Thursday, September 10, 2009

  • New logo designs offered for comment
  • Orientation takes a sophisticated turn
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

New logo designs offered for comment

The “identity task force” that’s been working on a proposed new marketing logo for the university is now asking for online feedback about three designs — the W-with-colours that’s been around for discussion since July, and two new images.

“For each of the three marketing logos, there will be six statements that we'd like you to consider, as well as an area for your written comments,” says a web site that will welcome comments until September 20.

“Please note,” it adds, “the options under consideration are for ‘marketing’ purposes only. The UW ‘seal’ will be used for all official and ceremonial purposes (e.g. convocation, diplomas, transcripts, etc).”

That’s consistent with the proposal that exploded into the news in mid-summer and drew thousands of comments to Facebook sites. Much of the debate was about the logo, based on a capital W in the typeface called Gotham, but the larger story has to do with UW’s “positioning” in the competition for students, funding and reputation.

One early product of the identity task force was a list of eight adjectives that can be used to “define Waterloo”: innovative, collaborative, connected, creative, risk-taking, courageous, critical-thinking, and unconventional. We’ll be seeing those words a lot in places where UW is trying to impress and intrigue the world, such as the web home page, and publications aimed at potential students and their parents. We’ll also be hearing “stories” (speaking of words that Beckel likes a lot) about ways in which UW expresses those characteristics.

As vice-president (external relations) Meg Beckel said in late August: “A visual identity system is only one part of the strategy that helps to tell the Waterloo story. What we do and how we do it will continue to be the proof of our positioning. Visual identity simply provides the anchor and common visual to the overall story that is Waterloo. It needs to reinforce not only quality, but our distinctiveness and our differentiation from the other universities.”

She announced at that time that, in view of the comments received both on campus and off, some of them as the result of an e-newsletter request for alumni feedback, the originally proposed logo was being reconsidered.

“Now you have another opportunity to share your point of view,” says a message that’s going today and tomorrow to students and alumni. The web site also calls for comments from staff and faculty, “future students”, employers, friends and “partners” of the university, even complete outsiders.

The online feedback page displays two new logo concepts, along with the summer prototype for comparison. Users are asked to rank each logo on how well they feel each image meets the university’s communication objectives. A comment box allows room for additional feedback.

Anybody interested can also post comments on Facebook or send them to the on-campus UW Opinion site that’s a spinoff of the Daily Bulletin.

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[Cars wheel-deep in water]

Uptown Waterloo could be under water as the result of severe storms caused by climate change, says a study by Evan Truong and Jessie Gresley-Jones, senior undergraduate students in UW’s school of planning. “Climate change is projected to alter temperature and precipitation patterns and the timing and amount of runoff,” their instructor, Karen Hammond, explains. “Flooding is likely to become more prevalent and severe as climate change effects combine and interact with expanding impervious surfaces and other land use changes. Failure to adapt could lead to financial burden, strained infrastructure, and economic strain on downtown businesses.” The students developed their project for a national student ideas competition sponsored by the Canadian Institute of Planners, Natural Resources Canada, and the Association of Canadian University Planning Programs. Linda Mortsch of Environment Canada helped supervise the study, which was presented at a poster session at the annual conference of the Canadian Institute of Planners.

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Orientation takes a sophisticated turn

T-shirts will give way to glad rags tonight, and engineers who have been dipped in deep purple will stand out even more than usual, as orientation week reaches one of its social high points: Monte Carlo Night in the Student Life Centre. From 6 p.m. until 2 a.m. the SLC will be closed to everybody but first-year students and orientation leaders, for an elegant party featuring casino games (with funny money), music, tarot readings, dancing, food and mocktails.

But the orientation crowds will have had a busy day well before that. Today brings the popular Junkyard Wars competition for engineering students (9 a.m. on the Village green), an outing to the Elora Gorge for those in applied health sciences, and a "Battle in the Woods" for mathematics, among other events. Architecture students will write the English Language Proficiency Exam at 1:00 in CEIT room 1015; performances of "Single and Sexy" are scheduled for 9:30, 12:30 and 4:00 in the Humanities Theatre; an international student orientation, aimed particularly at students in arts, science and environment will run from 9:00 to 12:30 in Biology I room 271.

Meanwhile, early this morning I dropped in on a group of rather sleepy people occupying a tent in front of the Modern Languages building, where volunteers have been on duty 24 hours a day since orientation began. They're guarding Porcellino, the suilline mascot of the "Boar Tribe", otherwise known as arts students. Actual boarnapping would be pretty difficult, as Porcellino is embedded in concrete, but apparently there's some risk of hostile forces decorating him even more garishly than he's been done up already by his friends and followers. Across campus, math students are mounting a "tie guard" to protect their Pink Tie mascot in exactly the same way. Orientation week has seen great weather for such memory-building so far, but the half-dozen arts guards still seemed chilly and weary by dawn's early light today.

