are doing the same, with a series of events backed by senior administration, the faculty association and the Centre for Teaching Excellence. One highlight is a barbecue for new professors and their partners, being held tonight at the country home of UW president David Johnston. Tomorrow, events run most of the day in a Math and Computer building classroom, with workshops on "Managing the Successful Classroom" and "Planning the Pre-Tenure Path", a panel discussion on "How to Succeed at UW", and a "resource fair" featuring departments from health services to Graphics, safety and human resources.

Finally, Waterloo Regional Police report that the body of a 62-year-old man was removed from Columbia Lake, on UW's north campus, around noon yesterday. The man, who has not been identified, was fishing at the lake in the early morning, police say, and family members reported him missing when he did not return home as expected. "We know that a number of people go to the lake every morning," Inspector Bryan Larkin told the Record newspaper . "We are hoping that someone may have seen or may know something."


Back to top

[Glad to Be a Grad button]

To welcome UW's new students, old students — Waterloo alumni who now work on campus — are being encouraged to flash the "Glad to be a Grad" sign during orientation week. Jason Coolman, director of alumni affairs, says people who received the bright yellow buttons last year are encouraged to pull them out and pin them on (even though, as shown, they display UW's slightly-old-style logo). Anyone who doesn't have a button can request one by phoning ext. 37320.

Link of the day

Service changes from Grand River Transit

When and where

Library hours through September 7 (Dana Porter and Davis Centre): Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday noon to 5 p.m.

Feds used bookstore in the Student Life Centre, lower level, hours for fall: September 1-5, 9 to 5. Saturday, September 6, 10 to 5. September 8 to 20, Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Saturdays 10 to 5. Regular hours resume September 22: Monday-Friday, 9 to 5.

Math and Computer building southwest entrance closed for repair work today (7:30 to 10:00 a.m.) and September 5 (2:30 to 4:00 p.m.).

Warrior men’s volleyball tryouts and team meeting 12:00 noon, Columbia Icefield meeting room.

Senate executive committee 3:30 p.m., Needles Hall room 3004.

Warrior men’s golf tryouts and team meeting 4:00 p.m., Physical Activities Complex room 2021.

Warrior tennis tryouts and team meetings: men 4:30 p.m., women 6:30 p.m., Waterloo Tennis Club.

Optometry building hot and cold water shut off Wednesday 4:30 to 8:00 p.m.

Perimeter Institute presents Brian Greene, Columbia University, “Black Holes and a Myth of Icarus”, Wednesday 7:00 p.m., Waterloo Collegiate Institute, ticket information 519-883-4480.

‘Educational Innovation in Teaching’: Mats Selen, University of Illinois, co-inventor of the iClicker, “The Pedagogy of Clickers and Beyond,” Thursday 9:00, Math and Computer room 2034, RSVP e-mail pkates@math.

eHealth Risk Workshops from Waterloo Institute for Health Informatics Research: last day to register at reduced rate is September 5. Workshops on risk, privacy and security take place October 7, 8 and 9, details online.

Open Text Corporation chairman Tom Jenkins speaks on “Technology, Communication and the Future,” sponsored by Centre for Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology, Friday 12:30 p.m., Davis Centre room 1302.

Michael Houston, formerly of UW department of kinesiology, memorial celebration Sunday 1:00, Waterloo Motor Inn, reception follows, information and RSVP ext. 32968.

Fall term classes begin Monday, September 8.

Campus recreation intramurals registration September 8-12, instructional registration September 15-18, details online.

Imaginus poster sale September 8-12 (Monday-Thursday 9:00 to 8:00, Friday 9:00 to 5:00), Student Life Centre.

Class enrolment appointments for winter 2009 undergraduate courses will be listed in Quest as of September 9.

Athletics open house, with club and team demonstrations and prizes. September 9, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Physical Activities Complex large gym.

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council information session on scholarships and fellowships Thursday, September 11, 9:30 to 11:30, Davis Centre room 1302.

Orchestra @ UWaterloo open rehearsal Thursday, September 11, 7:00, Ron Eydt Village great hall, register online.

Waterloo Region technology firms joint information session for co-op students, Monday, September 15, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., Federation Hall.

Faculty of Environment campus public celebration to celebrate the faculty’s new name and 40th anniversary, Wednesday, September 17, 11:30 to 1:30, tents between Modern Languages and the ring road.

5th Annual UW Powwow featuring Aboriginal drummers, singers, dancers, food, crafts; ceremonial opening by former lieutenant-governor James Bartleman; Saturday, September 20, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., St. Paul’s College, $5 entry fee.

Go Eng Girl open house at Ontario faculties of engineering for girls in grades 7-10, Saturday, October 18, UW details and registration online.

Friday's Daily Bulletin