Last week, when students were getting ready to pack for the trip to Waterloo, UW's residences sent an e-mail memo alerting them to hygiene precautions against the H1N1 flu, and suggesting that anybody with anybody with worrisome symptoms — fever, cough, sore throat — should "delay your arrival on campus and in residence until your fever is gone and you are feeling better. The guidelines provided by the medical community call for self-isolation and bed rest for those who have a flu-like illness." So, how many students saw themselves in that description and decided to wait a few days before arriving? One, count 'em, one, says university housing officer Chris Read, and that was a young woman whose ailment probably was just a bad cold. The letter also drew "about 100 other questions totally unrelated to the H1N1", Read adds. Public health officials are still concerned that the illness formerly known as "swine flu" might hit later this fall.

Donna Schultz, administrative coordinator in UW's department of economics, officially retired as of September 1. • Alternatives journal, published in UW's Faculty of Environment, has issued a call for material to publish in its annual "environmental books issue". • The pharmacy building in Kitchener, the architecture building in Cambridge, and the Brubacher House Museum on UW's north campus will all welcome visitors during the annual Doors Open Waterloo Region event, set for September 19.

And . . . now that Labour Day is past, it's sobering to see that in UW's year-round calendar, the fall term is the segment with the fewest days off, just one. That's Thanksgiving Monday, which this year falls on October 12. Those who plan further ahead, however, can note that exams will end on December 22, and the last working day of the year will be Wednesday, December 23. The university will then be closed for 11 consecutive days, with staff due back at work on the day winter term classes begin: Monday, January 4.


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Link of the day

Toronto International Film Festival

When and where

Accelerator Centre ‘graduation’ for Energent Inc., 9:30 a.m., 295 Hagey Boulevard, information info@

[Vogt] Tree dedication ceremony in memory of Carol Vogt, formerly of information systems and technology, 10 a.m., south side of Math and Computer building.

Weight Watchers information session about on-campus program 12:00, PAS (Psychology) building rom 2438, information ext. 32218, e-mail amcharet@

Chamber Choir auditions today and Tuesday from 1:00 to 5:00, Conrad Grebel UC. Details.

‘Research Tools and Library Services’ workshop for new faculty and graduate students, today 1:30, Flex lab, Dana Porter library. Details.

Chapel Choir auditions today 1:30 to 4:30; Friday 1:30 to 4:30; Monday 3:30 to 5:00; Tuesday 1:30 to 3:00, Conrad Grebel UC. Details.

IST professional development seminar: Pat Lafranier and Lisa Tomalty-Crans, “eduWeb 2009 Conference Summary”, Friday 9 a.m., Math and Computer room 2009.

New faculty workshop with briefings about office of research and graduate studies office (established faculty and staff also welcome) Friday 11:30 to 1:30, Math and Computer room 2017, with lunch and trade show. Optional 10:30 workshops on research ethics and research finance. Information and details e-mail kdsnell@

BarCamp Waterloo Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Accelerator Centre, 295 Hagey Boulevard. Details.

Warrior football vs. Ottawa Gee-Gees, Saturday 1:00 p.m., Warrior Field, north campus.

Renison College installation of Glenn Cartwright at 10th Principal of the college, Saturday 3:00 p.m., St. George’s of Forest Hill Anglican Church; reception follows at the college.

Graduate House open house Monday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Warrior women’s basketball team meeting and first practice Monday 4 p.m., Physical Activities Complex room 2021, walk-ons welcome. Details.

School of Computer Science Distinguished Lecture: Shafi Goldwasser, MIT, “Cryptography Without (Hardly) Any Secrets” Monday 4:30 p.m., Davis Centre room 1302.

Return-to-campus interviews for co-op students September 15-17, Tatham Centre.

Graduate student services fair Tuesday 9:30 to 3:30, Davis Centre lounge; includes payroll signup, 2:00 to 3:30.

Athletics Open House (sport club and varsity team demonstrations; prizes) Tuesday 11:00 to 2:00, Physical Activities Complex main gym.

‘Making Your Graduate Experience More Relevant: Connecting Knowledge to the Needs of Society” interdisciplinary information session and lunch, Tuesday 12:00, Environment I courtyard. Details.

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K-W 'biennial' art show closes tomorrow

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